Google Web Stories WordPress Plugin Overview

Google have recently announced that their Web Stories WordPress plugin is officially out of beta and available to download within the WordPress plugin directory.

This plugin enables creators to easily make and publish Web Stories to attract more visitors to their sites.

 

 

What are Google Web Stories?

Web Stories is powered by AMP technology and allows you to create full-screen, tappable, engaging visual stories. They have a magazine-style layout that includes short videos/images with captions or large text headlines which link to longer content.

The plugin provides you with a way of turning your long-form, existing content into short-form content that users can easily digest. If the user is then interested in the content, they can click through to read the rest of the article on your website.

 

Where are Web Stories Shown?

Once published, Web Stories can be found in:

  • Google Search
  • Google Images
  • Google Discover
  • Google App

This means that your content will appear in more areas, to a wider audience, which will assist in bringing more traffic to your website. The plugin also improves your SEO and rankings, but more on that later.

 

How do you navigate the interface?

Web Stories has an extremely easy-to-use interface that allows you to simply drag-and-drop text and images to your preferred location on the workspace. There are also multiple fully designed templates, which help you to get started quicker.

 

 

You can either upload your own photos and videos or use the free stock videos and high-quality images provided through a collaboration between Google, Unsplash and Coverr.

For more information about navigating the interface click here to read Google’s Guide to the Web Stories plugin.

 

Web Stories and SEO

As we mentioned earlier, this plugin can actually help with your SEO and rankings, but only if your content is optimised correctly. There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Add metadata.

This ensures maximum compatibility with search engines and certain discovery features.

  1. Optimise the images and videos you use.

For images, Google advises that you use PNG8+alpha/WebP for images that require transparency or JPEGs/WebP for any other image. In terms of videos, Google advises that you encode with the highest compression yielding acceptable results.

  1. Add analytics.

You can do this by either adding your Google Analytics ID in the ‘Editor Settings’ or by using the Site Kit by WordPress plugin.

 

Final Thoughts

Google’s Web Stories WordPress plugin is a great way to get your content seen by a wider audience. It is simple to install and has a very easy-to-use interface, with many features that will be updated regularly.

If you are thinking of installing this plugin on your website and would like more information or even just a helping hand, then do not hesitate to get in touch. We would be happy to get you set up and make sure your SEO works in your favour.

Get in touch now on 01543 495 752 or click here to book a free 15-minute consultation.

Posted in SEO

How to Search Google for Licensable Images

When looking for images to use on your website/blog posts, the first place you may go to is Google Images. Sometimes, it can feel impossible to find the right image and it’s often difficult to know how to use them responsibly.

Google have addressed this issue and released new features that allow users to easily and effectively use images more responsibly.

What changes has this Google Update made?

Licensable images will now have a ‘Licensable’ badge appear over them in Google’s search results. This will make it a lot easier for photo buyers to effectively locate licensable images.

 

 

After clicking on the image, the user will be presented with a link to the license details and information regarding the credit, copyright and creator. It is also an option for the owner of the image to add a secondary link that takes the user to an external website where they can purchase or license the image.

 

How do I locate Licensable Images?

Licensable images can be located in three easy steps:

  1. Search for your required image on Google Images.
  2. Select ‘Tools’ which is located just under the search bar.
  3. Select ‘Usage Rights’ and choose the option you require.

 

What are the benefits of this Google Update?

Photographers and publishers will benefit the most from this update. The chance of their images being misused will be greatly reduced. Users will now find it much easier to give credit correctly, get consent to use the image and even give compensation if needed.

 

How do I implement this on my images?

In order to tell Google which images are licensable, you will need to add structured data or IPTC photo metadata to each licensable image on your website.

Google have created detailed instructions which you can follow here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the marketing people on 01543 495 752 and we would be happy to implement it for you.

Posted in SEO

5 Common Mistakes you are Making with your SEO

If done correctly, SEO can be a very powerful way to bring potential customers to your website. However, search engines are constantly changing so it can be very difficult to keep on top of the most effective SEO techniques.

This blog discusses five of the most common SEO mistakes we see businesses make and what simple actions they can take to resolve them.

 

1. Ignoring your Analytics

Data is everything when it comes to SEO. It is solid evidence that explains whether or not your SEO techniques are actually working. You can assess how well your website is performing and even pinpoint certain pages or areas of your site that are getting more attention than others.

Google Analytics is a great tool to use to get an overview of your website’s performance. You can find out information about demographics, traffic, bounce rates, and more. It will provide you with heaps of information that you can then use to make even more improvements on your website. Without this data, it is impossible to track whether or not your SEO techniques are actually working.

 

2. Optimising the wrong keywords

When choosing which keywords you want to optimise, it is vital that you do your research. You should be using specific keywords that are relevant to your business and bring you a lot of traffic.

Relevance is key. If you only offer services to local customers, don’t waste your time optimising global keywords. Equally, certain broad keywords will have a lot of competition and you would be wasting your time trying to compete to rank on the first page.

Instead, make sure you optimise relevant but specific keywords. For example, if you are a small iPhone repairs shop, you would be wasting your time trying to rank for the keywords “iPhone” or “Apple” as these would be far too competitive. However, if you optimise the keywords “iPhone repairs shop in Birmingham” (or wherever you are based) there would be less competition and you would find your website ranking a lot higher, a lot quicker.

 

3. Overlooking your content

Content is so important when it comes to SEO. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: content is key.

Make sure you produce new content as often as you can, but most importantly update the existing content on your website regularly, as Google loves fresh content. You should be writing over 300 words on each web page to inform Google that you are an expert in your field.

Don’t forget that the purpose of search engines is to provide users with relevant, quality information, so the better your content is, the higher it will be rewarded.

 

4. Not adapting to search engine updates

Search engines are constantly updating and making changes to their algorithms. One of the worst mistakes you could make is not adapting to accommodate these changes.

You may have created the ‘perfect’ SEO strategy that brings loads of traffic to your website and gets you multiple conversions every day, but there is no guarantee that this strategy will work as perfectly tomorrow. With one major update, your whole SEO strategy could end up working against you, so make sure you keep on top of every update.

 

5. Not hiring an expert

SEO is not a five-minute job. In order to get any worthwhile results, SEO requires advanced knowledge and a lot of time and effort. Whoever manages your SEO should be an expert on current trends, strategies, they should also know your website and business inside out.

SEO should never feel like an experiment. Every change that is implemented should have been planned out and analysed to ensure that it will work effectively.

 

If you need any help with your SEO strategy, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are happy to talk through your business goals and discuss how we can help you to achieve them. Give us a call now on 01543 495 752.

Posted in SEO

What is Google Search Console Insights?

Google recently announced that they are rolling out a new Google Search Console Insights tool that combines data from both Search Console and Google Analytics. Throughout this blog, we will be taking an in-depth look into what benefits this new tool can bring to you and your business.

If you’re new to Google Search Console and/or Google Analytics then this may seem a little overwhelming but fear not! Before we go any further, click here to read our short blog which explains what Google Search Console is and watch our short video below to get you up to scratch with Google Analytics, so you can fully understand how Google’s new insights tool works.

 

 

On August 17th Google tweeted that the tool will “provide content creators with the data they need to make informed decisions and improve their content”.

 

What is Search Console Insights?

This new experience is designed to show content marketers an overview of how audiences have discovered their website’s content. It also provides insights about their audience and which pieces of content have resonated with them.

 

How do I access Search Console Insights?

Currently, Google Search Console Insights is a closed beta, meaning only a small handful of people have access to it. If you’ve been lucky enough to receive an invite then here are the ways that you can access it:

 

  1. Follow the link that has been provided to you in the email you received from Google.
  2. Click the link here and log in with your Google account.
  3. Access it from the “Search Console in Search results” feature. (Search for a query that your beta listed site ranks for. You should see a Google powered result titled “Search performance for this query”. That result will contain a link that will take you to Search Console Insights).

There is no information regarding when this new tool will be available for everyone, but beta testers are being encouraged to share feedback with Google to help improve future versions.

How will Search Console Insights help me?

Here are the five main questions that Search Console Insights will help you to answer about your site’s content:

 

  1. Which pieces of content are performing the best?
  2. How well are your new pieces of content performing?
  3. How are people across the web discovering your content?
  4. What are your site’s top and trending queries on Google Search?
  5. What other sites and articles link to your site’s content and did you get any new links?

 

The main advantage of this new tool is being able to access the data from Search Console and Google Analytics in one place. We understand that data can sometimes be tricky to navigate, so if you need a helping hand then get in touch on 01543 495 752, we’d be happy to help.

Posted in SEO

How to Increase Website Visits with Ad Extensions

­­Google is the king of search marketing. Over 63,000 searches are made every second, which presents businesses everywhere with a massive platform to advertise on. This blog will demonstrate how you can increase visits to your website using ad extensions on your Google Search and Display Ads.

Ad extensions essentially expand your ad with additional information, giving visitors more reasons to visit your website. Google have even found that adding a single ad extension could improve your click-through rate by 10-15%.

If you have any experience with Google Ads then you will know how restrictive the character limit can be. With millions of people all across the globe using Google to look for solutions to their problems, it can sometimes feel impossible to provide any solutions in such a short amount of characters. Ad extensions enable you to lengthen your ads by adding more valuable information for consumers.

Ad Extensions can include a multitude of things such as:

  • Telephone numbers
  • ‘Book an appointment’ link
  • Company reviews
  • Location/s
  • Staff profiles
  • Current offers
  • And much more…

Below is an image of the search results page when we searched for ‘Divorce lawyer Kingston upon Thames’.

Google has deemed that the first result will provide the user with the best possible experience. As you can see, they have used multiple ad extensions, which is one of the reasons why Google has rewarded them with the top spot on this page. These ad extensions have increased the ad relevance, enabled the user’s questions to be answered in the ad copy and even provided further information about the business.

This advert is also the largest that appears on the search results page. This is a massive benefit as it will stand out against the other ads. If the user is also on a mobile device, this advert will take up the entire screen meaning the user will only be able to see this result unless they scroll further down the page.

By using the site link extension (the second box in the screenshot above) you can add specific pages on your website to your ad. This helps the user to quickly navigate your website and find the information they are looking for. In this example, the user can easily book a consultation, find out more information about the business and even engage with staff members.

The great thing to remember here is that ad extensions do not cost you any extra. In fact, in most cases the costs are actually reduced. When it comes to search you only pay if someone clicks on your ad, so you don’t have to pay for impressions.

If you need help, then get in touch by booking a 15-minute call with our expert team here or during office hours call 01543 495752.