In the early part of the year, Google released an update to its search algorithm. This has had a mixed impact to businesses which are reliant on website marketing. Unofficially, the update was dubbed by the SEO community, as “Fred”.  Many business websites with quality content have benefited from the increased local business visibility and customer traffic which, “Fred”, has caused. However, business websites which are advert heavy and contain poor content have seen adverse changes to their traffic and visibility. The drop in this group’s online presence is a move which is likely to be celebrated by mobile users as their search experience is now less likely to be interrupted by pop up ads.

 If you use the internet as a vehicle to market your business services or products, it is important to understand what the changes are and how to maximise them. Reading SEO community blogs and articles on the changes can help you gain a better understanding of these issues. Below I have listed a few of the main changes and how they can benefit your business.

AdWords 

Google search has changed the way it displays adverts on the page, and has opted for a more natural organic look. Your Ads now appear at the top of the page instead of appearing on the right. The bright green tick appearing next to the advert is now a subtle green outline on the business name. This can help to build your brand and make your business look less like a paid advert.

Insights

Google has added Insights to the business dashboard and instead of 12 months, now has 18 months’ worth of business data. This feature allows you to understand how customers engage with google whilst searching for businesses. The analytics provide the following useful data:

• What content visitors: read, purchase, download, etc

• Identity of country and location of visitor

• Time they visited website

 • How they found your website

This information is extremely important for a number of business reasons, one of which is that you can tailor your website based on how users engage with your page. We are happy to discuss with you, in what other ways this data may be helpful to your business.

Listing

Google has removed permanently closed listings from the local finder which will make it easier to identify closed businesses. Trying to locate a business then realising it has closed can be extremely frustrating.

Support for local businessesHaving an online marketing strategy is essential to widening your audience reach and potential customers. Below are a few steps to help you achieve this:

• Create a Google My business Page, which will help you to be found when customers are searching for businesses similar to yours.

 • Link your business to a prominent local business customer or organisation, which use your product or service. This will help you to be found easily in your local area.• Use specific key words relating to your business, this will help you appear higher in search results.

• Accurate business contact details, ensuring your business details such as name, address and phone number are up to date will allow 3rd parties to list your business correctly.

• If your website contains multiple adverts and is low on content, you will not be ranked highly on the search result. Therefore, take time out to create a well written website containing blogs, articles and information about your products and services. This will help you to be found easily on the latest update.

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