SEO / Search Marketing

  • A quick guide to duplicated content and Google

    A quick guide to duplicated content and Google

    All clients, and without exception, who are looking to optimise their websites to get better ranking on Google (other search engine do exist…, just) will have ask me about the dangers of duplicating content. So here is the low down.

    Why is this important?

    Google rewards fresh and regular content; but there is limit to the amount new and interesting topics one can write about (and chances are someone else in the world has written a similar article), and we all have so little time.

    Legacy of cheating

    Early Google algorithms based rankings on the amount and frequency of content updates. Sadly there was nothing to stop wise guys stealing / copying vast amounts of content and pasting it directly on to their own website to get to number 1 in the ranking, and this became an epidemic. To stop this blatant cheating Google launch their Panda update on duplicated content, and many subsequent updates.

    • Only sites that are blatantly copying large amounts of content for profit have been banned
    • Duplicated copy across your own website is ignored
    • Duplicated content from other sites is downgraded depending on the similarity and frequency

    Examples of duplicated content

    1. Systemic duplicated content – this is content duplicated due to the nature of the website, most frequently e-commerce website where there is a page for a blue jumper and a red jumper. Google can handle this and will make up its own mind on which page to index and which to ignore, alternatively you can manage this Google decision manually by using canonical tags.
    2. Press releases – sharing a really good press release is good for customer experience but not good for SEO. Google won’t penalise, it will just give that page no value.
    3. Accidental duplication – most people don’t know that http://www.mysite.com and  http://mysite.com are in fact two identical sites. This is simply resolved using Google Search Console.

    Checking your site for duplicated content

    There are services available for checking your site for any duplicated content, though these are typically paid for services. Best thing to do…, hire Crush design to help you manage your website and its optimisation!

    Finally, a shout out to the photographer!

    Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

  • Check out our new badge for Google awesomeness

    Great news, Crush Design is now officially a Google Partner!

    When I set out on this path I did not realise just how difficult getting this certification would be. Surely it was just a case of passing a couple of exams and ‘Bob’s your Uncle’ but it does require more than that.

    We have proven that not only do we know the theory, but we have had to prove our expertise on real live projects.

    A big thank you to Leo in our team for making this happen!

  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a PPC Expert

    5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a PPC Expert

    Pay-Per-Click is currently delivering the highest returns on investment for our clients. It is the most effective way to digitally reach your target audience, and beat competition in search engine rankings.

    Creating an AdWords account, finding keywords, writing short ads- sounds pretty simple? This is indeed a common misconception.

    In fact, creating and running PPC campaigns is a full-time job. It takes time and effort, and if done badly, it can be detrimental to your business.

    Here are 5 reasons why you should stick to your day job and leave your PPC campaigns in the safe hands of an expert.

    1. Do not undermine keyword research

    A successful PPC campaign stems from plenty of quality keyword research. If you don’t invest enough time laying the groundwork you will spend money on the wrong type of keywords for your business. This will inevitably result in low quality traffic and wasted resources.

    Using broad keywords will get your ad displayed more often but it will also target the wrong consumers for your business. Moreover, broad keywords tend to be more common and therefore more expensive.

    For example, if you are selling waterproof earphones, what keywords would you decide on?
    Our guess is you would start with “earphones” and “headphones”. However, people looking for “earphones” are not necessarily looking for “waterproof earphones”. Every time someone would type “earphones” they would end up on your site but soon realise your product is too specific for their needs and leave. Conclusion- you will end up with a hefty AdWords bill and nothing to show for it.

    PPC is all about researching the competitions’ tactics, and targeting very specific keywords that are not being used very much. This way you attract an audience that will actually be interested in your product/service and save money in doing so.

    PPC experts think outside the box. If I were advertising waterproof earphones I would think about targeting keywords such as ‘how to survive a hard swim practice’ or ‘how can I swim faster’. Not only will these types of keywords allow you to target the right audience, it will also be cost effective as less competitors use these keywords, and hence they will be cheaper.

    2. Producing effective Ad Copy does in fact require expertise

    Writing punchy, compelling and engaging Ad Copy does not come naturally to everyone. If done badly it can repel potential customers away from your website and damage your business’ credibility. However, create compelling ads and it will increase your click rate.

    Experts often use ‘Split Testing’. This is a powerful method used to increase conversions whereby you post two ads and see which one performs better.

    In addition, Ad Extensions can be used to fine-tune your campaign, boost conversions, give your ads more presence, makes ads look more professional and help sieve out the wrong target audience. Once again it is crucial to use the right Ad Extensions, because the wrong ones won’t appeal to your users and might even scare them away.

    3. The art of manipulating AdWords campaign setting

    The campaign settings practically govern your AdWords success (or failure).

    There are plenty of campaign ‘switches’ and ‘advanced’ settings to play with to increase your campaign performance. Nonetheless unless you understand which setting does what, it can get very overwhelming.

    The real art is understanding how to manipulate them to maximize the benefits for your business model. PPC experts have the experience and time to perfect the right campaign model for you.

    4. Risk auto features becoming your enemy

    If you venture into the land of PPC campaigning, you will find plenty of features and tools developed by Google to help you run and optimise your PPC campaign. They do this to encourage business owners to take matters into their own hands and run their very own online marketing efforts.

    It is worth noting that Google Adwords is Google’s #1 source of revenue. By that we mean Google want people to invest money, more preferably, as much money as possible. Can you really interpret the data Google is providing you to help get the most for your money? You would be surprised at how much Google try to push you to invest more and more money for very little benefit.

    PPC experts know just about every term, symbol and description and don’t get fooled by Google’s tricks.

    5. Time is money, and creating PPC campaigns takes a lot of time!

    Yes, you may be able to learn all of the above but realistically do you have the time?

    This post only covers a snippet of the work that AdWords requires. We haven’t even mentioned the technical aspects of tracking, Google analytics and optimisation (for another time…).

    Not quite feeling up to the challenge? Let our PPC experts help you instead!

    Click here to find out more and call us for a free consultation this month.

  • Why Content Marketing is a buzzword you need to know

    For the past couple of years I have watched SEO, PR, Analytics and Social Media evolve as organisations try to get to grips with how best to align their resources to the current marketing environment. The next evolution of these disciplines in my view is Content Marketing.

    Two years ago SEO was done by SEO experts, PR agencies did PR and Social Media was done by the office junior.

    Back then quantity was king, be active spew out loads of content and that will show all the online algorithms how important you are.

    But now the sheer volume of drab, pointless and regurgitated content has worn us consumers out. My guess is over 90% of content is ignored.

    And Google got wise to this problem early, being quick to rank websites on page quality algorithms over activity and volume.

    This shift has put the spotlight directly on the content organisations produce because in 2017 it is only high quality content that will deliver any value.

    The discipline most able to tackle this is Content Marketing. It is not new by any means, the term has been around for a lot more than two years, but my feeling is that it will become a mainstream role in 2017.

    I will be asking our clients;

    • Who is going to create content for you? Someone internally, outsourced or a combination of both
    • What content are your customer really interested in
    • Is there a budget set aside to invest is quality content
    • Whose is writing the content, creating the infographics, taking your photos and scrupting your videos?
    • Is there a strategy / a plan in place to make sure that this content is created and it then deliver to the right channels
    • Who is the responsible for planning and then selecting the channels for this content to be published and what is the trickle down path (website update, email broadcast, Facebook post, etc)

    Some of these questions will be traditionally for the PR agencies, but do they know how to tailor the newly written content to fit with the SEO strategy. Good content is vital to Google ranking, but only if it tagged and handled correctly, another SEO job. Next, the content needs to be broadcast across your social platforms, yet another job role. And finally content is not just the written word, its graphics, photos, videos and so much more.

    Perhaps the biggest challenge, alongside finding budget, is idea creation, and then seeing it through to production. Only the client knows about their business, so they need to work closely with a creative agency to come up with stand out content. But this needs planning, writing, scripting, investment and discipline.

    This blog post offers no solution to this development just observations at this stage.

    Going forward Crush Design will be looking in more detail how we can support our clients content creation needs and strategies going forward to give them a competition advantage through content marketing.

    So watch this space.

    sorry for the long post about content marketing

  • What Website Analytics tell you about Customer Experience

    What Website Analytics tell you about Customer Experience

    Each time Crush Design builds a new website we learn more and more about what the customer wants.

    The buzz word in digital design over the past year has been customer-experience. Many companies, and sadly their agencies, pay lip service to the customer experience of using a website but far too few actually do anything concrete to ensure that every key customer group enjoys a good experience.

    Perhaps this short fall is because the it is a very complex challenge requiring expertise in; research, data architecture, design, brand and graphical hierarchy, communication strategy, content writing, photography, database planning, front end development, software testing, platform testing, user acceptance testing and finally website analytics.

    And that is only half the job done.

    If you are serious about getting the customer journeys perfect for each and every key visit, and you should be, then the launch of the new website is just the beginning.

    Use analytic data, heatmaps, funnels and recordings to see where improvements can be made.

    Of you want to see how your website is performing – get in touch. We will be able to find and then iron out where your website fails your customers.

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