Latest posts from the ‘SEO’ Category

The Evolution of Mobile Search

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

person holding mobile phone and coffee cup

There is no doubt that the search behaviour of consumers is changing rapidly. Consumers are increasingly using their mobile and Google recently announced that more than half of all searches in the US and UK happens on mobile devices.

Further to this, Google stated at the Google Analytics summit held in June this year that consumers have more sessions but spend less time on site. This means that before consumers make a purchase they’re likely to visit a website multiple times on different devices, but spend less time on site each time they visit.

Consumers increasingly use mobile search to find quick answers for the hundreds of micro-moments they have each day. Research from Google indicated 4 types of micro moments:

  1. I-want-to-know-moments
  2. I-want-to-go-moments
  3. I-want-to-do-moments
  4. I-want-to-buy-moments

This research revealed that 66% of smartphone users turn to their phones to look up something they saw in a TV commercial – and 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business.

The Mobile Update

As a result of this shift in search behaviour, Google implemented a number of changes to force businesses and webmasters to recognise and adapt to the changes in mobile search.
mobile-friendly-label
Firstly, in November 2014 Google implemented the ‘Mobile-friendly’ label in the search engine result page (SERP). This label was implemented to indicate which websites were ready for mobile and didn’t influence rankings.

The most significant change was the mobile update (implemented on the 21st of April 2015) which promised to reward mobile friendly pages and indexed mobile apps with better rankings in organic search.

This update was different from any other Google update, in that this time Google announced the update before it was rolled out. Therefore, webmasters had time to prepare and were not surprised by any sudden changes.

The impact of this announcement meant that businesses updated their site to ensure they were not adversely affected. A study from MOZ revealed that the day after the mobile update was rolled out, 72.3% of the URLs they tracked were already mobile-friendly.

The effect of the mobile update was less significant than many expected, and a study from Searchmetrics revealed that on average a non-mobile friendly website saw a decrease in rankings of 0.21 on average.

An internal analysis of our clients, comparing the three months before and after the update, showed that organic mobile traffic grew by 14.8%, while organic desktop traffic only grew by 6%. The data also revealed that in July on average mobile traffic accounted for 40.6% of total organic traffic.

The Future of Mobile

Despite the mobile update not having such a significant effect; Reprise expects more mobile updates to be rolled out in the future, as Google and consumers lean more and more towards mobile.
app-indexing-search-results
Google hasn’t announced anything yet, but many think that one of the factors that most certainly will be in one of the upcoming mobile updates is mobile page speed. A low page speed leads to a higher bounce rate and has a negative influence on the user experience.

Another factor that is becoming increasingly important is the indexation of apps in mobile search. Search engine result pages now include results for iOS apps where previously it was just Android. Inclusive, results were previously included for apps that users already had installed on their phone whereas now Google is displaying results to help users discover new apps.

The tremendous growth in apps and particularly, their ability to enhance the user experience is the main focus for Google including them in their index. Google is able to drive the usage of apps which will allow them to sell more ads. Additionally, analytics has been set up to easily measure app activity and Reprise expects apps to have more importance for marketers in the near future.

What Does This Mean?

The most important lesson we can take from the shift in search behaviour and the mobile update is that mobile marketing is imperative to the success of any business.

Consumers increasingly expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what they are looking for when they are looking. They want things right, and they want things right away.

In order to be able to fulfill these expectations as a business, you should have a website that is optimised for mobile and content that is able to deliver.

Things You Can Do Now

Firstly, analyse and improve the page speed of your website using the page speed tool developed by Google. Run a test for your website, see where you can improve and be prepared for upcoming mobile updates.

Secondly, don’t ignore your mobile customers as on average they account for more than 40% of your visitors. Identify, deliver, and measure moments of intent, ensuring that your content is optimised appropriately. Keep testing what kind of content works for your business.

Finally, if you have a business app get it indexed by Google. You’ll drive more usage of you app through Google if it’s indexed leading to a stronger presence in mobile search.


Google Search Adds Mobile-Friendly Label

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly

As of this week, Google now adds a “mobile-friendly” label to search results identified to be optimised for viewing on a mobile device.

To be eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label, your page needs to meet the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:

  • Avoids software uncommon on mobile devices, eg. Flash
  • Uses text that is unreadable without zooming
  • Fits content to the screen without the user having to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Provides an appropriate distance between links so the correct one can be easily tapped

If you’re worried about whether your page meets the “mobile-friendly” criteria, Google has provided a Mobile-Friendly Test available within Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Mobile-friendly Test

 

There appears to be a few discrepancies with the label thus far.  Some sites tested don’t show the label for the home page but other pages within the site do show the label. While this is still such a new feature, there are bound to be some mistakes, but I’d say we’ll see a lot more “mobile-friendly” labels appearing in search soon.  Google announced the change will be rolled out globally over the next few weeks.

Google Mobile Friendly Search Results


Reprise Media’s Inbound Marketing Team Expands With 5 Hires

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Craig Ellis - Josh Barnard - Alex Rahr - Colm Flanagan - Daniel Hornung

Specialist digital agency Reprise is expanding its inbound marketing capabilities as clients continue to invest in enhancing their customers’ digital experience.

Inbound marketing is a holistic, data driven two-way approach to marketing that focuses on attracting individuals to your brand, engaging them with relevant content, converting them into long lasting customers and brand ambassadors.

There are five executives in new roles for Reprise.

Daniel Hornung has joined the inbound marketing team from the former Bruce Clay, where he was SEO account manager working on clients including Domino’s, Hyatt Hotels, Lonely Planet and Suncorp Bank.

Josh Barnard has joined Reprise from sister IPG Mediabrands business Mnet where he worked for four years, most recently as technical operations manager.

Alex Rahr has joined from Wunderman where he worked on planning and strategy.

Rafael Canto joins Reprise in November after two and a half years working as an inbound marketing strategist for SDL Netherlands.

Colm Flanagan has been promoted to inbound marketing manager, having been SEO specialist since joining the agency in February 2013.

“We’ve been extremely successful with our inbound marketing approach since our IAB Search Marketing Award for organic search in 2013,” said Reprise Australia CEO Craig Ellis. “These new hires signal a significant step-change in our approach to digital marketing, underpinned by strong inbound expertise. Inbound marketing strategies are constantly strong performers for our clients and we will continue to resource our business with the top talent we’re attracting from around the globe.

“It’s a no-brainer. Clients are understanding more and more the importance of a high-performing, highly-tuned website enriched with relevant, engaging content to their bottom line and are diverting budgets accordingly”.


Why Sitelink Search Box changes may be affecting your search traffic

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Your website may be losing valuable clicks to competitors due to recent search results page changes involving enhanced Sitelink Search Boxes in organic search results pages. The below pointers highlight some quick changes that can get your website back on track and reduce any potential brand traffic losses.

What is the Sitelink Search Box?

Recently, an interesting change to the SERP’s has been introduced by Google, allowing searchers to ‘search within a site’ using the Sitelinks Search Box. This allows you to quickly filter content found on authoritative domains and is normally restricted to brand searches. You can check if this appears for your website by searching for your main brand term in Google.

Whilst this is a clever and quite useful search results update, the downside is that Google ads appear next to the filtered search results, allowing competitors to attract the click of that user. An example of the search box can be seen below:

Sitelink search box example for Bunnings

The secondary page shown, for example “power tools” gives a Google search results page with the related tools pages, but also has competitor ads which could be clicked, taking away a potential customer:

Sitelink search box results page

As such, it would be recommended that all webmasters who have an enhanced Sitelink Search Box for their websites implement a simple code change to ensure searchers are navigated directly to use your search pages.

This can be achieved by following the Sitelink Search Box coding recommendations found on the Google developer hub: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/richsnippets/sitelinkssearch. This ensures that searchers are pushed through to an internal page on your website, rather than an ad heavy Google search page. This also helps the user experience and prevents any visitor drop off before they arrive on your page.

A good example of this implementation is Amazon’s UK website, which direct users direct to the Amazon search pages when this search box is used.

On site search redirection *Bonus Tip*

A secondary recommendation, which can be considered during these suggestions is to look at how users are directed on a website following popular searches. An example brand utilising this well is fashion retailer The ICONIC.

When searching for “Nike” for example, the user is automatically redirected to the Nike brand page rather than a more generic search results page, giving a richer user experience. By doing so, it is possible for e-commerce stores to create a more seamless web experience for their visitors. In the below example, customised copy and imagery are used to add value to the Nike product range.

Nike directional search example

For step-by-step information on how this could be implemented for your website or you require any more information on the above, please drop us a line and we would be happy to help.


The SEO Guide to WordPress Plugins

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

WordPress Plugins

These days it seems there’s a WordPress plugin for just about everything. They range in purpose from changing the way a site looks to how it performs in search or in a browser.

Given the sheer size and popularity of WordPress there is certainly no shortage of plugins to choose from. And with WordPress 4.0 “Benny” released not too long ago, every man and his dog has been scrambling to get their plugins up to date.

Ask anyone who’s ever made a WordPress website and without even thinking they’ll tell you to install WordPress SEO by Yoast and W3 Total Cache. Both of these plugins just happen to be in the Top WordPress plugins on WPThemeDetector.com.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO is the most popular plugin for WordPress, period. I’ve never made a WordPress site without it,  even before I started in SEO. Now that I know more about how search engines work and how to optimise websites, I use it even more. The only difference being now I know what half of the features do.

WordPress SEO caters for all user levels, from beginner to advanced. Don’t know what you’re doing? That’s fine, just let the plugin do everything for you. Think you know better? Do it your way, that’s cool. Flexible, highly configurable and well-supported. You’ll see the Yoast team active on Twitter daily and they’re always there to help. They believe in their product and want you to have success with your site.

W3 Total Cache

Another popular plugin that comes highly recommended from major web hosts such as Dreamhost and GoDaddy, even by the likes of Matt Cutts. W3 Total Cache is the ultimate tool for optimizing the performance of your WordPress site. And guess what, it’s even recommended by Yoast!

If you’ve ever run a page speed test (and let’s face it, you probably have) then you will be familiar with performance improvement suggestions such as minifying CSS/JS or adding expire headers. W3 Total Cache is the perfect plugin for doing just that. I’m yet to unleash the full potential of this plugin. I use it mostly for caching and minifying but there are many more features to explore. There’s also a lot of support for this plugin in case you get stuck.

Which WordPress plugins do you prefer?

I asked around at work and online to see what people’s favourite plugins are. Here’s a quick look at what people are talking about.

Justin – SEO Specialist at Reprise

“A couple of my favs and essentials for any WordPress installation are Autoptimize, which optimizes page speed by concatenating CSS & JavaScript and compressing them, and GZip Ninja Speed Compression to compress your site with Gzip.”

@WPThemeDetector

“My #1 is one that is not in the Top Plugin reports because it doesn’t show up on the site html code: BackupBuddy. I like BackupBuddy not only for the relief feeling backups give you, it’s also a great plugin for deploying WP sites from dev to live.”

Alex – SEO Executive at Reprise

Akismet came bundled into my first WordPress install and I’ve never had a spam blog comment on any of my blogs.”

@ReferralCandy

“Hmm! I like @yoast’s all-in-one SEO plugin. I’m not sure how much time it’s saving us, but it’s so easy and convenient! Another good, simple plugin is WordPress Editorial Calendar… great for scheduling drafts, etc.”

Daniel – SEO Specialist at Reprise

“I always use HeadSpace2 SEO as this plugin can take care of my SEO from site wide meta to 404 pages, plus it can add tracking for a host of tools, from GA to Crazy Egg and much more.”