Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mobile Page Speed, SEO and AMP

You may have heard about it, but Google announced yesterday that:
"starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches."

So how does this affect Mobile Search Engine Optimisation?
Well... Firstly don't panic. Website speed is already a ranking signal for desktop search and following yesterday's announcement this signal will now come into effect for mobile sites in July.
So even though Google is almost certainly tracking page speed already, it will not have an effect in the SERPs until later this year, so you do have 6 months to make changes to your site.

How does this affect AMP?
The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) is an open-source initiative to improve the performance of web content on mobile devices. They are useful lightweight versions of your web pages that are hosted elsewhere (not on your own website) for speed, which in-turn improves their changes of being downloaded and read. However there is no direct link (yet) between Google's mobile organic rankings and AMP, plus there is no organic site penalty for not having it.
But even though the two things are separate, they can work together to get more website traffic and therefore conversions. This is because AMP can have their content displayed in a carousel at the top of the Search Engine Results SERPs. And therefore, even without PPC AdWords appearing, both AMP and organic search ranking of pages can push your content to the top of the search results in your mobile browser.
Note: We are also seeing the content/layout and even the appearance of this carousel change in the SERPS over time and location, so its display there should not be guaranteed.

What can I do about it?
Therefore we recommend to all clients and the wider online community that:

  • Site owners minimise all page weight wherever possible (e.g. reduce the use of scrips and keep images to the lowest size possible - one client website has a strict policy that no image must be greater than 200k)
  • AMP is considered a technology on websites that have content that does not dynamically change all the time (e.g. it is not advisable for eCommerce or fast-moving information sites).
  • If you are in doubt... ask your SEO consultant.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Amazon own brands due to grow in 2018

Most people think that Amazon is just an online store for other companies and their products. Starting from humble eCommerce beginnings just selling books, the modern day retail behemoth now sells nearly everything from fresh produce through to antique furniture.

But most people don't realise that Amazon also currently owns about 45 brands and gets around 15% of its private-label sales come from them. For a breakdown of these see my earlier post: Amazon's own brands

And 2018 looks to be the year that Amazon truly evolves from a marketplace that just sells other brands, into a fully-fledged super retailer that owns the entire retail supply chain.

For more detail on this, take a look at the recent report from One Click Retail:

Whatever next? 
How about Amazon buys Costco, the $83 Billion global retailer who has its own Kirkland brand sold predominantly across its stores?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Quiz : Which Facebook person are you?

A. Look I’m travelling somewhere for work
B. Oh no its Monday again – here’s a picture of a Minion and a passive aggressive comment
C. Here’s me on my boat, bike, etc during the middle of the day

A. Look I’m travelling back from somewhere for work
B. Here's a bloody boring news article about something depressing
C. Pictures of me in a foreign country doing nice stuff

A. Here’s a link back to something I was doing 3 years ago when it was a weekend and a comment like "oh my, I wish i was doing that now..."
B. Image of kittens or babies or just anything better that my damn life right now!
C. I'm out at some event on Wednesday evening. That's late on WEDNESDAY people!

A. Here’s an article about alcohol, I may have a drink tonight if I didn't have to get up at 5am tomorrow
B. 3 burgers + 1 fries = £30, how much is a milk shake? (or is that 2 fries now I've looked at what everyone else has answered?)
C. Interesting anecdote about someone I once worked with (but don't any more because I don’t have to work)

A. A picture of a gin bottle
B. "Hurrah, it's sodding Friday people!!!"
C. I'm walking the dog at 5:30am and telling everyone that life is great

A: "Ahhhh...  hangover. But I need to go out and enjoy myself..."
B.  Nothing, apart from a picture linked to your Instagram account and a photo of some food.
C. A quote from someone spiritual & poignant on Sunday afternoon.

Mainly A's
You don't yet own your house, your car or even possibly the clothes you have to work in. The weekend is for resting and drinking. but you still have to go back to work on Monday and do the whole thing again. Your favourite colour is purple... maybe.

Mainly B's
Get a grip snowflake. Stop living your life on Social Media and spend it in the real world.
But if you don't forward this message on to 100 people in 10 minutes then some puppies will die.
Your star sign is Pisces or something...

Mainly C's
You're enjoying life and you've probably got a rich daddy, sugar daddy or a final salary pension whilst they were still giving those out. You probably never do these quizzes and the rest of us secretly dislike you.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Data Is Beautiful

Sometimes data can look visually appealing (albeit when coloured by the author) such as this graph of what people mean when they provide a statement around probability.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Amazon's own brands

Did you know that when you shop on Amazon you are now increasingly likely to see Amazon's own brands appear?

Do any of these seem familiar?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

4 Steps To Surviving Digital Transformation

There's no doubt that we are in the middle of a revolution in technology (and therefore the businesses that knowingly or unknowingly rely on technology). As nearly everything becomes software and change happens quicker & quicker, businesses are being asked to transform themselves or be changed

So how does an organisation survive in a world where digital transformation is now the norm?

Embrace technology
It is no longer important for just your company COO or CTO to have all the senior level technical knowledge (although even some of these don't!). Instead other Exec roles such as Commercial Directors and CEOs now need more than just an awareness of what IT can deliver.

Hire the best people
This is very easy to say and often one of the hardest things to achieve. Hiring talented and motivated staff with a personality & approach that matches your company is incredibly difficult. Do you care if they don't wear business attire? Do you mind if they sometimes work from home or outside of the core 9 - 5 hours?  Do you want to pay them what the market (e.g. your competitors) pays?
Hint: If you don't have a huge network of digital contacts, make sure you know and use a very closely aligned recruiter.

Stay fast and agile
Don't just ask your staff to work faster and faster, there is a limit to the amount of output an individual or team can deliver - despite the 'lean' and 'growth' or hack' approaches that seem so popular now. Instead agile delivery needs support from all levels of the business (and it has to be encouraged from the top of an organisation, not just the bottom or the middle layers!).

Have a plan & communicate it
"Failing to plan is planning to fail" is the old maxim. And this is especially try when you are trying to carry out a potential change to your customer experience, back-end business processes and goodness knows what else.  There's also no point trying to carry out a digital transformation in a communication vacuum, it just doesn't work. And I don't mean just communicate with your peers or immediate boss either. Communicate with your board, your minor stakeholders and perhaps even shareholders (and consider communication to your customers too).
Hint: Adopt some of the newer communication, collaboration & project tools. If you don't know what Slack, Trello or even Yammer is.... find out!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Where Does Agile Thrive?

In this diagram from the differnet scales show where agile development typically works best....