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5 Important Free SEO Steps for Growth

Segmentify was beyond excited to host the Digital Marketing Manager Mike Morrison in the third vlog of the eCommerce Growth Show series two. Mike stated the five simple SEO steps for the growth of businesses that any small business can apply. From the podcast, we gain more information about search engines and implementable SEO strategies. Down below, you can access the podcast transcript and the valuable learnings from Mike Morrison.

Which Search Engine to Focus for eCommerce Businesses

Google: The most used search engine around the world. Digital marketers tend to stress the importance of optimising with the search engine Google.

Bing: It is still used. It is the default search engine for a lot of PCs. For example, Dell laptops offer Bing, so it is very straightforward to accept everything as the default. People tend to use whatever browser is given to them in the search engine, usually Bing. Bing’s current business strategy is similar to what Google is doing.

Baidu: Baidu is the Google of China. However, it has totally different outcomes in searches. The paid results are actually more respected than the organic results. Thus, with Google in Europe and the US, it is the exact opposite; people trust non paid results more. So the niche, the higher payer can get on top of the results in China.

Yandex: Yandex is the most commonly used search engine in Russia. The Search Engine Optimisation processes are different from Google.

5 Simple SEO Steps for Growth

1. Google Search Console

It is a free tool called webmaster tools. It shows how Google sees your website. It provides historical information on what people are searching for to get to the site. No particular skills are needed to understand the console. It is relatively simple to set up in the first place. Once it is set up, the graphs are quite user-friendly.

2. Meta Description

The meta title and description keywords aren’t used anymore. However, the first area in search that companies would look at when setting up a web page was this; it’s a very formal way of looking at a web page in general or a newspaper page. The title and subtitle description are the bulk of the content you see on the Google search pages. Additionally, there is the URL, the title of the search page and a description below that. Therefore, it is essential to stress on the homepage but also the key product pages. The keywords should be written on the pages with a focus on readability. 

Google is moving more towards content being readable and meaningful. Thus, when one searches for something and sees some of the keywords highlighted in the search results. Then they’re more likely to get drawn towards that. So, they have a solid call to action, the title, and the brands’ tax on the end. Therefore, having a description, which is also very descriptive and helpful, is extremely important to ensure that the website’s pages are seen in the results. 

It is a free tool called webmaster tools. It shows how Google sees your website. It provides historical information on what people are searching for to get to the site. No particular skills are needed to understand the console. It is relatively simple to set up in the first place. Once it is set up, the graphs are quite user-friendly.

3. Schema

It is a way of coding a website’s content so that Google can see what it is that you’re trying to offer. Therefore, if there are events, reviews, or specific kinds of content that one wants to be picked out, then when a schema is put around it, it will tell you all the different types of local listings that one’s website is offering. If the content is marked up with the correct schema, then Google reads that. And if it likes the website in general and sees the schema that’s correctly set up, then it will pull additional content onto the syrups. The search engine result pages will lead to rich results or rich snippets.

The website can have more information about the business; pictures are great ways of using that content, so if you have paid for a review platform, which can cost you a few thousand pounds. If the website has good reviews coming in on your product pages, your homepage and so on, you want to make sure that Google can see those and pull out the results. And then you are next to competitors selling the same product, but you’ve got presumably decent reviews.

4. Google Chrome Site Audit

It is another free tool that helps audit one’s website or competitors’ websites. It’s a quick tool that shows results in 10 minutes and provides information about who writes the best in factors like SEO accessibility, amp pages, accelerated mobile pages.

5. Website Performance

Website performance and how quickly the pages are downloading are crucial for user engagement and Google rankings. Therefore, if somebody bounces off a website because it’s too slow within a couple of seconds, Google starts pushing the website down on the search results. In order to check the performance of the website, tools like The Chrome Audit are very useful. Every few months, it’s worth auditing records and codes. If AB tests are getting run on the website, Google Optimise, VWO, AB tasty, or Adobe can be used.

How Can Segmentify Help Your Business

Search Engine Optimisation is one of the key tactics for businesses to create a flow to your website and JS codes added to your site as third parties can decelerate the website. In Segmentify, we add several codes to your website in order to provide your visitors with the best personalisation experience. Still, we also work to minimise the deceleration created by third parties as much as possible. Subsequently, with our free trial, we prove to be better for eCommerce brands.

The Podcast Transcript

Phill Kay

It’s time to welcome our guests today. Now we have a great guy called Mike Morrison. Now Mike is an eCommerce pro, having been an eCommerce pro for the past 20 years. And this is fascinating. He cut his teeth back in the early 2000s co-founding I can’t remember that, but it’s, I want one of, which I’m sure many of you will remember, and obviously, it’s still, still around now.

The very successful site Mike built that business up to around a hundred staff and then left at some point, took to connecting, sitting and so on. And, I mean, there were times when Google wasn’t even a player. It was kind of like Yahoo and stuff. So I do remember that when I was a kid.

Yeah, but anyway, from then, Mike worked in several startups to that expertise, I’m sure. And then one into several heads of eCommerce roles for a good ten years in Brighton. Notably, the RSPA and numerous other econ brands and then ended up working in a very well-known Magento agency in the area until quite recently.

And, now is really keen to offer support to the eCommerce community in that area in sort of product manager, project roles, or head of commerce eCommerce roles, looking to predominantly help people get to the next level in terms of digital marketing. Hello, Mike, how are you doing?

Mike Morrison

I’m doing really well. Thanks for the grease intro as well. Appreciate that.

Phill Kay

So why don’t we start with… I’m intrigued, as I mentioned at the beginning, how, how did I come about, how did you found such an amazing business right back.

Mike Morrison

Yeah, there were three of us, initially three co-founders.

There was one guy whom I knew through a friend who was quite keen to sell some of the gadgets that he’d been picking up on his travels. So online at the time, we didn’t know of any other gadgets. Websites are doing that kind of stuff. So yeah, we just kind of came together. We had the right kind of skill sets that might. And we got it launched in the early days of the 2000s, just before the first .com crash.

Phill Kay

Yeah, no, sure. No, that sounds really cool. So why don’t you tell the guys today what you’d like to bring to it?

Mike Morrison

I thought my kind of theme would be five simple SEO steps for growth, and these are five simple and free steps as well.

So these are the sorts of things that I suppose any SEO experts would know about these things already. This is kind of par for the course for them, but for digital marketers in general, there are a few more kinds of SEO specifics that might be of interest.

Phill Kay

Sounds excellent. I’m excited to hear more. Okay.

Mike Morrison

All right then. Yeah, as I say, this is not aimed at the SEO expert spot. I just want to go through a few things that you knew you would have heard. And maybe dug into a few spots, just give me a few more specifics without getting too technical. So the first area I wanted to focus on was through a Google search console.

I mean, everyone’s aware of Google Analytics and Google Ads and the whole suite of things that Google brings to the table. But the search console is often something that isn’t set up by a lot of smaller businesses anyway, and it’s not as widely used as it should be. It’s a free tool called webmaster tools.

And it’s a great way of showing the merchants. What, how Google sees your website. There’s much great information in there once it’s set up, giving you a piece of historical information on what people are searching for to get to the site, how healthy raters are, which pages are good, that kind of thing.

I cut myself a few years back when the travel website I was working with got a manual action or a. Which wasn’t through any inferior, sassy or deeds, it was, just like a combination of errors that kind of bubbled to the surface. And we got those penalties. So we started digging a really deep search console.

And within a few days, we managed to get the penalty overturned because it was just like a big bug on the website, but it showed us just how much great stuff is in there and how you can utilise it to improve your site’s rankings. So you’ve got errors in the tool that will show you what the mistakes are. That’s your website’s flagging up, whether it’s mobile or desktop. Are there any technical errors? Are there any code errors? Have you got pages that are de-indexed by accident? It shows you the performance of the website year on year.

So it looks at clicks, impressions, click-through rate positions for your site. These things can be a little bit misleading. One thing leads to another always kind of causative, but the statistics as a whole, give you great insight into where the website’s been changing, especially if you look at the marketplace and your competitors. Why are you popping down? Like click-through rate is an important thing for, are people clicking on your results? So they’re coming through to the website. Are they bouncing back off? And then, if you do deep dives on a specific URL, so if you’ve got a particular page that does not string as well as it hasn’t.

You can look at it if you will. Is it still indexed by Google? Has it got the same positions? Is there anything specifically wrong with it? It has not been indexed for a while. It doesn’t need the content to be refreshed or that kind of thing. So it’s a great tool to dig into some very headline stats that can be shared with the exact, but you can get a lot of detail if you drill down into it.

Phill Kay

I mean, that sounds brilliant.

So I mean, how. Is it set up in a palatable way in terms of getting that information? Do you need to be particularly skilled to, you know, understand what this search console can offer?

Mike Morrison

It’s fairly simple to set up in the first place. You just need a little bit of code in your website, or if you’ve got WordPress, a couple of free stations, we’ll get it set up for you very quickly.

Once it’s set up, as I see, the graphs are quite user-friendly, so you can share these graphs. Senior managers in the company or the boss. And you can show some very kind of visual urine your stats. So what’s, if SU or general is the dome, then you can do against that. And you can share a graph that will show you, is it the impressions that are done?

You may not be getting much traffic to the website for a particular search, but if the impressions are down, maybe the search as a whole is not happening very much. Maybe customers aren’t searching quite as much. So obviously, the world has been greatly afflicted by people simply not searching for flights or holidays because it’s not on people’s radar right now.

So that’s not a reflection of the health of the website. It’s just that that’s, that’s the workplace right now. So the graph thing, they are very shareable and very consumable.

Phill Kay

Yeah, it sounds very interesting. And, what about Bing?

Mike Morrison

Yeah, I can’t forget about Bing. Bing is still there.

Yeah, I guess you look at the demographics and people who use Bing tend to be, I mean, without sounding too passionate, it’s often a demographic, maybe less technical.

And that’s often because Bing is the default search engine for a lot of PCs. For example, if you buy a Dell laptop, then it will offer you very straightforward to accept everything as the default. And then you use whatever browser is given to you in the search engine will usually be Bing.

Phill Kay

That makes sense because I see it. And then obviously, I’ll just ditch it and go to Google, but there’s a demographic that wouldn’t necessarily do that. Right?

Mike Morrison

Some people won’t do it because they think it’s too complex or they don’t want to. I’m scared by the whole thing, but being in many respects, they copy what Google’s been doing.

But then they’ve got a very significant platform. In previous businesses I’ve worked at, we’ve had like 20% of the traffic coming from Bing depending on who’s using it and so on.

Phill Kay

I was just going to say. You can’t ignore it then clearly it’s that kind of volume of traffic coming from it.

Mike Morrison

You know what, this is pretty big in space as well. And you know, if you’ve got a presence, you have to make sure that when you’re marketing in different countries, there’ll be a different proportion of people using Google.

Same with mobile and desktop as well. So it’s worth having a look at their Bing webmaster rules, set that up, and you’ll get different kinds of insights, broadly speaking. It’s the same kind of stuff, but there’s always something different in there that will give you a little bit of an extra angle on your content.

Phill Kay

Okay. And are there any other search engines that are still common in some way around the world or, you know what I mean? And also have these kinds of tools. So it’s adjusted.

Mike Morrison

Yeah, I mean, if you go to Russia and China; the one you’ve got is Baidu, you’ve got Yandex. We’re looking at China and the travel company I was working out a few years ago, possibly doing some marketing there, and they have a different kind of approach to paid and organic results. I believe over there, we had a Chinese person working this for a while, and they were saying that the paid results are more respected than the organic results.

Whereas over here, the exact opposite, you tend to trust because it’s kind of a position, but again, it’s well there, there is a lot of cultural stuff involved. I think that the state of play is due to time. There was a lot of people gaming the algorithms, and they were able to do that successfully.

Whereas if somebody had the money and muscle to get to the top of the paid results, they probably have the presence to spend to the top. So you’ve got, you know, Alibaba, right? The massive one.

Phill Kay

So it would be well correlated as opposed to what it can be over here.

Mike Morrison

No matter where the niche, the more, a smaller span can get you to the top of the results over here.

Again, speaking as digital marketers. But, we can’t forget that it’s too, too many people out there, especially those who are just kind of coming into this eCommerce world. They’re not aware of their cool paid and organic thing because Google has deliberately modded the water. So, it’s sort of a smaller difference between paid and organic? No. When people don’t know what you’re talking about when you talk about those two search sources.

Phill Kay

Yeah. No, it’s very interesting. Very interesting. So moving on to your second point. Yeah.

Mike Morrison

Yeah. I just want to talk a bit about Meta. The meta title and description keywords aren’t really used anymore.

But this was more the first area in search that companies would look at when they’re setting up a webpage, then it’s a very kind of formal way of looking at a web page in general or, or, or a newspaper page. You’ve got your title. You’ve got a subtitle description. So on, we had to take from the description that’s the bulk of the content you see in the Google search pages.

So you’ve got a URL, you’ve got the title of the search page, and you’ve got the description below that. So it’s very important to spend a bit of time on that for your homepage, but also your key product pages. I made sure that what you’re writing has keywords in it. So we need to get a kind of key-wordy algorithm in that you use the keywords unfairly upfront in the title, but the focus has to be on readability.

Google is moving more and more towards content. It is really important, and going to be readable. It’s going to be meaningful. So somebody searches for something, and they see some of their keywords highlighted in the search results. Then they’re more likely to get drawn towards that. So having a strong call to action, the title, the brand’s tax on the end as well.

Having a description is also very descriptive and helpful but readable; it’s extremely important to make sure that your pages are seen in the results.

Phill Kay

That is interesting. And that there are limits to it. Can you go on too much, or is that as I’m asking stupid questions since there’s limited a certain number of factors.

Mike Morrison

Yeah. The other thing is depending on your demographic, and mostly eCommerce websites are becoming more and more mobile, of course. Some plates are, you know, 90% plus mobile. But again, in the travel industry, depending on your demographic and what niche of the travel industry or whatever you run, you’ll often find the TechShop is still ahead of mobile.

It is easy to get carried away with. The whole mobile is a kind of conversation, but it is key when you’re looking at those mobile searches that you’ve got a certain number of characters that will appear on the search results before they get drunk cases. So it doesn’t come to make sure you’ve got something like 30, 40 characters before that disappears, with description.

But Google, Google is putting a lot more effort into the, especially the top of the page with, with paid ads with the hand. So it’s important to try and take advantage of these changes in Google. But as I said earlier, click-through rates are very important. So if you can have, you know, fairly solid marketing stuff in there, you might have it.

You might have an offer you want to promote or some kind of catchy product or something. But if you get that into the decision, When people click on those odds, that will help push them up, as well as Google can see people bouncing back off a webpage in a couple of seconds. That is one of the ranking factors Google looks at.

They don’t have much compassion, right? But if people are bouncing back off a website, then clearly they can see the customer. Isn’t interested in that website loaded on the rankings.

Phill Kay

Is it interesting for me? Cause like I was going to ask you a slightly, I wouldn’t say left-field but slightly off, just off what you were talking about on the SEO front, but on the conversion front, like obviously that, for me, I’ve heard so much about how conversion on mobile is so much lower than desktop. Have you seen that change remarkably over the last, however long that conversation’s been going for?

Mike Morrison

I think, with the much greater focus over the last, you know, five to 10 years, since people have seen more violence is, is crucial. Certainly, the conversion crept up because, you know, ones are becoming bigger websites.

Genuinely become mobile. First, it’s often one of these mantras just to clear out the project, make sure it’s mobile-first. And what are the vendors? Do they go off and design a desktop picture and stick it on a wall, and they fill the screen with this beautiful blue page. And then they come back and do the mobile stuff afterwards.

So it’s been a struggle from my experience to start genuinely mobile-first projects. But with the approach taken, we definitely see conversion rates going up, but there’s still like stopped conversion rates because you also, of course have to look at cross-device behaviour. So sometimes people will look at their mobile during the leave a reminder, or once the website, you know, whatever.

They’re going to get folded around the internet by, you know, retargeting by an abandoned cart. 

Phill Kay

Well, yeah, like with respect to say my experience, you know, I’m 46 I’m old school. I still haven’t bought it yet. I’ll be honest. I still haven’t bought anything on mobile yet. I’ve used it purely in that bracket of research only, and then go and buy that desktop where for whatever reason, I think it’s secure.

You know, I can just click on my cards down shortly, say mobile. So if I, if I’m bouncing off sites a lot, because I’m going, they’re going off and then I’m going home and doing later, is Google clever enough to know that? Or is that just looked at as separate buckets in terms of mobile banking and then desktop ranking? Or is it able to bring it together?

Mike Morrison

Yeah. I mean, it’d be one of the big kinds of battles is cross-device tracking, which, which obviously better arts, but, people often, you know, speaking again, making presumptions here where people often logged in on their mobile with Chrome and Google have a Google account, or as the background.

You know, the fact is that using a search there, you can be too laced on the desktop on the same logged-in accounts or some of them everyone’s stuff can’t be tracked, but if you’re logged in now, then, websites will put you up for sending you by the car emails, retired and can work as well to some extent, so the tracking.

Phill Kay

Okay, but it wouldn’t affect your ranking effectively because ultimately, you’re not knowing if I’m a non ID, non-user and I go mobile, and I bounce off. Then I go and buy, later on, are you as Google penalising you on mobile because of that behaviour?

Mike Morrison

No. I mean, it’s like, you’re on an income for me to the session on Chrome.

Yeah. So yeah, if you go into that and just have a look around and to make yourself kind of deliberately, incognito as it were, then yeah, you would steer not be tracked. I mean, Google is looking at certain things. There’s always controversy, but what they’re actually looking at, but ultimately they shouldn’t be able to track you if you’ve gone meta with deleting your cookies after the session.

So it should be a fresh session when you then go on to a different machine that night and make that purchase finally. So yeah, Google wants to be able to track and show merchants that you can be territorial from machine to machine, from mobile voice search services as well in there, to desktop. But yeah, ultimately, when you’re logged in, and you’ve got your, all your ID set up, so they’ll track your inventory.

Phill Kay

Yeah, very interesting. Next point?

Mike Morrison

Yeah, schema, a bit of a technical area, but the idea of schema is it’s just a very slightly tacky way of coding your content so that Google can see what it is that you’re trying to offer. So if you’ve got events and your website, Or if you’ve got reviews, or if you have specific kinds of content that you wants to be picked out like that, then if you put schema around it and there’s a whole website set up, that will tell you all the different types like recipes as well as courses, jobs that you’re offering local listings.

If you mark up that content with the right schema, then Google reads that. And if it likes the website in general and it sees the schema that’s correctly set up, then it will pull additional content onto the syrups—the search engine result pages. And you’ve got rich results or rich snippets, as he used to call them part of that feature results.

So you can have more information about your business, pool loads into a, almost like a calendar sort of format recipes. We’ll pull pictures of them, so these are all great ways of using that content, so if you’ve paid for a review platform, which can cost you a few thousand pounds a month, Trustpilot and so on. If you have good reviews coming in on your product pages, your homepage and so on, you want to make sure that Google can see those and pull out the results. And then you are next to competitors selling the same product, but you’ve got presumably decent reviews.

Phill Kay

I remember because I did a spell at Trustpilot, and that was the whole, the whole proposition well, I suppose, with Trustpilot or another provider like FIFA or whatever, where you’re able to capitalise on the rich snippets of the stars and so on. And, and obviously that we know that if you are, you’re offering a service and you’ve got a competitor, and they’ve got the rich snippet, they got the stars and you haven’t it’s highly, well, it’s more likely that they will be drawn to that result and it’ll probably be higher.

Mike Morrison

Yeah, it was right. And, and the thing is, you can’t lie, but the reviews either. It’s one thing. If you’re using a review platform, YouTube show, often what Mercer’s will do is only show four and five-star reviews on the page. Cause you obviously want to show your best reviews. And that’s proved off in general by those merits, by those review platforms and Google, same with that.

But ultimately, your aggregate rating has to go on the page, and Google needs to see your actual overall ranking for that page. And if you only get five, then you’ve got a question itself. Why are we only getting two stars?

Phill Kay

Oh completely! And again, that was, I think, the reason why Trustpilot, particularly anyway, having worked there was such a powerful platform and blew up kind of globally was that it was clearly saying that the customer is taking control over the business in that sense.

And you can’t lie about how they are, how they’re experiencing you. And then, so you’re either going to do something about it proactively, you know, and take advantage of it, or you’re going to bury your head in the sand, right? You know, that was the kind of general proposition that most people were like.

Actually, we see it as an opportunity to get transparency over how people are feeling about our business and then do something amazing about it. That then brings our ratings right up. And then we get all the benefits of what you’re just talking about.

Mike Morrison

And it’s one of the things that Amazon pioneered so well in the early days. Did they do so many things intuitively you would look at it and see, what would you do?

They started showing reviews on their page where you got a two-star review for a product, and then you looked at the reviews, and you realised that half the reviews are a Bose or my package hasn’t arrived yet. You know, nothing to do with the product or, no, we’re being honest and, and feeding back sometimes uploading images.

Amazon though, well look, if, if we just keep people on the page, people read about it, they will, they will trust them actually because we’re honest. We’re not a product that knows a day, but you’ll come back next week because you’ll trust the fact that we’ve been very transparent.

Phill Kay

Yeah. I suppose you’re talking about dwell times, right?

As well, like the content on the page or the reading through, that’s a no brainer, right? If they’re reading through a bunch of reviews, that’s a benefit in terms of the maps on their site.

Mike Morrison

Absolutely. And the content is often very, I mean, you’ll get a lot of generic reviews. Like yeah. I love the product.

It was brilliant. It does what it says in the 10. But it’s an office, you know, it’s got a few keywords and stuff in it. There’s some value to that, and it’s fresh, constantly refreshing itself. If you’ve got a good feed of reviews coming out, they refresh themselves every day with the latest couple of reviews, then that’s great.

The page, because you’re automatically directing the page for you.

And we, we tried to take advantage of that as well in Segmentify because we’ve got a number of brands who, you know, worked with Bazaarvoice or Trustpilot, or. And we’ve integrated, with those platforms to take that, you know, not kind of dilute that journey.

So they’ve gone and seen that great experience on the, you know, on the, on the Google page, they come into the site, they’ve gone to the PDP and then bang, you know, you’ve got recommendations with reviews and ratings attached to them and stuff like that. It just takes experience to that, to the next little marginal gain level.

If you like, then having navigated elsewhere to find reviews, they all fully sort of integrate with the recommendations and content or whatever it is you’re serving.

Definitely, and there are new things I know about, the likes of Q and A, that can get on the website a new player.

So they’re introducing questions and answers where instead of having a separate FAQ page, your low-cost asks a question about a specific product on that page itself. And then the merchant can read that and say, yeah, that’s worth responding to. They could respond, and then other people could read that.

So you’ve got customers, and it’s a little bit like a WordPress page where you’ve got, people can add a comment and then the editor can respond to that again. And the assurance that that’s the merchant’s reading, the contents, the reading, the customer comments, the responding on that generates more content.

And again, that’s all good for you.

Phill Kay

Absolutely. Very interesting. So moving on to your fourth point Chrome site audit. Yeah.

Mike Morrison

It’s another free tool that sits with them in the browser. Again, most of you may have come across this before, but that was introduced relatively recently, maybe a year or two ago.

It was always just coming in, but yeah, just right click on the page, and you know, inspect elements, and you go to the audit tab, and you will not audit on any websites, so you can watch it on your websites, run it on your competitor’s website. And very quickly, within about 10 minutes, you could run five audits with yourself and your, your, your competitors and see who writes best for factors like performance for SEO for accessibility for amp pages if you’ve got those, that’s like the accelerated mobile pages where you’ve got specific pages for mobile. And it gives you a very useful, a lot at some of it’s incredibly technical. So, it takes a fair bit of investigation, but there are often some really quick wins you can get from those like one of the first your lead. Your hero image is way too thick.

It might’ve looked beautiful in the boardroom. You’ve got this beautiful lifestyle picture of somebody using the product, but it might. And if it’s that file size, you know, that’s on mobile, it’s going to take longer to, to, to download. Even if it’s not great, if that can be reduced by half or by more, or you can compress the image, you can say you can store it on a CDN somewhere.

There are loads of ways you can address that. And, if you instil that sort of philosophy with the design team, as well as the developers, then you try and start cutting down the files and the file sizes.

Phill Kay

How kind of, and this is Google, right? You’re talking about inspection and audit, right?

Isn’t it amazing? Like, I mean, obviously how Google have, you know, used the concept of transparency to just drive that kind of almost open marketplace of, of, of competition to just to allow that level of. You know, best practice to be viewed. And if you know what I mean, there’s nothing closed off about that at all.

I can look at all my competitors. I can look at all the minutiae metrics, and I can try and drive those marginal gains where they’re doing that than me with this particular metric or that one. That’s quite amazing. Really. Isn’t it? What is the whole kind of concept of how they’ve done that?

Mike Morrison

Yeah. This whole ecosystem is incredible, you know, 25 years ago when none of this existed.

I know you’ve got people creating podcasts, discussing this really arcane piece of technology. But the fact that you’ve got this suite of products that we offer for free, almost across the board, it’s often quite hard to find apart from Google ads, of course, which is where they get the money from all the stuff that’s in the Google actually costs anything.

Phill Kay

Yeah. Interesting. Because what they’ve done is cleverly said, you know, in what they’re doing, they don’t have to control. They, they make the open. They make an open and transparent vehicle. Everybody else does all the work, and it keeps them on top of the pile. Like, yeah. You know, it’s ultimately an amazing strategy because you couldn’t, you couldn’t control it and do all that.

But by being able to do everybody else by market forces, you by default, are still going to maximise your opportunities.

Mike Morrison

Yeah, absolutely. And by focusing on simplicity, simple UX and a quality product, you know, they’re, they’re always the ones to look for. So yeah, you’ve got the Google app. The app system they’ve got now is that the play store is obviously still behind it.

The iTunes one, but it offers so much free stuff out there. So when I bring zones, its latest phones and it can’t Google products is Armstrong from the very beginning. So they’ve got the best physical phones on the market. Now, the P 40 pro, because they can’t use Google products, you’ve got a massive black mark against them.

They cannot work with Google. They’re stunted straight out of the blocks. So, yeah, it’s a fascinating field, and all these free tools are there. Obviously, they help them, but it was that person once who said, you know, you think the product is free, then you are the product.

Phill Kay

Well, but it’s clearly symbiotic, isn’t it?

It is amazing. Just for me to build, to, to realise just what they’ve facilitated, but genuinely drive that business at the end of the day, you know, as well as everybody else, you know, it’s kind of clever. So what am I your last, your last point then? Performance improvements. Tell us about that.

Mike Morrison

The last one: performance improvements is something that can be experienced very simply, very anecdotally by looking at your website and affordance. So how quickly does it work? How quickly does it look compared to the competition, but again, something like the Chrome audit will give you a lot of insights on the performance side of things?

So how long does it take for your web page to start loading on the page? There are lots of technical terms, like, you know, first content for paint and stuff like that, but how quickly can your customers start interacting on your websites, whether it’s scrolling or typing into search or whatever it is.

That’s crucial for the website’s user engagement, and therefore, how is it going to perform the Google rankings? So is that earlier if somebody bonuses off a website because it’s too slow within a couple of seconds? By Google and they start pushing the website down. So performance is really key.

There’s a lot of stuff that you can look at. The Chrome audit is a great start. There are lots of other free tools or free trials. How are you? What is slowing the site down? It might not be, there might not be the hosting or it might be something that’s actually on the website. The call that you’re using the images that you.

But you can get pretty extensions. The likes of Ghostery, which I use and elk with… There’s another one you stick that on your Chrome tab, and you look at a website, it will show you all of the cookies and the tracking code and stuff that a website is loading up. Most of that stuff’s really useful stuff.

So you’ll have things like Hotjar code, which is looking at user sessions and creating videos for the merchants to look at analytics. You’ve got retargeting times. You’ve got a Facebook pixel, all that. But these are all bits of code that are swirling the website down as well.

Phill Kay

So saying about is kind of almost like auditing your code and making sure there’s no old code saying they’re just basically loading for no reason or whatever, whatever.

Mike Morrison

Yeah, I think, you know, every few months it’s worth auditing records, just get a screenshot from those free extensions. Look at the call that you’ve got on your website. Some of the stuff could be from a couple of years back where a previous digital marketer thought, let’s give this a three-goal, I suppose, company at a conference and they said, drop this code on your site, and you get all this amazing analysis out of it.

But if you don’t get rid of it straight away, because it’s only slowing down the website.

I was going to say, yeah, if you’re running AB tests and the sites, maybe using Google Optimise or VWO or AB tasty, Adobe, whatever. Unless you’ve got a really good server set up and you’re running tests from the server itself, most of them are browser sites. So the user was onto the website.

You’ll often see a flicker when you start building the page and that they’re being pushed into the variation of a test. Many customers don’t notice it’s not a problem, but that’s just one very visible example of how the court is slowing the site down and how that can itself affect the result of that experiment.

If somebody’s getting a smaller experience because there’s an experiment that’s waiting for an experiment. Yeah.

Phill Kay

That’s amazing. You were talking about this, like a flicker. Yeah. I didn’t know that that was something that would be such a marginal thing, but clearly, things are metrics weren’t you about how. How quickly the bounce rate affects life.

Mike Morrison

Yeah. And there are all sorts of stats out there that say, you know, for every second of page loads, before you’re ready, you will lose X per cent of conversion rates. Okay. When you get to seven seconds, you’ve lost 30%.

Phill Kay

That would be a nightmare.

Mike Morrison

I mean, there’s a lot of other things in the mix as well.

Of course, if the website isn’t compelling enough, if the images are poor or your, your messaging, when you land on the page, isn’t clear enough. These are all factors, of course, as well. But if the page doesn’t take loading quickly enough, if the performance of your website. You’re not going to get anybody.

Who’s going to dedicate themselves to doing a search, reading about the product, going to the basket, going to checkouts. They’re not going to waste time.

Phill Kay

Oh, completely. It was funny, actually. Because, as you know, I’m old. Right. But when, when I was working at bright Paul sort of, I don’t know, 5, 6, 7 years ago.

I remember distinctly because I’m old enough to know when it was, you know, dial-up modem. It took 50 years. So, you know, when, when we look at it now, we’re like, wow, it took 30 seconds. That’s okay. Don’t worry. But it was really funny. It was bright. And there was a young, young lad there. And I had a bunch of millennials that I was managing at the time.

It was great fun. I had to put the sides to our boot in for a little while, but then they, you know, sort themselves out, but, this guy was sitting there by the computer and I, and I, and we were waiting for a page to load and I’m just standing there just casually. And I tell you not. I kid you not within a million.

Right. You start stopping the bleeding, and he pretty much closes the browser, and I’m like, wow. I mean, is that your expectation of the internet? And like I told him that story, and he kind of laughed, but it’s just, it’s not, you said there’s a whole different world out there with the youngsters. Now, what they expect is when you’re talking about tiny things.

You know marginal loss is in page load and how that then affects a bank’s rate. So someone like me, I’m thinking to myself, no way, I’m surely going to wait for another second or two, but I sort of in that horse’s mouth, how these guys react, it’s amazing.

Mike Morrison

It is incredible. And I’m the same, you know, when we started IRoots back into those, and we came in the morning, we were working from my, my colleague’s bedroom.

And you’ve switched your phone. I don’t know. Was it 14.4 chemo or 28s? And we have to sit there awkwardly while the computer is booting up in the background, and there’s no business happening until that is up. Yeah, it’s crazy. But yeah, we evolved, becoming patient ourselves as well, but it’s like seeing somebody in action.

This is what people do when they come to the website. If it’s not one that quickly, they’re all.

Phill Kay

Oh, that’s the real deal. Just one of the things actually I, because we use built with a lot, for completely different rules and reasons. I’m sure. Everybody knows that it was built as a fantastic tool for, for everybody in the tech space to understand, you know, who their competitor or who’s on their site, what they’re doing, and it’s become an integral part of, you know, site-based research before you even pitch.

Because I’m a great believer. A lot of salespeople actually believe very strongly that the day of the sale, the day of the salesman, you know, the day of the outbound, is pretty much. You know everything is a relationship. Everything is trust. You know, the kind of conversion rates nowadays on just outbound is, is atrocious.

Like, because, you know, it’s, it’s changing the landscape changing, but what, what we do in Segmentify, if I is that we’re going to find as much research as we possibly can on the site before we put together some kind of, you know, value proposition, it says, look, you know, your current speed is X, you know, your current palletisation experience from the homepage after three clicks.

Not what it should be. It should be this, that or that, you know? So we use built with big-time when we know what the comms platform is. And so you use a not-so or fresh rather than to wherever it might be. That wheat that we run that research. And then we usually do a free AB split test over a 14 or 30 day period.

So then obviously proved to the eCommerce brand without paying any money or any setup or any work that was better. Do you know? And that’s worked incredibly in our favour because we’re not just going out there and going. Hey, we’re a presentation platform. Do you wanna buy us?

You know you can imagine. But anyway, sorry, I digress a bit, but what I’ve noticed and built with this, this thing coming up called COVID. I mean, what, what, why, why did you have COVID in Built with, by the Tech list.

Mike Morrison

I haven’t even seen that, to be honest. I haven’t, I mean, I use built with, for, like what technology, when it was working in the Magento agency, we’d look at you know, what version of mental it was using or whether it was using Magento and all the other.

There are Google things and stuff with COVID. They’re working with some merchants so that the merchants of a certain size are offering COVID services, you know, for, for delivering. So I could easily be corrected here and create some furious comments. It may well be a Google tool that’s been used to say this merchant is working with our, to help the wider community deliver products to people. It’s safe.

We have these folding conditions, pretty logical fair play. Thanks for that.

Phill Kay

Brilliant. So, tell us a bit how, the best way guys can get in touch with you, particularly if at the moment we’re during COVID and you know, they’re looking for project work, obviously from what they’ve heard from you. So yeah.

Great pointers and information. If they’re looking for, you know, a particular project or ahead of eCommerce role or consultancy, you know, particularly the Brighton surrounding north kind of area, what’s the best way to get hold of you?

Mike Morrison

Well, I just discovered this morning that if you searched for Mike Morrison, Brighton, well, number one of the results.

So I optimise myself for Brighton, which is brilliant.

Phill Kay

Teeth have no band.

Mike Morrison

Absolutely. So the first result is my LinkedIn page. So, you know, you’re free to come on there and connect. Otherwise, in your search for Mike Morrison, you’ll find an ice hockey player in North America somewhere. So it’s gotta be Mike Morrison Brighton and, yeah, happy to pick up the phone or get in touch with anybody interested.

Phill Kay

Amazing. So, just to sort of finish off the last couple of bits, what would you love the listeners to take away? There was like one key nugget for them to remember, like right now, when we finish.

Mike Morrison

I think, in terms of the SEO side of things and website audits in general, it always helps to have somebody look at your website with a fresh pair of eyes.

I know that a lot of people listening to this will either be SEO people or they’ll have SEO people working with them. And they offered me a great job. And often it’s, you know, it’s one of these things that you, you kind of cringe when somebody says I’m bringing in a consultant to look at this or that, because, you know, it’s, it’s like you’re, you’re clipping somebody’s wings, but, it’s often the case that somebody coming in and doing a fresh audit will come up with some new observations or it can work together with the SEO resource in house to start pushing certain elements where they might have a list of things to work with.

It’s very hard without any kind of internal sponsors to push them forward and say to the developers or the project team or the execs the priorities for the business. So, I think it’s important to carry out these audits or get them done independently, build them into a priority list. What are the quick wins?

And they’re often the worst, doing before anything else, but what are the most important things to your website? Is it about performance? Is it the content? Is it the cold faction stuff? And there’s this extra pair of eyes looking at the web. Working with internal resources can often get a lot of stuff cleared off the list and just, just push the website higher in a very short period.

Phill Kay

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense because I appreciate that all of us have got so much going on. I mean, the core activity. Yeah. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I said this a few times in other episodes, but what we found signifies having a managed services team that optimise personalisation on behalf of the claim on behalf of the eCommerce manager or with the eCommerce manager right now, this is another reason why, if you’ve got to put that on your plate as well, how do you get the best out of the personalisation of the website after you’ve invested in the platform, likes him at the fire or whatever, so that makes sure your conversion.

The best it can be. And you add that to all the other things you’ve got to do, like the things you talked about earlier about AB testing or, you know, the audits and the code and the schemers and all that. That’s a nightmare. I mean, there’s so much to do so by, you know, almost outsourcing some of that to experts that can work with you.

And on behalf of. We found in particular that it has been phenomenal in a, in a bit, in our ability to sort of differentiating, between other players out there, you know, so I understand that complete, that sort of fresh, fresh eyes and more resource on it if you like. So, I mean, in terms of you, Mike, you know, the listeners might be, might be investing in SEO already.

They might be talking about visual marketing latency. I mean, what would you say to those guys in terms of them talking?

Mike Morrison

Yeah, I think, as I say, it’s the usual experience that goes on eCommerce, getting up and starting up and building existing businesses as well. There’s a lot of experience I’ve picked up from the UXA on the SEO side.

So, as I say, you know, with the SEO audits, you’re often working with people internally. Kind of stand on their tours, but I think bringing someone in with the experience all-round of the whole digital marketing suite website doing, what is it not doing? Where could it be better? You know, I like this idea of coming out as a fresh pair of eyes to a website that, at first glance, Luke’s is very well polished and selling some great products, but there are three or four key things that are missing.

Or it could be gone through, and they’re often quick wins. So, I like to think of having that fresh pair of eyes. Sometimes they don’t feel rushed these days. I’m a bit older than you, but it helps bring somebody in just for a couple of months, whatever it is. Or even just a few days for projects, just to work with the internal resources and see if we can get more out of what’s already.

Cause as you say, there’s always a lot of stuff. That’s great. There’s always a lot of work to be done. You know, digital marketers don’t always have a whole lot of time. To get this done. And so, we want to make sure that they’re proving their value to the business. Absolutely.

Phill Kay

And it’s called me the reason why I bring it up as well. Yeah. Well, I was going to say that that’s why, you know, digital marketing agencies and consultants exist. Right. I mean, you’ve gotta be either company like that. Like our listeners… So Mike, thank you so much for that. I felt that was really, really interesting, and I picked up loads of info. It was great to talk to you.

Thank you, everyone, for listening. I hope you felt it was valuable. I just like to say, as I always do, really, please register for all the podcasts that we do. Not only, obviously, this one would be available on forward slash podcast. But we hope to get my back in the future as well and do some future chats and stuff.

See how he’s getting on. So do register on that page, and you’ll get access to all the new podcasts as they come out. And, of course, all the ones that are already on there. I think we’re up to a dozen or something. Now that will, now they’re just a bunch of other guys coming on shortly. The other thing I’ll say as well as if you, if you like the podcast and you’re interested in being involved, or you want to feedback, or there are any topics that you particularly want us to cover off, then do feel free to email me anytime.

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