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.

5 Top Tips for a Successful COVID-19 SEO Strategy

the marketing people seo covid

During Covid-19 we have seen a massive 70% increase in internet traffic. This means that SEO is now more important than ever before. In this blog post, discover our 5 top tips to help you continually improve your SEO strategy, during and after COVID-19.

During lockdown, businesses had to shift their sales from their stores and offices to online. SEO played a massive part in enabling businesses to be discovered online, and if it was done correctly, it presented a massive opportunity for businesses to convert new customers.

We are now approaching light at the end of the tunnel. Shops have reopened and we are no longer relying so heavily on the internet to gain customers. However, this does not mean that SEO should now be ignored. Now is not the time to take your foot off the gas.

This blog discusses our five top tips to help you to continue to improve your SEO strategy during and after COVID-19.

1. Fresh and relevant content

Just because we are coming out of lockdown, it doesn’t mean you should stop creating content. Google loves fresh content. And before you start panicking and trying to type up a million and one new blogs – fresh content just means up-to-date content.

So essentially, re-visit some of your old blogs and repurpose them. Update the statistics, add more photos, maybe even add a couple more paragraphs; do whatever you need to do in order to update that piece of content.

This is not to say that you can’t type up new blogs if you wanted to. If you have the time, type up a backlog of blogs ready to be released over the next couple of weeks/months. Websites such as ExplodingTopics.com and Google Trends show you what topics are currently trending so you can find out what people are searching for and answer the questions they are asking.

2. Use your data to your advantage

If your website has had an increase in visitors over the lockdown period you are at a major advantage, even if this didn’t actually lead to any extra conversions.

You can use the data gained through customers visiting your website to assess how well your website is working. Has a certain page led to more conversions than others? Are customers adding items to their basket and not purchasing? Are hundreds of potential customers viewing your website but not one of them have made a purchase?

All of this data is invaluable. It will allow you to make necessary changes to ensure that your website works effectively. Work with your data and use it to your advantage, and don’t be afraid to make changes to continuously improve your website.

3. Keep on top of the basics

It should go without saying; you need to keep on top of your SEO. SEO rarely gives you instant results (in some cases it could take up to six months to start seeing any results) so if you decide to suddenly stop your SEO campaign, you are setting yourself up to fail later in the year.

There are a few items that you should be checking regularly, such as your keywords. You should also check your page speed to see if your site is running quickly enough. Google offers a free tool to check this which can be found here.

Running a site audit can also be very beneficial. It will provide you with a full report on all of the technical aspects of your website, allowing you to see what areas of your website need improving. Click here for a free site audit from The Marketing People.

4. Update your listings

As we entered lockdown during COVID-19, you may have had to list your business as ‘temporarily closed’ or add limited hours to your Google My Business page. As we are slowly returning back to normality and businesses are opening back up, make sure you have updated your Google My Business page so all of the information is correct and up-to-date. The last thing you want is to open back up to no customers as Google is telling everyone that you are still shut.

To find out how to update your business hours on Google My Business, watch our short video which walks you through the simple process here.

Also, don’t forget to update every directory that you are listed on – not just Google My Business. All of the information online about your business needs to be consistent.

5. Get your website converting

If you follow the previous four tips your website should be updated and healthy, so all that’s left to do is make sure that your website is actually converting.

There are a few ways to increase your conversion rates. You can create more opportunities for visitors to sign up to newsletters/downloadable content through sidebars or popups. You could even run a special offer or promote certain freebies throughout your website.

If you need any help with your SEO or getting your website to convert potential customers then please get in touch with us today on 01543 495 752.

Posted in SEO

How We Increased Sales By 76% & Reduced the Cost of Customer Acquisition By 94% For Our Client

Discover how we increased our client’s sales by 76% and reduced the cost of customer acquisition by a whopping 94%, all whilst in lockdown. In this short case study, we take you behind the scenes and show you the difference in results between the ad campaign run by our client in June – August 2019, and the ad campaign run by The Marketing People from June – August 2020.

Read on or watch our short video below to see the mind-blowing results:

Our client was managing their ad campaign in-house and, whilst they were happy to be generating phone calls, the cost to get an inbound phone lead was £217.

Our client’s ad campaign June – August 2019 BEFORE we managed it

We were approached by the client to see how we could reduce their cost of getting customers, without reducing the volume of enquiries.

The client could see they needed external help to improve results, by dedicating time to the campaign whilst they focused on running their business – a wise investment.

In our initial Google Ads review with the client, we delved deep into their business, looking at their products and services so we could target the cash-cow clients (the most profitable ones) first. Knowing the numbers in their business enabled us to identify areas where we could add value fast.

Whilst our Ads experts went under the bonnet of the campaign, our web design team looked at the website to see where we could increase the calls to action and generate leads.

The client’s sales process is by telephone, so the goal of the website and ad campaign was, and still is today, to get phone calls.

Once we reported the GAP Analysis to the client and showed them where improvements could be made, we agreed a step-by-step process that would generate more calls from the campaign, without rocking the boat.

Using our internal process, we changed the campaign bit by bit, always looking at efficiencies where possible.

As you can see in the diagram below, the KPIs show improvements across the board.

Our client’s ad campaign June – August 2020 with TMP managing it

We took over the ad campaign at the beginning of June 2020 and, during the lockdown, we still managed to increase the performance of the ads, and much more.

We increased phone volume by 70%, and reduced the cost to get a customer by over 94%.

In addition to Google Search Ads, we also implemented a range of Brand Ads across websites that their customers visit, targeting the ideal client they wish to reach.

We delivered the company brand message and service offering to a group of people in the key geographical locations who are looking at similar products online, but haven’t yet been to our client’s website or called, thus getting a second bite of new customers at a fraction of the cost in search.

If you’re running your own marketing campaigns and you are looking for some help, we’d like to extend an invitation to speak to us and let our experts see where we can help you improve efficiencies, and get you customers more profitably.

You have nothing to lose, so book your free 15 minute call here or jump on the phone and call 01543 495752 to speak to the team today.

Who’s our next success story?

Why Use Dedicated Campaign Numbers in Your Ads

tmp Ad call graphic

Business is always about knowing your numbers, and sales and marketing is no different. In this short blog post we explain how dedicated ad numbers help you get the most out of your campaign budget.

One of the many benefits of our digital marketing services is the dedicated campaign telephone number which is connected to Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Ads.

When prospects get in touch with you on dedicated numbers after seeing your ad on social or search, we track the incoming calls and therefore know which campaign is working and we can drop the ones that aren’t working.

No unnecessary ad spend, so we can use your budget more wisely and lower the cost per click.

TMP reduce ad cost
Dedicated ad numbers help us to utilise your ad campaign budget in the best way

With our campaign management, we can also see exactly when you are receiving inbound calls, giving you the intelligence to ensure staff are on hand to take these calls and convert leads into customers.

TMP dedicated campaign numbers
We can see how many calls you are getting, on what day and at what time

So, what’s the catch?

There isn’t one.

There’s no need for another phone or another line, and you don’t need to worry about which number goes where.

We will sort everything for you and point a number from the ads to your sales number. So your ads will have a dedicated number and you will answer all calls as you usually would.

No extra work for you, and no confusion for your prospects as they will simply press ‘Call Now’.

If you’d like to see how dedicated numbers can improve your ad campaigns, schedule a call with our team today here.

5 Ways to Gain More Customers in Your Area Through Local SEO

TMP local seo

Would you like to grow your business online and attract more customers? We will show you how. In this blog, we will explain what local SEO is, why you need it, and give you 5 ways you can use it to generate leads and sales for your business.

What is local SEO and why do I need it?

Local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimisation) improves your business’s online visibility by helping you promote your products or services to potential customers in the local area, as and when they are looking for them.

By utilising local SEO strategies (we will discuss these in more detail below), your business will appear as one of the most relevant local results to customers searching for your product or service in your area. For example: hair salon in Staffordshire, emergency locksmith in Birmingham, Indian restaurant in Lichfield.

If your business has a physical location or you serve a geographical area, no matter how big or small, local SEO will enable you to capitalise on these local searches that have more purchase intent behind them.

tmp local seo

Before we get started…

Make sure your website is responsive, error free and there are no underlying technical issues on the site.

Would you like a free report on the technical aspects of your website, and advice on the areas that need improvement to ensure your site is fully optimised for search engines?

Click here for your FREE website audit.

  1. Google My Business

Google My Business is one of the most important parts of local SEO, and the good news is that it’s totally free and easy-to-use.

Claiming and optimising your Google My Business listing will drastically improve your local search rankings.

The information you provide in your business profile will be fed to the knowledge panel, the local pack and Google Map search results, so the more detailed and up-to-date your Google My Business profile is, the more likely you are to appear in front of prospective customers.

Knowledge Panel
Local Pack
Local Pack

For a step-by-step guide to set up your Google My Business account, click here.

  1. Local Keywords

Local keywords are keywords that contain geographical phrases to help people find your business online.

Start by conducting local keyword research and look at the search volumes for each. Review the branded keywords your competitors are ranking for, then target these so that your business will appear above theirs.

You want to identify and include local keywords that combine your products or services with your location. The overall objective is to identify commonly used phrases that potential customers will be searching for. By including them in your content, you will rank higher in Google for those searching for your particular product or service.

It’s important not to become too excited and include lots of different keywords for the sake of it – this is known as keyword stuffing, and Google will penalise you for this.

  1. Local Content

Google loves great content, as do your customers. It’s important that you regularly update and share relevant content on your website, your blog and across your social channels.

If you serve specific geographical areas, you may want to look at creating location landing pages within your website and include local keywords and citations within the in-page copy.

Once these landing pages are implemented, you will want to direct your Google My Business pages to these, to get the most benefit from them.

  1. Reviews

90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting or buying from a business.

Not only will positive reviews help build credibility and the reputation of your business, they will also improve your search listings.

Customer feedback means fresh content, which Google rewards. It also increases the number of keywords you can rank for.

By replying to these reviews, you show your business cares about its customers, plus it increases interaction, which Google loves.

If Google sees positive reviews, it will trust your business and recommend you in search. At the end of the day, Google wants its users to be satisfied with the results of their search.

Google Reviews
  1. Links

Backlinks from authoritative websites help search engines recognise your site as a trusted source of information, thus boosting your rankings. They also increase your chances of appearing in the local pack on Google.

Links from local newspapers, magazines, blogs, newsletters, directories and social posts can all help to improve your online visibility.

So, how do you get these links? By building your reputation as a trusted source, by regularly posting quality content, hosting events, building relationships with organisations, and utilising local business directories.

Do this and you will build brand awareness and drive relevant traffic to your website, increasing your opportunities to sell.

 

So, there you have it. There’s 5 ways to use local SEO to gain more customers in your area.

Local SEO is a fundamental part of your overall SEO strategy to attract, engage, convince and convert customers.

If you would like to drive more prospects to your website to increase your sales, contact The Marketing People today on 01543 495752.

Posted in SEO

How To Fix Your Ads Fast

Digital-Advertising-Animated-Inpage

Have you tried Google Ads and it hasn’t worked for you? Read our blog and watch our short video below to find out why you aren’t generating leads, calls and clients from your campaign, and how to fix your ads fast.

As the world’s biggest search engine, Google gives you the opportunity to get your brand, product or service in front of your target audience, at the point of interest. There is also Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads and Instagram Ads which, done correctly, can increase opportunities for you to sell.

So, why aren’t your ads working?

Consider Your Customers’ Journey

Are your ads saying the same thing as your website? Consistency is key to create a positive customer journey.

When someone clicks your ad, make sure you’re sending them to a designated web page that will sell the particular product or service that you have advertised to them.

Provide the solution to their pain and you will convert those clicks into customers.

Look at Your Follow Up

82% of sales happen on the second, third or fourth visit to your website: a good first impression isn’t enough to generate enquiries.

You need to create remarketing campaigns to stay in touch with your prospects throughout the 21 day buying cycle.

These campaigns will help you build relationships with your target audience and get them back to your website to finally make the purchase.

Watch our short video for more information here:

If you’re running Google Ads and your campaign has been unsuccessful, we can help.

Want a FREE ads review? Book your discovery call here to fix your ads fast and start generating sales.