Summer SEO Thoughts 2016

Posted on July 14, 2016 under PPC, SEO

Some quick thoughts for summer 2016.

DigitalDNA Event

Last month Belfast welcomed the 4th DigitalDNA conference. Great to see digital buzzing in Belfast, with some excellent companies and knowledgeable speakers. Great also to meetup with people within the industry.

Although the event was a great success and I’m sure it’ll continue to go from strength to strength, there was some lessons to be learnt. Two of the talks that I attended, the Google talk and the Loudmouth Media talk you could bearly hear. The speakers were drown out, so well done the speakers as they carried on despite this.

Surprisingly the main hall with some of the big speakers didn’t appear to be as well attended as I would have thought. Maybe there’s a disconnect between some bigger companies and the small businesses that I’m guessing would have made up the majority of the attendees.

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Google Still Has Problems with Javascript

Posted on May 8, 2016 under SEO

SEO isn’t just about high rankings, boosting page rank, getting keyword anchor text links and it’s far from dead despite the onslaught of Google Ads. Site architecture which involves the crawling and indexing of pages isn’t the first thing that springs into a clients mind, though it’s importance for onsite SEO shouldn’t be overlooked.

Recently after another re-development and site migration I was asked to review a site that was experiencing problems. It won’t be the last site to experience a drop in traffic after a redesign, as poor site migrations seem to be standard practice. The client was able to spot an issue fairly quickly, not least because there was a drop in the conversions.

Google Analytics also showed a big drop in traffic year on year, and looking in Google Webmaster Tools there was a noticeable drop in the number of indexed. Some important pages weren’t being indexed.

drop in number of pages indexed in google
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Who Clicks on the Ads Anyway?

Posted on April 14, 2016 under PPC

The title of this article is a recurring theme. When I run courses on AdWords or talk to new clients about getting new traffic sources I’m surprised at how many people still have a mistrust of Google Ads, or believe that because they skip the untrustworthy Ads everyone else is also ignoring them and as a result, the ads aren’t worth running.
Google Ads
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Google’s PPC v SEO War

Posted on February 28, 2016 under PPC, SEO

Last week saw Google remove the text ads from the right hand side of it’s desktop search results. The 8 ads that seemed glued to many search results and appeared on desktop search are no longer appearing.

An additional 4th ad may appear in the search results for ‘highly commercial queries’, something that Google’s been testing for a while. The 4th Ad can benefit from showing all the ad extensions, including site links, call outs and location extensions.

The screenshot below shows 4 ads at the top.
Google introduces a 4th Ad at the top in Google AdWords
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Google My Business Listings Scam

Posted on February 18, 2016 under SEO

Google My Business listings are Free. You can sign up here if you already don’t have one.

If you have someone manage them for you then fair enough you may have to pay a management fee.

However it appears there are companies cold calling claiming to have a ‘special relationship with Google’ and are attempting to charge for the privilege of maintaining and improving your listing, when it’s already there and in many cases performing pretty well.

For those that don’t know, below is a screenshot of what a Google My business listing looks like in the SERPS (Search Engine Ranking Positions).

Google my Business listing

Just ignore any companies that phone out of the blue, claim they have an association with Google, and if you don’t pay an annual subscription your Google My Business listing won’t be renewed.

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SEO Thoughts for February 2016

Posted on January 30, 2016 under SEO

Some quick thoughts to kick off 2016.

Brands & Multiple Listings

Weren’t the days of Google showing 3 results for a website in the SERPS supposedly at an end? Obviously Not! The screenshot below clearly shows 3 listings for Gumtree. It’s annoying to see Gumtree doing so well when the pages are all littered with ads (Google hammered one of my sites for this) and the content similar on all 3 pages. This is an example of Google’s algo favouring a brand and over the last few years, I’ve seen this more and more. No matter how much SEO you do, Google still favours sites like Amazon, Gumtree and Ebay at the expense of smaller independent sites.

multiple listings in the SERPS

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All That Glitters Isn’t SEO Gold

Posted on September 12, 2015 under SEO

This is a cautionary tale for every siteowner thinking of getting their website refreshed or redesigned.

When the designers are called in to refresh the site, and it goes beyond a basic refresh of the skin, you as a site owner should be aware that you can seriously harm the rankings and performance of your website. Proceed with caution.

Remarkably this happens more times than you’d think, new designer comes in, does his magic, rips the site apart and pulls the rug from underneath. It’s gutting to see a site that you’ve worked on be massacred by a design team that have no idea of even the basics in page titles, internal links, site structure, 301 redirects or simple on site SEO.

no google analytics tracking code shows a dip in traffic

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Google Adwords Mistakes Part 2

Posted on August 21, 2015 under PPC

What seems like a very long time ago I wrote an article on my own AdWords mistakes. Most of them still apply. 7 or 8 years later here’s a follow up with a few more.

1. Limited by Budget

If you are running on a fairly small budget or your cost per click is high relative to your budget then the ‘Limited By Budget’ warning can be fairly common. Sometimes this is very difficult to work with, particularly if it’s a small client dipping their toes into Adwords and they aren’t prepared to up their budget. They usually have a low budget and a high cost per click.

If the daily budget is £10 per day and your clicks cost you £1, then when you get 10 clicks your ads will stop showing. If your budget runs out at 5pm then your ad no longer shows.

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Google’s New 3 Pack for Local Listings

Posted on August 9, 2015 under local search

Google seems to have rolled out a new look and layout for local listings and cut the 7 pack down to a 3 pack.

The last few months or so I’ve noticed Google has been experimenting with a different look and layout for local listings. It now seems they have rolled this out across the board. vets Belfast 3 pack

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SEO Thoughts July 2015

Posted on July 15, 2015 under SEO

Exact Match Domains

Do Exact Match domains still carry any ranking value in 2015?

I think it’s too simple to say keywords in domains no longer hold value.

I certainly still think they do, they certainly do in folder names and file path, absolutely no doubt about that.

I also still see plenty of keyword rich domains that rank highly, and the keywords are a contributing factor.
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Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 225729 or use the contact form.

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