The lure of long-form content


Image credits:Flickr Caleb Roenigk

Gavin Davies was running a struggling small business most of his efforts were spent trying to attract more business for his small company Doobrytech, attempts to use traditional channels such as local retail magazines had been unsuccessful so bearing this n mind and despite a lack of familiarity with the internet he decided to invest in a company website with some time and effort he’d got his head around the basics of Search Engines and had a rough understanding of what keywords are, despite this he’d watched with concern as local competitors had shown up above the Doobrytech website on the Search Engine Results pages(SERP) in order to improve the rankings for his website he’d gone along with advice of others to start blogging on his website something many similar businesses had adopted

All this despite the fact he’d done little no writing since School & College where he tended to avoid having to write in his wildest dreams or nightmares there’s no way he’d describe himself as a writer or heaven forbid blogger, yet here he was pen in hand trying to predict how business blogging would develop throughout 2016 and the implications for his company website and blog. One potential trend that seemed to be on everyone’s lips was long form content, Gavin tried to understand exactly what was long form content and what changes it would require from his business and would the benefits make all the extra effort worthwhile?

long-form content

Using Long Form content meant that Gavin would need to adjust his workflow and content development practises with more time allocated for writing, editing and research it would certainly have an impact on his weekly routine but the hope was the benefits would make this worthwhile

What exactly is long form content?

Long form content means longer more in depth blog posts with Forbes’ Josh Steimle suggesting that over 1,200 words per article is a good guideline for the length of the long-form blog post as opposed to the traditional 700 word article length

Long Form storytelling

Long form content often employs storytelling and is frequently presented as a narrative, this works just as well for businesses as it does for fiction writers. It facilitates the presentation of more complex topics meaning its easily possible to go beyond the basics into the depth where topics really become interesting

Why is long form content a good thing?

Contrary to expectations what Gavin found interesting was that his analytics suite showed that bounce rates for long form content were lower, despite the common belief that attention spans were shorter online the long form content he’d added to his website was proving more engaging that the short form content he’d used previously. Research by found that long form content was more likely to generate backlinks

Greater Depth

Another benefit of the long form format would be that it would enable chosen areas to be covered in greater detail than the previous short-form content allowed him to.The shift in format enabled

The benefits of long form, What’s in it for my business?

Much to his delight alongside increased visitor engagement Gavin discovered that search engines loved the long form content he was producing leading to better Search Engine Results page (SERP) rankings

Better Quality Content

I broadly agree with Kristina Halvorson’s comments regarding the amount of poor quality uninspiring website content, some of this is due I think to the restrictions placed on authors by the short blog article (roughly 700 words) I’ll always support the idea that quality > quantity and for too long the opposite view has been dominant on the web, so this means I need to improve the quality of my own content, again I’m cool with that.

Parting thoughts

Long Form content does take more effort to develop however the benefits it provides more than make up for this The extra length gives authors the opportunity to create richer and more detailed content which goes far beyond the superficial content which is so prevalent on the web, taking advantage of the flexibility which long form content offers will allow you to stand out from the crowd in 2016


  1. The SEO And User Science Behind Long-Form Content
    Search Engine
  2. What Kind of Content Gets Links in 2012?
  3. Why Long Form Content Marketing Works, And Why It Doesn’
By |January 8th, 2016|Content, SEO|Comments Off on The lure of long-form content

Content Audits, how you can get started on the right track

Content Audits

Content auditing may not be the most exciting part of your content program this doesn’t detract from its importance. Knowing exactly what content your website contains allows resources to be allocated effectively, in addition to this it enables the quality of your website content to be analysed and adjusted accordingly giving you the opportunity to focus on the areas which require improvement. Content expert Kristina Halvorson suggests a number of benefits offered by auditing a website’s content such as

  • Help you to scope and budget for a content project
  • Give you a clear understanding of what you have and where it lives, even if only to being thinking about maintenance or content removal
  • Serve as a reference for source (or existing) content during content development, making it a highly efficient tool for writers and other content creators to keep track of what they have to work with

Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach: Content Strategy for the web(2012) suggest further advantages which are detailed below, the difference in the advantages is due to the different focus of Ms Halvorson who is a content strategist and which is a SEO based website and service.

  • Determine the most effective way to escape a Panda penalty
  • Determine which pages need copywriting / editing
  • Determine which pages need to be updated and made more current, and prioritize them
  • Determine which pages should be consolidated due to overlapping topics
  • Determine which pages should be pruned off the site, and what the approach to pruning should be
  • Prioritize content based on a variety of metrics (e.g. visits, conversions, PA, copyscape risk score…)
  • Find content gap opportunities to drive content ideation and editorial calendars
  • Determine which pages are ranking for which keywords
  • Determine which pages “should” be ranking for which keywords
  • Find the strongest pages on a domain and develop a strategy to leverage them
  • Uncover content marketing opportunities
  • Auditing and creating an inventory of content assets when buying/selling a website
  • Understanding the content assets of a new client (i.e. what you have to work with)

Different Types of audit

Halvorson identifies a range of different audits some of which have a complementary role to play in the detailed auditing of your website’s content. These are as follows:

Quantitative Audit

Quantitative content inventories are a comprehensive top to bottom records of all the content in your website. Automation has a role to play in the creation of Content Inventories, as this could be a very long winded process otherwise, a quantitative audit is used to get an idea of what content is present on your website determining whether it is fit for purpose is the role of the other type of audit, the qualitative audit.

Qualitative audit

Qualitative audits are used to examine the quality of your website content, is it good enough to use or will further effort be required to bring it upto scratch? The Qualitative audit will highlight content which requires removing from the website. This should be part of your on-going content maintenance efforts.

Parting thoughts

I’ve already started auditing the content of this website and the initial quantitative audits have highlighted relatively minor issues (both of which are now rectified), as a website evolves its easy for content to fall out of date or by the wayside, I’m confident the qualitative phase will highlight content which doesn’t make the grade, My intention is replicate the 4 grades of content which use when reviewing their content which are “Keep As-Is”, “Remove”, “Improve”, or “Consolidate”, this will enable the quality of content to be maintained and where necessary improved. Furthermore the content audit is the starting point of developing a cohesive and realistic content strategy which is what I will be examining with next weeks post.

Bibliography/Further Reading

  1. Content Strategy for the Web (Voices That Matter):Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach New Riders 2012
  2. How to do a content audit
  3. Qualitative or quantitative: which one do you need?
By |November 13th, 2015|Content, SEO|Comments Off on Content Audits, how you can get started on the right track

Fine tune your content by understanding the different types of search query


(Image credits:

Search Queries fall within three main categories. These are as follows

  • Transactional Queries
  • Navigational Searches
  • Informational Searches

If we can understand how searchers use Search engines then it should be possible to build websites, which enable them to satisfy their informational needs.

Navigational Searches

Navigational searches are where web searchers are looking for a particular website, “Facebook” and “You tube” are both navigational searches (incidentally they are the top two searches on Google ( these are good examples of navigational suggest that ‘Navigational searching seeks to locate a specific web site’( On a more everyday level searching for a particular company name in the hopes their website will be revealed is an example of a navigational search. Research has shown that around 10 -15% of searches are navigational in nature.

What can I do about Navigational Searches? suggest that ‘The fact is, you don’t stand much of a chance targeting a navigational query unless you happen to own the site that the person is looking for’( this limits the options available for website owners

Informational Searches

When searchers are looking for facts and answers to questions this is known as an informational search. Research has shown that 50-80% of searches are informational in nature (

How can I target Informational Searches? argue that The best way to target informational searches is with high-quality SEO content that genuinely provides helpful information relevant to the suggest two broad categories of informational content, “time limited” and “evergreen” content, websites will derive more benefits from the latter type of content which doesn’t go out of date however they warn that evergreen how to type content has

unfortunately earned a bad reputation due to sites like ehow and wikianswers, where you are as likely to find content on how to tie a shoe (not particularly useful) as you are on how to tune a guitar (useful). If a how-to is useful, then by all means, you should write it and include it on your

Transactional Searches

Transactional searches are where a searcher is intent on making a purchasing decision ‘Apple iPhone 4s’ would be an example of a transactional search as would ‘takeaway pizza Lancaster’ many local searches are transactional in nature.

How can I target Transactional searches?

Wordstream recommend using Pay per click to complement organic search results arguing that with sponsored as transactional searches are generally near the bottom of the sales funnel targeting these type of queries will deliver ROI results already taking up a sizeable chunk of ‘above the fold’ content on search engine results pages (SERP),PPC would be an effective way of ensuring that your site ranks for this type of query.

Parting thoughts

The types of search query customers use changes during the customer journey or depending on their position within the sales funnel. A potential customer will have different questions and information requirements from a repeat customer it’s the job of your website to support customers with their questions during the buying process or at what describe as touchpoints. Providing a range of relevant and useful content is the best way to do this.

By |October 23rd, 2015|Content, SEO|Comments Off on Fine tune your content by understanding the different types of search query

SEO Basics: Spider,Crawlers and bots oh my!

Map of London underground

This weeks article will build on the previous weeks it’s a closely related topic, how search engines index or read & record the content of websites, by using search spiders (aka webcrawlers or bots) to identify and store the contents of the web, understanding how this works will enable the designer to build websites which search engines can easily index or ‘read’.

What exactly are search spiders?

spiders also known as web crawlers and bots(be prepared for plenty of arachnid metaphors here) are special pieces of software which crawl the web analysing the contents of web pages and feeding the information back to search engines. Google offer the following description

We use software known as “web crawlers” to discover publicly available webpages. The most well-known crawler is called “Googlebot.” Crawlers look at webpages and follow links on those pages, much like you would if you were browsing content on the web. They go from link to link and bring data about those webpages back to Google’s

How do Spiders traverse the web?

The best metaphor I have encountered for explaining this is the in the book The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization (Theory in Practice) by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola and Rand Fishkin it uses the famous London underground map to explain how stations(web pages) and lines(hyperlinks), it is this network of hubs and spokes which search siders traverse, feeding the information back to the search engine, allowing the search engine to develop a representation of the web, when we (the end users search the web we are actually searching the Search Engines indexed representation of the web which has discovered by search spiders and fed back to

Why is this important?

Understanding how spiders operate enables designers to build websites that spiders can easily traverse and it explains why setting up robots.txt and xml sitemaps are best practise when optimising a website, it also influences the structure or hierarchy of the website, it is essential that spiders can completely traverse the website, it is best to minimise the depth of the website ‘no page should be more than 3 clicks away from the homepage’ (source: breadcrumbs(a navigation aid which shows the user where they are in the website) provide a convenient way to enable spiders to completely traverse the website, breadcrumbs are also excellent from a usability perspective.


The Robots exclusion standard or robots.txt is a text file stored on the webserver, which provides instructions for search spiders. The file informs spiders which parts of the may be accessed and which parts are effectively off limits to the spiders. Wikipedia provides the following description of robots.txt.

A robots.txt file on a website will function as a request that specified robots ignore specified files or directories when crawling a site. This might be, for example, out of a preference for privacy from search engine results, or the belief that the content of the selected directories might be misleading or irrelevant to the categorization of the site as a whole, or out of a desire that an application only operate on certain data. >


Sitemaps are xml(extensible markup language) file which provide spiders (and search engines) with information how a website is structured it is best practice to have a sitemaps.xml file in the root folder Google offer the following advice:

If your site’s pages are properly linked, our web crawlers can usually discover most of your site. Even so, a sitemap can improve the crawling of your

this advice is especially applicable if it’s a large website, Google then add the following warning, however its certainly advisable to ensure that your website has a sitemap.

Using a sitemap doesn’t guarantee that all the items in your sitemap will be crawled and indexed, as Google processes rely on complex algorithms to schedule crawling. However, in most cases, your site will benefit from having a sitemap, and you’ll never be penalized for having

Parting thoughts

Understanding how spiders work is an important element of building spider friendly websites which can be completely analysed by spiders, failure to do this will result in parts of the website being off limits to web crawlers, thus rendering them invisible to search engines, for this reason caution is advised when securing parts of the website and using JavaScript heavy websites, historically spiders have had difficulties completely indexing JavaScript so best practise involves allowing fall-back methods to enable complete access where JavaScript causes problems for crawlers.

By |October 16th, 2015|SEO|Comments Off on SEO Basics: Spider,Crawlers and bots oh my!

Onpage SEO Basics – Images


Flying Pigeon bicycle (image source:Wikipedia)

One of the most common problems I encounter when developing SME websites is a lack of understanding of how search engines actually work it these misconceptions I aim to correct in this short series of SEO basics articles which will enable you to build on solid foundations when making Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) choices for your website, one of the more common problems is not understanding how Search engines ‘see’ images

On Page Best Practises

There is a range of best practises for SEO optimised image placement; I will give an overview of them here generally search engines value usability(ease of use) highly so Search Engines will approve of

naming images

As stated earlier Search bots cannot identify images, which is why its best to help them to identify images by giving them descriptive and relevant names preferably featuring keywords, so its best to rename images from IMG_5528.JPG to say carl-potts-portrait.jpg, this identifies the image in a way which search bots can decipher this process can be aided by suitable use of alt tags which we’ll examine next.
human view of BBC website

Human view of the BBC website

alt tags

Alt tags provide a usability aid. They are intended to assist partially sighted users who rely on screen reader software to use provides the following description, in order for certain variants of html to verify correctly images are required to have completed alt tags, and this is good from both a usability and SEO perspective.

The alt attribute is an attribute of the img tag and is meant to be an alternative for non-visual browsers when they come across images. This means, that the text is meant to be used when the image is not visible on the page. Instead, what is displayed (or read) is the alternative text.

Image Title Tags

Title tags are another frequency overlooked image attribute(I know I’m guilty on this front!) but they are great from a Usability perspective
Search Engine Journal provide the following description of title attribute for images

image title (and the element name speaks for itself) should provide additional information and follow the rules of the regular title: it should be relevant, short, catchy, and concise (a title “offers advisory information about the element for which it is set“). In FireFox and Opera it pops up when you hover over an image:

How this works in practise is probably best illustrated with an image and example.THe Above picture of a bicycle has all of the best practices completed including image title, alt tags and file name.

Parting thoughts

Optimisation of Images is one aspect where websites often run into problems, if accessibility is an important factor then care sure to be taken to ensure that alt tags are completed for every image however to completely optimise the site then images should be named accordingly, this is an easy way to get good search engine results where people are searching for images, by following the best practises I’ve laid out in this article you will be completely covered from a search Engine and usability perspective

By |October 2nd, 2015|SEO|Comments Off on Onpage SEO Basics – Images

Brand Voice will enable you to take your content & Social Media to the next level


Image Flickr:Jae Storer


I’ve mentioned before that I believe that Authenticity lies at the heart of great content and social media it’s an element of this I wish to examine with this weeks Blog post that of Brand Voice. The reason I’m discussing this topic is I find it hard crafting calls to action designed to suit a British audience, I suppose an understated type of British Call to action would be appropriate, why not try our they are really rather good, would be fine, mind that Cranks Britishness up to 11 and its in danger of being included in Downton Abbey but on reflection the approach is fitting. If you are serious about Branding, the Brand voice and persona are important considerations.

tone, voice and persona

There’s some confusion between the terminologies I’m using here, I want to use this section to clarify the differences as the following terms are sometimes used interchangeably


Stephanie Schwab defines tone thus

Tone is the underlying vibe that emanates from your brand’s communications. This is where you establish your credibility; place your brand in the past, present or future; and subtly alert fans and followers whether your brand is going to be wide-open or a bit more buttoned up


Buffer app define voice as

“Your brand personality described in an adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive, cynical, or professional.” I find this is where some of the confusion creeps in. Julie Wildhaber at suggests that

You could consider tone a subset of voice. If voice is the personality of a story, then tone is the mood.

The Difference between Tone and Voice

I like the way that Charisa Weaks clarified the difference using dictionary definitions however I’ll use a different dictionary Chambers UK , a method I’ll copy here

a quality or character of the voice expressing a particular feeling or mood

For example you could write in a sarcastic tone where I much prefer to use a helpful tone on this website and a playful/friendly one on social media

expression in the form of spoken(or written-Carl) words gave voice to their feelings

Wheaton College provide a helpful explanation of the difference, the voice is what makes communication uniquely yours a stylist fingerprint if you like

Anything you write should still have your voice: something that makes your writing sound uniquely like you. A personal conversation with a friend differs from a speech given to a large group of strangers. Just as you speak to different people in different ways yet remain yourself, so the tone of your writing can vary with the situation while the voice — the essential, individual thoughts and expression — is still your own.


Persona is a fairly similar concept, which Ms Schwab defines thus, this is a different meaning of the term persona to the usual on employed with social media and content marketing

This is the starting point for the development or furthering of your brand voice: Who does your brand sound like? In order to determine this, you may need to first determine who your customers are, so you can assume a persona for the brand that will resonate with your primary target audience.

Parting Thoughts

The key words here are ‘will resonate with your primary target audience’ get the brands voice wrong and you risk alienating your audience, which is not a good idea. Like authenticity Brand voice is a topic I feel quite strongly about, content and communication without voice is boring and bland at worst its like talking to a RSS feed (an approach some social media users adopt with lots of posts with scant interaction with other users, I’m not convinced about this approach with social media it may attract followers but does nothing for engagement which really is the whole point of social media if you ask me. Brand Voice is a vital consideration, a poor choice of voice will make my hackles rise I don’t know if this is just me being grumpy .Voice even extends to the choice of fonts, Colours and Imagery used

Poor choices make a poor impression

For a Curriculum Vitae Comic Sans would be deemed inappropriate choice of font, yes I appreciate that’s a heavy handed example but it illustrates the point there are even instances of Gravestones set in Comic Sans (no, I’m not joking) it shows how information delivered in the wrong voice can be jarring and make a bad overall impression, in this case not so much the deceased person but their friends &family!

By |September 11th, 2015|Content, SEO, SME Online Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on Brand Voice will enable you to take your content & Social Media to the next level

Discover the Importance of context

Scarecrow Fox by David Wilcoxson: Sculpture In Context 2012 at the National Botanic Gardens by William Murphy (Source: Flickr)

Scarecrow Fox by David Wilcoxson: Sculpture In Context 2012 at the National Botanic Gardens by William Murphy (Source: Flickr)

This week’s post will introduce a concept I believe is of vital importance for those making use of social media or content marketing as part of their marketing mix

Defining Context

Chambers dictionary offers the following definition of context

context noun 1 the pieces of writing in a passage which surround a particular word, phrase, etc. and which contribute to the full meaning of the word, phrase, etc. in question. 2 circumstances, background or setting. contextualSource:

To simplify the concept context applies to the where, who and how of communication, where one is communication, who one is communicating with and how one is communicating, pictures of kittens etc. would be perfectly in context on a social media channel but would be woefully out of context on LinkedIn, when communication is out of context it jars and grates on people. Risqué jokes might be fine at the pub but they’d be badly out of place at a family gathering/christening, this toying with context is frequent source of humour in Best Man Jokes where risqué humour is concealed in ways which wont offend the easily shocked members of the wedding party

As Marketers why is this important to us?

In her whitepaper ‘Why Context is essential to Digital Marketing’ Rebecca Lieb argues that

The more marketing can be targeted in context, the better – and more relevant – the customer experience. Context means the right person receives the right message at the right time, but also in the right place, on the right platform and in the right language.(Source: Lieb 2014)

So context even plays a role in Search, for example I do a quick search for pizza I don’t want results in New York, Exeter or Chicago, I want the results for Morecambe and perhaps Lancaster in a format which is readily understood on my computer of choice (desktop or smartphone)

Parting thoughts

Context is what takes Content Marketing to the next level, as Rebecca Lieb notes it is growing in importance so its worth taking the time to understand this concept and to apply it to your own marketing, I hope I’ve explained the basics of context well with this post, Context complements content to ensure that customers & visitors to your site have the best possible experience when using your website, I’m inclined to agree with Kevin Jorgensen’s emphasis on the importance of personas here, the value of which is already well understood by professional content marketers, context uses a thorough if not complete understanding of your customers to provide an excellent service, if a website can be said to serve people. If context could be mapped to the position of customers within the sales funnel then it would completely transcend standard content marketing, the question has to be can smaller businesses leverage this technology & way of thinking, based on what I’ve researched this week, I’m starting to reappraise context in how people and companies utilize social media, think of it as another dimension of communication if content marketing is 2d communication, Context adds the 3rd dimension. Failing to appreciate this will lead to less effective communication.

By |August 28th, 2015|Content, SEO|Comments Off on Discover the Importance of context

Keyword stuffing is a waste of your time, heres why

keywords(image credit: Flickr Darwin Bell)

One of the most common problems I encounter is that of keyword stuffing, before explaining what keyword stuff is I need to define keywords. Technopedia define keyword as

A keyword, in the context of search engine optimization, is a particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page. Keywords are intended to act as shortcuts that sum up an entire page. Keywords form part of a Web page’s metadata and help search engines match a page to with an appropriate search query.(

I’ll define keyword as the phrases people use when they are using search engines such as Google, it’s a slightly misleading label keyword phrases would be more accurate way to describe them as its rare to search with one word its usually a combination of words which people use when searching i.e. pizza shop Morecambe would be a keyword.

What is keyword stuffing?

Where a website owner has attempted to cram an excessive amount of keywords into a page element be it bodytext , heading or title tag(more on that later) define Keyword stuffing as

The term “keyword stuffing” has been around since the early days of SEO. It’s used to describe a shady technique website owners adopt in order to manipulate their site’s search ranking for a particular keyword, or set of keywords. If you have been to a website that displays a list of words or phrases that have little or no relevance to the content on the website, then it is likely that website is keyword stuffing.(

Webopedia’s definition is as follows ‘A SEO technique used by Web designers to overload keywords onto a Web page so that search engines will read the page as being relevant in a Web search.’(source:

My encounters with keyword stuffing generally lie between these two definitions common features are as follows:

• Developers overload a page or text with keywords
• Cramming keywords into a page where there is little or no content which is relevant to said keyword

Page titles

From an SEO perspective page titles are extremely important they are used to describe the contents of a webpage, best practice here advises using no more than 2 keywords separated with a pipe character | if necessary, titles are limited to 70 characters (including spaces) as they will ignore extra characters

| | company name is the best practice solution for page titles suggested by

This approach is like a kid in a sweet shop, the website owner has identified a list of keywords (probably using guesswork rather than genuine keyword research) then decided they’d like their site to rank for these keywords, the problem is its basically ineffective and will alienate users for little or no reward. If you wish to rank for a keyword there has to be genuine content relevant to that keyword present in the website.

Parting thoughts

Keyword stuff is a waste of time, a page completely stuffed with keywords will have minimal chance of ranking for those keywords, its an easy way to make your website look poor quality and spammy, Google’s webmaster guidelines actually advise against loading a page with irrelevant keywords

By |July 24th, 2015|SEO|Comments Off on Keyword stuffing is a waste of your time, heres why

The benefits of video for small business

video-cameraThis week’s topic has a foot in all three of the areas I normally cover in this blog these being social media, search and content; I refer of course to video which is a great way to promote your business in what hopefully an interesting way, video is a very powerful tool yet many small businesses fail to take advantage of it the Guardian states that ‘Small Businesses which fail to include it (video) in their internet marketing strategies do so at their peril (source: The Guardian)

‘People trying to figure out how to accomplish a home improvement project, fix their hair or prepare a recipe have helped grow YouTube’s “how-to” searches by 70 percent year-over-year.’(source:

Cross Platform content

Research by bodies such as Ofcom have shown that popular video channels such as You Tube appeal equally to users of smart phones and tablets so its possible to produce content which will be enjoyed equally by all of your audience.

Why are Small Businesses not making better use of video?

I’ve done no hard research here but I’d imagine the reasons that prevented myself producing videos are quite widely shared

I. Lack of confidence in my ability to produce engaging videos
II. Concerns about quality
III. lack of time
IV. Skills & experience
a. Skills & experience are the most obvious barrier I’ve found personally in my dealing with video production, on reflection I failed to plan properly for creating video’s I have wanted to produce them for a while there’s a lot of factors to consider before going into video production such as
• branding
• lighting
• Sound
• planning
• editing
• workflow

At this time lack of expertise/experience prevents me from covering these topics in greater depth I really don’t want to give my readers poor advice, I’m happy to return to them in the future.

Parting thoughts

A few of the small business videos I’ve seen have been dreadful but some have been truly excellent (I suspect they have been professionally produced), Small Business videos really don’t need to feature actors and Spielberg standard filming/editing the fact they can be a bit patchy adds to their authenticity, when I’m choosing a local firm to do business with film star good looks are not part of my requirements

Given the growing popularity of online video it’s the perfect way for smaller businesses and its also good for search engine rankings, (Google own YouTube)’Video on social media can effect search results as well as be an entry point to your website (

By |May 15th, 2015|Content, SEO, SME Online Marketing|Comments Off on The benefits of video for small business

Why its important to be mobile friendly, how Google’s upcoming algorithm could affect your website

(image courtesy:hubspot)

(image courtesy:hubspot)

The attention of the SEO Industry is currently focussed on a notable change scheduled for April 21 it has as yet not been given a moniker by the SEO Industry, which is the usual practise (Google Penguin, Hummingbird, Panda et al it is however refereed to as the Google Mobile Friendly update it is this update we’ll be examining in this weeks post.

Why this update?

With the rise of mobile computing the nature of the web has completely changed over the last 10 years with mobile searches predicted to overtake searches from desktops & laptops in 2015,Search has had to move with the times to accommodate these changes, the problem is that many sites have failed to adapt to these changes (with only 2 – 10 % of sites being designed with mobile in mind ( and it is these sites which fail to account for mobile users which will be penalised by the upcoming changes. Research has shown that mobile users have a low degree of tolerance for sites, which fail to accommodate them, and they will go elsewhere, with mobile bounce rates being roughly10% higher than desktop sites (source:

What exactly is a Mobile Friendly website?

Google helpfully provide a tool for determining if a website is mobile friendly. One Concept, which complements mobile friendly is that of Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.(source: Smashing

in practise this means that a site is easily usable whatever device it is viewed on. The amount of searches conducted on mobile devices is increasing all the time and this has influenced web design best practise. The Current trend is mobile first design where a website is first designed with mobile users in mind then adapted to take advantage of the extra viewing space on tablets and desktops

Mobile First is a philosophy created by Luke Wroblewski that highlights the need to prioritize the mobile context when creating user experiences. Source (

this approach uses techniques such as progressive enhancement to add features to the site so visitors on larger devices get a viewing experience which takes full advantage of their larger devices capabilities.

Parting thoughts

Small Business owners cannot afford to neglect mobile computing and the rise of the smartphone, the upcoming changes merely underline the importance of developing websites, which cater for visitors on all sorts of devices, failure to do so will soon be penalised by the dominant search engine, Id expect competitors such as Bing & Yahoo to follow suit, by ensuring that their websites are ready to accommodate smartphone and tablet users it will be possible to steal a march on your competitors, All the sites I develop are mobile friendly, to discover how I can revitalise your company website and to make it future proof contact me today

By |April 17th, 2015|SEO|Comments Off on Why its important to be mobile friendly, how Google’s upcoming algorithm could affect your website