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500 million people using Google Photos, and three new ways to share

Two years ago Google introduced Photo, more than 500 million people use it every month, backing up more than 1.2 billion photos and videos per day. Today, we’re announcing three new ways to help you share and receive the meaningful moments in your life.

Suggested Sharing

How many times have you forgotten to share that group shot with everyone else in it? Or how often do you have to ask your spouse to send those cute pictures of the kids?

With our new sharing suggestions, you can finally share and receive all the photos that really matter to you, without the work. Using our machine learning technology, Google Photos will not only remind you to share—it will automatically select the right photos, and even suggest who you should send them to based on who was in the photos. Just tap send, and your friends and family will see all your photos, and get a reminder to add theirs too. Now all the photos of that birthday dinner or weekend trip are in one place, including—and especially—the photos you didn’t take.

You’ll see all your sharing activities and these suggestions in our new Sharing tab, which will be rolling out on Android, iOS and web in the coming weeks.

Shared Libraries

But what about that special person you share just about everything with, like your spouse, partner or best friend? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could automatically share relevant photos with them? For example, I would love it if every photo I ever took of my kids was shared with my wife.

With Shared Libraries, you can effortlessly and automatically send and receive photos with one other person. You can give them access to your full photo library or, if you prefer, only photos of certain people or from a certain date forward. And when they share their library with you, you can automatically save the photos you want so they also show up in search and in the movies, collages and other fun creations Google Photos makes for you. Gone are the days of begging your partner for those special pictures only stored on their phone.

Shared Libraries will also be rolling out on Android, iOS and web in the coming weeks.
Photo Books

There’s something special about a printed photo album that brings you back to a moment from the past; whether it’s the first dance on your wedding day or all the family road trips you took over the years. But printing albums is hard work—you have to hunt across different devices and accounts, select the best from among the hundreds of shots, upload to a printing service, and arrange dozens of pages.

Now what used to take hours in front of a computer takes just a few minutes with Google Photos. Photo books are incredibly easy to make—even on your phone. They’re beautiful, high quality, with a clean and modern design. And thanks to our powerful search technology, your photos are already organized by the people, places, or things that matter. Once you select the photos, Google Photos will find the best shots for you—removing duplicates and poor quality images. All that’s left for you to do is make a few tweaks and place your order. Soon, we’ll even suggest photo books just for you, like your trip to the Grand Canyon, time with family during the holidays, your puppy, or even your kid’s artwork.

Photo books are rolling out today in the U.S. on web, and on Android and iOS next week, starting at just $9.99 for a 20-page softcover book and $19.99 for a hardcover book. We’ll bring photo books to more countries soon.
With these new features in Google Photos, it’s easier than ever to share and receive all the special moments in your life, whether they’re on your phone or in a photo book.

It will be rolling out in the UK soon.

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Google’s latest tool aims to help retailers find new customers

Google have rolled out similar audiences for search and Google Shopping, which enable merchants to find consumers similar to their existing customers.

Google is looking to make it easier for retailers and other advertisers to find customers who share interests with their existing customers by rolling out similar audiences for its Google Shopping ads, as well as search ads.

Google draws the similar audiences based on past visitors to a retailer’s website, which it gathers via its remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) tool. Google also announced that its Customer Match targeting tool for Shopping campaigns is available to advertisers around the globe.

When a retailer uses similar audiences for search, Google targets users who are searching the same terms as users recently added to the merchant’s RLSA lists. That means it uses information such as the searches users performed when they landed on, or bought from, a retailer’s site.

For instance, if a sporting goods retailer creates a remarketing list of consumers who bought running shoes, that merchant can use similar audiences to determine if the shoppers tended to search for “triathlon training” or “buy lightweight running shoes” before coming to the site and making a purchase. Based on that information, Google’s similar audiences will then find other consumers who use similar search terms, such as those who search for “buy lightweight running shoes.”

In testing similar audiences for Shopping ads, GameStop Corp., No. 45 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000, found new customers who were “just as enthusiastic as the gamers who regularly visit our site,” says Matthew Gordon, the retailer’s multichannel acquisition manager. Since the retailer began using similar audiences with its Shopping ads, its conversion rate on those ads has increased roughly 30%.

Google also rolled out customer match for shopping campaigns globally. The tool enables a retailer to upload its email lists to find its customers when they search shopping ads on Google.

The tool enables an online apparel retailer, for example, to connect with its rewards members by using its “rewards members” customer email list to show them relevant shopping ads featuring the latest spring styles.

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Google Assistant comes to iPhone

adds alerts, hands-free calling & more

Google’s virtual assistant gains a number of new features and expands to Apple’s iPhone as competition for Siri & Cortana.

Google Assistant was one of the stars of Wednesday’s keynote at I/O 2017. It’s gained a number of new features and expanded beyond its Android-based roots.

As expected, Google is making Assistant available on the iPhone, where it’ll compete with Apple’s built-in Siri — the original smartphone assistant — and Microsoft’s Cortana, which has its own iOS app. Assistant will be a standalone app that’s compatible with iPhones running iOS 9.1 or better.

Assistant is also getting a number of new features that I’ll describe below.

Notifications: Home will alert users when it has important information to share, beginning with things like traffic delays, flight statuses and reminders. The device won’t talk on its own but will light up when an alert is ready — much like the Alexa notifications that Amazon just announced for its devices.

Type to Assistant: Recognizing that not every situation is appropriate for talking out loud, users will be able to communicate with Assistant by typing on the phone.

Integration with Lens: Assistant will work in unison with Google Lens, the company’s new AI-based visual search tool also announced at I/O today. Users will be able to use Assistant to learn more and take actions on images they photograph with Lens

Hands-free calling: This is months away, but users in the US and Canada will be able to use Assistant to place hands-free calls through Home devices to any mobile or landline phone.

New entertainment options: Spotify’s free music service is coming soon to Assistant/Home, to complement the existing access that Spotify’s paid users have. SoundCloud and Deezer are also coming soon to Home. On the video side, Assistant/Home will be able to let you watch HBO Now, HGTV, CBS All Access and other providers on your connected TVs.

Visual responses: Speaking of connected TVs, later this year Assistant will be able to send visual responses to television screens with Chromecast. Google’s examples included seeing upcoming Google Calendar events on TV.

The big push, according to Google’s Scott Huffman, is to make Assistant and Home more conversational and more helpful with tasks. Huffman said that nearly 70 percent of the queries that Assistant sees are asked in natural language, not with keywords like people use when doing traditional Google searches.

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Search Engine Optimisation SEO in London

Cyberattacks How can you protect yourself?

The world is still reeling from Friday’s “cyber-apocalypse” – described by experts as “the biggest ransomware outbreak in history”.

With more than 200,000 victims in 150 different countries, many are braced for more attacks to come.

But as workers across the globe head back into the office at the start of the working week, how will you know if your computer has been infected?

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a statement on their website, offering advice to both organisations and private individuals on how to protect themselves from further attacks.

:: How can you tell if your computer has been infected?

The ransomware called Wanna Decrypt, also known as WannaCry, encrypts files on the machine, effectively locking them.

A message will appear onscreen with a ransom demand, countdown timer and Bitcoin wallet to pay the anonymous virtual payment into.

People have been asked to pay ransoms of $300 (£230) or more to regain access to their computers.

While 47 NHS health trusts across England have so far been affected, the good news is that home users are believed to be at low risk to this attack.

:: How can you protect your system?

The malicious software only infects machines running Windows operating systems, so Windows users should immediately run a Windows Update.

An up-to-date anti-virus programme should also be in place – this can stop ransomware from being downloaded.

A full scan should be carried out – this will locate any malware that may have already found its way onto your computer.

Important data should be backed up – you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else.

An external hard drive is particularly useful here, as it doesn’t need to be connected to the internet, and can keep your valuable information at a distance from the hackers.

Exercise caution when opening emails – and don’t click on any attachments or links sent to you by an unknown sender.

Never download an app that hasn’t been verified by an official store

A final fail-safe is to shut down vulnerable systems.

:: How does the virus spread?

There are a number of ways, including opening attachments or links in phishing emails or downloading legitimate-looking programmes that contain the malware.

Another method, which preys on machines using outdated software, is visiting a malicious site.

Once inside a network the virus – described as a “ransomware worm” – can then spread to other connected computers.

:: What do you do if your computer is infected?

The National Crime Agency encourages victims not to pay any ransom and to contact Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre

Some programmes are available to help decrypt files, but if you have backed up all your data you will be able to restore your device using that.

Protect your website

The massive ransomware attack of last Friday once again demonstrates that internet security should not be taken lightly. We always urge website owners to make sure their websites are safe and secure, for their own sake and their customers’.

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SEO and social: 1 + 1 = 3

Columnist Eric Enge recaps a session from SMX West detailing fresh ideas for how search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing can work together to produce results.

“SEO and Social: A Match Made in Marketing Heaven.” One of the great things about this session is that all four speakers took a step back and provided fresh ideas on how to think about the integration of these two disciplines.

Flexibility and a willingness to fail

Step 1: Lead with data

It’s in social where you can discover things such as:

What are people saying about your product to their friends?
How are they interacting with your competitors?
What customer service issues are they having?
What type of content gets the most engagement?

Step 2: Create a content strategy

Some key points for this are:

Plan for unbridled success. Your plan has to help us succeed, and in a big way, elsewise, why are we playing the game?
Track the right metrics. We must measure our results and tune our content creation strategies over time.
Pick your channels. Focus your efforts on the ones that create the best connections with you customers.
Build a dynamic team based on brand needs.

Step 3: Leverage relevance and context

There are three major types of content:

Hero content: Large-scale content that you create around major events. These are the ones where you are swinging for the fences.
Hub content: Regularly scheduled push content for your prime prospects.
Hygiene content: Always-on “pull” content designed for your core targets.

Make sure to maintain a publication checklist, so that all the right people get involved, and never release a piece of content without proofing it first!

Step 4: Ignite conversations and amplify

There are four parts to this step:

Assign a dedicated team.
Hire the most amazing writers as brand ambassadors.
Have everyone on board with data review.
Be ready to move (fast when opportunities or issues demand it!).

Step 5: Experiment, measure, repeat

Remember the process chart above? All these processes are continuous and interacting. Along the way, look for key opportunities to amplify at a moment’s notice:

High organic reach = amplify
Heavy website traffic = amplify
Key cultural moment = amplify

Last, but not least, remember to fail fast, fail forward. Your path to success is made possible by your willingness to fail, fail often and learn from those failures as rapidly as possible.

Bridging the data gap with social Media

Social Media

LinkedIn reaches half billion user mark – but is it still relevant for business?

Real Business finds out what value business owners place on social networking site LinkedIn, and asks a few users what improvements they’d like made.

London has been named the most connected city in the world by LinkedIn, with a third of the UK population now having a profile of some sort.

Founded in 2002 by a team led by Reid Hoffmann, LinkedIn has emerged as the de facto online business network of choice – with over half a billion people globally now a user.

There are a number of different ways to engage with the platform, from its free service right the way up to its Executive subscription worth £77.99 a month, but are business owners in Britain still finding it useful?

For Natalie Weaving, director at The Typeface Group, LinkedIn is still a valuable resource to businesses – especially those that are time poor and looking to pitch products or services to specific people within a company.

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Why e-commerce SEO is NOT a one-shot wonder

Columnist Trond Lyngbø explains that SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous investment — not a one-time task to be checked off a list.

A “one-shot wonder” is someone who gets drunk after one shot — an extreme lightweight. In business parlance, the term refers to an organization that shines brightly for a short while… before fading away to nothing.

As an e-commerce web shop deploying strategic SEO for your business growth, the last thing you want is to be known as a one-shot wonder. In fact, because SEO picks up steam gradually, but then becomes increasingly powerful and effective at drawing in new prospects and closing more sales, you should ensure that everything you do is sustainable and long-lived.

Unethical cut-and-run SEO providers try to lure in new clients with the promise of “quick and easy” top rankings on Google. They’ll encourage the use of tactics that work immediately to drive a quick burst of traffic, but have little if any lasting impact.

The key difference that sets apart winning e-commerce sites from their competitors is that they select a quality SEO service provider, and then allocate a budget to provide follow-up action after the initial job is done.

Your data-driven SEO strategy will evolve.

Monitoring helps improve your strategy.

SEO helps integrate teams.

The best outcomes are seen when your SEO tactics are consistent, strategic and sustained. So be ready to budget for an SEO retainer contract that will safeguard your initial investment — and multiply it many times over.

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Updates on CyberSecurity, WordPress

22 Abandoned WordPress Plugins with Vulnerabilities

As an interesting research project, Pan Vagenas, one of our researchers, took a closer look at abandoned plugins in the WordPress repository. His work was inspired by a recent post by Isabel Castillo where she lists the oldest abandoned plugins in the WordPress plugin repository.

An abandoned plugin is one that has not been updated for several years. According to Isabel’s post there are several plugins that have a large install base that haven’t been updated for some time:

“Exec-PHP plugin by Sören Weber has over 100,000 active installs despite that it has not been updated since June of 2009. Category Order by Wessley Roche has over 90,000 active installs even though it was last updated in May of 2008. Ultimate Google Analytics by Wilfred van der Deijl has over 80,000 installs even though it was last updated more than nine years ago.”

We took a look at the plugin repository and discovered the following:

There are currently a total of 37,300 plugins available in theWordPress.org repository
17,383 of those plugins have not been updated in the past 2 years.
13,655 plugins have a compatibility tag of 3.x. WordPress 4.0 was released in September 2014.
3,990 plugins have not been updated since 2010 which is over 7 years ago.
There are 29,892 additional WordPress plugins in the plugin source code repository that are not listed in WordPress.org in the plugin directory.

Unmaintained Plugins with Vulnerabilities

During our analysis, we found 18 abandoned plugins that are currently available for installation from the WordPress plugin repository that appear to have vulnerabilities that have not been fixed. In each case the plugin has not been updated for 2 years or more. Some of them have thousands of active installs.

We also found 4 plugins (marked with asterisks in the table below) that have fixed a vulnerability, but their fix was released in such a way that existing users are not updated to the newest fixed version. In each case, the author committed a fix to trunk but did not increment the version number and tag it properly in the plugin repository, so their users remain vulnerable.

The following table lists the plugins that we found, along with number of active installs and the details about each vulnerability. Several plugins are listed multiple times because they have had multiple vulnerabilities reported.

Note that all vulnerabilities published here have been publicly known for 2 to 3 years. These are all old vulnerabilities which have been publicly disclosed and have not been fixed by the plugin author. Please see our suggestions after the table on what to do if you are the plugin author or if you are a plugin user.

The out of date list:

WP PHP widget*
WP Post to PDF
Spreadsheet
Bookmarkify
Xorbin Digital Flash Clock
Image Metadata Cruncher
FAQs Manager
FAQs Manager
FAQs Manager
FAQs Manager
Easy Banners
The Crawl Rate Tracker
ThinkIT WP Contact Form
WordSpew*
bib2html*
Dynamic Font Replacement DFR4WP EN
Floating Tweets
A to Z Category Listing
URL Cloak & Encrypt
Spicy Blogroll
stripShow*
Page Showcaser Boxes
Monetize
Starbox Voting
Blogstand Banner

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Five ways to grow your business in uncertain times


It’s very common to come across small business owners whose growth has plateaued after a promising first few years, and who’ve resigned themselves to a reality where they accept a functioning business model and carry on at a steady and somewhat stagnated pace.

(1) Reassess your target market

Whether you offer a service or a product, you might feel that your current market is serving you just fine. But we can guarantee that there is always potential for you to expand your business to other markets. This could be in terms of location or demographic, or both: it’s up to you to decide where exactly you could be channelling your efforts.

(2) Merge with another business

You know the phrase: teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success. You might have the perception that M&A activity is the glamorous reserve of the corporate big guns, but you’d be surprised how merging with another business can provide commercial success on a smaller, more local scale.

(3) Use franchising to reach new pastures

Growth can come from expanding your business to a new location. We’re living in the post-digital age, which paradoxically means that we have access to more people than ever without having any time to reach them.
(4) Diversify your products and services

One trick ponies don’t prosper forever, and it’s important for small businesses to stay agile and in-tune with market demand, especially in uncertain times. There are various ways of diversifying your business, and it largely depends on the type of assets you possess.

(5) Tell the world what you’ve got to offer

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the value of marketing communications when growing your business. We are saturated with product and service offerings in the UK, and if efforts aren’t made to cut through the noise, growth is unlikely to occur.

Once you’ve established a clear growth strategy, invest in getting professional help with it from a marketing communications agency.

Whether your strategy needs social and digital marketing, press coverage or old-fashioned print advertising (and it could be a mixture of all of these and more), you’ll save time and money in the long run if you draft in professionals. If you don’t speak up about your business, who’s going to hear?

Search Engine Optimisation SEO in London

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Britain is the home of online shopping as card spending surges

Card spending in the UK has spiked by over a quarter in just two years, positioning Britain as the home of online shopping.

The report from UK Cards Association revealed online shopping is booming as card spending on the internet amounted to £154bn in 2016 – an average of £422m a day.

This amounts to a 28 per cent spike on 2014, at which time online shopping was at £120bn annually.

Meanwhile, the surge of card spending online has made Britain the home of online shopping. The study found that the average UK household spends $5,900, more than any other country, with Norway, the US and Australia at $5,400, $4,500 and $4,000 respectively.

Richard Koch, head of policy at The UK Cards Association, said: “The internet enables millions of people to access services around the clock from wherever they are based.

“Payment cards have driven this revolution, providing an easy and secure way to shop online, whether it is to buy an app for your phone or a sofa for your living room.”

Findings from the research also revealed that 26 per cent of all card spending was done online last year, up from 22 per cent in 2014. Elsewhere, the number of purchases increased to 1.8 billion, or 150 million a month, which is a 38 per cent rise on 2014.

Entertainment was the sector that benefitted from the online shopping zest of British consumers, accounting for 26 per cent of purchases for things such as cinema and gig tickets and digital content including apps and music.

That said, the amount only accounted for seven per cent of overall spend due to the low value of entertainment items. This is in line with the average online card spend sitting at £9.

Comparatively, 41 per cent of card spending in-store goes to the food and drink sector, though for online shopping this declined to seven per cent. Additionally, looking at offline and online, the average ecommerce purchase is £85 compared to £38 in-store.

The financial services space is the one that adds the most value to the online shopping total though, with 27 per cent.

“Since the early days of internet shopping there has been a host of innovations, from digital wallets to one click purchases, which bring enhanced security, choice and convenience for customers and which will lead to continued growth in the sector,” added Koch.

“The additional protection provided when using a card also gives consumers extra peace of mind when they are shopping online.”

Ecommerce

Google Launching a Job Search Service Called “Google Hire”

If this sign up page (https://hire.withgoogle.com/sign-in) is anything to go by, Google is preparing to launch a new jobs service.

The company has not officially announced the launch of the service yet, but as you can see the home page is live for everyone to see.

Everything beyond the home page appears to be locked at the moment. I tried signing in with my Google account, only to be told that my email address is not associated with a Google account. I guess that’s Google’s way of locking people out until the service officially launches.

Multiple sources claim Google Hire will be a recruitment tool which allows employers to manage job applications. Employers will be able to place ads for job listings, which jobseekers will then be able to apply for.

The fact that the service requires individuals to sign in using their Google account has led to concerns that recruiters will be able to see an applicant’s entire search history.

While that could technically be a possibility, it also feels like people are jumping to the worst case scenario in an attempt to create clickbait headlines.

No one knows for sure the extent of the permissions that will have to be granted in order to use the service. I have reached out to Google for more information and will update this story if and when I receive a response.

Search Engine Optimisation SEO in London

In the age of RankBrain, these foundational SEO issues still matter

Search engine technology has evolved, algorithms have become more advanced, and SEO tactics and strategies have changed in response.

There are at least 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithm (not to mention RankBrain), which means a thorough SEO audit could lead to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of SEO tasks. Few companies have the budget or resources to complete every potential SEO to-do item — and doing so would be an incredible waste of time and resources anyway. Some SEO tasks are critical and cannot be ignored; others just aren’t worth your time.

Prioritising an SEO task list is crucial. Focus your resources on SEO work that is actually going to improve rankings, increase clicks and drive revenue. Most companies should focus on engagement SEO work, but technical tasks can’t be ignored completely — especially if you have major problems.

Critical technical SEO problems

Site speed

  1. Mobile performance.
  2. Blocked resources.
  3. Google penalties.
  4. Significant URL and/or redirect problems.
  5. Other issues. Additional technical SEO issues.

Critical mobile SEO issues

  1. Your site isn’t optimised for mobile.
  2. Your content isn’t optimised for mobile.
  3. You use intrusive, annoying pop-ups.

Critical engagement SEO issues

  1. Lack of conversions.
  2. Low click-through rate (CTR) in spite of high rankings.
  3. Few organic social shares.
  4. Lack of earned links.

Critical reporting issues

  1. Ensure all site pages are tagged for analytics reporting.
  2. Filter known referral spammers from your reports.
  3. Set up custom views and goals.
  4. Align goals with bottom-line business metrics.

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Google: There were other updates around the release of Fred

“When I reported on the Fred update that hit on March 8th and came up with my analysis, I said several times – there were sites that 100% saw a dive in their Google traffic that did not match up with the other sites.

Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed over the weekend that when Fred was released, there were also other algorithms that touched down around the same time. Gary wrote on Twitter ‘but there were a number of updates around the date rustybrick declared Fred a single thing.’ He added that each of these ‘updates’ had other tasks and goals they accomplished outside of what Fred targeted.”

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Extra SME support as five million businesses now advertise on Facebook

Five million businesses now actively advertise on Facebook, prompting the social network to mark the milestone with additional support for SMEs.

Companies large and small are among those that advertise on Facebook, though Real Business is told that SMEs account for the majority – but the social network refused to divulge a specific breakdown as it celebrates the milestone.

While five million businesses advertise on Facebook, 65m companies have Pages to engage with customers and promote goods. The news comes just weeks after Instagram revealed it had reached one million advertisers, with eight million companies using business profiles.

To support the companies that already advertise on Facebook and Instagram, and in a bid to grow business users, the social network has introduced a handful of new SME-friendly updates. It stated the goal is “helping small businesses become large and local businesses become global in a mobilised economy”.

Speaking with Facebook’s Olly Sewell, senior manager of SMB, EMEA about how much businesses should look to spend to achieve such growth, he told Real Business that it’s about experimenting to see what works.

“For any company, it’s about ROI. We don’t say ‘you should make returns on X to grow’. Start small and start getting results, once you see that, then you can start expanding budget,” he said.

“The beauty is we’re seeing large and small firms see success. Huit Denim is a company set up by a husband and wife and they’ve gone from setting up to 16 employees and customers across UK, US and Europe.”

With the new support for SMEs to advertise on Facebook and Instagram, the Ads Manager App has had navigation enhanced so that ad performance can be reviewed side by side to speed up the process for business owners. Ads can also be extended for a longer run in just one click for an additional one, three or seven days.

The introduction of a Mobile Studio, meanwhile, will provide tools to enhance advertising content.

Social Media

Google Introduces Verified Customer Reviews, Retires Trusted Stores Program

Google is retiring its Trusted Stores program while introducing a brand new way to gain customers’ confidence — verified customer reviews.

Wait, doesn’t Google already have customer reviews in search results?

In a way, yes. Users have long been able to leave reviews on a business’s Google listing, which are then displayed in search results. However, it would be more apt to call those “Google reviews.”

What’s the difference between “Google reviews” and “Customer Reviews”?

The key difference between the two review types are that “Customer Reviews” are verified to have been left by customers who have legitimately made a purchase from the business’s website. Therefore, this review type is reserved only for businesses with an online store.

“Google reviews” can be left for any type of business, and can technically be left by anyone whether they’re a real customer or not.

With “Customer Reviews”, participating businesses can also customize the look of their badge, and receive more detailed insights:

”Google Customer Reviews offers more ways to customize the Google badge and opt-in on your site, better account management tools that save your time, and new insights into your seller rating.”

The service is completely free, all it requires is a Merchant Center account. A quick sign-up process will then allow you to have customers to opt-in to receiving an email survey after they complete a purchase.

The survey is designed for customers to review their buying experience, and the data will be used to help create a seller rating for your Merchant Center account.

Seller ratings can then be shown on Google Shopping, AdWords text ads, and your own website. According to Google, “Showing seller ratings on your text ads can boost your ads’ click through rate by up to 10%.”

Google Customer Reviews are currently available in the United States, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.

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Ecommerce

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Why the future is all about PASO — personal assistant search optimisation

Have you started considering voice search in your SEO strategy? Columnist John Lincoln explains why this should be top of mind for forward-thinking search marketers.

Personal assistants (PAs) aren’t just digital assistants that can be used to perform routine tasks. They’re also the future of SEO.

Consider two of the most popular PAs: Siri and Google Assistant. People often use those assistants to retrieve information.

And where do you think those PAs get that information from? Somewhere on the web.

Here’s what you need to know about how PAs will shape the future of SEO, and why I’m calling this a new category, personal assistant search optimisation (PASO).

They’re on smartphones
Results are tailored to users
Fewer results on a PA search
Personal assistant results likely have high click-through rates

Is your website ready for voice search???

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7 SEO Trends That Will Make You Perform Better

Staying ahead of upcoming SEO trends will help you plan, budget, strategise, and implement a successful online business. Our industry will continue to build on the buzz and technological advancements around how end users engage with your online content.

With that said, let’s take a look at the seven most important SEO trends you should keep an eye on!

1. User Experience & Content Will Blur SEO
Our industry will continue to experience a content explosion. This means that your online content will have more competition, and your audience is going to have less patience for online content with a poor user experience.

2. Optimize for User Intent, Not Just Keyword Volume
I know, I know. You are probably thinking “this guy is crazy because keyword volume is crucial.” And you know what?
You are 100% right.
Keyword volume is still an essential component for SEO. However, finding the right keywords are even more important.

3. Voice Search Will Be the Next Search Engine Revolution
Since 2014, voice search has been changing how users find information. Voice search has been shaping SEO, even moreso today. Voice search will like prove to have the biggest impact on your SEO strategy in the coming years.
Voice search is an attractive alternative to manually typing a question because it is more convenient in many situations. The capabilities of voice search will continue to grow in popularity as the quality of results improve. We will continue to move towards interpretation and not just recognition.

4. Local Search Will Grow in a Big Way

Local SEO is still crucial for many small and medium-sized businesses. If your company wants to attract more qualified traffic and boost your sales, then you can’t go wrong by focusing on local SEO strategies.

It is no secret that more searchers are turning to their mobile devices to access online content. As more people use their mobile devices to retrieve information, they are also searching for information about local businesses.

5. Cross-channel Marketing Strategies
Your audience looks for content throughout the day. The days of desktop computers are over, and with the rise of mobile devices, you can optimize your content for consumption on different devices.
If you want to grow your online presence with cross-channel marketing, you will need to focus on more than one platform.

6. Rise of “Dense” Content

The online community is getting sick of reading short, fluffy content that lacks sustenance. While BuzzFeed and other news outlets have built their success on bite-sized content, there is a shift towards longer pieces of “epic” content.
However, as mobile consumption increases, I believe online searches will benefit from denser content. The length of content will mean less than the quality and ease of use on mobile devices.

7. Personal Branding Will Drive Business SEO Strategy
People are social creatures who value a connection beyond the economic benefits your business provides.
Personal branding has been an influential strategy for many online businesses, but this is going to be the year when personal branding establishes itself as a core piece of SEO.

LK Web Media can put all the Pieces Together

As you continue to optimise your online presence, be sure to take all the above SEO trends into consideration. How your customers are searching and consuming content is changing, so you need to change how you create and optimise content for them. Use the above tips to ensure that your SEO strategy continues to run strong!

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