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Bad brands get Client Coal. Our alternative Christmas project.

Not satisfied with handcrafting 50 bottles of our own cranberry infused Conk Gin we had another somewhat-alternative festive project up our sleeves, this time aimed at a handful of businesses we would love to work with.

We thought about what would cut through the noise at this jovial time of year, our answer was not to be jovial at all. Instead, we devised a cheeky plan to introduce ourselves in a disruptive, mischievous way.

Coal, in case you didn’t know, is given to bad children at Christmas. Why had our selected list of brands misbehaved? Well because they haven’t been making the most of digital marketing and that’s where we step in, cheeky right?

Fast forward a stack of origami gift boxes, a bunch of suitably sized lumps of hand polished coal and a dedicated website with individual landing pages our idea was alive. When one of our carefully selected brands receives our package a gift tag points them to the URL, here they can ‘find out why they’ve been naughty’.

This is the big reveal; we explain that despite pointing the sooty finger we in-fact want to get your brand on the good list in 2018, so let’s arrange to meet so we can introduce ourselves properly.

We will be sharing our results in the near future, so keep an eye out and if you’re a brand that doesn’t want to get coal next year… you know what to do.


Agency Christmas Gift




Conk Gin < Christmas Cards

The problem with Christmas cards is; you can’t drink them. The problem, along with the fact that everyone sends them, is you have to cut down trees to make them and well, they are boring which is something we at Hedgehog Digital wanted to rectify this year. So we dusted off our boards and rode the gin wave (you know, the one that has been going since Victorian Britain). We cleared the shelves of cranberries much to the bemusement of Lidl, Tesco and Asda staff and began to get our prick on.

agency christmas card advertising conk gin homemade

Tools included (sterilised of course) sewing needles, afro combs and corn on the cob holders. Fast forward 3kg of berries, a tirade of curse words and a few stabbed fingers then we added orange rind and enough sugar to make a dentist weep. Then last but most definitely not least, the gin.

Capped and bottled and left to infuse we set out defining a name. The colour, a rosey red shade, reminded us of frozen noses and we figured the drink itself can remedy at least the mental implications of cold weather so we landed on Conk; as in big ol’ rosey conk. Conk Gin. Sounds nice doesn’t it?

We created a logo and nabbed a delightfully childish poem to put a smile on peoples faces before even their first sip.

If you wanted to know how much effort was involved in this crafty christmas project, the answer is lots but the first deliveries have been made by our postal elves and Conk Gin has been well received. Do you know how many comments we got on our Christmas Cards last year? None. Going the extra mile has already paid off and you know what? Tis the season for this kind of thing. We had fun making it not to mention the few “accidental spare” bottles that will no doubt get drunk before 2018.



Beginners Guide to Google Data Studio: A Visual Guide to Help you Create your First Report

In this guide you will understand the basic features of Google Data Studio, the new tool that Google developed to help create automated reports with less effort.

Google Data Studio is part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite and is offered for free to Google account users.

Data drives strategies and daily decisions, so to help your customers and partners (and even you) to understand the analytics data, Google created Google Data Studio. It allows you to turn data into easy to read presentations, and also integrate data from lots of different sources.

What is Google DataStudio?

Google Data Studio is a dashboard and reporting tool that is easy to use, easy to read, easy to build, customise, and share. You can customise it according to your customer needs and select how you want to present the data, with pie charts, bar chart, even combo charts, a recently added feature.

Benefits of using Google DataStudio

Let me show you the pros of using this tool.

Easy visualisation

Data Studio was created to simplify the way you read the data. So you can customise it changing the colours, fonts, adding logos and much more. You can present the data as you like; bar graphs, pie charts, and so on.

Google Data Studio Data vVsualisatio

Google Data Studio Graphs

Combine data from multiples sources

You can connect reports from multiple Google Analytics accounts, YouTube data and even from Facebook if you export it to a Google Sheet.

Google Data Studio Database integrations

Easy share

You can share with other Gmail or GSuite users. So you partners can have access to your presentation in real time.

Google Data Studio Sharing options

It’s a free tool…

…and unlimited! If you have a Google account you can now create and share as many reports as you want.

You can have your report updated automatically and in real time

That really increases productivity on your day-by-day work.

Google Data Studio Custom Date Range

More time dedicated to analysis and insights

As you can create the reports with less effort and very quickly, you can spend more time dedicated to do analysis and create strategies for your customers.

How to use Google Data Studio

First, you need to access Google Data Studio Website and then sign up for free. If you have a Gmail account you can login straight away. Same for Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

After you are logged in, you will see something similar to the following page.

Google Data Studio Dashboard

How to Create Reports and Dashboards

To start a new report follow the steps below:

1 – Select Data Source

A data source provides data for charts. You can select an existing data source, or you can click Create a New Data Source as below:

Google Data Studio Data Source Selection

2 – Selecting the Data

2.1 – Select Data Source

If you choose this option, you just need to click on the data you want and add it to the report.

Google Data Studio New Data Source

2.2 – Create a new data source

If you choose this option, you need to select an Account, a Property and a View and then click on Connect.

Creating new data base on Google Data Studio

After selecting your data source you need to add it to your report. Just double check if all the metrics that you are planning to have in your report are listed and hit Add to Report.

Add New Data Base do Google Data Studio

After you click on Add to Report a dialogue box will pop up asking you to confirm. Just confirm it and you are to start working on your report theme and layout.

Confirm new Data Base do Google Data Studio

3 – Layout and Theme

First things first, give your report a name. Here at Hedgehog Digital, we use the following taxonomy: (Service) + Monthly Report for + (Client Name) + Month. So a monthly report for an SEO Client would be something like this: SEO Monthly Report for Hedgehog Digital – Nov2017

Google Data Studio Report Title

Now it is time to start working on your layout and the metrics you want to add to your report. Remember that certain metrics require distinct visualisations. For instance, if you want to demonstrate the percentage of new versus returning users a pie chart is your best option.

Not sure what type of data visualisation to use? Just look into Google Analytics and more or less copy what they do.

Google Data Studio Data Visualisations

After selecting the ideal display for your data, you can manage it individually, adding dimensions and metrics.

Google Data Studio Filters Segmentations

4 – Adding a new page to your Data Studio Report

You can add as many pages as you need by clicking on ‘Add a Page’ at the top.

Click Add new page button to add new page

5 – Revise and Share

Review all the pages of your report and share with colleagues, teammates and your clients.

Share report by clicking the person icon

It is just like sharing a Google Docs document, just add the e-mails and define editing permissions.

Share Report Dialogue Box

6 – Create a Copy

You can create a copy of your full report. This saves a lot of time!

Pro Tip: create templates for each type of service you provide. From SEO to Social Media.

Quickly Create Copies of your reports

7 – Stay Up to Date

The Data Studio is continuously being updated. So you can find all the new features released on the tool. As well as Video tutorials for your support.

Google Data Studio Updates And Tutorials

That is it. Now you are all set to get startd with Google’s newest reporting tool.

Have you been Google Data Studio? Why not share your experiences in the comments below.

Handpicked Online Marketing Tutorials

How to Get High Quality Links with Other People’s Outdated Content

Mobile SEO: Implementing AMP for Success

How to hack SEO and deliver short term results

How to Get High Quality Links with Other People’s Outdated Content

A quick and simple tutorial to gain high quality links for your website.

Having website links pointing to your website is a huge ranking factor.


A link to your website is seen by Google as a vote of confidence about your page. When someone links to your website, they are effectively saying your website is a good resource.

Much like when you refer your neighbour to a plumber, you wouldn’t refer a bad plumber.

If you want your website to receive search engine traffic, link building is an essential part of the SEO mix.

Not all links offer a positive impact though. Loading lots of low-value, spam or irrelevant links will quickly devalue your quality and potential to rank in Google search.

In this article, I’m going to share a killer technique you can use to amass lots of relevant, quality links pointing at your website.

Ready? Let’s get going.

With any aged website, content goes out of date.

Example: How many times have you gone to Google to look something up, say a statistic, or a how to guide, and ended up having to filter through loads of results because the pages you look at are not providing up to date information?

Which leads to the opportunity.

We’re going to help other sites provide up to date, enhanced versions of their old content and gain a link back to our website in the process.

It’s a win-win situation. You help a website update their content and gain a link for your effort.

There are many advantages with this technique:

1. It’s quick, compared to writing a completely new article from scratch and pitching it to other publications, we’re going to simply rewrite the outdated content.

2. There is an endless supply of target websites with outdated content.

3. If the sites you approach already rank well for the term we search on, we already know Google rates the website and the link will offer good value to your website.

4. The recipient’s website will be up to date, which search engines appreciate.

5. The website visitor will benefit from the updated content and will not have to painfully search for the information they are seeking.

Makes sense? Great, let’s run a scenario out.

Objective: We want to source links to our website that sells boxing gloves.

We search for outdated web pages that list “heavyweight boxing champions”.

A simple example that is easy to demonstrate.

What we want to find are articles that list heavyweight champ’s, but aren’t up to date.

And, there’s an easy way to find them.

How to find outdate content using Google Search Tools

1. Head over to Google and type your search using quote marks like this:

snapshot of a Google Search for Heavy Weight Boxing Champions

2. As we want to find pages that are out of date, click the tools button under the search box.

snapshot highlighting Google Search Tools

3. Now Google will give you a date drop-down filter, select “custom range”.

snapshot highlighting Google Search Tools Data Range

4. Now select a date range. As we want old pages, I’ve chosen 1st Jan 2015 to 1st Jan 2016. When you do this, play around with the date range so you get some relevant results.

snapshot of Google date range calendar

5. Now Google is giving us a list of web pages that were published in 2015, for heavyweight boxing champions. A look down the first few results and I find an interesting one.


6. This page states that Tyson Fury is the current heavyweight champion. However, Fury was stripped of one belt and vacated the other belts. Which means this page could do with an update with the latest champion. An opportunity!

So the six steps above are a super quick way to find pages that are relevant, good quality and ripe for updated content.

The next phase is reaching out and letting the website editor/owner know about their outdated page and getting our updated content published, ideally with a link back to our page.

The best way is with email outreach.

You’ll need to find the email address, if it is not readily available on the website, go to hunter.io a resource that can quickly help you find an email address for the website.

Then you need to send them an email, something like this works really well:

Hi John,

I was Googling to research heavyweight boxers and landed on your page here: www.ABC.com.

Your list of heavyweight champs was just what I needed, but I did notice that Tyson Fury is still listed as the current champion.

I’ve written an update that would fit perfectly with your page and would, of course, bring it up to date.

Shall I send it over for you to use?

Great work on this page, it was really useful to me.



When they request your content, send it over with an embedded link back to your website.

Most of the time, they’ll copy and paste your content into their page, including the link. If they don’t add the link. Drop them another friendly email and ask if they’d mind adding the link.

As you’ve helped them update their website, 9/10 they’ll feel obliged to include the link.

Repeat this process regularly to keep expanding your link profile.

Soon, you’ll have a large bank of backlinks, from relevant, quality sites.

What SEO difficulties are you having? Let me know in the comments below.

For more tips on how to increase your Website Traffic also read:

Mobile SEO: Implementing AMP for Success

How to hack SEO and deliver short term results

Mobile SEO: Implementing AMP for Success

Implementing AMP on your website can be as simples as installing a plugin on WordPress but in order to harness all the benefits, you need a bit more than that.

In order for any web page to reach as many people as possible, it has to have a high chance of being seen. One of the main reasons a web user might turn away from a website is because it is failing to load in good time, or is being unresponsive.

Commonly, this can happen on mobile, and yet mobile web surfing is increasing year upon year. Clearly, businesses need to step up to the mark and work on improving their mobile functionality.

This is exactly what implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages does, and it is therefore highly important to make sure that you are doing it right. How can you ensure you are implementing AMP for greater SEO success?

Understanding AMP

To make anything work in your favour, you first need to have a solid understanding of how it works. Essentially, AMP is a standard for web publishers which you want to try and adhere to as much as possible. If you get your AMP right, it means that your website will load quickly and effectively on mobile devices, as well as standard desktops.

Once you start to look into it, it soon becomes blisteringly obvious that many of the design elements which serve to make a website pretty or functional on a desktop are not necessary for mobile, and in fact can have the opposite effect. This leads to clunky, unresponsive sites – and that is bad news for the SEO.

How AMP Works

To put it simply, AMP relies on three essential parts. Firstly, you have the AMP HTML. This is a language, made as a subset of the larger HTML language, which can be used to more quickly and easily ensure that your web pages are responding well on mobile.

For those with a prior understanding of HTML, it is unlikely that this will cause too many problems, as it is essentially just a few more custom tags and properties. Regardless, it is an important part of the trio.

There is also the Javascript framework, which is useful in managing resource handling so that the website is less likely to crash upon loading. The third part is optional but worth looking at if you are interested in making AMP work as well for you as possible. It is a Content Delivery Network, which works by taking your AMP-enabled pages and automatically making a number of changes to improve performance.

As you can see, there are many layers to the AMP process and done right it can make a difference to how well your website loads and runs on mobile. But how do you actually go about making it happen, and implement it on your own website?

Starting the AMP Implementation Process

The first thing to remember is that AMP requires that you keep two versions of every page. You will need one, essentially, for desktop, and one for mobile. AMP is made in such a way that many of the desktop gimmicks will not be permitted, so that means no forms and no third-party Javascript. If you have ever wondered why mobile sites can lack certain elements, this is often the reason.

These restrictions might require you to rewrite your site template. Depending on what is going on in your website, this could mean a couple of simple tweaks, or you might need to make a larger, far-reaching change. It all depends on the situation.

For WordPress sites, the process is alarmingly simple. The first thing you need to do is install the official WordPress AMP app, easily obtained through the GitHub page. This plugin installs like any other, and then you just need to change ‘/amp/’ to an article page on your choosing.

Once that is done, you will need to focus on validating the AMP version of your site. Google will pick up on the changes before long, but it might sometimes take a little longer if you continue to make more and more change to the page, so bear that in mind.

To validate in Chrome, go to one of your AMP pages and append ‘#development=1’ to the end of the URL. Open up the console, and you will either be faced with a list of issues, or it will say that the AMP validation has been successful. Usually, you will need to validate each page manually, so be prepared to spend some time doing just that at first.

Aligning With Google Analytics

In SEO terms, paying attention to Google Analytics is always going to be a major concern. It tells you plenty of what you need to know in order to ensure that your website is operating in the best possible way for SEO, so you need to keep an eye on it. It is also important to ensure that you are aligning your Google Analytics with the AMP pages, in order to improve the way that AMP is helping your SEO progress.

All you need to do here is edit the ‘amp-post-template-actions.php’ file. You can do this in WordPress itself, via the dashboard, and it is often the easiest way to do so. Alternatively, you might decide to go to the PHP and do it from there. However you do it, you need to make sure that you are able to track your AMP pages with Google Analytics so that you can gather as much data as possible and so ensure that you are doing the right thing.

You will soon be able to tell whether or not you need to make any changes, and if you do then it is just a matter of ensuring that you do so with your basic understanding of SEO in line with that. Match up those two essentials, and before long you will have AMP-enabled mobile pages which you can apply SEO to in just the same way as any other page.

Done right, this is a great way to bring in more people to your website and to gradually improve your site’s appearance on the SERP. It is worth looking into, even if only for some of your most important articles, as it will mean you are accessible to many more people – and that is always a good thing on the web, especially for your business’ SEO.

AMP Myths Debunked

Stone Temple recently published findings from 10 case studies where they’ve debunked 4 myths about accelerated mobile pages. I will cover them briefly here, but I strongly advise you read the full article here.

Myth 1: Only news websites benefit from AMP

Initially, AMP was indeed aimed at news websites, meaning that the technology was almost impossible to implement on service and product pages. The initial traffic boost from the AMP Carousel and implementation support from Google itself were big incentives for publishers to adhere to it.

That is no longer the case. AMP can and should be implemented on all types of websites. From blogs to B2B websites.

Myth 2: AMP is not for E-commerce websites

That was certainly the case when AMP was launched publicly in February 2016, but since then things have changed. The introduction of AMP Live List Components and AMP Bid Component enabled more interactiveness and a wide array of dynamic components that made it possible to create category and product pages, as well as, E-commerce home pages using the accelerated mobile pages technologies.

Myth 3: Build it and they will come

This tip is for WordPress users. Do not think that by installing a couple of plugins your AMP problems are solved. Most plugins do not offer a good enough level of customisation and do not provide the “session stitching fix” to track AMP data on Google Analytics as previously mentioned in this article.

So if you opt to use an AMP plugin make sure you test every page’s functionality before going live. From menus to calls to action, everything needs to be thoroughly tested.

Myth 4: AMP and Design don’t get along very well

Another problem related to automatic AMP plugins. Plugins create a stripped down version of your pages. while this might work for content pages, it can be a huge problem for product and service pages.

Contrary to what many people think, accelerated mobile pages can and should be customised to a website’s visual identity. Not to mention that, according to Stone Temple findings, hand-coded AMP pages can be 4 times lighter than their plugin siblings.

chart comparing implementing amp hand coded pages against plugin pre made pages

Newly Introduced Features

Flexible scrolls with position observer, responsive sidebars, improved analytics tracking for videos and fluid ads are amongst the new featured introduced recently. I won’t overload you with information, but you can find further information here.


Together with PWA’s, AMP is the technology to go to if you are looking to enhance your website’s overall mobile performance, from loading time to organic rankings. While they still lack optimal user experience features they can be a game changer for your Mobile Marketing Strategies.

Do you have AMP experiences you would like to share with us? Feel free to post them in the comments below.

Need help with your AMP Implementation? Drop us a line and will get in touch.

How to hack SEO and deliver short term results

Search Engine Optimisation is known for its longer-term long-lasting results. In this article, we will show you how to hack SEO to achieve quicker results and even greater ROI.

Before we start, this article is not about Black Hat SEO techniques. All strategies provided abide by Google Quality Guidelines and industry’s best practices.

Search engine optimisation is not an exact science and it is known to deliver only mid to long term results. The reason why many companies tend to avoid it all together and put their money on other digital marketing practices that provide quicker returns over their investments, like Paid Search and Social Media Marketing.

Although I have to agree that there isn’t one size fits in SEO nowadays, hence the aforementioned expression of it not being an exact science. Recent studies from SEMRUSH and Search Metrics, presented at SMX East in New York, proved just that.

While SEMRUSH shared the results of a large-scale study on ranking factors that analysed the top 100 positions for 600.000 keywords grouped by search volume, Search Metrics presented a more comprehensive study that showed that ranking factors vary according to industry and search intent.

In both studies one thing stood out, traditional ranking factors are dying. Gone are the days that adding your main keywords to your title tag, H1 and H2s, images alt and title attributes, repeating X amount of times a term within your copy and landing a few external links with keyword rich anchor-texts were almost certainties of ranking high in Google.

But I’ll have to disagree that results in SEO take long to show, that is also not the case anymore. It is possible to deliver short term results and I’ll show you just how with these 10 SEO Hacks.

Guarantee that all relevant pages are indexed

This one might sound too obvious, but more often than not we encounter pages within our client’s websites that are not indexed, especially new clients.

The easy way of doing this is by creating an XML sitemap file and submitting it to Google via the Search Console.

Also, check your robots.txt file to see if you are not blocking important pages accidentally. This file can be found at the root of your domain. Just type into your favourite browser www.yourdomain.co.uk/robots.txt and if it looks something like the image below you are fine.

robots.txt file correct configuration example

Not sure how to validate your XML Sitemap and Robots.txt. Claim your FREE SEO AUDIT and have your website ranking in Google in no time.

Make sure Google can Crawl and Render your Content

Recent website coding languages can improve performance and make your website stunning but they can be a pain for Googlebot to crawl and render it. Basically, if Googlebot can’t read your content it can’t index, classify and rank it. Simple as that.

The easiest way to check if Google can or cannot see your pages content properly is to look at the cached version of your pages. To do that you will need to use the search operator site:www.yourdomain.co.uk. What it does is, it will list all the pages Google has indexed from your website and allow you to check their cached version.

Example of search operator site:wwwhedgehogdigital.co.uk

Click on the green arrow pointing down to get access the cached version of your pages and make sure to analyse the Full and Text Versions. Compare the two versions to see if there isn’t anything missing content wise. If you can’t see all the content from Full Version on your the Text Version Only, Googlebot is having issues crawling and rendering your content.

Google cached version of hedgehog digital website

In simple words, what users see is what the bot needs to see and vice-versa.

Improve your Website Security

Back in 2014 when Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal migrating to it wasn’t a big deal but now it is, specially with TLS interception warnings coming in Google Chrome 63.

If you haven’t migrated your website to encrypted navigation mode (HTTPS/SSL) you better do it quickly. Besides the positive rankings improvement it also helps with conversions and builds trust.

No idea how to that? Drop us a line and we’ll help you.

Reduce Page’s Loading Time

As part of its ethos to make the web faster, in 2010 Google confirmed that a page’s loading time is a ranking factor. Rather weak back then, but nowadays a major factor, especially for organic mobile rankings.

Optimising your page’s loading time can be a very complex and require professional help to do so. But you can test it with a myriad of tools available today and even compare with your competitors and industry benchmarks.

Ideally you should aim for a loading time between 2 to 3 seconds, but the lower the better. It is important to note that the fact your pages load faster than your competitors doesn’t guarantee you will rank above them, after all speed in only one of the approximately 250 signals Google analyses to rank a page.

Besides ranking improvements loading time is also correlated with better user experience and conversions, the faster it loads the more you convert.

Tools to analyse Site Speed

Google PageSpeed Insights – Target 85/100 (mobile and desktop)
Test My Site with Google – Mobile Loading Time, Industry Benchmarks and estimated client loss
Webpagetest.org – Comprehensive performance analysis with in-depth tips.
GTMetrix – Compare your site against its main competitors

Structured data you implement, rank high you will

Yes I’m a big fan of Star Wars, specially Yoda. Structured data is a standardised format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on.

Google uses structured data that it finds on the web to understand the content of the page, as well as to gather information about the web and the world in general.

Google Search works hard to understand the content of a page. We can help Google by providing explicit clues about the meaning of a page by including structured data on it.

There are many ways to implement it, but the most effective way is by using JSON-LD and adding it within the <head> tag your pages.

example of a snippet of code using JSON-LD to structure data

Google also uses structured data to create richer search results, especially on mobile SERPS. These results are also known as Rich Cards or Rich Snippets, they can provide a ranking boost or make your snippet stand out.

example of riche snippet generated by structured data

Improve Internal link architecture

Overseen by many, internal links can make a big difference in rankings. Not to mention that they are dead easy to implement.

Start by implementing breadcrumb navigation and move on to pointing links across different pages. Start by pointing links from high authoritative pages to lesser ones. If you have a blog make sure you always point links to your service or product pages. These links will help improve their rankings.

Get some external Links A.S.A.P

Don’t wait till all the technical and content optimisation stuff is finished to start building links to your site. This is where most SEO agencies and consultants get it all wrong, they don’t start link straight away.

While landing links on high authoritative website within your industry require highly relevant content. There are some easier links to acquire that will make a big difference initially.

Start by asking your business partners and suppliers for links, these are normally quite easy to land and since you already have a business relationship with them, they will hardly say no.

Parallel to that, do some Google searches with your brand’s name and look for mention that haven’t linked back to your website. List them, get their editors/webmasters contact details and give them a shout:

“Hey I’ve noticed that you mentioned my company, will it be possible to add a backlink to my website, it will make your content even more relevant”

Claim your Google My Business Listing

Claiming your Google My Business Listing is only the first step, you will also need to optimise it and get the first reviews from clients, your clients, which don’t necessarily need to be your client, if you know what I mean.

Once you have done that you are entitled to appear within the Local Pack for searches done near you that relate to your business.

google local pack of geo-targeted results

Use Google Posts

Another quick way to drive highly relevant organic search traffic to your website.

how google posts work and how to get on it

More info, how to use and who is entitled to post here.

AMP the Ante

AMP stands for accelerated mobile pages, another scheme from Google to make the web faster. From an SEO standpoint it provides some ranking benefits depending on what vertical you are in.

For news websites it puts you right at the top on what they call it the AMP Carrousel the equivalent to Top Stories on desktop SERPs.

Implementing AMP can be as easy as downloading and installing a plugin on WordPress websites. But again, we strongly recommend you seek professional help as these plugins might leave some flaws.

More information at: https://www.ampproject.org/


Even though executing all these techniques might take a bit of time, each individual one of them has the power to drive short term results. Let alone implement all of them as soon as you can.

Got any SEO Hacks you would like to share with us, please do so on the comment bellow.

Need help? Request your free SEO audit now and discover how to transform Google into a powerful business generating tool.

Google Chrome says Secure your Website


HTTPS Google Chrome

Google’s recent announcement has stated that forms on web pages over HTTP will be classed as ‘not secure’ in Chrome from October. Now is the time to make the switch to HTTPS to avoid being shown as “not secure” in Chrome 62.

There are a number of beneficial factors in changing to HTTPS, namely a unique SEO opportunity which if implemented in the correct way can increase your website rankings.

The process of moving to HTTPS will alert Googlebot to recrawl the majority of your URLs.

Googlebot has its own method for identifying and prioritising which URLs to recrawl; however, when a move to HTTPS is detected, it will temporarily increase the crawl rate in an attempt to crawl as many URLs as possible within a short time frame. This is a unique opportunity to improve your website’s signals in the Google Index.

It would be an SEO’s dream if Googlebot could recrawl their entire website (on the same domain/hostname) after implementing SEO improvements. However, the move to HTTPS will present a unique opportunity to implement some major SEO improvements right before the Googlebot recrawl.

If you complete these changes before the end of October please allow time for the status to change and your website will reap the benefits with renewed and improved SEO signals in the Google index.

7 Top SEO Techniques for 2017 and Beyond …

You can guarantee in the SEO world, someone will on an annual basis release a string of techniques guaranteed to boost your website to the top of Google overnight.

You can rest easy; this is not one of these lists. The solid strategies and actions listed in this post are timeless and will bring results in the medium to long term.

An important fact to take on board is that search engine optimisation is a process that must be implemented on a continuous basis, respect the quality guidelines of Google and other search engines, with a user focus.

The list of techniques to follow Is just a starting point and not the magic formula of SEO.

1 – Research your target audience and how your people search

This technique is known as keyword research. Today the definition of the terms we will use to optimize the content of a page is not limited to the average volume of monthly searches of a word.

It is, of course, important to determine the volume of monthly searches for a particular word, but we should also be concerned with the intention to search, or as Google ranked, the micro-moments of the research: I want to know, I want to go, I want to go and I want to buy.

Having an understanding of the search results for a certain vertical search is essential in gaining a good position?

If you adopt a reverse engineering in Google

if the results for a given search return vertical images and videos it is understood that users who search for that subject are interested in these content formats.

By working with images and videos on content we show Google that we understand what users are looking for and are rewarded with improved positioning.


2 – Implement the SSL / HTTPs security certificate

This is pretty basic and if you did not you are still missing out on a great opportunity to earn precious positions on Google. Yes, I’m talking about installing or enabling SSL, the famous HTTPS.

In 2014, Google confirmed that sites that started using SSL / HTTPS would benefit from organic results. For anyone who is a veteran in SEO knows that it is not always that Google comes to the public and confirms a ranking factor.

Today there are several companies offering security certificates at very affordable prices and others are free such as Let’s Encrypt and CloudFlare.

Regardless of which one to choose, just follow this step-by-step for a safe and risk-free migration of organic performance:

HTTP 301 redirect to HTTPS;

Test the site with the tool: https://dev.ssllabs.com/ssltest/;

Change all internal site links to HTTPS (requests for scripts, styles, images, etc.);

Update all Canonical tags for HTTPS;

Change to HTTPs in Google Analytics (Property Settings);

Create new Search Console with HTTPS address;

Create new Sitemap with URLs in HTTPS;

Submit the new Sitemap in Search Console;

Check if robots.txt is blocking some important page;

Integrate Analytics with the new Search Console;


3 – Optimize for Mobile First

In November 2016, Google announced that it will now consider the content of the mobile version of a page to assign its placement, even on the desktop. Welcome to on-page optimisation 3.0!

In the webinar I recently taught for the company owner of this blog, I presented some optimisation techniques for mobile first. Recalling that the move to mobile first index has not yet occurred and should happen in the second half of 2017 globally.

In short, make sure your mobile content is as complete as the desktop version and optimise the familiar elements of traditional on-page optimisation such as titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, images, loading time and more.


4 – Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

The main goal of the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) project is to quickly load pages on mobile devices, even on low-speed connections. AMP pages have the code free of scripts and other elements that usually delay loading.

In Google’s mobile results, AMP pages are increasingly in evidence, whether in the carousels at the top of the results or in the icons in the snippet descriptions.

Developing AMP pages for your website or your customers is one of the fastest ways to reach the top of mobile search results.


5 – Invest in User Experience

Since I started working with SEO 10 years ago, one of the first things I learned was that it should focus on the user. At the time I confessed I did not pay much attention to the subject.

But for a few years now, more precisely since Rank Brain was incorporated into the algorithm in October 2015, focusing on the user has never been so important to achieve good results with SEO.

Modern layouts, content layout, concise and objective navigation, information architecture among other elements should be part of the search engine optimisation work.

Recently we ran a test on one of our customers where we only changed the layout, improved the mobile experience and reduced loading time. Observe how the “visibility trend” jumps from less than 20% to 40%. In terms of number of positions we are talking about a jump from the 4th to the 1st position, for extremely competitive words and of high relevance for our client’s business.

Source: semrush.com

6 – Content still reigns

“Content is king,” is another jargon I’ve heard since I started working with digital marketing. And it remains one of the most important points for the success of an SEO job.

But after all, what kind of content makes organic results successful?

I could extend this answer by paragraphs, but I will be brief. The type of content that makes search success is one that has been written with a focus on the users and answers all the doubts in relation to a certain theme.

A very simple tip for producing quality content is to analyse the top 10 organic results. If the content you want to write is no better than them, do not waste time.


7 – Links, Links, Links

Links, Backlinks, Hyperlinks, no matter what you call them, they remain the main factor of Google’s ranking. Whether they are internal or external, the former being less relevant than the latter, but still very important.

A well-built internal link structure makes a huge difference in the organic placement of a site’s pages. So if you still do not use breadcrumbs or do not point links from within the content to other pages you better start.

External links are harder to win, but they make the difference. There are several ways to get an external link, such as:

  • Guest Blogging
  • Infographics
  • Business partners and suppliers (excellent for B2B)
  • Releases



SEO is not a black box and as you may realise there is no need to have programming skills to have a well optimised website. SEO is one more of the various disciplines of digital marketing and should be looked at as such. Focus on the target audience, communicate and promote your products and services, which will succeed in the organic results of Google and other search engines.

For more tips on how to increase your Website Traffic also read:

Mobile SEO: Implementing AMP for Success

How to hack SEO and deliver short term results

Master this Link Building Technique for Continued Success

Link Building



Need a timeless tip for winning quality links without breaking Google’s quality guidelines. Read on and discover that this is the only link building technique you will ever need to master.

Build links as if Google did not exist

Number one tip, build links as if Google did not exist. Simple, isn’t it?

Link Building is actually older than SEO. One of the biggest authorities on the subject Eric Ward started building links to promote online companies like Amazon years before Google existed.

Without the need to pass “PageRank” these links had to take qualified visits to the sites. According to Eric, this type of link is of utmost importance to an SEO strategy, for the simple fact that they are built thinking of generating traffic and not “pleasing” Google.

Different types of links

Before we go hunting for these links you need to know the different types that exist. Eric Ward has organised them into three categories.

Links that help in branding

Some news portals even include the link, but use the attribute rel = nofollow, this link has no influence on the organic position of the page that receives it. But, being mentioned in a Leaf or Staging greatly increases brand recognition.

Links that help in positioning

They are those of all life, on a relevant site, of good authority, with the keyword in the anchor text and without the attribute re = nofollow.

Links that generate traffic

As the name itself says, they are links that generate visits from sites where the link was inserted.

Yes, it is possible to conquer links that help in branding; positioning and breaking generate reference traffic.

Now that you know the different types of links, let’s talk about how and where to find them.

Define Clusters and People

Just as in a content marketing project, the success of a successful link-building campaign begins with defining the clusters and personas of the target audience they are going to write to.

The takeaway here is to identify where and how your audience consumes content. It is on these sites, portals and blogs that you should try to conquer links.

Identify portals, blogs, and websites with a fair hearing

Needless to say, these portals should be relevant to your business or to your customers. Having enough audience is the same as having high volumes of access, ideally, consider all sources traffic, but I usually only look at the volumes of organic and paid accesses, as I see this already enough to define if the site has a good visitation.

To do this, I use the SEMRUSH domain analysis tool.

The link must have editorial value

Conquering links on large news portals is no easy task, but if the link has editorial value, chances of success increase. Basically, journalists should always refer to their sources, so make the link become a reference source in the content. With this, its inclusion becomes mandatory.

In the example below, as the auction would occur online the insertion of the link to the site in question complements the matter making the link has editorial value.

Review display campaigns

Analysing traffic from display campaigns is another way of identifying sites with the potential to gain links that can generate quality traffic.

It is important to emphasize that it is not enough to select the channels that generate the most hits, it is essential to analyse the engagement. For this, analyse the rejection rate, average time per visit and number of pages per visit.

Press Advisory Training

Press offices are great allies of the link building teams or at least they should be. So one of the first tasks that we perform when starting an SEO project is to provide a training for the advisory if the client has one.

This training does not have to be complex, the important thing is to highlight the importance of the link, how and where to insert it into a release and present some communication strategies for the link to be maintained in the release.

Keep calm and follow-up

Despite the training, not always the press officers will “fight” for the link. Even because it is not their obligation, what they have to do is conquer the insertion of matter in the vehicle.

It is then that the work of monitoring the mentions to the mark enters and follow up with the publications that did not insert the link. Remember to align this communication with the advice to avoid setbacks. Ensure there and the client’s endorsement so they can get in touch with the vehicles.


Forget Google when link building, focus on communicating with the target audience and the potential that a site has in generating referral traffic. By doing this you will never again have to worry about Penguins, Pandas or any other zoo animal from Google updates.


Mobile First. Google Prioritises Mobile over Desktop.

With desktop browsing decreasing and mobile browsing taking over, Google are switching their emphasis to the mobile version of your site as its primary source for content and ranking signals.

More web browsing takes place on smartphones and tablets than on desktop computers, a shift which is set to see Google using mobile content for all search ranking data.

Desktop Versus Mobile Versus Tablet

StatCounter gathers data from 2.5 million websites across the world and reports that in November 2016, mobile took over from desktop as the most common method to browse the web.

Google Mobile First


Whilst the UK still favours the desktop overall, it will only be a matter of time before the pendulum swings in favour of the mobile on our region too.


Google Mobile First UK

Google, well aware of the rise of the mobile, have been talking for some time about switching their emphasis from analysing desktop versions of websites to mobile website as their primary source of ranking signals. Aptly named Mobile First, Google have been experimenting using Mobile First for some time in their search results.

What is Mobile First?

Google will use the mobile version of your website as its primary source for content and ranking signals of your website.

Your website’s mobile content will be indexed and used for Google’s search engine listings for both desktop and mobile users.

If you don’t have a mobile version of your website, Google will revert to your desktop website.

Aodhan Cullen, of Statcounter warned;

“This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not.”

What Should You Do?

The Mobile First index has not yet been rolled out. In fact Google have suggested that this will be rolled out in phases, probably throughout 2017.

If your website is responsive, meaning the content is the same across mobile and desktop, you should be fine, but if your website content is different across mobile and desktop, you should think about making changes.

Next Steps

If you’re unsure whether your website is ready for Google’s Mobile First index, get in touch with our SEO team for a free consultation. We’ll review your website and help you understand whether you need to consider making changes to your website.


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