Many of you out there will be using an Instagram feed on your websites, but did you know that on March the 31st 2020, Instagram will be changing its existing API from (Basic) to (Graph).
This means many of you who have migrated to the new API will need to reconnect your Instagram accounts so that the new API can work, if you do not reconnect before March 31, your current Instagram feed may not appear on your website.
What is an API and why do I need it?
API stands for "Application Program Interface" and it allows apps to talk to and function with Instagram, for example many of our clients request to have an Instagram feed on their website to showcase photos of works they have undertaken. The Instagram API allows for the feed to
communicate with the live account and to feed the information through to their website.
If you want to find out more about the API update and how it may affect you and your business, you can find out more on the Instagram developer page here.
If you are planning on integrating your Instagram account to your website, why not reach out to a member of the SEO Flatrate team, you can do this by calling our head office on 01202 911141 or by emailing the Support team here.
Google is the most popular search engine in the world with a over two trillion searches per day. People visit the Google directory everyday looking for information, business and for entertainment. If your website is already indexed on the Google search engine maintaining a good ranking will not only provide you with website traffic, but it can also translate in to actual sales. This makes it paramount for you to maintain a properly optimised website in order to benefit from Google’s search traffic. A good website backed up with great content and optimisation is key to achieving this status, however you may want to consider carrying out a free website audit first to analyse your website and provide you with a clear idea of your actual on-page score as well as gaining some optimisation tips.
Search engine optimisation or SEO is the practice of improving the organic traffic from search engines. A lot of factors come into play in order for you to be ranked at the top of the Google search results. This includes but is not limited to domain age, keyword density, information relevance, click through rate from past searches and social media signals. Organic traffic from Google has been proven to be one of the cheapest ways for a business to acquire customers. With good SEO your website can receive quality traffic helping you to grow and sell your products and services anywhere in the world.
Google regularly applies updates to its algorithm that determines how it ranks websites on its search results pages. Google implements these changes to improve the accuracy and quality of information that its users are provided with. Such changes can and will affect your online business positively or negatively, depending on what changes have been made to the algorithm. Back in April 2012 for example, Google made changes to it's algorithm that specifically targeted keyword spamming. This update came to be known as the Penguin update. It affected a lot of websites that thought they had good SEO in place at the time, as they were possibly using spam content or keyword stuffing at the time. This update resulted in such websites losing their search engine rank position (SERP), in turn this affected traffic to their websites and as a direct consequence their bottom line. However websites such as news sites and websites promoting original content actually benefited from the update boosting their rankings and sending them higher in the search results as a result.
Losing your rank position due to such an algorithm update is akin to being penalised and it may affect your search engine visibility, website traffic and subsequently your business. If you notice a drastic change in your website ranking it may be because of such an update. The best way to find out if your rank has been affected is to monitor it with specialised software, these products can keep track of your websites performance on all the major search engines, but it is always wise to run an audit on your website first so that you can investigate and identify any possible on-page errors up front and rectify them beforehand. There are many factors that can affect website performance that may have nothing to do with a Google update, so it is always worth getting your website checked over by a qualified online marketing agency first, who would be able to identify other potential areas of concern that could be affecting your rank.
Things to look out for are structural changes in the design that may slow your site down or interfere with the usability of the site. Ensuring that your website is mobile friendly and confirming it is connected correctly to your social media accounts will help improve your social signals. Other things to consider would be the correct use of headings, page titles and ALT Tags.
To give yourself the best chances of ranking well on Google make sure you are always creating new and unique content for your website and try to ensure your website remains user friendly at all times. With these basic but essential practices and by keeping an eye on the Google updates you will have the best chance of maintaining a sustainable high rank on the search engines.#GoogleUpdate2019
Designing a website with your brand in mind is challenging at the best of times, on-page SEO is time-consuming, but if followed out correctly you will get the intended results on the search engines. Did you know that carrying out search engine optimisation (SEO) is of little or no use if your website is not set up correctly to allow the search engines to find and identify your content as relevant?
One question you need to be asking yourself is: “Is my website SEO ready?”
We have listed 6 additional questions below that you need to be asking yourself and your website designer when creating or updating a website for your business.
1. Is your website domain name user-friendly: be sure to have an SEO-friendly URL that has a keyword or keyword phrase within it, make sure the URL makes sense and describes what the webpage is all about. This is both good for the search engines to identify its purpose and to rank it accordingly, but this is also beneficial for its users who are searching for the products or services.
Keep it simple, easy to read, and if possible, make it easy to remember.
a) Experiment with Keyword-only URL’s these have proven to be easier to rank. Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, so remember what applies today, may not necessarily apply in the future. (December 2018).
b) Avoid using non-readable or default assigned URL’s, if the URL makes no sense to a human being, it simply won’t perform as well as if it was in a readable format.
2. Make sure the keywords used are appropriate to the cause: You will need to use the keywords that can be related to your product, service or brand, this allows the search engines to categorise you correctly and to rank you accordingly.
3. Make sure you use unique content: Always create and upload unique content to
your website, do not copy and paste content from other websites or internet sources. Information taken or gathered from third parties and that has not been written or researched by yourself will not pass as your own. The Search engines have a content checking algorithm in place, that can very quickly identify if you have written the blog or content yourself or if you have copied it from someone else. The best ranking websites rely on unique content only, so if you want to outrank your competitors please bear this in mind.
4. Make sure your website is responsive: A responsive website should function well on all screen sizes and on all modern mobile devices that the end user (your customer) may be using when they visit the website. Long gone are the days when websites only needed to run on a PC or desktop computer, with the number of smartphones, tablet computers, smart watches and mobile devices now out numbering the use of PCs, websites now need to be designed to ensure the user experience is maintained; no matter which device the website is viewed upon. This process is called “Responsiveness”. Having a responsive website to improve the user experience has become so important to the end user, that the search engines will no longer rank your website high in the results, if the end-user experience is not of the same high quality across all devices.
5. Does your website have an XML Sitemap: An XML sitemap guides search engine spiders otherwise known as bots, to understand your website structure and its content easier when it is crawled. Failing to add a sitemap to your website may result in your content being overlooked or missed when the spiders crawl your content. The larger the website the more likely it will become that some of your content may be missed and therefore will not be indexed by search engines. For this reason, websites that do not have a sitemap tend to rank lower in the search engines.
6. Heading and Meta Tags: Make sure you use your headings and Meta description tags to emphasise the importance of the content on your website. This makes it easier for the search engines to understand which information is of value to your users and will highlight an important message to the search engines for them to show in their results page. When we search content on the search engine’s we are provided with a wide range of results for us to choose from. These results are gathered using the information highlighted upon websites using the heading and meta description tags and will be ranked accordingly based on the Search Engine algorithm. Heading tags do not just have an impact on usability but affect your SEO too, websites failing to correctly make use the headings and meta descriptions will find they are less likely to appear in the search results for a given keyword or key phrase.
Once the above has been completed, you are now at least on the right path to successfully promoting your website on the search engines. On-page SEO in combination with the correct number of high-quality backlinks and online marketing services otherwise known as off-page SEO or SEO for short, can in time improve your Search Engine Rank Position (SERP). SEO is a trust-building process for the search engines, only the best content and the most trusted websites will rank at the top of the results page. The Search Engines are constantly evolving and improving their algorithms to ensure that only the very best unique and resource rich content is shown to its users to choose from. Remember, the Search Engines are directories, there purpose is not to rank websites, but to provide answers to questions posed by their users. If your content is of a higher quality to that of your competitors and if it meets the criteria of the Search Engines’, then your website should show in the results page higher than content that is of less relevance to the search query. Remember content relevance is decided by the search Engine, so it is important to realise that just because you deem something to be of higher importance it does not necessarily follow that the Search Engine will agree with your findings and rank other content higher.