Everything you need to know about… Google Core Web Vitals

Everything you need to know about… Google Core Web Vitals

So, you’ve got your business online, and you’re ready to start building your profile and getting your website out there in the eyes of your target audience. You’ve heard of SEO and are currently working on a strategy to ensure that Google finds your site whenever your industry or specialist subject is mentioned.


But of course, in typical Google fashion, things are constantly changing and the focus on user experience is always shifting to accommodate new ideologies and preferences.


Google Core Web Vitals first came to fruition in 2020, and over the past year has made its mark in quantifying the user experience through a set of three new ranking tools which join the generic user areas already being ranked by Google (which include mobile usability, safety while browsing, and HTTPS).


In this article, I’ll be introducing you to the three new subsections of Google’s Core Web Vitals and letting you in on a few things that you can start doing now to ensure that your website is up to Google’s high standards.

Introducing the Core Web Vitals

Google has long been interested in user experience above all else, ranking everything from the value of your content to the layout of your website in determining which sites offer the highest value to users.

Core Web Vitals is a new initiative which is ultimately designed to make things easier for you, the website owner, by allowing you to ascertain exactly how effective your website is in line with Google’s expectations. It is essentially a DIY check that you can perform to quantify the experience your website is providing to users – drawing your attention to problem areas so that you can fix them yourself.

The three new additions to Google’s ranking are as follows:

  1. LCP (Largest Contentful Paint)
  2. FID (First Input Delay)
  3. CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift)


Any idea what they mean? No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Let’s take a closer look at what these areas really look at – and what you can do to optimise the experience across all three avenues.


Largest Contentful Paint


This is the page user time from the perspective of your website visitor. It refers directly to the seconds from clicking a link to the page loading and can be impacted by poor connectivity as well as pages stuffed with images or other visual content. As the title suggests, it works on the load time of the largest piece of content on any given webpage.


Your LCP time should sit under 2.5 seconds in order to provide the optimum user experience, as anything longer than that can be problematic both in the eyes of Google and the increasingly impatient users who will be visiting your site.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Check your images and videos. Chat to your website developer about ensuring the size is right across all devices, or else dive in yourself and conduct a page load time review in order to isolate the problem areas and compress the largest images.
  • Reduce the number of redirects on any one webpage.
  • Cache your website, keeping the webpages static so that when a user clicks a link, the page loads without searching for the most up to date content.


For more tips on improving your LCP score, chat to your website developer.


First Input Delay

First Input Delay is all about interaction and reaction, and how quickly your website is able to respond to a certain action performed by the user. Some examples include selecting clickable links and playing videos, with FID asking how long it takes for the webpage to become responsive.


It is important for website owners to understand that this is the area which deals with your CTA’s and action buttons. So much of your marketing and advertising will be designed to capture users and encourage them to take action – but a low FID rating can ruin all of that trust in seconds.


The best FID measurement is under 100 milliseconds, if you want your website to be ranked highly in the eyes of both Google and your website visitors.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Optimise your Javascript. More often than not, a problem with FID will be caused by Javascript, and so you need to take steps to break tasks up into smaller chunks which can be achieved more quickly and optimise the front level load time so that your page is ready for interaction immediately.
  • Minimise the amount of data that needs to be processed on the user end.
  • Defer unused Javascript so that it doesn’t waste time and bandwidth.

(If this simply goes over your head, or you need support in achieving the recommended steps, chat to your web developer).


Cumulative Layout Shift


This is the area which deals with visual stability and how well your webpage is displayed across devices. Far from simply focussing on the aesthetic display of your website across different screen sizes, CLS looks at how stable each element on the page is – whether elements of the page jump around as the user scrolls, and whether or not a shift in page layout affects the user experience.

This is a crucial element of usability because shifting page elements and boxes can be aggravating and confusing for your website visitor – ultimately creating a poor experience.

The lower the better when it comes to your quantitative CLS measurement – under 0.1.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Ensure that every element on your webpage has set dimensions – from adverts to images and more. This means including size attributes in the build of your website, so that elements sit in the right place and do not move around as the user interacts with your site.
  • Don’t overlay content.
  • Be careful with the way you use and implement animated elements in your website. Any features which move as the user scrolls can be problematic.

The key thing to remember is that Core Web Vitals are here to help and can introduce you to potential challenges and issues with your website long before Google picks up on them and penalises you for them.


Use these updates and three specific areas to get to know your website from a backend user perspective, and use the results as a way of guiding future upgrades and updates to your site.

How to give your SEO the boost it needs: DIY Style

Is there anything worse than knowing what your website or digital marketing needs, but at the same time having no idea where to start? Most of the time this lack of knowledge leads you down a rabbit hole of outsourcing, external audits and costly solutions, and time consuming online guides – which promise the world and deliver very little.

We know how frustrating the world of online marketing and the internet can be – because we’ve been there, and we’ve seen it all. No matter how great your content is, or how much value you are practically giving away for free, if you don’t do exactly what search engines like Google want you to do, they can hide you away and ensure that no one visits your site. Not only is this disheartening, but it’s mighty bad for business.

So, you call in auditors. They tell you where you’re going wrong, and then start throwing anagrams at you – namely SEO and PPC.

Well, this article looks at what’s holding you back before you even get to the content itself and considers the steps to take to resolve your issues. Consider this your DIY guide to auditing your own online presence and understanding the steps to achieve the ideal solution – all in-house, and without a single Youtube video or expensive guide in sight.

What does a DIY SEO audit look like?

When we talk about SEO, we are essentially referring to the quality of your content through the eyes of Google. Crucially, this doesn’t mean assessing the quality of the writing or the validity of your offers, but rather how well you have presented it according to what Google deems as high quality.

If Google likes what it sees, it will start to present your site as a search result when consumers search for terms relating to your business, what you do, and what industry you operate in. If Google doesn’t approve, you might as well delete your site altogether (except don’t, because that would be extremely counterintuitive…)

What IS Google Index?

If you thought this was going to be a basic exploration of keywords, think again. Because none of that matters if your site isn’t registered correctly in order for Google to find it. The very best and most effective websites – and thus the most successful businesses – start from scratch with Google Indexing, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do now.

To find out where you’re starting from, head to Google and, in the search box, enter this:

site:[YOUR DOMAIN NAME].com

For example, site:BBC.com

When you hit enter, what will appear is a list of all the pages that have been indexed as “searchable” by Google on your website. For a global site like NotOnTheHighstreet, the numbers are in the millions as every creator’s page is indexed to work alongside search results. For your site, the numbers will almost always be much lower – but if it’s not presenting all of your pages, including your Blog and your Services or Products page, then you immediately know your site is not performing as well as it could – or should.

What to do if hitting Enter throws up a big 0

Google doesn’t blacklist your site for no good reason. If there are 0 search results, ask yourself if your site is doing anything which could cause Google to ban or block your content. It may also be that you have accidentally done something in the backend of your website which blocks Google and other search engines from discovering you – likely something you will want to reverse, in which case have a chat to your web developer about isolating the issue and resolving it as soon as possible.

You can also do a quick check yourself by entering

[YOUR DOMAIN NAME].com/robots.txt

Any restrictions placed on search engine indexing will show here and can be easily changed.

Is everything you want to showcase on display?

If the number of indexed pages for your site was much lower than expected, it’s time to investigate and dig deeper to see what’s going on.

Most of the time, you will find that during development of your site, access to search engines was restricted and accidentally left behind when the site was made live. You may also find that full website folders and menu drop downs are missing – something you can check in the same way using the Robots.txt link.

Another reason why Google may be hiding content or particular webpages is if they contain duplicate content – either from another page on your own site, or through plagiarism from another site entirely. There are tools out there which can help bring your attention to any unintentionally duplicated content, or else you can perform your own review and refresh of your website copy and content.

Is there such a thing as TOO much on display?

Yes! If the number of pages on your Google Index is unexpectedly high, this can also be hinting at some underlying problems – especially when those pages are not providing any value at all. Not only will they damage your website’s viability on Google, but they will prevent consumers from finding the pages that actually mean something and can lead to customers and conversions.

This can often be caused by plugins which replicate pages or generate new pages to coincide with event links or calendar dates as advertised by your website. Another common cause is hacking, whereby hackers can put their own spam links onto the end of your domain so that the spam pages appear whenever a consumer searches for something linked to your website. This can be hugely damaging for your reputation and reliability as a business.

Plus, Google will penalise you – and that is arguably the biggest obstacle to overcome.

The importance of SEO when it comes to growing online – and offline

SEO is what gives you a leg up against the competition and enables you to reach out and provide valuable solutions to consumers who know you, who have heard of you, and those who don’t yet know anything about you.

Yes, content and keywords are important, but until you get the fundamentals right with a high level Google Indexing audit, all those words will never be read by anyone except you. 

An Open Letter to the DIY “I know what I’m doing” Crew

An Open Letter to the DIY “I know what I’m doing” Crew

If you’re of the mind that you can do everything and anything yourself, then you must LOVE the internet – and everything it has to offer. With everything from written guides to visual charts and Youtube videos available for every age group, industry, and user type, there really has never been a better time to branch out on your own, learn online, and do it all yourself.

And if you come across the odd article which shares content of little to no value, or which shares tips which will damage your reputation rather than bolster it – who cares! Because you know exactly what you’re doing without any support, right?

What is SEO – and do I REALLY need it?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation – which is the tool responsible for helping consumers and potential customers find your website and your content. However, in the eyes of more business owners than you would expect, SEO is purely a hoop that Google makes them jump through… and they’re not having it!

Enter the anti-SEO crew, intent on going it alone and using the power of their own content to drive conversion and attract customers. These are the people who DON’T need help increasing their revenues, and who aren’t that fussed about increasing profits. They’re the business owners who operate in such a clear and obvious niche, that they KNOW the right audience will find them, with or without SEO.

At the end of the day, SEO is a stepping-stone to greater business success. So, what do you do when your business doesn’t need help in succeeding?

Why you DON’T need SEO

If you’re a big fan of the internet and all of those DIY resources we mentioned earlier, you will likely already be aware of the number of businesses and SEO experts out there, keen to help bolster the value and reach of your content and online presence. These are people who boast both experience and knowledge, who understand the algorithms and who know how to play the system in order to ensure that their clients get the best results month after month.

Most of all, they are the businesses and experts whose job it is to boost the presence of their clients among their own specific industry and marketplace – using SEO and the various tools that SEO presents in getting content noticed and drawing the right people in to read it.

So, what about those who don’t need SEO? Are they right in believing that SEO is just another corporate demand made by the powers behind Google? Or are they missing a trick?

See for yourself….

  1. SEO keeps your target audience coming back

For many, gaining and retaining the attention of a target audience is the number one goal of any advertising campaign and marketing strategy. But if you’re truly confident in your ability to keep people entertained and interested, simply using great content and fun visuals, great! Never mind if they can’t find it once it’s been posted… the right people will get there eventually, right?

  1. SEO helps you to reach new customers

Do you really need new customers? SEO is one of the most useful, effective, and efficient tools in expanding your audience footprint and getting your message out on a wider scale – so if you’re perfectly content with your business as it is and DON’T want to continue to grow and evolve, SEO is really more of an obstacle than a valuable asset.

  1. SEO increases revenues

Increased revenues mean more profits and more growth, more recruiting and an increase in your business operations. For many, these are the signs of a successful company, but for others they are more stress than they’re worth. Which camp are you in?

  1. SEO helps you stand out against the competition

If you don’t want to stand out and are more than happy simply co-existing with your industry competitors, then avoiding SEO is the very best move you can make. Standing out from your competition means showcasing what your business has to offer, and really making a mark on the target audience through your vision and company values – ensuring that the right people find your company through search engines and SEO-bolstered content. Is this something you want to communicate, or are you happy just floating along in the industry current?

  1. SEO builds brand awareness, even outside your target audience

If you don’t want to increase revenues and build your business, then expanding your target audience and communicating with those outside of your core target market is a waste of time – time that could, perhaps, be spend indulging in a hobby or personal interest. For those businesses that are totally confident in their target audience and existing communications, to the point that expanding outside of that core audience to build wider brand awareness is detrimental to business success, then SEO is a problem to be avoided.

The simple fact is that SEO is only suitable for those businesses that want to succeed in a way that bolsters company growth, increases revenues, and continues to reach out to both the target audience and potential new customers – consistently and effectively. For those businesses and organisations who are happy to stay where they are, swimming among the competition rather than pulling ahead, SEO is an asset that they don’t need.

But before you decide that the second option is for you or dismiss SEO as just another hoop designed by the powers at Google, ask yourself this. Can I really continue to meet the constantly changing demands of a modern, technologically-able audience, on my own? Or might a little SEO support serve my business well in the long run?

The benefits of Facebook Messenger Marketing

How many times have you needed to get in touch with a company about a product you’ve ordered or a service they have delivered, only to find that the advertised means of contact is an online form which can take up to 24 hours for a response? 

As a species, technology and innovation are making us more impatient – and more demanding. When we have questions or issues to raise, we want to be able to do so immediately, and we want to know that our message will not only be acknowledged but also responded to. 

Enter the new world of social media marketing. 

We are constantly being told about how social media is an important, modern part of the customer journey – both during the discovery phase, the research phase, and the follow up phase. For companies who are on top of their social media and are utilising it seamlessly, this means that everything from reviews to complaints are likely to be received through social platforms – with Facebook ranking as the most popular platform for businesses. But what about the benefits of social media marketing, and messaging in particular? 

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing refers not only to the use of social media for advertising and marketing products and services, but also includes direct messaging and commenting as a means of contacting a company and/or responding to customers. Initially designed as just another means of online contact, advances across the industry have meant that automated chatbots are now an integral part of every social media strategy – especially when it comes to Facebook Messenger marketing, which is the outlet of choice for most modern consumers seeking a way to get in contact with a company at all hours of the day (and night). 

The benefits of chatbots when it comes to Facebook Messenger marketing

There are a broad range of benefits that come with using social media as an integrated part of your marketing strategy, but chatbots sit up there as the most beneficial aspect to come from Facebook Messenger marketing in particular. 

Far from the robotic images and flat responses that many envisage when they think about chatbots, modern chatbots are interactive, engaging, and able to use everything from words to visuals and videos by means of response to a variety of questions, issues and comments. Of course, in ascertaining and identifying the benefits of using chatbots in your Facebook Messenger strategy, the first thing to note is the simple fact that your communication lines are always open – unlike real team members, chatbots don’t need sleep. With this in mind, chatbots are especially popular with global brands where their customer base lives across a huge variety of time zones and thus may need assistance at any time of the day or night. 

Another benefit of integrating chatbots into your Facebook Messenger marketing plan is that they can provide consumers with simple answers to a huge range of questions – thus eradicating a huge load of admin for your social media team. More often than not, consumers contacting you through social media will be after a quick response – for example, the stock levels of a certain product, or the status of a delivery driver. These require factual, quick responses which can be delivered seamlessly by a chatbot. 

For those instances where a more personalised response is required, the developments in AI mean that this is becoming more possible every day. By being able to differentiate the products and services required by different individuals, and by using the details they provide in order to generate personalised responses, the future for chatbots – and for sales conversion – is bright. 

As well as the efficient and effective responses created by chatbots, additional information and benefits that can be gained through the use of chatbots include:

  • Data Analysis of your target audience
  • Communication learnings about how your audience interact with your brand on social
  • A broader understanding of where your target audience are and what they look like
  • Seamless payments through a central platform

Other benefits of Facebook Messenger Marketing

As well as being able to use chatbots to replicate and engage in personal and direct conversations, there are a handful of other benefits that come with using Facebook Messenger marketing as a company or brand. 

For one thing, the messenger platform allows you to integrate with your target audience on a platform which works for them and which they regularly use as part of their everyday internet activity. All too often we see brands and companies losing out on that crucial transition from browser to buyer, simply because they are not presenting a presence that is readily available across different platforms. If you only allow customers to ask questions through a contact form on your website, or by dialling a number and being put on a hold list, the likelihood is that you will lose a large chunk of potential business from those who would rather quick on a quick chat icon and receive an automatic response. 

And finally, why not consider Facebook Messenger marketing as a way to acknowledge and generate information about orders and delivery notifications? A massive 85% of people say they want to be able to text back after receiving a push notification – so it follows that using Facebook Messenger marketing to control those kinds of notifications could open up a channel for conversation and ongoing communication. 

Why you should integrate Facebook Messenger marketing today

Facebook is the OG of all the social media platforms when it comes to consumer – business interactions, and as such it is leading the way with the integration with direct messaging, consistent communication and advertising, and chatbots. The future of your business could well rest in the way that you employ and use social media in the coming weeks and months, particularly with the 2020 pandemic driving more and more people to browse and shop online. 

Create a seamless consumer experience using chatbots and messenger apps – and watch as browsers start to become buyers.

My SEO Predictions for 2021

My SEO Predictions for 2021

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has long been considered an integral part of the digital and online marketing world, using the power of keywords and valuable internal and external website links to increase your organic search results and increase the level of genuine audience traffic moving onto your website.

There are a huge variety of aspects which go into a high quality SEO campaign strategy, and as such more and more companies are looking to recruit experts and entire outsourced services which are dedicated to increasing and improving their SEO.

This article looks a little more closely at the areas in which SEO could grow over the next year, considering the ways that technical reliance will continue to adapt and change the ways that we use online to communicate with our customers and clients.

Taking our learnings from 2020 into 2021

If there has ever been a time that online strategy has been important, it’s been this year.

With businesses being forced to close their doors, limit their capacity and completely change the way in which they interact with customers, the value of social media and a strong online presence has been felt across the business world, regardless of industry.

From recruitment and advertising vacancies, to launching new products and services, sharing testimonials and internal stories, and simply communicating with clients and customers, everything in 2020 has been about finding new and innovative solutions – and a lot of this will carry on over in 2021 as more businesses herald the value of a strong online presence.

In terms of SEO, this means an increased focus on understanding who your target customer is and how to reach them.

It means knowing what search terms and solutions your customers are searching and looking for, and how they might come across your brand or website page.

It means producing high quality content which proves your worth as an expert in your industry or field.

Most of all, it means creating and maintaining a website which is as much written for usability and reader value, as it is designed for Google and a high SEO ranking.

What SEO will look like in 2021

One of my biggest predictions for SEO in 2021 revolves around a more connected use of search results which combine standard content with GIF’s, videos, images and other graphics. The world is becoming increasingly visual and more and more users are finding visual guides just as easy to use – if not more so – than standard written guides and chunks of content.

If you can elevate the value of your website with some internal and external video content, using the right keywords and meta tags for Google to trawl through, you will find that image recognition technology provides a boost in your company’s prominence both on Google and other search engines.

Another way that SEO will shift focus in 2021 is towards more of a well-rounded user experience, which combines and blends social media presence with email communication, influencer marketing and affiliate marketing.

If you can get high quality third party sites and influencers to repost and link back to your landing pages, as well as including relevant external content on your own site, the chain of high quality links will serve you well and will create seamless user experiences which not only read well in terms of Google but also mean that more active consumers will read more about and potentially click through to your site.

When it comes to link building, I do have two of my own top tips to share to help you harness the power of links in 2021 and beyond:

1.      Keep your links about quality rather than quantity.

2.      Don’t outsource your link building to just any another company, as the risk is too high: there are so many organisations out there which sell link building solutions and ultimately will end up packing your website with spam. Put the time in and build internal and external links up yourself.

And then we have content itself, and the way in which companies will continue to use content as the main driving force in their SEO strategy.

Keywords remain an integral part of a consistent and high quality SEO strategy, and so the higher the value of content you can create and share on your site and other online platforms, the better.

However, far too often I see bloggers and writers simply stuffing their content full of keywords which make little sense – and unfortunately, Google has outgrown us in terms of intelligence; now able to read and identify every time a keyword has been used as a space filler.

What this means is that, now more than ever, SEO strategy has to use keywords in a smart and intelligent way which highlights value and relevance, without going over the top. 

Steps you can take to improve your SEO in 2021

Google will often change its algorithms with little warning, and so one of the best steps you can take to keep your SEO relevant and up to date is continuing to watch and keep an eye on technical innovation and online reports about new ways that the internet is being used – across all devices.

One of the main areas that I predict Google will focus on in 2021 is mobile optimisation across all devices, in terms of delivering a high end user experience to every used regardless of how they interact with a site. It is no longer enough to deliver the same homepage on a computer and a smartphone – the sites must be tailored to the end user and the way that they are using the site.

I could go on for pages about the ways in which SEO will shift and change in 2021, but for me the key lessons to take and implement are these:

·        Put time and thought into the ways that you can prove and showcase expertise and authority in your industry or sector.

·        Create content which does more than share the keywords a few times. Make every blog and article count – and remember, the better the content, the more likely it is to be shared.

I hope that’s of some use to you, I’m happy to thrash ideas around, so if you’re looking at starting or improving your SEO in ’21 – give me a shout or head over to kaizen-digital.com for more info.

The Importance of Content Marketing

Have you ever seen the following, anywhere – “source: Dude, trust me”? If so good, then this will be easier. If not, you’ll get the gist I’m sure. We are told all the time that content is important, that content marketing will help save you time, money and resources. We are told that it will get your message out, increase your visibility and strengthening your sales. OK, great. Source?

Well, Bill Gates once famously said that content is king. He’s an idiot. Do you realise how much spammy, useless pages flew into the aether because of that? Us either, but it’s a lot. Content is not king, quality content is

Why is quality content important?

Content doesn’t magically appear; it would be great if it did, but it doesn’t. It requires thought, planning, in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and it’s also important to know how to write it so that:

  • It gets found
  • It informs
  • It is shareable
  • It is memorable – for the right reasons

Honestly, quality content the most powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal. We would go so far as to say it the only tool. After all, your social channels would be empty without it – you will go so far with stolen memes. You will also have nothing for your website, YouTube channels, podcasts… Nothing. Oh, and yes YouTube and podcasts… unless you wing it with no script, like a savage.

Because digital marketing is so vital for businesses today, you can’t very well expect your business to succeed without it. Not anymore.

Why you need quality content

The internet is like the world’s largest library, with every type of content imaginable that answers any question that you can throw at it (except maybe, ‘have God and Morgan Freeman ever been seen in the same room?’) and it is being constantly updated. Everyone is competing for business, and whatever it is that you do – there are a dozen others in your town doing the same thing and they all want the same customers. What are you going to do about that?

People are busy looking on the internet to buy what you are selling. How are you going to see to it that they buy from you and not a competitor in town? Content and content marketing makes it possible for your potential customers to find you, and much faster than they would otherwise.

There are other reasons, naturally. Such as:

  • Quality content helps build your brand relationships

People, some time ago, fell out of love with the faceless corporation. Big business realised this in time to take advantage of it. At no other point in recent history could you name the CEOs of the biggest companies on the planet. People trust people, not logos or slogans. They want a relationship with the brand they want to invest in, however small that investment may be.

  • More and better customers cost you less

The return on investment in great content and content marketing is obscene. In a good way. Depending on how well the content matches the needs of your audience, you could be enjoying conversion rates as much as 6 times higher than if you had no plan at all.

That’s just two other points, and I could go on, but the point is abundantly clear: content was, is and always will be the cornerstone of any marketing plan – especially of the content variety.

Excellent content sells. Source: you just read it.

If you need help, call me on 0044 (0)7486 571 264 or email me on dj@kaizen-digital.com

10 Benefits of SEO For Your Business

10 Benefits of SEO For Your Business

To be frank, every business (especially now) should be working towards building a strong organic presence in the search engines, whether in-house or outsourcing to an expert (hint hint…). 

Properly done with user intent in mind, SEO can often work more effectively than most other digital marketing strategies, so read on to see how SEO can be used to grow your business and its profits.

Fun fact… Every day your website is not optimised for the search engines you are losing money to your competitors.

Allow me to explain:

1. Your services are being searched for ON LINE.

There are millions of people doing billions of searches daily, and if you’re not optimising your site and content properly for search terms relevant to your services, you don’t stand a chance of being heard through all the noise. As a basic strategy if you are just starting out, don’t try and rank for ultra competitive keywords such as “recruitment”. Although search volume for (as an example) “fintech recruitment agency Manchester” may only show 15 people searching per month, the INTENTION of these searches is high, meaning if you’re optimised for that “long tail keyword”, your chances of conversion are significantly higher.  

2. Quality over quantity of traffic every…single…time.

People are actively looking for what they search for, whether their need be immediate or for future reference. If you rank on page 1 for their search, you’re almost guaranteed to get their attention. If you’re page two… who are you?? Proper SEO will ensure that the RIGHT people are hitting your site through effective targeting. There’s no point in attracting people to you business who will NEVER be interested in, or in a position to secure your services. 

3. Traffic from SEO converts more.

Most websites analytics show that their organic traffic is the one with the highest conversion rate, as mentioned above… it’s all about the search intent. Rank for the right keywords and people will come and convert.

4. Increase your sales and leads with SEO

Before revenue comes leads. And SEO is fantastic for INBOUND lead generation. A properly optimised site with properly optimised landing pages and an enticing Call To Action (CTA) will result in additional leads. An individual leaving their details for a call back, is already a more qualified lead than a cold call, as they’ve found their way to your site with INTENTION to engage you.

 

5. SEO can lower your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

Compared to paid ads (Google PPC etc) CPA is generally lower with SEO. Even when outsourcing the SEO, in the long run you often pay less than you might spend on ads to get the same amount of clients. 

6. SEO is organic, you don’t pay for each click.

Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) can be massively expensive for firms starting out or with restrictive budgets. Although SEO can take some time to kick in, it will bring you a constant flow of leads and traffic without having to pay for ads on Google Ads or Social Media per example.With PPC, once your budget is gone and ads stop running, that’s it, game over, no more leads. With SEO, it’s much easier to stay in the search engines for vastly longer without exponential costs!

7. SEO makes buying decisions easier.

As I’ve said before, SEO isn’t always about revenue generation. Brand awareness is a major benefit too. People will automatically believe that you are a trusted, relevant and authoritative name within your space PURELY because you’re on page 1 of Google etc. That awareness, that exposure will often reassure any potential clients that you’re a firm worth reaching out to, making their decision to engage easier.

8. SEO boosts Social Media Traffic

Quite simply, the more unique, relevant visitors you get to your site, the more people have the opportunity to engage with your social media platforms. Another chance for you to keep prospective clients and candidates “warm” that all starts with them finding you via search engines!

9. Good SEO will improve your website strength.

SEO will help your website (well, the domain actually) build strength as it grows through SEO best practices. A strong domain is made up of a number of factors including relevance, trust worthiness and authority, all factors which are impacted by SEO. By building good quality backlinks using content outreach for example (producing and pushing high quality, informative articles etc), you can easily improve how Google sees you as an influencer within your space.

10. SEO can help you get foot traffic (offline visitors)

For businesses that have a high street presence and physical location, or who have multiple offices in several locations, optimising your website for “Local SEO” can pay dividends. “Recruitment agencies near me” for example, will show your site in that search and allow people to easily find your address (assuming you’ve got a Google My Business page) and read reviews (assuming you have them). 

SEO should absolutely be one of your main marketing strategies. In fact, if I really try hard, I struggle to see any downsides to SEO. 

The only thing I can think of, and this is scraping the barrel, is that it can take a couple of months to see tangible results. But that even depends on how your site is structured. If your site already employs best practice in terms of structure, navigation, content etc, it IS possible to see tangible uplifts sooner. 

This snip is from a report for a new client, who saw these increases within a little under 8 weeks. This particular client did not have an optimum site structure and still saw fantastic results. 

The point being SEO is hands down the best long term strategy for revenue generation and brand exposure. Do it, but do it properly. If you can’t, reach out to me and find out how I can help you.

Thanks for reading (assuming you have!)

Dan Jones @ Kaizen Digital Consultancy
E – projects@kaizen-digital.com M – 0044 (0)7486 571 264 W – www.kaizen-digital.com

Recruitment SEO – You Wouldn’t Go To A Sculptor For A Tattoo!

Recruitment SEO - You Wouldn't Go To A Sculptor For A Tattoo!


It always amazes me how often there can be so much friction between clients and providers of niche services such as SEO. I’ve definitely encountered it and I know for a FACT I’m not the only one.


The friction can be two-fold, from the business owner directly and/or their in-house marketing function, whether that’s a single person or a team.


I get it, as a business owner you’ve employed a person/team who are there to handle your marketing efforts, you’re already paying them for this so why on Earth would you fork out for a third party to work the “same tasks”? Or as the in-house marketer, this is your bag. Why should someone else steal your thunder or even threaten your very existence within your company??


A little disclaimer – I am not, for even a millisecond trying to bash on in-house teams. At all, so bear with…


My point is this, you wouldn’t go to a sculptor for a new tattoo. 


I can hear you thinking “what is he talking about?!” It’s pretty simple, whilst both sculptors and tattooists are classed as artists, their individual skill set is highly specific, and completely different. Now I’m not saying that a tattooist couldn’t pick up a lump of clay and turn it into a jug, or that the sculptor can’t draw, but it’s unlikely that the level of knowledge, the application and execution of their respective skillsets and the results they can achieve will be on par with each other.


So what has this got to do with my original point? 


Marketing is a wide term, encapsulating a massive variety of different skills and experiences. It even includes print (remember that?!). Even if we drill down into Digital Marketing – again, it’s an umbrella term which covers a multitude of services. Take my skills for example –
Recruitment SEO – how much more specific can you get? 


Again, I know that there are some “general marketers” who have experience in SEO. I know that a LOT of Digital Marketers have a semi-basic working knowledge of SEO which is fine. The difference is when you deal with a specialist, that expertise can pay dividends. SEO is like a Mastermind specialist subject in itself, when you niche down like we do at Kaizen Digital with recruitment SEO, that level of industry-specific knowledge, where we intimately understand your business operations can be invaluable. 


So the takeaway from this? If you’re a business owner with no internal marketing function, there’s a chance that you could do your own SEO, but it’s unlikely – at least in terms of achieving decent results. If you’re an in-house marketer, perhaps your expertise, your “specialist subject” is more social media, email marketing, or content creation, it might not be SEO. But I’m not trying to step on your toes as it were. Quite the opposite in fact. I’ve worked extremely well alongside internal teams, and that collaboration, that partnership can be extremely useful to your employer, often our expertise compliment each other for a more…holistic approach to gaining traction. We’re after the same end results after all. We can be friends. 


Kaizen Digital work exclusively with recruitment and search firms to ultimately increase visibility in search engines through effective, recruitment-focused SEO campaigns. 


If you are considering SEO, or have any questions about our solutions, please get in touch. You can email my team on
projects@kaizen-digital.com or call me directly on +44 (0)7486 571 264.


Thanks for reading,


Dan. 

How Long Does SEO Take To Work?​

How Long Does SEO Take To Work?

I thought I’d break down a question which I get asked all the time here at Kaizen Digital – “How long will SEO take to work?”
 
Well… there isn’t a an exact formula for how quickly SEO will work and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, they are lying to you! 
 
There are so many variables that go into SEO and that’s why we don’t give unrealistic goals to anyone we’re considering working with, or existing clients of course.
Not only do we review your competitors’ SEO strategy, we also consider the overall marketing strategy of your business. This allows us to gain a greater understanding of how your brand and business are navigating through a noisy digital landscape.
 
There are 3 key areas that we believe have a big impact on how long it will take for your SEO campaign to gain traction:

  • Content
  • Competitors
  • Technical SEO

Why your competitors important


It’s super important to analyse the competition, especially those who are ranking for the search terms you’re interested in ranking for. SEO isn’t about re-inventing the wheel, it’s about implementing best practice, emulating strategies that are working for others and spotting opportunities others might have missed and capitalising on them.
Trying to outrank a major PLC firm for a super competitive keyword, will take longer that trying to rank for more specific searches with less search volume. So how long does SEO take to work? It depends on the competition.

Content Marketing

Content is a major ranking factor and it is SUPER crucial that it serves a purpose and enriches the user experience while visiting your site. The days are gone where you are rewarded for stuffing keywords where the sun doesn’t shine… this “black hat” techniques will negatively impact ranking performance. 
Content pieces don’t need to be thousands of words long: there isn’t a fixed limit on how much content you need to perform well in search. The key point is that it DOES need to serve a purpose, for example

  • Solving a problem        
  • Answering a question
  • Educating your audience

So how long does SEO take to work? It depends on the quality and frequency of your content game.

How does technical SEO impact performance

Having the most beautifully designed website, with the most well-written, super engaging content ever created….will mean nothing if Google (or other engines) can’t access or “read” the site. The technical aspects of your on-site SEO need to be nailed, well executed to ensure that the Google robots can make sense or your site. Other tech aspects, such as page load speed etc, are important for the user experience, so things like slow-running scripts need to be addressed.

Link acquisition or link building is also still super important, and is one of Google’s major ranking factors. Good backlinks tell Google that you are an authoritative and somewhat influential in your space. We achieve this through acquiring relevant and authoritative links naturally, giving you a healthy backlink profile.

So how long does SEO take to work? It depends on your technical SEO game .

Conclusion

No one can guarantee SEO results for a certain keywords or search terms. That being said, it is possible estimate a time frame where you’ll start to see improvements, with educated guessing based on variables. These improvements can be anything from reductions in bounce rate, increase in page views, increases in traffic and ultimately, higher SERP positions. With experience and with time, you can get better insights into how quickly it may take to rank in certain niches.

So how long does SEO take to work? It depends…
 
If you’ve got any questions around SEO or are looking to up your SEO game, give me a call on +447486 571 2264 or drop me a line at dj@kaizen-digital.com

App or Website? 10 Reasons Why Apps are Better Than Websites…(IMO)

I’m not looking to say one is actually the better option than the other here, this is simply me saying “this is where apps can add MORE value than your website!”

Right now, mobile usage will be SOARING. With the sheer amount of people unable to work from office premises, it’s all too easy for people generally to pay a little more attention to their smartphone. If there was EVER a time to be utilising mobile channels to attract new clients or candidates – its now!

Larger firms might be able to have the luxury of both web and app platforms, whereas some may have to make a choice, and that choice will ultimately come down to factors of cost, usability, target audience and the relevant features required.

Having said that, there are studies that suggest people prefer app over sites (generally) which is a strong case for the creation of such apps for your business. 

There are other reasons too, reasons that in my “humble” opinion make apps better that websites (my own app is currently in development at the time of publishing).

So, without further a due, here’s my top 10.

#1: Personalisation Is Better With Mobile Apps.

Mobile apps make it easy for your users to have a personalised experience, especially if you create functions that are customisable by the user. 
You can also observe/track usage, and data is king when it comes to targeted marketing.

#2: Sending Notifications Is Easy!

Email…so last year! 

Over-emailing leads to loss of effectiveness – opening and click rates are less than overwhelming!

Enter push and in-app notifications… the non-intrusive, instant way to reach your audience. Push not’s can have open rates in excess of 40%!

  • Hot Jobs
  • Star Candidates
  • Timesheet Reminders
  • Invoice Reminders

And so on…..

#3: Exploiting Mobile Features

Apps make it easy to create an interactive experience, utilising the phone’s GPS, camera, contact list, etc etc. 

Also – these features can be used to reduce users’ efforts, uploading ID from within the app for example.

#4: Offline working ability

One of the most fundamental differences is apps allowing basic content and functionality offline. Obviously the available features will depend on the audience, the point being that a connection isn’t always required.

#5 Design Freedom

Apps can be designed to use a variety of elaborate gesture-based functions, swiping, pinching, dragging, etc, the benefit of which translates to an innovative experience for your user to perform tasks better than on a website.

6#: Fresh Branding

Thinking about relaunching your brand or launching a new entity and want to test the water with different styles/appearances etc? Do it with an app. 

You can experiment because, as a separate entity to the website, the app won’t impact the design/structure if existing websites. 

Want to play around with the internal linking/structure/nav of your site without jeopardising SEO? Roll out your ideas via the app for feedback.

android mobile app

7#: More Time Is Spent On Apps.

According to Forbes, mobile users spend 86% of there entire mobile time on apps, compared to (obvs) 14% on mobile websites!
Build an app, capture that screen time!

#8: New Conversation Opportunities

Because of the nature of apps (the targeted audience) it can be easier to drive engagement, and in turn feed users through a conversion funnel. 

Mobile/Browser websites on the other hand will typically reach a more diverse audience. With clients and candidates in mind, the content each user sees can be tailored. Have different content in different user profiles. Easy!

#9: Presence Of Your Brand

Subconsciously, the presence of your little app logo on your user’s phone will “brand” your business into their psyche. You never know when they might be in a convo discussing the services a firm like yours can provide then BAMMM, “I’ve got an app that could....” 

This presence can in some ways be linked to Signal Detection Theory – which basically says that people can process in their minds, ads that they’ve in some way ignored previously. 

#10: Speed

Load speed, connection speed, task execution speed, can all work quicker on apps. 

Storing preferences for example will reduce the time of some tasks to complete. 

Locally-stored data is quicker to access so load times are generally faster.

Mobile app framework can typically run 5x faster than Javascript…the technical justification!

So while the background is optimisied for speed, it means the front-end experience is often quicker ‘n’ slicker!

So, given all that, what choice should you make? 

IF you can do both, do both. If you’re restricted by budget or business goal, you’ll likely have to choose. 

Both have pros and cons but in terms of conversion and personalisation – apps FTW.

If you want to know more, get in touch, or go to  https://kaizen-digital.com/mobile-app-development/ for more info.

If you know anyone who needs to see this give it a share. 

Take care, stay well!