Featured – SEO Scoop https://www.seo-scoop.com Search Engine Optimisation News, Tips and Advice Tue, 21 Aug 2018 16:28:09 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://www.seo-scoop.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cropped-temp-site-icon-150x150.png Featured – SEO Scoop https://www.seo-scoop.com 32 32 Top website designers explain the latest trends and inspiration for 2018 https://www.seo-scoop.com/featured/website-designers-explain-latest-trends-inspiration-2018/ https://www.seo-scoop.com/featured/website-designers-explain-latest-trends-inspiration-2018/#respond Tue, 21 Aug 2018 16:22:35 +0000 https://www.seo-scoop.com/?p=1563 Web Design Trends and Inspiration in 2018

Website designers are constantly having to deal with the battle of new trends in both design and technology. So what are the latest website design trends in 2018 and where do they get their inspiration? This article reveals the most popular.

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Web Design Trends and Inspiration in 2018

In a forever moving industry, website designers are constantly having to battle between the latest updates in technology and ever-changing design trends and preferences. As the founder of a web design agency, I’ve found that the most notable trend is that customers are resistant to change.

Over the past 8 years, we’ve tirelessly battled with customers requesting outdated styling and trends. This often results in a website being out of date before we’ve even begun building! Why is this you may ask? It’s actually simple – the majority of businesses love to benchmark their competitors. The typical expected lifespan of a website for financial services business for example, is around 4 years. In reality these client expectations are wildly inaccurate. With rapidly changing technology and design trends, most websites will begin to show signs of age after around 18 months. This means that clients are taking inspiration from their competitors who often have out of date websites!

Website design trends to avoid (and never look back!)

To get inspiration for new web design trends, we must first look at the older ones to avoid.

1. The Animated Website Carousel (Slider)

A great example of a trend which has finally started to die out in 2018 are website carousels or animated banners. A recent study shows that virtually nobody tends to look past the first banner (nearly 95% of clicks are on the first!). The only time which you should perhaps consider an animated slideshow is for an eCommerce website. This is because engagement is typically slightly higher when savvy customers are hunting for a bargain. Informational/brochure websites should stick to a single banner which will also help with website load speeds.

2. Heavily tiered website structures

Heavily tiered website structureEstablished website designers who were building websites going back 8 years or so will remember the “good ol’ days” of simple brochure sites being dissected into 20+ pages. These would have a few hundred words per page on a sitemap which spans 4 levels deep. Visitors had to click endlessly through pages just to get basic information. Given the speed at which the patience-shattering 56kbps dial-up modems would connect at, it’s actually baffling that this was the trend. Nowadays, it’s imperative to ensure that when you’re designing the sitemap, less is more – without stuffing pages full of text!

3. Overuse of animations

There’s a fine balance between a nicely animated website which is considered engaging and the torrent of slide-ins, fades and parallax animations which I often see when visiting lower cost websites. Most average website visitors will be put off by this and will often be using budget laptops which means that the website will probably glitch and stagger. Remember – the more animations you have, the higher the probability it’s going to take too long to load and present issues for the average user. Don’t misinterpret this, animations when used subtly and with a ‘less is more’ approach can really help boost visitor conversion rates and increase engagement on the page – just don’t overdo it.

Web design trends to take inspiration from in 2018

As with many trends, there is often a cycle of trends which over time repeat and often morph. Most recently, this is apparent with the revival of shadows.

1. Flat design and the revival of shadows

Although flat design has been around for several years now, it’s still going strong. Perhaps one of the main reasons is because flat designs are typically vector images which can be highly compressed and outputted at SVGs. This ensures the images remain retina sharp, without impacting the load speeds.

Shadows on boxes, shapes and images are being to see a comeback! Flat design is slowly morphing into 3D shapes with layers and depth and the latest trend is to sparingly use shadow effects to give flat designs a new lease of life. Check out the example below:

Scale Flat Design Example

 

2. Subtle animations

In 2018, animations really should be kept simple and subtle. Using hovers effects on buttons, subtle gradient changes and motions which do not distract the visitor are best. Parallax is still a great way to bring a page to live and has shown no signs of slowing throughout the year so far. It’s important to test your animations on a range of devices to ensure that the javascript/CSS isn’t causing the page to jitter. Take inspiration from the example above, which uses a typing effect to change the wording on the banner. It’s a fantastic way to draw a visitor’s eye and explain a product or service in just a few words.

3. Abstract shapes and adventurous colours

Web Design Trends and Inspiration in 2018

Perhaps another result of the focus on ensuring websites load quickly, vector shapes are a great way to make a website look modern without slowing the experience down. Small shapes can be created in Adobe Illustrator (or similar) and exported as SVGs. This allows the image to become responsive, without impacting the page size.

4. Use GIFs to express emotion

Excited Emotion GIF

If you’re not sure what a GIF is, you’ve probably not used a mobile phone or social media before. They’re everywhere and they are here to stay. In an era where face to face interaction is in significant decline, it’s increasingly difficult to convey emotion through content and conversation. One of the key areas which website owners often struggle to convey in their content, is personality and emotion. The use of GIFs in blog articles, website copy and skyscraper articles is a fantastic way to get a quick laugh and use humour to engage with your audience.

5. Reading Progress Bar

A relatively new trend which is becoming increasingly popular is to show a simple progress bar at the top of a blog post or article. This automatically calculates how far through the article the reader is. It’s a nifty tool which can reduce bounce rates and increase time on page as visitors won’t be worried about how much more there is to read. If you’re looking for a free plugin, there’s a great one here – Reading Progress Bar for WordPress.

6. Google AMP

Perhaps one of the most important new trends of 2018, Google AMP is a relatively new method of displaying content almost instantly. The premise is simple – less is more and by enabling AMP on your website’s pages, mobile viewers will be able to click on your articles and visit your pages in a familiar, super fast environment. Google caches the pages locally to render them quicker. The only limitation is that AMP pages have basic layouts.

 

 

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Google Core Algorithm Update August 2018 https://www.seo-scoop.com/algorithm-news/google-core-algorithm-update-august-2018/ https://www.seo-scoop.com/algorithm-news/google-core-algorithm-update-august-2018/#respond Wed, 15 Aug 2018 10:31:17 +0000 https://www.seo-scoop.com/?p=1556 Google Update August 2018

It's been confirmed by Google and it's shaken up the SERPs massively. As always, knowledge is power. Find out more about the update in this video from SERoundtable.com

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Google Update August 2018

Google’s core algorithm update is here. It’s been confirmed by Google and it’s shaken up the SERPs massively. As always, knowledge is power. Find out more about the update in this video from SERoundtable.com.

Our sites saw complete stability on our long established keywords and for some of our newer keywords which we have been targeting, there was a lot of movement in the early days of the month whilst the update was rolling out. Now that the dust has settled, we’ve seen some great improvements and a 15% increase in traffic on one of our money sites.

How have the updates affected your websites? Leave a comment below!

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How the Top 10 Positions Affect Click Through Rates https://www.seo-scoop.com/seo-guides/how-the-top-10-positions-affect-click-through-rates/ https://www.seo-scoop.com/seo-guides/how-the-top-10-positions-affect-click-through-rates/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:30:35 +0000 https://www.seo-scoop.com/?p=1397

It’s no secret that when a web page appears in the top ten positions of Google search results, the click-through rate to that page can increase considerably.

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Getting a steady stream of relevant traffic on any business site can make all the difference when it comes to building brand awareness and making sales of products and services. The common theory is that those websites at position 1 gain a dramatically higher rate of traffic and the sites that are further down the page get progressively less.  In our experience, that theory stands.

According to this report, 75% of web users will not go beyond the first page of results in a Google search. This means that if you rank on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google, you’re quite unlikely to get much traffic. Putting in a lot of money and time to reach a position of that category won’t make it worth your while or expense.

With more than 3.5 billion searches a day, performing well for search words can be what makes a success of your business.

What is CTR – click-through rate?

SEO companies love using acronyms, and CTR is one of them. You may have seen it around the internet, and you may be wondering what CTR stands for? So here’s your answer.

It stands for Click Through Rate and it’s a measurement used to determine how many people are clicking through to a web page either from search results or an ad.

CTR can be measured by Google Analytics. As with all online marketing, it can play a part in testing whether you have you implemented an effective online marketing strategy or campaign.

The CTR is calculated by dividing the number of times the link appears by the number of times the link has been clicked on. For example, if Google states that a keyword is searched for 100 times per month, and you’ve received 10 click-throughs on it, then you have a CTR of 10.

When it comes to paid search, you will need to divide the number of times the ad is shown, ie the number of impressions by the number of times it was clicked on to come to your result.

What can influence your CTR?

When it comes to most popular keywords, appearing on the first page of Google search isn’t easy. Whether this goal is achieved at all is dependent upon several factors including:

  • How competitive the term is with regards to how many other matches there are to your chosen keyword – there could be thousands vying for that first-page position
  • Whether your website is as high profile as those other websites and the profile of your backlinks, as the stronger your site is, the more likely you are to appear higher up in the search results
  • Whether you have more relevant and recent content than your competition
  • How well your web page title aligns with the information being searched for and whether Google favours it
  • How well written your meta description is (the short description found under each link on the search results)

If your website is new, then you’ve got even less chance. You won’t have the domain authority, you will have a tiny backlink collection and therefore hardly any traction at all.  Many of the websites that you’ll be competing against will have been working on their online presence for years. Some have thousands of backlinks which is far more than many websites will ever get.

To be visible in the first 10 positions of Google search takes work

It’s mostly sites that have been optimised with off-page and on-page SEO that are going to be sat on the first page of search engine results when it comes to popular industry keywords. However, if you’re new, then several strategies can be used.

For example, new websites can do well to focus on dominating what is known as long-tail keywords – which are keywords that use four or more words. Once you have traffic arriving on your site for several of these, then your traffic Is going to start to add up and you’re going to start seeing results.

Fortunately, most searches on Google are made up of long-tail keywords which also means that it will cost less time and money to get results. You may be still feeling a little sceptical of this approach – however, there’s no need to be. For example, Amazon claims that they gain 57% of their sales from the use of long-tail keywords. This is because these types of searches are targeted to find specific information. The shorter keyword searches are quite often more general in their intent.

Summary:

Appearing in the top 10 positions can be very lucrative, depending on what your keyword term is.

If you’re just getting going with a new website, it’s nigh on impossible to gain a position on the first page of Google.

Well established websites who have been pumping out years of content perform the best for the most popular keywords. In many cases, they will have spent a large amount of money on campaigns also.

The entire time your business was just a twinkle in your eye, the competition has been creating content and accumulating links through shares.

Fortunately, it’s possible for you to use workarounds such as long-tail keywords. Although the search volume is less, add a few first page search result positions together and you’ll build some decent traffic.

By being creative with your content ideas, you can still find ways to get found on the first page of Google. It’s all about being relevant to what the web user is searching for too.

If you’d like us to provide you with SEO services or further guidance, we can help. Contact us today or sign up to receive newsletters with further information about SEO and how to use it on your website.

 

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Use SEO Scoop as a Launch Pad for New Exposure https://www.seo-scoop.com/seo-guides/use-seo-scoop-as-a-launch-pad-for-new-exposure/ https://www.seo-scoop.com/seo-guides/use-seo-scoop-as-a-launch-pad-for-new-exposure/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:30:35 +0000 https://www.seo-scoop.com/?p=1400

If you're ready to start using an SEO agency or consultant, then read on. We've got some great guidance for you.

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Search engine optimisation is also known as SEO and it’s the practice of optimising a website for better performance when it comes to appearing in the results shown for searches on search engines such as Google.

There comes a time in the life of every business when the owner has to decide on whether to use either SEO services or spend time discussing the topic with an SEO consultant. If you’ve approached this time, then we’ve got some guidance for you on the topic.

How do you think your business would benefit from appearing on the first page of Google search results for a very relevant product keyword? If your site is sales-ready, then you could be in line to make a good profit by selling to people all over the world. This would be particularly true if the keyword that you’re appearing for is one that is highly relevant to your business and what people would search when they’re ready to make a purchase.

This is why businesses hire an SEO consultant or purchase SEO services. They are looking for the expertise, knowledge and experience that will help them to achieve increased sales. Ideally, the SEO expert advising them would also know how to put the business at an advantage, without costing them significant expenditure.

Let’s look at how they can influence this.

How can an SEO Consultant help?

The role of an SEO consultant is to provide guidance and direction to the business who is looking for greater exposure to their target market. They will investigate how well the business website is keyworded and what is required to ensure that the website gathers traction and momentum when it comes to receiving a growing number of web visitors.

In addition, the consultant will also check how many links are pointing to the website to understand what power it may have compared to the competition. The result will be a clearly defined SEO strategy that the business can follow to gain an improved online profile.

What are SEO services?

Once the SEO strategy is identified, then the SEO consultant will recommend that work is performed on the site and off site to increase the number of targeted website visitors. This will usually include working on backlinks, content and in some cases, re-keywording the website so that it is more relevant in its focus and search appearances.

When it comes to SEO, several different techniques can be used to improve the online profile of any website. The tasks performed can include keyword research, on page SEO, improving readability, link building, social media signals and other relevant activities.  All these tasks can influence how visible a website is online.

SEO services will track the results and ensure that the website is bettering its search results with an increase in online visibility so that you have a greater chance of outranking your competition. They may also work on ensuring that your website is mobile friendly and that it loads fast enough to satisfy the stringent demands of Google.

If you’d like a no obligation chat with an SEO consultant or you’re considering using our SEO services, contact us today.

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5 Great Ways To Turn Blog Comments into Conversations https://www.seo-scoop.com/content-marketing/5-great-ways-to-turn-blog-comments-into-conversations/ https://www.seo-scoop.com/content-marketing/5-great-ways-to-turn-blog-comments-into-conversations/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:30:35 +0000 https://www.seo-scoop.com/?p=1402

One way to achieve an improved bounce rate is to encourage the development of conversations in your blog comments. They can keep people on the page longer, which can do wonders to reduce bounce rate on your site.

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If you’ve been focusing on content writing for your website, then you are most likely aware of the importance of doing what you can to reduce bounce rate.

One way to achieve an improved bounce rate is to encourage the development of conversations in your blog comments. They can keep people on the page longer, which can do wonders to reduce bounce rate on your site.

Reduce bounce rate with blog comment conversations

If you’ve ever left a comment on a blog of a writer that you respect, you’ll know how great it feels when they respond to you. You may also have experienced the opposite. You take the time to leave a relevant and thoughtful comment, but when no response comes, and you feel slightly aggrieved that you have not received any acknowledgement for your time and effort. It can be very disappointing.

Now that we’ve all experienced the wonders of social media, where taking the time to invest in forming relationships with our audience can pay off. While we are on this topic – social media also provides a more concentrated form of responding.

Why blog comments

In addition to giving you a great opportunity to reduce bounce rate, blog comments are a great way to engage people in your brand. Although the focus of this article is on creating conversation from your blog comments, or even discussions, knowing how to encourage blog comments and how to build relationships with commenters is also something that is important to invest in.

1. Respond in a personable manner

Compared to a business tone, writing in a personal tone is far more effective when it comes to building relationships. It will leave readers feeling far more comfortable and commenters can feel at ease to share more and be more open. No matter your focus, put your efforts into using a personal voice.

2. Use questions to invites readers to respond

With less than 1% of readers leaving comments on the blog, it’s better to guide readers to respond with questions on the topic that you’ve covered. The final paragraph is a great place to position these questions. You can ask for readers to share their thoughts, if you use questions that provide scope for readers to share their experiences or their thinking on topics, that will help.

3. Don’t be a Know-it-All

Writers that come across as being conceited will turn their readers off. Although you may be an expert in your field, try to stay away from appearing to be arrogant and put the focus on being confident and knowledgeable. Being conceited will prevent readers from feeling comfortable enough to leave comments on your blog.

4. Admit You May be Wrong

This is a particularly good approach for requesting blog comments on a topic. Not only will you appear to be humble and approachable, but you are requesting input from others who may wish to share their opinion.

5. Greet your reader

A simple salutation to your reader can make all the difference. A ‘hi Bob’ or ‘Hey Bob, thanks for stopping by’ shows appreciation. Just as it’s good practice in society, it’s also good practice when responding to blog comments. Use the reader’s name in the greeting too.

In summary, by being friendly and asking questions, you can further the conversation and encourage more dialogue. Be polite and share your experiences and views while asking the reader for their opinion on what you’ve shared. This will result in a positive influence as part of activities to reduce bounce rate on your website.

Subscribe to our newsletter here for more tips on how to reduce bounce rate on your site.

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