Author: GA Agency

Black Friday Issues & Trends in 2021: What Learnings Can We Implement for Black Friday in 2022?

Even though Black Friday was a success overall, there were many challenges and issues that retailers faced in 2021 stunting their success. We dive deeper into these issues and look at the learnings we can take going into Black Friday 2022.

Supply Chain Issues

One of the biggest concerns for retailers in the lead up to Black Friday were supply chain disruptions, leaving many with insufficient stock to meet demand due to the delays. Some retailers were left with empty shelves both in-store and online during the sale season, and it was a hot topic throughout the news and media outlets.

Investing in technology is one of the ways to improve supply chain resilience for when disruption inevitably strikes again. Dirk Holbach, chief supply chain officer at Henkel says “The real-time visibility along our supply chain, which is a result of deploying Industry 4.0 technologies, allowed us to focus on the right challenges and to make the best decisions.”

Even though it’s good to invest in improving supply chain resilience, we’re not expected to have the same issues this year so it isn’t something you should be too concerned about.

Higher Consumer Costs

Last year we saw household finances squeezed by inflation causing consumers to start shopping earlier than expected to help spread the cost of Christmas. This may continue to have an impact on Black Friday sales this year as inflation continues to rise with the cost of living becoming increasingly more expensive.

It’s likely that Black Friday will look slightly different this year, shoppers might see fewer deals and retailers may notice that heavily discounted items sell out faster than normal. Comparison shopping is becoming more popular and this could mean consumers shopping around for the best deals this sales season more often instead of flocking when they see the offers announced, as comparing prices has become more important than ever before. Google even added a new ‘deals’ section to the search results when people search for offers in particular, so competition could rise.

Earlier Search Interest

Last year shoppers were searching for deals even earlier according to Google Trends, and it’s expected to follow the same trajectory this year. This means that it’s even more important that you are prepared and understand the focus around your offers messaging to capture the consumers attention.

In-Store Shopping Made a Return

After Black Friday being predominantly online in 2020, last year consumers were eager to get back into physical stores to make their purchases and didn’t have to worry about shipping disruptions, wondering if they would receive their items or not. You need to take into account that shopping is a social occasion, therefore if a strong social experience can be offered it will help build connections, both in person and online.

Brand Loyalty

Consumers in 2021 favoured for the best deals due to the rising cost of living, meaning brand loyalty wasn’t as strong as in previous years. With the rise in inflation this trend will continue, this creates opportunities for brands to bring in new customers with great offers and experiences.

Buy Now, Pay Later

You can’t visit any big retail website without having the option to ‘buy now, pay later’ which has grown over the past year. It’s a way to reach customers who may feel limited with their current finances and want to pay it back over the period of a couple of months, taking away the financial stress and bringing joy back into shopping. Smaller businesses are starting to jump on this trend too.

Despite the challenges faced, expectations amongst eCommerce retailers remained high and overall were a success. The global pandemic caused a huge shift in consumer behaviour and how we live our lives. Even though we don’t face the same issues as the previous year, the purchasing decisions consumers now make are here to stay and could continue for many years.

GA Agency is an independent, award-winning, full-service agency specialising in international growth. Our specialist international and multilingual team can take your business and digital marketing strategies to the next level with our SEO services. Feel free to get in touch today to find out how we can grow your business online.

Google Just Announced The September Core Update 2022

Unless you’re living under a rock, you have probably heard that Google announced a new Core Algorithm Update by now, which was released on September 12, 2022. As Google confirmed, it will take up to two weeks to finish.

Google Search Central Twitter Announcement

This core update is the second main update in the space of a year (the previous one was Google May core update). Algorithm updates are taking place constantly over the year; however, changes this broad are rarer and more noticeable.

What is the purpose of this Core Update?

Google September core update follows Google’s Helpful Content update. It will affect how ranking signals are processed and will change how SERPs are generated. As with all core updates, the purpose is to improve the experience for searchers on Google.

It’s still too early to know how all these changes will affect individual websites, however, we can expect a few things:

  • An increase in ranking for helpful content.
  • Fluctuation in visibility and rankings in the following weeks.

Tips to cope with the Google September Core Update

These core updates take weeks to finish, and fluctuations might take longer than you expect to settle. So don’t be reactive. Wait for the SERPs to be stabilise. There are a few great tools to monitor these changes in each country, such as SEMRush Sensor or Algoroo to get a day by day review.

The best thing to do is to review your website traffic and rankings closely in the months leading to the update and the weeks following the update.

Regardless of the update, the content on your website ought to be of good quality, original and regularly updated. But because this update closely follows the Google’s Helpful Content update, make sure your web content is high quality and helpful to users. Do you answer questions in your market? Is the information on your website detailed and does it add value to the user? If you wish to know more, we wrote a great article on this Google’s helpful content update.

Also, make sure your website is accessible and easy to navigate. These factors are getting more and more relevant for Google. Having an accessible website might be important for this core update but it will surely be even more relevant in the following updates.

One of the most important tips for surviving this core update is to earn relevant backlinks from high quality websites that are in the same industry as you.

As you might have noticed, this requires constant work, and you should have been working to meet all these criteria regardless of the core update as a means of minimizing visibility turbulence.

If you need help, our international team can help you develop your marketing strategies and mitigate any issues around Google updates that might impact your website. Contact us to find out more about our marketing services including SEO consultingcopywriting and PPC.

China’s Singles’ Day: The World’s Biggest Shopping Event Goes Global

Started in 2009 by Alibaba, this annual event is the biggest shopping event globally with over $139 billion in sales in 2021, breaking yet another record. It takes place every year on the 11th November with it becoming the largest physical retail and online shopping day in the world, but let’s look how it started.

How Did China’s Singles’ Day Begin?

It originally started as an unofficial holiday in China and a shopping event that celebrated those not married. The day encouraged unmarried people to treat themselves to gifts and presents, whilst participating in events and celebrations.

How Alibaba Changed Singles’ Day Forever

Alibaba is a Chinese owned global wholesale marketplace, it connects manufacturers and wholesalers in China to individuals and businesses around the world. Even though it focuses more on trade between businesses, they also own AliExpress which has a B2C approach and has become a technology powerhouse with huge ambitions.

In 2009 Alibaba created a connection between Singles’ Day and a huge discounted shopping event as they tried to generate sales for their Tmall platform offering sales and promotions.

eCommerce giant JD.com joined in with the traditions a couple of years ago and has been breaking their record sales every year, with $48.6 billion in 2021. The CEO of JD’s retail business said that “consumer demand keeps increasing”.

It’s Only Getting Bigger

Last year Singles’ Day was extended from a 24-hour shopping event to a two-week shopping festival with Alibaba alone making $74.1 billion in sales, 2.5 times more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined. It has even been reported that for up-and-coming brands, Singles’ Day can account for 25% of their whole annual sales.

Singles’ Day Goes Global

This event has become a global shopping festival over the past couple of years with it spreading to Australia, Poland, Taiwan, France, Brazil, Singapore and Japan. Last year AliExpress which is part of the Alibaba Group launched a worldwide campaign to capture a larger share of the global market which is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2025. Alibaba improved its logistics in 2021 and worked with influencers on a global scale to get the news out.

However, with this expansion there are issues. Alibaba does not have the inventory space and infrastructure needed outside China to fully compete with the likes of Amazon. Although, they have already opened up to several markets outside China and are developing warehouses overseas to improve capacity. They are at forefront of this global strategy and China’s outbound eCommerce market is expected to grow around 26% every year until 2025. If they are able to replicate their success in Europe then they will be able to compete against Amazon from a different angle.

The Future of the Global Retail Landscape & Innovative Retail Experiences

Chinese Singles’ Day is filled with innovative retail experiences and shows us what the future of the global retail landscape could look like in the near future. It’s a mobile-first, cross-channel ecosystem and experiential pop-ups, contactless stores and AR technologies are the mainstream norm in China.

One of the most lucrative events is livestreamed e-commerce where presenters show off their products live, encouraging their viewers to purchase directly. Last year one of China’s top livestreamers known as ‘Lipstick King’ sold an astonishing $1.7 billion worth of products including brands such as L’Oreal, Guerlain and Estee Lauder to his 250 million viewers in just 12 hours, as part of a Singles’ Day pre-sale.

With over 290,000 brands participating last year and Alibabas Tmall marketplace offering more than 14 million deals, it’s only going to continue to grow. However, if you’re a brand wanting to get involved with this shopping festival, it’s important to tailor the online shopping experience to local tastes such as focusing on your mobile proposition for Chinese consumers.

GA Agency is an international award-winning digital agency that offer global market coverage, specialising in international expansion. We offer digital marketing services such as SEO consulting and digital ads to grow your business. Get in touch today to find out how we can take your business to the next level.

The Best SEO RFP Sample: Find the Right Agency to Boost Rankings

Finding the right SEO agency plays an important role in the success of your digital marketing strategy. You need to find an agency that will support your goals and objectives, helping you achieve the best results possible for your business and establish a strong foundation.

What is an SEO RFP?

An SEO RFP (Request for Proposal) allows you to examine proposals from agencies specialising in SEO. The document outlines project requirements such as the scope of work, budgets, and SEO goals. It simplifies the process and allows you to quickly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of potential agencies and their strategies, allowing you as the client to make a better decision.

Standardising the proposal process with an SEO RFP will help you to objectively evaluate each agency’s strategies. This is why we’ve created a sample SEO RFP that you can use as a template to ensure everything is covered.

Download your SEO RFP sample temple here

Why Do You Need an SEO Request for Proposal?

Creating an SEO RFP can be a long process, which is why we’ve created the best SEO RFP sample to make it easier for you. You need to ensure that your questions are properly prepared and high-quality to receive the answers you’re looking for, and in the level of detail required.

A comprehensive SEO RFP proposal presents the information simply to make sure there is no miscommunication and no grey areas, saving you time in the long run, and also money.

Refines SEO Needs

Our SEO RFP sample template ensures that your SEO needs are clarified and gives you an overview of your digital marketing strategy and goals. The process helps you to determine specific goals relating to your business and what you want to achieve in the future, building on current success.

Aligns Expectations

This gives you the opportunity to invite decision-makers and stakeholders to align expectations on what you plan to achieve with an SEO campaign. It clears up any questions from the beginning and ensures everyone understands what they want to accomplish from working with an agency.

Streamlines Selection Process

Issuing SEO RFPs to potential agencies provides you with a head-to-head comparison of each agency’s experience, offerings, and ability to deliver successful results.

It completely streamlines the selection process and you’re more likely to receive proposals in response that are tailored to your specific SEO goals, making the comparison and evaluation process easier and more objective. Overall, it helps you to adequately and systematically vet agencies.

Saves Time

As the SEO RFP details the information needed for your project, potential agencies fully understand your SEO needs as well as your market, competitors, team, and everything else they need to give you a full detailed proposal. You won’t have to spend much time going back and forth with different questions as it ensures the most important questions are answered thoroughly.

What Needs to Be Included in the SEO RFP?

Our comprehensive template goes into detail about what you need to include and provides the structure. Here’s an overview of what you need to include.

Current Situation

Company Overview

You’ll want to provide the agency with all the information they need to know about your company to understand if you could work well together. Even though the agency will do its own background research, it’s useful to share when the company was founded, the main products/services you provide, and if you have a USP that makes you stand out from the competition.

Team & Resources

If you already have internal resources within your team, make sure it’s clear. You’ll want to list all the in-house resources and team members that will support your SEO project. This could include website developers, content marketing specialists, and SEO specialists.

How the Company Generates Revenue

If you can explain to an agency how your company generates revenue, they can ensure that your SEO goals are aligned with your business goals. As an example, an increase in traffic doesn’t necessarily result in an increase in revenue.

SEO Strategy & Current Performance

Do you already have an SEO strategy your in-house team or an external agency has been working on? It’s useful to explain your current SEO strategy including budget, targeted keywords and rankings, a summary of traffic, and results so far. What goals have you set in the past 12 months, and have you achieved them?

Why Are You Looking for an SEO Agency?

It might be that you haven’t achieved the results desired with a previous agency, or you’ve been doing it in-house, and you now have the budget to invest in growth. Explain your reasons why you want to partner with an SEO agency.

Existing Opportunities

Even though potential agencies will conduct their own research and be able to uncover new opportunities, it’s valuable to provide them with the research you have already conducted.

By providing the top keywords you have been focussing on, an agency will be able to analyse them further and explain why they’ve performed well or uncover issues on why poor performance has occurred.

Share your top competitors that you feel are your biggest competition, an agency will be able to build on this and explain the reasons why you should/shouldn’t be concerned about specific competitors.

Next Steps

What Does Success Mean to You?

You’ll want to have a clear idea of your SEO and business goals and explain how you currently measure your goals and success. What metrics do you use? What do you see the company looking like within the next 12 months? (e.g., revenue goals, team growth, new products/services offered).

Roadblocks

If you have come across any roadblocks that are limiting your SEO success such as website issues, lack of experience within the team, and approval delays, define these so potential SEO agencies can create a plan and a workaround to address them. Prospective SEO agencies need to understand the issues you’re facing so it can be helpful to list them in order of priority.

Going Forward

Budget

You need to be upfront about the specific budget that has been allocated for this project. Stating a realistic budget will help competing agencies submit proposals that best fit the allocated resources. Provide this as a monthly or annual allocation.

If you feel that there are constraints within your budget, mention this as it will help ensure you receive useful proposals.

Timeline

You should have an idea of a target deliverable schedule. This allows potential agencies to determine if they have the resources and team available to complete the project within the expected timescale.

Communication

How does the agency communicate with clients? What’s the frequency? How often do they provide updates on progress and reports?

If your company has a communication style that they prefer such as weekly meetings, or weekly updates via email, you can include them within your proposal.

What Happens After I Submit an SEO RFP Proposal?

Even if you send a comprehensive and detailed SEO RFP proposal, you should expect agencies to contact you with additional questions. You want to make sure that the agency is the right fit for you, but a reputable agency will also want to ensure that you’re the right fit for them too. At GA Agency we are selective with the clients we work with, and only work with those we feel we can make an impact.

Questions you would expect an agency to ask include:

How Many Agencies Are You Inviting to Pitch? – It’s important for an agency to know this and if you have invited a high number of agencies to pitch, then expect a couple to drop out We would advise you to keep your SEO RFP shortlist limited to 4-5 agencies, this shows that you have already carefully selected the agencies you’re interested in working with and makes it easier for you to compare proposals.

Why Did You Choose Us as a Prospective Agency? – This helps the agency understand why they were specifically shortlisted and how they can add value to your business. As an example, a prospective client might make the decision to work with GA Agency due to our expertise in international SEO. They might want to expand internationally or grow sales in a specific market, making GA Agency the perfect partner for them.

What’s the Decision Process? – The stages should already be outlined in your RFP (e.g., proposal deadline, decision date, project start date), however, they might have additional questions in regard to pitching and who makes the decisions.

How to Know if an Agency Is a Right Fit?

Once you’ve received all your proposals back, you’ll want to start going through them with your team. Understanding if an agency is the right fit for your company will depend on factors such as the services provided by the agency, their experience, and your SEO goals.

It’s important that the agency you work with has relevant experience, especially if you have a complex project that needs a team with a range of marketing skills.

Questions to Ask an SEO Agency

Within our SEO RFP template we dive deeper into all the questions that are important to ask a potential agency, however, here are a couple of examples.

  • Previous case studies of how you’ve helped clients with SEO
  • What makes your company stand out?
  • Provide a market assessment of SEO and any market trends that we should be aware of.
  • Can you provide a comprehensive pricing proposal that covers all potential fees?

SEO RFP Sample Template

Overall, an SEO RFP is essential to help you find the best SEO agency that is the right fit for your business. Using our SEO RFP sample will simplify the process and allow you to quickly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of potential agencies and their strategies, allowing you as the client to make a better decision.

GA Agency is an independent, award-winning, full-service agency specialising in international growth. Our specialist international and multilingual team can take your business and digital marketing strategies to the next level with our SEO services. Feel free to get in touch today to find out how we can grow your business online.

Google Makes Digital Out-of-Home Ads Available in Display & Video 360 Campaigns

Google has announced that all Display & Video 360 users will be able to expand their campaign to digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads. DOOH ads allow you to display media advertisements in public environments such as digital signage, billboards, and screens at bus shelters, airports, stadiums, shopping centres, and more.

This is a huge announcement as it allows you to engage audiences beyond online advertising, reaching people in their real-world journey with the efficiency of programmatic technology. Digital out-of-home helps brands engage with consumers at moments they make key decisions or take certain actions such as walking through a shopping centre.

It allows marketers to purchase ad space rapidly and efficiently. You can activate, pause, and optimise in near real-time, tackling everything from activation and strategy to reporting and optimisation all in one place. This is particularly effective for brands that have expanded internationally as it allows them to reach their global audience using a single tool.

Source: Google Marketing Platform

One of the world’s leading online fashion retailers, ASOS, has already started using digital billboards in heavy footfall areas to generate brand awareness.

Google explained: “ASOS used Display & Video 360 to quickly select digital billboards with the map UI and arrange relevant Programmatic Guaranteed deals with leading publishers like Intersection in the U.S. and JCDecaux in the U.K. This streamlined approach allowed the brand to lean on a central platform to buy, implement and measure their campaign. As a result, the team fast tracked the process of booking hundreds of digital billboards, generating 22 million viewed impressions across the two countries.”

If you want to find out more about how to get your message out with digital out-of-home in Display & Video 360, the team at GA Agency can help. GA Agency is an award-winning international digital marketing agency offering services such as digital ads and SEO consulting. If you’re an international brand this news is even more significant, and our agency has a multilingual team who can help you out.

Black Friday Across the World & Global Success: Trends & Issues

Every year Black Friday exceeds sales and revenue, it has become a global phenomenon and is one of the biggest opportunities for businesses on an international level. This year the shopping event will take place on Friday 25th November 2022.

Before launching your international Black Friday campaign, you’ll want to take into account a few considerations. For starters, even with Black Fridays’ huge scale it’s not celebrated in every country. As an example, China has its own international shopping holiday on the 11th of November; Singles Day. We take a look into the countries participating in Black Friday and the other shopping events happening around the world.

What’s happening in the countries participating in Black Friday?

US – Going back to where it all started, Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving which is now considered the start of the holiday shopping season. In 2021 the US saw retail sales for the holiday period grow by 14.1% compared to the previous year to over $886.7 billion. Despite all the struggles and challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic with supply chain issues and inflation, this was a new record with over 154 million Americans making a purchase. Black Friday eCommerce sales accounted for $8.9 billion of the total spend which is lower than last year, mainly due to supply chain issues, which is why sales picked up in the following weeks as retailers were able to increase stock levels.

Specific sectors that had the highest increases last year were:

  • Clothing and accessories +33.1%
  • Sporting goods +20.9%
  • General merchandise +15.2%
  • Furniture and home furnishings +15%
  • Electronics and appliances +13.8%

However, the US witnessed a trend shift last year as Black Friday sales exceeded those on Cyber Monday by 23%. The year previous Cyber Monday sales were higher by 11%.

Interestingly, for the second year in a row Amazon was the biggest Black Friday retailer, taking account for 17.7% of Black Friday revenue. This isn’t surprising considering that 46.7% of all product searches begin on Amazon.

Black Friday is growing in popularity, but how is it performing in other countries around the world?

Canada – This was one of the first places outside the US that started participating in this shopping holiday, as Canadians started to travel to the US to take advantage of the discounts. It has been a success in Canada with it becoming a new tradition, however, their biggest deals are generally on Boxing Day a couple of weeks later.

UK – Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season in the UK, however, was impacted by the issues relating to COVID-19 last year. Online retail sales were down 14.3% in 2021 compared to the previous year, this was mainly due to the supply chain disruptions with many retailers not having sufficient stock in the lead-up. Another issue retailers are facing according to a survey conducted by Adobe, is that UK consumers are growing increasingly sceptical of Black Friday. They no longer believe they are getting the best deals with 61% surveyed sceptical about the size of the discounts on offer, and 50% saying the deals aren’t as good as they used to be.

There were also shipping delays due to driver shortages which encouraged more people to shop in-store. However, this year we don’t have the same issues so expect Black Friday to hit a new height in 2022.

France – Most French retailers do not participate in this day and question the impact, so it hasn’t become a tradition as it has in other countries.

Looking at the Black Friday search trends in France over the past 5 years, we can see that interest is declining. Some eCommerce platforms have tried to leverage this shopping event to increase sales, but there is still a lot of resistance within society. In France, it symbolises excessive consumerism and in 2019 there was a French legislative committee that opened a wider debate to ban Black Friday in the country.

Just because the shopping event isn’t as popular in France, doesn’t mean you can’t participate, you just need to plan more carefully.

Brazil – Black Friday is one of the biggest eCommerce shopping events of the year in Brazil, with it officially being celebrated since 2009. Spending on this day has increased on a yearly basis with no signs of slowing down.

Unlike in other countries, products and services such as real estate, automotive, food, and drinks are often found on offer. This isn’t normally seen in other countries across the world, but the frenzy in Brazil has completely taken off and spread into other industries.

For some families, Black Friday gives them the opportunity to purchase appliances that some find too expensive due to the high tax burden such as televisions, furniture, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Middle-class families are living in a painful economic reality and this shopping event represents the chance to purchase desired appliances for the home. A lot more planning goes into the purchases, so offers such as flash sales usually don’t perform as well.

Other shopping events around the world:

China’s Singles Day: World’s Biggest Shopping Event – In China, Singles Day which is celebrated on the 11th of November surpasses both Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the world’s biggest shopping day. Last year Chinese shoppers spent $139.1 billion, setting a new record despite a pandemic and worries about the strength of the Chinese consumer. It’s the world’s biggest shopping event of the year and is often advertised weeks in advance with retailers offering huge discounts.

Boxing Day – Celebrated in the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, another one of the biggest shopping events the day after Christmas Day. Traditionally before Black Friday took over, this was the main shopping day of the year. It’s often when people want to take advantage of all the deals after the holiday period, and in the UK it’s a public bank holiday so people often head out to the shops to grab some deals. However, last year several retailers in the UK closed on Boxing Day to give their staff an extra day to celebrate the festivities.

White Friday – This is a relatively new idea in the Middle East similar to Black Friday, as it takes place on the same date but generally lasts over four days. It was first introduced by the largest eCommerce site in UAE, Souq as a way of increasing traffic and sales to their website. It started in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, but has since expanded to Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, and Oman.

What does this mean for businesses?

Huge shopping events such as Black Friday provide the perfect opportunity for businesses to increase revenue and reach new markets. There’s the opportunity to become more visible globally with more countries adopting these traditions. The growth is limited by the extent of their global reach, and more retailers are expanding each year and testing the waters.

GA Agency is a 360 digital marketing agency specialising in international growth, with an in-house multilingual team. If you’re looking for a strategic partner to grow your business through marketing services such as SEO consulting, get in touch to see how we can help.

Dan Wood Joins GA Agency as SEO Director

At GA Agency we are going through a period of rapid expansion, and we’re excited to announce that we have hired Dan Wood as SEO Director who will be a key stakeholder in the business.

We have asked Dan a couple of questions so you can get to know him better about his background, where he sees SEO heading in the future, the biggest lesson he has learnt in his career, and the opportunity he sees at GA Agency that made him join the team.

What is your background?

“My background is a pretty even split between client-side SEO roles and agency-side SEO roles. Because of this, I can understand the different pressures and expectations on both sides of the client-agency relationship. And in turn, this helps me to build great working relationships and deliver excellent service.

I’ve worked in Technical SEO roles, SEO Content roles and SEO consultancy. Most recently, I worked at McCann in Bristol where I was lucky enough to work alongside some amazing people and great clients. The portfolio of clients I worked with included FMCG brands, e-commerce, automotive and B2B. The broad range of clients also had very different KPIs from purely top of funnel awareness through to CVR optimisation, all of which demanded unique SEO strategies.”

What interests you about SEO?

“The most interesting thing about SEO is that it covers so much. From solving complex technical issues with large-scale websites to highly creative and engaging Digital PR campaigns, it is an incredibly broad marketing service. For that reason, it’s never boring. You can specialise in certain areas, or have a broader overview of each.”

How do you see SEO evolving in the future?

“The SERP will continue to evolve and become more interactive with a greater number of SERP features and less traditional organic links. That doesn’t necessarily mean there will be less opportunity for SEO success. But the research required to target the right keywords will become more complex. To meaningfully cut through, it will be vital for brands to have very focused SEO strategies over several years, rather than looking for quick wins.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt in your career so far?

“To always believe that your best piece of work is your next piece of work. Celebrate your successes and then discover how you can do it better next time. You should always be striving to learn and to improve your skills. If you have that attitude, you’ll always succeed.”

Why did you join GA Agency?

“The biggest thing that appealed to me about GA Agency was the International SEO setup. To have such a diverse team of SEO specialists who understand the language and culture of each market our clients are targeting is incredibly rare in the SEO world. From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t think there’s a better agency for any business looking to increase their organic performance across multiple international markets.

In terms of what I can bring, the most important thing is to help the team achieve great things. I’ve already been so impressed by everyone I’ve met, so if I can help the team to continually improve our service for our clients then the future will be bright for the agency.”

GA Agency is expanding their team internationally and are hiring for several new positions which you can find on our careers page. We’re committed to offering our clients a higher degree of service, offering the best SEO strategies and campaigns in the industry.

Google’s New Helpful Content Update Devalues Search-Engine First Content

Google’s mission is to better connect people to helpful information, which is why they have released the new ‘helpful content update’. It’s part of a broader effort to ensure people see more original and helpful content written by people and for people in search results.

This is possibly one of the most significant changes Google has made in over a decade and will have a meaningful impact on the search results, targeting websites that have content written for search engines instead of people.

What is Google’s helpful content update?

This update aims to “better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well”. Essentially, any content written for search engines will not perform as well as content written for people. I’m sure you’ve come across a website that seems like it has what you’re looking for, but doesn’t live up to expectations, this update will help reduce the chances of that happening.

Google released an announcement alongside this update, “More content by people, for people in Search” and an article titled “What creators should know about Google’s helpful content update” explaining how the update works and how to have a people-first approach to your content.

When will Google’s helpful content update be rolled out?

Google will start rolling out the update next week but will take up to two weeks to complete. Once it has launched Google will update their search ranking updates page, along with a confirmation once it has been completed. This update will initially launch for English-language searches globally, however, Google plans to expand to other languages in the future.

Google’s helpful content update is a sitewide algorithm

One of the most important aspects of this update is that it’s a site-wide update, this means that if Google determines a significant portion of your website’s content to be ‘search engine first’, there’s the possibility that it could lower the rankings of all the content on your websites. This includes high-quality content that is following the guidelines.

What types of content will be most impacted?

Even though this update will have an impact on all niches, the types of content that will be most impacted are:

  • Arts and entertainment
  • Online educational materials
  • Tech-related
  • Shopping

The reason why these areas will be impacted the most is because the content has historically been written more for search engines rather than people. This in turn will improve the results in those areas, ensuring that the content people search for is high-quality and useful.

The impact could be long lasting

Due to the ‘helpful content update’ being a sitewide algorithm, websites that are impacted could possibly take months to recover, as a website needs to prove that it only publishes people-first content over its whole website and will continue to in the future.

According to Google: “Sites identified by this update may find the signal applied to them over a period of months. Our classifier for this update runs continuously, allowing it to monitor newly-launched sites and existing ones. As it determines that the unhelpful content has not returned in the long-term, the classification will no longer apply.”

How to avoid writing for search engines and take a people-first approach?

Google still recommends their long-standing advice and guidelines on how to create content for people, and not search engines. However, Google has shared a couple of questions you can ask yourself, answering yes means that you are on the right track with a people-first approach:

  • Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?
  • Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service, or visiting a place)?
  • Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
  • After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
  • Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
  • Are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?

You may need to evaluate your SEO content strategy around the advice Google has provided and be prepared for a possible impact. Even though it’s too soon to understand how large the impact will be at this stage, it’s important to keep updated with all the changes and announcements from Google.

At GA Agency we have always believed in user-centric content and have built an in-house team of skilled copywriters experienced in SEO, but also focused on products and conversions. When starting a copywriting project we ensure we understand our clients products and services first, then we conduct keyword research to create engaging, high-quality content that converts and ranks. We are an international, award-winning agency offering SEO services to increase revenue and grow businesses. Get in touch to find out how we can help you succeed.

Black Friday Marketing Strategies to Boost Your eCommerce Sales

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year and occurs on the last Friday of November, followed by Cyber Monday. This year Black Friday will take place on the 25th of November 2022, however, now is the best time to start planning your Black Friday strategy to boost sales and increase revenue.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events of the year in which businesses launch promotional offers and significant discounts to attract customers. Although Black Friday used to be a one day only event, many businesses now launch Black Friday deals from the beginning of November to entice early shoppers. This way, they can advertise lots of different offers in the lead-up to the main event.

Black Friday Marketing Strategies

As businesses of all sizes participate in this shopping event it’s important to create the right marketing strategy as competition is fierce, and businesses are competing to attract customers with the best deals. Here are a couple of the best Black Friday marketing strategies you can implement to boost sales.

Optimise Your Website Performance

Website performance is one of the most important factors for an eCommerce business, as customers expect online stores to load quickly to find the best deals. In previous years we have seen big brands such as H&M, Gymshark and eBay suffer huge website outages due to large traffic spikes, causing their marketing strategies to fall through. However, Gymshark has learnt from this issue and now has a queuing system to enter the website during periods of high traffic such as sales, reducing the chances of downtime on their website.

Source: Gymshark

Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your website is correctly optimised to lower the chances of this happening. The ideal loading time for websites is less than 4 seconds as it has a 12 – 30% conversion rate. Any longer users will start to abandon their purchases, with transactions decreasing by 1% per second.

Along with page speed, it’s vital to ensure your website has enough memory, storage, processing power, and bandwidth to deal with the number of visitors expected to your website.

Build an Email List

This is one of the best times of the year to build your email list and generate interest. In order to encourage users to sign up to your email list, you will want to offer them an incentive such as “Sign up to be the first to find out about our amazing Black Friday deals, with offers up to 50% off” or “Free delivery on your first order”.

Source: Clarks

Once you have built an email list you can send out emails in the lead-up to Black Friday teasing the deals that will be on offer, free shipping, and featuring flash deals. Ensure that your emails have an eye-catching subject line and connect with your customers.

Encourage Users to Purchase More

The following marketing strategies can be used throughout the year to increase the average order value, but are most impactful during high sale periods such as Black Friday.

Source: ASOS
  • Highlight a minimum order threshold for free shipping in the shopping basket. This encourages users to add more items before checking out so they can qualify for the promotion.
  • Show how much has been saved from the discounts. Customers feeling like they’ve had a great deal can make them purchase more products.
  • Bundle deals. Examples include buy one, get one 50% off, and three for the price of two.

Offer Early Access to Loyal Customers

There are many benefits to offering early access to loyal customers, from making them feel appreciated, to being able to manage stock accordingly.

Source: Ray-Ban

Offering early access also means that you are one step ahead of the competition, as customers will use this opportunity to purchase products before the big rush and before stocks run out.

You could even offer special offers such as free delivery which is one of the biggest Black Friday go-to incentives, encouraging consumers to make a purchase.

Create a Sense of Urgency

You don’t want to just offer deals as sometimes it’s not enticing enough, however, creating a sense of urgency makes consumers feel more compelled towards the deals and gives them the feeling of not wanting to miss out.

Source: Joules

There are several ways you can do this:

  • Display stock level when quantity is low. This creates the feeling that the product will soon sell out.
  • Highlight the offer with a colour. Bright red is always a good choice for sale items, however, any shade that contrasts with your website colours work well.
  • Launch a flash sale. To encourage users to make a purchase display a countdown timer to when the flash sale ends.
Source: Amazon
  • Display how many people have purchased a particular item.
  • Time-sensitive language. A few examples include “last chance”, “today only”, and “now” to create urgency.

These Black Friday marketing strategies are best used in conjunction with each other to have the biggest impact. Do you want help creating the optimal digital marketing strategy this Black Friday? Get in touch with us at GA Agency, our international team offer digital marketing services including Amazon Marketing, SEO Consulting, and PPC digital advertising.

Google Releases July 2022 Product Reviews Update

Google confirmed on their Google Search Central twitter account that a new product reviews algorithm update is being rolled out and was complete as of August 2nd, 2022. This is the fourth in a series of product reviews updates that have been launched by Google over the past 18 months.

What is the Google Product Reviews Update?

Google’s product reviews update aims to promote review content that is higher-quality, and Google will promote these types of product reviews in its search results ranking. You might find that the rankings for lower-quality reviews with thin content decrease, this isn’t due to any penalty against this content, instead Google is rewarding more useful review content with rankings above yours.

If we go back to Google’s first product reviews update in April 2021, Google’s mission was that they wanted product reviews to feature useful and helpful information that involves a comprehensive review and testing process. The algorithm has adapted since then to reflect this mission further.

Who is Impacted?

At the moment for the initial rollout it’s only “English-language product reviews” that are impacted, however, Google has said that in the future this update may impact those who “create product reviews in any language”.

Was This Update Expected?

This update wasn’t expected, however, we shouldn’t be surprised as Google already released two refinements to its original product reviews algorithm. This is the fourth product review update over the past 18 months.

What’s New?

It doesn’t seem that anything specific has changed with the ranking criteria with this update. It’s most likely just Google making small adjustments and refreshing the algorithm.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Impacted?

If you notice an unexpected or sudden drop in pages that use product reviews, then you may have been impacted by this update.

The advice is the same as the previous update back in March 2022 when Google released a document titled “More helpful product reviews on Search”. It’s important to remember that Google is not punishing websites, but rewarding websites that have high-quality and informative product reviews.

To summarise the recommendations for meeting product review criteria in search from Google, they recommend to:

• Include helpful in-depth details, like the benefits or drawbacks of a certain item, specifics on how a product performs or how the product differs from previous versions


• Come from people who have actually used the products, and show what the product is physically like or how it’s used

• Include unique information beyond what the manufacturer provides — like visuals, audio or links to other content detailing the reviewer’s experience

• Cover comparable products, or explain what sets a product apart from its competitors

Google’s overall goal is to help people find trustworthy, reliable advice when they come to Search. Going forward you’ll want to ensure that your product review content is unique and informative in order to perform well.

At GA Agency, our international team can help you develop your marketing strategies and mitigate any issues around Google updatesContact us to find out more about our marketing services including SEO consultingcontent marketing and PPC.

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