Copy of Blog Image Template (37)

The Importance Of Meta Titles And Descriptions For SEO

Metadata – that stuff that makes up the bulk of what we see when scrolling the SERPS. Is it still important? How long should a meta title be? Is there such a thing as metadata optimisation? What does this all mean for SEO and, ultimately, my business’ sales?

These are questions that we’ll be tackling in today’s blog, which will run you through what meta titles and descriptions actually are, how to view and edit them and the impact they have on users and your SEO rankings.

But if you’re short on time, here are the key takeaways:

➡️ Spoiler, meta titles and descriptions are crucial for SEO! They help search engines understand your content and can significantly improve click-through rates

➡️ Search engines won’t always use the metadata you provide, but to make sure they do, ensure they meet the suggested character lengths, and accurately reflect precisely what’s on the page

➡️ You can optimise meta data, and you should! Target the right keywords, create a sense of urgency, and remember to always make each tag unique

Firstly, what are meta titles and descriptions?

Meta data is the snippets of text that appear in search engine results pages – in simple terms, what users read and click on to be taken to your website. As a result, they’re pretty important – first impressions count and they play a crucial role in how users perceive your site (and how likely they are to visit it).

So, let’s begin with the meta title. This is like a headline, or title, for your page. Displayed in bold font, it’s the first thing users will see. It’s also important for the search engines who use it to understand your page.

Then, the meta description appears just below the meta title; it’s a brief overview of what the page is about and can significantly improve CTR by grabbing users’ interest.

As you can see in the screenshot below, the meta description is the section beginning ‘protect yourself from the sun…’, whilst the blue text above is the meta title.

These days, search engines are very sophisticated, considering a wide spectrum of factors when ranking websites, and metadata is just one of them. But whilst not as important for ranking as it once was, this doesn’t mean your titles and descriptions don’t matter. A lot of people underestimate their importance but they do in fact still have a huge role in SEO. But why is that….

Why is metadata so important for SEO?

As we discussed above, metadata increases your click-through rate by providing an engaging summary of what your page offers. It allows users to make an informed decision about whether to click on your link, and often will include action words like ‘free delivery’ or ‘shop now’  to spark interest. So, why does this matter to you? Because the more clicks, the more traffic and potential customers!

High CTR is great not only for your conversions but also because it signals to Google that your page is valuable. Whilst there is no explicit confirmation that it directly affects search rankings, a consistently high CTR for a specific keyword might suggest to Google that your page is particularly relevant for that search term. Equally, a lower CTR is a red flag for Google, indicating that the content on your page isn’t matching user intent.

But that’s not all – meta titles and descriptions can boost your organic visibility because of keywords. Including the right, relevant terms in your metadata helps signal to search engines that your page is addressing these topics. It’s essentially a blueprint for the algorithms, giving them that extra bit of help needed to understand and rank your content.

How long should a meta description and meta title be?

It’s important not to get too carried away in your meta tags – keep them short, sweet and to the point, otherwise they’ll be cut short! 

Whilst meta descriptions can technically be any length, Google tends to snip them short between 155 and 160 characters. This advice is given by Google: 

It’s best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they’re sufficiently descriptive, so we recommend descriptions between 50 and 160 characters.

So, there’s your answer – but what about meta titles? Here, you’ve got less room to play with. Meta titles have a maximum length of just 60 characters and it’s generally agreed that the ideal length is between 50 and 60. 

Do search engines always use your meta descriptions?

No; I’m afraid that search engines can ultimately use whatever they see fit for your description. They prioritise providing the most relevant information to users, so, in some cases, this might mean generating their own title and description for your page.

You can avoid this happening by making sure that what you write is well-aligned both with the user’s search query, and the content on the page itself. Otherwise, Google will simply create a more fitting description for you.

How to optimise your meta titles and descriptions

In light of this, you may now be asking the valid question, “how can I make my metadata better?”  Here are our tips and tricks to write tags your copywriter would be jealous of:

💻Make your titles and descriptions super relevant. They need to be tailored carefully to the specific content on each page, so avoid using the same generic description across your entire site.

💻In fact, avoid duplicate content all together as this could get your pages penalised by search engines. It may be far less hassle to use identical meta titles across your website, but creating unique titles for each page will avoid this penalty.

💻Target the right keywords, but incorporate them naturally. Carry out in-depth keyword research to make sure you’re going for the most relevant terms, but remember the main aim of the tags is to tell readers what your page is about – not to see how many times you can fit ‘dog food’ into 60 characters.

💻Don’t just describe your content. Highlight its benefits and use these tags to clearly communicate what the users have to gain by clicking on your link. It can be good to incorporate a bit of urgency in the copy and there are a number of ways you can do this:

-> Time-sensitive language like ‘ends tonight’ or ‘limited-time offer’

->Use of action verbs, ‘start your free trial now’, ‘unlock your discount today!’

->Use of numbers – e.g. ‘only 10 spots left!’

->Using the seasons to say something like ‘last chance for summer deals’

So, the bottom line is, meta titles and meta descriptions do matter. They’re far more than just a button for users to click – optimised right, they’ll give a substantial boost to your site traffic, and help you rank for those important keywords.


If thinking of 30 different ways to say ‘shop now’ isn’t your strong point, why not leave it to the experts. Cedarwood Digital is an award-winning SEO agency, who’ll handle all the ins and outs of your SEO strategy, letting you focus on your business. If this sounds right up your alley, drop us a message at [email protected].

Copy of Blog Image Template

A Guide To Semantic SEO

SEO has changed; long gone are the days of keyword stuffing working like magic, now search engines prioritise content that actually understands what people are looking for. Context is key, and a comprehensive, thorough understanding of topics will get you noticed by Google. In other words, SEO really is a matter of semantics these days.

But what does this all mean in practice for us SEOs and content writers? Maybe you’re aware of the notion ‘semantic SEO’ but don’t have a clue how to action it. I have good news for you, this blog will cover exactly that – practical tips and pointers to get you optimising your site with semantic SEO in mind. We’ll begin by giving you a quick dummy’s guide to semantic SEO, before explaining why it’s quite so important to increase your conversions and lastly, providing you with our practical guidance on how to do it.

Who’s this blog useful for? If you’re struggling to get your small business noticed online, writing blogs but failing to rank on page 1, or simply want to increase your company’s conversions, you won’t want to skip out on semantic SEO.

However, we know that time is of the essence, and if you don’t have a whole five minutes to listen to us rant about semantics, here are the key takeaways in advance:

🌐Post ‘Hummingbird’, ‘RankBrain’ and the Helpful Content Update, Google is prioritising understanding what users are really searching for. Your content needs to anticipate their questions and address a topic comprehensively.

🌐Create high quality, long, in-depth content that gives the user everything they’re after. This will keep them and Google happy, reducing your bounce rate and improving conversion rates.

🌐Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of tools like Salient to assess content relevance, or Answer The Public to accurately discover what users are asking.

What is Semantic SEO?

Semantic SEO, in a nutshell, is the practice of optimising content for meaning, not just keywords. As SEOs, it’s about adjusting our process a bit, considering what users are searching for, and thinking about the overall context of a page. It’s a smarter and more comprehensive approach that goes deeper to ensure that Google understands our content and that it meets user intent.

Now I’m not here to give you a full lecture on search engine history, but there are a handful of developments to be aware of that might just help clarify semantic SEO.

➡️In 2013, the ‘hummingbird algorithm’ was launched, changing the way Google worked. It was a major deal, ushering in an era of prioritising user experience and actually understanding the meaning behind search queries. No longer was Google only looking for keywords, now it was also understanding the relationships between words.

➡️Then, 2015 saw another major leap with the introduction of RankBrain, a machine learning model that could analyse vast amounts of search and user behaviour data. Like Hummingbird, it was looking to understand the intent behind what they type into the search bar.

➡️The last update relevant to semantic search is BERT, arriving in October 2019 and using a new machine to better understand the relationship between words.

➡️So, fast forward to today, Google is in its prime of understanding queries. With the rise of Siri and voice search, the algorithm now delivers pages of relevant results from just a couple of idiomatic words said into a phone. And when it’s scanning our sites, it’s specifically looking for content that addresses a topic comprehensively. In response, our content needs to match the algorithms’ human-like understanding of meaning – foreseeing and answering all the related questions people will have.

What’s in it for you (and your business)?

We get it, this might all seem like a bit of a faff, and chucking a few keywords into your blog is far less complicated. But, we promise that it pays to put the time and effort into semantic SEO. Here’s why:

✅The biggest advantage of focusing on semantic SEO is that it’s a proven way to rank in the search results! From the algorithm history you just endured, it should be clear that drumming down on this semantic approach gets you in Google’s good books.

✅Not only will you rank high, but you’ll end up ranking high for more keywords. By covering a topic in-depth, you naturally weave in related keywords, making your content show up for lots more searches, and therefore reaching a wider audience of potential buyers.

✅Semantic SEO is also the secret to the coveted ‘People Also Ask’ spots at the top of the SERPs. With a semantic strategy, you’re anticipating user questions by covering all angles of a certain topic. This hugely increases your chances of appearing in those answer snippets.

✅Once the users have found your page, you want them to stay. And yes, you guessed it, semantic SEO also works in your favour here. Content that tackles a topic comprehensively keeps users engaged, so you’ll see a lower bounce rate. Consider this, if you’re answering every question they have and providing everything they need, they won’t be bothered about clicking off to go elsewhere.

✅Plus, this also sends positive quality signals to Google. With the recent Helpful Content Updates, Google knows if your content is helpful and you can’t trick the system I’m afraid. By focusing on semantics, you show Google that our content is not only relevant to the search query but also informative, engaging and worthy of those top positions.

✅But techy waffle aside, all this matters because increased user traffic, and lower bounce rate leads to… (drumroll please) conversions and sales! And that’s what you’re all ultimately after, right?

How to actually do semantic SEO

You work in marketing so I can already tell that you love your actionable takeaways – do not worry, the next section will be painfully practical. Let’s crack on with what your SEO team should be tackling day to day to tick the semantic boxes.

  1. Work on understanding user intent

Not to be dramatic but if you don’t understand your target audience’s search intent, you might as well throw in the towel now. Google prioritises addressing user intent as closely as possible so, essentially, you need to become a mind reader. Put yourself in their shoes, picture your target audience, what do they wear, what do they eat for breakfast. Seriously though, what problems are they trying to solve and what questions might they have after reading your content. 

Let’s say you’re targeting the keyword ‘how to grow tomatoes’ for your greenhouse business. Not only will they be searching this question and similar semantically-related terms, but also:

~Ideal planting conditions for tomatoes. 

~Tips on watering and fertilizing tomato plants.

~Common tomato plant pests and diseases, and how to control them.

~Information on harvesting and storing homegrown tomatoes.

~Recipes that use fresh tomatoes.

You need to provide content tackling all of these areas of the topic, or the user will simply click off and find the answers elsewhere!

  1. Create high-quality, in-depth content

Semantic SEO means creating in-depth, detailed and complex content. I hate to break it to you, but a 500 word, blog post is just not going to cut it. You’re likely going to need a couple thousand words to cover the topic comprehensively. I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds – begin with a substantial brief to ensure you’re addressing every angle, and to get a digestible structure planned. It might even be worth hitting up ChatGPT for some help here (gasp), just to help you spot anything you’ve missed. But please leave the actual writing to the humans in your team, quality trumps quantity and a long but AI-generated blog post is not going to do you any favours. 

  1. What you should and should’t be including in this content

Focus on creating comprehensive content that incorporates related terms naturally but don’t sweat worrying about every long-tail variation. With Semantic Search, the algorithms recognise connections between similar long-tail keywords (like ‘how to tell when tomatoes are ripe’ and ‘are my tomatoes ready to be picked’). Google gets that these terms fall under the same topic.

Prioritise in-depth content that meets users’ needs and don’t forget to answer those People Also Ask questions. According to a study of 2.5 million search queries, this feature now shows up for almost half of all search queries, and this is often above position 1!

  1. Schema

Schema, also known as structured data markup, acts like a translator, providing Google with a better understanding of your content. With schema, you’re essentially labelling the different elements to make it easier for search engines to understand the context. This could include things like ‘brand name’, ‘location’, ‘price’. 

It paints a clear picture for search engines; semantic SEO focuses on the meaning behind the words on your page, but search engines still rely on code to interpret information. Schema bridges this gap by providing a structured way to communicate the meaning of your content.

Tools to help you out with Semantic SEO

There are a number of tools out there that come in handy with semantic SEO. Here are our tried and tested top 3:

This tool measures the relevance of your content for certain target keywords, using a technology that replicates search engine algorithms, to show you what they’re likely to be picking up. It analyses the use of synonyms, related terms, and concepts within your content to assess if it comprehensively addresses the topic. Plus, the text comparison tool lets you see how edits impact your content’s relevance score. So, instead of relying on what you ‘think’ might work, this tool is your best bet to get a realistic idea of how relevant your content is.

Answer The Public compiles data from search engines to show you the most searched questions around your topic or keyword, usefully grouped into categories like ‘prepositions’ and ‘comparisons’. This is great for semantic SEO because it lays the user’s intent out plain to see, allowing you to tailor your content to directly answer their questions and provide the most informative page for them. It will also help with showing you long-tail, less competitive keywords and by incorporating these, you can reach users who might be using different phrasing but have the same intent.

Similar to Answer The Public, Also Asked pulls together data directly from Google searches to show you themost asked questions around a topic – all presented in an easily digestible mind-map format. Understanding your audience’s issues and questions is essential not only for semantic SEO, but for any successful marketing strategy – you won’t regret giving this tool a go.

So there we have it, your ultimate guide to semantic SEO that should leave you prepped and ready to create comprehensive, contextual, and converting content. Google won’t know what’s hit it.

Cedarwood Digital is an award-winning SEO agency with a proven track record of boosting online traffic and conversions for both small companies and large corporations. Want to leave it to the pros? We don’t blame you – drop us a line at [email protected]

Collaboration Between Digital PR And SEO - Blog Image

Why Collaboration Between SEO and Digital PR Is So Important

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, the crossover between SEO and Digital PR is becoming increasingly vital. SEO and Digital PR are both crucial if you are looking to increase your brand visibility and online presence, and even though they can be viewed as separate roles, collaboration is absolutely essential. By collaborating your SEO and Digital PR strategies, you can successfully achieve brand awareness, increased visibility and more sales. 

In the past, Digital PR and SEO have been seen as completely separate entities, both completed by separate teams with no involvement. However, as high quality links and brand reputation have become more important for improving organic search results, collaboration between SEO and DPR is now extremely valuable. By integrating the two, both elements work together to increase each other’s impact.

Why Is Integrating SEO And Digital PR Essential? 

  • ➡️ Enhanced Online Visibility 

SEO and Digital PR both aim to increase a brand’s online visibility. While SEO efforts focus on on-page efforts, DPR focuses on off-site but both can have a massive impact on driving more organic traffic to a website. When SEO and DPR teams work together, they can target the same areas of a website, and produce on-site and off-site content to increase rankings and visibility. 

When SEO and Digital PR teams work together, they can identify high-value opportunities and target these together to increase visibility. Quality backlinks from Digital PR efforts can enhance domain authority, making it easier for SEO initiatives to achieve better results in the SERPs, alongside on-site optimisations, this can have a huge impact on SEO performance. 

Successful Digital PR strategies can also drive targeted traffic to your website and this is a great opportunity for SEO teams to provide Digital PR teams with information about high intent traffic which will be valuable for the brand and the Digital PR team can then use this data to inform their strategies and create campaigns that will attract the right type of traffic. This collaboration can work really well and generate high intent users for your website. Product placements are an example where this can be extremely effective.  

  • ➡️ High Quality Content 

Combining SEO’s data driven approach to keyword research with PR’s storytelling expertise can result in content that ranks well and engages readers. Both teams can ensure that the content is interesting for users, but also optimised for search engines, and this can also make it compelling enough to attract media attention. Sometimes, you don’t even need to outreach your Digital PR work, you can make the journalists come to you – by targeting relevant keywords and providing data hubs within your content, you can gain natural backlinks without the need for any contact with journalists. However, in order for this to work successfully, it is absolutely imperative that the SEO and Digital PR experts are working together. You can read more about this reverse digital pr strategy in our blog talking all about reverse Digital PR and how it works. 

High quality content is a must for SEO and Digital PR, and by working together, you can create content that is fit for both SEO and Digital PR purposes. 

  • ➡️ Building Brand Authority And Trust 

Building brand authority and E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trust) signals is essential for organic performance and one of the many ways to do this and potentially one of the most direct crossovers between SEO and Digital PR is link building. Gaining high quality backlinks from reputable sites is key for SEO performance – it will make the brand more trustworthy in the eyes of search engines and consumers and it can significantly boost the website’s authority and online visibility. This therefore makes Digital PR an essential part of all modern SEO strategies and when both teams work together seamlessly, it can make this process much more effective. 

  • ➡️ Measuring Success 

Having a unified approach between SEO and Digital PR will also allow for a more comprehensive set of metrics to measure campaign success. By combining SEO and Digital PR data and analytics, you can gain deeper insights into how both efforts are performing together and adjust your strategies accordingly. 

Overall, incorporating your SEO and Digital PR strategies goes much further than immediate online visibility but it helps build a strong foundation for long term success in the online space. By understanding these benefits, you can effectively collaborate your SEO and DIgital PR efforts to create an extremely strong online presence.

How Can Digital PR And SEO Teams Collaborate? 

  • ➡️ Align Strategies 

The first step when Digital PR and SEO teams are collaborating on any project or account is to start working together from the very beginning. Both teams should align their objectives and these can be increasing organic traffic, enhancing brand awareness and visibility, or boosting engagement – whatever the goals and objectives are, it is important that both teams are on the same page so that all strategies and projects moving forwards are focused on the same outcomes. 

  • ➡️ Share Keyword Research and Insights 

SEO teams should consistently share keyword research and insights with the Digital PR team so that they can be aware of topics that are newsworthy and have a high search potential. This can help to inform strategy for Digital PR campaigns and ensure they are relevant, but it can also help ensure that all Digital PR content is optimised for SEO from the outset so that it can be uploaded to the website for SEO purposes as well as outreached for Digital PR.

  • ➡️ Coordinate Content Creation 

High quality content takes time to write, and with both SEO and Digital PR teams having expertise in content creation, these teams should definitely be sharing their content with each other. Digital PR teams will often be creating data hubs of content that would be absolutely perfect for the website, by sharing this content, the SEO team can ensure it is targeting the right keywords and once this has been uploaded to the website, it can attract traffic and potentially even receive natural backlinks – a win win situation which would have potentially have been missed if there was no crossover between the two teams. Likewise, SEO teams will also be creating highly targeted content that the Digital PR team can utilise for their benefit as well.

  • ➡️ Cross Team Collaboration 

Overall, creating collaboration between SEO and Digital PR teams needs to focus on consistent communication and teamwork between both teams. This can be achieved through joint training sessions, regular check-ins, collaborative brainstorming and shared tracking tools to ensure everyone is at the same stage throughout the whole strategy. 

Summary

For any business looking to enhance their online presence, it is absolutely essential that Digital PR and SEO teams are working together. When these two teams collaborate, they can create a cohesive strategy that will amplify the impact of both efforts. High quality backlinks from reputable media sources can significantly impact SEO results, and SEO insights can guide DPR efforts to target topics that will drive high intent traffic and engagement. 

The synergy between Digital PR and SEO will not only maximise brand exposure and authority, but will also ensure a strategic approach to content creation and online marketing, ultimately leading to increased visibility, traffic and conversions for the business. 

At Cedarwood Digital, our SEO and Digital PR teams are constantly working together to drive online visibility for a range of businesses. If you are looking to boost the online presence of your business through Digital PR and SEO, make sure to get in touch with us today.

Why You Should Target Zero Volume Keywords - SEO Blog

Why You Should Target Zero Volume Keywords Within Your SEO Strategy

When carrying out SEO keyword research, you’ll probably start with high search volume, low-competition keywords – and that’s great because these are popular keywords covering topics that users want to know about. So why should you bother targeting low volume keywords? 

Zero volume keywords can often be overlooked in your SEO strategy, however targeting these low volume keywords can be very strategic and beneficial. In this blog we will be discussing what zero volume keywords are, why you should be targeting them within your SEO strategy and how to effectively incorporate them.

What Are Zero Search Volume Keywords?

Zero search volume keywords are search terms that, according to keyword research tools, have little to no monthly search volume meaning these particular keywords are not frequently searched for by users. However, despite their apparent lack of popularity, they can be highly valuable for your SEO strategy. 

Why You Should Target Zero Volume Keywords 

According to Google, 15% of searches that they see every day are brand new searches, never seen before. There are trillions of searches on Google every year so 15% is an extremely high number, and all of these keywords will have zero search volume but could still be extremely valuable to target and here’s why: 

  • ➡️ Less Competition 

One of the biggest benefits of targeting zero volume keywords is the significantly reduced competition. A large proportion of zero volume keywords will be low competition as well as low volume meaning you will be more likely to rank highly for these terms.

  • ➡️ High Intent 

Often, low search volume, low competition keywords are long-tail keywords that are more specific and relevant to users. For example, the term “garden furniture” has a monthly search volume of 141,000 and is deemed ‘hard’ to rank for. However, if you take this keyword and make it more specific, for example “brown wooden garden furniture” which has a monthly search volume of 0-10, you are targeting a much more specific item and the user is more likely to be a high intent user if they are searching for that term rather than a generalistic term. 

While “garden furniture” has a lot more search volume, and you will likely gain more traffic, if you are selling brown wooden garden furniture, you will want to be targeting users who are looking for that specific product. With the right high intent keywords, you could see your conversion rate and revenue increase even with less traffic. 

Zero volume keywords often do reflect very specific queries with high intent, and users searching for these terms are often looking for very particular information, products or services. It is likely that these users are going to be further down the sales funnel and by targeting these keywords, you can attract a highly targeted audience that is more likely to convert. 

  • ➡️ Future Trends 

Zero volume keywords can sometimes indicate emerging trends and as new topics gain popularity, search volumes will naturally increase. By targeting these keywords early, before any of your competitors, you can use your expertise and position yourself as an authority in your niche before your competitors catch on. By creating authoritative, helpful content and getting it to rank well before search volume increases, you can have already gained valuable traffic and be in the best position when more users start searching for the same queries. 

How To Find Low Volume Keywords

The first step in utilising zero volume keywords in your SEO strategy is to find them. Below are some tips for conducting keyword research for these low volume search terms: 

  • ➡️ Use keyword research tools

Keyword research tools such as Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush can help you to identify zero search volume keywords. These tools allow you to filter keywords based on their search volume and keyword difficulty and can help you to identify potential zero volume keywords to target in your SEO strategy. 

  • ➡️ Look for long-tail keywords 

Long-tail keywords are more specific than broad search terms and they can often have lower search volumes but be extremely relevant to your target audience. Looking for these long-tail keywords will allow you to target your content to match high intent keywords.

  • ➡️ Analyse your website’s search queries 

Analysing queries that are driving traffic to your website will be a great way to find keywords that are extremely relevant for your users. You can use Google Search Console to look at queries that are driving traffic to your website and you can then look for the queries that have low search volume but drive a high click through rate to find relevant, high intent, low volume keywords that you should be targeting within your SEO strategy.  

  • ➡️ Conduct a competitor analysis 

Analyse your competitors’ websites to see what keywords they are targeting and look for any gaps or opportunities where you can target zero volume keywords that you may have missed. 

Once you have compiled a list of zero volume keywords, you can then start optimising your website to target these keywords and bring in high intent traffic to your website. 

How To Incorporate Zero Volume Keywords When Optimising Your Website For SEO  

Now that you have a thorough list of zero volume keywords that are extremely relevant to your offering, you can incorporate them into your SEO strategy. 

The following tips will help you when optimising your website for targeting zero volume keywords: 

  • ➡️ Use keywords in your content 

In order to target the zero volume keywords from the previous list you have created, you should use these keywords naturally throughout your content. You can create blog posts answering specific queries, or include keywords in product descriptions. Including zero volume keywords naturally in your content will help you to target and rank for these highly relevant and targeted keywords, just ensure you don’t keyword stuff. 

  • ➡️ Optimise meta data

Incorporate your keywords into your page titles and meta descriptions to help Google and other search engines understand the relevance of your content for specific keywords, queries and topics. 

  • ➡️ Focus on quality content 

When creating content that is targeting zero volume keywords, it is important to create high quality content that is helpful for your users. While it is likely going to be easier to rank for low volume keywords because they do typically have a lower keyword difficulty, it is still vital to create quality content that is answering your users questions and meeting their needs. 

  • ➡️ Use internal links 

Use internal linking to connect content throughout your website. This can be particularly useful when you are creating blog content that is targeting long-tail keywords that are giving users further information about your product or service – linking these blogs to the main service or category page can not only act as a great CTA for users but it will also help distribute link equity to your important pages.

  • ➡️ Monitor performance 

Once you have optimised your website and targeted your list of zero volume keywords, you should regularly monitor the performance of how these keywords are performing. Use tools like GA4 and Google Search Console to track traffic, engagement, conversions and revenue to see how your webpages are performing and which zero volume keywords are bringing in high intent, converting traffic. This will help you to adjust your strategy based on the data to continuously improve your SEO performance. 

Summary

Targeting zero volume keywords can be a game changer for your SEO strategy. By focusing on low volume, low competition, high intent keywords, you can attract targeted users and potentially increase conversions and revenue for your business. Targeting zero volume keywords shouldn’t be your entire SEO strategy but by incorporating them in your strategy and focusing on only relevant keywords, you can easily boost your overall SEO performance. 

To find out more or to receive help with incorporating zero volume keywords into your SEO strategy, get in touch with us today and our team of SEO experts can help take your SEO game to the next level. 

How To Create Blog Content That Converts Visual

How To Create Blog Content That Converts

Creating blog content has many benefits when it comes to SEO including providing E-E-A-T signals, increasing organic traffic, generating brand awareness, and increasing engagement. However, another extremely important reason is to increase conversions. Creating blog content that not only attracts customers but also converts them, is therefore a skill that is definitely worth mastering. After all, according to HubSpot, more than one in three marketing leaders cite conversion rates as a top KPI that they prioritise tracking. 

In this blog, we will explore how to create SEO blog content that converts your users. 

Understanding The User’s Buying Journey

The first step when creating blog content that converts is understanding your user’s buying journey. This is a crucial step and will likely consist of the following stages: 

  1. Awareness – during the first stage, the user has become aware of a problem or need that they have and they are looking for information and solutions.

2. Consideration – the next stage is consideration, and during this stage the users are evaluating different options and looking at the benefits and drawbacks of potential solutions. They are researching products and services that would meet their needs. 

    3. Purchase – during this stage, the user is ready to make a purchase, they have narrowed down their options and are now looking to convert. 

      Understanding each stage of the buying journey will help you tailor your SEO blog content to meet the needs of your users at every stage. By providing valuable information, addressing concerns and offering support throughout the whole process, you can address all the needs of your customers and therefore increase the chance of conversions. 

      Within understanding the user’s buying journey, it is also important to understand your target audience and who is going to be buying your products or services. Think about demographics, struggles and pain points, knowledge gaps, and objectives. This will allow you to create a persona that you are writing for and every piece of content that you create can be completely targeted to your audience who will likely have a high intent. 

      Keyword Research 

      Once you have figured out the user’s buying journey, you need to see what they are searching for when they are looking for your product/ service. Keyword research forms the foundation of all successful SEO strategies, but in order to create content that resonates with your users at each stage of the buying journey, you must categorise your keywords into the buying journey. 

      1. Awareness – these keywords will be informational keywords that users are typically searching for when they are in the awareness stage. For example: “how to solve…”, “tips for …”, “what is a…” and “what are the benefits of…”.

      2. Consideration – these keywords will be focused on helping users weigh up their options. For example: “what are the best…”, “reviews of…” and “what are the differences between…”.

        3. Purchase – these keywords will be much more specific and will have a strong purchase intent. For example: “buy….” and “… near me”.

          By sorting your keywords into categories, you can make sure that your blog content is tailored to your users and it will be addressing their needs and preferences at every stage of their buying journey. Keyword research can be done in a variety of ways and you can read our guide to keyword research here to find out how you can effectively carry out keyword research for SEO. However, as well as the traditional ways of carrying out keyword research, it can also be extremely valuable to speak to your customer service team and find out what your actual customers are asking, because the chances are, other users will want the same information and you will be able to provide extremely valuable information, and this could make users more likely to convert if they have that important information easily available to them. 

          Competitor Research

          Another important step when creating blog content that converts is to research what your competitors are writing about. Researching and analysing your competitors’ blog strategy can provide you with valuable insights and inspiration for your own blog content. It is important to identify competitors within your industry and have a look into the following: 

          • ➡️ What topics they are covering 

          • ➡️ How they are targeting keywords that are closely related to the buying journey 

          • ➡️ What sorts of content formats they are using (guides, reviews, tips…)

          • ➡️ If there are any gaps or opportunities that you can capitalise on

          Competitor research and analysis can provide you with inspiration on what you should be focusing your content on, but it can also allow you to see areas where you can outperform your competitors. If there is an area of need that you have identified your users are looking for but your competitors are not writing about it, this does not mean that you also shouldn’t write about it, you absolutely should! These can be niche areas that can bring in valuable, high intent traffic and can give you that edge over your competitors. 

          Using tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush can be extremely helpful when conducting competitor research and can give you plenty of actionable insights for your SEO blog content strategy. 

          Internal Linking 

          If you are creating blog content that you want to convert, internal linking will be your best friend and you need to ensure you do not abandon it. Internal linking plays a crucial role in SEO and can be instrumental to your blogs. You should always incorporate internal links to your blog content to guide users to relevant pages or resources within your website, and to establish a logical hierarchy and structure for your content. 

          Including CTAs 

          Including Calls to Action (CTAs) in your blog content is essential, particularly when your goal is to convert readers into customers. Including CTAs can: 

          • ➡️ Guide user behaviour: CTAs provide a clear direction to your users, guiding them towards a desired action, whether that action is making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting your company. Without a CTA, users may be unsure of what steps to take next or how to navigate to the next step, potentially leading to a missed conversion opportunity. 
          • ➡️ Create a sense of urgency: effective CTAs often include persuasive language that can create a sense of urgency or excitement for users, potentially increasing the likelihood that users will act more promptly. 
          • ➡️ Increasing conversion rates: ultimately, well-crafted CTAs can significantly impact conversion rates by encouraging users to take action. By strategically placing CTAs throughout your blog content, you can encourage users to move further down the sales funnel and ultimately convert users into customers. Strategic CTAs coupled with helpful content can be the best way to convert your blog content. 

          Utilising AI

          When creating blog content, AI can be extremely helpful, and although I do not believe you should get AI to write your blog content for you, I do believe that it can help with the process of creating blog content that converts. In fact, according to HubSpot, 43% of content marketers report using AI to help them generate ideas and one in two writers use AI tools to boost the performance of their content. These statistics show that AI can be a positive tool in the online industry and below are some of the ways you can use AI effectively: 

          • ➡️ Generate content ideas based on trending topics 

          • ➡️ Gain insights into how to optimise your content’s structure and readability

          • ➡️ Automate tasks including meta title creation   

          Be Authentic, Honest And Unique 

          When creating blog content, it is important to create content for the benefit of your users. Authenticity, honesty and uniqueness are qualities that will resonate with your users and create a sense of trust. When you are creating blog content for SEO, it is important to be genuine and transparent within your content and avoid overly promotional or salesy language. Make sure you are providing content that is offering valuable insights, expertise or solutions that are genuinely helpful for your audience and will address their needs or challenges. By creating this type of content, you will actually be helping your users address their issues and needs, and they will be more likely to convert if you have answered an issue that they are experiencing. 

          Measure, Learn And Refine

          Effective blog content creation is a process that requires ongoing monitoring, analysis and refinement. There are many different analytic tools that you can use when tracking your blog content including GA4 and Ahrefs. Key metrics to monitor include: 

          • ➡️ Users 

          • ➡️ Bounce rate 

          • ➡️ Session length 

          • ➡️ Engagement 

          • ➡️ Conversions

          Based on your analysis, you can find any areas for improvement and optimisation and this can really help to improve your content and ultimately gain more traffic and conversions.

          Be Patient

          The final point I am going to suggest is to be patient. Patience is so important when it comes to SEO blog content creation because, as I’m sure you’re aware, SEO is a long-term strategy that takes time to see results. Be patient and consistent in your efforts, knowing that you are creating high quality content that will gradually acquire traffic and conversions as you increase your visibility in the SERPs. 

          Summary

          To conclude, creating SEO blog content that converts requires a strategic approach that will be informed by an understanding of the user’s buying journey, keyword research, competitor analysis, content planning, internal linking, authenticity, measurement and patience (just a few things…). But, by implementing these best practices discussed above and continuously improving and refining your content, you can elevate your blog’s performance, attract qualified leads and actually drive conversions that will contribute to your business’s growth and success. 

          If you need any help with your SEO blog content strategy, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today and our SEO experts can provide you with insights on how to create blog content that will actually convert. 

          Blog Image Template (3)

          A Guide To Newsjacking In 2024

          Newsjacking has been a buzzword in the digital PR space for a while now and I often think of it as akin to E-E-A-T in the SEO space – it’s something that everyone knows about and if you get it right it can have a significant impact on your client’s results. Knowing where to start with newsjacking can be tricky especially if you’re doing it for the first time so let’s take a look at how we approach newsjacking and what we need to do to ensure that we get the best results for our clients and land those all-important placements. 

          So What Is Newsjacking?

          Chances are you are probably already familiar with the term newsjacking as it’s a pretty common term that gets used in day-to-day language but for those who aren’t familiar, the concept of newsjacking involves jumping on a trend or something that is topical in the news and adding to the conversation that might be through adding an expert comment or sending over some data that’s relevant to the conversation and can add value to a piece that a journalist might be currently covering.

          The reason newsjacking is such an effective digital PR technique is that combines two of the most important elements that go into a great story, that is relevancy for the journalist – you’re jumping on something that’s happening right now, and also adding value to the conversation through data or expert opinion, you’re adding real value to a story that journalists already writing and that’s a surefire way to get coverage for your client.

          Newsjacking comes in two formats, that’s proactive and reactive depending on when in the story you add your comment or expertise, both can be really effective from a link acquisition perspective and if you’re prepared, then chances are that it can be quite a quick turnaround project. So let’s take a look at how we can approach newsjacking to ensure that we get the best results for our clients and land some great placements and coverage across the board.

          Preparation

          Preparation is absolutely key when it comes to newsjacking as you want to be able to jump on a trend as quickly as you possibly can. This means putting some time in to gather images that they might want to use, look at areas of expertise and understanding who the best person to be the spokesperson is, and also any additional resources that they have available which you might be able to use to supplement their comments.

          Stockpiling all of this information beforehand can help to make your newsjacking experience a lot smoother – we recommend having a sit down with your client to run through the newsjacking process and gather this information before you start your outreach – this will help you to improve your turnaround times and make sure that you’re able to jump on that emerging story as quickly as you possibly can.

          News Listening

          One of the most important elements of an effective newsjacking campaign is understanding what is topical and trending, finding topics that journalists are likely to cover – this means looking at what’s trending in the news and finding something that’s relevant to your client that you can add value to.

          There are a number of different ways that you can conduct news listening but we’ve included some of the most popular options to get you started:

          1. X (Twitter)

          X is a great place to start when you’re looking for new ideas and the trending hashtags are a great place to get your inspiration from. This can give you a good idea of topical issues that people are talking about, topics that are trending across the UK and also internationally, in addition to topics that people like to talk about and are maybe in the public interest.

          X has a “trending” section where you can understand what people are talking about – this can also be broken into areas such as “News”, “Sports” and also for your local area. Additionally, if you are looking to research into a specific area, you can research specific hashtag data to understand how many people are talking about a specific topic.

          Source: twitter.com

          X is a great way to get a feel for what people are talking about – and also what is topical in the news – so it’s worth keeping this open throughout your day. Additionally, using hashtags like #journorequest and #prrequest can help you keep on top of what journalists are looking for – another great way to get an idea of relevant topics you might want to cover. 

          2. TikTok

          TikTok is another great way to find out what is topical and trending and you can trendjack really quickly with the user generated content – getting a great idea of topical stories that are in the public interest by also looking through engagement metrics.

          If you have a TikTok Business account then you will also have access to some of great hashtag data and trends information that is available and you can find this across two main dashboards to help your news research – the first one is the general trending dashboard which goes through all of the trends from the last seven days:

          Source: tiktok.com

          You can also drill down into further detail around each of these specific hashtags to understand where they are trending and with which audiences (as well as their related interests which is great for helping you to build your media lists!). This information can give you great regional insights as well as tell you more about their age range and demographic information:

          Source: tiktok.com

          You can also just use TikTok generally to research data around a given topic by monitoring hashtag data and getting an idea of how people are approaching the topic / what they find of most interest. This is particularly valuable if you are looking to create content that targets Gen-Z who are usually avid TikTok users.

          3. Google Alerts

          Google Alerts provides a great way to stay on top of topics that are trending around your client and have them delivered straight to your inbox. By setting up notifications within Google Alerts it will email you every time there is news around a particular topic, your client name or something that is related to. This is a great way to stay on top of breaking issues that are topical to or related to the services or products that your clients sell. 

          It’s relatively easy to set Google Alerts up, but we would recommend setting them up in a subfolder of your email inbox to avoid being inundated with alerts as they are coming in throughout the day. Set these up separately and spend some time running through them to see if they are relevant for your client, over time you’ll become accustomed to the types of news that this is pulling out and you can adjust your filtering to make this more relevant as you need to. This is a great way to jump on something that is topically relevant for your client without having to sift through an entire news site to find the information.

          4. Upcoming Reports

          Upcoming reports can be a great way to get ideas for newsjacking particularly if it’s proactive.  there are a wide range of industry bodies who published reports on a regular basis ranging from weekly through to daily, and jumping on these reports and putting your client into the centre of the conversation, is a great way to newsjack and really add that element of expertise and relevancy to the links you are building through to the website.

          If you aren’t sure where to start with reports then try some popular industry bodies – places such as the NHS and the ONS are frequently reporting on a wide range of topics and you can easily find a way to link please through to your clients. In many situations these bodies will also have a calendar that you can access which showcases the types of reports that are coming up, this allows you to plan in advance so that you can support to ensure that you’re able to quickly jump on this trend once the report comes out.

          Reports are really effective way to newsjack because they’re topical and they’re data-led – something which journalists love, so if you’re looking for ideas for your newsjacking then have a look at relevant industry bodies that are related to your client and the types of reports that they have coming up to see if there’s somewhere that you can add expert commentary and topical value.

          5. Event Calendars

          Event calendars are a great way to undertake proactive newsjacking and we often find that many publications publish their upcoming calendars for the year in advance,so this is a great way for us to prepare for upcoming events and to plan ahead some ideas for proactive newsjacking.

          Keep up to date with your favourite publications and don’t be afraid to reach out to editors to ask them if they have a publication calendar in advance, this can help to give you an idea of the topics that they are looking to cover and the type of content that they might be more likely to include within their pieces.

          As a result it is valuable to use this to guide your newsjacking because it already gives you an idea of what journalists think is relevant and what readers are likely to engage with, therefore making it more likely for your content to be picked up if it is relevant to this topic

          6. Colleagues

          Often in Digital PR we find ourselves the victims of trying to come up with all of the ideas  ourselves and it’s hard for everyone to always be on top of what’s in the news and what is a trending topic – so why not use your colleagues?  We set up a group chat where we encourage our colleagues to post something that they’ve read that is newsworthy or trending – that could have been something that they’ve read in the newspaper that morning or something they’ve seen on TikTok or read on X. 

          By encouraging our colleagues to contribute in this way we are getting a much bigger pool of information that we can use to take ideas from and chances are that many of us are reading different publications or fall into different TikTok algorithms, so this can be a great way to get a wide range of newsjacking options.

          Research

          Once you have undertaken your news listening it’s important to thoroughly research an idea before you start as you want to make sure that the idea hasn’t been done before and that someone else isn’t currently working on it. You also need to ensure that any information you are  bringing to the table is offering a new opinion or something that hasn’t been published before, after all, that’s what journalists are looking for – a new angle on an existing story.

          The research is important to ensure that you’re bringing something fresh to the story – so how do we go about undertaking research to understand topics and areas that journalists have covered before? Here are a couple of ideas for tools that can help you:

          1. Buzzsumo

          Buzzsumo is a great way to get an understanding of topics that are covered recently or topics that are popular with the press. You can use this tool to understand the types of content that journalists have covered recently, which journalists have covered which types of content and also in what volume so you can really start to understand how many people are covering a particular topic and therefore a) has it been done before and b) is it likely to be picked up by a particular journalist.

          One of the other important metrics that was talking give you if social shares and while this isn’t a direct impact on SEO performance, what it can help to show you is how engaged a particular article is and therefore potentially how many people are likely to read that article and how much it is in the public interest – this is a valuable analysis before you start investing your time into creating content around that topic.

          Using tools like Buzzsumo allows you to understand how well your content is likely to land as well as to ensure that hasn’t been covered before and therefore that you’re not wasting your time.

          1. Google News Search

          Google News search is another great way to understand how content is landing and this can give you an idea again of topics that have been covered before, the types of journalists that are likely to cover your content and also any angles that you could potentially pursue that haven’t already been done.

          We often use Google News to understand what is topically trending when we pitch to new digital PR clients – that helps to give us a overview of the market and understand what types of stories have been covered in recent times, but as a client you can also use this to understand if a topic has been done to death, even a bit or if there is opportunity to add a new angle into a pre-existing trending topic. 

          1. Use External Tools

          In addition to Google alerts and external tools that you can also use to help with your research. One example of this is semrush and you can use this tool to understand topics which are trending and also at the types of search volumes around specific keywords or topics that you might be looking to cover. 

          You can also use tools like the Topic Research tool to understand popular trending topics and how they are evolving over time. This allows you to type in a particular keyword/topic and evaluate topics around this that are currently being covered/talked about – this is another great way to check that your topic hasn’t already been covered, or to help analyse a new angle or approach.

          Source: SEMRush

          Research is key to ensure that you don’t waste your time undertaking a campaign which has already been done and that you are able to bring a fresh angle and approach to the story. 

          Ideation & Creation

          The ideation and creation stage plays an important role in any newsjacking campaign and this is where you pull everything together. So you take the information you found within your research, you take anything that’s topical and trending and relevant to your client and you can bind it all together to create a great story, piece of data or angle that delivers great coverage for your client and also insightful information to a trending topic.

          The ideation stage has a number of different parts to it and this includes:

          1. Brainstorming

          Brainstorming is when you put your heads together and come up with some great ideas as to how you can get your client coverage in a story. Brainstorming can take a number of different formats but it’s a great idea to get the whole team together. If the client has time this is also a great opportunity to get them involved so that they can lend their expertise and showcase this. 

          Try and come up with a number of different ideas and angles and run them past your client to see what they are comfortable with and which best showcases their expertise and their data. Once you have a couple of ideas, start to narrow them down until you’ve selected the options that you want to go for.

          1. Identifying Your Angle

          An idea is nothing without an angle that adds value to the article or the story – this is often more important than anything else, you need to bring something fresh to the article, so identifying your angle and making this clear early on is important to getting coverage. 

          Look at what has already been done and hone in on the value that your data or expertise can add – do you have something new to bring to the conversation? Do you have data that showcases an additional angle on a regional/international level? Identifying your angle plays a key role in ensuring that journalists feel that your content adds value to their article. 

          1. Tapping In On Expertise

          Make sure to tap into the expertise of your clients if possible, this will of course give you a great angle when you’re approaching a story and will help you to identify how you can add value very quickly. 

          Feel free to sit down with your clients to really understand the areas of expertise or to conduct an interview with the spokesperson to understand the types of angles that you could look for, tapping in on the expertise will really help you to showcase this through the content that you’re creating and also to add real value to the article.

          1. Creating The Right Content

          Creating the right type of contact is also really important whether this comes in quote format, whether it’s a piece of data or whether it’s simply a couple of lines having a new angle to an existing story.

          Having a look at the types of content that journalists are covering and the format this is in will help you to identify how to best approach the content that you want to create, to ensure it’s the right type of content that the journalist would like to cover. Having the right content and the right angle will help to get your content placed and is an important part of the newsjacking process.

          1. Creating The Right Format

          Creating the right format for your content is also very important, this means how you display the content and the type of content that you’re sending to journalists.Make sure to include any assets that will help support the story this could be high resolution images or associated data tables and always remember to clearly state your methodology for any data analysis pieces that you’re doing this is important to ensure that the journalist is comfortable to cover your content and also that you explain where you’ve got the data from and at what time. 

          Outreach

          Once you have the idea and you’ve pulled it together into a press release with the supporting information now comes one of the most important parts – the outreach. Using the right tagline, contacting the right journalists and creating a killer press release are all important parts of this process and to ensure that you get your coverage landed we’d recommend the following steps:

          1. Research Your Journalists

          Researching your journalists is super important to ensuring that you are sending your content to people who are likely to cover it and who have a genuine reason to cover it/interest in the topic. There’s a number of different ways that you can research journalists and these include:

          • Using tools like Buzzsumo to understand which journalists are covering similar content or similar topical areas
          • Researching on X – most journalists announce moves on X, make a note of these and start to follow these journalists – they will often do a shoutout if they are looking for a specific type of content to cover
          • Manual research through Google News – looking through Google News and other web indexes to understand journalists who have covered the topic recently and any articles where you could reach out and add a new angle
          • Look at specific topic journalists i.e. journalists who cover soaps, finance, travel etc… add these to your list for the topical coverage

          By researching journalists in advance you are more likely to build a list of journalists who are more engaged with your content, therefore leading to better overall results and avoiding sending unrelated content to journalists who may find this annoying. 

          1. Build An Effective Media List

          An effective media list plays a key role in ensuring that you’re giving your content the best chance of getting covered, so taking time to build your media list is time well spent. When pulling the list together, call on your journalist research to understand which journalists you want to include on your list, you can then follow this up by using a journalist database tool (we use Vuelio) to source relevant emails and start to build out your list. Remember that relevancy here is key so you need just enough journalists to ensure you get a good reach, while at the same time you don’t want to flood journalists who aren’t interested in your content.

          1. Monitor Opens & Trends

          Data plays an important role in an effective newsjacking campaign so make sure that you monitor your opens and trends to understand how journalists are engaging with your content.
          Using tools which allow you to track open rate will help you to understand how journalists are engaging with your content, over time this will help you to understand which journalists engage with which type of content and will naturally make your content more effective – using data in this way can help you to streamline your outreach is very effective.

          1. Follow Up

          It’s important to follow up your content and press releases – don’t just do one push, always follow up with a couple of different pushes at different times. It might be that you caught a journalist when they were particularly busy, or that they already have a full news roster for the day, by doing follow ups you can ensure that you’re continuing to push your story out and you may find that in many instances it lands on the second or third push.

          It’s also valuable to follow up when something particularly relevant has landed in the press – send your press release along with some updated comments or information on something which is trending topically, this can be a great way to get it included in a news round up or timely news story.

          1. Rework Content Where Needed

          Don’t be afraid to rework your content where you need to. You might find that you actually need it in a different format, that it’s a little outdated or that you need to use a new angle. You always have the opportunity to update your content, so don’t be afraid to launch it at different times of the year with new, up to date information, or a slightly more relevant/different angle – reworking content can often be a great way to land content which perhaps didn’t place the first time round. 

          Review

          Once we’ve completed the outreach process, it doesn’t end there and the review stage is perhaps one of the most important stages – this is where we analyse what went well, what type of content was covered and how we could leverage this for future campaigns. Key areas that we review and look into include:

          1. Open Rate

          Open rate plays a key role in our reviews as it gives us a great idea of how journalists have engaged with our content – who has engaged with it and at what rate. Over time this becomes a very valuable metric and one that we can use to understand which journalists are likely to engage with which content, to better inform our outreach process

          1. Publications Covered

          Reviewing which publications have covered our content also plays an important role in informing our outreach strategy moving forwards. It’s important to review who has covered what type of content and when, which journalist has covered the content and how it has been covered – these are all vital pieces of data to understand how we can best tailor our newsjacking efforts to the right publications.

          1. Journalist Feedback

          This is also a good time to review any feedback that you’ve received from journalists, this could include journalists asking you to remove them from your mailing list, or alternatively journalists who have fed back on what they liked about an article, or what could have been improved/what they needed to support the article. All of this information is super valuable and should be noted to improve the outreach process moving forwards.

          Conclusion

          Newsjacking isn’t just a buzzword, it’s an important facet of any effective Digital PR campaign and it’s a great way to get your clients at the forefront of the conversation, quickly. To find out more about how newsjacking works, check out our Digital PR services or case studies

          Copy of Blog Image Template (29)

          A Round Up Of Recent Google Algorithm Updates

          For us SEO professionals, it’s well known that Google notoriously loves a good algorithm update, throwing rankings up into the air and sending everyone on LinkedIn into a frenzy. Whilst in the early days, Google only made occasional updates, they now make thousands of changes each year – and recently it’s felt as if new algorithms are rolling out practically every other day. This, understandably, can be stressful for those responsible for maintaining client rankings or their own website’s performance. With so many updates, it’s easy to feel lost in the sea of changes and unsure how to maintain strong SEO.

          This blog post will break down the key updates implemented in recent months, explaining their impact on your SEO strategy and offering actionable tips to keep your rankings climbing amidst the algorithm shifts.

          What is a Google Algorithm Update?

          Google’s search engine relies on complex algorithms to sift through its massive index and deliver the most relevant results for every user query. These algorithms consider a multitude of ranking factors to determine which web pages deserve the top spots on SERPs. While Google constantly tweaks these algorithms, most changes are so subtle they go unnoticed.  However, Google occasionally rolls out major updates that significantly impact the SERPs.

          These major updates, referred to as core updates, are designed to improve the overall quality and user experience of search results. So, they may be irritating but they come from a good place! However, because they often involve significant changes to how Google evaluates websites, this can cause fluctuations in rankings across the board. Even the biggest and most established websites are affected by core updates, experiencing shifts in their ranking positions and visitor traffic.  

          Why you should care:

          So, we’ve established that Google algorithm updates can significantly impact your website’s traffic and ranking – bringing new visitors or temporary dips. Understanding each update and how it impacts your SEO strategy allows you to adapt and adjust your strategy to regain lost ground. It’s crucial to keep up with the updates so you can align your content accordingly if necessary. This proactive approach will ensure you keep your website visible to its target audience.

          2024 updates

          Without further ado, let’s take a look at the updates we’ve seen in the past 6 months. We’ll work through them in reverse chronological order and provide some pointers for dealing with each one.

          ⚙️The March 2024 Core Update

          You must be living under a rock if you’ve missed this huge update; as the longest-ever core update, it only finished rolling out on April 19th and was said to reduce unhelpful content by 45%! It marked a big shift in Google’s ongoing fight against low-quality content and signalled strong recognition of the wave of AI-generated content that’s hit the web in the past year. The update further refined Google’s ability to identify and penalise content deemed unhelpful, particularly targeting unoriginal AI content.

          What did Google have to say? A spokesperson said this update has refined how it understands which webpages are “unhelpful, have a poor user experience or feel like they were created for search engines instead of people.” This “could include sites created primarily to match very specific search queries”. As a result, websites with content that lacked value, originality, or depth may have seen ranking declines.

          What does this mean for you?

          This just means more of what we already know – we need to be writing helpful content for people, and not just to rank in search engines. There are no big new changes you should implement, or secret hacks to rank well in this update – just more of what you’re (hopefully) already doing.

          The algorithm update also means that you should see better quality results when you’re using search engines. The web has recently seen a surge of AI content that lacks accuracy and authenticity. This update should cut down on that and improve the overall quality of what we see on the SERPs.

          Been hit by this update? Approach recovery by, first and foremost, working on the quality of your content. If you’re experiencing a traffic loss for queries you used to rank for, there’s probably an issue with your content (if you’ve already confirmed there’s no technical problem). Look at the competitor pages now ranking for this content and work out why Google’s seeing it as preferable. Is it more relevant? Longer-form? Demonstrating expertise through author profiles? Video or image content rather than written?

          Whilst Google hasn’t given us a lot of new advice in the aftermath of this new update, it might also be useful to look at their previous list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update. Work your way through and identify the areas where your content could be improved.

          ⚙️The March 2024 Spam Update

          At the same time as we faced the March Core Update, Google also rolled out a hefty Spam Update, taking 15 days to complete. It took action against new types of spam, particularly scaled content abuse and expired domain abuse, which we’ve been seeing an increasing prevalence of.

          Scaled content abuse is a tactic where spammers create vast amounts of AI content aimed at manipulating search rankings and tricking Google into thinking they have the answers to popular searches. Whilst Google has always fought against this practice, the advancements in AI have called for a revamp of their strategy.

          Then, expired domain abuse is where someone exploits the reputation of an expired domain. They purchase the domain and repurpose it to boost the rankings of their low-quality content. It misleads Google and users into believing that the new content is associated with the older, more reputable website. 

          It goes without saying that if you’ve seen a change to your traffic or rankings after this update, ensure you’re not violating any of Google’s spam policies, even accidentally.

          Other recent updates

          ⚙️November 2023 Core Update: This was the final core update of 2023, beginning on November 2nd and completing on November 28th. Like most core updates, it resulted in many sites seeing ranking volatility – particularly in ‘Your Money, Your Life’ verticals.

          ⚙️October 2023 Core Update: With this core update, Google began handling backlinks differently. The reputation and relevance of the linking site was more important than ever before and a single link from a high-authority site now carried much more value than lots of lower-quality links.

          ⚙️October 2023 Spam Update: October also saw the release of a spam update, designed to clean up several types of spam that Google community members reported in Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi and Chinese.

          Are any more updates heading our way?

          In the past week, we’ve seen the beginning of a site reputation abuse update rolling out. This will target something often referred to as “parasite SEO”; sites found to be practicing site reputation abuse will face drops in rankings and even deindexes of pages. 

          But what exactly is site reputation abuse? This is when websites with significant authority exploit their trust to push low-quality, irrelevant content. According to Google, the update will be going after “third-party content produced primarily for ranking purposes and without close oversight of a website owner to be spam.” They used the example of a third party publishing payday loan reviews on a trusted educational website to gain ranking benefits from the site:

          “Such content ranking highly on Search can confuse or mislead visitors who may have vastly different expectations for the content on a given website.”

          Has your site been hit? We can help

          Cedarwood Digital is an award-winning SEO agency based in Manchester and we have extensive experience helping our clients to prepare for and recover from algorithm updates. Our team of experts has an advanced understanding of what Google wants to see, and possesses the strategies to help you rank in the top positions, and stay in them.

          Get in touch with us today to learn how we can optimise your SEO for long-term success.

          Copy of Blog Image Template (28)

          Link Building Tactics That Will Drive Organic Traffic

          Link building has long been a popular part of SEO campaigns and is the process of building links from other highly authoritative websites to your own to highlight to Google the value and authority that your website represents, and to build your own authority. 

          Why does it matter?

          Links can significantly improve your website’s performance as they contribute to your key E-E-A-T signals, which can play a crucial role in search engine rankings across many sectors. In some instances, they are seen as a vote of trust and are a way of building your reputation and showcasing your expertise. This can potentially lead to higher rankings for your target keywords which means more traffic and more conversions – the good stuff. 

          The benefits stretch beyond SEO. Link-building will also directly increase your site traffic by sending visitors your way, and improve brand awareness by exposing your site to a wider audience. Essentially, it’s gold dust if you want to give your site a boost in visibility. But, link-building hasn’t always looked like this. It’s undergone a drastic transformation in the past 5-10 years, driven largely by Google’s efforts to combat dodgy tactics. 

          A quick link-building history

          In the early 2010s, when ideas of SEO were just beginning to be thrown around, marketers focused on securing as many backlinks as possible, regardless of their quality. Building a large backlink profile was pretty easy – anyone could boost their ranking by buying links or using techniques like blog commenting.

          Google’s Penguin Update in 2012 put a stop to all this, penalising websites with a suspicious link profile. This forced SEOs to shift their focus to acquiring high-quality backlinks through creating valuable content. 

          Now, in 2024, it’s more important than ever to have a solid strategy for link building to support SEO – and – it’s important that these links have direct relevance to your clients. This is because:

          🔗Google’s algorithms are getting scarily good at identifying high-quality content. As you’ll know, it feels like they’re undergoing updates every other day, and their recent ‘helpful content updates’ place a huge priority on relevant and trustworthy sources, over merely the number of backlinks.

          🔗It’s getting harder and harder to stand out. If you know about link-building, that means all your competitors probably do too. Your strategy now needs to be bigger and better if you want to win those backlinks over your competitors.

          🔗Online brand awareness is playing an increasingly vital role. A strong brand presence helps you cut through the noise and establish yourself in a crowded marketplace. Plus, social media platforms are now a key place for consumers to discover new brands. For the first time, online content has the power to not just grab readers’ attention, but also nudge them directly towards a purchase.  Consumers are way more receptive to positive online influences that guide their buying decisions.

          The different types of Link Building

          Deeper linking

          Building links to your website is a crucial SEO strategy, but simply acquiring links isn’t enough. To maximise the impact, you need a strategy focused on where those links land. Many people prioritise building links to the homepage, but this often misses out on valuable opportunities.

          In most cases, the pages with the best user intent match and the ones you truly want users to visit, reside deeper within your website. These are typically product or service pages – the areas that directly impact conversions and revenue. Link equity passed from the homepage to these sub-pages can be valuable, but it’s far less effective than linking to them directly.

          This is where deeper page linking comes in as a popular solution. By building links directly to these relevant sub-pages, you signal to search engines that these pages are valuable, boosting their rankings in search results. Improved ranking can in turn lead to increased organic traffic, conversions, and ultimately, revenue.

          E-E-A-T link building

          Google has over 200 ranking factors but the increasingly most important factor is E-E-A-T or ‘expertise, experience, authoritativeness and trustworthiness’. For Google to see your site as valuable and send organic traffic your way, you need to be sending out these signals. This is especially important for websites falling into the ‘Your Money, Your Life’ category, which deals with topics that can significantly impact users’ lives. For YMYL sites, building strong E-E-A-T signals is extra important to establish credibility in the eyes of Google.

          The good news is that E-E-A-T link building is not rocket science! If you’re already utilising Digital PR tactics to acquire links, you’re likely on the right track. By nature, effective Digital PR generates genuine, high-quality links that showcase your website’s expertise. However, there are specific link-building tactics for building E-E-A-T friendly links and maximising their impact on your site’s organic traffic….

          1. Newsjacking to put your client at the centre of the conversation

          Newsjacking offers a great approach to building external E-E-A-T signals and driving organic traffic. This technique involves capitalising on trending news stories and offering fresh insights from your in-house expert. This valuable content can then be pitched to journalists for inclusion in their articles, or used to create a standalone piece showcasing your client’s expertise. 

          By providing authoritative commentary on a trending topic, you position your brand as a thought leader in the field, attracting high-quality backlinks that boost your website’s SEO and signal trustworthiness to Google.

          For example, we recently newsjacked the Easter tablescaping trend, outreaching expert tips on decking out your table from our spokesperson at Alliance Online. This content was then distributed to relevant journalists, resulting in backlinks from authoritative outlets. Each of these links sent a positive signal to Google, indicating that our client’s website deserves a higher ranking in search results.

          1. Thought-leadership to showcase expertise 

          Similarly, thought-leadership content is a powerful tool to build trust and add organic value to your site. It’s pretty straightforward; leverage in-house experts from your client’s business to share their expertise through interviews. Having readily available bios that highlight their credentials and experience is also crucial to demonstrate their authority to journalists and Google alike.

          Beyond reactive approaches like newsjacking, a proactive strategy is essential. Stay informed about upcoming events and special days for opportunities to strategically position your client’s experts in front of the media. This can lead to features in high-profile publications, generating valuable backlinks that significantly help out your website’s E-E-A-T signals and organic reach.

          Another thought-leadership tactic is guest blogging on relevant sites within your client’s industry – this involves creating informative and valuable content for other established blogs or publications. The blog post would ideally include a bio of the author and a link back to their website. This not only establishes credibility, boosting your SEO, but also drives valuable referral traffic.

          1. Analysing data for expert content

          By gathering your own data, or analysing publicly available datasets, you can create valuable content that demonstrates your client’s expertise and understanding of the field. This data-driven approach not only positions your client as an expert but also generates valuable resources that journalists are likely to reference. Combine your data analysis with clear visualisations to make your piece super linkable for journalists who want to provide their readers with reliable and engaging information.

          Beyond individual data pieces, consider employing a Reverse Digital PR strategy. This involves creating content hubs on your client’s website –  comprehensive resources fit to burst with data and analysis. These content hubs are the gift that keeps on giving, becoming valuable destinations for journalists seeking information. They have the potential to attract numerous backlinks over time that significantly boost both E-E-A-T signals and on-site SEO. Plus, a well-designed data-hub will not only drive traffic by attracting backlinks, but also through boosting your on-site SEO.

          Let’s wrap up with some key takeaways:

          ➡️Link-building matters more than ever in 2024, if it’s not prioritised in your SEO strategy, it should be! It’s a golden ticket to build a strong online reputation and help Google understand why it should rank your website.

          ➡️Within your strategy, focus on building links to deeper, user-focused pages like product or service pages.

          ➡️And to get those links? Implement E-E-A-T link-building practices:

          ->Newsjacking: offering expert insights on trending topics

          ->Thought-leadership: share expertise through interviews, guest blogs and data-driven content

          ->Data-hubs: build resources rich with data to attract valuable backlinks

          Need a hand getting started? Cedarwood Digital are an award-winning Link Building Agency with the media contacts and techniques to land you top tier, 100% earned links. Drop us a line today.

          Untitled design (30)

          Director Amanda On The Main Stage At Brighton SEO

          Having attended Brighton SEO for over a decade now, I can safely say that it’s one of the best, if not the best SEO conference in the world, so I was absolutely delighted when asked to speak on the main stage this year covering the topic “SEO For YMYL Websites”

          For those of you that don’t know what YMYL is, it stands for “Your Money Your Life” and it’s a term that was coined by Google to cover websites that can have an impact on someone’s money or life. At Cedarwood, we specialise in working with companies like this and with years of experience building links in particularly tricky industries i.e. gaming, vaping, medical, legal so it was great to be able to share some knowledge about this with the community.

          So what were some of the key takeaways from the talk?

          • User intent is key – matching user intent plays a huge role in the YMYL space and it’s really important that we are keeping this in mind. This ties in really well with the idea of creating a “satisfying amount of content” – that is the right amount of content for a user, not a certain number of words, to answer the questions/queries they might have and allow them to make an informed decision
          • Reputation is important –  in particular your external reputation. Google yourself – see what people are saying about you and make sure that you work to build your reputation with effective Digital PR – this will go a long way to helping what people have to say about you and also what Google are seeing being said about you
          • Showcase your trust signals – whether it’s through industry accreditations or simply by telling people why they should trust you, showcasing this on your website and on external websites plays an important role on building those all important E-E-A-T signals
          • And on the topic of E-E-A-T, making sure that it shines through in everything that you do. Google have openly stated that for YMYL websites they place a heavier weight on E-E-A-T signals so it’s important that those are showcased at every opportunity
          • Finally, making sure that the look and feel of your content matches the expertise of it – there’s no point having great content only for it to look “amateurish” – take time to consider the way content is displayed and that it matches the expertise you are showcasing.

          I had a great time in Brighton, got to meet some fantastic people and hear from some thought leaders across the industry.

          You can find a link to my full slide deck here: https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/amanda-walls-brighton-seo-seo-for-ymyl-websites-9pptx/267570020

          Until October!

          Copy of Blog Image Template (27)

          Essential Tips I’ve Learnt In My First 6 Months As An SEO Copywriter

          Six months ago, I entered the marketing world as a slightly terrified graduate who thought engagement was something that happens before a wedding and long-tail was a type of monkey. These days, I like to think I’m a bit of a copywriting whizz (on a good day). If, like me, you’ve entered your first SEO copywriting role with little marketing experience, I’m here to help. I spend an inordinate proportion of my life putting words onto paper and have picked up some tips along the way. 

          So, without further ado, let’s get into the SEO copywriting lessons I’ve learnt in my first six months that’ll make your content impress your manager and Google.

          1. SEO copywriting is unlike anything else you’ll have ever written

          Something I gathered days, if not hours, into my new role is that SEO copywriting is unlike anything you’ll have ever written. It’s drastically different from academic writing and pretty dissimilar to press releases and journalistic style content. It requires a far more analytical approach and is definitely a skill that has to be developed. But I think, 6 months in, I’m getting there… just.

          It will all feel like a foreign language at first, and you’ll spend many hours removing jargon and complex sentence structures. But practice makes perfect, and it’s crazy how quickly SEO copywriting becomes second nature.

          1. It’s all about the prep

          There’s a lot more to copywriting than just getting the words down. A vast proportion of my time is spent doing the necessary research required for SEO content – scouring search volumes, analysing the SERPs, determining user intent, and deciding on headings and subheadings. 

          Take your time for keyword research and SERP analysis before you even think about writing. You need to get inside the target users’ heads – what are they searching for and what are they clicking on? What do I need to address to make sure I’m producing genuinely useful content that answers their queries? It can be easy in the content world to lose track of what really matters – the customers and what they need. Remember that blogs aren’t just for brand awareness, and product descriptions are more than just a keyword dump. 

          1. Copywriting is hard and some days it just won’t happen

          SEO copywriting is tricky! Alongside the analytical skills required in the research process, the actual writing requires a lot of creativity – and it’s impossible for us to be creative 24/7. Every day will be different. Some days I can knock up a thousand words in an hour, and on others it will take me all day to get a mere couple of hundred out.

          On those days, don’t push it – move over to research tasks and leave the more creatively demanding work for another day. It’s a good idea to take this into account when structuring your time. Give yourself plenty of time for a big piece of writing, to allow for those writer’s block days where it’s just not flowing.

          1. Write for humans

          When you do get down to the actual writing, write for humans. I know everyone says it but it’s so important if you want to produce content that’s engaging and SEO-effective.

          Ask yourself, would you enjoy reading this piece of content? Would you find it useful? Would your best friend? It’s easy to get lost in all the technical details of keyword research and search volumes but at the end of the day, what is your average Joe going to want to read? Write for humans and Google will reward you as a side effect.

          Something I learnt that really stuck with me is that the average reading age in the UK is 9! And remember that your audience will have different levels of reading ability – ensuring that your content is accessible is crucial. Not everyone is a copywriter like you; in fact, the vast majority won’t have read a book in the last year. As much as it’s fun to add in niche vocab and fun sentence structures, your content needs to be digestible and readable. Use short words, sentences, and paragraphs and save the rambles for your Instagram captions.

          1. Make use of AI! (It’s not out to steal your job)

          I’ll admit, I used to be a real ChatGPT hater – rolling my eyes when people raved about what it could do. “There’s no way writing can be automated, and why should it be?” But I confess, it’s been growing on me. AI can be super useful as a little personal assistant. It’s great for giving you alternative words or phrases if you can’t remember exactly what you’re after – and super useful if you need a more concise header.

          However, be careful not to rely on it too much! The capabilities of these tools may well be very impressive but do not rely solely on AI to write your copy – as tempting as it might be. Everyone can see through it, and it will kill off your creativity; you got this job for a reason, keep exercising and developing that skill.

          My favourite tools for SEO copywriting 

          There are so many tools and software now for all things SEO and when you’re new to the scene it can be tricky to work out which to choose. Lucky for you, I’ve narrowed down my favourites over the last six months:

          📍Ahrefs

          A jack of all trades, Ahrefs should really be your go-to as an SEO copywriter. Keyword research, content gap analysis, user intent, it does it all.

          📍AlsoAsked

          You’ll have seen the ‘People Also Ask’ list that appears in Google’s search results – it shows you the, often amusing, top queries the population are asking. Well, AlsoAsked puts all that data in one place. You enter a topic or question and receive a full mind-map of the most asked queries. This is a goldmine for writing FAQ sections, coming up with headings, or simply to get a better sense of what the target audience is wanting to know.

          📍Salient

          This tool emulates Google, showing you what’s being picked up as the most important features of the page. It’s helpful to show you if your copy is successfully targeting the relevant topics, giving you a clue into how Google will rank it.

          📍Grammarly

          An absolute classic, and a must for copywriters. Add this extension to your browser and it will make sure every piece of work, every email, and every LinkedIn caption is error-free and perfectly punctuated. Because is there anything more icky than a copywriter with incorrect grammar?

          📍Gemini

          ChatGPT’s lesser known cousin, Gemini is Google’s own AI assistant and I find it to be a better alternative. One thing it’s great for is proofing. Simply insert your piece of work and it shows you any errors, places for improvement and even some ‘what went wells’. Got to love some validation from a chatbot. 

          How to upskill in SEO copywriting

          If you’re new to marketing and SEO, you’ll want to be catching up fast. There’s a lot to learn so here’s how I got up to speed:

          > Consume lots of writing, and make it good writing. Follow copywriters on LinkedIn, subscribe to newsletters, rediscover the joy of reading that got sidelined at university. If you want to write great content, you need to read a lot of great content.

          > Attend webinars and marketing events. There’s so much going on, particularly here in Manchester, and many of these events are free! There’s no one better to learn from than the leaders in our industry – and the free pizza never goes amiss.

          > Want to feel slightly more productive on your commute? Choose an educational podcast rather than your favourite Made in Chelsea Stars. Here are some of my faves:

          • ‘Always Take Notes’ = each episode interviews a diverse range of established novelists, journalists and publishers. They have fascinating conversations and it’s a great place to mine writing tips and seek inspiration.
          • ‘MozPod’ = with the tagline ‘learn best practices from real SEOs’ this is a podcast focused on sharing lessons from SEO experts.
          • ‘Girls in Marketing’ =  a fun one for women new to the industry, offering advice to help you get started.

          My top tips for SEO Copywriting

          I’ll finish with some quick-fire top tips to send you on your way into the world of SEO copy:

          1. Want to be a good copywriter? Competitor analysis is essential. I spend so much time on competitor sites I’m probably responsible for half of their page views – try to really work out why they’re ranking and how you can do the same but better.
          1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you haven’t been given a style guide by a client, ask! This will save you all time in the long-run.
          1. Study the client’s work closely, immerse yourself in it and know their tone of voice inside and out. You need to be able to mimic their style exactly, no matter how niche it may be. I like to make a document of ‘stock phrases’ and general comments on tone for each client, to refer back to every time I write.
          1. You will receive criticism, and some of it might hurt, but try to reframe it as a learning opportunity. It’s easy to take feedback on our writing personally but just see it as a chance to improve and get closer to writing exactly what the client wants.
          1. Sleep on it… then proof. For every piece of work, I’ll schedule a quick proof the morning after. With a fresh outlook I’m able to spot errors I completely overlooked the day before, and can often think of additional points to add.

          So there we have it, the diary of an amateur copywriter who knows slightly more than she did six months ago. Hopefully these tips can help you to avoid the rookie mistakes and get you creating top-tier content.

          Need some help with your SEO strategy? We’re happy to assist. Get in contact today to find out how we can help you improve your online visibility.

          Copy of Blog Image Template (25)

          How Digital PR Works To Improve SEO Results

          In the ever-competitive online landscape, prioritising digital PR within your SEO strategy will ensure you don’t fall behind. The benefits go much deeper than just backlinks. Using digital PR to support your SEO efforts will increase your brand awareness and visibility, drive referral traffic, boost E-E-A-T signals, and ultimately increase revenue – the stuff that matters!

          Before getting into the value of digital PR, we’ll remind you of the four key pillars of a successful SEO strategy:

          • On-page SEO: This focuses on optimising your website’s content and HTML code to be search engine friendly.
          • Technical SEO: Ensures your website is structured in a way that search engines can easily crawl and index your content.
          • Content: Creating useful and relevant answers to the questions your target audience is searching for.
          • Off-page SEO: This is where digital PR comes in – building your website’s authority through backlinks and other external signals.

          While the simplest way of measuring digital PR activity is by the number of pieces of coverage and backlinks you achieve, the potential SEO benefits go much further:

          The benefits of digital PR for SEO

          Bring in better quality links than old-school link building methods 

          Unlike outdated link building methods that might focus on quantity over quality, digital PR excels at acquiring high-authority, relevant backlinks. Backlinks act like votes of confidence for search engines. The bigger and more established the brand or website linking to you, the stronger the positive impact on your website’s ranking in the SERPs. Digital PR secures these valuable links naturally by forging relationships with journalists and creating genuinely insightful content that they want to share! This focus on link-earning (rather than buying) ensures you get the most relevant and authoritative links that Google values the most.

          Improve DR/DA/TF

          Securing high-quality links through digital PR in turn improves your website’s Domain Ranking (or similar metrics like Domain Authority or Trust Flow).

          As an example, we increased our loan agency client’s DR from 38 to 48 through landing links in high tier publications. Recognising the media’s appetite for money-saving hacks, a topic directly relevant to our client, we identified “insta-mums” keen to share tips on extending the lifespan of school uniforms. This angle resonated with journalists, earning linked coverage in key dailies like The Sun and The Echo. Given the high authority these publications hold in Google’s eyes, these votes of confidence significantly boosted our client’s ranking.

          Increase brand awareness and online visibility

          By securing placements in relevant publications and online outlets, you’re putting your brand in front of a targeted audience who actively engages with those sources. This exposure fuels brand awareness, resulting in your target market gaining familiarity with your name and services.  Every piece of brand name anchor text, and every mention in the news and on social media, acts as a brand signal – reinforcing brand identity and playing a part in Google’s measurement of ‘brand authority’.

          Boost E-E-A-T signals

          Most SEOs and PRs will know all about this acronym and its importance, but if E-E-A-T is new to you – it’s a concept that’s included in Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines. These guidelines are essentially a roadmap for the human raters who evaluate the quality and relevance of search results and for websites aiming for top positions, building strong E-E-A-T signals is crucial. 

          Digital PR secures placements in reputable news outlets, showcasing your expertise on relevant topics and demonstrating the trust these publications have placed in your brands. This is especially the case when the campaigns utilise expert commentary. Coverage of your business’ experts lends credibility and directly contributes to your E-E-A-T signals. They’re particularly important for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) industries –  pages that cover topics with the potential to impact a user’s happiness, health, financial stability or safety.

          At Cedarwood, we specialise in helping YMYL businesses to boost their E-E-A-T and consequential site traffic, through digital PR efforts. For instance, we used thought leadership initiatives to improve the SEO of a medical negligence client. Since they fall squarely within the YMYL category, we collaborated with their in-house experts to share informative expertise around medical symptoms and amplify their expertise and authority signals in the process. We outreached these comments in line with specific awareness days and the approach proved a huge success – generating over 100 pieces of linked coverage pointing back to the client’s website!

          Generate referral traffic

          Digital PR generates a wave of targeted referral traffic by securing links in media outlets frequented by your ideal audience. It attracts the right kind of traffic: consumers already interested in your industry. These clicks not only translate to new website visitors, but can also nurture existing leads further down the line. The more high-quality links you build in relevant publications, and the higher you rank in search results, the greater your visibility becomes – attracting a steady stream of potential customers.

          Boost leads, sales & revenue through growing traffic and improving visibility

          So, why does this all matter? Well digital PR isn’t just about links and website traffic; what’s most important is the sales and revenue growth this drives. Digital PR increases your prominence in search results. This then increases the opportunities you have to capture qualified leads and convert them into paying customers. 

          Think about it this way, you’ll be outreaching your PR to only the most relevant publications, read by your ideal customer. This targeted traffic is far more likely to convert than a generic website visitor who stumbles across one of your pages. Plus, these customers are that little bit more likely to press ‘buy’ because they’ve seen your brand in a respected publication, featured alongside other trust-worthy sources. That additional trust is so important to give users the confidence to purchase.

          Improve your SEO results with Cedarwood Digital 

          At Cedarwood Digital, we’re experts in crafting targeted digital PR campaigns that generate high-quality backlinks, establish your brand as a thought leader, and ultimately help you reach your SEO goals.  We understand the intricate connection between digital PR and SEO, and use this to drive traffic, and boost your business’ conversions.

          Find out more about our digital PR team here, or drop us an email today to discuss a tailored strategy for your site.

          Copy of Blog Image Template (24)

          Easter Search Data: What are the UK’s most searched for Easter Eggs?

          Easter may still be a few weeks away but if you’re anything like us, you’re browsing the confectionary aisles and starting to think about which egg you’re asking for this year. In fact, the stats back this up – there have been 50,000 searches for ‘Easter Egg’ in the UK in the past month, 213% more than the previous month. We’re clearly an impatient bunch!

          With hundreds on the market, which easter egg should be added to your cart this year? At Cedarwood, we don’t take this decision lightly! We had a nosy at the stats to help us make an informed decision. Our SEO team have compiled easter egg search volumes over the last 4 years and pulled together the key numbers to help you make the right choice.

          We’re going to give you the lowdown on: 

          🍫The UKs most searched for eggs 

          🍫The vegan easter egg capital

          🍫Which big-drinker cities are searching for Guinness eggs 

          🍫Who’s potentially a bit too obsessed with their pet and buying a pet friendly Easter eggs

          🍫The most popular cheese easter eggs (yes, you read that right)

          What are the UK’s most searched for Easter Eggs?

          1. Ferrero Rocher – 209,120 searches
          2. Reese’s  146,160 searches
          3. Oreo – 108,030 searches
          4. Daim – 85,950 searches
          5. Nomo – 68,080 searches
          6. Smarties – 67,330 searches
          7. Terry’s Chocolate Orange – 62,720 searches
          8. Guylian – 61,530 searches
          9. Yorkie – 48,880 searches
          10. Turkish Delight – 48,250 searches

          So, what do we make of the UK’s searched for eggs? It’s certainly an eclectic mix. That top search may surprise some of you – who knew we were such fans of hazelnut in this country. The egg in question is £11 – it’s made entirely of the signature hazelnut shell of a Ferrero Rocher, and contains 6 of the chocolates inside. Wow, this might be a new personal contender. We also can’t get enough of peanut butter chocolate, with the Reese’s easter egg coming in second. Peanut butter and chocolate is a winning combination after all so why not incorporate it at Easter. 

          People have also been searching for Oreo easter eggs. Disappointingly, this egg is pretty basic – it’s simply a Cadbury’s chocolate egg. But, it does come with two small eggs filled with oreo filling – delicious. Coming in at number 4 we have impressively high searches for a Daim easter egg – do they call it the Ikea effect?

          Which cities are searching for vegan Easter Eggs the most?

          1. Brighton – 1,805 searches per 100,000 people
          2. Plymouth – 1,076 searches per 100,000 people
          3. Portsmouth – 1,025 searches per 100,000 people
          4. Belfast – 939 searches per 100,000 people
          5. Northampton – 847 searches per 100,000 people
          6. Bristol – 811 searches per 100,000 people
          7. Reading – 804 searches per 100,000 people
          8. Hull – 783 searches per 100,000 people
          9. Nottingham – 761 searches per 100,000 people
          10. Derby – 735 searches per 100,000 people
          11. Leicester – 686 searches per 100,000 people
          12. Stoke – 679 searches per 100,000 people
          13. Bradford – 646 searches per 100,000 people
          14. Coventry – 526 searches per 100,000 people
          15. Newcastle – 516 searches per 100,000 people
          16. Leeds – 512 searches per 100,000 people
          17. Sheffield – 494 searches per 100,000 people
          18. Glasgow – 397 searches per 100,000 people
          19. Manchester – 370 searches per 100,000 people
          20. Southampton – 320 searches per 100,000 people
          21. Liverpool – 238 searches per 100,000 people
          22. Cardiff – 225 searches per 100,000 people
          23. London – 215 searches per 100,000 people
          24. Birmingham – 205 searches per 100,000 people
          25. Edinburgh – 138 searches per 100,000 people

          We didn’t want to neglect our sweet-toothed vegans so pulled together data from Ahrefs top 50 vegan easter eggs terms. 

          You won’t be surprised to learn that Brighton is searching the most for Vegan Easter Eggs – 67% more searches per capita than runner-up Plymouth. This aligns with the city’s crowning as most vegan-friendly city. It’s a strong turnout overall from the South, with Plymouth and Portsmouth taking second and third place for the eco-friendly purchases.

          However, searches for Vegan Easter Eggs have been decreasing throughout the years – down 7% in 2023 compared to 2022, and down 31% compared to 2021. This makes sense; research from GWI reveals that the number of vegans has dropped by 15% in the UK in the last two years and Connecting the Dots cites growing eco-fatigue and the cost-of-living crisis as the top reasons for this decline.

          As for the most popular vegan Easter eggs on the market, Nomo claimed the top spot, with 68,080 searches. Nomo pride themselves on creating ‘chocolate for everyone’, which is free from dairy, gluten, eggs and nuts.

          Booja Booja was the second most searched for vegan Easter egg, with 21,540 searches. These hand-painted eggs, made in Kashmir, India, are filled with organic, vegan chocolate truffles – another delicious option for the plant-based chocoholics out there!

          Which cities are searching for Guinness Easter Eggs?

          1. Belfast – 86 searches per 100,000 people
          2. Brighton – 45 searches per 100,000 people
          3. Hull – 38 searches per 100,000 people
          4. Portsmouth – 33 searches per 100,000 people
          5. Plymouth – 32 searches per 100,000 people
          6. Stoke – 29 searches per 100,000 people
          7. Derby – 28 searches per 100,000 people
          8. Northampton – 25 searches per 100,000 people
          9. Reading – 24 searches per 100,000 people
          10. Leicester – 22 searches per 100,000 people
          11. Bradford – 21 searches per 100,000 people
          12. Nottingham – 21 searches per 100,000 people
          13. Leeds – 17 searches per 100,000 people
          14. Sheffield – 17 searches per 100,000 people
          15. Coventry – 17 searches per 100,000 people
          16. Bristol – 16 searches per 100,000 people
          17. Newcastle – 15 searches per 100,000 people
          18. Manchester – 15 searches per 100,000 people
          19. Glasgow – 11 searches per 100,000 people
          20. Southampton – 10 searches per 100,000 people
          21. Cardiff – 9 searches per 100,000 people
          22. Birmingham – 7 searches per 100,000 people
          23. London – 7 searches per 100,000 people
          24. Liverpool – 6 searches per 100,000 people
          25. Edinburgh – 4 searches per 100,000 people

          Belfast tops the charts for most interested in Guinness easter eggs – no surprises there! Belfast have been searching a huge 91% more than the runner up, Brighton, who also appear to love a pint, the rugby, or both.

          I for one was immediately wondering if a Guinness easter egg actually contains Guinness? And the answer is yes! But do not worry, everyone can enjoy this treat; the alcohol by volume in the egg only works out as less than 1 percent. This easter egg is dark chocolate, shaped like a rugby ball, and the perfect gift for a Guinness fan.

          Which cities are searching for pet-friendly Easter Eggs?

          1. Newcastle – 142 searches per 100,000 people
          2. Bristol – 140 searches per 100,000 people
          3. Bradford – 132 searches per 100,000 people
          4. Nottingham – 126 searches per 100,000 people
          5. Sheffield – 116 searches per 100,000 people
          6. Leeds – 93 searches per 100,000 people
          7. Manchester – 81 searches per 100,000 people
          8. Liverpool – 56 searches per 100,000 people
          9. Birmingham – 44 searches per 100,000 people
          10. London – 30 searches per 100,000 people

          If you’re hoping to engage your pet in the festivities too, plenty of brands offer tasty and safe Easter treats for them to enjoy. Made using dairy alternatives like carob, more and more pet-friendly eggs are lining the shelves each year. So, which of us are most prone to spoiling our furry friends?

          Well, Newcastle is most likely to celebrate Easter with their pets, with Bristol coming up shortly behind them and Bradford in third-place. The stats show a clear dominance from the North – maybe we just love our pets a bit more up here…

          It also appears that we’re getting more generous towards our pets over time. 2023 data shows an increase in searches by a whopping 219% compared to 2020 stats.

          What are the most popular cheese Easter Eggs?

          While many of us can’t resist a chocolatey treat, those who prefer savoury flavours usually have to forgo this tradition. This is no longer the case, as major supermarkets are now selling easter eggs made entirely from cheese! They’re definitely a divisive one and may not be the treat you are looking for this Easter Sunday. But if you do pride yourself on being a bit of a cheese fanatic, which brands should you be on the lookout for?

          1. M&S – 7,940 searches
          2. Butlers – 2,980 searches
          3. Asda – 2,380 searches
          4. Blacksticks Blue – 1,650 searches
          5. Tesco – 1,290 searches
          6. Sainsbury’s – 1,020 searches

          Unsurprisingly, the queen of UK supermarkets, Marks and Spencers, takes the top spot, receiving a huge 5,000 more searches than the runner-ups. Taking second place is Butlers; less of a household name, this brand manufactures farmhouse cheeses and offers a ‘cheese that identifies as an egg’. It’s made from Blacksticks, their famous blue cheese. You surely can’t go wrong opting for a company completely devoted to cheese.

          Cedarwood Digital is an award-winning digital marketing agency, specialising in SEO, digital PR and PPC. If you’d like any help making an easter egg purchase, gathering search data, or enhancing your online visibility, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.