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Local SEO tips for 2017

The idea of local SEO has developed significantly in recent years and Google are expected to continue their focus on local throughout 2017. Local SEO is mainly applicable to regionalised businesses. For example, local shops or branches in a certain location. Below are some Local SEO tips for 2017: 1. Register a Google My Business…

Google Mobile Indexing

Back in November, we wrote about Google’s mobile first index announcement. Several months later, we’re still awaiting the actual change to take place. This is quite typical of large updates of this fashion, which will likely be a huge overhaul of rankings. In the meantime, many SEO engineers are reporting strange occurrences in mobile rankings –…

Build Links Without Fresh Content

Link building is one of the most difficult practices during an SEO campaign. Often, link building processes are time consuming with little reward. Below, we’ve described a technique that we find very effective that doesn’t require writing fresh content. Before going any further, this link building process relies on a brand already having mentions online.…

Google Search Console Review

When taking on new SEO clients, we often find Google Search Console is one area that has been overlooked. Frequently, their Google Search Console account has not been set up, sometimes set up incorrectly or hasn’t been looked at for a very long time. This is unfortunate as the Google Search Console is one of…

Matt Cutts Leaves Google

Matt Cutts achieved a celebrity-like status within the SEO community being one of the first 100 employees at Google and through his position as Head of Search Quality. During this time, he maintained a love-hate relationship with SEO engineers as it seemed he was directly pulling the strings of Google’s algorithm – often the public…

Crawl Budget

In the SEO industry, factors that relate to how Google and other search engines crawl websites are often referred to as “crawlability”. These are usually on-site elements that affect how Google interprets things like content, this could be simple things like page structure or more technical factors such as robots.txt or XML sitemaps. However, external…

Google Mobile-First Index

Google’s recent experiments point to a wider shift in how the company will utilise ranking signals in future. The major change we’re seeing is that Google will primarily use it’s mobile-first index rather than taking ranking signals from the desktop version of websites. This change almost feels a little late when you consider that Google…

Penguin 4.0

Google announced the latest release of Penguin on September 23rd. The update has traditionally cracked down on spammy practices such as link farming. This long-awaited iteration has been welcomed by many SEO agencies as it addresses some fundamental issues with previous versions and has become better integrated into Google’s core algorithm. Some key highlights: Penguin…

90% of Shoppers Use Search First

Google have published the results of a recent survey on how consumer behaviour has been affected by mobile technologies. The report, which contains data collected from 1,000 smartphone users several times a week, outlines the pivotal roll mobile (and mobile search) now plays in a customer’s shopping journey. Search has been uncovered as the overall…

New Seller Rating Threshold

Google have made some pretty significant changes to their Seller Rating threshold this week raising the bar from 30 reviews (total) to 150 unique reviews within the last 12 months. Seller Ratings have become a common sight in search results and are a great tool for many PPC managers to increase click-through-rates. We first received a…

Two Chimps Live!

Our web design team are delighted to announce the launch of the Two Chimps coffee holding page which recently went live. The website features some slick loading animations, SVG animations and scrolling effects. While the holding page contains some general information about Two Chimps and their products, the full launch won’t be until 2017. For now, sign…

Google to remove “mobile-friendly” label

Google have announced they will cleaning up their mobile search pages by removing the “mobile-friendly” label that is currently displayed next to results. The reason behind the change is that 85% of all pages in mobile search results are now classed by Google as mobile-friendly. Therefore, it was decided that it would be better to…

Multiple Languages SEO Checklist

This article is an expansion of a question we answered on stackoverflow regarding the best way to structure URLs for multiple languages. Multi-language SEO is difficult enough just breaking the language barrier, understanding cultural differences and seasonality without also considering the technical implications. Nevertheless, you have complete control over these technical elements so good research and…

Angels by Day – Live!

We’re really pleased to announce the launch of the new Angels by Day website! Angels by Day are a Montessori nursery with two locations based in Nottingham. Their two stunning sites offer children an unrivalled nursery experience and their unique approach to learning has earned them Ofsted Outstanding status.   Screenshot of the Angels by…

Showcase Shopping Ads

Google have recently announced a raft of updates to Google Shopping campaigns which should give advertisers and PPC experts plenty to be excited about. The biggest change will be for broader queries which will display a whole new ad format for these kind of search results. Flights and Hotels Updates include new options for users…

Google Website Speed Testing Tool

Earlier this month, Google launched a new tool for testing website speed. The tool, which is focused on providing insight on website speed, performance and usability, provides users with 3 scores – Mobile Friendliness, Mobile Speed and Desktop Speed. Although Google’s announcement suggests the tool is new, many developers will recognise the similarities with Google…

AMP Search Analytics

Are you asking yourself, how are my AMP pages being found? You’re now able to see how visitors found your AMP Pages (accelerated mobile pages) within mobile search results with the latest filter recently added o the Search Analytics report in the Google Search Console. The filter allows webmasters to specifically view AMP pages, providing insight…

Update for Ads in Google Maps

Google have recently announced major changes to how ads will soon be displayed in Google Maps. The announcement outlines Google’s plans to remove Google Maps from the list of sites included as their Search Partners. This change will impact the way ads will soon be shown in Maps, with Google stating that only ads containing…

Unnatural Outbound Linking

Earlier this month, Google contacted a number of webmasters via the Google Search Console reporting that they had “detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links”. While many people may think that SEO is all about inbound links, you may be surprised to know that authority can be built through effective outbound…

Google’s Top 3 Ranking Factors

Recently, Google has revealed its top 3 search engine ranking factors. During an interview, Andrey Lipattsev, one of Google’s Search Quality Strategists, divulged the previously “top secret” ingredients to the search giant’s algorithm. Despite this being one of rare occasions SEO agencies and marketers have been able to get some solid facts to work with,…

Mobilegeddon 2

Google will, yet again, be increasing their focus on mobile, almost a year after releasing the fearsome sounding (but mostly uneventful) Mobilegeddon update. The announcement was made via their webmaster blog which stated this latest update would “boost” the effects of their mobile-friendly algorithm that rolled out in April 2015. This latest update is scheduled for…

Should I use 301 or 302 redirects?

To fully understand the difference between 301 and 302 redirects, we must first understand what each of these numbers mean before looking at the various SEO implications. Server Response Code Both 301 and 302 are HTTP response status codes which are the server’s response when accessing the given URL. The server gives this response to…

Google & Spam Reports

Spam is a daily pain in the backside for almost all web users. Surprisingly, the first documented example of internet spamming was recorded way back in 1978 and actually found popularity in the online games community before becoming a deceptive nuisance unprofessional desperate “recognised” business tool. As you would expect, Google has a negative opinion on…

Accelerated Mobile Pages in Google Analytics

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are an attempt by Google to tackle the issue of poor user experience on mobile. To learn more about AMP in general, check out our recent blog post on AMP or visit the project website. Earlier in January, Google announced support for AMP in Google Analytics. This means publishers and website…

1 Million Results – SEO Ranking Factors Infographic

At the end of January, Backlinko released their report the “1 Million Results Search Engine Ranking Factors Study“. The study looked at everything from content to site speed and discovered some interesting findings on what it takes to rank on the first page of Google. As an SEO agency, we found this study extremely useful…

What are Accelerated Mobile Pages?

I’m guessing you’ve heard the phrase “Accelerated Mobile Pages” bounced around over the last few months. But what are AMP’s, how will they affect you and what do you need to do? What are Accelerated Mobile Pages? Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source initiative backed by the likes of Google and Twitter, that’s purpose is…

AdWords – How Google Dealt with “Bad Ads” in 2015

This year, Google have renamed their annual “Bad Ads Report” to a more positive “Better Ads Report“. The new name highlights Google’s aim to improve online advertising, thus serving the user rather than their “…own internal goals or bottom line”. In reality, the two are one and the same. If Google, allowed “bad ads” then…

Link Building Techniques that Don’t Work in 2016

Since the dawn of the internet, all major search engines have used links as a key factor in deciding which position a website appears in on their search engine results page (SERPS). Once people figured this out, they began to manipulate it by building links to their website and producing content specifically for the search…

Link Building Techniques that Work in 2016

Despite countless algorithm updates, link building is still one of the most effective SEO techniques. Attracting high-quality links from trustworthy domains increases traffic to your website and improves your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPS). But attracting the wrong kind of links through spammy practices will do your site more damage than good.…

AdWords New Feature: Smart Goals

What Are Smart Goals? Smart Goals (not to be confused with S.M.A.R.T Goals) is a new feature in Google AdWords that allows advertisers to measure conversion data without making any code changes to their website. Smart Goals are generated through aggregated data from websites that allow Google to view their anonymized conversion data. Google then…

Christmas Party 2015

Last week was our annual Christmas adventure down to London to meet up with a few friends and make merry. Alongside the regular Herdl crew, the party consisted of Mike Thomas, Ed Underwood and Dan Webb. We kicked things off with a delicious meal at Roast in Borough Market before heading across town via a few familiar pubs.…

How to Judge the Value of a Link

The way that we acquire and judge links has changed a lot since the dawn of SEO, but one thing has remained the same, good quality links from relevant, authoritative sites hold a heck of a lot of value. The influence of high-quality links on a marketing campaign, arguably, makes them more important than ever.…

5 Tools for Responsive Web Design

There are lots of tools and libraries available that make claim to enhance web design projects and processes. We’ve put together a list of several responsive web design tools that we feel aren’t as popular as they should be! Here’s the list: Icomoon Icomoon is an online tool used for deploying icon fonts. This can be useful in…

Mobile Friendliness Test Tool

Bing have released their own Mobile Friendliness Test Tool which analyses a URL and provides a simple report on the page’s mobile friendliness. The tool uses a specific set of criteria to grade pages including: – Viewport – Page content width – Text readability – Tap targets Here’s a screenshot of the mobile friendliness tool being…

Search Console: New Fetch & Render Tool

A recent update to the Google Search Console this week gives webmasters better insight into blocked content such as images, CSS and JavaScript. Google have given a lot more focus to blocked content in the past few months which was particularly noticeable with the ‘Googlebot cannot access CSS and JS files’ alert (which annoyed a lot…

Google Primer

The web is developing at an exponential rate with related industries constantly playing a game of catch up. Marketing is no exception, with a special onus on digital marketing. For individuals, ensuring your expertise is always up to date and relevant involves a daily struggle with learning materials and resources. There is plenty of content…

Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics

Google have announced the beta launch of Calculated Metrics, a new feature in analytics that will help digital marketers to gain further insight from their analytics interface, without moving the data into other tools such as spreadsheets. By creating new user-defined metrics based on combinations of existing metrics, calculated metrics calculate and present more meaningful…

Penguin 4.0 Update

According to Gary Illyes of Google, the next version of Penguin (4.0) is due for release before the end of 2015. Penguin has been one of the most talked about algorithm changes within the SEO community since its first release in 2012. The reason why Penguin has been such a hot topic among SEOs is…

Clear Your Browser Cache!

We’re often making changes to a large number of websites on a daily basis. Caching, and in particular browser cache, causes all sorts of confusing problems that sometimes sends us (and clients) on a wild goose chase. This is often apparent during a web design project where lots of changes and updates are being applied…

New AdWords Features October 2015

This month’s new features help search engine marketers to get their ad in the number 1 slot of the Google search results, reach existing customers by uploading email lists and promote Android apps within Google Play. How to Get Your Ad to Number 1 on Google Search The ad in the number 1 slot in…

PPC: AdWords Customer Match

The PPC team at Herdl have been exploring Google AdWords’ long-awaited Customer Match feature. So, we’ve put together a short article explaining what Customer Match is and some of the exciting applications for it. AdWords Customer Match The new AdWords Customer Match feature allows advertisers to upload an email list to create an audience. This…

RankBrain

  Knowing and understanding ranking signals is vital in order to implement a successful SEO strategy. Google’s algorithm is constantly being developed and this year has been no exception. Very recently, Google have announced that around 15% of search queries are being handled by an artificial intelligence engine called RankBrain. Greg Corrado, the senior search scientist…

SEO: Google Updates 2015 (so far)

As we near the end of 2015, we’re looking back at some of the major core algorithm updates of this year in a bit more detail. Google’s algorithm is in a constant state of flux with changes being made daily to adjust and refine results. Google is enthralled in a never-ending battle against spammers and…

Why is my bounce rate high?

Bounce Rate Generally, Bounce Rate is accepted to be “the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page” as described in Google’s help docs. However, this isn’t strictly true – more accurately, Bounce Rate is a measure of users who left a page or site…

Shared Hosting: 3 Reasons not to use it

We’re surprised at how often we come across websites on shared hosting solutions. To help people understand the risks, we’ve put forward 3 important reasons why shared hosting is not suitable for businesses. Whilst a shared hosting platform might be fine for amateur or hobbyist sites, we couldn’t stress strongly enough: if you’re serious about your…

5 SEO Basics

Optimising your site for search engines should be focused on improving usability, quality of content and making life easier for robots crawling your site (the nice robots anyway). There are a lot of technical factors involved in this process along with a number of tried and tested techniques and strategies. Nevertheless, here are five basic SEO tips…

Authorship not dead?

Google removed support for authorship well over a year ago but a surprising announcement from Gary Illyes at SMX East indicates authorship may still have a future. The announcement has received mixed reactions from the SEO community as top Googlers, such as John Mueller, have previously declared it safe to remove the authorship markup from sites. There…

Why Does Mobile Matter?

Responsive design has been a hot topic over the last few years and we’ve noticed a sharp increase in the number of enquiries from clients looking for “responsive web design“. Often, the buzzword seems to be something clients know they should be including in their brief but still aren’t sure what mobile has to offer.…

A Big Thankyou from Marlborough Rovers U9’s

We were really pleased to receive this huge thank you card from the Marlborough Rovers U9’s team who we’re sponsoring this season. Our link to the club is through Ged, who’s two sons both play for Marlborough, and also our aim to become more involved with local organisations – with Marlborough Rovers home pitch and…

Dictation in Google Docs

I’ve recently been on the hunt for dictation software, simply to make life a bit easier when writing articles and documents. I was surprised to find there wasn’t as many applications available as I thought there would be and the actual quality of most (free) tools was very low. During my search, I was interested…

Want a job at a digital marketing agency?

Getting a foot in the door at a marketing agency can be a daunting and often frustrating endeavour. From fresh faced graduates to experienced individuals with transferable skills, the competition for creative sector jobs is so high that it’s often very hard to land that dream agency role. As a digital marketing agency we sit…

Panda 4.2

Google have recently announced the rollout of Panda 4.2 this month which will be implemented slowly over the next several months. Panda, one of the most notorious Google updates, targets low-quality content and will affect your entire site. However, in this latest refresh, Google have stated the update may penalise particular pages more than others…

Google Search Console

Google have announced they are to rename Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console. The change, which is being made after 10 years, has sparked much discussion in the SEO community. Google have cited the reason for the change being to make the application more accessible to small businesses and hobbyists who they’re encouraging to…

Embryo & Herdl in Carp Talk

Embryo Angling Habitats was founded in 2014 by Korda Developments owner Danny Fairbrass. The charity’s main aim is to help protect UK lakes from the growing threat of predation. Embryo are raising funds to help protect as many venues as possible including projects that help re-stock and manage different locations around the UK.   We’re…

Medical data added to Knowledge Graph

Google will be introducing health data into their knowledge graph. Knowledge graph information such as this appears in the knowledge panels and info cards alongside normal search results, providing users with quick, relevant information in the SERPS. A recent report from Google stated that 1 in 20 searches were of a medial nature. In their…

Unsubscribe From LinkedIn Posts

Anyone else getting annoyed at the amount of irrelevant notifications from LinkedIn? Good. Glad it’s not just me. Until recently, I was constantly getting LinkedIn published post notifications on my phone from Linkedin. While I’m more than happy to connect with new people, this doesn’t mean I want to be signed up to follow their…

Adwords Editor V11

Adwords Editor is a highly popular application used by PPC professionals to speed up the setup and management of AdWords PPC accounts. The free, downloadable program runs your desktop and provides a great number of useful tools. The main advantages of AdWords Editor are that it enables multiple changes to the account to be made simultaneously…

Semantic Search Example

What is Google Semantic Search? Google is constantly improving its search algorithm to provide users with increasingly relevant results and semantic search is just one of these improvements. The way humans understand the links and associations between ‘things’ is often called a semantic sphere. Google Semantic Search is the incorporation of this concept into the…

EU Parliament VS Google

Earlier this week, the European Parliament voted in favour of breaking up the commercial entities that make up search engines such as Google. Whilst the European parliament has no real power in these matters, it does make a clear political statement and puts pressure on those with the power to take action – the European…

LinkedIn Company Follow Button

You can also add a LinkedIn Company follow button to your website which is different to the personal profile ‘connect with me’ button. More commonly on the web we see the personal profile LinkedIn button but much similar to a Facebook Like Box, LinkedIn also have a follow button for company pages. LinkedIn company follow…

Self Fulfilling Search

I’ve been thinking a little deeper about search engine queries and the results we get back. Obviously, we all want to find what we’re looking for when we use a search engine. However, I’m referring to the search query we actually use and how this affects the results that are returned. Looking at this on…

SEO Agencies Go Mad For HTTPS://

It’s been a few weeks since SEO agencies were erupting over the announcement that serving your site over a secure connection (https://) would provide a small rankings boost in search engines, specifically Google. You may already have seen this on some websites, mainly eCommerce sites, usually in the checkout – look out for the little…

Low Quality Guest Blog Posts

It’s come as no surprise to us that Google have recently listed ‘low quality guest blog posts’ as one of the official violations of their guidelines. But what is the real impact of this for SEO? The addition only serves to reinforce Google’s policies surrounding low quality link building practices. Although guest posting in this…

SEO Trends 2014

At Herdl, something that really “grinds our gears” is the lack of beautifully designed SEO related content. So, we decided to do something about it. As we had already been compiling our list SEO trends for 2014, this gave us a perfect opportunity to put something together which not only looked great but was also…

Herdl At The Gadget Show Live!

Herdl recently spent the day at the Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham – for research purposes, you understand. The Gadget Show Live is the UK’s biggest consumer tech event and provides technology fans with the opportunity to glimpse into the ultra high definition future, as well as the chance to buy some…

Herdl Launches Catvertising Service

Do your marketing results need fluffing up? You’ll be pleased to hear that along with SEO, PPC and web design, we’re now offering catvertising as a purrrsonal service for clients! Catvertising has been proven to be one of the most effective marketing techniques (ever) with results that will leave your customers feline great. Cat related…

Back to Basics: Email Marketing

Whether you’re a novice or an expert, you need to get the basics spot on in your email marketing. Going back to basics ensures that your email campaign is crafted in the best way possible, making sure you get the best results possible from your email marketing campaigns. Email marketing campaigns are one of the…

The Best Marketing Campaigns of 2013

  Oreo Super Bowl Tweet The first in our trio is Oreo’s expertly timed Super Bowl tweet, ‘you can still dunk in the dark’. Oreo’s tweet generated a wave of online activity and provides an excellent example of how effective real-time ‘newsjacking’ can be. It was during the power-outage which affected the Super Bowl game…

SEO Jargon Buster

The trouble is that SEO jargon can alienate the rest of us, which is a side effect that some agencies relish. After all, if you don’t understand what’s happening, who are you to question their results? Unfortunately, this type of relationship has become quite common with an old-hat SEO contract, but as an agile marketing…

Herdl Interviewed by Leicester Mercury

We’re extremely delighted to have been interviewed and featured in the November edition of the Leicester Mercury Business Monthly newspaper. The piece offers great insight into our past, present and future, as well as detailing our agile marketing approach to services. Directors, Ged Day and Gareth Morgans lead the interview, outlining the core values of…

Changing the face of Men’s Health

Herdl are proud to be taking part in Movember 2013 to help raise awareness of the health issues that men face. By growing a moustache or “mo”, we hope to raise money to support this worthwhile campaign. We’re excited to be teaming up with our client, H Squared Ltd, this year and together change the…

3 Apps For Marketing Teams

At Herdl, we advocate Agile marketing because it delivers the most effective results for our clients and means we’re always working in their best interests. Being Agile means going against more rigid, service focused models set out by traditional marketing agencies by becoming more fluid and responsive to what your client truly needs. Below are…

Top 5 Social Media Mistakes

Social media provides brands with a unique opportunity to communicate with their audience. Anyone who works in social media is aware of the enormous array of benefits that can be gained from utilising social channels. However, managers and content creators must also remain vigilant to the numerous mistakes which can undermine a brand. Many brands…

Antisocial Networking?

The world of social media is something that has affected all of our lives in recent years. It seems that every few months there’s a new website to join or app to download for sharing parts of your life with friends and strangers alike. Even if you’re not online yourself, it’s hard to ignore the…

More To Branding Than Meets The Eye

A common misconception is that branding is how a company looks – their logo and style. It’s true that branding does include these important elements, however, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes that we don’t see. At Herdl, we think of branding like an iceberg. There’s a small peak above the water…

How To Grow Your Facebook

Facebook is one of the hardest social networks to grow a brand following due to the separation of normal users and pages. Facebook limits a brand’s ability to go out into the network and seek ‘Likes’ to avoid normal users being spammed to death with requests from brands and businesses. The onus is on the…

Google Hummingbird Update

Towards the end of last week, on their 15th Birthday, Google revealed an algorithm update which they proclaim to be as revolutionary as the Caffeine update of 2010. This latest update, code name Hummingbird, has already been in effect for at least a month according to Google. So what does this mean for SEO? Surely…

The Benefits of Personal Branding

We’ve noticed an interesting rise in the number of clients who require personal branding. For those of you who are unfamiliar, personal branding refers to a person, rather than a company, becoming a recognisable brand. For Example: Joe Bloggs works for Company X and Company X has its own branding and goals. Joe Bloggs as…

How Google’s Algo Has Developed

It’s practically common knowledge that Google dominates the search market – we’d make a hefty wager you’ve used it to find this article! As a marketing and communications agency, it’s important for us to understand the mechanisms being used behind the scenes and consider the factors that generate each set of search results. By doing…

What is Agile Marketing?

Throughout our website, documentation and when you speak to us face to face, you’ll hear us mention “Agile Marketing Services” – but what does this mean? The traditional model for marketing and communications agencies is dying (slowly and painfully – and most painfully for clients it would seem). The buzzword of yesteryear was “integration” –…