Has Google been sending you emails recently? If you are the webmaster for your domain, you will be getting messages from Google Search Console as they find new errors on your website.
Search Console email text alert
The newly helpful Search Console Reports are good to get. This is all part of a rollout of improved reporting. Now you can take control of your own website SEO and won’t have to rely on bespoke or paid developer tools which you don’t want to buy.
What does Google’s email say?
Typically the standard email you receive is not written in plain English – this is tech-speak. Let us help you decode it.
New Index coverage issue detected for site https://www.yourdomain.com
The Google is trying to be helpful. So click through from the link supplied and see what the Search Console summary error page says. There are quite a few possible variations – but here are some of the possible issues [Read the Google Support page]
Helpfully Google offers suggestions on how to research the issue you can test if the Robots.txt file is blocking, you can fetch the page as if you are Google [superb trick this], View the page as a search result and lastly, re-submit to the Google database.
Don’t worry – this isn’t terminal
If you have received this message you can research some how-to guides, blast through the Support guide or call us and we will help you fix it. Remember Creative Agency Secrets will teach you how to do these fixes yourself, or we can do them for you.
I just checked the error from one client and found a lot of other broken links – use a broken link checker tool to find your priority pages. It’s worth getting these sorted out – you know “nanny knows best.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Cocerage-issue.png8401084Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-06-13 10:00:002018-06-12 16:41:34Search Console and broken website links
Sage publishes an annual survey of accountants attitudes – what’s interesting is that it is global and the summary report details some good findings about the profession.It’s called The Practice of Now 2018
As a marketer who works with professional services businesses, my reading highlights some big numbers in the research about artificial intelligence, fear of competition, lack of optimism and increasingly demanding clients.The implications for marketing, I will cover at the end of this article.
10 take-outs from the Practice of Now 2018 report
Clients are changing faster than accountants. – 42% of clients expect accountants to provide business advice.This shows how frontline accountancy is in the mind of the client and how banks and business mentors have failed to take up the slack here, which is an opportunity for growth.
Revenues rise as cloud accounting allows firms to be more productive.56% of firms saw a revenue rise.If your firm didn’t see this fee income growth – start to review your working practices.
Practice Management in the cloud is at 53% adoption – clearly we are into the mainstream majority now.
But confidence is lower – 40% feel less confident about the prospects for their practice.Clearly Xero’s goal of putting accountants out of business is realistic and beginning to come true.
Competition within the industry is more visible – are you buying up a practice from a retiring competitor?Clients will go to an accountant who serves their needs – even to another city or country.This is both a threat and and opportunity for new business development.
Artificial Intelligence is helping free up administrative tasks and it’s more than just automation. Moving from data entry, email and diary management to higher value services is a no-brainer… but how to set it up is the challenge as these skills aren’t in-house and they may not be in the IT services organisations who work with accountants either.
Most accountants are doing some workflow automation – 49% want to do more of it.So the benefits are noticed (see 2 above).
The language of accountancy is changing – “Tell me how much money I have” and “How much am I owed?” is SO refreshing compared to “debtors, creditors and accruals”.From a marketing point of view, these messages are very powerful and simple – but does your firm use this language?
Advisory services are wanted by 42% of clients – but if you don’t market & position the firm to capture this revenue, clients will go elsewhere.
The BIGGIE – 67% of accountants say that cloud technologies make client collaboration easier. Phew, glad that worked out because it jolly well ought to be this way.
Should I worry about artificial intelligence?
If you’re not sure what A.I. could do for your business, start asking questions now.Because we all understand automation in things like bank feeds, this is a very small part of the working practice move towards higher functionality for humans and lower functions for machines (or software robots).
The easiest way to understand the potential for AI in accountancy is this extract from the report
“Candidates for automation already include assigning incoming bank statement entries with the correct nominal codes—via training the machine becomes able to predict what codes should be used—but in the near future the power of AI to learn means it will become involved with operations like analytics and report creation. For example, software will be able to predict a client’s cash flow based on the company’s previous behaviour. Based on self-generated data, AI will be able to make predictions and decisions. This isn’t limited to client data. By examining things like seasonality data, AI can help with practice management. AI and automation aren’t just desirable because they make life easier. Research has suggested that the tedium of repetitive tasks can lead to a high staff turnover, introducing additional costs for a practice such as recruitment and training. Automating these processes makes complete business sense.”
It goes on to say
“AI can flag the anomalies, saving time and resources, making the accountant more productive.”
Your strategic marketing pathway
And as a marketer, if I am advising a modern accountancy practice this is what they should be doing for strategic marketing.
Firstly get your brand positioning updated to reflect modern working.Think Nena and Kim Wilde – “Anyplace, anywhere, anytime” and you’ll be on the right track.
How that branding plays out into your collateral, positioning, services and online profile should be straightforward.The key is to get the strategy right first and the rollout should be clear.You will need new keywords for SEO, your client communications will become driven by client preference and choice and your language will simplify and align with clients’ choices of words.
Other than that, it’s marketing business as (un)usual for a modern accountancy practice.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-05-31 16:56:132018-05-31 16:56:13The (b)leading edge of Accountancy marketing
Migrating to digital marketing from traditional marketing is a question I get asked frequently. Giving a talk to the Te Atatu Business Association, I was able to showcase both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) examples of ways to work out these things
Where to start your digital marketing
Which marketing methods will work best for your business
What communications will work best for your clients and customers
The resources on the last slide are worthwhile saving / bookmarking. They relate to directory listings and tips for local marketing.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-05-16 10:23:272018-05-16 10:23:50How to Migrate to Digital Marketing
It’s that time of the year again where we remind you about the benefits of good ol’ directories! Before the internet, we relied on finding services through the big yellow brick of a book we received each year. Thanks to the world wide web, we now find them stuffed under uneven table legs or as a booster seat. Today we find what we’re looking for with a click of a button. Does your business stand out?
In 2016, Google took away the right-hand sidebar where the paid adverts were displayed. Now the paid posts soar straight to the top, making it a tough battle for smaller companies to get noticed. Directories can be a cost-effective way to help get found via search engines. Being active on directories increases the chances of your business getting noticed.
Why updating your information is vital
It is important to keep your business updated in directories. If your business has gone through a recent change and you didn’t update your information, you could lose a lot of potential customers!
Never forget to NAP, this means not sleeping on the details. Make sure your Name, Address and Phone data is accurate and up to date. Location and accessibility are two of the most important factors when it comes to customers. If your telephone number is an old one and a customer can’t get through to you, they’re unlikely to try again. Likewise, if you were to put your address as a small town in South America, a New Zealand customer wouldn’t follow up with your business!
Pro tip: Check the directories your company is listed in and confirm your details are correct. Some websites take their information from others; resulting in a cycle of incorrect information.
Updated List of Directories
This year, we bring you an even bigger list of potential directories your business may be found in. Take a look to see where your business is listed and where it isn’t.
It’s the only thing standing in between you and your next big client.
NB: Not all directories will apply to every type of business, some are more specific to particular fields. (eg. Tripadvisor will benefit restaurants and hotels over a telecommunications company.)
Create a personal profile and connect with and online attorney network.
Reviews and rankings of design agencies around the world.
Directory of beers, breweries, bars and stores around the world.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/map-local-directories.jpg8531280Anagha Sridharhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgAnagha Sridhar2018-03-29 12:48:422018-03-29 16:48:41Boost Your Business with Local Directories
For any business using its website as a lead generation tool, traffic is essential. The more visitors you get, the more chances you have to make your product or service known, gain connections and promote your brand. This is why an unexpected decline in organic traffic is a terrifying idea, as it might result in fewer business opportunities and less income.
Whether it’s a technical problem, a new Google algorithm implementation or lack of content optimisation, there are several possible motives why your company’s website traffic numbers have been sinking lately.
For example, older websites have higher risks of being penalised by Google’s algorithm updates because of potential coding errors and obsolete practices still applied to some of the pages. That ‘keyword stuffed’ article you wrote in 2010 that brought a lot of traffic seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, it is definitely hurting your website on an apocalyptic scale.
Content is (a mad) king
We recently had a meeting with a group of young entrepreneurs who run MI6-HQ.com, a fansite dedicated to Bond, James Bond. (cue the music)
They expressed their concern with the MI6-HQ website traffic dropping like a stone over the past months and wanted our help to:
Assess the possible reasons for the decline in visits;
Come up with a few creative ideas to solve the problem, like a marketing version of Q.
Even though they offer really good articles (many visitors had lots of nice things to say on their Facebook comments), their search engine rankings and organic reach keep decreasing. There are multiple marketers that repeatedly state just writing “epic content” will drive traffic to any website, period. Unfortunately, that’s not the truth.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree that good content is essential. But if you publish it in a flawed website, you’ll have your king residing in a crumbling castle. That inspires no recognition at all and the results are totally unpredictable.
We believe part of the decline in the MI6-HQ search rankings is that their website has been running for over 20 years (!!!) and most of their ‘ancient’ content might not have been updated regularly. A quick search (on Google, of course) shows that MI6-HQ.com has 15,500 indexed pages. It’s probably really hard to keep tabs on all of them individually.
Optimising websites is not a one-size-fits-all process. When it comes to web content that is already published, you have the option to improve or kill pages forever. In this specific case, deleting some of the older articles might be an alternative. Having fewer discoverable pages to increase your website findability can sound very counterintuitive, but I assure you, it works wonders for some people. Learning to let go is necessary sometimes.
Analysing your website performance is a laborious but rewarding task
There’s a lot of work involved in optimising your website. You might even say it’s a never-ending task, depending on your level of perfectionism. Nowadays, the competition online is cutthroat, so any edge you have over your competitors is worth the effort.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/website-traffic-drop.jpg16982667Conrado Langerhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgConrado Langer2018-03-23 15:30:382018-03-23 11:33:29"Why is my website traffic dropping?"
This November, we’ve got another breakfast seminar happening! We will be covering 3 ways to change your business thinking and actions for 2018 success.
Has your business reached a standstill even with new business strategies and tactics implemented?
Perhaps it is time to renew your thinking with us! Getting your thinking right is the key to developing the right business strategy and tactics. Digital marketing is one of the most effective tools to utilise when unlocking business growth and boosting brand awareness. To help you better understand how incorporating digital marketing and the right business strategy can unlock secrets that underpin success, we have this insightful breakfast seminar lined up for you.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Abigail Mokhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgAbigail Mok2017-11-10 16:16:122017-11-10 16:16:123 Ways to Change Your Business Thinking & Actions for 2018 Success
You should be on Google My Business as well because that will enable Reviews and a location pin to appear when people search
Improve website messaging
I think there’s some other places where a bit of clearer marketing communication could help
Strapline. The name of the business does not describe what you do [I also provide sensational services – but of a different type]
Pearl Waterless is a strong point of difference for one of the services – but you don’t EXPLAIN it.
Plus it’s a “Green” product and you could be selling the environmental benefits.
One service page does not have any heading titles, it doesn’t have any testimonials and it doesn’t explain that you offer a mobile service
The other service page has a gigantic photo and doesn’t explain the service in detail compared to the other service page. They should be similar – consistency matters.
You have a Facebook page but there’s no link to it on the site. 42 people have shared your website onto Facebook – but you aren’t tracking links like this.
Have you got any customer testimonials?
Have you got any photos of your ACTUAL Team doing the work?
Any funny stories to tell about your jobs? What about the Facebook photos you share – the team celebration – could these go on a blog on the website too?
Why would you change?
What’s important here is that the website owner sees a rapid return on investment for his marketing spend.
The areas where I believe we can show a quick ROI are the services descriptors and aligning them to search phrases, pulling out the points of difference. And then making it super-easy for the site visitor to get in touch by phone. That rapidly increases enquiries, the business owner feels his spend is justified. Later we can get more sophisticated.
And so if you would like us to improve the SEO and re-write some of the pages, go to our shop and buy our SEO Starter Pack and then come into the office and we’ll prioritise, get started and tick off all these things for you.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/hubspot.png274949Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-10-11 16:51:212017-10-11 16:51:21We Review a Service Business Website
I was searching for a music streaming service for classical music. But I got the name wrong.
I knew I had not found the right business in my search results when I clicked through to the best result, and found this website design (top image). Realising my mistake, I quickly revised my search (by spelling the business name correctly) and was directed to the second page – where I knew I’d arrived at the site I wanted.
You can see how I worked out my error, through the image design, layout and styling. It’s dated and not mobile responsive. Styled as 2000s versus 2017.
Now imagine if that actually WAS the correct result and it was the business I wanted. What first impression is your website giving to first time visitors?
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Adagio-versus-Idagio.png11221020Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-07-18 16:13:182017-07-18 16:13:18Can you tell when you've found the right business in search?
Last week I got the latest research on SEO from trusted brand SEM Rush. You can download and read their report Ranking Factors 2017 in SEO.
Ranking Factors 2017 report from SEMRush
Creative Agency Secrets has read the whole report and below are 5 SEO tasks you can initiate immediately for your own website or ecommerce store.
The report has a number of chapters each of which is followed by “What this means to you as a marketer” Read these pages for the SEMRush interpretation of their research findings.
5 SEO actions for 2017
Check you have a secure (https) website. Get a SSL Certificate installed if your url begins http://. See Secure websites below
Find websites which can link back to you. Clients, Suppliers, News / Magazines, Directories. See Referring Domains below
Get ideas for your SEO and your content creation from Answer the Public research tool
Use more keywords on your “cornerstone” content pages. See Keywords below.
Plan the visitor pathway through your site especially with a view to reducing bounce rate.
The Detailed insights
Note these are paraphrased from the SEMRush report including some verbatim quotes. All the ACTION FOR YOU tasks are recommendations by us for your website or ecommerce store. The page numbers are the actual page number in the report NOT the number top RHS.
Secure websites – page 6. The higher the page position in search, the higher the keyword search volume most sites are secure https domains. We interpret this that websites with SSL are trusted and are gaining over plain www and http sites.
Referring domains – page 10. The pages that rank higher have more backlinks from unique domains. Websites that appear on SERPs for high-volume keywords have significantly more backlinks than ones that appear for low-volume keywords — almost 10 times more. ACTION FOR YOU the competition for high-volume keywords is vicious, and those websites are invincible. But for low-volume keywords the competition is not so tough, so some link building could bring tremendous results.
Content length – page 18. What we saw first was that there is generally more content on the pages that rank higher for all search volume intervals. There is more content on the pages with long-tail keywords than on those with short-head keywords. ACTION FOR YOU pick your “cornerstone” content pages and work them HARD for SEO goodness. Content length is important for your page’s success as long as it is valuable, well-written, and optimised, especially if you target high volume keywords.
Keywords – page 23. In the high volume keyword group. the majority of the pages add a keyword to their title, meta and body copy but the occurrence of the keyword in the meta description does not influence the page rankings. Pages that rank for long-tail keywords repeat those keywords less often than pages that rank for short-head keywords. The pages on the first positions (for both longtails and short-heads) have noticeably more keywords than all other pages. ACTION FOR YOU If you plan to rank by long tail keywords, having an exact-match keyword in your on-page SEO elements is not crucial. In fact, it is more important to diversify the semantic core of your text and make it relevant to the target keyword rather than copying it. The presence of a video didn’t show a significant influence on page rankings, so we came to the conclusion that video itself is not a silver bullet. However, in certain niches clients expect video content, so it makes sense to provide it. Consider your audience’s demands, and if they include visual support, use video.
Volume of visitors – page 33. Not a strong correlation to page rank here especially if your search phrases are low(er) volume searches. For the low-volume keyword group, the trend is flat, indicating that a page’s position does not strongly correlate with its number of total monthly visits. For high-volume popular keywords, the number of page visits gets noticeably smaller for sites that rank below the 12th position. ACTION FOR YOU this means organic search is not the only thing you should be concentrating on. Drive a strong traffic from direct and social media linked visits by pushing brand awareness on these platforms and also through newsletters.
Bounce Rate – page 37. The higher a page’s position is, the lower its bounce rate. The user navigates through three to three-and-a-half pages per website, per visit. As your site moves towards the top of the SERP, there are more pages per session for every domain. ACTION FOR YOU firstly ensure you have strong internal page linking. Think about what you want the visitor to do next on every page.Connect with Cornerstone content discussed above. Also analyse your rivals (How to compare my site to a competitor’s) Inside Google Analytics, check your queries performance and lastly, find low ranking pages for Bounce and improve them to reduce bounce rate and page rank.
SEMRush custom offer at the end of the report
And a cunning end-point which is a marketing “trick” I’ve used a lot for clients – on the very, very last page is an offer. A really good one. SEMRush will do a niche study for your industry if you write to ask. We did (for a client) and they said they’d been overwhelmed and would put it on the list…. but still. This is a fabulous reward for the people who do read all the way to the end. #TopTip
Ready to rock with some improvements on your business SEO? Let’s get started together!
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/RAnking-Factors-SEM-RUsh.png8601230Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-07-05 13:58:062017-07-05 16:25:18What's new in SEO? 5 actions to do today