Globally, Google is used to make five billion searches a day globally. That’s three million every minute, and 63 million searches every second across mobiles, desktops and tablets.
So when the search engine giant announces an update to its algorithm, it’s very important for SEOs, website owners and content producers alike, to find out more about the changes Google has made, as it can have an impact on your website’s performance, traffic and search engine ranking. As specialists in content marketing, it’s important for us to keep our eyes peeled for updates too.
Key takeaways from the update:
This latest core update is the third of 2020, following other similar changes made back in January and then in May.
According to Google, these updates are implemented with one goal in mind: to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.
Core updates such as this may mean website managers see some impact on their analytics and the performance of their pages or content.
Some sites may see drops in traffic, others may see gains. Of course, those who are negatively impacted will want to try and apply a suitable fix or solution, and Google is keen to explain the process and how it’s not seeking to target or punish specific sites or pages. Ultimately, the changes are driven by its team improving how Google’s algorithm assesses content to enhance how users utilise its service.
The Google team says content managers should liken the update to how film lovers refresh their list of favourite films.
‘Imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realise they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.’
This film list will change as there are some more deserving films to have come out since you first compiled your selection. And this is the case with this online update. Ultimately, this is a refresh of how Google evaluates and ranks quality online content.
Three updates have taken place so far this year. May’s core update took several weeks to roll out while previously an update was also made in January.
This latest change was announced by Google on 3rd December 2020, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your analytics to see how it will impact your website’s pages over the coming days and weeks.
Every time Google undertakes an update, a website can start to perform better or worse in search results.
Understanding when this update takes place will help you realise why your website’s analytics might start showing certain trends and changes. It should ensure content and website managers can work out whether this is due to an internal issue or a change like this from Google. If you see your pages dropping or going up Google’s search engine rankings when an update is announced, then this could well be why.
Any website pages which do see a drop in traffic have not necessarily been doing anything wrong or need to get anything fixed. However, at the same time, you may feel you need to do something. For Google, there’s one aim all website managers should look to satisfy: ‘We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.’
When looking to evaluate the quality of your content, it’s worth asking yourself a series of questions around your pages, how information is presented and the value they offer.
Some examples of these questions include:
You can also focus specifically on the pages which have been most impacted. Evaluate them closely in line with some of the questions to see if making any improvements with them might help.
To help respond to a core update, your focus should be on producing quality content that’s well-researched and presented. If you ensure your website adheres to this general rule, then Google updates should not be feared.
Please get in touch with us for support with developing your content strategy in line with Google’s latest updates to their algorithm.
Some people believe that guest posting has lost some of its allure and effectiveness, but if done right, guest posts are still very useful in building your brand, increasing traffic to your site and getting inbound links – that’s links from other sites to your site.
Even though Google frowns at low-quality guest posting, there is no doubt that with a top-quality guest post service, this powerful strategy will be the bedrock of link building for a long time to come.
This article aims to show you how to get your guest posts accepted by other blogs.
Let’s get into it!
1. Guest post on websites with the readership you want to reach
Firstly, you need to be clear about your target audience – who they are and the blogs they read. Be careful about which sites you want to submit your guest posts to. Don’t waste your time and energy submitting content to a website whose audience is not the right fit.
Once you get that right, you’ll gain traffic that sticks, from people who are intrigued enough by your guest post that they’ll visit your site to discover more great posts.
2. Ensure your content is original
High-quality sites care about their readers’ experience more than anything, and they always want to provide the best content. So, unless there’s an understanding that you can use the content that has been published elsewhere, always try to submit an original post.
3. Be a Great Writer
Try to submit your best works for guest posting because quality sites are very picky about the type of content they serve their audience. Edit your post, take time to correct the grammar, punctuation and spelling. It will save the site owner the headache of having to edit or reformat your post. This increases your chances of getting published and being invited to submit more posts in the future.
4. Abide by the Guest Posting Guidelines
If your target site has a set of guest-posting guidelines, stick to them. It makes the submission process less stressful for everyone.
On the other hand, if you choose to ignore the guidelines, you’re basically telling the site owner that you haven’t read their blog and you haven’t bothered to find out how they want things to work.
If you can’t find any guest-posting guidelines after looking through the whole site, then send them an email to ask.
5. Be careful how you link to your site and don’t add affiliate links
You’re guest posting because you want to get links pointing to your site to get traffic. However, loading the post with links to your blog can be considered tacky. One, or at the most two, links to your blog is enough.
Also, adding affiliate links to your post is inappropriate unless you have the consent of the blog owner.
6. Ensure your post adds value
Blog owners will only accept a guest post if they are sure it will be of value to their readers. As part of planning towards submitting your guest post through your guest post agency, make sure you read the blog so you can familiarise yourself with the topics covered, style of writing, and the response of the readers.
Flesh out your content. If your post is weak, it won’t get accepted. Not only that, but it also sends a bad message about your writing, product, or brand. The last thing any blog owner wants to do is publish a guest post that does not meet the quality their audience is used to.
7. Read the Target Blog
Post, comment, and get involved with the community in the target blog before you submit your guest post. Be helpful and an asset to the community so that when your post is published with your name attached to it, the fact that you have already proven yourself to be trustworthy and helpful means it will be accepted by the community.
8. Time your Guest Post Submission
There will be times when the blog owner has to go away for a while, for whatever reason. At these times, most blog owners will appreciate some high-quality posts that can be slotted into the queue and posted while they are away.
If you notice any breaks in the blog owner’s normal schedule, it’s a great idea to send them an email to ask if you could help by submitting a guest post.
9. Don’t show desperation
It’s great if you can provide content that is the right fit for the blog, but you also have to give the post your own voice. Don’t be so desperate to the extent where you want to please the blog owner by kowtowing to them. The last thing any blog owner wants to add to their already busy schedule is having to guide you through the whole process.
10. Make your guest post easy to accept
When making contact with the blog owner, be polite and kind. Be detailed and concise in your emails, try as much as possible to keep them short and to the point.
Ensure your content is well written, useful and on-topic so that the blog owner can use it immediately without having to edit or reformat it. Their readers will find it valuable, and you will be proud to have it published.
11. Be active in the comments section
The fact that your guest post is accepted does not mean you should relax – there’s still a lot to do. Check when your post is published and be available to interact with the readers in the comments section. This helps your host and allows you to showcase your knowledge and build relationships.
12. Write a good bio
Keep your bio short and concise, and add a clear call to action. The whole idea is for the reader to get to know more about you on your own site.
You could design a special landing page for the new readers coming from your guest post. This allows them to have quick, first-hand information about you without having to navigate blindly through your blog.
Guest blogging is a great way of presenting yourself as an authority in your niche, positioning yourself as a well-known name in the industry, getting exposure back to your site (traffic), and building backlinks to your site. Guest posting is valuable to your business – to get it done right, outsource to a guest post agency today for optimum results.
Get in touch with WooContent today to enquire about our guest posting service.
As marketers, we always have to be reactive to what is happening in the wider world to generate interest and success from content marketing campaigns. The current Coronavirus pandemic is no different – since lockdown, we are seeing an increase in search across the internet.
We’re seeing a surge in those researching around the virus; Google itself gave a great example of amending its marketing strategy due to an increase in Covid-19-related searches. It has launched a corona-virus hub looking at search-related terms.
There are many ways that us as brands can adapt our strategy, because the data suggests that people are still actively purchasing online. However, we also have a responsibility to be sensitive to what is happening in the world while advertising our services and products. Here’s how brands can adapt their current marketing strategy to stay afloat.
1.Honesty is the best policy
We are not living in the same world as we were six months ago. Consumers have different fears around making a purchase, and honesty has never been more vital for brands to build rapport with them.
We need to make customers aware of the changes the pandemic may have to your service. It could be longer delivery times, lower stock or even a change in business hours. This can be done effectively by creating a banner that either lets your users know what changes have been made or links to a dedicated page.
Some examples of travel brands using this can be seen below:
2. Dedicated FAQ pages
As well as being honest in your approach, it’s important to consider further questions your customers may have. These are unprecedented times where no question is a stupid question. Clearly, it is not viable for businesses to put all of their resource into answering every question, but it’s worth putting together an FAQ section or dedicated Coronavirus page where your customers can get the information they need. It will also prevent your business being overloaded with requests.
Royal Mail provides a great example of this.
3. Be reactive to changes in search
It’s important from a business standpoint to be reactive to the market. One of the things I’ve noticed across my clients is an increase in desktop users. Now that we’re in lockdown, we are no longer on the move and searching as we have been, and this seems to have led to a change in the devices we use.
Many brands are optimising their sites for desktop due to many of their users using this platform. I’d recommend the following:
4. Adapt your offering
Many companies have changed their offering to make their service and product more viable for customers given the current Government guidance over social distancing.
From my time working in London, I was a big fan of a stall in Westfield that specialised in cookie dough. They’ve since created a dough that customer can have delivered to their homes and bake in their own kitchens. Customers can then create the experience from the safety of their own home. Their campaign used the hashtag #BakeItYourself.
This is just one example of how brands can adapt their offering. Personal trainers are now turning to home-video workouts for their clients to keep their businesses going.
5. Be selfless in your approach
Since the arrival of COVID-19, we have seen some thousands of amazing gestures to help those who are in need. From the Run 5 Donate 5 Nominate 5 initiative to Captain Tom Moore, the war veteran who has raised millions for the NHS. We are seeing inspiring stories daily and many of these gestures are coming from businesses. LinkedIn is full of professionals offering free advice and services as many businesses are experiencing hard times.
As a final thought, have a think about how you might be able to help the wider community. Any gesture has the potential to form strong business relationships and provide future clients.
Author: Michael Ryan is an SEO consultant based in Essex. His approach is to provide ROI-led transparent SEO consultancy.
People have been telling stories for thousands of years. We grow up with them, share them and tell our own.
Good stories can make complex ideas easier to understand and help people relate to new concepts. When it comes to your brand, they show people not just how your business works but why you exist and why consumers should choose you.
A powerful brand story enables you to build meaningful connections with your audience, improves their trust and encourages brand loyalty.
With the rise of ethical consumerism, the need for brands to portray themselves as responsible, authentic and sustainable is higher than ever. Using a narrative to build a strong, positive image is an absolute must in the food and drink industry. Rather than just capturing audience attention for the launch of one product, food and drink brands need to capture it for a lifetime. A good story is the perfect way to do it.
When it comes to making buying decisions, people tend to choose based on feelings first and facts second. If buying something makes you feel good, you’re much more likely to buy it. A coffee brand with flashy advertising campaigns can make their product look appealing at an aesthetic level. However. one whose adverts tell the farmer-to-cup fairtrade story are increasingly more likely to make sales.
Soup. It isn’t glamorous, it isn’t exotic, it isn’t particularly exciting. How do you build an emotional attachment to soup? The New Covent Garden Soup Co could lead a masterclass in forming emotional bonds with food. Over time, the brand have built up the idea that eating fresh soup from The New Covent Garden Soup Co is akin to the experience of having lovingly crafted, homemade soup set in front of you after a long, hard day. Starting with the relatable, true story of someone who is cold, wet and hungry (and thus, in dire need of soup!), the brand expanded at an incredible rate.
New Covent Garden are also a shining example of the fact that you don’t need a huge budget for your marketing to be a success. In the early days of the brand, staff were asked to provide old family soup recipes, building the message that these were authentic, honest recipes crafted over generations. The idea garnered huge publicity, and having started as a small independent business, The New Covent Garden Soup Co was sold for more than £150million in 2011. Not bad when you consider that the company was fighting their way into a market ruled by familiar corporate giants like Heinz.
Key Takeaway: Using the emotional power of real-life stories, even small brands can achieve David vs Goliath-like success.
A name known all around the world, Guinness work hard to keep their image connected with a local-level human touch. While their big-budget adverts often feature sensational tales and wild special effects, Guinness have been careful to maintain their appeal in the everyday arena. Storytelling takes on a whole new meaning here, with adverts tapping into the global phenomenon of myth and folklore, as well as the fantastical elements of ordinary life.
Guinness’ stories lace their brand name through the extraordinary. Their Sapeurs documentary had, really, nothing to do with beer. It was an introduction to real-life characters – colourful, exuberant and likeable – that captured the imagination. From here to the ‘Together We Are More’ campaign the brand launched in Southeast Asia, a cinematic work about friends setting off on a legendary adventure, Guinness go all-in on the storytelling. The fact that none of it seems to be about beer ceases to matter, because the stories are so fascinating and vivid that the brand builds its reputation purely by association.
Underneath all this, exotic video campaigns are supported by an ethical foundation that all modern brands need. Their YouTube channel houses videos about the farmers who grow their barley. A timeline on their website paints the picture of the Guinness story across centuries. Going right back to the day that Arthur Guinness left home in 1759. From working with the little guys, to being the champions of living life to the full, the power of the brand story behind the Guinness name is unmissable.
Key Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your storytelling. Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary and capitalise on it – originality is the key.
Adverts like the famous ‘122 years of Hovis’ ad above are shining examples of brand storytelling done right. The unusual length of the cinema-style advert represents the age of the company’s original small brown loaf. The advert was intended to evoke Hovis’ “wholesome and natural” image and the idyllic image of Britain.
Simple, yet effective. The ad resurrected the delivery boy from the brand’s 1973 Ridley-Scott directed ad: one of Britain’s favourite TV advertisements. Which demonstrated that the brand not only has bread heritage, but also has advertising heritage. The moral of the brand story was that Hovis is “as good today as it’s always been”- which was a perfect encapsulation of the underlying brand strategy.
Key takeaway: Your story needs to be human, original, founded in truth and most of all, it must serve a purpose for the customer.
Whether it’s soup that turns a bad day around or beer that makes you a part of something special. Whatever it is you’re selling, there’s potential to build positive feelings around it with a clever, authentic brand story. Establish your customer’s journey and replace the hard sell with tales that explain how your story and theirs are inextricably linked.
A successful storyline will get people talking about your brand and is publicity that keeps on giving.