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Best Small SEO Agency
(UK & European Search Awards)

Re:signal is a multi-award-winning SEO agency, focused on driving organic performance.

“I like that the team are forward thinking, always looking at ways to help us hit our targets.”

Patricia Hernanz
Expedia

We have a strategy-driven approach to driving organic growth.

Where are you now?

We’ll analyse the market, understand whose winning and why. If you’re market leader we’ll put together a plan to protect and grow into new opportunities. If you’re chasing, we’ll identity the best way to close the gap.

Where are you going?

Before you invest in SEO, you need to know the size of the opportunity. We’ll help you to do this and understand the value of realising your potential.

How are we going to get there?

We’ll review your strengths and weaknesses vs competitors to put together a clear plan of attack. The biggest ranking factor is doing. First you need to make sure you’re pointing in the right direction, but once we have a clear strategy it’s all about execution and continual improvement.

Organic performance growth framework

An extension to your team

With a central hub in London, we’re not your typical SEO agency. There’s no pre-defined services and capacity to fill, we offer a strategic approach customised to suit your needs. Think of us as a team of expert practitioners, working in a lean, agile way. You will have direct access to a specialist team, created exactly according to your performance objectives and accountable to achieve success together.

Our Team

Kevin Gibbons

CEO, Founder

Kevin has been in the digital marketing industry since 2003, founding an SEO agency in Oxford in 2006 and forming BlueGlass in 2012. Kevin has experience working with a number of large brands and sets the vision on where we are going as an agency.

hannah-butcher

Hannah Butcher

Managing Director

Hannah has been working in the digital marketing industry for over 11 years, with experience across technical, content and digital PR. She is a frequent speaker at industry events and attended Shine Bootcamp in 2019.

Khushal Khan

Head of Strategy

Khushal leads the SEO team at Re:signal in the capacity of Head of Strategy & Product. Having been involved in SEO since 2013 with a focus around Content Marketing, Local Search and Technical SEO, he’s helped clients in UAE and UK across Automotive, Travel, Finance and most lately Private Equity businesses. He brings tons of experience to lead the Strategy &

Elizabeth Rowe

Head of HR/Talent

Liz joined Re:signal in 2017 and works as the Head of HR/Talent, bringing 20 years experience across multiple industries, nurturing and managing talent. You’ll often find her weekends sailing around the country somewhere on her boat!

Amie Sparrow

Head of Digital PR

Amie Sparrow is Head of Digital PR for Re:signal. A leader within her field, she has worked in both digital and traditional PR roles in a career spanning more than 15 years. Amie has spent the past six years setting up successful Digital PR departments for both agencies and in-house companies. She flourishes with projects where she can leave her mark.

Callum Lockwood

Senior SEO Strategist

Callum has been involved with search engine optimisation since 2010, working with clients in both B2B and B2C environments. Callum’s main focus is technical & on-page SEO as well as bringing UX experience to the Re:signal team.

Hollie Gibson

SEO Strategist

Hollie previously worked in online PR for 5 years before starting her SEO journey back in 2010. Having worked with a range of both B2C and B2B brands varying from Finance through to Retail, she has a range of organic search experience in varied sectors. Her goal is to ensure that the best strategy for our clients is developed in order to not only meet their KPIs, but exceed them.

David Bryan

SEO Strategist

David started working in SEO in 2016 and has experience in technical, content and digital PR. He’s worked with both B2B and B2C clients in a wide array of industries, using content-led SEO strategies underpinned by technical excellence to drive growth for clients.

Yagmur Simsek

SEO Strategist

Yagmur has been working in the digital marketing industry for almost 5 years with experience in content and SEO. When not working, she can be found travelling, haunting local bookstores, and ordering her coffee in local coffee shops that she is constantly discovering. She’s currently a key member of Re:signal’s strategy team and is excited to contribute to the organic growth of inspiring clients.

Matilde Melo

Senior SEO Analyst

Matilde has been working in the digital marketing industry for the last 5 years, working in diverse industries including charities and startups. She has been focusing on the SEO industry for the past few years and joined Re:signal team to contribute to the development and innovation of clients’

Zohaib Syed

SEO Analyst

Zohaib has been working in digital marketing for 5 years and has spent the last 2 years in the SEO industry, focusing particularly on content optimisation and creating dynamic reports in Google Data Studio. He is an avid reader and delights in watching a game of cricket.

Craig Pavitt

SEO Project Manager

Craig joined the digital marketing world in 2018, working as a project manager for a small marketing agency. He’s worked with clients in a large variety of industries, gaining niche industry knowledge, and developing and refining his skills within SEO and digital marketing.

Bryony Samsom

SEO Project Manager

Bryony has been working within the SEO space since 2019, starting as an SEO executive but her obsession for organising led to a project manager role across digital marketing. She has had the opportunity to work with a range of clients across the broad spectrum of industries, from construction to beauty, finance to education. This experience has allowed her to extend and develop her SEO skills for numerous markets.

Stefanie Olivia

SEO Project Coordinator

Stefanie joins with a deep passion for SEO and project management. Having freshly graduated from digital marketing, she is looking forward to applying her experiences, and learning from the best in the business!

Matt Burns-Peake

Marketing Manager

Matt has worked in marketing and sales since graduating in 2018. Matt brings a passion for digital marketing strategy, alongside experience in a wide range of niches.

Mike Lander

Non-Exec Chairman

Mike has a proven track record of buying, growing and selling businesses with a sector focus on digital marketing agencies and professional services. Mike works with the board to focus on scalability, growth and delivering client excellence.

How to Write an SEO Performance Report for Your Clients – Key Questions and Template!
How to Write an SEO Performance Report for Your Clients – Key Questions and Template!

How to Write an SEO Performance Report for Your Clients - Key Questions and Free Template! Whether you’re an SEO agency, or an in-house specialist, There will come a time when you’ll be asked to create a performance or progress report to show your worth. For many this can seem a daunting, and  lengthy process, But have no fear! We’ve got some top tips on client reporting best practices and an easy formula you can follow to write a report your clients will love. What is SEO Performance Reporting? SEO reporting is presenting a website's SEO status, generally through month-on-month, quarter-on-quarter, or year-on-year comparisons. It should include data reflecting directly back to your targets and goals for organic performance. These types of reports are for communicating progress on SEO projects, and should be used to ensure all parties have a clear understanding of what progress looks like. This will cover where you’re heading, with a definitive strategy for the upcoming period. An SEO Performance Report should not include an overwhelming amount of screenshots from Google Analytics and GDS Dashboards, as the client can already access and see this data.  Here are the key questions we need to ask ourselves at the start of every report.   Who is Reading My Report, and What  Do They Care About? A common mistake when creating a website SEO report is to overload it with information. This is probably because you’re tracking too many metrics, some of which your client may not even be interested in. You want to avoid including tables with tonnes of data, and anything that isn’t pertinent to your targets. It is important to tailor your reports to display the metrics that are important to your targets, So naturally  this will vary depending on industry and client needs. Understanding your SEO client, and their role within the company is key to creating a great report. So your client status report should be aimed towards the people receiving it! What you include in your report must be relevant  to the targets and KPIs set out. It is important to keep these in mind when assembling your reports. An ecommerce client will likely want to see data round revenue, sales and conversions, whilst a client within the travel sector is more inclined to take a fancy to impressions, sessions and engagement. Tailoring your report for client-specific needs will mean your client will stay engaged and absorb the information. Once you understand who you are creating the report for, you will know what to, and what not to, include. And, always keep your reports streamlined and simple!   What Key Information Should I Always include? Every SEO report will be slightly different in regard to the information required, but generally speaking, there are some key pieces we should always include. These boil down to the following areas: Information on work conducted SEO analytics performance A reflection against your targets An insight into upcoming tasks/trends  It is important to include what you are tracking

SEO Project Management: A Basic Understanding For Smooth Deliverables
SEO Project Management: A Basic Understanding For Smooth Deliverables

SEO Project Management: A Basic Understanding For Smooth Deliverables When I tell people what my job is, the most common question I am met with is ‘what does a project manager actually do?’. It would make my life much easier if there was a straightforward answer, but the truth is, there isn’t. At its core, project management has an overarching goal, to ensure the smoothest running of a project from conception to completion. However, the day-to-day handling of the project can differ greatly between each industry and even each individual project. So here’s a basic understanding of what SEO project management is, how it works, and some tips I’ve learned along the way to make my job easier, and more effective! What Exactly Is SEO Project Management? Regardless of what stage you may be in your own SEO journey, project or goal, implementing even the most basic project management steps doesn’t just ensure the project goes the way you want it to, but also provides an easier way to analyse any mistakes or mishaps that can be noted for all future projects.   The three main stages for any project are outlining, executing and analysing. Here's an overview of each, and a quick tip! This can be applied across all activities within the business when it comes to SEO. From optimising blog pages to performing a full site SEO audit, every element within your SEO exploration can, and should, be properly managed. Outlining a Project This is when all stakeholders meet and agree on the objectives of the project, why these have been chosen and how these will be achieved. It’s no use ambiguously saying ‘we want more traffic/revenue’, without running through these specifics. It's important to ensure everyone is on the same page at this stage, reiterate conversations in writing and outline clear objectives and deliverables. At this point, the project manager can assess any risks and create contingency plans. Executing a Project This is the most variable aspect of a project. It could be a few days, weeks, months or even years. No matter how long the project is, make sure to schedule regular check-ins, both internal and external to keep things on track. During this time, deliverables can be completed, changes implemented and success tracked. In tandem, project managers can work with the SEO team to see if any changes to the roadmap need to be made, in terms of timeline or the deliverables themselves, and communicate and agree to this with stakeholders. Throughout this period, the project manager should be able to easily produce reports on the internal success of the project and be able to implement, adapt or remove resources as needed. Analysing a Project Also known as closing a project. No matter what the success or failure, a project manager should be able to analyse how the project went, as a whole and from smaller elements. From this, mistakes can be avoided in the future and successes can be repeated. Relaying this to the

How to Estimate Your Organic Traffic Potential for SEO
How to Estimate Your Organic Traffic Potential for SEO

This article was originally posted on the SEmrush Blog - check it out here How to Estimate Your Organic Traffic Potential for SEO Understanding the available opportunity within a specific market allows you to create a dialled in SEO strategy, taking actions based on data rather than hunches and gut feelings. This guide will show you how to calculate where your opportunity lies by allowing you to: Estimate organic traffic by topic within your niche Estimate organic traffic based on realistic goals A Quick Disclaimer on Estimating or Forecasting Organic Traffic Any estimate for a website’s organic traffic potential is going to be based on current and historic data. As a result, you will end up with a fairly accurate estimate of where the opportunity lies for your website right now. Forecasting future traffic based on the framework provided here is subject to a number of uncontrollable factors, such as search trends, algorithm updates and changes in user behaviour. What we are looking to create is a snapshot of where your opportunity is right now based on existing rankings, with a means of easily updating your most current data to see where opportunities shift over time. This snapshot of opportunity will show the current growth areas, by topic, alongside a website’s current performance for these topics. If required, this method of estimating traffic potential can be applied to new opportunities that you don’t currently rank for quite easily. Getting Started: What Data and Metrics Do I Need? You need data to build organic traffic estimates. These data points are available in multiple places however they are not all created equal—different tools display the same metric based on various sources. A suggested source for each data point is in the guide below and here is a quick summary of the data we will be using: First, you will need a list of keywords this should consist of: Keywords your website already ranks for Keyword research for new topics that your website does not currently rank for With each of these keywords, you will need: Search Volume This is the key metric for estimating organic traffic and is the only metric within your keyword data that is non-optional for creating an estimate. Keyword Difficulty Including keyword difficulty will allow you to have a base understanding of where opportunity is easiest to pursue, enabling prioritisation within an SEO strategy for topic’s with lower competition. Current Ranking Position Including this metric will allow you to further prioritise based on where you’re currently ranking for a specific topic, for example it’s probably easier to get onto page 1 if you’re on page 2, rather than in position 50+. Current Ranking URL Including this metric will help with grouping and categorising keywords and mapping your SEO efforts to the keyword data. Keyword research generally always benefits from being mapped to landing pages (you will have to add in the suggested ranking URLs manually). Current Traffic Including this metric will show the growth available for a certain

Google Analytics 4 for eCommerce: Everything You Need to Know
Google Analytics 4 for eCommerce: Everything You Need to Know

Google Analytics 4 for eCommerce: The Important Changes & How to Install! On 1st July 2023 Universal Analytics (the standard Google Analytics platform) will stop processing hits. On 1st October 2023, Universal Analytics 360 (the paid platform) will follow suit. Big news from @googleanalytics today - Universal Analytics to be "sunset" and replaced by GA4 at the start of July 2023. Thoughts on that one, SEO Community?#SEO #GA4 pic.twitter.com/22pDOX7vyO — Re:signal (@re_signal) March 17, 2022 From that point on, Google Analytics 4 will be your web analytics platform of choice if you wish to stay within the Google ecosystem. But just how will this switch affect your eCommerce business? And what do you need to do to prepare? Look no further, we've sifted through all the infographics, articles, blogs and twitter tantrums to find the key changes and improvements for you. We'll even show you how to download/install GA4 so you can get started ASAP!   The Key Differences Between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 Although it's still very much a work in progress, Google Analytics 4 brings a host of changes from the Universal Analytics platform you know and love, but do not be afraid! There are already some new key features your eCommerce business can benefit from. Here are some of the key differences (improvements) from UA to GA4: There’s Less Reliance on Cookies! Described as “ quickly becoming obsolete” by Google’s Russell Ketchum in the announcement, a move away from using cookies as the main measurement methodology online is the main driving force behind the decision to move towards Google Analytics 4. GA4 is built from the ground-up to operate across platforms without relying on device-based cookies. Instead, GA4 uses an event-based data model for measurement which means you don’t have to worry about losing data when people won’t let you drop cookies. An Improved Overview of Your Users Journey! Alongside not losing data when people refuse cookies, GA4’s event-based model enables it to bring together data from across devices, giving you a much more complete oversight of your typical user journey. The typical user journey could span multiple devices on their way to making a purchase. Someone could discover your brand on their work device, spend their commute browsing your range on their mobile device while commuting then complete the purchase on their home PC. Under Universal Analytics, reporting will show three sessions with one conversion, meaning you don’t have the complete picture of their purchase journey. Google Analytics 4 has been developed to help you put together the pieces of that journey into something more cohesive. You’ll get a much better understanding of how users discover your brand, where they window shop and where they convert, so you can invest your marketing budget accordingly. Faster Reporting! Ultimately, Universal Analytics is built on decade old data processing. This leads to the dreaded ‘loading’ message you see when trying to look through your reports. So the larger your traffic is, the longer it takes to load.

Seasonal SEO: How to Capitalise on Seasonal Customer Behaviour Changes!
Seasonal SEO: How to Capitalise on Seasonal Customer Behaviour Changes!

Seasonal SEO: How to Capitalise on Seasonal Customer Behaviour Changes!   Every business is affected by seasonality, whether due to the weather, celebrations, or even a global pandemic! When we think of seasonality, we immediately think of peak seasons such as Christmas, Black Friday, and Mother's Day, but there is actually far more to it. Seasonality can be expected in any business and therefore digital marketing strategies need to account for these trends and changes in buyer behaviour. In this article, I'll explain why seasonality is essential for SEO, and show you how to identify changes in seasonal behaviour.   What Does Seasonal SEO Mean? Seasonal content drives most search traffic during certain times of the year. Therefore, seasonal SEO aims to engage users based on their behaviour and drive conversions during specific periods.  There are two types of seasonal SEO strategies: Event-based: This includes events such as Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Mother’s Day, etc Time-based: This includes Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter or specific trending months. By creating content for seasonal events, you will be able to reach new customers and boost conversions. To be effective, you should focus on products or services that are seasonally dependent, like Christmas gifts or ski clothing.  However, specific seasonal events are not the only cause of search behaviour and sales spikes. For example, there are certain times of the year when shoppers are more likely to search for brightly coloured clothes. Perhaps, certain activities become more frequent, like beach season, hiking season or wedding season.  Throughout this article, I'll cover how you can plan the content for a time-based strategy and what to do with the data.   Tip: If you're interested in event-based strategies, you may find our article on how to launch a successful holiday campaign helpful.   Why Is Seasonal Data Important for SEO Strategy?   By collecting seasonal data, your SEO strategy will be more effective. It will help you align your content and plan a strategy to meet your customers' needs. Additionally, it helps generate more qualified leads and increase conversions based on user intent.   The main benefits of including seasonal content in your business are:  Answer your customer’s specific needs - By providing relevant content to consumers when they're shopping, will boost your seasonal sales. Higher conversions - Optimising content for seasonal products will enhance your long-term SEO strategy since user intent is specific and immediate. Increase brand awareness - By ranking your seasonal products/services well, customers will remember your brand even if they don't purchase initially.   Identifying Holiday and Seasonal Behaviour Changes I've found  a few powerful resources that you can use to help you identify seasonal trends in your industry and your specific business, including: Google Trends  Google Trends helps you understand what audiences are searching for and what they are interested in real-time. Google trends can be used to analyse customer behaviour and determine fluctuations in popularity. The example below shows the search trend for “party dresses” in the UK in

6 Easy-To-Use Tools To Define Your Target Audience for SEO
6 Easy-To-Use Tools To Define Your Target Audience for SEO

6 Easy-To-Use Tools To Define Your Target Audience for SEO We recently published a post on ‘Tips for Creating a B2B SEO Content Strategy: Key Questions to Answer.’. One of those all-important, key questions was ‘who is your target audience?’ In order to maximise the effectiveness of any SEO strategy, it is essential to understand who your target customers are. Pinpointing who your future potential clients or customers are, allows you to :  Provide greater insights into your overall SEO strategy  Helps to increase organic conversion Creates relevant content and a tone of voice for your specific market Helps to build more insightful keyphrase research Helps create linking opportunities in certain niches Defining your target audience is one of the most important steps in the future success of your business as it enables you to identify your potential (and existing) customers. Not only that, it allows you to drive website traffic from the type of customers that are more likely to convert. After all, the most successful SEO strategies understand who their audience is...   What is a Target Audience? Simplistically, your target audience is the people searching for a business like yours. Those wanting to visit your site who want, need to use or buy your service or product. These are the people whose interests align with yours and those that have a problem, your product or service could solve.   What Factors Help To Determine Your Target Audience? When defining your target audience, there are different data sets you can analyse to draw information: Gender Age  Location ( this can help inform your marketing strategy) Marital status Education level (this can help set your brand’s tone of voice) Occupation information  Income (can help determine the level of investment) Interests (helps you to understand what matters to them) Lifestyle  Consumer habits Understanding the areas listed above can enhance our overall SEO strategy. For example, you can research link opportunities within your audience location or determine content topics based on your audience’s age, gender and interests and lifestyle. There are a number of tools that can help us pull insights into the demographics above, let's start by using Google Analytics. 1: Using Google Analytics To Help Define Your Target Audience For any website analytics data, Google Analytics (GA) is your first go-to tool. By digging a bit deeper into GA you can pull some great customer insights into the type of person visiting your site, their interests, demographics and location.  Remember though these are people already visiting your website. Age and Gender Insights Once logged in, firstly ensure you have a sufficient date range selected (a year or more should do it) and select the correct property and segment. Click on the following: > Audience > Demographic > Overview This allows us to see a summary of the users that have visited the website, As you can see the majority of the traffic (39.1%) here has come from 25-34 years olds and 53.7% of the traffic is from a female

What is SEO? How To Optimise Your Website For Google
What is SEO? How To Optimise Your Website For Google

Introduction to SEO - How To Optimise Your Website For Google Did you know that 53% of all trackable website traffic comes from organic search (BrightEdge)? However, according to AHREFs, 90.63% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google. So despite the potential of organic search, many of us still haven’t captured more than double our current traffic levels. Is that because we, as marketers and webmasters, still aren’t sure what SEO is? Or are we just unsure how to optimise our websites for Google? What Is SEO? SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. So, SEO is the process of improving the quality and quantity of a website to get more organic visitors from search engines. Focus has moved from keywords to the user, their consumer journey and solving their problems. The key to success is to create the right content, for the right user, at the right time, to help them resolve their current problems. Are SEO And SEM The Same? No. SEO is a type of SEM, but SEM is not SEO. Let’s make that more straightforward. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, which includes any and all marketing done using a search engine. So this will involve organic and paid search efforts. SEO on the other hand stands for Search Engine Optimization, which includes only organic marketing efforts for search engines. So this does not include any paid ads. So although SEO is a type of Search Engine Marketing, the two are slightly different. What Does SEO Involve? SEO involves three core pillars, which work together to help you to increase your ranking in search engines. Technical SEO Solving technical issues that prevent crawling/indexing and ranking in search engines On-page SEO Creating compelling, accurate and engaging content Offpage SEO Building brand awareness and authority through backlinks and digital PR It is important to remember that these three aspects are equally important for your overall SEO efforts and none will work in isolation. That means that to improve your SEO, thus your ranking in search engines, you will need to work on all three areas. To do that, you will need to understand what each one is and what it will involve. What Is Technical SEO? Technical SEO is all about optimizing the technical aspects of your website. All the work you do here is foundational, paving the way for your on-page and off-page optimizations too. That’s because technical SEO work aims to help Google to discover your content quicker and more efficiently so that it can understand it and recognise that users will have a seamless experience with your content too. So, to understand technical SEO fully and what areas you need to work on, you need to understand how search engines such as Google work. How Google Search Works? Google works in 3 steps: Crawling Google uses a robot, called Googlebot, to discover content from all over the internet. This is known as crawling. The way that Googlebot crawls a website is by

What is Technical SEO And How Can You Improve It?
What is Technical SEO And How Can You Improve It?

What is Technical SEO And How Can You Improve It? Google uses over 200 factors to judge and rank web pages according to SEO research, and around 20% of these factors are based on your website’s technical health. So working on improving your technical SEO is important. But what does that mean these days? And what are the most important tech SEO factors? What is Technical SEO? Technical SEO is a type of search engine optimization that is all about improving the infrastructure of your website. As the name suggests, it involves optimising the aspects of your website that affect its technical health, from page speed to URL structure.  The aim of these optimizations is to help search engines to crawl, index, and ultimately rank your content while also providing a better user experience to searchers. So, to really understand how to work on your technical SEO, you need to understand how search engines work.  How Search Engines Work Search engines, like Google, need to discover all of the pages on the internet, understand the content on them, and decide which ones best match each search query made by its users. For context, there are 5.6 billion searches made every day, so Google needs to be efficient, accurate, and fast.  To do this, search engines work in three steps: Crawling  Google sends robots, called Googlebots, to discover all the pages on a website. Googlebot does this by starting from the homepage and following all of the links until it runs out of time. Indexing Once Googlebot has collected all the web pages that it can find, it takes a snapshot of them and returns to Google, where the content is processed, understood, and stored in an index next to other related pages. Ranking When someone makes a search, Google will look through its index to find the most relevant pages. It will then rank these results by relevance using complex algorithms. Technical SEO is about making this 3-step process as efficient and slick as possible to give your content the best opportunity to rank.  How To Improve Your Site’s Technical SEO When it comes to working on your site’s technical SEO, you need to consider how you can make it easy for Googlebot to access your site, find all the content, understand all of the content, and know when to rank it. This involves optimising several aspects of your website, including: Site architecture URL structure Robots.txt XML sitemaps Structured data 301/302 redirects Canonical tags Hreflangs Noindex / Nofollow Structured Data PageSpeed optimization Site Architecture Tip: Use a Flat, Organised Site Structure Site architecture is how your web pages are structured and linked in relation to one another. This can include internal links, category structure, menu navigation, and more.  Generally, there are two main types of site structure, only one of which is more effective for SEO and users.    Deep site structure: the majority of pages are multiple clicks from the home page, resulting in them receiving less PageRank Flat

Tips for Creating a B2B SEO Content Strategy: Key Questions to Answer
Tips for Creating a B2B SEO Content Strategy: Key Questions to Answer

I recently shared an #SEOthread on Semrush's Twitter account, and have included a few SEO tips to help B2B companies through their content strategy journeys.  Here is the long story in case you want to read more about B2B SEO content strategy, and the questions to answer while creating yours! What is B2B SEO? B2B SEO refers to a digital marketing strategy that helps B2B websites rank higher in search engines. A good B2B SEO strategy increases the website's rankings and organic search engine traffic. It places a business's website in front of potential clients actively searching for the products or services. In B2B, the SEO strategies usually focus on keywords that top decision-makers search for. This situation sometimes makes it difficult for marketers to identify their target keywords and the content strategy.  B2B is the same as B2C regarding Google's ranking factors and SEO best practices. However, both are different in practice. B2B SEO may target low volume keywords, look for publishing content for decision-makers, and use keywords with high CPCs. B2C SEO, on the other hand, targets keywords with low CPCs, targets high volume keywords most of the time and publishes content for an audience broader than B2B. Therefore it is sometimes easier to create the content strategy considering the user journey.  Setting up an effective B2B SEO and content strategy may be challenging, and does require well-calculated steps to stand out from the competition. For an effective content strategy, you should first consider building a decision-maker persona, choosing the funnel keywords for the bottom and then the top, optimising your product page, creating a valuable blog, and ensuring you build your backlinks for the website.  Why should your B2B content strategy succeed? The importance of having a B2B content strategy for every business cannot be overemphasised. Content marketing has been proven over the years to work for companies. Traditional marketing methods have started losing their attention as more people have found more effective and cost-efficient ways to market. This means that with less investment, you can increase your leads.  Your search results depend on the amount of time you need to put into content marketing. In other words, how much time you put into content marketing can be determined by reading the web pages that are ranked high for your target keywords in the best effective way. No doubt that that is a time-consuming task, but the resulting overtime is worth the hard work.   B2B content strategy is vital because of its high ROI. Modern-day buyers are much more inclined to check out products/companies online before they purchase online or offline. Knowing your buyers, and tailoring your content to them is the soul of B2B content strategy, whatever your product or service is.  Once you start your content journey, you should also make sure your content strategy is successful and brings value to your business. Thus, it’s also important to define your goals and success metrics before you analyse your performance as you continue to work

Autonomy: An Essential Part of Professional Development
Autonomy: An Essential Part of Professional Development

Over the course of my career, ‘training’ has been varied. There’s been on-the-job training, and learning directly from a more qualified colleague. Then there has been the occasional conference (which in many cases, involved swapping passes with a co-worker part way through the day so we could take turns attending). There’s also been group training, both internally and externally. Much of this training was valuable, but what I didn’t have was the freedom of choice. A choice to decide what I’d like to learn and how. Continued learning has always been important to me, but much of what I have learned since starting in SEO has been prescribed by current client needs, agency growth plans, or specific requirements to be promoted into a more senior role. This has seen me:  trawling through endless pages of Google Tag Manager documentation shouting across the room at a General Assembly public speaking workshop and listening to videos about creating a great user experience whilst cooking my dinner. I was happy to do all of these things, but none of them made me happy. Then I joined Re:signal and understood that the reason was that I’d never been given autonomy over my career training choices before. What is autonomy? In regards to training, autonomy is “the ability to make your own decisions without being controlled by anyone else”. Freeing, right? It's why I was so excited to earn a certificate in counselling skills that I did right before I joined Re:signal. Why is autonomy important? There are three key factors to build an intrinsically motivated team, according to Drive author Daniel Pink. "Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials." Autonomy is one of these three factors, where people “are trusted and encouraged to take ownership of their own work and skill development.” This was an entirely new concept for me as I’d previously been following overly prescriptive personal development plans, and reluctantly accepting invites for 2-hour long training sessions with SEO tool providers. I realised that I was simply being shaped into the employee that a company wanted me to be, rather than the employee I wanted me to be. How we do things at Re:signal During my first year at Re:signal (as Head of SEO) I asked to do a course with SheCodes, and it got approved almost instantly.  For the first time in my career, I found that I could choose to dedicate time developing the skills where I wanted to improve, or ones which would have a longer career benefit. Because I knew we were doing something great with autonomy in training, when I became Managing Director I was keen to solidify this as a core benefit across the team. I worked alongside our Head of HR & Talent, Elizabeth Rowe, who has been fundamental in establishing this training budget and rolling it out at pace. We can now

2022 update: winners & losers in travel SEO
2022 update: winners & losers in travel SEO

We've just updated our travel SEO report, based on Sistrix organic visibility data in order to show the latest trends from Jan 2022, and look back at progress over the last 12 months. We launched the report in March 2021, and during that time the trends show packages and travel guides have seen slowest growth / biggest declines. Whilst transport, hotels + flights are increasing in visibility. Overall leaders:  Tripadvisor.co.uk have maintained a clear lead in organic visibility, despite a dip which has recently started to recover. Expedia have seen the biggest drop in organic visibility (58%), which takes them from 3rd to 5th overall. Tripadvisor.com, Trivago and Travelsupermarket all drop out of the top 10. Replaced by Hotels.com, Skyscanner and British Airways. Biggest winners: Hotels.com have grown by 52% and are the biggest winners (based on visibility points increased over the last 12 months). Transport sites (TFL and National Rail) have performed well, which possibly indicates a reflection with increased search demand on 2021 vs 2020. Equally flights have seen a big increase (EasyJet and British Airways both increasing their visibility). Within packages, it's interesting to see a comeback for the relaunched Thomas Cook, alongside increases for TUI, LoveHolidays and IHG (hotel group). Biggest losers:  Expedia have seen a significant drop in organic visibility (58%) over the last 12 months. Tripadvisor despite retaining a strong position as market leaders, have seen the 2nd biggest drop when you combine their .co.uk and .com domains. This appears to be a trend across price comparison OTAs, with Trivago, Booking.com, Lastminute.com, Kayak, and On the Beach struggling too. It also wasn't a great year for content sites / guides, with Lonely Planet seeing a large drop, as did Culture Trip and TripSavvy. Key categories: Within specific categories, you can see the progress vs closer competitors for each brand. Flights: you can see Skyscanner and British Airways have started to pull away from the rest of the pack a little: Hotels: you can see Hotels.com have performed very well, whilst Trivago have struggled. IHG have gained visibility recently: Packages: the whole category has struggled to grow.Booking.com have dropped but retain their position as clear market leaders. Expedia have the biggest drop, which has seen LastMinute.com overtake them and TUI close the gap. Luxury: interesting Kuoni who have always been very dominant in this category have significantly dropped in organic visibility. Audley and Trailfinders have closed that gap now, in what could be an important year for luxury seeing there are many predictions of people going / spending big in 2022: You can see more on the full report here.  

How to Create an SEO Data-Driven Content Strategy
How to Create an SEO Data-Driven Content Strategy

How To Create an SEO Data-Driven Content Strategy Content strategy is a hugely important part of the SEO process. Quite often it’s not given the level of attention it deserves, but done right it can be a significant driver of organic revenue and customer acquisition. To create an SEO data-driven content strategy that works, we need to understand what good content looks like. To do that we need to look at data and conduct research. It sounds time-consuming and expensive, which might put many businesses off. But actually, you can create an SEO data-driven content strategy in just 3 steps.  How to create an SEO data-driven content strategy from Kevin Gibbons Thanks to Illiya for help with the presentation slide design. The Value of Content for SEO  When we talk about SEO, we used to work on the principle that creating content was about making it work for Google. That meant content that was littered with keywords, known as keyword stuffing, and didn’t necessarily provide any value to its readers. As long as it was on topic, it ranked.  But now it’s about creating content for people. Content needs to answer questions, provide content, be accurate, and add value. It should still have the essence of keywords, but you can’t just take a keyword and hire a copywriter on the cheap anymore. It’s all about quality – creating quality content that is accurate and adds real value. And that doesn’t come cheap, you need to invest in it. Why Invest in Your Content Creating content needs investment to make an impact. But when it comes to it being part of an SEO strategy, it feels like the content is under-rated and under-invested. It seems like SEOs and marketers are aware of the value of content. If you look at our LinkedIn poll of where people see the best results from their efforts, we can see that 50% of us get the best results from content rather than technical SEO or digital PR. But this isn’t reflected when we think about where our businesses spend their marketing budgets. We need to address this problem of under-investment in content for SEO because the benefits are endless. Even without any extra search traffic, the pay-off of additional content could be significant. Creating content can drive better user metrics, more clicks, and can also support the traffic you drive from your other marketing channels like social media and email. But if you can level up and create high-quality content that provides better information than your competitors and attract better user metrics, the benefits are even greater. Your content will be more likely to outrank your competitors in the SERPs, giving you the potential to gain additional impressions, increased clicks, and ultimately more conversions. That is without considering the benefit your content can have on your other SEO efforts, like generating backlinks. So investing in the right quality of content should pay for itself several times over. But we still see that most of SEO spend

MUM: A Guide to Google’s Algorithm Update
MUM: A Guide to Google’s Algorithm Update

MUM’s the Word: Everything You Wanted to Know About Google’s Algorithm Update  An algorithm update from Google landed in May called MUM, which stands for Multitask Unified Model. Earlier this year, Google announced this update as the latest advancement to their search engine’s capabilities - and so a new chapter of search was opened to us. But, before going on to discuss MUM any further, we have to go back to 2017 and discuss Google’s machine learning journey, to understand the latest search algorithm update in its full context. Transformer, Google’s Machine Learning Model MUM, like other language AI models which are a part of Google’s AI ecosystem, was constructed on a neural network architecture. This neural network architecture was invented by Google themselves and then later made open-source, which they call Transformer.  One of the most prominent capabilities that the Transformer architecture has demonstrated is that it can produce a model which has been trained to recognise multiple words that make up a sentence or paragraph, and understand how those words relate to one another. Another way to understand this is that it can recognise the semantic significance of words to one another, and potentially predict what words will come next. This was illustrated in a research paper that Google published entitled “Attention is All You Need”. You can read this paper to learn about the Transformer architecture in more detail. Now, neural networks are at the forefront when approaching language understanding tasks, such as language modelling, machine translation and quick answers.  We can see the presence of this Transformer architecture in language models such as Lamda, which stands for Language Model for Dialogue Applications, and is used for conversational applications, such as chat boxes, as well as Google’s search algorithm update BERT, the predecessor to MUM, released back in October 2018. BERT was announced in an earlier research paper published by Google AI Language, entitled “BERT: Pre-training of Deep Bidirectional Transformers for Language Understanding”. Before MUM There Was BERT BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (no, this wasn’t referring to the cute character from Sesame Street, sorry to disappoint) was a neural networking-based technique, which Google applied to Natural Language Processing, NLP, pre-training. The advent of BERT ushered in their Transformer model and NLP to be a mainstay of Google search moving forward. BERT was able to help Google achieve many advancements in search. One of the key advancements was its ability to better understand the intent behind the language and the context of words in a search query, thus being able to return more relevant search results.  An example of this is if you took the query "math practice books for adults" before BERT was applied, Google would return results for math books for grades 6 and 8. But, with BERT, Google was able to actually understand the context and nuances implied in the sequence of words from the query and return much more accurate results. Now, Google would show a book of math

International SEO Tips for Startups and Small Businesses [Free SEO Roadmap Sheet Included]
International SEO Tips for Startups and Small Businesses [Free SEO Roadmap Sheet Included]

This year, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and carry out one of my 2021 goals, as I had a chance to speak at the International Search Summit Barcelona on 18th November. I was feeling so nervous and my hands were literally shaking when I entered the room. However, thanks to all the attendees who motivated me when I mentioned that it was my first public speaking experience, I had an unforgettable experience... (There is much more to share about my first conference speaking experience but that can be another topic to discuss later :)) First of all, I think a“thank you section” deserves the highestpriority for this post; Thank you all #IntSS attendees for showing up, listening to my talk and also supporting me. I’ve received amazing mentions on my Twitter so far; which actually made me cry… Special thanks to the Webcertain team for giving me this opportunity. It really means a lot as they showed faith in providing new speakers within our industry an opportunity.  Another thank you goes to some amazing people including my gorgeous mum, who came all the way from Turkey to Barcelona, to see me speak for the first time at a conference; and to my whole family, inspiring colleagues and fantastic friends who made this experience unforgettable with their support and motivation.  Quick Summary of my International Search Summit Talk: My conference presentation covered international SEO guidance and recommendations for startups, small businesses and other companies.  I wanted to provide a resource for international SEO strategy purposes, or for companies reconsidering their organic growth strategy using budget-friendly tools and resources. Startup companies can face common challenges due to constant competition and trying to gain their presence in their chosen business niche. Business owners often spend time wondering how they can receive strong investment returns and how to manage these costs over the first few years. Most importantly, they spend time strategizing on how to create awareness on what they do and how they can assist people and achieve their goals.  (more…)

A Step-By-Step Guide To Recovering Organic Traffic After A Drop
A Step-By-Step Guide To Recovering Organic Traffic After A Drop

It can be a concerning discovery for any webmaster or content marketer when they’ve experienced a drop in organic traffic and there seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why. There’s no need to panic, because we’re taking you through a step-by-step guide on what actions to take once you’ve noticed a drop in organic traffic, so you’re able to climb back to the top of those dizzy organic heights once again. Step 1 -  Check Your Google Analytics Tracking Is Working Sometimes it might not be a loss in traffic itself, but actually a reporting issue. This can be due to a problem with the Google Analytics tracking code, any changes made to your website code can potentially create problems for the tracking code, meaning reporting issues can occur. Make sure it correctly installed your tracking code. Go to your Google Analytics and navigate to:  Admin Tracking Info  Tracking Code   Here you can view the status at the top of the page.  Another recommended tool would be to use the Chrome extension Tag Assistant (by Google). Once installed, you’ll see your tracking ID when the extension icon is clicked, provided the Analytics tracking is working correctly.   Step 2 - Check If A Manual Penalty Has Been Issued The second step is to discover whether the website has received a manual penalty from Google. A manual penalty is when an actual person (most likely somebody from the Google Quality team) has reviewed your site and issued a penalty manually themselves. This can happen for of a number of reasons and it can either be issued across the website as a whole i.e site-wide, or partial i.e. affecting just some pages. There are tools available to help you understand whether one has been issued. Start by checking your Google Search Console and navigate to: Security & Manual Actions Manual Actions If there is no manual action issued, ‘no issues detected’ will be displayed. If a manual penalty has been issued, whether partial or site-wide, then it will appear in this section of your Search Console. Read carefully as to why the penalty has been given and create a strategy to recover. Solve these reasons and then request Google to review the site again via Google Search Console. Step 3 - Check If It’s Due To A Google Algorithm Update Next we need to discover whether the website has dropped due to a Google algorithm update. If you receive a traffic drop from a Google update it doesn't necessarily mean a penalty has been issued.  With an algorithmic ‘penalty’ there is no manual checking from Google involved and because of this, a request for review can not be issued. A loss of traffic following an algorithm update or algorithmic penalty is received for doing anything that would violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Google uses clever filters to automatically detect if a website violates their guidelines. The most well-known and most common violations are around the Panda update (hitting

Things you can do today to kick-start your Digital PR
Things you can do today to kick-start your Digital PR

Digital PR can be defined in a number of different ways. Some of the commonalities amongst definitions is that the practice uses strategies from the following other practices: SEO, PR, link building, content marketing, advertising and journalism. For simplicity’s sake let’s say:  Digital PR is the creation of content in order to earn high-quality, relevant, inbound backlinks to increase the SEO ranking of a brand, product or website. Digital PR is mainly done to earn backlinks from high-authority websites. The thinking goes, more high-quality links equals more ‘link juice’ to the site, to help it rank better on SERPs. But Digital PR can do even more than that. It can positively contribute to other important aspects such as: Brand awareness Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines like Expertise - Authority - Trust (EAT) Personal brand amplification Reputation management   We believe that Digital PR should be a long-term strategy; however, Digital PR can also play a major role in supporting other SEO projects. Digital PR can come in handy to give your SEO projects a boost with some fresh backlinks from relevant domains pointing to a new product page, for example.  Here are some things you can do today to kick start your Digital PR and start working toward those goals you’ve set. Know the state of your backlinks Everyone has to start somewhere and it’s best to know now what you’re facing. You’ve got to know what you’re dealing with, and this will also make measuring results later easier if you can clearly see where you started.  The very first thing you need to do is to pull a backlink report for your domain. There are many tools out there that do this, and most offer a free trial of some sort. You want to pull a report of historical referring domains for the site. Format your spreadsheet to sort the domains by authority and start looking at the best and worst referring domains in the spreadsheet. Have you noticed any trends? Perhaps your best backlinks are from some top-tier media coverage, or maybe there are high-authority websites pointing to your domain. What types of content seem to earn the biggest backlinks?  Now scroll to the bottom of the list and see what the lower-quality links look like. Are they spammy? Indicators of low-quality links are typically things like links from sites in countries where your brand doesn’t have a market, links with questionable anchor text that don’t relate to your brand, and links to pages or sites that contain a large number of backlinks. You may want to consider disavowing them, but remember Google prefers a natural backlink profile, so a perfect-looking bunch of backlinks might look suspicious. You’ll have to decide what is natural for your brand; however a good rule of thumb is if the backlink is relevant to your brand it’s probably best to keep it. Identify some quick wins It’s also a good idea to check for unlinked brand mentions and start an outreach list of

Re:signal at BrightonSEO – September 2021
Re:signal at BrightonSEO – September 2021

September 2021. The month that we finally made a return to in-person conferences. It was strange, beautiful, tiring and welcome. After doing it all online over the last 18 months, a two-day stint at BrightonSEO was diving in straight in the deep end. Around half of our team members made it down to BrightonSEO for the September 2021 conference, with the other half due to watch the online edition instead later this month. What was our experience like? I decided to ask the BrightonSEO first-timers in our team for their thoughts on the event; here’s what they had to say: Oliver Wells, SEO Project Manager: “As a first time attendee at BrightonSEO I was blown away by both the experience and the knowledge on offer. Each talk was unique and insightful; I left with an even greater passion for search marketing and will 100% be back for 2022!” Matilde Pinheiro de Melo, Senior SEO Analyst: “Excellent experience at BrightonSEO -  I’ve had the pleasure to attend super-interesting talks from the SEO experts. As a newbie, it was amazing to meet people (in-person!!) from the search industry and discuss many topics. ” Yagmur Simsek, Senior SEO Analyst: “I left every session with new ideas and even insightful resources that could support me in my future projects and definitely be used in practice. The diversity of topics and speakers also motivated me to pitch for the next BrightonSEO event. It was a great pleasure to finally attend an in-person event after a long break, to exchange ideas with the participants and to meet with inspiring digital minds from the industry.”   -- For those of us who had been before, it was still a new experience doing the event over the two-day format instead of the single-day event. And as a serial BrightonSEO speaker, it was a rare experience for me to actually just attend for a (welcome) change, being able to learn and socialise without the impending dread of getting on stage. What did we learn? The content was strong and varied as usual, with multiple topic tracks spread over the course of two days. There was everything from content strategy through to team wellbeing, meaning that talks were educational and inspirational; the perfect mix for the first in-person event after the worst of the global pandemic.   We’ve gone ahead and curated a list of other blog posts that have covered some of the sessions and takeaways in more depth. You’re welcome! BrightonSEO - Capsule’s 10 Key Takeaways 112 takeaways from BrightonSEO by Receptional Modo25 at BrightonSEO 15 Content, PR And Link-Building Takeaways From Brighton SEO by Koozai 10 Things We Took Away from BrightonSEO as Traditional PRs by SourcePR Who did we meet? After working with my colleagues online for so many months, it was almost hard to believe that some of us had never met in person before. It was great to finally sit down around a table together and eat lunch, and to chat about our hobbies, stories

A Strategic Approach to Internal Linking for SEO
A Strategic Approach to Internal Linking for SEO

Internal linking is a core activity when it comes to optimising a website - getting it right can be the difference between showing on the first page of Google and not having your content indexed at all.  That example, albeit a little extreme, could be a very real scenario, yet it’s more likely that a poor internal linking strategy will neglect your most important pages and prioritise content that doesn’t meet your business objectives.  Taking a strategic approach to internal linking first requires you to have the desired outcome, such as increasing the visibility of a set of product category pages for the purpose of increasing revenue from organic search.  Disclaimer: internal linking is only one part of a successful SEO strategy, getting this right doesn’t guarantee success in the SERPs but it sure will help.  What is an internal linking strategy? Internal links are present on pretty much every website. An internal link refers to a link from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain, such as a page in the top navigation of the website. When it comes to building a website, the power of internal linking for user experience and SEO often gets forgotten about. An internal linking strategy is a logical structure that builds connections between the pages on your website and prioritises your most important content. This helps pass authority between pages on your website, establishes connections between on-site content, and may improve organic rankings for these pages. This is why it’s well worth considering a strategy to ensure your internal link structure meets the objectives of your website.  After auditing your internal link structure, you may realise that you don’t actually have to change much, this is unlikely but it does happen.  Why are internal links important? They’re important for two reasons, user experience and improving organic performance. Here is a breakdown of how internal linking impacts each of these factors: Internal links improve organic performance A well-considered internal link structure will often have a positive impact on organic performance or, at least, will provide SEOs with an opportunity to increase the chance of  their most important pages ranking.  This happens because of internal links: Provide a clear site structure to search engines  Allow for new content to be crawled and discovered Pass link equity around the site Add additional context to the target pages with anchor text As you can see, there are a few ways that internal links can improve the organic performance of your site. Ultimately, your internal linking strategy tells Google which pages are related, how to navigate them and which pages are most valuable. It’s not just about adding as many internal links as possible, though. You need to be strategic with your internal linking process. Consider linking to, and from, the pages that are most valuable for you in terms of SEO, and try to only link between pages that are related. Quality internal link structure improves user experience Internal linking strategy

Top Holiday SEO Tips: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas [Free Checklist Included]
Top Holiday SEO Tips: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas [Free Checklist Included]

Well, “holiday” planning is a never-ending story to me and it’s not a surprise that I picked this topic for my autumn SEO article too 😉 Inspiring marketing campaigns, during holiday seasons, from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to Christmas, are the favourite times for brands and companies, as there is always an opportunity for businesses to boost their sales and reach a bigger audience. During these special sale seasons, they offer alluring discounts on their products and services, aimed at drawing more customers to their businesses.  To get the best results, there are some best practices and strategies to adopt to gain organic search engine visibility. With the right digital marketing tools and the best possible approach, you can give your business or your client’s website the traffic boost that you have been aiming for. You can increase the conversions by presenting the best campaign content to meet the needs of your potential customers. Google has previously recommended that you: “can help Google highlight your sales events by providing landing pages with relevant content and high-quality images”.  To discuss those tips from Google and more in detail, I have compiled a list of the most recommended SEO practices for holiday-related campaigns and summarized it in this free “Holiday SEO Checklist template”, to make it handy! Creating the Landing Page Before the Season Starts Creating the campaign page before your Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas sales give Google bots some time to discover and index your campaign pages. This will eventually help you rank higher in organic results. While doing this, it’s also important to check the page speed as well as the mobile-friendliness of the page. If you’re planning to run SEO efforts for your holiday campaigns, for this year and the following seasons, make sure you create unique and dedicated campaign landing pages for each holiday season, which will be maintained live on your website throughout the year. If you already have one for any of them, use that page and optimize the content according to new products, offers, recommendations, quick links to the most popular pages and gift collections, especially targeting Christmas etc. Include content that you would want to keep throughout the year and include a relevant, high-quality image with an up-to-date representation of your sale. Give visitors a reason to come back when your offer starts.  Check out the example from the Black Friday & Cyber Monday landing page of FatFace below: Source: Fatface John Lewis  also has a dedicated Black Friday campaign page including updated information, tips, explanations and existing content:   Source: John Lewis ASOS also includes links to the most popular product and category pages from their Black Friday page:   Source: ASOS Keyword Research  Good keyword research is essential in optimising any of your campaign sales pages. Analyse your campaigns from previous years and figure out which of them got the highest traffic and conversions. Build your new campaign by combining the existing keywords from those years and new opportunities.

The Best Practices of SEO Colour Variations for eCommerce Site
The Best Practices of SEO Colour Variations for eCommerce Site

URLs colour variations are crucial topics that should be decided before setting up the website's structure. While defining a good user experience is essential, you should also keep SEO best practices in mind. Primarily due to the fact most eCommerce sites have millions of product pages. In this article, we’ll discuss the best practices of SEO colour variations for eCommerce sites. If you are thinking of changing your website structure or if you want to confirm if you're using the proper method, we'll help you to find out!  Before going into the post, it is vital to understand precisely what URL parameters are and how we should use them. Here is an overview of the following article:  What are URLs parameters? The most common use cases SEO issues with URL parameters SEO solutions with pros & cons How to decide which SEO tactics to implement?  The Best SEO Practices for Color Variations What are URLs parameters? URL parameters (or “query strings”) are pieces of information inserted at the end of URLs. They are commonly used to help filter or sort content on a page (e.g. colours, size or popularity of the products) and make it easier to navigate in an eCommerce store.  The query strings allow users to order a page according to specific filters and find a particular element. (e.g. “size 6 UK” or “blue dresses”).  Additionally, they can track information on your website and determine where traffic comes from. By monitoring the user’s click, you can determine whether they come from a social media campaign, newsletters or ad campaigns.  The URL query parameters can be identified with a question mark (?), and then they are made of a key and a value, separated by an equal sign (=). A common mistake is to insert multiple values in the same key. If you want to use various parameters, they should be separated by an ampersand (&). This is an example of how URL parameters look like: Source: Search Engine Journal To learn further about URL parameters, we found this guide SEO-Friendly URL Structures and Parameters helpful.  The most common use cases for parameters There are two types of query strings. The first is when you want to modify content and the second is when you want to track something. The most use cases for parameters are:  Reordering – used for ordering products according to specific filters such as the lowest price, high rated product or newest products. e.g. sort=lowest-price, order=highest-rated or sort=new-arrivals Filtering – used to filter for different values, for a specific colour or a specific price range. e.g. type=widget, colour=blue or price-range=20-50   Identifying – used to sort pages by type, category or size.  e.g. product=small-blue-widget or categoryid=124  Paginating – used to divide content into pages for online stores to avoid infinite scrolling. e.g. page=2 or viewItems=10-30 Here is an example of a pagination parameter after going to the second page of a category of items on Etsy:     Searching – used to find something on

How to Optimise Your Website for Core Web Vitals: LCP, FID & CLS
How to Optimise Your Website for Core Web Vitals: LCP, FID & CLS

We've recently released a blog post on how to report on Core Web Vitals using the CrUX dashboard in Data Studio. Within that post, we discuss how the CrUX dashboard is an essential tool to use, due to the availability of field data and historical data over the past months to report and monitor your progress to keep in line with Google’s page experience update.  However, that’s only half the story. Now that you have the right tools to provide you with the most accurate data on your site’s Core Web Vital performance, you now need to know how to optimise your website to fall in line with Google’s standards, achieve a positive score and provide a better page experience for your users.  To do so, it is important to establish straight away that the actions that you will need to carry out will require a developer or development team, depending on the size of your website. Since you will need to alter CSS stylesheets, JavaScript script files and other elements pertaining to the programming of a website, You will require the expertise of a developer who knows how to write code and make the changes recommended in this blog post. It is also worth pointing out the tools necessary to identify Core Web Vital elements on a web page, before you can actually start the optimisation process. The two most useful tools available are PageSpeed Insights and Chrome DevTools. These platforms are a must-have in your task to improve your Core Web Vitals scores. They are both free, easily accessible and are designed to diagnose Core Web Vital behaviour on a web page.   Now that we know which tools to use to diagnose Core Web Vital issues, we can begin our recommendations to optimise for Core Web Vitals. Let’s start by discussing the first Web Vital, Largest Contentful Paint. Largest Contentful Paint There are different elements that can be considered as the largest contentful paint on a web page, An image, such as the hero or background image H1 tag A block of text However, typically the LCP is the image visible in the viewport.  As mentioned above, we can identify the LCP on a page by using either PageSpeed Insights or Chrome DevTools. To discover what the LCP is using PageSpeed Insights, simply enter the URL of the web page into the address bar.     Once the analysis loads you can scroll down, where you will find a drop-down menu entitled “Largest Contentful Paint element.” Select the drop-down menu. You will be shown the largest contentful paint element on that web page. In the example below, it is a featured image.     Here are the most common reasons behind a poor LCP score: Slow server response time Render blocking JavasScript and CSS Slow resource load time To start our discourse on how to optimise your site for Largest Contentful Paint, let’s begin with the first common reason, a slow server response time. Slow Server Response Time

SEO For Amazon – How To Rank Your Products Higher On Amazon
SEO For Amazon – How To Rank Your Products Higher On Amazon

Since the creation of Amazon in 1994, there’s been no denying the retail dominance they have played in the retail market. With over 63% of all retail searches beginning on Amazon in 2021, nobody can dispute the power the retail giant has within the online market. So, if you’re selling a product on Amazon, how do you get visibility for your product? It’s easy to assume that SEO is just for Google and other search engines but there are many Amazon SEO tactics you can adopt to ensure your product is optimised and therefore lists higher up the Amazon rankings. Failure to do this right or at all will result in less traffic and fewer sales. To start taking you through how to effectively optimise your Amazon listing, let’s start by looking at the algorithm Amazon use: Amazon’s Algorithm The algorithm Amazon uses is called A9, and unlike Google, pretty much every search that’s completed has one sole purpose, transactional. This ultimately makes Amazon’s job simpler than Google’s as there is only ever one intent behind the search. This also means that Amazon places much more of a focus on key phrases, which Google has evolved to focus on less and less. The A9 algorithm is based on just 2 main aspects: Relevancy Performance By ensuring you are optimising your listing based on these 2 factors, you’ll end up converting more users. These 2 factors will be addressed in more detail later. There has been speculation that Amazon is now using their A10 algorithm but nothing has been officially announced - just watch this space! Keyphrase Research Let’s start by deciding how to complete key phrase research on Amazon, as keywords are such a strong focus for Amazon, it’s important that the keyphrase research is done right. Let's take an example of a skateboard retailer. bring up an excel document and type in phrases you feel are relevant to you, like: Skateboard Skateboard for boys Skateboard Decks Skateboard Bearings Complete Skateboards Use Amazon search bar for further suggestions. Here we can see 10 variations.   Note down these variations and then type in your product followed by each letter of the alphabet e.g .    This will provide you with ideas for longer-tail keyphrases. Then keep inputting until your struggle to find any more variations. Then once this is complete. Use the listings themselves to uncover further ideas:   E.g seasonland skateboard, skateboard maple wood, 31 x 8 inch skateboard. Therefore the result showed that including specific materials and sizes are also worth targeting, Once you have your list of key phrases tools such as ahref’s keyword explorer will help you determine Amazon’s monthly search volume for these phrases Once you have analysed Amazon to help form your keyphrase research, next use Google’s results, type in ‘skateboard’ into Google and then analyse what the top results are ranking for using ahrefs or semrush: Now you should have a thorough list of keyphrases and have an idea of the phrases you

Ecommerce SEO Report 2021 – July 2021 core algorithm update
Ecommerce SEO Report 2021 – July 2021 core algorithm update

We have updated our eCommerce SEO report to see how the 250 UK retailers’ visibility has changed and which brands have been impacted the most. Have a look at our interactive table showing the 52-week data (July 2020 - July 2021) based on SISTRIX Visibility index.  The brands that gained the most in organic visibility are amazon.co.uk, etsy.com, argos.co.uk, aliexpress.com, gumtree.com, halfords.com, boohoo.com, marksandspencer.com, screwfix.com and target.com:   Brands that dropped in visibility last month are amazon.com, ebay.com, debenhams.com, ebay.co.uk, game.co.uk, wayfair.co.uk, matalan.co.uk, hm.com and wickes.co.uk.   Changes to highlight: Fashion category: next.co.uk and asos.com are worth a special mention: while one brand is dropping in visibility, the competitor is immediately picking up: evesleep.cp.uk (category Home / Mattresses)  shows outstanding results in search visibility, while their competitors experiencing the decrease or still line: notonthehighstreet.com (Gifts category) showing great recovery following the July Google Core Update: See more insights for each category in the interactive table here. Learn more about retail trends and forecasts from our interview with Paul Martin, Head of UK Retail at KPMG.

Announcing Re:signal’s new senior leadership team
Announcing Re:signal’s new senior leadership team

We've got some exciting news to share! Our senior leadership team is now fully formed, meaning we have some promotions and strategic changes to announce... Kevin Gibbons remains CEO and Founder, setting the company vision Hannah Butcher has been promoted to Managing Director, implementing the company vision Elizabeth Rowe moves into a full-time role as Talent and Human Resources Manager, focusing on talent attraction and employee experience Khushal Khan will look after the SEO product and team as our Head of Strategy Rachel Dexter has been promoted to Head of Operations, with a focus on client experience We’ve been quietly working away, and have experienced fast growth over the last 6 months in particular, and have a clear plan on how we fully intend to keep this going. One important lesson I’ve learned over the years is you can go fast alone, or you can go further together. It’s also a case of what got us here, won’t get us there - we need to be ready for the next stage of our journey, and with such a strong team in place, I couldn’t be more confident about what the future holds. They’re brilliant individually, and even better collectively. I’ve always said what makes me most proud in our work, isn’t necessarily the obvious highlights of big client or award wins, but it’s seeing people improve and grow with us throughout the team. We're excited for this next chapter at Re:signal, with much more yet to come - watch this space!

How to measure Core Web Vitals in Google Data Studio with CrUX
How to measure Core Web Vitals in Google Data Studio with CrUX

The Core Web Vitals update is upon us and it is worth taking a look at how we as SEOs can be best prepared for their impact. Not only should we be fully aware of what it is but also what tools are available to us to report accurately and infer meaningful insights to recommend to our clients for a better user experience.     In order to do so, one of the most beneficial tools is the Chrome User Experience report, or more casually known as CrUX for short. CrUX is a public dataset collected from over four million websites, by Google, from actual real user experiences, known as field data. Field data is considered more reliable and a better representation of your site’s performance in contrast to lab data.   The data is stored in BigQuery, Google’s online data storage warehouse and can be retrieved using SQL queries.  Not only does the CrUX dataset report on the three Core Web Vitals, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), but also on diagnostic metrics such as the First Contentful Paint (FCP) and Time to First Byte (TTFB), as well as user demographic dimensions like device distribution and connectivity distribution. Image credit: web.dev    This public data set of real user experiences can be accessed through tools that you might already be familiar with, such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights which uses both field data and lab data to report on Core Web Vitals at both an origin and individual page level, for the most recent aggregation of 28 days.  You can also connect to the CrUX dataset through BigQuery itself, giving you access to the raw data that is stored online and create your own custom reports. This however would require an understanding of SQL, which not all SEOs have. Finally, there is the CrUX dashboard, which you may not be as aware of, which is a dashboard visualised in Google Data Studio. While both Google PageSpeed Insights and BigQuery have their advantages for reporting on Core Web Vitals, the CrUX dashboard stands out from the rest for a range of benefits including its ease of set up, use. the clarity in which it presents the breakdown of data and the inclusion of additional diagnostic metrics as well as user demographics.  But, most importantly, the historical data it possesses month over month allows for us to track and determine how our data is trending, and the impact of our SEO recommendations. It’s for these reasons the CrUX dashboard should be an indispensable asset to every SEOs toolkit and a welcomed addition to your client reporting.  Here is a breakdown of the CrUX dashboard and some of the benefits it provides. Core Web Vitals Explained Before going any further, it is worthwhile briefly defining the metrics that can be reported on in the CrUX dashboard. These include most importantly the Core Web Vitals, but there are also other diagnostic metrics, which will be touched upon, as well as

The Importance of Information Architecture for SEO | IA Checklist
The Importance of Information Architecture for SEO | IA Checklist

Outline: What is Information Architecture? Why is IA Important for SEO? IA Checklist for Your Website Determining the information architecture of a website is a hugely important process when designing and optimising the structure of a website. Making a website structure SEO-friendly in order to grow organically is a significant part of the preparation process. It should be well-organised in a way that facilitates both user navigation and accessibility to search engines. When there is a well-structured, logical and user-oriented information architecture, you’re likely to present the information you want in the best possible way for both users and web crawlers. On the contrary, if it is ambiguous and poorly organised, it can cause a significant loss in organic ranking positions in the SERPs (search engine results pages) whilst creating a bad user experience for your website, as well as other missed opportunities. IA (Information Architecture) spans a very wide area of discussion but in this post, we’re going to give a short explanation of Information Architecture, its importance for SEO and a checklist, where we’ve provided useful tips and considerations to bear in mind whilst working on a website’s IA strategy. This checklist has been helping us out and reminding us of even the most basic considerations, that some website owners ignore as they focus on other website details.  So, let’s start with answering the very first question: What is Information Architecture? Information Architecture (IA) is the process of labeling and structuring websites in order to ensure optimal usability and availability, in environments and platforms that offer information sharing. It can also be defined as concept information models designed to be used in complex information systems. In terms of user experience, the information architecture aims to make information available, understood and managed by the users in the most effective way possible.  Why is IA Important for SEO? A good site structure means a great user experience: You’ve spent your time choosing the colors, fonts, font appearance, background and images to make up your website and come up with a strong and logical site structure that satisfies users and guides them through their journey on your website. The same logic exists for search engines too. What makes your site attractive to users and satisfies them, has the same effect for search engines too. We all know that search engines' algorithms use information from searchers to rank your site. This means, if your website has poor CTR (click-through rates), high bounce rates and long load times, your pages may not perform well in search results, as an ideal site structure should ensure long browsing times and a user to navigate seamlessly through pages. A good site structure offers good sitelinks to your site: Sitelinks are a big advantage for SEO (see our Re:signal example below). It increases the navigability of your site, directs users to the most relevant information, increases your brand's reputation and user trust, helps you dominate the SERPs, increases the CTR and accelerates the conversion process. Google states

10 tried and tested Google Chrome extensions for SEO
10 tried and tested Google Chrome extensions for SEO

Google Chrome has fast evolved into a favorite browser for the masses after eating up the majority of Internet Explorer market share in 2012 and since then it has seen a consistent increase in its Browser Market Share Worldwide with as much as 64% of users using it across all platforms (tablets and smartphones included) as the leading browser of choice. This makes it a popular browser among SEO’s who have a vast variety of SEO tools/extensions and plugins that help them do SEO more efficiently and effectively. Here are some of the tried and tested Google Chrome extensions for SEO that we would highly recommend using: Keywords Everywhere - Keyword Tool Formerly a FREE tool now only $10 for 100,000 searches (to be used within a calendar year), this keyword research extension for Google Chrome is one of the most popular choices among all new and experienced SEO professionals. My favorite attributes from this tool are that it shows you quick search volumes & Google Trends data for every keyword you search across Google and displays the same information in 15 other popular websites including Youtube, Google Search Console, Amazon, etc. The Source of Search Volumes is Google Keyword Planner. It also helps to identify search volume for a Bulk list of Keywords, with an output of data displayed for the region of your choice. You can choose regions prior to a search, which currently includes Global, UK, US, AU, CA, NZ which are noteworthy. Images Credit: Keywords Everywhere Download Keywords Everywhere - Keyword Tool for Google Chrome and read the comprehensive overview of what this extension offers in the overview section.   Detailed SEO Extension This all-in-one SEO extension for Google Chrome provides SEO-related insights at the click of a button for any website that you're currently on. This includes: Displaying title tag, meta description, meta robots tag, canonical, etc Headings - including all H1, H2, H3, etc and links to Robots.txt and Sitemaps.xml Ability to Download All Images Ability to Download All links Some great shortcuts in the Quick Links tab to external tools/platforms for insights Images Credit: Detailed Download Detailed SEO Extension for Google Chrome and read the comprehensive overview of what this extension offers in the overview section.   Robots Exclusion Checker This extension is particularly useful as it helps visually indicate in RED whether any robot exclusions are preventing the page you’re on from being crawled or indexed by Search Engines. The extension has 5 key reports as per its download page including robots.txt check, meta robots check, x-robots-tag check which comes with URL alerts and also gives canonical warnings and HTTP header info, etc. Download Robots Exclusion Checker for Google Chrome and read the comprehensive overview of what this extension offers in the overview section.   SEO Minion SEO Minion is hands down one of my favorite Google Chrome extension for SEO as it not only helps you with daily SEO tasks like carrying out an on-page SEO analysis, checking the page for

Neurodiversity in SEO: How inclusive is your workplace?
Neurodiversity in SEO: How inclusive is your workplace?

Have you ever experienced a time where you felt like you didn’t fit in? Take a few seconds, and think about that moment. Now, imagine that moment happened every -- single -- day of your life. That is how life sometimes feels to me, and that is because I am autistic. When I board a train, I see “normal” people sitting down in carriages - you know - what you’re supposed to do on a high-speed rail line. You would be very unlikely to find me there. Instead, I’ll be avoiding the Brompton cyclist with their fresh pearls of sweat dripping slowly to the carriage floor. I’ll be avoiding the person who has decided that the commute is a good time to cut their fingernails. I’ll be avoiding -- well, pretty much everyone. If I had a pound coin for every time I was told “there are plenty of seats left in the carriage, love” by a genial train conductor, I would be a very rich woman. A very rich woman, hiding in the vestibule area between carriage D and carriage E. OK, so we diverged onto a whole other topic there. But my example about trains actually helps me to explain a few things. As I mentioned, I’m autistic. As in, I am a person on the autism spectrum. We’ll cover more of this later, but when it comes to trains - I find the sounds, smells, lights and social contact - all pretty triggering. Sometimes, when I am wistfully looking at a lovely comfortable seat in a carriage, from outside the doorway that opens and shuts on its own accord throughout the journey, I wonder why I couldn’t just be “normal”. Why is it that all these passengers are happy to sit with the sweaty Brompton cyclist or the dreaded nail clipper? But then, I remember - it isn’t just me. Being autistic, I fall into a group of people who identify as being neurodiverse. ACAS explains that “Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information. It highlights that people naturally think about things differently. Those who are neurodiverse may have different interests and motivations, and are naturally better at some things and poorer at others.” Let’s get back on the train for a moment. Most people on that train are what I’d describe as “neurotypical”, meaning that their brains function and process information in the way society expects. Yet one in seven (or over 15%) of people in the UK are neurodivergent. So that’s one in seven passengers on the train that learn and process information differently. They may be autistic, like me. Or they may have had an ADHD, Dyslexia or Dyspraxia diagnosis - or, a combination

Introducing Travel SEO (UK) Report 2021
Introducing Travel SEO (UK) Report 2021

We’re very excited to launch our travel SEO (UK) 2021 report today. This has been a big project for us where we’ve put together: Trends and outlook of the travel sector in 2021, with insights from KPMG's Associate Partner, Global Head of Leisure & Hospitality, Will Hawkley. In-house expert SEO views on the impact of Covid-19 - with a big thank you to Hannah Butcher (Re:signal), Sarah Wilhelmi (lastminute Group), Carys Kirkpatrick (Corinthia Hotels), Peter Myers (Avis Budget Group), Tahir Liaqat (APH), Felix Welckenbach (HomeToGo), Colin Carter (Weather2Travel.com) and Rob Kingdom (TravelSupermarket.com) for their contributions. Organic visibility winners/losers - using Sistrix’s organic visibility score we have analysed and categorised the top 200 travel domains in 11 categories to show the market trends.  I’m sure you’ll find lots of very interesting trends and insights here - take your time watching, listening and reading through the report.  Here is a catch-up of our launch webinar with Steve Paine (Sistrix), Hannah Butcher (Re:signal), Tahir Liaqat (APH), Felix Welckenbach (HomeToGo), Colin Carter (Weather2Travel.com) and Rob Kingdom (TravelSupermarket.com). https://youtu.be/aMClliAPQZA

KPMG: UK travel sector trends 2021
KPMG: UK travel sector trends 2021

Undoubtedly, 2020 has been a tough and unprecedented year for the travel industry. In order to assess the impact and find out what is likely to happen later this year, I spoke with Will Hawkley (Associate Partner, Global Head of Leisure & Hospitality at KPMG), recorded in March 2021. https://vimeo.com/526043741 The key findings were: Government has launched a hospitality rollout plan alongside the progress of vaccines that gives some optimism to people. In Europe, the situation is still worrying, there are no allowances expected at least until the autumn. Pubs and restaurants clearly struggled, and it will be interesting to see how government support continues - furlough, CBILS, delay on HMRC payments and rent memorandums allowed the business to survive in 2020 and the plan for many is to still re-open. But some challenges were not resolved (e.g. rent and HMRC), but just postponed.  Airlines had a terrible time, in Asia and China it is coming back, in the USA it is more domestic flights which are running currently.  Airways and tour operators should think about high flexibility around capacity changes built in their model - since the routes might be opened and closed down within 48 hours.  People are reluctant to get on a plane - they are conscious of social distance during the flight and personal safety. Staycation - people might be booking the holidays in the UK, but still thinking about travelling abroad, and if the situation allows them to do - most of the UK based plans are likely to be cancelled. Therefore, tour operators should consider the cancellation aspect. People are basically double-booking the holidays - once the air corridors are open, people will definitely consider going abroad (Greece, Turkey, Cyprus etc). We expect a phased approach back to travel normality; Summer = UK domestic travel, which is largely booked already. End of summer = European travel. Possibly in June-July, but not expected before.   Early 2022 = long haul, it seems unlikely this will return until next year.  2022 = Business travel - will it ever come back? 20-35% of businesses are not expecting this to come back at all because they changed their behavior.  People will want to return to in-person conferences, because of the conference networking experience that cannot be fulfilled online. Demand for socialising offline is an evergreen trend.  Vaccine passports or applications are likely to be rolled out - the EU is considering this option. The vaccination process and its speed will determine the type of travel on the travel market and the types of travellers. Different countries will have different limitations and quarantine rules (for instance, if you need to quarantine for 11 days or is it just when you come back home) - these aspects will influence the travel routes. Flexibility and refund policies offered to the customers are key points to retain the trust and attract new customers. There is a tendency to roll over the holiday bookings for 2021 or 2022. Pricing is not likely to rise

Launch of “It’s a good start” podcast
Launch of “It’s a good start” podcast

We are excited to announce that our podcast “It’s a good start” is live! Mike Lander, Chairman at Re:signal and CEO at Piscari and Kevin Gibbons, CEO at Re:signal recorded 6 episodes for the first season of the podcast.  Learn from Kevin and Mike who share their experiences in entrepreneurship, running digital agencies / consultancies and looking at the buyer side perspective, so that you can take what’s useful and get off to a good start yourself. The episodes include: Episode 1 - How did the Big 4 Consulting Firms become so big and successful Episode 2 - Build an organic growth engine Episode 3 - Engaging procurement Episode 4 - Personal branding Episode 5 - Negotiation techniques (Part 1) Episode 6 - Negotiation techniques (Part 2) Find us on the platforms: Listen on Apple Podcasts  Listen on Google Podcast  Listed on Spotify Watch us on Youtube Your feedback and questions are appreciated!

Ecommerce SEO – Google core algorithm update impact
Ecommerce SEO – Google core algorithm update impact

This month, Google has released the December 2020 Core Update.  Following this, we have updated our eCommerce SEO report to see how the 250 UK retailers’ visibility has changed and which brands have been impacted the most. Have a look at our interactive table showing the 52-week data (Dec 2019 - Dec 2020) based on SISTRIX Visibility index. Check how the core update influenced the other industries here. Winners: The brands who gained the most in organic visibility were eBay (both .co.uk and .com), Apple, Etsy, Currys, Smyths Toys, Next, John Lewis, Superdrug and SportsDirect: Losers: The brands who lost the most visibility were Amazon (.co.uk and .com), gumtree.com, argos.co.uk, asos.com, very.co.uk and others. One to flag: I’m always more impressed looking beyond the spikes and towards those who are achieving slow and steady continual growth. For that reason I think Boots and Tesco are worth a special mention too: And at the risk of blowing our own trumpet a little, it’s great to see ASICS have the biggest YoY raw growth in the sports category! Overall conclusion:  We’ll be keeping an eye on this, as we’re not sure it’s finished just yet. Amazon has lost the biggest visibility, however, they have gained a lot post-covid, so this is now being balanced back out somewhat.  Learn more about retail trends and forecasts from our interview with Paul Martin, Head of UK Retail at KPMG.

How will lockdown affect Christmas shopping in 2020?
How will lockdown affect Christmas shopping in 2020?

As England enters the second week of the autumn Covid-19 lockdown, our thoughts have turned to the potential impact on the busy retail period leading up to Christmas. Before the start of the latest lockdown measures last week, some shoppers were seen rushing to retail outlets before the shutters came down, and it remains to be seen what in-store shopping will be able to take place in December. Right now, it’s unclear whether the current restrictions will end as suggested on December 2nd, or they will be extended. Regardless, it is likely that Christmas shopping in 2020 will be significantly different from previous years. We’ve taken a look at historic trends and recent studies to get a greater insight into what might happen this year, and key dates in the Christmas shopping calendar. Read on to find out more… Christmas sales before ‘unprecedented times’ Every year since 2016, Christmas sales in the UK have been valued at around £78 billion (via Statista), so there is serious money to be made by retailers who provide the right products and experience in the lead up to the festive period. The big difference this year will be where the money is spent: online or in store. In previous years we’ve had the freedom of choice; this year will be more prescriptive. For example: If lockdown is extended, people will only be able to visit physical stores classed as “essential” such as supermarkets (and discount retailers like B&M and Home Bargains). In terms of Christmas gifts, that’s a lot of Tesco Ho-ho-homewares and Aldi Specialbuys. If lockdown ends on December 2nd, there will be a combination of nervousness from some people to visit stores in-person, but also a great demand from those who struggle to shop online. We could also expect to see: Black Friday (November 27th) will largely be online this year, and will be a key event for many Christmas shoppers. Shipping delays may occur in December as the postal system and courier network become overwhelmed with seasonal demand. Product shortages may be seen in non-essential items (e.g. savoury snacks, festive cheeses, longer-life baked goods) as households stock up early before shorter trading hours over the Christmas period. It’s a generational thing Above, we mentioned that shops could see a greater demand after lockdown ends, and this becomes clear why when you start reflecting on relevant data sets. At the end of October, YouGov asked 3,424 adults about their thoughts on cash payments. 44% of people aged 18-24 believe that shops should be allowed to decline cash payments for the duration of the pandemic, versus just 25% of those over the age of 65. And those over age 50 are pretty adamant that shops should not be able to decline cash payments, with 64% of respondents in this age bracket stating this. With such strong opinions on the use of cash instead of card or other contactless technologies, it would be fair to suggest that in-store experiences are still important to certain

SEO landscape: everything’s changed, but nothing’s changed…
SEO landscape: everything’s changed, but nothing’s changed…

I'm very proud to have contributed to the SEO chapter of Understanding Digital Marketing by Damian Ryan - and now that the book is published I wanted to share with you. The landscape of SEO The one thing you can always be certain of in SEO is that the only constant is change! Ever since Google launched in 1998, they have kept us on our toes. They shook up the search engine landscape very quickly with their PageRank-based algorithm, which ranks pages in their search engine results based upon their link authority. This development significantly increased the relevancy of search results. As a result, Google quickly started to build its market share to become people’s search engine of choice.  Fast forward 22 years, and they’ve clearly cemented that position. As of January 2020, they have an 87.35% global market share (Statista 2020) and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. Everything’s changed... The whole landscape has become much more sophisticated, competitive and commercialised. Google’s algorithm has evolved beyond all recognition, to the point where updates are now largely machine learning based and on average there is close to an algorithm update per day. Added to which, personalisation and localisation (with regards to specific user behaviours and preferences) are now hugely prevalent.  The software tools on the market are more effective than they’ve ever been, as are the search engines' own tools, in the form of Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. We live in a world where there’s hourly communication and open dialogue between Google and SEOs, with more transparency around Google’s own roadmap of where they are looking to take things.  The depth of expertise required is immense, and SEO is no longer a single job role. It includes everything from technical site structure, page speed performance and UX, through to content strategy, on-page optimisation, link acquisition, reporting/analytics and much more. … but nothing’s changed! While the tactics will always change, the fundamentals remain the same.  SEO isn’t just about following best practices, it’s about identifying and responding to changes in the search landscape. And it’s not a highly regulated industry, so there isn’t a unified approach. It’s often about trial and error; setting up controlled experiments to test, measure and learn what works for you. And what works for one site in one niche, may not always be the answer for another. Context is key. That said, the fundamentals haven’t changed much at all. When I started practicing SEO in 2003, the goal was to make brands accessible to search engines and to help potential customers find them online. That mission hasn’t changed and it’s the driving force behind everything we do. Start with the end in mind In order to invest in SEO, you need to have clear expectations on the value that is likely to drive for you. Otherwise why should you prioritise this over other channels? The two most common phrases in SEO are “it depends” and “it’s a long-term investment”, and

15 best business & marketing books giveaway
15 best business & marketing books giveaway

To get into the Christmas spirit for this year, we are once again running a marketing and business books giveaway. We have revamped our list for 2020 with a whole host of new, informative books! You can find them all listed below. The only problem is, there are so many great marketing and business books out there, it's impossible to read them all! With that in mind, we've taken the best recommendations from our team and peers and built a list of essential books for marketers: Lost & Founder by Rand Fishkin - Hard-won lessons that are applicable to any kind of business environment. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller - Bestseller that delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life - work, personal, family, and spiritual. Understanding Digital Marketing by Damian Ryan - The book provides a practical, no-nonsense guide to digital marketing, from strategy and digital transformation to best-practice basics and trends.  Mastering in-house SEO by BlueArray - In this ground-breaking book, Blue Array have compiled contributions from 26 leading in-house search engine optimisation (SEO) experts on topics ranging from successful case studies, getting things done when you have no formal authority, career advice, community building, and many more. Good strategy, bad strategy by Richard Rumelt - Drawing on examples of the good and the bad from across all sectors and all ages, he shows how this insight can be cultivated with a wide variety of tools that lead to better thinking and better strategy, a strategy that cuts through the hype and gets results. Trillion-dollar coach by Eric Smidt & co - Based on interviews with over eighty people who knew and loved Bill Campbell, Trillion Dollar Coach explains the Coach's principles and illustrates them with stories from the many great people and companies with which he worked. Atomic Habits by James Clear - A supremely practical and useful book James Clear distils the most fundamental information about habit formation, so you can accomplish more by focusing on less. Be More Human by Caspar Craven - Drawing on his 30-plus years of experience in building and leading teams to set, tackle and achieve Big Bold Goals, Caspar Craven has rewritten the rule book on how to build thriving high-performance teams. Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success by Matthew Syed   Alchemy by Rory Sutherland -In the book, the author blends cutting-edge behavioural science, jaw-dropping stories and a touch of branding magic, on his mission to turn us all into idea alchemists. The big problems we face every day, whether as an individual or in society, could very well be solved by letting go of logic and embracing the irrational. This Is Marketing by Seth Godin -This book shows you how to do work you're proud of, whether you're a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation. Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker -A neuroscientist shows how a good nights

Subscribe to our weekly SEO newsletter
Subscribe to our weekly SEO newsletter

During lockdown we've been curating the best articles and discussions each week on all things SEO. This is for our in-house SEO Slack community, which has been very well received - so we've decided to make this public for everyone. To sign-up for our weekly SEO round-up newsletter please enter your details below:

Ross Hudgens (Siege Media) – top of funnel content marketing
Ross Hudgens (Siege Media) – top of funnel content marketing

Last week I had a great virtual conversation with Ross Hudgens, founder/CEO of Siege Media, to discuss content marketing approaches in order to drive organic growth: https://www.youtube.com/embed/_fn7hkvZy0Q Intro: 2:10 Approach to identify top of funnel content opportunities: 3:49 Venn diagram of making content marketing work: 5:52 Combination of SEO perspective and what would attract links: 8:43 "Campaign spike" vs evergreen content: 10:34 When to have digital PR, media outreach approach: 14:19 Potential differences between UK and the US market: 17:18Collaboration with in-house PR teams: 21:00 Metrics to value content marketing activity in terms of business metrics: 27:54 How to scale and build upon your content marketing: 32:50 Agency growth / wrap-up: 37:32

SEO strategy – how to get organic search results that really matter
SEO strategy – how to get organic search results that really matter

Last week I spoke with Christian Möllerström (Partner at Precis Digital) on the topic of how to create an SEO strategy to take your organic performance to the next level. https://youtu.be/_MeMB_sNynk SEO strategy - how to get organic search results that really matter from Re:signal on Vimeo. This has covered: Why do I need strategic SEO? When do I know I'll need it, and how do I quantify that?Real world examples of how and when a strategic SEO plan was created.Trial and error approach to continually learn and improve.3 key components of organic growth. Hope you enjoy!

Introducing our eCommerce SEO (UK) Report 2020
Introducing our eCommerce SEO (UK) Report 2020

We’re very excited to launch our eCommerce SEO (UK) 2020 report today. This has been a big project for us over the summer, where we’ve put together: Trends of the retail sector in 2020 and outlook for 2021 and beyond, with insights from KPMG’s Head of UK Retail, Paul Martin on the. Expert SEO views on the impact of Covid 19, plus how you should be adapting your strategies - with a big thank you to Dewi Nawasari, Luis Navarrete Gomez, Julian Pettit, David Williams, Alina Ghost, Omi Sido, Orit Mutznik, Samantha Chilcott, Federico Rebeschini and Juan Daniel Mínguez for their contributions. Organic visibility winners/losers - using Sistrix’s organic visibility score we have analysed and categorised the top 250 retail domains to show the market trends.  I’m sure you’ll find lots of very interesting trends and insights here, so please grab a cup of tea and take your time watching, listening and reading through the report.  Here is a catch-up of our launch webinar with Steve Paine (Sistrix), Alina Ghost (Amara) and Dewi Nawasari (The Sole Supplier). https://vimeo.com/465747513

KPMG: UK retail sector trends 2020 & forecast 2021
KPMG: UK retail sector trends 2020 & forecast 2021

Last week, Paul Martin, Head of UK Retail at KPMG kindly joined myself for a video interview to talk about the trends of the retail sector in 2020, what’s to come in 2021 and where we should be focusing our attention/efforts in order to be successful.  Trends of 2020: It’s a fluid situation. We experienced the first instances from a health perspective from January, and of course, from a global perspective, things are changing country by country since.  Retail in the UK is a £395bn industry. The store shutdown during March and April had a large negative impact on retailers.  In April/May we expected a 5-6% overall annual decline in annual sales. After a more buoyant Summer (June, July and August) even though we still expect a decline, the performance was much better than expected and we now believe the annual outlook is more likely to be 1% drop.  Heading into the final golden quarter, this is so important for performance. Especially with furlough unwinding, we have lived in a protected bubble for a certain amount of time and we’ll expect to see a negative financial impact from the end of October.  Retail can’t just be looked at in its entirety.  If you look at the food category or home, they have faired very well. 42% of all food pre-covid was consumed out of home, large parts of that economy have come to a significant standstill. More consumers are now eating at home, so the grocery sector in some cases have seen double-digit increases.  Furniture, Home-wear, DIY (specifically over the summer) have also seen positive uplift.  On the flip side, some categories have experienced a more challenging environment - specifically Menswear, womenswear, kids wear, accessories, beauty part of health and beauty category. April, May, July in some cases saw 80% declines, which has stabilised in recent months.  Some will still feel the impact into 2021, with many non-essential categories not expected to fully recover until the end of 2021 to early 2022. Re:signal view: this reflects what we’ve been seeing in our ecommerce SEO report, with the biggest winners including Amazon, Argos, Ebay, Wayfair, Etsy, ASOS, Next, Boots, Game, Wickes. Where an increase in demand will have positively impacted organic visibility. Whereas some of the non-essential categories and brands have dropped in performance.  Consumer behaviours: Many people have more disposable income, certainly without commuting, spending money on food-to-items / eating out, travel. Therefore over the last 3 months would have spent more in the retail sector. But with unemployment rising, will that come to the end? Foundation of consumer commerce, in more developed markets like China the way forward is an integrated ecosystem, irrelevant of which channel you are interacting with (physical / online).  Covid pandemic has increased the need to think less in silos and multichannel vs an omni-channel / single customer view. E-commerce is often the number one biggest store, but it’s not a total replacement for the offline world. The Hybrid is key for many retailers, which

Rand Fishkin: Where you spend your money matters
Rand Fishkin: Where you spend your money matters

This morning I had a video discussion with Rand Fishkin, who was keen to show what he's been up to with Sparktoro and how this can be useful for marketers to be smarter with their targeting. We discussed a number of topics, all of which are available to watch in the video recording below. However, the thing that struck me most from this conversation was Rand's clear purpose on doing the right thing - with a clear social conscious on where the profits from the corporations are re-distributed to. There's a disillusionment with Google and Facebook, who have become too powerful. They hold too much control in terms of where ad dollars are spent, how much traffic/revenue they provide, and the reliance on this for brands means that they have a huge amount of control, that if they turn it all off businesses could hugely suffer, if not disappear, overnight. If you're market leader, brute force media buying wins. If you're the plucky underdog, you simply have to be smarter with your approach, otherwise the biggest budgets win. There's many ways you can do that, which Rand shows: Find the publishers who have the most influence within your target audience - this is where you can be smarter with your advertising, rather than having the scattergun approach, be laser focused. I liked the hidden gems list too, which shows some of the sites you may not have thought of. Equally, this is where being a content creator can be very powerful. Why just have the ad, when you could have the whole article. Surely that's going to attract more meaningful attention? Of course you have to create this is in a meaningful way for their audience to value and engage with. Find the influencers in your space - these are the people you should be engaging with. If you can help them, they can help you. I've always quite liked the concept of finding who influences the influencers. So don't always go for the big hitters, they can be harder to reach. Maybe start with the lower tiers and work your way up. Find podcasts you can appear on - as a medium, podcasting is clearly hugely popular. Knowing which are the top podcasts in your space can help to leverage audiences, and equally can help to find guests if you have your own audience. Rand shared that he says yes to all podcast requests, even if it has a small audience that can grow. He also explained how one podcast host found advertising, by using the tool to identify his audience and finding the companies they like. Invest in your own personal brand - Rand is a perfect example of this, he started again with SparkToro with a brand audience of zero. But brought with him a hugely influential personal profile in the form of the relationships he has, specifically within LinkedIn and Twitter to be able to promote content. It's always important to remember that people trust people,

What is the brand impact on SEO performance?
What is the brand impact on SEO performance?

For a long time, I think it’s been clear that brand is an important signal in what Google values for ranking websites.  But what does ‘brand’ mean in an SEO context?  In the early days of Google, PageRank (named after Larry Page - also sounds much better than BrinRank) was introduced to rank sites based upon the quality and quantity of inbound links to a specific page and domain. Of course, it’s become much more sophisticated since, and there are now other factors that are thrown into the mix. Let’s forget about Google for a minute, though. What would you consider to be the factor of a strong online brand? High search volume in branded queries, including product lines / names etc High direct traffic, because people know who you are and go straight there Strong link reputation from authoritative sources Featured in popular / relevant publications (brand mentions or any type of link) Building an online audience via content marketing that people subscribe to Popular social media followings/engagement  Mix of traffic sources, paid, organic, social, direct, referral etc… Reviews of the brand (Google, TrustPilot etc) I believe the key thing here is that it has to be holistic. You might not need all of these, but you certainly need a mix. Just having a strong link reputation, but nothing else, isn’t likely to be enough to build yourself into a position where you deserve to rank.  The one I keep coming back to that ties it together is brand popularity, specifically measured by branded search.  The more I look into this, I really think brand reputation is a key consideration brands should be paying more attention to, in terms of driving real organic growth as a holistic approach.  Yet, this is often overlooked – probably because it feels out of our control, above our pay grade or possibly outside of our best interests. Retail: Supermarkets I’ve chosen supermarkets as they are among the biggest TV advertising spenders in the UK. Here’s a look at their organic performance for the leading brands: There’s quite clearly a strong correlation here between organic visibility and brand popularity, more so than links (which are all much closer together) and content (where more doesn’t necessarily mean better): Please note: this Google Trends view only works if it’s all on a single report, as results are relative to the comparison queries. In a real-world situation, you would look to build out a deeper analysis on a wider range of brand term variations.  It also makes sense that organic visibility would be stronger because this is built up of both branded and non-branded organic search terms. So if you have a stronger brand, you’re already off to a stronger start.  Finance: Product-led SEO You can apply this to a number of different sectors, for example, Pascal Moyon recently analysed organic market share for insurance at a product level: If you were to look at this purely on a page-level basis, as opposed to the category-level/long-tail queries

Why you need a strategy-first approach to SEO
Why you need a strategy-first approach to SEO

If you don’t know where you’re going, don’t complain about where you end up. This is something a mentor of mine has told me a few times. It’s a lesson that applies equally to business, life and SEO.  Let’s set the scene. We’ve all been there. That client meeting where you’ve done a great job; showed them you’ve fixed 983 issues, gained rankings for 102 keywords, secured 52 links etc. All to get asked “so what”?   It’s disheartening. What went wrong? Why didn’t they get it?  It’s not you, it’s me... If they don’t understand the importance of what you’re doing in a way that relates to their business. That’s your problem to fix. In a recent podcast episode, David C Baker said that SEO is the least sophisticated part of the marketing world. Having been involved in SEO since 2003, I’d like to strongly disagree. I think we’ve come along in terms of growing up as an industry, but equally, if I’m honest, I get where he’s coming from. When you analyse other channels like paid search/advertising or conversion optimisation, you’re paying money for an investment in growth. That’s exactly how it should be in SEO, but I fear that often people get distracted by SEO KPIs (or ‘I’s as I prefer to call them; they’re indicators you’re on track but often they’re not ‘key’).  SEO is an investment in business growth. Especially in a tough financial climate, but it should be the same strategy whatever the wider context. That means providing a measurable uplift in organic revenue and profits that can be tied back to your efforts. Sometimes SEO can lose sight of that. I wrote an article a few years ago on how short-termism is killing marketing. When you’re making a business decision how often do you question what will be the consequences of your decision five or ten years down the road? I suspect if we’re honest with ourselves, the majority would confess they don’t think about the long-term impact nearly enough. I see this every day in SEO. People want one advanced SEO tip / silver bullet or a creative campaign which can cause excitement. But often what they want and need are two different things. The next hit and spike is exciting but is that taking you closer towards the long-term objective, or are you resetting each time and you’re back to where you started? In a similar way to building habits, you shouldn’t just be doing one and then moving onto the next, you should be ‘habit stacking’ to build up collectively over time. This is how it should look from an SEO or content marketing perspective: Image from this excellent post on Marketing Insider Group. The best case studies in my career have been ‘slow and steady wins the race’, strategies where growth is gradually compounding over time.  The big spikes can be exciting on a monthly basis but they have to turn into something more meaningful in the long term.

5 Steps to help you identify the cause of visibility loss
5 Steps to help you identify the cause of visibility loss

I was recently asked to speak at the SMX London conference on ‘Identifying Core Algorithm Impact and Key Actions to Recover From Its Search Visibility Loss’. My presentation got me thinking about the myriad potential causes for a drop in organic visibility and the juxtaposition between two constants; the ever-changing landscape of SEO and the basic principles behind how we identify and address the reasons for poor SEO performance.  At Re:signal, whenever we’re approached by clients with an organic visibility drop, we follow the same process, irrespective of the industry the client works in or the product/service they offer. Even if we have a strong suspicion about what the issue may be (core algorithm update, lost links, technical SEO issues, etc.), we go through this process to ensure that our efforts are addressing the issue at its root cause. In essence, it’s a process of elimination, analysing the available data to confirm what’s not an issue, before we embark on a strategy to address the real problem.   How do you identify the cause behind an SEO visibility drop? In order to comprehensively diagnose and respond to a drop in organic visibility, I've broken down our process into a ‘Five-Step Problem-Solving Cycle’: This problem-solving model is fairly common. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how it can be used to address the issue of visibility loss in an SEO context.  The five steps are: Identify exactly what the problem is. Determine the root causes of the problem. Find the most appropriate and speedy solution, classified by overall impact and value. Implement the changes Re-examine / Re-evaluate and continuously improve. So let’s get going with Step 1. Whatever you think the problem may be, the first step is defining what it actually is!   Step 1: Identify the problem The first step in solving the problem is acknowledging there is one.  While there are a whole host of problems that can arise as a consequence of a poorly conceived SEO strategy, this article will focus on organic visibility loss, an issue that sits at the heart of everything we do.  As such, let’s look at the most common indicators: Organic traffic/conversions going down and impressions/clicks/click-thru rate showing similar trends While further investigation to establish context and causes is worthwhile, you should at least have answers to these questions: Is the size of the drop an anomaly? Is the decline consistent? How does the traffic/clicks over a similar duration, pre- and post-drop, compare? As a business, you should be aware of your core, money-driving landing pages. It’s important to evaluate their pre- and post-drop performance. Whether you suspect the drop is a result of internal technical issues or a change outside of the business, you should benchmark your traffic/revenue for pre-drop and post-drop dates. You can then compare it to similar timeframes to ensure the drop is not part of a seasonal change or a wider trend. Make sure that you factor in enough data i.e. not just a 2-3 days comparison.

How to enhance your Digital PR outreach with expert quotes
How to enhance your Digital PR outreach with expert quotes

My colleagues will tell you that I’m often bleating on about the importance of supplying expert comment and quotes, it’s something I’ve become increasingly passionate about during my time as a Digital PR, mainly because I think it works! With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to share all of my thoughts and tips in one place. Adding an expert comment is important for the majority of Digital PR campaigns, they increase your chances of success from the start or they can really help save a flagging campaign; adding them into pitches that have been struggling has helped colleagues and myself land links on top-tier publications such as Stylist, Express.co.uk and even the New York Post. So, in this article, I’ll be sharing insights into why quotes matter, who to approach for the best-possible quotes/expert comment and the best way to reach out to them. Why do quotes matter? I can’t stress the importance of providing quotes in your pitches enough, particularly data-led campaigns and those that are more visual. There are two key reasons why they’re considered to be so vital: they save time and they lend authority to a pitch/story. Time I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: journalists are time-poor. When I worked as an Online Showbiz Reporter, we had to publish a minimum of eight stories per shift. However, it wasn’t just writing eight stories, it was: Finding five images to go with the story Editing holding images for the website and socials on photoshop Scheduling the tweets and Facebook posts to promote the story Having stories checked by legal if they were contentious Looking for any interesting stories on social media Contacting sources for quotes and clarification Monitoring breaking news  Shovelling crisps (the journalist’s go-to lunch) into my gob in between! With so little time available, the dream stories to get on my news list were Instagram/Twitter ‘reaction’ stories – think ‘Celeb posts picture of a baby bump on Instagram’ – or stories with lengthy source quotes. Why? Because that meant that several lines of my 12-line story were already written, ultimately saving me a fair amount of time. As an example, see the riveting story below where a significant chunk of it was written using quotes from Instagram comments. The same time-saving device applies to Digital PR outreach. Using an expert, be it your client or an external expert in a niche area that complements the topic/angle you’re outreaching, can save the writer the time they would have spent digging for their own expert and waiting for quote turnarounds. In your pitches, try to give a few paragraphs for the quote rather than one or two all-encompassing lines, but do make sure your quote adds something to the story and gives clarity. Obviously, the length is dependent upon how many areas of data your pitch is covering, but for a writer, it’s better to have more copy to choose from than too little. Authority Stories, regardless of the sector,

41 SEO quick wins you can do within an hour
41 SEO quick wins you can do within an hour

You’ll struggle to find someone who believes more in the importance of a long-term SEO strategy than myself. Short-term spikes are great in the moment, but any of the results I’m most proud of working on are those which show steady growth against key business goals over a sustained period of time. I’d always advocate a strategy-first approach and I’ve written before about how short-termism is killing marketing, however that doesn’t mean there's no quick wins.  SEO is a long-term investment, and often a leap of faith in what you’re doing now will pay-off further down the line. The key to success is alignment with your business objectives and the prioritisation of actions that are going to take you closer to achieving those goals.  For that reason, it makes sense that you pick off the low hanging fruit early and it’s important to build trust and show meaningful progress that you’re climbing the mountain on the way to more ambitious goals.  The aim should be for short term impact which builds into long term success.  Given the impact of coronavirus, it’s more important than ever to ensure your SEO activity is working for you. I've spoken with a number of marketers recently, who share the view that now is a good time to either apply changes they wanted to for a while, or learn/apply new skills outside of their specialist skillset.  I’ve collated 96 of my own SEO quick wins in the past, but that was 7 years ago and well overdue an update. To lend a helping hand, I leveraged the power of social media crowdsourcing to ask for peoples favourite SEO tips, so that we could share the best ones with you. Without further ado, here they are: Quick wins in SEO in tough times definitely means increasing sales not necessarily traffic. SEO for UX can help to increase conversion rates. For example, adding a sort by price to ecomm navigation and filters can help users sort the price they can currently afford. Halide Ebcinoglu Page 2 poaching - I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve used this strategy, it’s simple but very effective. Take all of your page 2 rankings and improve the on-page optimisation and internal linking to push them over the edge onto page 1 to drive more traffic. Originally found via Dennis Goedegebuure, this is a great post. Kevin Gibbons Segment your data to get a better understanding of organic performance and optimize accordingly. For example, segment search console search analytics query data into brand and generic. For organic traffic in Google Analytics it's possible to compare homepage landings versus all other pages. Alternatively look at how the ratio of new and returning users, is trending over time. Also consider the impact other channels, such as paid search, have on organic traffic levels and review seasonality using Google Trends. These are just examples but the approach can be adapted based on the size of site and maturity of the SEO program. Jonathan

COVID-19 comms: how to navigate Digital PR during a pandemic
COVID-19 comms: how to navigate Digital PR during a pandemic

Digital PR methods have changed drastically over the last few years. ‘Failsafe’ campaign concepts that were once guaranteed to land links on an array of top-tier publications began falling flat last year. Publications increasingly began changing their links to no-follow. And, of course, we’re attempting to navigate tougher times than ever with COVID-19. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s been incredible to see journalists, digital marketers and Digital PRs come together in these uncertain times to help one another. It’s also been great to see the industry evolving and adapting to the changing landscape. I’ll be sharing some of my key insights, as a Digital PR and a former journalist, and observations from the webinars I’ve watched so far.  It’s more important than ever for us to be following best practices, so I’ve listed some of the most important ones below, along with additional things to keep in mind. How to land coverage amid COVID-19: 8 tips I have already noticed that many Digital PRs have been incredible at employing the following techniques and landing coverage for their clients in a relevant manner, rather than finding a way to shoehorn them into the current agenda. 1. Read the news daily The news cycle is changing at a rapid pace, so reading through a range of publications (both ones that you are and aren’t planning to target) is very important. Not only for keeping up with current affairs, but a quick browse through a variety of news sites can also inspire ideas, give you angles to work with and provide a clearer understanding of how the agenda is developing. 2. Embrace Twitter I cannot stress the importance of this enough. While I’m active on Twitter most of the time, I’ve recently spotted opportunities that I never would have seen without the help of Twitter. As always, use the #journorequest hashtag to help you find journalists who could be the perfect fit for a pitch, maintain relationships with journalists (in a non-contrived way) for use in the future, or see if your client can offer reactive comments for a piece. 3. Make your subject lines stand out I’ve said this before in my talk at Cardiff SEO and it’s essential right now. You could have the best pitch for your campaign, but if your subject line is too wordy and flat, your email will go straight into the bin. Make sure you could see your subject line as a headline. By this I mean, if you read your subject line tweeted out as a story headline, would you click on it? If the answer is no, start again. Angelica Malin, Editor in Chief of About Time Magazine, recently suggested prefixing subject lines with the publication name e.g. ‘For About Time Mag: 10 tips for nailing handstands at home’. Additionally, she advises Digital PRs to stop using all-caps in subject lines and pitches, likening it to being shouted at. 4. Get. To. The. Point Journalists are under a lot of pressure

Covid-19: What is the impact of coronavirus to SEO?
Covid-19: What is the impact of coronavirus to SEO?

We ran a Zoom call this morning with 18x senior in-house SEOs, to discuss the impact of coronavirus to digital marketing. I wanted to share the common themes / insights to help everyone. How does the Covid 19 pandemic impact business and what is the knock-on effect? A lot is changing day by day as new information arises, and decisions are being made quickly based on the insights we have. For now the focus for everyone has to be short-term on how to come out as strongly as possible. Hopefully Government grants/loans will help, but companies are needing to make cutbacks - sadly with digital team redundancies already, frozen/reduced spend and up to 50% salary cuts / unpaid leave across teams so that companies will see this out. That said, there is still a demand for specialist talent from those that need it. Intense focus on customer service and reputation management. Some brands are creating coronavirus content hubs, to keep information in one place and easy to answer FAQs / tap into popular search demands. Increased need for digitalisation within teams - and how that impacts short/med/long term SEO plans for the SEO teams. The businesses that manage to survive will be in a much stronger position when it passes – similar to previous digital recessions. Potentially will see more mergers and acquisitions activity as inevitably companies will struggle to stay afloat. How does this impact different sectors? Some sectors are clearly more affected than others: Retail: Store closures are now wide-spread, with a shift in focus from offline to online - right now advertising such as London underground, The Metro newspaper, event or sports team sponsorship isn’t going to be viable, so the focus has to shift to online. Make sure you update your store opening hours for local search listings - Yext have a nice feature which can help with this. Businesses making a push with discounting to try and support sales. Being mindful of buying behaviours moving away from full price items. Also adjusting strategy to take into account the disruption of product production/stock delivery. Expect changes in demand for products – outdoor/communal products dropping but an increase in demand for products that you can use at home. Travel: The whole sector has been badly hit - with cancelations, refunds and no-one booking right now. Focus is on managing customer support / reputation, not acquisition. Often there are issues with individual countries which disrupt countries or even continents, but not the whole world in such a way at once. Domestic market: amended booking rules so they are more flexible, e.g. still offering travel options but with shorter notice cancellation periods. Trying to reassure customers that their booking/event/trip will still be available further down the line - people still want to go on holiday, to events etc - but obviously at the right time. Financial services / property: Demand in insurance/healthcare is understandably high, government announcement will see influx in business loans. Mortgages/property are going to need time

Re:signal wins Best SEO campaign at UK Search Awards
Re:signal wins Best SEO campaign at UK Search Awards

Re:signal team is thrilled to have won Best SEO Campaign with WorldRemit at the UK Search Awards 2019. https://twitter.com/uksearchawards/status/1196921988260016137 The UK Search Awards are highly competitive - the most experienced judges of the industry have set the high standards for the entrants. To be shortlisted or win the award highlights the exceptional efforts and professionalism of the team and aligned work with clients to hit the targets. We’re very proud of the work our team, following our 2x 2019 European Search Awards to take us to the grand total of 16x Search Awards wins! Best SEO campaign in the UK WorldRemit has been a fantastic client of ours for more than 2 years now, and in that time we’ve achieved significant organic growth by means of technical SEO and on-site content production, which is fantastic to be recognised amongst industry peers against such strong competition.  The most important aim for us as an agency is to delight our clients. Which is why it’s so important to receive such strong industry recognition for our work, the aim is always to deliver results, but an award is a very nice icing on the cake to celebrate success with.

Re:signal wins Best Small SEO Agency at European Search Awards
Re:signal wins Best Small SEO Agency at European Search Awards

We’re delighted to have won both Best Small SEO Agency and Best Use of Search in Finance at the European Search Awards last week. The UK and European Search Awards are hugely competitive and to be shortlisted alone is an honour to be in the top tier. We’re very proud of the work our team has put in to win both of these awards, taking us to the grand total of 15x Search Awards wins! Best small SEO agency in Europe https://twitter.com/eusearchawards/status/1141805950682181633 This sounds great to be able to say, especially as we’re doing a lot more work with global clients on multilingual projects (including working with ASICS as their European SEO agency), plus it follows nicely from winning the best small SEO agency at the UK Search Awards in 2017 and Best SEO Agency at the 2018 UK Agency Awards. It’s never been our goal to be the biggest agency out there, but we always strive to be the best we can be. I love the analogy from Simon Sinek on how money isn’t the goal, it’s the fuel. I couldn’t agree with this more. We need to make money from our work to do more of it, but the very reason we have an agency is to serve our clients and produce excellence in our work to drive the real business results they deserve. Our vision over the next 3-5 years has nothing to do with aiming to get bigger. It has everything to do with getting better. Best use of search in finance https://twitter.com/re_signal/status/1142012543449391105 Our key client sectors are travel, retail and finance, so it’s great to now complete the perfect hat-trick of awards in each of these categories.WorldRemit has been a fantastic client of ours for nearly 2 years now, and in that time we’ve achieved significant organic growth with our technical SEO and on-site content production, which is fantastic to be recognised amongst industry peers against such strong competition. The most important thing is to delight our clients. One of our core values is to “be proud of your work”, providing we have complete alignment in our goals, achieving award-winning results certainly allows us to achieve this. Are industry awards important? I can’t answer for everyone, and they’ll always be mixed views on this - but having been involved on both sides (I also judge the US / MENA Search Awards, DADI Awards and The Drum Content Awards), I can 100% say that these events are held with unquestionable professionalism. Should you enter every award? Absolutely not. You could probably go to an awards night 5 nights a week if you really wanted to! I respect anyone’s decision in not entering awards, they can become very expensive in both time and money, and you’d rather focus on doing great work for your clients. However, my view is if you’ve done the hard work already, this is the reason why you probably should enter. I’ve written before about how I run an agency, but spend less

Kevin Gibbons wins UK Search Awards Personality of the Year
Kevin Gibbons wins UK Search Awards Personality of the Year

Last week, I had the absolute honour of being named 2018 search personality of the year at the UK Search Awards! This is a fantastic industry, that I’ve made many true friendships from, and feel very lucky to be a part of / give back to. It meant a lot to receive the award on the night from Jim Banks, who I’ve known for a number of years and have worked with in the past: Kevin Gibbons wins Search Personality of the Year from Re:signal on Vimeo. This is the first individual award I’ve won, but in many ways it still feels like a team one, as there's no way I could have won this alone. I wanted to take this chance to say thank you to, the: Judges - I know from judging the US and MENA Search Awards myself how difficult this is to win, as it's an award where all the judges need to vote and agree on. I'm shocked, but hugely proud that they picked me as the winner. One of the judges said to me on the night; "Some people might say you won this because you know a lot of the judges... but actually that's a great reason why you deserve it, by getting yourself into this position". Search industry - as I’ve gained experience (a nice way of saying getting old!), I’ve realised my biggest strength isn't knowledge, it's my network. In many ways I feel like I know less than ever, but I've come to realise it’s not about knowing everything, it’s about knowing who to ask if I don't have the answer. The search community is like no other, it's incredibly open and sharing, we help each other in equal measure and all come out stronger. Re:signal team - they are the real heroes. It's our team who have produced award winning results and are working hard day in, day out to keep our clients happy. If I ever look good, it's because of them. Thank you to everyone who has helped along this journey, it's hugely appreciated. https://twitter.com/jimbanks/status/1069029436899635200 https://twitter.com/basvandenbeld/status/1068278883517116416 https://twitter.com/MelCarson/status/1068532492729147392 https://twitter.com/rustybrick/status/1068470599373201408 https://twitter.com/martyweintraub/status/1068281689334525953 https://twitter.com/aleyda/status/1068806507536556032 https://twitter.com/uksearchawards/status/1068277078418706432  

15 best business & marketing books giveaway
15 best business & marketing books giveaway

To get into the Christmas spirit for this year, we are once again running a content marketing book giveaway. We have revamped our list for 2018 with a whole host of new, informative books! You can find them all listed below.   The only problem is, there are so many great marketing and business books out there, it's impossible to read them all! With that in mind, we've taken the best recommendations from our team and built a list of essential books for marketers: Thinking Fast and Slow - Understanding how people make choices is crucial in order to create content which resonates with them. Principles: Life and Work - Unconventional principles to create unique results in both life and business. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike - Illuminates Nike's early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. Lost & Founder - Hard-won lessons that are applicable to any kind of business environment. The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change The Way You Do Business - Explains why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation and how even the most outstanding companies still lose market leadership. Marketing In The #Fakenews Era: New Rules For A New Reality Of Tribalism, Activism, And Loss Of Trust - Outlining how a company must carefully navigate the waters of the #FakeNews Era, where moral scrutiny and consumer outrage abound. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results - Bestseller that delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life - work, personal, family, and spiritual. Profit First - Simple, counterintuitive cash management solution that will help small businesses break out of the doom spiral and achieve instant profitability. Scaling Up - Business classic which details practical tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating business. Measure What Matters - Reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive. Contagious: Why Things Catch On - Explains why certain products and ideas become popular and how to create your own. Never Split The Difference - A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home. 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing - Laws of marketing that must be followed to launch and maintain winning brands. Be Like Amazon - The four pillars of their success are made plain. The Choice Factory - Investigates how our behaviour is shaped by psychological shortcuts and how to use it in marketing. For your chance to win, just answer one simple question here. Good luck!

BlueGlass London becomes Re:signal
BlueGlass London becomes Re:signal

Today marks the start of a new chapter for us, as we launch our new brand, Re:signal. Our aim Over the last year in particular, we’ve been working hard at trying to innovate and improve our SEO and content marketing offering, thinking not just about what is working today, but also where things are going tomorrow... I’ve spent a lot of time personally researching the future of search, and it’s become clear that human behaviours are shifting. The days of 10 blue links and purely desktop results are long gone. The days of mobile, apps, featured snippets/knowledge graph and voice search are here right now, and the trends show this is the new norm. As search behaviours shift, our thinking needs to adapt. We need to make sure our clients are the best answer to a query, irrespective of the device or platform, whenever or wherever it's being used. Why rebrand? As I’m sure most agencies can relate to, it can be easy to get lost in the "cobbler’s children have no shoes" issue, where clients come first and your own brand (or child!) takes a back seat. We’re certainly guilty more than most of this. But with all of the work we’re doing, we decided now is the time to. As we went through the process of agency branding/re-positioning, we decided that it was the right time to reinvent ourselves. This is only a rebrand of BlueGlass London. We continue to partner with BlueGlass Zürich and Tallinn offices, who do great work within their respective markets. Why Re:signal? It really stood out to us and can mean multiple things: Re:invent Re:energise Re:fresh Re:new Re:position Re:think Re:launch It's a name that shows that by building relevancy and authority within our clients' content, we are sending all the right signals to search engines and users alike. Re:signal is unique to us, and it’s a brand we’re really excited to call our own ahead of our next chapter. What’s next? I love Jeff Bezos’ way of thinking about innovation: rather than just thinking about what will be new in 10+ years, try thinking about what will still be here. Looking into the future, we can’t lose sight of what works today and what has helped to make BlueGlass London successful to-date... But if I’ve learned anything in the 15 years I’ve been doing SEO, it’s that if you stand still, you’re going backwards. You simply have to look ahead. Re:signal is about being the best answer today, whilst helping brands anticipate and navigate the future of search. All the best, Kevin and the Re:signal Team

Is voice really the future of search?
Is voice really the future of search?

The prediction by Comscore that 50% of searches will be made through voice by 2020 has been widely reported. Whether it gets there in this timeframe or not, the growth stats to-date are undeniable: 13% of US households owned a smart speaker in 2017, with a further 53m devices expected to be shipped in 2018. Where are we now? Currently, smart devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home have their uses, from playing music or answering quick questions such as ‘what’s the weather?’ or ‘what time is it in New York?’ We’re at a stage where it’s still largely a bit of fun. But for behaviors to really shift, it needs to go to the next level... The key challenge to be faced is taking the leap from voice assistants to digital agents. Where are we going? To understand what that looks like, just watch the Google Duplex video where an AI voice call is used to successfully book a haircut. That’s not the future. It’s today. When you realize that, think about what this could look like in five to 10 years. If you can ask ‘where should I go on holiday next?’ and receive a personalized response based upon your previous travel history, demographics, family etc, that could be even better than talking to a travel agent. Also, buying online may not feel right with voice just yet. But it didn’t with the web at first either and, with Amazon firmly behind this, there’s a clear focus for improvement. Removing friction For adoption to become more widespread, voice search has to be more useful than what we currently have and one of the key reasons we’re seeing growth in voice queries is because it removes friction. If you’re sat with a group of friends and want to check a fact, there’s friction involved in picking up a phone or tablet and typing in your question. Just asking this question aloud is much easier and it shares the answer with everyone. Texting and driving should be a thing of the past too, so there’s a lot of good that can come from this. Changing human behaviors No one can predict the future right now for sure – if we could we’d all be billionaires. I try not to pay too much attention to the individual algorithm updates and focus more on where Google, Amazon and Apple want to go. All are heavily pushing voice, and with Facebook expected to launch its own smart speaker later in the year too it’s becoming an arms race for market share, giving the winners incredible power for the future. Most importantly, what are the trends of searchers? If people are changing their search habits, this could be as big a shift as mobile taking away traditional desktop queries. Five ways to get started Start. If you don’t have one, buy a smart speaker… Ask questions, try to annoy Alexa and have some fun with it. You’ll learn a lot about what type

Where we’re going, we won’t need websites
Where we’re going, we won’t need websites

As voice becomes the dominant force in search and people spend more time consuming content via social media, the future for the humble home page looks very bleak. If comScore is correct and half of all searches by 2020 are made via voice, a crucial question arises: will we still need websites? Even if the research is over-egged and the tipping point is reached a year or two later, the question still remains. As consumers increasingly get used to asking Alexa, Siri or Google for the news headlines, a dinner recipe or flight options for a weekend away, answers will not be provided by ten blue SEO links. Rather, the options will be weighed up by an algorithm before what is considered to be the best answer is read out. Remember Lycos and AltaVista? New technology can always delight early adopters, but as it becomes more mainstream, seasoned observers know some huge names may become casualties as the public adopts new behaviors. Remember AltaVista, AskJeeves and Lycos, as well as when Yahoo! was a force in search? Read these names out loud and you may be less inclined to wonder whether voice will have an impact and shift focus to picking winners and losers. Make no mistake, this is happening: a tide of disruption heading for search. Canalys estimates 56.3 million smart speakers will ship this year alone. The Amazon Echo has first-mover advantage and so has a 69% share. Google is in second spot with 25%. However, given the core function of these speakers (beyond playing audio) is to perform voice searches, it would take a brave digital marketing executive to bet against Google closing the gap and even coming out on top – eventually. Brands rush to the call of Alexa To get an idea of how this impacts search, as well as consumers’ interaction with their favorite brands, one need only look at the early rush to set up Alexa skills. In travel, Expedia and Kayak can find flights and trips via voice search; an Uber or Lyft ride can be hailed too. Capital One lets users check out their balance and Vitality has recipes and health advice available. If that sounds too healthy for a Friday night, both Pizza Hut and Domino’s are set up to receive an order via Alexa. On the other hand, Vitality allows users to find their own recipes and discover a workout to shift the calories. Then, of course, there are the weather, travel and news travel updates that can be handled via voice rather than a visit to a website. VR keyboard, anyone? It isn’t just voice. Canalys is predicting that this is the year when VR headset sales will increase five-fold as the sector moves towards shipping almost 10 million units per year by 2021. It’s hard to imagine VR users typing a search enquiry into a virtual keyboard in the air. Even harder to imagine that they will scan through a list of blue links to no doubt pick out a text-heavy page.

Featured snippets – is Google “Feeling Lucky”? 4 Questions they need to answer
Featured snippets – is Google “Feeling Lucky”? 4 Questions they need to answer

Could search results ever be stripped down to a box revealing just a single answer?  Could Google offer the ultimate user experience without ten blue links to plough through? Just the answer in a clearly marked box. It’s more than just an idle question. Last week Google ran an experiment getting back single answer pages. This was later confirmed by Danny Sullivan (now Google’s public liaison of search), stating the project has concentrated on queries around local time, conversion of units and calculations. Because we only are experimenting with that for local time, unit conversion & calculator — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) 15 March 2018 With these queries there is only ever an undeniable single answer. ‘The time in NYC’, ‘100 multiplied by 47’ or ‘litres in a gallon’ are known and are not up for debate. Danny further revealed towards the end of March that the initiative had received enough feedback and the “condensed view experiment” had come to an end. Early results indicated that they had decreased page load time by a significant 0.5 seconds. It’s going to raise a lot of speculation in the search industry – could the experiment point to what could one day be the norm? If so, what would be the impact? And could it even go further for different types of search query? This raises four fundamental questions Google will need to address before it decides if the experiment is acted on. 1. What impact might this have on publishers? For any site involved in niche content providing answers to these time, calculator and unit search queries, the future could be bleak. Their business model is clear. If they rank highly on Google, they drive traffic to an advertising-supported site which displays the answer. Take away the click-throughs, because people already have the answer, and these sites have lost a huge source of revenue. If it moves searchers away from having to click into content build solely for the purpose of ad impressions, few can argue that it’s not providing a better search experience: Google would undoubtedly inflict serious harm on a wide slice of niche publishers without any noticeable revenue loss to itself. Will Google throw these sites under the proverbial bus to offer users a simpler, cleaner experience? If it improves the user experience and comes at no cost to Google, I wouldn’t bet against it. Would you? 2. Does this make Google anti-competitive? Again? Does Google really want to start limiting who gets access to its search results pages, again? The European Commission handed it a record €2.7bn fine for anti-competitive behaviour last June – an appeal was launched three months later. The case had been going on for several years and boils down to whether the company was unfairly shutting out competition by providing quick answers (such as flight times and maps) as well as shopping results in boxes that appeared to be only available to its own companies. Moving forwards, Google would surely struggle to justify providing a single answer in a box, with no accompanying organic

Why we’ve made our culture book public
Why we’ve made our culture book public

At Re:signal, we've put a lot of work into defining, protecting and communicating our culture and in the spirit of transparency, we have decided to make our company culture book completely public: https://www.slideshare.net/Re_signal/re-signal-culture-book?ref=https://resignal.com/culture-book/ In the early days, we didn't need this - but as we've grown, the culture book has become an important part of how we collate, document and communicate our vision, mission and values to share with new starters... That said, we're far from being a corporate company. It's not about being formal, or pretending to be something we're not - it's about trying to showcase who we are, how Re:signalers' can thrive in their careers and be honest about the challenges. If this isn't the best fit for someone, that's also fine - it's best for everyone to know this early. As with any agency, the people in our team are the most valuable asset we have. In order for us to grow and improve - the challenge is clear, we need to attract talent and for our team to innovate and improve with us. We also believe that great content marketing should be about telling your brands story to your target audience, and in this case we thought what better way to do that, than to be completely transparent about who we are and where we're going as an agency. I'd love to hear your feedback on this, and by the way - we're recruiting too 🙂

Removing disavow file test = 37.31% increase in organic traffic
Removing disavow file test = 37.31% increase in organic traffic

You may remember, but following a number of recommendations at Pubcon 2016, I decided to run an experiment to see what would happen if I removed a disavow file from a previously penalised domain: https://twitter.com/kevgibbo/status/786614563638611970 At the time, it seemed to me that there were a lot of opinions on this, but no-one had actually tried it - or at least they hadn't publicly shared the results... So that was my goal, to run a controlled experiment where everyone could learn from the findings. I picked a website I've had for a long time: The domain had previously received a Google penguin penalty in May 2012 This recovered in October 2013 following disavowing links and reconsideration requests The site generated a reasonable amount of traffic ~40,000 organic visits per month And from the penalty removal, still had 977 domains actively disavowed https://twitter.com/kevgibbo/status/786628084850044928 Early learnings: Digging deeper into this, we found that because a lot of the links were historical, 28% of the links were now dead, with a further 3% as domains listed for sale - that meant that 69% were still active (674 unique domains in total): Of course, some of the link penalties could have expired too (after-all, the penalty had been removed for 3 years by this point). In which case because of the time period involved, that would indicate that perhaps the disavow was now unnecessary. The early results saw positive, but inconclusive signs... After 1 week, this showed that the average position had dropped slightly, then increased slightly - but nothing out of the ordinary and overall across the week has dropped from an average of 10.2 to 10.4. In addition to this, the daily clicks has increased by 1,982 to 2,181: (Google Search Console report) After 2 weeks, the average position of rankings has dropped after my last update, but quickly rose back up - from an initial starting point of 10.2 (13th October), the average position dropped to a low of 11.6 (19th October) and then rose to a high of 9.8 (25th Oct) before returning to 10.2 (26th Oct): I kept a close eye on this throughout, but the early conclusion was potentially that these are positive signs, but overall, it was too early and inconclusive at this stage to be recommending that removing your disavow file is a sensible move. Fast forward to month 4... and results still seemed relatively static in Search Console: https://twitter.com/kevgibbo/status/829304379308138497 In which case it's becoming safer to say that perhaps removing the disavow file had no impact. There's still other factors to consider, like the age/potential expiry of links, but in this particular case it's starting to look like removing the disavow wasn't as crazy an idea as it may have initially sounded. Month 5 organic traffic has increased by 37.31%! Having now given this 5 months since the disavow file was removed, I decided to take another look back at progress. I want to make it clear that no other activity has taken place on this site, in terms of on-site optimisation, publishing

8 tips to improve your social media content as a business
8 tips to improve your social media content as a business

Here at Re:signal, we really love social media. It’s enabled us to grow our agency, expand our network and showcase what we do every day to the wider public. However, during this modern era of regular, fast change, there are plenty of ways to improve the content that’s published on social media and the ways it can be reached. That’s why we’ve spent time researching effective tips on how to improve our social media content, and we want to share these with you too. 1) Boost your credibility By posting content that illustrates your successes, achievements and press-worthiness, it enables you to boost your brand's credibility online and helps to establish the brand as thought, service or product leaders within a specific industry to the public on social media. Accompanied by a related hashtag, this content gets recognised by other industry professionals, who may then also join in the engagement. We do this regularly here at Re:signal, and this receives engagement and comments of congratulations, which we always love to see! This is an important method of improving your social media content, because by boosting credibility, you're boosting your reputation online. The Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2016 found that 90% of marketers believed social media was important for their business. It’s therefore more important than ever to be trusted in a competitive environment. 2) Invite conversation Another way to improve your social media content is by being interactive with your audience and inviting them to converse with your brand. Bhavin Parikh of Magoosh Inc. explains that the strongest form of content is one that directly addresses the audience to engage with the brand: "Many entrepreneurs use social media as a one-way platform to spread a message to those who follow them; however, the best will engage in conversations with their followers, responding to comments and being truly accessible”. So, it may be a good option to ask your followers how their day is going every now and then. 3) Know and target your audience With different audiences using different social platforms, it’s incredibly important to research where your target audience spends their time on the web before you put together a social media strategy. For example, a new retail study by Eptica found that UK retailers answered 59% of customer queries on Facebook, 55% via email, and only 45% on Twitter. This suggests that if you’re a retailer, your customers will be aiming to reach you predominantly on Facebook and through a personalised email account, which should be the primary focus of your social media strategy. Using Re:signal as an example, as a B2B SEO agency, the most impressions and engagements occur for us on LinkedIn, which means we’ll use LinkedIn as the priority social platform when sharing content. Spend some time observing what content gets the most engagement and what groups of people are engaging – you can then target all your future content at them. 4) Share curated content By just promoting your own brand or business,

Ultimate guide to securing Google answer boxes
Ultimate guide to securing Google answer boxes

Want to increase the click-through rate to your site by 100%? Not a bad proposition right? This is why you should be thinking about featured snippets for EVERY piece of content you write. Featured snippets have been a hot topic this year, but this post will give you a: Business case and proposition to put to higher management Checklist process to pass directly to your in-house content team / outsourced agency The process to help you identify SERPs and keywords to target All of this helping you to be more efficient when taking your content strategy to the next level. Why optimise your content for featured snippets? Simple. To increase your SERP click-through rate. A higher click-through rate means more traffic to your domain and less to your competitors... The principles of SEO are still the same: the higher up the SERPs you are, the higher click-through rate you receive the more real-estate you have, the higher chance of a click Featured snippets can help achieve both of these. The downside? It’s likely your content may need some optimising or a re-structure all together & there’s no guarantee why or who gets the winning slot. If you’re struggling to get buy-in from higher management or the developer/writing team to change the way your content is structured - you’ll need some data to back up your claims and show them why you're pushing for change. If you are struggling to get buy-in we’d recommend starting small and optimising 5-10 posts, when you start to see results this will help you get buy-in to change future content. Where do you get this data from? There’s no better resource than getstat.com’s featured snippet analysis. Their incredible study found that at the start of 2016, 10% of SERPs had a featured snippet - this is probably higher now and likely to rise in the future. There were also numerous discussions around this topic at pubcon, here are a few stats to highlight the growth of featured snippets over the past few years: Here’s the summary of Get Stat’s data: We’ve seen our clients CTR increase from anywhere between 50% up to 100%. It’s worth the effort. Below is an example of one of our Re:signal blog posts: How to create an editorial calendar using Trello appearing in a rich snippet:   What are featured snippets? There are 3 known featured snippets: Lists: Numbered or bullet points Tables Paragraphs These should not be confused with rich cards - these are a different SERP feature. Featured Snippets vs Rich Card vs Rich Snippets vs Knowledge boxes Featured Snippets are described above with different examples. Rich Cards are an evolution of Rich Snippets as illustrated in Google visual below:   Knowledge boxes, on the other hand, are results and answers provided directly by Google, often with no linking reference for example: How to optimise your content for featured snippets? The key to optimising your content is to ensure it is structured correctly which allows Google to ‘Feature’ a snippet of your content. URL Typically URLs also match the focus keyword for the featured snippet. For example: httpss://www.example.com/focus-keyword. Using the post as an

Is virtual reality (VR) the future of content marketing?
Is virtual reality (VR) the future of content marketing?

I have a confession. Until recently I hadn’t really given virtual reality too much thought... Sure it looks like a lot of fun for gamers, but for marketers? Surely not! The novelty will wear off and it will never catch on for a mainstream audience… Then I saw Robert Scoble talk about virtual reality (VR) at Pubcon last month, which for me was a real eye-opener. This really got me thinking about what virtual reality means for the future of content marketing... I asked Robert a few questions after his talk, which provided hugely valuable insight into how VR can have an impact to everyone, and what marketers need to do in order to take advantage of this. Don’t worry, I’m sharing all of the key points with you: 1) Microsoft is betting the company on HoloLens Definitely watch this video, it's very cool to see what VR will be able to do. It feels a bit like Minority Report to me, but it's no longer a futuristic sci-fi movie! Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Sony all heavily invested in virtual reality and if these five see that the future is in VR, they should know. They clearly intend on doing whatever they can to make that happen, push the market forward and look to take their piece of it. 2) Christmas 2017 iPhone announcement is going to be big for VR  Robert Scoble predicts that by the end of next year most of the world will get VR through their mobile phones and connecting headset. The iPhone 8 (rumours are it probably won’t be called that and will be a sheet of glass!) launch at Christmas next year will include virtual reality headsets: “The camera continues the work we introduced last year with a new dual lens design, but this year we have the point cloud data from the Primsense sensor that can computationally be joined with the camera’s data so a new kind of photography is possible. Volumetric. Here, let me show you. You take a photo with your iPhone 8 and now, using the virtual reality capabilities of the new phone, you can actually walk around the image you captured. Or lay it on top, as a Hologram. Isn’t that cool?” If this happens, this could be the big game changer. It takes VR from the gamer community into the mainstream market. At that point, it goes from being cool to marketers, to essential.  3) Marketing is about to deeply change Sephora are already using VR to colour match makeup, Ford are using VR test drives. VR will change how you shop, work, listen to music, workout, learn & more... httpss://twitter.com/LisaBarone/status/786237720846749696 As marketers, we have to provide the best experiences for the way that your  customers want to consume content. 4) If people are searching for virtual reality experiences, Google’s role is to help people find them I’m always keen to bring it back to what this means for SEO and content marketing, so this is one of the questions I asked Robert Scoble

84 things we learned at Pubcon
84 things we learned at Pubcon

Last week, myself, Irma, Sam, Raphael, Nicole, Marion and Chelsea headed to Las Vegas for Pubcon: We're always keen to keep ahead of the game, and I've always found US conferences a really useful way of keeping up-to-date with all things SEO and content marketing. For this reason, it was great to be able to go back to Pubcon with a bigger team, as it's hugely important for our team to keep learning, innovating, networking and improving... During the 3-day event, we've listed a recap of the key points we learned together across the team: Google: The big update was Gary Illyes' announcement that Google is switching to a mobile first index. This is big news as previously Google's index was desktop only, rather than splitting into mobile and desktop. "If the content on your mobile page is the same as desktop, those sites will be fine" - however, reading between the lines that indicates that if your mobile page isn't the same as desktop, you could suffer from this. I would also see this as another reason for pushing towards a single responsive website, which is accessible across all platforms and devices. As opposed to using "m." subdomains - this consolidates link equity, without the need of redirects or canonical tags which helps to lessen the crawl budget used on your site. Everyone should use HTTPS - Gary Illyes pulled no punches on this one, saying that it makes sense for every site to use HTTPS. "He gets weird ads because he’s in Vegas and he’s weird but that’s another thing. If your site is on HTTPS, weird ads can’t be injected." It's no longer a case of "if" you should move to HTTPS, I'm not sure it's even "when", it's "now". SearchMetrics have also said this week that their data shows a YoY +31% uplift in organic visibility for sites with HTTPs over HTTP. If you're thinking of moving to HTTPS, you should read this excellent guide with everything you need to know from Fili Wiese. Removing your disavow file may be a good idea, (or not)... There were a few recommendations that it's now time to drop the disavow file. Whilst there were other comments that this idea is crazy. Honestly, I'm not sure what side I'm on for this argument, so I decided to test what happens if you remove your disavow file?! Full update coming later in the week... If penguin sees signs of manipulation, they can algorithmically decide to discount all links - this is something we suspect they have done for a long term, although I haven't heard this directly from Google before - so it's interesting to confirm. Gary Illyes also stated that he has seen no signs of negative SEO working, and that in some cases it actually helps more than it hinders... RankBrain doesn't change much - it's a very complicated algorithm, but mainly affects long-tail and negative queries so far. Other people said it will have a big impact in the future, but it's more about how Google thinks about queries,

30 ways to make your content marketing REALLY work
30 ways to make your content marketing REALLY work

We all know that content marketing is hugely competitive, and that we’re always fighting a battle to stand out from the crowd. I’ve listed 30 tips and ideas that I’ve found help when it comes to making your content marketing really get results: 1) Define what content marketing success looks like For example: You have a strategy aligned with your business goals, with a clear plan on how to achieve them… You produce creative content which your audience loves and attracts more of the ‘right kind’ of prospects (those who buy!) You earn outstanding coverage from publishers, media and social influencers You continually increase online revenue via organic search and other channels, to acquire new customers and retain existing ones You need to understand where you are, where to go & how to get there... 2) Break down the silos Make sure you create an action plan based on these 3 key pillars of content marketing:  Being aligned in strategy, creativity and promotion is vital in order to hit the sweet spot of achieving the real content marketing results that matter. 3) Before you start, get the right people on the bus Content marketing requires a team approach, you can’t be good at everything, so consider the skill-sets that you need, for example: Content Strategist SEO Strategist Content Writer Graphic Designer Web Developer Digital PR Specialist Paid Social Specialist Account/Project Manager Some of these roles may be combined, or freelance, at first - but ultimately if you want to be strong at content marketing, you need talent in all key areas to achieve the best results, so get the right people on the bus! 4) Understand your purpose & the story you want to tell If you look at the brands that are really standing out today, it's those that have a clear purpose and mission. Once you have a powerful story, this becomes your marketing and you start to form a magnet that attracts customers, employees, recognition and keeps the flywheel moving towards further growth. Steve Jobs talked about this incredibly well back in 1997 when Apple launched it's "Think Different" campaign (if you haven't seen this, it's well worth 7 mins of your time). Rather than focusing on product features or price - his view was that you should base marketing on your core values & how you can change the world. This is absolutely true, branding can't be about marketing gimmicks or straplines, you have to live it. That means every day. Every one. The alignment starts with your purpose and leads into your brand, your marketing and everything you do. 5) Understand who you are targeting Make sure you take the time to really understand who you are targeting, study the demographics, where they are and why/how they want to hear from you… Analyse your analytics and try using tools like Buzzsumo to research and find top content ideas that have been proven to engage with your audience in the past. That way you can have more confidence that your idea

I run an agency but spend less than 10% of my time on “marketing”… Here’s why that’s a good thing