Make sure you have the best SEO driven content on your website

It’s not enough to just put any old text on your website as Google is cleverer than it’s ever been and one of the main ways it judges your website is by the quality of the text on each page, it’s relevance, the length and number of pages and the keyword content in those pages. So you not only have to think about selling the features and benefits of your product or services, but you also have to think about things like relevance, readability and keyword content and whether Google likes your content too. You might have the best copy in the world on your site from the customer’s perspective but if Google doesn’t find it, neither will your customers.

You need top quality, keyword enhanced copy for the best SEO

By making sure that you have top quality content on your site, geared to the keywords that suit your industry (properly researched) and taking readability as well as layout, headers, hyperlinks and all the things that Google likes in a text, into consideration, you can put your website ahead of the competition.

On-page is even more important than off-page SEO

So many SEO providers concentrate on off-page SEO but when it comes down to it, content is still king for Google, so you’re seriously missing a trick if you haven’t revisited the actual text on your website for years or checked out if the keywords you’re using are still the best for your industry.

Cost effective keyword enhanced copy-writing for your website

We offer a cost effective copy-writing service geared to the needs of small businesses that enables you to re-write your website over a period of time, staggering the costs and ensuring that you’re content is the very best and not only pulls in customers, but gets Google’s attention as well.

So, whether you’re looking to add pages onto your site or to improve on what you’ve got, give us a call to discuss your copy requirements for your website and start pushing your site up the rankings the way Google wants you to, with the best, relevant, keyword enhanced copy.

Contact sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk

Has your website been hit by birds and bears? i.e. penguins, pandas and hummingbirds

Recent updates to Google’s algorithms have hit internet companies as big as Ebay, so don’t feel too depressed if you’re website has seen a drop in traffic of late as you’re definitely not the only one.     The most recent updates seem to have hit sites that haven’t bothered much with good content but relied on poor quality back links and cheats to boost their website traffic.

We use good, sustainable SEO practices only

The Colchester SEO Company has never gone in for that sort of SEO and prefers to optimise clients’ sites based on good SEO practices across the board combined with superb well written keyword enhanced content, strong meta data, alt tags and the page structure that google wants and expects.  This might be a little slower but it’s cost effective, results in steady visitor growth to your site,  with an ongoing improvement in ranking and gets you the right sort of customers with no fear of your website being demoted to page 14 on Google because you didn’t do things properly.  It’s also sustainable.

Black and grey hat SEO practices can hit a site badly

In the last few months we have seen a steady increase in clients whose websites have serious issues, from keyword stuffing and masses of  mirror content to lots of poor quality back links.  Many of these sites don’t even have the basics of good SEO in place and their placing on Google has plummeted losing them valuable business.    Content is easy to deal with and the mainstay of good SEO these days but getting rid of back links that have made Google down-grade your site can prove fiddly and costly.

Solve your SEO problems with Colchester SEO

We do have a way round it though, which is both cost effective, quick and efficient.  So if you’ve seen you’re website traffic plummet and you’re not sure what to do about your SEO, then give as a call on 01206 530010 or email sue@thecolchesterseocompany to find out more.

10 things you should know about SEO – part 2

SEO for Colchester small businesses, on page SEO for SME's Colchester, Essex

Here’s the second part of the ten points to help you get a better understanding of SEO

6. Your keywords actually matter

You can’t pick keywords out of nowhere and choose them to be the ones you’d like to rank for. Some keywords are worthless and this is worth remembering when you hear those magic words “we can get you to page one of Google for your search terms”.  Your search terms might not be the right search terms and generally you pay an SEO company to find the right search terms for your products but make sure they don’t use uncompetitive ones as it’s easy to get you to page one for those but you won’t get much business from them.

If you haven’t properly researched your keywords then there’s a good chance that some of them, or even all of them, might be word or phrases that nobody’s searching for.  Equally some of them might be so competitive they are unachievable or won’t convert and deliver a return on investment for you, which is what you are ideally after.  Ranking means nothing unless the keywords you use convert into customers. The worst case scenario though, is that you haven’t even thought about keywords on your website.

7. [Click Here] is never good anchor text

This is something I see a lot on websites.  If you know what the terms or keywords that will convert for you are, use them. “Click here” is not SEO friendly anchor text.

8. Your Google rankings don’t tell the whole story

Where you appear on the page i.e. your ranking on a search engine is important.  It is quite often what you are paying your SEO consultant for.  Saying that, there are other measurements of your website’s performance that you might want to look at as well.

Such as:

  • Increased Conversions
  • Time Spent on Site
  • Visibility
  • Brand Sentiment

You should be able to see the whole picture not just one tiny viewpoint.

9. SEO is not all about you

Sorting out the search engine optimisation on your website is more about your customer than it is about you.  You are making it easier for you customer to fulfil their objectives and aims. Give them benefit driven text as well, which tells your prospective clients what you can do for them rather than telling them all about you and you should get a better conversion rate.

10. It’s not whether you’ll invest in SEO, it’s how

If you have a website then you need to think about SEO.  So many companies view their website as a holding page or pages where you can find their address and telephone number.  Your website is or in many cases could be an amazing marketing tool that drives leads to your company and converts them into customers. So now’s the time to start thinking about how SEO can bring you more clients.

For further information on SEO or keyword copywriting please email sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk or telephone Sue on 01206 530010 or

10 things you should know about SEO Part 1

The first five things you should now about SEO

I’m going to do this in two parts to make it a bit easier to swallow. It doesn’t take long to realise that in the world of Search Engine Optimisation there are a lot of people who know a little about it and few people who know a lot about it but how do you find out what’s what?  Here are the first five of ten pointers that will help provide you with the basics when it comes to SEO.

1.SEO should come first not last

If you get your website redesigned but nobody thinks about the SEO until it’s finished, then you’ve done it back to front and it might cost you a lot more than if you did it the right way round. The time to think about SEO is before you redesign your website.  SEO is not salt and pepper that you can throw on your website afterwards to liven things up. Although saying that it is possible to do it that way round but it’s often more costly because you might then have to make structural changes to the website that you have already paid to be designed and built.  SEO should come first not later.  Also when you redesign your website Google treats it like a new site and you lose most of your ranking from the old site, which can mean big drops in visitors.  We spend a lot of time getting the visitors back that were lost in rebrands because people didn’t realise the impact redesigning their website will have on their Google ranking.

2.SEO is a long term investment, but it brings long term health to your website and that results in more business for you

Search Engine Optimisation is not a short term fix.  You won’t see results tomorrow, and many clients think it’s an instant thing, that you can somehow cheat Google by throwing money it at, (try that with adwords) and you will reap the benefits, it’s not like that.  If you do it right though your site will get better and better with time, which means your business gets better with time, and your sales from your website continue to improve.

A reputable and trustworthy SEO Consultant will help you set achievable long term goals and targets for your site but won’t tell you that you will be at the top of page one of Google tomorrow or next week.

3.SEO does not equal shiny Meta tags

It is a bit of a myth that SEO is all about re-doing Meta tags or building back links or even both together.  They are just part of the process but there is a long list of areas that need to be addressed, and some are more about digital marketing than the actual SEO.

If you have an audit of your site you will be able to see this.  Keywords alone don’t cut the mustard, neither do back links on their own.   Your website needs to be assessed and dealt with in its entirety to get maximum benefits from SEO.  Beware of anyone who tells you that by doing just one thing you can get better ranking.  Google is wise to the shortcuts some people take.

4.Not everything you read on the internet is true

It’s always best to treat what you read on the internet like anything else you hear/see/read about. This applies to some of what you might read about SEO. By all means read it, check it out and try it out before you decide it’s true but do your research and don’t believe the first thing you read without verifying it.

5.SEO is marketing not IT

SEO should be part of your entire business process and as such your IT department and developers will be involved in it but isn’t generally a job for your IT department and is definitely more of a marketing process.  It’s about bringing customers to you so it’s a major part of your marketing campaign.  Or if it isn’t then it should be.

The next five SEO pointers will follow shortly. 

If you require any further information about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or internet marketing please call Sue on 01206 530010 or email sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk

 

Posted in SEO

What do people look at most on social media profiles?

Mashable Social Media just carried out a survey using Eyetrackshop to see where the eye goes when people view social media pages.  The results were pretty interesting from site to site and it gives you an indication of what you should pay attention to on some social media sites.

Here is an overview of their findings on Social Media habit

The profile pictures does matter. The site feature that attracted the most attention on Klout, Facebook and StumbleUpon was the profile photo.

Job title was the biggest attention grabber on Linkedin

It got more attention than anything else on the page, even the profile picture.

Who you know gets noticed on Social Media

Even if it’s down to where they are on the page, people do look at the thumbnail pictures of your friends that appear on social profiles. This is particularly interesting to viewers of Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Klout profiles.

The content at the top of the page wins

The further down the page, the fewer people look at it.  This was true on content focused profiles like Pinterest and Digg as well as socially focused profiles such as Facebook.  The effect was less obvious on YouTube and Twitter profiles.

If you would like further information on Social Media Marketing campaigns please call Sue on 01206 530010 or email sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk

Do you need strong organic SEO to get the best out of your adwords campaigns?

Organic SEO and Adwords

Organic SEO, Website Copy, AdWords, Colchester SEO Company, Essex -
Susan Kovbasyuk, proprietor of The Colchester SEO Company, Essex

A lot of companies seem to take an either/or approach to organic SEO and AdWords campaigns and I have to say this is a bit of a mistake, as they can work very effectively together.  Also using adwords can sometimes help to sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of keywords quickly and with a low outlay.

Whether your website is informational or Ecommerce can make a difference

The type of website you have is important and informational sites benefit more from good strong organic SEO and may not even need to go down the AdWords route, except for a boost to certain areas or for specialised long tail search terms.   E-commerce
sites benefit best from good organic SEO and adwords combined but many only go in for the latter as they see this as the most effective.

A website with poor SEO pays more for AdWords as relevancy still counts

It’s a little know fact that adwords campaigns on poorly optimised sites cost more and are also less effective because the ads for these sites get shown less than ads from well optimised sites.

Google places high importance on text relevance on the page you are sending traffic to on AdWords campaigns as well, so if your page has little or no relevant text your ad might not even get approved and shown.   Some  e-commerce sites have very little static text and consequently get penalised by Google for relevancy, which impacts on the cost and success of their ads.   I suppose it’s perceived that the AdWords campaign will compensate for all these deficiencies but that’s not actually the case.

You get much better and more cost effective results from your adwords campaigns if you pay as much attention to the organic SEO on your site as you do to your adwords campaigns.

If you want further information on how to get the best out of your website using both organic SEO and AdWords then please contact sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk

How high is your bounce rate and does it matter?

Almost every time I assess a client’s website I hear the same question.  What does bounce rate mean?  So time to explain.

What is a bounce rate?

On your Google Analytics report you will always see the bounce rate as a percentage and it’s actually the percentage of single page visits where your visitor arrived on a landing page and left from that page.   In short it’s a measure of relevance and quality and if you have a high bounce rate it can suggest that visitors are not finding what they are expecting to find i.e. the page they landed on is not relevant and there was nothing else to attract their attention so they left.

Bounce rate doesn’t always have to matter

A lot of sites have hidden landing pages or products that they direct people too specifically, so a site with a high bounce rate doesn’t necessarily have to be a flawed site if you are sending people to specific pages and they book services or buy products from that page, as it’s served it’s purpose and you don’t necessarily need them to look around your website.  If you want them to then it’s down to the redirection you offer on hidden landing pages as to whether they do.

Bounce rate gives you and idea of how your adwords and organic searches work

A lot of people think the bounce rate is only important on an adwords campaign but it can be important on your organic searches to, as it helps you understand what your customers are doing.  Often sites that do a lot of AdWords campaigns have high bounce rates because they’re directing people via the AdWords to specific services or products.  It doesn’t always means a bad thing as if you’ve set up conversion data you can get good info about how effective your campaigns are.    You may not be aware but one of the tools Google uses to assess the cost of a click is the quality/relevance of your site on an organic level, so if you haven’t bothered with your organic SEO because you get people to your site with AdWords, you’re missing a trick on two fronts.

Why good Organic SEO helps with your AdWords cost?

Good does value relevancy on a site, if you haven’t bothered with organic SEO your site may have relevancy issues and sites with poor relevancy pay a premium for adwords.  So when you get good SEO on our website, you not only pick up a higher ratio of free organic searches, the cost of your AdWords tends to come down per click.  Remember that optimising your site organically is cost effective long term and much more sustainable.  When you stop paying Google for your AdWords, the customers stop, if you’re site is well optimised and you keep it updated, it costs very little and the customers keep coming.

You can check organic and Adwords Bounce Rates in Google Analytics

The good thing is that Google Analytics can tell you bounce rates on your site in general, on specific pages as well and on your AdWord campaigns.  It can also tell you the number of visitors, where they are coming from, what keywords they used to get there and how long they stayed on your site.   Lots of good reasons for making sure that you sign up for Google Analytics.   It’s not much good having a website if you don’t know what it’s doing for you, is it?

Information sites, site using hidden landing pages and Adwords and Ecommerce sites are different in the way bounce rates show

Ideally your bounce rate should be under 50% but a few points over isn’t a major crisis. An information site with no hidden landing pages would want a bounce rate like this.  But sites using AdWords and hidden landing pages and Ecommerce sites tend to have higher bounce rates and this isn’t necessarily a bid thing, but you do need to keep an eye on the stats to ensure they are not disproportionate.  If you’re paying a fortune for AdWords and 98% of the hits are bouncing out without converting to anything, then something is wrong with your AdWords. Equally i’d be worried at a high bounce rate on hidden landing pages (although at least you’re not paying for the clicks unless they’re being used solely for AdWords) as this points to relevancy issues. So keep an eye on your sites, look out for the pages with very high bounce rates and the AdWords campaigns that are costing and not delivery and review things regularly.

Information sites

If you’re site is predominately an information site then note the pages have a much higher bounce rate than others and navigate your users to other areas of your site from these pages, using links, offers, new content. If there is somewhere interesting for them to go they are less likely to “bounce”.  It’s more important on an information site to keep our users moving around the site.

If you require any further information on SEO, adwords or Google Analytics please feel free to contact sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk.

How important are keywords on your website?

Keywords help Google find your websiteKeywords, SEO and keyword research, SEO, Website copy, optimised Google friendly copy for websites.

For search engines, keywords are an essential element as searches are matched against them and in short, that’s how the search engines find and display your website.  Google gives a lot of attention to the keywords in the title tag but also expects those same keywords to appear in the text, headers etc to show relevance.

Think about keywords first!

So, it’s very important to use the right keywords on your website for the best SEO results and it’s important where you use them and how many times you use them.  I strongly believe that this is the one of the first things you should think about when setting up your new website (or revamping your old one) and that it shouldn’t come third to design and content.  From an SEO point of view it’s not much good if the text on the pages of your website is full of words and phrases that you think sound great but nobody actually searches on.

Research your keywords, don’t just guess at them

It’s important that you use a keyword tool such as Google’s keyword planner to check you are using the right keywords.  What you think are the best keywords or phrases for your products or services might not be.

A good example of this is was when a friend of mine set up her website to sell holidays in Greece.  The website looked gorgeous but on most of the pages there were only occasional mentions of Greece and a couple of mentions of the destinations she offered and nothing much about the types of accommodation.  The tags were even worse. There was a lot of talk about how they offered an expert service for individuals who wanted a different holiday experience etc etc.  This was great as they are selling their speciality service and it was very benefit driven copy but how were people going to  find the site in the first place.  Nobody goes to Google and types in “holiday for the independent traveller,” they type in “Villas in Greece” or “Apartments in Greece.”  So these are some of the keywords they should have been emphasising.

By all means sell your product or serves on the site but not at the expense of keywords

You can sell your product once you’ve got the visitor on your site and it’s very important that you do so as you want to convert the visitor into a customer but don’t confuse the marketing with the selling.  Marketing in the case of websites is about getting the customer onto your site, the selling begins on your site when your content makes them pick up the phone or fill in the enquiry form.   You can’t sell your service to the search engine, it’s only interested in the keywords and the keywords you want are the ones that people are searching on.   Anyone can get you to page one of Google for a search term that nobody searches on, what matters is getting your website up the rankings for searches i.e. keywords that people are typing it into Google and other search engines that are relevant to our business.

it’s not just about keywords but how you use them on the site

There are lots of keyword tools out there so it is possible to do the research yourself but that’s perhaps the easy bit.  You then need to use the right keywords, in the right places, in a way that sells the benefits of your product and makes the customer want to buy it.  Not as easy as it sounds, which is why a lot of companies are now turning to professionals for help.   It’s not a big investment to get your website copy keyword rich, benefit driven and well optimised but it certainly pays dividends.

If you require further information on Search Engine Optimisation, keywords, copywriting or any of the other services offered by the Colchester SEO Company contact sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk.

Does your website really sell your products and services?

SEO, Social Networking, Training and Website marketing at The Colchester SEO Company, Essex

Perhaps you’ve read up a bit recently and had a good hard look at your website and found it wanting a bit on a number of fronts. Perhaps you’ve realised that it needs a little bit of “renovation”, a new look, some new content etc.  If that’s the case then you might want to consider getting a quote from a web designer. We can help with that at Colchester SEO.  We work with some wonderful designers and when you use us you know we’ll be giving a fair bit of priority to the SEO, so you won’t just get a fabulous new look website, but you’ll get one that hasn’t lost all it’s Google ranking because of the changes you’ve made.  Because this is exactly what can happen when you “redo” your website without paying attention to the SEO.

If your website isn’t working for you, a redesign might be a great idea!

If you are feeling flush, then you could consider redesigning your website entirely.  Like everything in life you pay for what you get and you’ll see a lot of adverts for cheap websites, but if you really want it to look good and certainly better than your old one, then do your research and get a good “designer” i.e. someone who designs website as opposed to someone who builds them. There is a difference and not so many so-called designers actually have graphic design qualifications.

Designers and developers can work together to create/redesign websites but they often forget the SEO

Designers frequently work in conjunction with developers to design and build websites. Developers might be able to build you a website but perhaps the design will not be quite as slick as you would like.   So look at other people’s websites, look at your competitors’ websites, there will usually be a credit for the designer so you can find the sort of thing you like this way.  Also, do some research on the internet just to get ideas and finally consider designers that friends or business colleagues recommend. Most web designers will have a portfolio of their work on their own website. It pays to do your research and in the early stages, ask about the impacts on SEO and how to remedy these, as there are impacts on redesigns particularly.

Renovation can be cost effective but has SEO implications

If you can’t afford a completely new website then perhaps consider a “renovation”, again you still need to do some research to find a good designer who can tidy up and improve what you already have. In some cases what you have might be impossible for a designer to “dress up” your webste and then your only option could be a new website.  The way your website looks is really important though and a good website not only looks attractive but functions in the way you want it to and therefore needs to be built well and optimised well.  It’s a balance really between three different factors, good website design, good web development and good SEO and you need to pay attention to all three with new websites and redesigns.

SEO is a very important factor if you redo or refurbish your website

So the next two points on my checklist are things you need to think about if you have now come to the conclusion that your website needs a new look.

3.  Look at the Search Engine Optimisation whilst you’re doing this.  If the designer doesn’t offer SEO services then find someone who can do the SEO in conjunction with the designer/developer.  There are now lots of designers who offer in-house SEO and this works well as everything is under one roof.  When you are getting a new website or renovating your old one, SEO should be considered at the planning stage, i.e. layout, keywords, tags etc, news updates and future social media planning if you are not already doing something there.  Think ahead, not just about what you want to do now.  Remember when you redo your website, you will lose a lot of the ranking it has built over the years, so you need to have a plan to make sure the impact is minimal before you go ahead and that means working on the SEO whilst the website is on the dev server and a programme of SEO boosting afterwards.  Otherwise you could lose all your traffic.

4. This is a good time to think about how your website is updated and who is going to do it.  One of the things that search engines don’t like is seemingly dormant sites, where nothing changes for months on end.  If you rely on someone else to update your site, you will often find that it doesn’t happen.  So y9ou need to think about a Content Management System for your website so you or a member of staff can update it in-house.  You can get this done as part of a package with an SEO provider or developer but you do need to think about it in advance otherwise you’re website becomes another static site that slips down the ranking.

If you require further information on Search Engine Optimisation, Web Design or Social Media contact  sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk

Posted in SEO

If you’re not using social media marketing to get more value from your marketing, you’re missing out

 

Should you get involved with social media marketing? The answer is emphatically YES!

There are now more than 2.8 billion Facebook users worldwise, 2.29 billion YouTube users, nearly 1.4Social media marketing, SEO and Social Media at Colchester SEO Company billion people using instagrm and 1.6 billion people on WhatsApp.  I remember back in the 2000s when people thought that social media was something only young people would do and therefore probably wasn’t much use to modern business. Times have changed and advertising on social media is huge as the audience is enormous.  Most companies know they have to have some kind of social media presence these days.

Are you still relying on old marketing techniques like mail shots and cold calling?

Are you still relying on 80’s style sales techniques to give your business the edge on sales?  Still employing telesales people/agencies to find you leads.  In this day and age, people are fed-up and jaded with the old sales approaches.  Whether you’re selling to individuals or businesses when it comes to the “heavy sell,” we’ve all seen and heard it all and we don’t want to be sold to in that way and more to the point, we now know how to to say no!   I often hear from sales people how difficult it is to close a deal the way they used to and I think it’s because most of us are just resistant to that sort of approach.  There’s a new breed of customers out there and these days most of them are researching what they want on the internet via blogs, comparison sites, engaging with friends and other businesses on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube and they know what they are looking for and they can find it themselves.  So if you are not involved in Social Media you could be missing out on the customers because that’s where many of them are today.

Knowing which social media platform would suit your company is often difficult to know

The big snag is you may not know anything about it and perhaps if you do know a bit about it, do you have the time to put it into practice in a sustained and effective way.  It’s no good opening a twitter account, setting up your Facebook page half heartedly and then not having the time or the inclination to post anything, tweet anything or engage with anyone.

It takes effort and a bit of know-how to build a social media following

It takes time to build a following on social media platforms.  A lot of people set it up and then find it’s just too much hassle to continue because let’s face it, you have a business to run.  This is probably a worse approach than doing nothing at all.  Some businesses find they don’t have the technical knowledge to set up branded pages/accounts wither.

Get a joined up approach to social media marketing and your website

Finally you need a joined up approach to social media marketing i.e. have a goal, target customers in mind and a strategy.  You can link up your social media with various platforms like Hoote Suite (now quite expensive) and Meta and minimise the time you spend on it to grow your following via getting your blog out through social media and sharing interesting content.  Remember social media has a number of benefits, including brand awareness but also marketing your website and bringing customers to it.  Platforms like Instagram are particularly effective for ecommerce sites.

The downside is it does take time, some knowledge of how it all works and a strategy to get you up and running, which is where I come in.   If you really want to get a handle on this yourself then I can help you set things up and train you how to use it.  If you just want somebody else to set it up and run it all, I can do that to.  What you will get in either case is a strategy, a joined up approach to your social media marketing and regular reports on what’s happening, so that it’s working for you.   If you still find it confusing then I am happy to explain further but this is something you really should be getting involved with or you will start to feel that you’ve missed the boat.

If you require further information on social media please contact sue@thecolchesterseocompany.co.uk

Image courtesy of Alex Pace.