7 proven updates to increase website ranking in 2019

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Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

7 proven updates to increase website ranking in 2019

As Autumn starts to fade away into Winter, with the holiday seasons imminently upon us, it can only mean one thing. 2019 is only a few weeks away!
Are you already thinking about whether your website is ready for 2019?
Does your website need updating to reflect external factors in your market sector?
Do you want to increase website ranking in 2019 on Google and Bing?
In terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in 2018 with Google’s search engine, it’s been a very busy year indeed. From the many changes that have occurred, I’m going to provide you with 7 updates that you should make sure are applied to your website in order to increase website ranking in 2019.

Ever changing Google experience

You may have noticed the most notable change when searching on Google this year is the new rich snippet experiences. These only appear if you are searching for something that fits in one or more of the following list;

  • Flights
Google Flights
  • Shopping
Google Shopping
  • Recipes, courses, articles
Google Recipes
  • Videos
  • Products
  • Reviews
  • Books
  • Corporate contact
  • Local business
  • Top places list
  • Events
  • Media actions
  • News stories
  • Subscriptions and paywalled content
  • Fact check
  • Speakable
  • Dataset
  • Job posting
  • Occupation
  • Employer aggregate rating

Google is truly analysing your content that you are searching for, with your keyword query. It clearly understands now the most appropriate way to display the data that you are searching for with ease.
One big problem with these Google changes. There is less retail space to rank organically on page one. Along with Google Ads, rich results, and big 3rd party presences (Yelp/Yell), page one Google ranking is now harder than ever.

Knowledge graph

1. Have your website show up in the Google Knowledge Graph.

Access your Knowledge Graph through your Google My Business account. Ensure that each info section for your business is optimised in the best possible way. The more info you complete for Google, the more it will reward you in its search engine rankings. In particular make sure all of your service areas are completed. This may be locally with a radius, nationally, or internationally. As long as the area you want to service is covered, then you will have the chance to appear in the Google rankings of that area.

Best to add all the categories that appeal to your business niche in your market. The more categories that match your business, the more Google will understand a users search intent and match it with your business.

The other remaining sections to complete are all obvious and relevant to any business, like business opening times, dates closed, phone number, website link, and any other new section that Google keeps adding to. You also have the option to add photos that best represent your company.

Google Knowledge Graph

Google My Business

Google Reviews is a key section to Google My Business, and you should be actively promoting all your customers to leave a review for your business after a service or transaction has been carried out. It’s also important to respond to every review that is left for your business. This will show potential new customers that management is engaged with its customers, and the way it treats its customers.

Google Posts are a great way to add images or videos that will appear as an ad within your knowledge graph with a link to where you want to get a potential customer to. You can re-use your blog posts as a Google Post. A post lasts for just 7 days, and Google will ensure it reminds you to update your post, if you haven’t already done so. I recommend that you download the Google My Business App so you can keep a view on your account, and update posts regularly with ease.

Google Assistant is also a brand new feature that is being rolled out on Google My Business, where you have the option to enable or disable incoming calls directly from the knowledge graph. I think this is going to be a great feature for site owners with a noticeable brand name company or organisation.

Schema for everything

2. Schema needs to be added to your website content.

Google is using schema more and more with the huge growth in mobile and AI (Artificial Intelligent) devices with users using voice search more than ever before. As people are using their AI devices more, their search phrases are becoming long tail keywords. We’ve almost come full circle now since the web boom in the late 90’s, where users thought they could type a long phrase into Google to search with, to realise in those early days that the search was usually unsuccessful. Search phrases evidently became a lot shorter, and now that Google can really understand your long tail keywords, the results are far greater.

Having Schema across your great content, means Google can pull that content and inform a user if there is a specific keyword search. You are more likely to appear high in Google search engine rankings, and rich results with a featured snippet in position zero, which is now the new holy grail of search.

The implementation of Schema is a time consuming process, and the properties of structured data continues to expand. We offer a Schema service as part of our SEO Services. Having Schema in place use to be an option, but from 2019 onwards its imperative to be in place, in order to compete on future page rankings. There are already particular searches like around ‘recipes’, e.g. “apple crumble recipe”, and if you don’t have schema in place, then you will not feature on page 1 any longer.

Brands more important

3. The brand of your company or organisation is bigger than ever before.

Getting your brand of your business or organisation out there for potential customers to search for, is more important than ever before. By driving home your brand to customers who have purchased from you, this makes them more likely to search for your brand again, and again for repeat business. Word of mouth marketing is easier when you have a good company brand to recommend.

Off-site marketing is an area to increase your brands importance. Also in order to increase website ranking in 2019. There can be a number of ways to get your brand noticed in your local community. Also, off-site SEO across social media will bring a stronger presence to your website’s ranking. It is far easier when you’re an established global company like ‘Ford’ motor cars, ‘Apple’ computers, or ‘Nike’ sports wear. However, once you get users starting to search more for your brand, Google will see your website with more authority and provide more ranking factors to you.

Site speed

4. The brand of your company or organisation is bigger than ever before.

Getting your brand of your business or organisation out there for potential customers to search for, is more important than ever before. By driving home your brand to customers who have purchased from you, this makes them more likely to search for your brand again, and again for repeat business. Word of mouth marketing is easier when you have a good company brand to 4. Google is driving site speed as one of the biggest ranking factors.

Website mobile speeds now need to be under 3 seconds for Google to consider your website as a fast site. This drive is all for the developing World where the internet speeds are far below what is seen in developed parts of the World. Also for user convenience all round. Into 2019, the new bench mark by Google is to get site speeds under 0.5 seconds. In order to achieve this, there is going to have to be a considerable amount of effort and rethinking for the majority of websites out there. This means trends with bloated code will be have to be replaced with far slicker and leaner code for those broadband speeds.

The huge reward for achieving faster website speeds will be a considerable amount of ranking factors given to your website by Google. Having a faster site compared to your competitors will always mean you will out rank them on the page rankings and increase your web traffic.

Following the Mobile-first-index change that Google made this year, which ensures your website is now being ranked by the quality of your mobile version of your website first. The mobile speed of that site is now even more imperative that it downloads fast and appears well to the user.

In order to check how your website speed is viewed with Google, you can visit their page speed test here to see where Google suggests possible areas for improvement.

Mobile is the default

5. You must have a responsive website that is optimised for mobile devices.

As previously mentioned, mobile-first-indexing is now in place by Google. If your website has not been updated to be mobile responsive for mobiles and tablets, then that has to be your priority if you want any chance of increasing your rankings in 2019. Mobile search usage overtook desktop search in 2016, and there is no sign that will change in the future. Society is so dependant on the use of mobiles and tablets. The growth in sales and the increase in new technology with iOS and Android devices has moved parts of society to a new way of life. None more so, than users searching on the move all the time.

An example of mobile search in action, would be If you was outside your home, and you wanted a quote for some work to be carried out. The most popular choice by far now, is to do a search for a builder in your area on your mobile. The best mobile responsive websites will be on page 1 of the search rankings, and those are the one’s that a user will likely contact first.

Voice search is here

6. Users are now searching by voice in large numbers, and the trend will only continue.

If ‘Siri’ and ‘Alexa’ don’t mean anything to you right now, then they certainly will very soon. They are both the names for iOS and Androids private assistants on their devices. The real growth has been in the last two years with new home automation devices to the market. The front runner has been the Amazon Echo with ‘Alexa’. By having these devices around the home, has suddenly seen the surge in people searching by voice to them.

Apparently, 2 in 5 adults use voice search once daily already, and this statistic is set to increase in the coming years.

Source – Voice Search Results 2018

US Voice-Enabled Digital Assistant Users

According to the former head of Baidu, Andrew Ng, back in 2016 he predicted that by 2020 50% of search will be done by voice.

https://twitter.com/AndrewYNg/status/809579698883727360/

The use of voice search has meant that those search phrases are now in a long-tail keyword format, instead of a few words. With Google now understanding the search tense of a full question or sentence, and now combined with asking a home automation device by voice, the future of search has changed forever.

Along with change, comes opportunity. Your website can now answer questions more clearly that your potential user audience may be asking by voice, and wanting to hear or view the answers. Having schema in place to provide those answers is now key to implement in your website.

Search is on the move

7. No click search is now the new reality

As Google increases its drive for rich results, ad space, and knowledge graph displays as its search results on page one. This is decreasing the opportunity for organic results to appear at the top of the results. In the last two and a half years, desktop no-click searches have grown 9.5% and mobile no-click searches have grown 11%.

Rand Fishkin conducted some research in September, and found the following results;

For every 100 searches on Google mobile in September 2018, there were:

  • 38.5 clicks on an organic result
  • 3.4 clicks on a paid result
  • 61.5 no-click searches

For every 100 searches on Google desktop in September 2018, there were:

  • 65.6 clicks on an organic result
  • 3.7 clicks on a paid result
  • 34.3 no-click searches

Google CTR in 2018: Paid, Organic, & No-Click Searches

The organic ‘real estate’ space has dramatically shrunk, and driving traffic from page one is now reducing. It is now appearing to be evident that a combination of Pay-Per-Click marketing is required in addition to quality organic SEO. By Google increasing the ‘real estate’ space that they control, the increase of Pay-Per-Click marketing also ties in with Google’s aim to increase their own revenues for shareholders.

In summary, there are plenty of enhancements to make in order to increase website rankings in 2019 to stay ahead of your competition. If you require any assistance with your website, then view our SEO Services.

BrightonSEO 2018 Review

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

BrightonSEO 2018 Review

Back in 2007, Kelvin Newman started the first BrightonSEO on the top of a pub with 12 people. Fast forward to 11 years later and Cosmik Carrot was invited for the first time to BrightonSEO 2018 at the Brighton Conference Centre with a total of 4000 attendees from over 40 countries around the World. Ben Bradley had the pleasure of being there to check out all the latest talks with plenty of takeaway’s from the day’s events.

Ross Tavendale – Data Journalism: A practical guide to winning big links

Content Marketing

First up to kick off the event was Ross Tavendale with his talk on ‘Data Journalism: A practical guide to winning big links’. His agency came up with a ‘RAPTOR’ process to work out who they were marketing to.

  • Research – Who are we talking to?
  • Angles – What do they care about?
  • Pitches – How do we talk to them?

Using a 3×3 grid RAP sheet, that then provides 9 potential headlines to get journalists interested. The next process is the discovery phase to collect the data to support some headlines. Facebook Insights has a lot of information available to build the particular user profile that you are talking to. This can either support assumptions, or find new insights that to add to the headlines. The overall goal is to create a data story for journalists to pick and run with across digital media.

Sarah Bradley – Getting Millenials’ Attention on Social Media

Sarah’s talk was based on her background and job working for previous universities and working for her existing role at Oxford University in their marketing department. She brought it to everyone’s attention of the assumed built up profile of who Millenials are, what they stood for, and what their aspirations are in life. A Millenial is someone born between 1981-1996.

Sarah enlightened us to a story of how, and when she agreed to let a selection of students take over their marketing department for a whole week. Also the lessons she learnt about the people her department were trying to talk to in their marketing communications. The first thing she realised, was that she new nothing about the so called Millenial generation. A larger percentage of the student population are actually mature students rather than the perceived notion of being mostly under 25 year olds. The culminated process meant Sarah and her team are now able to communicate and market to their student audience far better.

You can read all about the 11 things Sarah Bradley learnt when she let students do her job.

Bobbi Brant – How to Use Live Video in Content Marketing

To finish off the Content Marketing session, we were given an insightful talk about how to use Live Video in Content Marketing by Bobbi Brant from Kaizen. She provided us with some great statistics like “78% of online audiences are already watching Facebook Live content and 81% watch more live videos in 2016 than in 2015”. The first big decision on using live video, is to decide on which platform to use. Bobbi’s recommendation is to use the social media platform that you will get the most engagement from. After deciding which one, then you need to promote it for at least a week so people are aware of it taking place.

In regards to the actual live content, it seems best to have some structure of what you are going to talk about, and best with a sturdy camera position from your smartphone. The longer the video, the more engagement there is likely to be. The statistical analysis has proven that live video provided an amazing 1050% higher engagement than an average tweet. This was also only after the second live video attempt.

The 4 tips for live video success are;

  1. Promote it
  2. Don’t be scripted – be prepared
  3. Don’t set times, set sections
  4. Don’t go it alone – have help

Matt Siltala – Are you a content creator, or a content documenter?

Content Strategy

All the way from Phoenix, USA, Matt Siltala kicked off the second session all about Content Strategy. He gave us a great talk on how his agency gets all the data they need and creates an awesome infographic for the client. Then from there, they then take small parts of the infographic and create small infograms that can be re-used over and over again in various medias. These can range from blog banners, social content, white papers, website banners, powerpoint, and micrographics. Once the topics are established, a content campaign can be structured and planned around each topic with a variety of content created.

Matt gave two great examples how they repurposed the same content. The first one was for a clinic in removing varicose veins, where a selection was re-used multiple times with new content. The second great example was when Matt’s agency created an infogram of social media users with the use of cats. It was so popular, it went viral multiple times. After a period of time, they did an updated version of the cats. They then went with dogs, which was even more popular, and then they also moved onto movie characters. Each time everyone got the same information across, but the content appealed to different users each time.

https://twitter.com/cosmikcarrot/status/1045743650054049792

John Brasington – Contextual optimisation: How to create value led content for your ecosystem?

Up next was John Brasington with a very detailed and in depth talk about putting search data at the core of your digital strategy. He talked about understanding the existing eco-system that you have, before you add new content to it. You should also think about how that new content will affect the existing eco-system. Only complementary content is worth adding, but ensure that you review any conflicting content at the start and work out how to deal with it.

John then gave some examples of how by using Google we can see any potential conflicting content, and then make a decision on whether we add to the existing the content, or replace it altogether.

John Brasington BrightonSEO

Meg Fenn – Using stunning design to leverage your SEO

To close the Content Strategy session before lunch was Meg Fenn from her designer experience and knowledge on ‘using stunning design to leverage your SEO’. Meg showed us a great array of quality designs on her slides, while she talked about how important design is in making the conversion of users for SEO. Fundamentally, ‘Design helps people trust’. Trust can then deliver the results of user experiences on a website. This is why collaboration is key with all stakeholders involved.

Google has always indicated that it is the User Experience that is key, and that is why it rewards well designed sites as a ranking factor, as it will see the site as high quality. Inbound links, higher rankings, happy clients.

Meg Fenn BrightonSEO

Purna Virji – Marketing in the AI-Era of Search: Your Guide to Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences

Voice Search

Purna Virji did a great talk all about the tone of voice in the AI-Era of search. She gave some great examples of using ‘Homer Simpson’ and how you should talk to him, or ways not talk to him. This is the same for AI devices. What we expect a human to say, needs to be considered for the AI devices that we are creating. If you are creating a chatbot, then it is important to provide the human answers back to the human user. Otherwise, this can provide a a mix response to the customer, and can ultimately lead to a poor customer experience.

Purna Virji BrightonSEO

Stuart Shaw – A Voice Assistant Investigation

Stuart started his presentation with explaining how we’ve come full circle with searching on the web. First it was full sentences. Then as human’s realised how the search engines were not that great to understand a full sentence, we then moved on to a few keywords. But now, we’re moving back towards natural search with intent matching being seen more frequently.

The growth of voice search is so important as it is the most natural way for everyone to consume and engage with products. This is why by 2020(ish) people reckon 50% of us will be using voice search on a regular basis. Using the correct schema is going to mean that your website is more likely to feature as a possible answer in the featured snippet of Google. This is mostly for questions, but other uses are on the increase with the schema evolving all the time.

Stuart Shaw BrightonSEO

Greg Gifford – How to use local to rock in mobile and voice search

After seeing Greg’s talk online from BrightonSEO last year, I was really looking forward to seeing what he had to say this year. As part of the Voice Search session, he gave us a whole 116 slides of Samuel L. Jackson movie caption’s for his slides presentation. The bottom line from Greg, is that Voice Search is still ‘search’, its just a different way of submitting that search phrase to Google. However it is changing the following;

  • Query length is much longer.
  • Long tail/conversation queries are the new normal.
  • Focus on user intent locally.
  • Most purchase transactions are still not done via search, and are unlikely to be.
  • Informational intent is the key to voice search.

Björn Beth & Svetlana Stankovic – Making Data Dreams come true: Bridging the Gap between Ranking Factors and SEO Strategy

Ranking Factors

For the penultimate session Björn & Svetlana gave the auditorium an insightful view of the the types of data and ranking factors that you should be looking at, depending on the market sector. So if you are in the Travel sector, TripAdvisor would be a huge ranking factor that you would need to work on to increase your overall rankings.

Bjorn Beth BrightonSEO

Marie Haynes – Super Practical Nuggets from Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines

I’ve heard Marie Haynes talk about Google updates on a few webinars before, so to hear her live talk was quite refreshing. The practical information was all from Google’s quality raters’ guidelines, and she insisted how we should all be looking at those guidelines in far more depth. Those guidelines are the clearest indicator as to what changes we should be making to our sites to expect an increase in rankings. Marie recommends reviewing locational reputation websites for any potential affects. If you can find high quality authors writing in reference about your site, then this will prove beneficial in the eyes of Google.

marie haynes brightonseo

Luke Sherran – Video ranking factors in YouTube

Luke had the prestigious slot just prior to the keynote from Rand Fishkin. Luke gave an excellent presentation on the power of YouTube and the potential ranking factors to consider. There are over 1.5 billion logged in users to YouTube, and over 5 billion videos are watched every day. Fact still remains – YouTube is the World’s second largest search engine. Not something to ignore, but to take advantage of. Meta data is becoming less important, and used much more for relevance.

Key metrics to consider;

  1. Watch time – more time watched, increased metric.
  2. Session starts – Starting new sessions are a positive metric, ending a session is a negative metric.
  3. View velocity.
  4. Social signals – engagements and shares, etc.
  5. Video quality.
Luke Sherran BrightonSEO

Rand Fishkin – The Future of SEO is on the SERP

Keynote

Rand Fishkin didn’t disappoint as the keynote speaker, and you can watch the video below to see his presentation.

Here you can read DeepCrawl’s in depth review of Rand Fishkin’s keynote.

If you require an improvement in your website ranking, check out our SEO Services.

Simplistic truth about why SEO is important

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What does SEO stand for?

SEO is an abbreviation of the phrase “Search Engine Optimisation.”

What does SEO actually mean?

It means search engine optimisation is the digital marketing technique online, in order to increase web page rankings on search engines like Google and Bing. And there are various other ones around the world, like Yandex in Russia.

There are many SEO techniques that are kind of detached to improve your website ranking, as Google keeps on changing their algorithms to stay ahead of manipulations in webpage rankings. Google also likes to keep up to date with any new technologies, and any sort of advancements to bring the best possible results for users that are searching through their search engine.

Why is SEO important?

The majority of website owners want their website to be found on search engines, so potential users can make contact with them, buy and sell, be informed, and many other online uses and interactions through their website.

Due to the billions of web pages on the web, there is so much competition to be on the first page of Google, and the order of ranking to be on a particular page is determined by Google’s algorithms. By making SEO improvements, you can increase your website ranking or maintain a particular high position for a particular keyword or phrase that you want your users to find you.

Following the explosion of the web in all of our lives, Google is the first place people search for what they are looking for. The search phrase that is entered will bring up a set of results. If you want your website to rank high for that particular key phrase, then your website will require SEO improvements.

What SEO does?

Here’s an example of ranking on page one in the first position, up at the top of Google, after the first two adverts.

Why is SEO important for business?

Well, if your business does not feature on page one of Google, or in the top three of the rankings, then it is very unlikely users will click on subsequent pages to find your business, depending on their search phrase.

For businesses that are in a highly competitive market, it is key that if they want the website to be competitive, then they need to ensure that each page in the website is optimised on-page for SEO, as well as off-page.

How can SEO help my business?

The biggest factor that makes businesses consider SEO improvements for their website is to increase the traffic to their website. Whether this is because of a downturn in traffic to the website, or a view to compete and rank higher against competitors for the same keywords; either way, this is a factor that businesses like to look into SEO and make various improvements.

For example, if you’re a florist and want to appear for keywords around wedding flowers, for example, then by making improvements across the structure of your website will get those gains to rank higher on Google and Bing.

Potential clients are humans at the end of the day, and the more your website speaks to them on a human level, then not only will Google appreciate it more, but also your users will in finding your website and making contact with you.

Does SEO work for small businesses?

Yes, absolutely. Google loves to get small businesses working with Google My Business, and Google Maps. Once your business is live and correctly appearing with Google, then users searching for a plumber, for example, in a certain location, then you will increase getting to the top 10 of plumbers on page one within that local area.

There are more opportunities for off-page SEO with all your social media links. The greater popularity, shares, and followers you have, the stronger the backlinks will be to your website. This in turn provides a stronger domain authority of your website and brand as a whole.

What is new in SEO?

For 2018, mobile indexing is going to be a huge factor for ranking high with Google, and into the future. If your website is not mobile responsive, then Google will deduct ranking value from your website and push it down the rankings. So it is incredibly important that your website is mobile responsive.

Is your website secure? If not, then Google will deduct ranking value from your website. This is so the majority of the web becomes more secure environment for all users.

The power of the client review is bigger than ever, with other third-party directory websites providing plenty of backlinks to your website. These depend on your industry sector, but the popular ones are Yelp, Trustpilot, and the big one itself, Google Reviews.

How voice search changes everything?

One of the huge areas of improvement in SEO is the growing adoption of voice search. This is the growing adoption of voice search. This is the knock on effect of voice technology in new smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and digital assistant devices.

Voice search completely changes how users are going to find your website., as searches by voice tend to have far longer tail keywords, as we use several words that are more descriptive.

This provides website owners with a huge opportunity to find unhidden areas to tap into, if users are using new phrases to find the sort of website that they may want to view.

How much does SEO cost?

Search engine optimisation improvement costs purely depend on the amount of work that is required, and this can vary hugely from one website to another. This is predominantly due to the amount of research required, and these costs can be quite high.

In order to get an understanding of the work involved, we recommend you get an SEO Audit with us to begin with, as this provides both of us with all the information to see what is required overall.

There are also a range of goals that you may have when you require SEO improvements, and each of these goals will be taken into consideration when you contact us.

Is WordPress good for SEO?

In our opinion, yes, and by a long margin. It’s not only the best for SEO, but the best content manager system too.

Don’t just take our word for it. You can see this comparative study created by Web Savvy’s Rebecca Gill.

If your website is not on WordPress, or you’re unsure of how your website is built, contact us to get a new and improved website, or an SEO Audit checkup.

SEO when building a website

Following an SEO Audit will review the data and make a start on your Site Map. This provides us both with a new search result to form all the content around it.

We then provide you with a list of ideas to develop new content for the site. This can range greatly and depend on the purpose of your website.

Once all the content has been created, we then go through it all and ensure that the structure of the content is correct, and work with you to make any final recommendations.

How to hire an SEO expert

If you’re looking for local SEO services to improve your business website page rankings in search engines, then you’re best to search locally for an SEO expert to begin with.

If you’d like to hire Cosmik Carrot to improve your website’s SEO, then contact us here with your details and then we’ll take it from there with you.

Google https countdown to October 2017

Is your website secure with https?

If your website is secure with ‘https://‘, then well done on having your site secure, and there is no need for you to read any further.

Does your website say ‘https://’ at the beginning of your domain?

If your website still says ‘https://‘ at the beginning of your domain, then you have until October 2017 to make the necessary updates to your website. Otherwise, in the Chrome browser, your website will be clearly marked as ‘NOT SECURE’. This is going to drive your web ranking down, and deter your users from using your website. You will then be requiring a lot of SEO services to get your site improved.

Email from Google?

Today, Google emailed all webmasters to notify them of this issue. If you have received an email from Google about getting this issue rectified, it will look similar to the email discussed here by the respected Barry Schwartz – Mass Google Search Console Emails: Chrome Will Show Security Warnings.

If you have received an email from Google about getting this issue rectified, then contact us to get your website booked in for some development updates today.