How Google Analytics can help your small business

Introduction

Most small business owners are in the same boat when it comes to how they invest in their marketing activities.

This means that far from splashing out on expensive marketing campaigns, the business must get the best return on every pound it invests.

And with certain types of marketing it can be difficult to know how effective the campaign has been.

After all tracking the success of a mail drop of 10,000 leaflets can be pretty difficult, as how do you know if someone is getting on the phone because of your leaflets or not?

Well this is where investing in SEO is a lot different. The success of the marketing strategy can be tracked, and your chosen seo company can be held to account!

That’s to say quite often your company and the seo agency will have access to the businesses Google Analytics, and Google Search Console account.

And the data that Google provides is as you would expect, reliable and very informative.

So if your business hasn’t already got an account, here’s what you need to do.

How can my business set up a Google Analytics account?

First things first, if you haven’t got an account, well your going to need to set one up. So head on over the Google Analytics website.

Now in order to set the account up, your Google Analytics account is going to need to talk to your website. This means setting up what is called a “tracking code” or a “Tracking ID”- now do not fear, if you have someone that’s switched on when it comes to designing websites, well this will be a piece of cake for them.

Yet, if you like us and think that WordPress is simply the bees knees, well you can add your Google code yourself. It is super easy to do, and there’s a guide here written by WP 101, which explains step by step how to add a analytics account to your WordPress website.

If you don’t have a WordPress website, well do not worry neither, as here’s a rather helpful guide written by Google explaining how to add your analytics account.

Okay, so what’s so good about Google Analytics?

Well, as an seo agency we have been using Google Analytics accounts for simply ages. Some digital marketing agencies prefer to use other performance tracking tools, but simply put we think that Google offers the data in a way that’s super easy to understand.

Also, we don’t think it’s a good idea for the agency to be simply telling a client how the website is doing.

We prefer if the client also has access to the Google Analytics account, so that they can cross check that all the figures we are quoting are spot on.

So, to give you an idea of the sort of things we regularly update our clients on, let’s have a look at the various sections of a Google Analytics account.

Audience data

The audience page makes things as clear as crystal. Once this page is open its easy to see how your website is performing.

Here are the areas we think you should pay particular attention to:

Number of sessions / users

Just like a shop owner want’s to know the footfall of their shop, so does a website owner. This data therefore allows you to understand how many users have been on your website.

Pages per session

Now, as any top seo agency will tell you, its all well and good getting tons of people onto a businesses website, yet the trick is to keep them there.

After all if your website has a lot of visitors, yet a sky-high bounce rate to match, well this is not very good for seo purposes. That’s because it indicates to the search engines that the website is not retaining it visitors.

A sky-high bounce rate is kind of like running a shop, and loads of people enter the shop, yet they all turn on their heels, and then walk out quickly. Just as the shop owner would be scratching their head thinking what’s wrong with my shop? Well, a website owner, and the seo agency should be thinking the same.

Bounce rate

As we have just mentioned, the bounce rate should be kept as low as possible. Instead you want people visiting your businesses website, and for them to stay on the website for a long time.

Acquisition

How is your website acquiring it’s visitors?

It’s all well and good having tons of visitors, but your seo consultant will want to know where are they coming from. That’s to say, are they coming from the businesses social media accounts, are they coming directly to the website from a television advertisement, or are they coming to the website from organic traffic?

This information is often shown in a pie graph, so its easy to see where your websites visitors are coming from.

Partner with a respected seo company

It’s all well and good having a Google Analytics account, but if you’re a business owner that hasn’t got the time to check this account, well the data isn’t going to be used to its full effect.

This is why so many businesses partner with an SEO company, or an seo consultant, this is so they can check the data each and every month.

For example, if your website has a sharp decrease in organic traffic, your seo company will need to know about this.

Also, if the websites bounce rate shoots up, well your seo agency should know about this also.

If your business requires help with it’s seo, why not give us a ring?

Why it’s always worth updating your company’s blog posts

Introduction

So many businesses, and also seo agencies alike these days feel compelled to churn out blog posts at a rate of knots.

That’s to say, some marketing agencies have taken the mindset that more is better.

However, as all leading seo companies will reliably inform you, instead its far better to focus on quality than quantity when it comes to content marketing.

Yet, this beggars the question- should blog posts be added to a website and then forgotten about?

That’s to say should news worthy subjects that relate to your industry be blogged about, and then left forever?

Well, we think the answer to that question is no. We actually think that it’s a far better idea to update your blog posts from time to time.

And you’re probably thinking well why even bother? Well, the answer is that these blog posts could better serve your business, that’s if they were updated and improved now and then.

Which in a nutshell means if this is completed correctly, updating all those blog posts could translate to more visitors landing on your website, which in turn raises the possibility of generating more sales.

And that’s just it, through your businesses efforts spent updating all those blog posts, well you could just jump-start a whole heap of new visitors that want to read your businesses blog posts.

So, without further ado, let’s have a look at some suggestions you might want to use in order to improve your businesses blog posts.

Evaluate

Your time is precious, and as such don’t try and over stretch yourself, meaning don’t think you can update every single blog post that your business has ever published.

No, instead from the very start form a marketing strategy, that’s to say have a look at which blog posts you think could be acting as a dead weight to your website. Then why not shortlist a few articles that you are going to concentrate on, and then update?

This means evaluating which blog posts you think are most valuable to your business, and your readers, yet could still do with a bit of an update.

There is a great post, that was written by Nick Loper which will teach you exactly how he carried out his very own content audit, and also the results that he obtained from this.

Improve

Your business may well already have some blog posts that bring a lot of people to your website.

For example, a business that retails power tools may offer interesting DIY tips and advice for their readers, and as a result may well get loads of visitors.

Yet, from time to time the advice may well need updating. For example, perhaps within the article a certain power tool was once recommend, yet that particular power tool may have been replaced by a newer model?

So, what we are getting at is by visiting your old blog posts you have the opportunity to update the blog posts, to make them more current.

Therefore, when updating your old blog posts you may wish to:

 

·        Check all backlinks work correctly

·        Add any supplementary information which would make the article more up date

·        Make the article more interesting

More interesting

Talk to any seo agency about what makes a good piece of content marketing and they are bound to say it must engage the reader.

That’s to say to really succeed with SEO today your business needs to be adding content marketing which interests your potential customers.

Old seo tactics are therefore dead, that’s to say good seo companies no longer try and fool Google’s algorithm in order to obtain better rankings. Instead good seo agencies add work which is simply going to help the businesses visitors.

So for example, if you run a business manufacturing cordless drills, there’s no point writing articles that simply state “cordless drills” over and over again, as this seo tactic is thankfully dead.

Instead interesting articles explaining how this brand of cordless drills is superior to the competition will be much more likely to boost the businesses seo.

Don’t get lazy!

Some businesses understand that online marketing has the potential to help their business to grow, yet do not want to put the work in.

This means, the business owner may have read a few online marketing articles, and they have read that adding blog posts will help the business.

Yet, they do not want to devote the time needed to write, or create a truly impressive article, so instead they just write a few lines of text instead.

This is no good, in today’s super competitive business environment, your website must standout, and for that to happen you need super strong seo. This therefore requires a lot of effort.

So any articles that are super short, and by this we mean just a few sentences, we would recommend checking if they are actually helping your business or not.

If the work is not working, in terms of drawing in visitors, then you may wish to delete this work.

Use a respected seo agency

There are simply millions of seo companies to choose from, yet no two are ever the same.

What your business needs is an agency that will only ever deliver white hat work, and is a respected seo agency.

We can offer both these attributes, so if your business requires help with its SEO, why not give us a ring?

 

 

 

Can customer reviews help to improve my businesses SEO?

Introduction

It’s a question that most seo agencies get asked frequently, and that is, will gaining a bunch of business reviews really help their business’s SEO?

Well, as with most things seo related, there’s never just one straightforward answer. The reason being is this depends on many factors, but do not worry, as by the end of this article your going to be all clued up!

Focus on Google

You may have a longlist of customers that are more than willing to leave glowing testimonials about your business, yet your currently unsure as to where your customers should be leaving the reviews.

That’s to say are they best left on just one website, like a website that offers information about your businesses contact details?

Are they best left on a social media platforms?

Well, if you were to ask us, we would say they are best left on your Google My Business account.

Reason being is this, say you run a local bakery, well when someone searches your businesses name then your Google My Business page should spring up. That’s of course if your seo agency has set one up for you?

So, all the important business information will be there, like your businesses address, its phone number, a link to the website, and yes, you guessed it the businesses reviews as well.

So, no scrolling down tons of organic links, instead there right in front of you the reviews will be leaping out at you.

This means when your customers says where shall I leave a review? Before they’ve even finished that sentence, you should say Google My Business.

Should I even bother, do people even bother to read these reviews?

Well yes they do, and we have the proof, take the Bright Local consumer review survey, it states that consumers read on average a total of 10 online reviews before they feel they are then able to trust a local business.

And as you can imagine, most of the time the customer is spoilt for choice in terms of which company they wish to choose.

So, a whole bunch of really positive and genuine reviews, well you guessed it, you can gain that edge over some of your competitors.

Yeah, but will this actually help my businesses seo?

Well yes it will, but it has to be done right. So many business owners, especially businesses that have just started, may be tempted to write a load of fake business reviews.

This is a really bad idea, and the reason is sometimes customers will know that they are fake, plus Google has ways of knowing if the review is fake as well. So, you guessed it, you could incur a penalty.

A penalty could mean that your business will not show up in the local business listings, sometimes referred to as the map listings.

Now this is a big deal, as the Google My Business local business listings can be a great way to gain more customers to your website.

If your website was to get removed, then you could be reliant on just your organic business listings.

Okay, but my Google My Business account has loads of reviews already, where else should my customers be leaving reviews?

This is a really important question, as some businesses seem to go through a spurt of getting a few reviews, then just give up and don’t ask for anymore.

The truth is this, the more genuine positive reviews the better, and once your Google My Business listing has loads of good reviews, why not ask your customers to use other websites to leave reviews?

This great article, which was written by Hub Spot states 22 different websites for customers to write business and product reviews.

And this is a great idea, as sometimes a customer will really want to check out as many reviews as possible.

This normally happens when you offer a service or product that the customer needs to think about for some time before choosing one business.

For example, if you are a divorce solicitor, well a customer is likely to check every review that they can find, that’s prior to choosing the family lawyer that they wish to use.

So, they may check social media accounts relating to your company, and Google My Business and also business directory websites as well.

Don’t be shy, ask your customers to leave a review

It’s all well and good being excellent at what you do, but what’s the point if only a few people know this?

A happy customer that is willing to write a detailed review, well sometimes this is all that is needed to get the phone ringing with more business.

Not only will you be helping your business, you will also be assisting your seo company to carry out their job and improve where your business is ranked.

Use a white hat agency

If your thinking about hiring an agency, make sure they are white hat. If your business requires local seo, then why not give us a ring?

 

 

 

 

Why should my business invest in local seo?

Introduction

As a small business owner you will already be familiar with various marketing companies pestering you to invest in their services.

Whether they cold call you, e-mail you or simply send a sharply dressed salesperson to your business  sometimes it can just be all too much.

The reason being is that small businesses share the same problem as much larger businesses, that is there is only a finite amount of money that can be spent on advertising- so this beggars the question, is it a good idea to invest in SEO?

And from a business perspective many business owners decide not to, and with good reason, and that’s because most digital marketing agencies do not guarantee that your website will be on page one of Google by a certain date.

And a lot of business owners don’t like vague promises, they simply want cast iron guarantees that they will be getting something tangible for their money.

So there’s the dilemma, yet on the flipside there’s also the other aspect to take into consideration.

That is, the businesses which are investing in seo, and are partnering with respected agencies, well they may just have one serious competitive advantage over the competition.

Because let’s face it, most people are using smart phones and search engines to find what they want. Whether that be a years supply of dog food, or a new tv.

So let’s have a look at why you as a business owner should invest in seo.

Quality work = quality results

Sure your always going to have the businesses that think seo is a piece of cake, that’s to say they do everything themselves.

And that’s all well and good, yet if the person implementing the seo hasn’t got the foggiest as to which methods are white hat, well the website may just incur a penalty.

Now a penalty can mean that the website has its rankings drop, sometimes quite severely, it can also mean that a business sees its company listing removed altogether.

So if you are thinking about investing in local seo, its worth employing a top quality agency. That way they will be able to optimise things like:

·        Business citations

·        Ensuring that businesses NAP signals are all consistent

·        Updating the companies Google My Business account

·        Updating the businesses social media

·        Producing content marketing

·        Building backlinks

·        Writing meta titles, meta descriptions and alt tags

 

These are just some of the areas that your seo company should be optimising. Also another nugget of advice, do ensure that you only invest in top quality white hat work.

Cost effective

It’s fair to say that some forms of advertising can cost an absolute arm and a leg, yet good quality seo need not cost the earth.

Sure, there’s always going to be those agencies that only work for top dollar, yet throughout the U.K there are many agencies that offer good quality work at a reasonable price.

Yet as a business owner you do have to be careful, the reason being is there are also so many agencies that do not offer good quality work. This means as the Google Panda and Google Penguin updates rolled out, many websites were hit by a penalty.

And there are so many other penalties that a website could incur, so you really do have to choose your seo agency carefully.

Expand

Sometimes its easy for a small business to get drowned out by the competition, and we are not talking about on a national level, we mean locally as well.

That’s to say you may run a small business in one part of the city, and you see most of your customers only arrive at your business because it is local.

However with seo you could receive more customers coming to your business from across the city.

The reason being is that seo when implemented correctly allows you to stand out from the crowd, this way you can expand the marketing reach of your business.

Then as you experience that seo is working for your business, you may even wish to expand the businesses reach into neighbouring cities.

White hat

You may have read previously within this article that we mentioned the term “white hat”, and a lot of you may now be wondering what on earth that means.

But here’s the thing, to implement good quality seo, well it takes a lot of time, so naturally there’s always going to be those annoying agencies that decide to cut a corner or two.

Now, as earlier mentioned cutting corners often leads to a penalty being incurred, so that’s why you must partner with a white hat agency.

Yet with that said don’t take an agencies word for it that they are white hat, that’s because some advertise that they only use white hat methods, when they do not.

If your business requires help with its local seo, why not give us a ring?

Does your business deserve to be on the first page?

Introduction

It goes without saying that most businesses want to be ranked on the first page of Google. And yes, that is the whole point of investing in seo.

However, with that said, we think it’s crucial that some businesses turn their perception of SEO on its head- and dare we say it, even some agencies as well.

The reason being is this, most people think that when you pay for seo, that if a certain amount of work is implemented then rankings will increase.

This is regardless of how well the audience, which are your potential customers perceive the SEO work to be.

Some businesses therefore think that investing in set seo packages, that roll-off work like a set menu at a restaurant is the way to go.

We are going to say it right here, right now, punching out seo work just to satisfy a checklist of work is a dead approach to seo.

New era of SEO

Were now in a totally new era of seo, and your website is kind of like a gladiator within a stadium.

To survive, and to win the battle the work must be of such high quality it will impress the audience.

The audience therefore want to see the website survive. Well the websites that don’t impress, that don’t make their mark, well they are swiftly taken out of the stadium, and no longer will be a victor.

We are in a new era of seo, we are now competing within a sort of popularity contest.

Monitor the stats

It used to be the case that an seo agency would say we are going to build so many backlinks for you per month. We will also going to write so many articles, and in return you will pay a monthly fee.

The customer thought that the more work that they were obtaining for that fee, the more they were getting for their money.

This idea of seo is what left so many businesses marketing strategies destined to fail.

Instead the agency that is bold enough to say, we are done with offering quantity, your website needs a diet.

The only thing that we are going to feed your website with is quality. This quality work is going to be of real use to your customers.

It’s going to offer a new perspective, its going to answer this common questions better than any of your competitors. It is these agencies, and clients that are now winning.

Time on site

Write 400 to 500 words of sheer marketing rubbish and you will most likely bore your audience to death.

Write an article that helps them to solve a problem, find a solution and you are on the right path.

Bounce rates

If you opened a brand new restaurant, and each week you opened your doors you seen customers come in, then leave straightaway you would start asking questions, right?

Yet so many businesses spend many thousands of pounds on their websites, yet their bounce rates are sky-high.

A sky-high bounce rate is exactly the same as owning a shop, and having people fly in, and then fly back out again.

If your seo agency is ignoring your sky-high bounce rate, then ask why, better still change agencies.

How long are people spending on your website?

It’s one thing to have your bounce rate reduced, its another to keep your visitors on your website for a long time.

Your website should have the same objectives as a leading comedian. That is you must keep your audience interested, lose their interest, and you will lose the objective.

A comedian has to constantly keep an audience’s attention, otherwise it’s easy for a stadium or hall to empty quickly. The same can be said about your business’s website, you must keep the audience engaged.

Monitor the average time on site figures within your businesses Google Analytics account, and then constantly aim to keep your visitors’ interested for longer, and longer.

RankBrain

Rubbish seo methods are dead, no longer can you get away with stuffing the text with keywords, or asking a friends business to link to yours. These methods are old fashioned, rubbish and quite frankly finished with.

We are now in the era of RankBrain, which is an era which means sophisticated AI technology is being mixed with conventional ranking signals.

This means that the search engine giants like Google now have more than ever, a better understanding of if you are boring your audience to death, or if they like your business’s website, and what your business has to offer.

400 words of nonsense

So many people flock to certain agencies because they have so many staff, or they have won an award somewhere.

Yet, behind the scenes there are so many agencies that are using rubbish methods of seo. Slowly their clients are noticing that their seo is not as powerful, the amount of customers are slowly dwindling away.

Why is this? Why are so many agencies losing the powerful impact they once made on a business’s website?

The answer is simple. The answer is the same as how so many powerful businesses have failed over the years, they have failed to innovate.

Believing that everything will stay the same, is the single biggest mistake that so many agencies make.

The most common mistake is this, writing 400- 500 words of content marketing that is written to satisfy a wordcount.

Instead now content marketing must be so much more, it must have a real purpose, be useful or it will actually damage a websites rankings.

Google Analytics

Do you ever drive your car and ignore the dashboard? No, of course not, before you know it you would be going too fast, or the car would run out of fuel.

So why would you run a business, that relies on its website to generate sales, yet ignore Google Analytics?

Google Analytics will tell you everything you need to know about how your website is performing.

Relevant

Your business may have recognised the importance of seo some time ago, to stay ahead of the curve you may have hired either an agency, or someone within your business to manage the companies seo and social media.

You may have grilled the person during the interview, to understand if they knew everything there was to know about seo, but did you do the same about your business sector?

Do they understand what you do? Or do they just understand the business and what it offers on a superficial level?

Knowing that a few keywords need to be promoted. Well this strategy is going to fail, we believe and we know that it far better to have someone that understands seo, but now more than ever they have to understand what your business has to offer as well.

This may sound so basic, but take a look at some businesses social media accounts right now. Does the person understand what the business offers? Or is it the same rubbish everyone else is doing?

Do they offer a unique perspective? Something that will really interest your audience? Well they should be.

Don’t preach, listen

So many seo companies and businesses preach, yet some of the best agencies listen to what customers want, then respond.

If you are launching a product or a new service, if you are moving offices, if you are writing about what your product does, listen to what your customers are saying.

They will offer you a free insight into common problems that your customers are facing prior to purchasing.

For instance, perhaps they do not know how your product differs from a direct competitor.

It’s now time to write that blog post, or new social media campaign explaining how your new feature is doing something new, something that the competitors are not offering.

Then use the questions that have been asked within the work, so that your business is listening, and then responding.

How we can help

We are SEO experts, contact us if your business needs to partner with a winning agency.

How to choose your next digital marketing agency

Introduction

You may have been with your agency for quite a while now, yet your getting that feeling that your business is not a priority.

Perhaps the agencies grown, and now doesn’t spend the same amount of time on your account as you used to.

Or perhaps you’ve been introduced to a new account coordinator, and when asked about certain seo issues they do not inspire much confidence.

Does this dilemma sound pretty familiar?

Well, do not worry too much, as we have put together a super handy guide to help you decide which agency you want to work with next.

Must explain things clearly

You may have already attended several meetings to update you on your seo progress. Now, after the friendly greeting is out of the way, you may start to get the distinct impression that your seo agency is trying to baffle you with technical jargon.

Now this is not uncommon, the length and breath of the country are people that work in SEO and use technical jargon to try and cover-up the fact that they simply do not know too much.

The rather robotic replies stating “I will have to get back to you on that” should start to trigger alarm bells ringing.

So instead opt for an agency that knows the industry inside out, that’s willing to sit down with you and explain the pros and cons of taking a certain approach.

Don’t get deterred if your agency is straight with you

Sometimes marketing managers and business owners want to be told that getting to page one of Google will be plain sailing.

And that before you know it, you will be up there with the best of them.

Most of the time the agencies that just say yes to everything will get a business to sign up to their services- yet what happens when things do not materialise?

Do they blame it on an algorithm update? Do they state that the competition have upped their marketing spend, so you should follow in their example?

Or do you choose the digital marketing agency that is straight with you from the very start.

The agency that states that the competition are very strong, and explains why. Do you choose an agency that states that there will need to be good communication between the agency and you in order to get the marketing plan meeting its objectives?

Well we thing that honesty is always the best policy. An agency that is honest and to the point we believe is the best sort of agency.

The agency that tries to be your best friend, and tells you everything is fine, when it is not, well we think there are simply to many of these types of agency.

Smoke and mirrors

So many agencies use smoke and mirrors in regards to their reporting each month. Instead seek out an agency that offers reporting that’s easy to understand.

Don’t be afraid to set the agenda, and ask which statistics you wish to see. We would highly recommend that you ask for data straight out of Google Analytics.

Ask about visitor numbers, and ask for the traffic to be split via organic, direct and social media traffic for example.

Don’t pay over the odds

We all know that you get what you pay for, yet with so many businesses worried about investing in cheap seo, many are now paying over the odds.

With so many algorithm updates impacting businesses that have invested in cheap seo, many business owners now want to invest in what they see and the biggest and best seo agencies.

With that said, some agencies prefer to cater to large businesses, so a small to medium business may well be paying over the odds.

These businesses may be better off finding a smaller agency, yet one that is committed to offering the very best seo.

Talk to us

We offer high quality yet affordable seo. If you would like an exact quote, then why not give us a ring?