SEO Dominoes

Brighton SEO Takeaways 2021

My First Brighton SEO

Author Bio:

My name is Charlie Clayton. I have worked here at MR SEO for 4 months and have learnt so much since starting. I am also simultaneously doing a digital marketing apprenticeship. One thing I have found since beginning my SEO career is how no two clients or strategies are the same. There are often problems or techniques you can apply to one but not the other. Learning these is a key part of my development when it comes to knowing how to deal with unique situations when they arise.

Attending Brighton SEO was a great way to develop my skills further and take things I can implement into my learning and my work going forward.


Brighton SEO: Three Great Talks

Sophie MacNaught: SEO For many in the SEO industry and beyond, Brighton SEO is a fantastic date in the calendar to increase their SEO knowledge, learn new insights and speak to like-minded people in their business.

With an incredibly knowledge filled schedule with talks being held simultaneously, its impossible to attend all of Brighton SEO’s talks. However, I have picked out three great talks that I attended over the two-day event last week that opened my eyes to new perspectives on SEO.


Link Building in 2021 (When You're a Bit Crap at PR) (Sophie MacNaught)

The first of which was done by Sophie MacNaught. The talk was on alternative approaches to generating backlinks when outreach isn’t working or PR isn’t one of your strong points.

Sophie discussed her outreach background but her recent shift in mindset when generating backlinks. She stated ‘instead of my content always being the story, my content can build as many links by supporting someone else’s story.'

This is an interesting new angle to take on outreach that I hadn’t previously considered. Previously my outreach efforts were to make the article subject coincide with the main focus of the link we wanted to get externally linked. Sophie suggests a new tactic, where a journalist or website would write an article on a subject of their choice and your own article would support this and could be referenced within a much larger article from a much larger news outlet than a simple outreach article would normally provide.

This is something that I plan to look further into and test within my own learning surrounding the outreach procedure going forward. Sophie’s slides can be found here.


The underrated value of internal linking (Jamie Grant)

The next great talk I managed to attend was presented by Jamie Grant. Jamie’s presentation looked at underrated aspects of internal linking and how to incorporate more internal links into sites.

One particular highlight of Jamie’s presentation was the importance of incorporating internal links into primary content. Jamie stressed to include these links regardless of if there is a link already in a navigation bar on the page. This can be done with a unique piece of anchor text and brings additional SEO benefit.

Another great insight Jamie provided was the importance of ‘breadcrumbs’. Breadcrumbs are internal links back to previous category pages and are most commonly found on e-commerce sites.

Jamie used the example of a television at Argos:

These allow you to internally link multiple other pages as well as offering the customer easy navigation from a UX perspective.

Both of these insights are techniques I will look to incorporate into my work going forward along with various other bits of advice Jamie’s interesting and informative talk provided. Jamie’s slides can be found here for a more in-depth look.


Shopify SEO: How to Optimize for Eccommerce in 2021 (Chris Long)

Finally, I attended Chris Long’s talk on optimising eCommerce sites built within Shopify. As I am relatively new to SEO myself, my experiences with Shopify so far have often been confusing and troublesome.

Chris’s talk looked at technical aspects of getting your or your client’s sites into great condition. Shopify creates two duplicate pages for the same product. One page will have the URL structure of /Products/ and the other will be /Collections/. This is something I have encountered before and not known which one to prioritise. Chris explained that not only do we want to optimise the /product page over the /collections/ page, but we want to remove the duplicate /collections/ pages altogether. Before this, I have thought a no-index tag was the right way to approach this, but as Chris explained, Google can choose to ignore this completely, thus still crawling your duplicate pages. To counter this, remove them completely as they won’t be needed in the future.

Chris also spoke about the importance of choosing the correct theme for your site due to page speed. His company meticulously went through all the themes and tested their speed. Chris stated that clients often don’t take into account the fact that their theme might slow down their site.

5 themes that Chris suggested were:

  • Create Theme
  • Toy Theme
  • Warm Theme
  • Light Theme
  • Outdoors Theme

These themes can be optimised without a cost to speed across the site. I too hadn’t considered that different themes may have different speeds and this insight has given me a further thing to consider when talking to a client with a Shopify store.

If you own a store built in Shopify, read more about what we can offer here at MR SEO on our SEO for Ecommerce page.

Overall, Brighton SEO was the first SEO event I have attended (virtually) since I began my career in SEO. I found it incredibly informative and will implement various techniques and insights into my day to day work for years to come.


How Use SEO In Your E-Commerce Products

SEO In E-Commerce

There’s arguably no bigger industry that SEO can have a bigger impact on than e-commerce. If the sole purpose of a website is to sell products, there is complete reliance on the success of a business on traffic to your site.

So, why SEO over Social, for example?

Well, to drive traffic through a social post, the client has to be introduced to it through sharing, engaging in your social media accounts or paid promotion. With SEO, the customer doesn’t need to catch your post shared by someone else or know who you are before they visit your site. They can just search for a particular product and find you that way. The conversion rates are going to be much lower on social posts as the chances of someone wanting your product when they see the post enough to click through are much, much lower than someone who has specifically gone out of their way to look for your product.


So, how can you get high keyword rankings for your E-commerce site?


Title Tags and H1s

First, you need to know what people are searching for. If your brand is called “Sweat-less” and you sell deodorant products, you might have set up your product page as “Sweat-Less Deodorant Blue Bottle” for example. You might have thought that this was the best description of the product, but its highly unlikely that that is what people are searching for.

Chances are, people don’t care about the colour of the bottle so it takes up valuable keyword space. Instead, look at your competitors, what do they say in their product titles?

Is it an antiperspirant, is it a spray, a roll-on, does it last 24 hours, 48 maybe? These are the type of things people will search for over the colour of the can. By not including these keywords in your titles or h1s, you’re stopping your product ranking for these terms. Try keeping your title tags within 60 characters.

Use a free keyword tool or speak to one of our experts today who can take all the time and stress out of optimising your products yourself and start generating some real ROI results. You can read more about our specialist services on our SEO for E-commerce page.

Once your title tags and headings are optimised, what else can you do?

Well, now look at your on-page content. Is there necessary information about the product that there isn’t much search behind but still might help generate a conversion? What’s your ISP over your competitors. Once someone is on the page, the body content beneath your product could be the difference between them converting and them not so think about it carefully. Sell your product!


Meta Descriptions

You can also look at the meta descriptions for the pages. Meta descriptions are the small body of text underneath the link on the search engine results. Use a meta description as an opportunity to invite someone in. Similar to the body content of the piece, use this as an opportunity to sell your product, all be it in much fewer words. Add a call to action such as “get yours now!” or if you’re selling a service, it could be “find out more here”. Test your meta descriptions on the page once you’ve done them. Make sure all of the text is readable for the potential customer.


URL Optimisation

Using your keyword research, implement this to the URL as well. Is there more search behind antiperspirant than there is for deodorant, whilst your product is both, for example? Change your URL to include a primary keyword. This should help rankings over time.

Image alt tags

Since Google can’t read images, they rely on alt text to know what it’s about. Include alt tags explaining what is in the picture so that google can see that the picture matches other ranking requirements, giving you a potential boost in the rankings.

This also gives you another spot to include your keyword on the page and gives you a shot at showing up in Google image results.

Overall, SEO for E-commerce is vital and something that you should implement immediately to see results. If this all seems slightly too time consuming or complicated, get in touch today to speak to our experts who can help put you in the right direction.

Google on a tablet

Google's New Passage Ranking is Now Live

What is Google's New Passage Ranking System and How Might it Effect You?

In a move hotly anticipated by many, Wednesday, February 10th was the day that Google began its passage ranking (formerly known as passage indexing). Currently, the system is only live in US English search results but they have plans to bring the ranking system to more countries that are English speaking and then countries and territories that utilise other languages.

Google passage ranking is Google's new way of algorithmically crawling through a long piece of content looking for a specific section, sentence or passage/ set of passages is about a specific query or subject, while another specific passage or set of passages in that same document can be about a completely separate query. Google is able to rank the same piece of content despite the various different subjects and content examples that are discussed in the passages. Very impressively, Google can separate this different content precisely and for different queries. However, Google is not indexing them separately but ranking them separately.

This could be big news within the SEO industry, with Google stating passage ranking would impact about 7% of search queries when it was first announced back in October. Google said at the time that "this will be a global change improving 7% of queries." From the start, it hasn’t been a global impact, with right now passage ranking only covering US English results. There would have been a noticeable impact after the update went live on the 10th within these US English results, but once the update goes global there could be a potentially seismic change in the SEO world.

So, how does this differ from featured snippets, where Google shows a passage of your content as an answer at the top of the Google Search Results?

Google stated back last year that its "systems determine the relevance of any web document via an understanding of passages. Featured snippets, on the other hand, identifies the most relevant passage in a document we’ve overall determined to be relevant to the query."

An important thing to consider for anyone in the SEO industry is the need to understand while consuming this that while Google wrote the new system is called "passage indexing," it is not "indexing." Google has stated it is a "ranking thing" more than an indexing procedure. In fact, Google has specifically stated that has not changed how it indexes when it comes to this, it still indexes the full page as it did before.

So,  in simple terms, how might this affect you or your site?

Your bigger, multi-layered stories and articles on a topic, that may cover various subtopics, will likely have a better chance of ranking for the content surrounding the subtopic in that article now this has gone live. So, if you write about Lamborghinis and then cover all the various models of the Lamborghini, including the Lamborghini Urus. If someone searches for the Urus specifically, that bigger article on Lamborghinis might rank well for the query on the Lamborghini Urus. However, being such early days, its important to take this with a pinch of salt. What the purpose of the update is and how effective it actually is, remains to be seen.

If you think Google Passage Ranking might be something that your site could benefit from but don't know how to take full advantage of your on-site optimisation, contact us today to speak to our experts!

Local Business

A Guide to Local SEO

Did you know, 46% of all Google searches are local? Higher than you thought right?


Yet more surprisingly, up to 56% of local retailers haven’t even claimed their Google My Business listing. If you’re out of the loop, a Google My Business page is a local listing that allows search engine users to see all of your business information as well as allowing you to appear in specific industry searches near the searcher. For example, if you own a coffee shop, the searcher won't have to specifically search for your brand name, just ‘coffee shop near me’. If 56% of businesses haven’t even claimed their GMB listing, they’re at an immediately huge disadvantage.

Set one up or claim yours now! It’s the first step to having good local SEO

But while claiming your Google My Business listing is a good starting point, there’s plenty more to understand and implement to have successful local SEO. Understanding what local SEO actually is, is key to understanding what you can do to improve it.


So, what is Local SEO?


Local SEO refers to the process of ‘optimising’ your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. These searches take place on Google and other search engines. Often, a business is up against so many competitors on a national level, they have no chance at ranking for their services nationally. However, ranking within their local area is a much more realistic target, and a target worth chasing.

First things first… Get the basics right.

First, make sure that your website is optimized for mobile visitors, as 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.

Next, make sure all your contact information, addresses, and more are all up to date on not only your site but any local listings you might appear on. This means no matter where a potential customer might stumble upon your business, they have immediate access to it.


Let’s say that you run that local coffee shop—it’s called Mrs E’s Coffee.


You would clearly want to pop up for searches like:

A local search like “coffee shop near me”;

A specific branded search like “Mrs E’s Coffee”;

Various questions that your online information can answer such as “what time does Mrs E’s Coffee close?” and “how long will it take to walk to Mrs E’s Coffee?”; Mrs E’s Coffee phone number”;

But these aren’t traditional queries, because Google displays this information in card-like results in the SERPs.

Still can’t quite get your head around it or don’t have the time? Get in touch today to discuss your site and any service we might be able to provide!

For most businesses, the primary keywords to target will be quite obvious. Let’s say that you’re a plumber in Romford—how do you think people will search for your services? They’ll probably go to Google and type something like:

“plumber in Romford”;

“emergency plumber in Romford”;

“clogged drain cleaning in Romford”

Focus your time on implementing these types of queries into your pages to maximise your visibility locally. Are you a plumber that wants to take advantage of our advice but don’t have the time? You can read all about our bespoke, tailored service for plumbers interested in SEO here.


Chapter 4. On-Page SEO

Finally. After you’ve completed your keyword research, it's time to implement it into your site and begin to see the results! Many “traditional” on-page SEO practices apply here, like:

  • Keyword in H1
  • Keyword in the title tag
  • Keyword in URL
  • Short and sweet URLs
  • Enticing meta description


Follow this handy guide and you’ll be well on your way to having a much bigger visibility within local search!

SEO on Phone

Why Title Tags are Important In SEO

Why Title Tags Are Important In SEO

First of all, what is a title tag?

Title tags are important because they let readers know what information will be present when a user clicks on a page. The little bar at the top of the tab you're open that has some text in it is where the title page is visible to visitors of that page.

They are important for the search engines for the same reason, except they also function to determine the relevancy of the web page as a result of a search query. For this reason, they are MASSIVE within SEO. When Google decides whether your page is what people are looking for when they search a particular term or keyword, the algorithm will crawl your pages and look at various things before making a decision to rank you for the search term in question.


So, know you know they are important, how do you know what to put in your title tags?



The most important part. If you’re selling a product on an e-commerce site, the name of the product will be what people search for. The same goes for whatever the point of your site is. If you offer a service, the service will need to be in the title. Whatever the purpose of the page is will be the keywords you want to rank for when someone searches. Utilise this to make your title’s feature whatever keyword or words will highlight your product the most.


Don’t overdo it. Too many keywords all crammed into a title tag will confuse google as well as your potential customer visiting the page and do the opposite of the desired effect. Google can easily recognize keyword stuffing and may change the title of your web page if it feels you’re just throwing different variations of a keyword into it.  Google can easily recognize keyword stuffing and may change the title of your web page if it feels you’re just throwing different variations of a keyword into it.

Example: Car Dealership For Car Sales: A Car Dealership Sales Team for Selling Cars So You Can have a Nice Car | Car Dealership

A simple, “Car Dealership,” with further, separate information such as your location “| Romford” would certainly suffice here.

For experts who can use multiple specialised tools to know which keywords would be best for your title tags, get in touch today!


What to avoid!

Other than cramming keywords, you should also avoid using ‘Stop Words’ in your title tags.

A stop word can be any of the following:










Sometimes it might not seem possible to have a title tag without stop words, but if you try different combinations of the same title, you can find them. Often a | or ‘pipe’ is a great way of separating information in a title tag.

This is especially relevant for e-commerce pages that may feature a lot of similar products. Be sure to give each page as unique a title as possible to ensure you’re most desired pages are SEO optimized for their corresponding queries. If you have a lot of similar products for sale on your site, use the title tags to highlight what makes them different. For a bespoke service for your E-commerce site, read our SEO For Ecommerce page.

The last thing to consider is the length of your title tags. Title tags that are too long won’t be looked favourably on by Google and could affect visibility, rankings and in turn, conversions. All title tags must be below 70 characters to optimise to their potential and should include the product or service name first before the company or site name if you choose to include it.


Seem a lot to take in? Overwhelmed trying to keep up? Think it will take the important time you could be doing other things within your business?


Get in touch today. We have leading experts who can adjust your title tags across your site based on their in-depth keyword research and strategic development. Title tags are just the beginning. Read our SEO Page to find out what the whole of our service offers!

Travel Industry

How to Maximise SEO Within the Travel Industry

Horrible year, right? Already thinking about your next holiday, I bet. Chances are, when you come round to book it, you’ll look online. You’re not alone. With so many people now pricing and booking holidays online, the need for SEO within the travel industry has never been greater.

Online Travel Agencies or (OTAs) such as Expedia,, and TUI spend incredible amounts of money every year just to make sure its them at the top when you want to book that week in Mexico you’ve been dreaming of.

With so many holidays canceled last year, there is pent up frustration and a desperation to escape to a sunny destination. When the COVID restrictions finally lift, there is going to be a mad rush in booking holidays. Make the most of this pent up frustration and get ahead of the game with an SEO investment today.


With a seeming dominance from the giant corporations, how can smaller businesses hope to compete?


Direct Services:

Often, a hotel on Expedia isn’t exclusive to them and you might offer the same hotel, for the same dates, for a cheaper price. So how do you take a chuck of some of that traffic?

The simple answer is SEO.

There are a few things you can do yourself, but others you might not be able to.

For example, you can look at specific amenities the hotel has which might be attracting traffic or you think would attract traffic. For example, is your Florida hotel within a 5 minute drive from Disney? Is it the only hotel that has an infinity pool in a 5-mile radius?

Understand your products and which services make them unique. Then, optimise your page for it. Does TUI’s site only briefly mention how close it is to Disney? Put it in your title, your H1, your meta description! That way, when people search for “hotel within 5 miles of Disney” you should see an increase in your search engine ranking and in turn, your site traffic.

More specifically within this strategy is the option is to try and rank for what we call ‘long tail keywords’. These are almost sentence length search terms that your site can be optimised for in order to stand out from the rest.

For example:

  • Hotels close to Buckingham Palace London
  • Dog-friendly hotels in Cheltenham
  • New York Hotel near Michelin star restaurant

By attempting to optimise your pages for longer tail keywords, you increase your chances of Google ranking your pages when people search for these specific terms over just attempting to compete in the endless waves of “London hotels”, “Cheltenham hotels” or “New York hotels”.

Here at MR SEO, we can crawl your site through our expert industry programs and develop a bespoke strategy based on the search terms you could be aiming to rank for and competing against the mega-corporations with. Get in touch today if you want to use our and discuss this further.



I’m a local travel agent without a huge online presence, what can I do?


Fear less! The high street isn’t dead! With holidays reaching well into the thousands to exotic places across vast oceans, many people hesitate when booking online.

They just want to give someone a location and some dates and be given the options. Often, online booking can be complicated and faulty, which scares many people when handing over such a huge amount of money. Especially when it comes to the older generations, they like a professional to make sure their booking goes smoothly with them, rather than trusting themselves to input data into completed sites with so many variables.

This is where a local campaign can benefit. There isn’t a comparable pedestal to having a great online presence nationally, but there are still great local techniques that you can do yourself or we can work together to implement into your site.

We offer bespoke local SEO campaigns here at MR SEO, where we will do research on what people look for in your surrounding area, optimise your site to just try and get in-person traffic through the door or on the phone rather than making online bookings.

You can also use tools yourself such as Google My Business which when set up correctly will increase your local visibility and local search traffic. For example, once your site is set up for a bespoke local campaign, we might optimise your My Business page with your opening times, address, inviting photos of your business, example products, and contact details. All of which, should increase your in-store visitors, online traffic, telephone conversions, or all three.

For any further information on how a bespoke local travel strategy might benefit you, get in touch today!



SEO Results on a screen

How Long Does SEO take?

First things first, and I can’t stress this enough, SEO is not instant.

Although our society is often after instant gratification, especially in the technology sector, patience is required with SEO. Our online deliveries are dropped off on the next day or even the same day, money can be sent app to app instantly and holidays can be booked at the press of a button but SEO is a process you have to stick with if your results are not instant.

First thing first is to get a professional to do it for you. There are small SEO changes businesses can make that might see a small increase in their traffic or ranking but it’s what we do best, so you can trust us to do it properly.

We’ll give you detailed reports and updates constantly on the changes we are making, the goals of our strategy, all your analytics and important statistics and be in constant contact when you need to.

We offer bespoke SEO consultancy. Together we can decide what’s best for your company.


Quick Wins

There is the potential for immediate impact within SEO, which here at MR SEO we call quick wins. These can be anything from implementing our extensive keyword research to fixing technical errors on your site and can give you an immediate boost when ranking for particular terms.

That means that its although you may see smaller improvements on traffic and ranking positions on your site, it isn’t going to jump from 56 to 1st overnight. If you’re an ecommerce website, you’re not going to see customers flooding your store and making purchases, and chances are your revenue isn’t going to increase in the first week of implementing your campaign.


Long Term Strategy

Like anything, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact amount of time that it takes for your company to see organic traffic from SEO. The length of time it takes to see organic results depends on various different factors such as:

  • Your competition
  • The different keywords you are ranking for
  • How healthy your site is
  • How easy Google can crawl your site
  • The volume of search behind your particular services or products

We will build a bespoke strategy to tackle the most important things for your business first so you can see results as soon as possible. Over the course of the months after, we will implement various updates, changes and audits in order to stay ahead of the game and ensure you are ranking as high as possible.


Why does it take SEO so long to work?

Since SEO is impacted by so many smaller things, it’s nearly impossible to see results right away. It takes Google time to determine things like:


  • The relevance of your page to a user's search
  • What the images on your site are
  • Alt tags
  • Title pages
  • Headings
  • Meta descriptions
  • How long it takes for your page to load
  • How many backlinks you have on your page
  • Broken Links


All of this information, and more, determines where you rank in search engine results pages and can will all take time within your SEO strategy to see an impact.



With all that in mind, it’s easier to understand why SEO takes a little longer to work than other strategies. But what is the exact time it takes to get serious results in ranking, traffic and conversion rates?

There is no exact time, but all things considered, it typically takes 4-6 months to see organic traffic from SEO. That time is measured from the very start of your campaign and implementation.

Once we have developed our bespoke strategy designed for your business, we will get to work on implementing whatever changes need to be made so you can focus on other important aspects of your business and grow further.

However, the work is not done after 6 months if you see an improvement!

We will work with you to give you constant, month by month, implementation updates. If you’re competitors increase their SEO, we have to stay on top of our game to ensure you secure their traffic. SEO is a long-term investment in seasonal services and products too, with many e-commerce sites seeing their best months around Christmas. With various impacts on SEO at all times, take the stress out of having to deal with it yourself and invest in us. A long term investment in SEO is a long term investment that should reap rewards and ROI (Return Of Investment).

Get in touch today.

Why Google My Business is a Key Part of SEO

Launching in 2014, Google My Business quickly skyrocketed one of the most crucial aspects of a local business’s online marketing campaign. Google My Business is a user interface that a business can set up and make it easier for people to find you based on their location, your location or the service you offer. With features such as opening hours, easy accessibility, contact details and product photos, when optimised correctly Google My Business is an unprecedented tool.



But why do Google My Business and SEO go hand in hand?

Often, a well optimised Google My Business page is the first thing people see when searching for your business specifically. For example, when searching for this specific plumbing shop, the Google My Business is prominent on the desktop search.



Example of a search engine page with a prominent google my business section



I want one, what do I need?


A Google account, your business information and an hour of your time.

That’s it.

Just create a google account, go to and click “Add your business to Google”.




Google My Business Set Up Page



Then begin to fill out your business information where prompted. Once your My Business page is set up, you should see banner like the plumbing shop above when searching for your brand.




Where SEO comes in

Ranking for your own brand is great if you are already established as a local business. The next challenge, however, is ranking for your service or product, separate for your brand.


For example, have you ever looked for a local service or shop without knowing one by name? Bakers near me or card shop Romford for example? If your business is called ‘Smith Avenue Bakers’ you should rank when someone searches ‘Smith Avenue Bakers” once your GMB page is set up.


This is because using those keywords, there is very little competition. If someone searches “bakers near me” however, you are competing against every baker in the local area to the GPS location of ht customer searching. Especially within built up areas, this can be extremely competitive and demanding.


Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google's Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general, so the more key information, reviews you can generate and appealing photos, the more trustworthy Google will see you as and therefore rank you.



Getting the edge on your competitors:



Photos are a great place to start. Photos of your products, your infrastructure so people can recognise your establishment from the street or even your staff members can all be inviting to a potential customer looking online for your service.

For example, look at these two different bakeries and their Google My Business pages:


Bakery Google My Business Page

























Prestons has inviting photos of their products immediately visible to the person searching. This could play a huge part in a customer’s decision as they may want a particular product you serve that they can see in the picture without having to enquire.




Reviews are also a huge part of building the trust relationship. The more high star reviews a business has, the more reliable they seem. This can massively influence a potential customers decision.


As you can see, the 4.8 star reviews of the Prestons Village Bakery, has an impressive, inviting 5 star graphic which is one of the first things visible to the searcher. The Percy Ingle 4.0 rating only has a 4 star graphic to represent it.


This seems like a small difference and although it may well be impossible for businesses to aim exclusively for five star reviews, the difference in an extra star on your GMB graphic could be the difference in a customer choosing your establishment.


The importance of Google My Business on your local business is absolutely not to be overlooked. Setting one up can be done without any prior experience and could make an immediate difference to your company.


Here at MR SEO, we can keep track of your GMB, optimising it further and keeping track of analytics such as My Business visitors, interactions, how many times people have clicked for directions and much more information for you to build a strategy around.


This would all be included in our monthly local optimisation package along with website optimisation, monthly reports and constant communication with yourselves.


Get a consultancy today!

Google December Core Update

Google Rolls Out December 2020 Core Update

Google has taken the decision to roll out the December 2020 core update. But what does this mean?


What is a Core Update?


This is the third Core Update of the year after the January 2020 Core Update and the May 2020 Core Update. A core update applies tweaks or changes to Google’s algorithm, meaning the SEO industry must adapt fast to either utilise new tools that benefit their web traffic or, if negatively affected, minimise the damage done by the change in algorithm.


Why is the December 2020 Core Update Noteworthy?


Most of the more recent previous Core Updates have been minor in terms of impact except the May 2020 Core Update which two a fortnight to roll out and left webmasters having to overcome new obstacles. However, early reports suggest this new December 2020 is even more sizable than its predecessor. Fluctuations in top 20 search results were nearly double compared to the same time period after the May 2020 Core Update.


Does this affect me?


Google withheld the update for Thanksgiving and black Friday to both pass unafflicted and allow businesses to continue their ecommerce trade in an unprecedented year for online sales. However, many still have concerns with the timing of the update due to their reliance on online holiday sales. Small businesses could be devastated in the months before Christmas if they do not get the traffic they were receiving before the update at such a crucial time in their financial calendar.


Desktop search changes were most noticeably affected in the health, real estate, travel, finance, law and government. Within mobile searches there was significant difference within the health, law and government, jobs and education, pets & animals, and real estate sectors.


Despite some users claiming to have lost over 40% of their Google organic traffic from the update, others are benefiting from it. Therefore, it may not be anything to worry about for your business. In fact, in many cases, it may be beneficial.


I’ve Noticed a Negative Impact, What Can I Do?


So, you have noticed a negative impact on your site since the update and you’re wondering what you can do to get back on your feet as quickly as possible? This update seems to have benefited content-heavy sites, with Google indicating users to “focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can” as that’s what their “algorithms seek to reward”.


Another action you can take is to keep your website updated as a whole. Google gave a great example of why the standard of your content is key:

“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before. The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren’t bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them,” Google wrote.


Google has suggested that you may see a slight recovery over time but no major change until a further core update later. They have however, issued a helpful post on what to do if you were hit which can be seen here:

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A Guide To SEO Quick Win's

It is always important for any individual or business looking to tap into the potential of search engine optimisation (SEO) not to take an excessively short-term approach. Indeed, this is one reason why we consistently advise our own clients to invest in three months’ work with us to give a chance to see the results of our work together.


However, it is also true that ‘quick wins’ – actionable measures that have been shown to consistently deliver a short-term impact – can still have a part to play in a longer-term SEO strategy. After all, as complicated a field as SEO can undoubtedly be, not all proven SEO measures are greatly difficult to understand or take a long time to yield results.


So with the above in mind, here are some ‘quick wins’ you might try with your own brand’s search engine optimisation efforts:


Research and use relevant keywords


While keyword research tools – like the one that Google provides as part of its Ads Pay Per Click (PPC) service – can help you to pick out potential keywords for your SEO campaigns, you can also come up with relevant keywords simply by searching for them.


If you are currently optimising for ‘Italian restaurants in Camberwell’, for instance, you may be able to group this with other keywords that are largely the same in intent and meaning, such as ‘Camberwell restaurants’ or ‘Italian restaurants in South London’.


One potential way to come up with relevant keywords is to perform a Google search for a query you’re already optimising for, and scroll to the ‘Searches related to...’ section towards the bottom of the results page.


Aim to capture ‘featured snippets’


Featured snippets are a now-familiar part of the Google search landscape, a portion of the text of an especially relevant page often showing up when one performs a search for a given query.


If your business currently has one of its pages ranking on the first page of the search results and a featured snippet from a competitor presently appears at the top of the results page, you might optimise your page to try to win that featured snippet.


Optimise your category-page copy


Category pages are the often unglamorous and forgotten nephews of homepages, product pages and landing pages, frequently featuring less-than-compelling copy.


That means there’s almost always something to be gained by optimising that copy afresh with SEO in mind, including to appeal better to the human user.


Write regularly, with human users in mind


Engaging and relevant content provides a powerful means of boosting your site’s search ranking performance, but the production of it should not feel like a chore.


Constantly writing relevant content – even if not all of it is ultimately published on your site – will help to generate useful and topical ideas for SEO-worthy blog posts.


Also go beyond merely targeting search-engine bots; ensure your content is engaging and provides real value for human users, as attempting to hook in search engine spiders alone is likely to lead to high bounce rates among real visitors.


Optimise your business in other parts of the web


It’s likely that your business will have a presence online extending beyond its website. Your brand might have various social media profiles, for example, that may only be updated sporadically, and therefore display conflicting address and contact details.


Optimising your organisation’s social media channels and directory listings with the same comprehensive information and well-chosen keywords will therefore help to send a strong signal of relevance and credibility to both search engine spiders and human users. And you may only need to spend an hour or so doing it.


Would you like to learn more about the SEO quick wins your own brand may be missing out on, as part of a broader and in-depth SEO campaign focused on delivering the best possible ROI? In that case, don’t hesitate to place your faith in Mr. SEO as your SEO agency in Essex. Complete and submit the below online enquiry form to request your free no-obligation SEO audit.