A complete guide to local SEO

Introduction

Whether you run a large business here in Cardiff, or a small business, most businesses would benefit from being ranked high on the first page of Google.

For some businesses it’s now become their sole way for that business to advertise it’s services or it’s products.

Yet with that said, getting a business onto the first page of Google has become much harder, in terms of implementing organic and local SEO and that’s simply because the amount of competition has greatly increased.

So, for example, where a plumbing business may have managed to get onto the first page of Google say a number of years back, now most small businesses will face fierce competition.

This is why it’s so important that if your business is implementing local SEO, or you hire an agency that the work is done right (White Hat).

 

And what do we mean by done right?

Well, we mean the business or the agency must follow white hat SEO methods, plus also the business must follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

If the business was to flout Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, that’s to say for example the business built low-quality backlinks, then the business is more than likely to incur a penalty.

A penalty can mean that the business is removed from Google, or the business may see a significant drop in terms of where the company ranks.

 

So what’s the solution?

Well, the solution is simple, only hire a high-quality agency and only implement local seo if you fully understand how to implement white hat seo.

This whole article is dedicated to ways that you can improve your businesses local seo, and we will only ever recommend white hat methods.

So, without further ado, here’s a few ways you could improve your businesses seo. 

Onsite SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be broadly split into two main categories, they are onsite and offsite seo.

An example of offsite seo would be building backlinks, and an example of onsite seo would be to add meta titles and meta descriptions to a website.

For a business to be ranked on the first page of Google, often an agency will need to improve both onsite and offsite ranking factors.

With Google’s algorithm taking into account over 200 different ranking factors, from backlinks right through to meta titles, it’s important that you know from the start that not all ranking factors are worth the same.

This means that some are more important than others, for example, a high-quality backlink is worth a lot more than adding alt text to one page on your company’s website.

So, what you or your agency must do is work out which factors are the most important, and then you might want to start with these first, that is you must have a marketing plan, as otherwise the amount of work needed could be overwhelming.

First things first we would most definitely recommend that you concentrate on getting the onsite seo optimised first.

For example, there’s no point in building high-quality backlinks unless the pages that the links are being sent to are optimised.

That’s to say if backlinks are sent to a page that has one line of text, then that backlink may well be wasted.

What is needed is for your agency or your business to improve the onsite seo, so this means writing meta titles, meta descriptions, adding internal backlinks and also adding content marketing.

Then the digital marketing agency may then start to build backlinks. 

 

Meta titles and meta descriptions

Meta titles and meta descriptions are important, as if they are not written your businesses CTR (Click Through Rate) may suffer.

So, for example lets say that your business sells paint online, now a painter and decorator will be looking for a brand of paint, and also a shade of paint that they wish to purchase.

Now, if your marketing agency does manage to get the business onto the first page of Google, you still have to compete with all the other businesses that are selling paint online.

For example, in the organic rankings there will be 10 businesses, so if a business was to standout, it should optimise its meta titles and meta descriptions.

For those that do not know what meta titles and meta descriptions are, they are simply a title and normally around 2 lines of text that describe what that page is about.

So, for example, for the online paint shop a meta title and meta description may read as follows:

Meta title: We are stockists of this brand of paint, we can deliver the very next day

Meta description: Here at “name of company” we stock this brand of paint, we also offer free next day delivery on orders of over £50.00 in the U.K.

Now, if someone was looking for that brand of paint, plus they seen that the business is offering free delivery, then this may help to improve the businesses CTR.

This is why the marketing agency should take the time to add a meta title and a meta description to every page on the website.

If the business sells thousands of products, then this may take a great deal of time, yet we believe its worth writing a meta title and a meta description for every page on your website.

When adding a meta title and a meta description this should be done in a white hat way.

 

H1-H6

Let’s say that your writing a rather long article, something like this article here, then you may wish to use H1 through to H6 titles.

For example, if you were writing a review on various electric cars, you may use the H1 through to H6 titles to mention each different car manufacturer, plus there’s also some SEO benefits that can be gained from this, that’s if it’s done right.

That’s because Googlebot will read the H1 through to H6 titles, it will know that your talking about various electric cars, and therefore you have helped Googlebot when it is crawling and indexing that page to understand what the page is about, because you have used H1 through to H6 tags to highlight the various car brands.

Now if the article was a block of say 5,000 words, and you did not use any titles, then it might be a bit harder for Googlebot and Google’s algorithm to know exactly what the 5,000 words are about.

Sure, there will be a lot of mentions about electric cars, and how long it takes to charge each vehicle and what the range is of each electric car is, so Google will have a good idea about what the content marketing is about, but it just makes sense to use H1 to H6 titles, just to make it that bit clearer that the main purpose of the article is to review electric cars.

 

Internal backlinks

Okay, so you’ve written say 8,000 words about different cars, but you notice that there’s some overlap with other content marketing that you have written before, so for example, you have talked before about the fastest charging electric cars, so you may wish to add anchor text and also an internal link to that page.

And does this help to improve your company’s SEO?

Well, yes it could, that’s because it could help Googlebot to crawl and index your company’s website better.

We say that because Googlebot uses links to crawl and index a website, so if you add more links then this can help your website to be crawled and indexed. However, when adding internal backlinks and anchor text to your website, your company must follow white hat SEO methods.

 

NAP

It’s really important that if your business here in Cardiff wants to improve its local SEO, that your business adds NAP information to your company’s website.

We would recommend adding NAP information to the footer of the website, plus for the NAP information to be added to the contact us page, the NAP information should then be highlighted using Schema mark-up, plus also the NAP information must be added to the website so that it can be indexed.

 

You might be thinking, what do we mean by writing the NAP information so that it can be indexed?

Well, sometimes a web designer will add the NAP information to the website, and the NAP information is added on the contact us page, but the NAP information is added to a picture, such as a map of where the business is based.

We would instead recommend that the NAP information is written in plain text, this is so it can be indexed.

 

Schema mark-up

We would recommend using Schema to highlight the businesses NAP information, this will make it easier for the company’s NAP information to be indexed.

Your marketing agency should be able to add schema to your company’s website.

 

Local phone number

Here at our digital marketing agency we always recommend that a business uses a local phone number.

For example, if you are looking to improve your businesses local SEO here in Cardiff, South Wales, then we would recommend that your business uses an 029 21 or an 029 20 phone number.

Some businesses, for example a plumber may use a mobile phone number, however if you can we would recommend that you use a local phone number.

The local phone number should then be written into your company’s NAP information, so this should be written on your company’s website and also onto any business citations.

It’s also really important that all of the business’s citations match, that’s to say you should use the same phone number, for example you should the same phone number on your company’s website, as you do on your businesses citations.

If you do change your company’s phone number, then you should update all of your businesses citations, to make sure that all of your businesses NAP information matches.

Your marketing agency may then build more business citations, which will mention your company’s name, business address and also your businesses phone number, this is to improve your company’s seo, but the work must be white hat.

You may also wish to add the company’s phone number to the footer of the website as well.

 

Can the site be indexed?

One of the first things that your agency must do is to make sure that the website can be indexed, this means can Googlebot crawl and index the website?

They should make sure that the “no-index” tabs are not left on, as this could stop your website from being indexed. If the website cannot be indexed, then the website will not appear in Google’s results.

The SEO company should therefore make sure that there’s nothing stopping your website from being indexed, as this would mean that the website cannot be indexed.

Content marketing

One of the most important parts of the SEO process is to add high-quality content marketing to your business’s website.

And what do we mean by high-quality content marketing?

Well, let’s say for example that your business sells tennis rackets, your business should offer high-quality information about tennis rackets on your website.

For example, you may add regular articles reviewing tennis rackets, plus your website may offer helpful advice within the product description for each tennis racket that you sell.

You may also have an FAQ, and in that FAQ your customers may find a lot of helpful advice when they are purchasing a tennis racket.

 

So what does your digital marketing agency have to think about when writing content marketing for your business?

So the agency should think about for example which questions does your business get frequently asked about tennis rackets?

That’s to say, you may get asked, for someone who’s learning to play tennis, which would be a good racket to use?

Your business can therefore offer advice, plus you can regularly add blog posts- for example offering a review on new tennis rackets, your website may then obtain more visitors, and if the work is of good quality then this may improve your businesses SEO.

However, with that said the work must be white hat, that’s to say your business should offer helpful advice when your writing content marketing.

Below we are going to write some helpful pointers, that you should think about when writing content marketing for your business.

 

Well written

The work should always be well-written, plus the work should also meet the following criteria:

·        Be useful to your customers

·        Not written just to try and improve your businesses seo

·        Must be written in accordance with white hat methods

 

Now, you may well be thinking, well, what do we mean by “not written just to try and improve a businesses seo”– as you might be thinking, well, surely that’s the whole point of adding a blog post to a website-that’s to improve where the business ranks?

Well, leading online marketing agencies will not just write say a 2,000 word blog post with the sole aim of trying to improve where the business ranks, that’s because the leading white hat agencies will know that a single piece of content marketing will not make a significant improvement to where a business ranks.

However, what can make a significant improvement is if the business regularly publishes work which the businesses customers find useful, and something that they wish to spend a bit of time reading about.

So for example, lets say that your business sells organic food, that’s to say people can subscribe with your company and organic food is then delivered in a box to your door say once a week.

Now, people who are willing to pay that bit more for organic food will obviously care about protecting nature, and also the health benefits that come with eating good quality food.

So, if the company were to write a regular blog post about for example how their organic food company encourages bees to enter the fields where the vegetables are grown, or how the business grows some of its organic food, then the customers of this business are likely to be interested and may spend say 10 minutes on average each time they visit the company’s website, reading about how the company grows organic food.

 

So, how would the businesses SEO benefit from this work, well, if the work was good quality, the business could benefit in the following ways:

·        The work is interesting to the businesses customers, so the website may have a very low bounce rate

·        The work is interesting to a lot of people who are interested in organic food, so the business may obtain a high number of high-quality backlinks

·        The time on site figure, which is the average time a customer spends on your website, this figure can be found in Google Analytics may well be very high

·        Google’s RankBrain may notice that the time on site figure is high, the bounce rate is low and this is good for seo, as you want the bounce rate to be low

·        Then Google’s algorthim may notice that your business has a high number of backlinks from websites that talk about organic food, so your rankings may increase

 

So you see how a good digital marketing agency, like ours, will write work which your customers will want to read, so we are helping your customers, plus by doing this you are helping to improve the businesses seo.

This is as opposed to an SEO agency that uses low-quality seo methods, such as writing content marketing which doesn’t offer useful information- that’s to say it’s just written to try and keep mentioning variants of “organic food” over and over again, which is obviously a low quality way of trying to improve the company’s seo, and because its low-quality its likely to cause a penalty.

Incorporate onsite SEO

When a business adds a new piece of content marketing to a website, for example a blog post which states how the company grows organic carrots, the company should also add the following onsite seo in a white hat way:

·        Meta titles

·        Meta descriptions

·        Alt text

·        Anchor text

·        Internal backlinks

·        H1- H6 tags

·        A title

·        The word count should be above 1000 words, and be written in a white hat way

·        The work must be high quality

·        Well-written

So, we most definitely would not recommend say writing 400 words in a rush, with the sole aim of trying to improve your seo, and that’s because the work is unlikely to be considered useful to your customers, instead time should be taken to write a article which your company’s customers will find useful and answers a question that your company gets asked frequently.

 

Build white hat backlinks

We would only recommend that a business builds high-quality backlinks, we say this because if the business was to purchase links, or obtain low-quality backlinks, then this could cause a Google Penalty.

For example, the business could incur an algorithmic or a manual penalty.

A lot of businesses in Cardiff and also across the U.K and the world obtained link penalties, for building low-quality backlinks.

This means that the business may have incurred an algorithmic or a manual penalty which meant that it the business may have seen its rankings drop.

Some other businesses may have received a link penalty, such as the Google Penguin penalty, and those businesses may have been de-indexed.

A lot of businesses also falsely believe that once the business incurs an algorithmic or a manual penalty that the business can bounce back quickly, however what is often the case it that it can take many months, and sometimes, for some businesses it can take many years for the business to recover from a link penalty.

This means that a business that may have been ranked on the first page of Google, after a link penalty, such as a Google Penguin penalty, the business may drop down the ranks, and may not recover for a very long time.

The marketing agency may disavow the company’s backlinks, but still it may take a long time for the business to recover.

So, this is why our marketing agency, here in Cardiff only recommends that you hire a white hat SEO agency that can build high-quality backlinks.

 

Backlinks

So it’s at this point that some business owners may well be thinking, well, what are backlinks, and why are they so important to SEO?

Well, there’s a rather long answer that’s needed to answer that, but here we go.

Googlebot uses backlinks to crawl and index each website, it does this by following backlinks, now some backlinks will improve your company’s seo, well some others could be deemed as low-quality backlinks, which will result in a penalty.

Now, if you have a lot of good quality do-follow and no-follow backlinks leading to your site, so lets say that you run a business and you sell men’s clothing, and many fashion magazines mention your clothing website, and they offer a do-follow backlink, as long as the backlink comes from a high-quality website, then this can help to improve your businesses seo.

If you are unsure whether a link is high-quality or not, you should ask a white hat agency.

 

How can they help to improve your businesses SEO?

Most company’s that are ranked on the first page of Google, especially the businesses in Cardiff that are ranked at the top, will normally have a number of good quality backlinks.

This is why if a business wants to rank at the top of the first page of Google, or anywhere on the first page normally the business will need to a white hat agency to build backlinks for the business.

However, its often not just a matter of obtaining a few good quality backlinks, what’s often needed is many good quality backlinks.

This is why if your business operates in a highly competitive business sector, then you may hire an SEO agency to build backlinks every month. However, all backlinks must be white hat.

How many backlinks does my company need?

This is a question that many agencies get asked, that’s to say businesses often recognise that the most important SEO ranking factor are backlinks, so often a business wants to know how many the company will need to build.

However, with organic seo, and local seo there’s no end point, we say that because as soon a business obtains stronger seo, so that might be through say high-quality backlinks, that business will then be the company that’s ranked the highest.

And as there will always be other company’s that also want to get ranked on the first page, and want their business to obtain more sales, the business will normally face competition all of the time.

So, often the only solution is for a business to partner with a white hat, and high-quality agency, and for work to be implemented every month.

Sometimes a business with larger resources in terms of money, will hire a team of SEO consultant’s that don’t work for an agency but work inhouse.

That’s to say SEO needs constant work, if a business gets relaxed, this is often when the business will be overtaken by another company.

Also, often if a business that has a much higher marketing budget, one which the other businesses cannot afford, then sometimes this is when a new business will cut through and reach the top, that’s simply because they will be able to afford more time from an SEO agency, so if more time is spent on building high-quality backlinks, and these links are built in a white hat way, and in accordance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, then this can often improve where a business ranks.

However, the links must be built in a white hat way. 

 

What is Google My Business and how could it help to improve my local SEO?

For a company here in Cardiff to improve its local seo, and for the business to appear within the Google My Business results, the business will need to obtain a Google My Business account.

It’s very easy to do- however your company, or indeed your marketing agency will need to spend quite a bit of time filling in the company details.

So many businesses here in Cardiff do not fully complete their Google My Business account, that’s to say they may not add a link to their company website, this we think is a missed opportunity.

We think that your business should spend quite a bit of time making sure that the Google My Business account is filled out with as much detail as possible.

What is essential is that your company adds your company’s NAP information, that is your company’s name, address and phone number.

We would also recommend that your business in Cardiff also writes a detailed business description.

If your company has not got the time to create a Google My Business account, then we would recommend that you let your agency do this for you.

Also, we would strongly recommend adding your company’s opening hours, because when a customer wants to check if your business is open, often it would be the Google My Business profile that they will check to see if your company in Cardiff is open.

The NAP information that you add to your company’s Google My Business profile, should match the NAP information that’s mentioned on your company’s website.

 

Why should we spend a bit of time making sure that our Google My Business profile is complete?

It’s really important that your marketing agency spends the time to fully complete your Google my business profile.

If you want your business to appear in the Google my business results then your agency, or your business will need to complete a Google my business profile.

This is relatively quick to complete, and your business or your agency should add as much detail as possible.

 

Add a backlink

You should add a backlink to the profile, which leads to the home page of the website.

Some businesses will link to another page, such as the about us page of their website.

However we always recommend adding a backlink to the homepage of your website.

 

Make sure your businesses name is correctly written and do not add the name of city or town to the businesses name

If you are looking to improve your businesses local SEO, and let’s say for example you run a construction business here in Cardiff, you may think it be a good idea to put your company name, plus the name of the city at the end of the businesses name?

However, we do not believe that this would improve your local SEO, when adding this to your businesses name and to your Google my business profile.

Instead is far better just to use your business name, and not to add the town or the city to the end of your businesses name.

Some businesses make the mistake of adding the name of a city or a town too much on their website, which can mean that the businesses website becomes over optimised.

Your marketing agency or your business should follow white hat SEO methods.

 

Add opening hours

We would recommend adding opening hours to your Google my business profile, and if your businesses opening hours do change then we recommend updating your Google my business profile.

If you change your opening hours, and your business says it is open, and a customer visits your store when it is closed, then this could cause a negative review to be left.

This is why we always recommend that you keep your my business profile up-to-date.

 

Add a business description

We would strongly recommend adding a business description your Google my business profile.

We would not recommend copying and pasting a business description from your website, instead we highly recommend that you write unique business description.

 

Make sure the NAP information is correct

We strongly recommend that you add NAP information to your website. NAP simply means name of your business, address of your business, and phone number.

We recommend that you add this NAP information to your website on the contact page and also on the footer of the website.

We would recommend that this is written in plain text, in a way that Googlebot can easily index your businesses NAP information.

For example if you run a business in Cardiff, you should make sure that the address, company name and phone number can be indexed if you are unsure how to do this it is worth asking your marketing agency.

It is absolutely crucial that Google’s algorithm can read your businesses NAP information, as this is crucial to improving your business is local SEO

Technical SEO

It is also important that your marketing agency works on improving your businesses technical SEO, for example your companies website should be fast, especially when loading onto smartphones, as otherwise this could cause your business to have a high bounce rate.

It’s also important that your marketing agency adds schema, as well as making sure that your website can be indexed.

Design

The design of your website is really important, for example if your website does not work easily, for example someone cannot find the product that they want easily, then this can mean that your website incurs a high bounce rate.

Often a business here in Cardiff, will need to work with both a web designer and also an SEO agency to ensure that the businesses web design is improved in terms of helping to lower the bounce rate.

 

Duplicated content marketing

It’s essential that your marketing agency works on removing duplicated content marketing from your website.

For example, you may have hired a web design company, they may have copied and pasted product descriptions from the manufacturers website.

We would highly recommend that your marketing agency then removes the duplicated content marketing, and instead replaces it with high quality content marketing.

We recommend removing duplicated content marketing, as most digital marketing agencies will agree that if your website has duplicated content marketing, meaning that it has been copied from another website, then this could adversely affect your businesses local SEO.

For example, a website that has loads of duplicated product descriptions, may see its rankings drop.

 

Content thin

Some company websites may be content thin, this sometimes happens when a web designer just add one or two lines of text per page.

Often one or two lines of text per page is not sufficient to improve businesses local SEO

Instead what is often needed is high quality content marketing, and for the on-site SEO to also be improved, so that the businesses search engine optimisation can be improved.

Bounce rate

It’s important that your marketing company works on reducing your businesses bounce rate.

Many businesses here in Cardiff use Google analytics to see what companies bounce rate is. You may then want to use Google analytics and work with your web design and marketing agency to try and reduce your businesses bounce rate.

Mobile friendly

It’s also really important that your website works on smartphones, for example if your business has a main menu which is difficult to use then this may result in your business incurring a high bounce rate.

We would therefore recommend working with your web designer and your marketing business in order to reduce the businesses bounce rate and improve the company’s website.

For example, the main menu may need to be improved, so that your customers can more easily sort items.

For example, if a customer who is looking to buy a pair of shoes, cannot sort the shoes by colour and size, they may leave the website straightaway, contributing to the businesses bounce rate increasing.

We would therefore recommend that your business improves its main menu, then the marketing agency should monitor the bounce rate.

How we can help:

We are a digital marketing agency that’s based within Cardiff, South Wales.

We can offer web design as well as organic SEO and we can also improve your businesses local SEO.

If your business needs to improve its digital marketing, then why not get in contact with our Cardiff based business today?

 

Google Search Console- what is it and why’s it so useful?

Introduction

If you run a business here in Wales then its highly likely that you also have a website for your business.

If your business has invested in a website then you will want to know how well the company’s SEO is doing.

There are many tools that you can purchase, yet there’s one that’s offered for free is Google Search Console.

Many SEO agencies use both Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Plus, Google also offers Google My Business, so there are a lot of tools that businesses can use to help improve their SEO for free.

However, with that said, you can pay a lot of money for SEO tools, but if you do not know what backlinks are, what bounce rate means or what organic visitor numbers means, well the information that these SEO tools provide is pretty much meaningless, this is why we thought we would write a detailed article explaining which tools we use, plus which information we find useful from Google Search Console when improving a businesses seo.

So, we thought it would be a really good idea to write a whole article on what Google Search Console is, and how it can be used to help improve your businesses SEO.

So, Google Search Console is a free service, it was launched in May 2015, and Google Search Console replaces Google Webmaster Tools.

You may therefore here some digital marketing agencies refer to Google Search Console as Google Webmaster Tools, however this is the old name for this tool and Google Search Console is the new name.

Google Search Console was updated in January 2018, it can help business owners in a range of ways, for example it can be used to spot technical issues, plus also used to monitor the performance of a website.

So in a nutshell, here’s some of the useful information that Google Search Console can offer:

·        Information relating to backlinks, for example how many backlinks the website has

·        Where the business ranks for certain keywords, for example we use the tool to see where our business ranks for “SEO company”

·        You can use the tool to see if any errors have been detected stopping Googlebot crawling and indexing your website

·        Can be used to see if any manual actions have been taken against the website

·        Much more

Can help to identify some technical issues

If a website cannot be crawled by GoogleBot, then this will severely impact a websites SEO performance.

And what do we mean by that?

Well, if GoogleBot cannot crawl the website, then Google will not know if any SEO improvements have been made.

This means for example that you may publish a 10,000 word article, and you have spent many weeks writing the article, yet then something as simple as a “no-index” tag may well be left on, which means that Googlebot cannot crawl and index that page, so you may see in your Google Search Console account that the page cannot be crawled, and is therefore not indexed.

This is useful information for your SEO agency, as they will need to fix any errors, such as errors which stop pages from being indexed. If the entire website cannot be indexed, perhaps because a no index tab has been left on which means the whole site cannot be indexed, then this will mean that the website will not show up in Google.

So a technical SEO expert will need to work out why some pages cannot be indexed, whether that’s because of say a WordPress pluggin which has been incorrectly configured, or it could because a web developer has left code on each page which stops the company’s website from being indexed.

In which case your SEO company will need to fix this issues, that’s before they spend time on improving other areas of the businesses seo, because there’s no point in building backlinks if the site cannot be indexed.

So Google’s algorithm will not be informed of any SEO improvements have been made, which means that a website may not show in Google’s results.

So, some digital marketing agencies use Google Search Console to look for “coverage issues”.

Plus, you can also use Google Search Console for the following purposes:

·        Mobile usability (does the website work on mobiles)

·        Any manual actions

·        Has an XML sitemap been submitted?

Mobile usability report

Google has been using mobile first indexing for a while now, so your web developer plus your marketing company should make sure that your business has a mobile version of your website, and that it can be indexed.

Sometimes some businesses opt for a very basic mobile design, yet sometimes this can hamper SEO performance, for instance, if the pages are deemed as content thin, which means that there’s not much information on each page, well it will be hard to get the mobile version of the website to rank.

You should use Google Search Console to make sure that the mobile version of your website can be indexed, then you may wish to work with a web developer to design a mobile version of your website that has a lower bounce rate, and then use A/B or split testing to improve the design, for example if you were to improve the design, lets say by making the product descriptions longer, and more detailed, plus removing any duplicated content, well, this could reduce your businesses bounce rate.

So often an SEO agency like Adore in Cardiff, will be asked to work with a local web design company to improve the SEO of the website and the design, this is so the company can reduce its bounce rate, improve where the company ranks, and often Google Search Console is used by many agencies as it can provide useful information, such as whether a page can be indexed.

Is your website mobile friendly?

If your website mobile friendly? If not, you may have to work with a website designer so that they can make the website mobile friendly.

Any manual actions?

Has the website got any manual actions?

If you have hired a low-quality marketing company work on your site, or you have implemented low-quality seo yourself, then it is possible for a website to incur a manual action penalty.

This basically means that some pages on your website, or your entire website may well be removed from Google.

All businesses and all marketing companies must follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

If a business does not follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and lets say the business in Cardiff builds low quality backlinks, then the business may incur a penalty.

A penalty occurs when Googlebot crawls and indexes a website that has used low quality seo, for example building low quality backlinks. Then Google can issue a penalty, such as a Google Penguin penalty.

When a penalty is incurred this can then mean that the website drops in terms of where it ranks.

Sometimes, one of the first things that a digital marketing agency like Adore will do when we take on a new customer is to check if there are any manual actions. For example one of our seo consultants will log into the company’s Google Search Console account, we will then look to see if there are any manual actions, and whether the business has any penalties.

If the business has a penalty, such as a Google Penguin penalty, then one of our SEO consultants must allocate work to fix the penalty that’s before any other SEO work is carried out.

For example, lets say that a company here in Cardiff, South Wales had hired a link building company, but the links that the company built are low quality. Then the business may have incurred a Google Penguin penalty, this is normally when the business will drop in terms of where it ranks, then the business will normally switch agencies.

However, fixing a penalty, such as a Google Penguin penalty may mean that it takes many months for the business to recover- and what do we mean by that?

Well, if a business has received a penalty normally the business will have dropped in terms of where it ranks, yet fixing these problems, such as a link penalty will normally mean that the problem will not be fixed overnight, instead a lot of work is needed, and time for the business to recover.

This is why when we work with a new business, the first thing we do is to see if there’s any manual actions. Google Search Console will tell us if there’s any manual actions, then we will then need to see if backlinks need to be disavowed, and to work with the company in Cardiff to see how we can build new backlinks which are high quality.

Performance Report

Okay, so this is why a lot of businesses use Google Search Console, and that’s because it provides some really useful data, such as:

·        Impression data

·        Keywords

·        Average position

·        Backlinks

This information is critical to any marketing company, as Google Search Console can be used to see which search queries your business ranks for, plus the businesses average position.

A marketing agency can then see which keywords get the most impressions, and then the marketing company may then form a marketing strategy around that.

White hat

Here’s a really important tip, that is some businesses use Google Search Console, they spot that for one keyword during say the month of March they rank 11.2 which means right at the top of page two of Google.

So let’s the business sells washing machines, and ranks 11.2 during March, and this is for the term “8kg washing machines”- and then you may then decide to work on improving the businesses seo.

But if the work is not white hat, not high-quality then you could actually damage the businesses seo.

So do make sure the work is white hat, as a common mistake is a business will place the phrase “8kg washing machine” in meta titles, meta descriptions, alt tags, content marketing and then basically over optimise the website, which could damage the businesses seo.

So, talk to a respected white hat marketing company, why not call Adore Online Marketing?

We have just started a brand-new business; how can we quickly improve our organic SEO?

Introduction

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started a brand-new business selling scented candles, or you’re an online business that sells rare classic cars- there’s often something that unites most new businesses.

That is most businesses now rely on their website to help the business to generate more sales and enquiries- so this is why organic online marketing is really important.

So as a new business, you may well be eager to improve your organic SEO yourself, or hire a local SEO agency to do this work for you. As what’s often the case is the business may well be low on funds to start- so often the business owners, or some of their employees will try and improve the companies seo themselves.

However, this often proves very time consuming, so this is when a local marketing agency is often hired.

For example, a local agency may offer to improve your businesses search engine optimisation on a rolling monthly basis. They may therefore work on improving your company’s:

·        Content marketing

·        Link building

·        Onsite SEO

·        Offsite seo, such as business citations

·        Setting up a Google My Business profile

·        Making sure that your business has social media accounts

·        Making sure that the backlinks are high-quality

They are just some of the tasks that your marketing agency should do, however its worth bearing in mind that Googlebot will monitor over 200 ranking factors, so often the agency will work on different tasks every month.

In either case we have listed some things that you may want to think about if your thinking about improving your businesses SEO.

So, if your about to launch a new business right here in Cardiff, South Wales then we think this blog post will help you.

#1 All work must be white hat

The SEO work must be white hat, many businesses, especially start-up businesses may opt low cost SEO, yet if the work may not be white hat, so if it’s not quality, then your business may incur what SEO agencies call an “algorithmic penalty”.

All work must follow “Google’s Webmaster Guidelines”, or if your business is optimising for another search engine then your business, or your appointed agency, must follow the guidelines that are issued.

Why must the work be white hat?

Well, there are two main types of penalties, manual penalties and algorithmic penalties, both mean that your website could drop in terms of where the business ranks.

So, this is a common mistake made by a lot of business owners, that’s to say the business has just started, and you obviously want to get orders start flowing and sell your products or your services.

However, organic SEO cannot be rushed, that’s because in order for a business to rank higher than your competitors, your businesses must be deemed to have stronger SEO.

Now when you consider there are over 200 ranking signals, or as some agencies call them “ranking factors”- these range from backlinks through to say a H1 title, then there’s often a lot of work to do.

But here’s the real point that we are getting at, you may have some competitors that have been working on improving their SEO for let’s say the last eight years, so this means that the agency may well have been diligently building backlinks every single month, so a business that tries to overtake a business that has been improving their SEO for many years, and tries to overtake those businesses in a few weeks or months is sometimes not being realistic.

This is when some businesses then try to cut corners, to speed up the SEO process, however often this is when the business will incur a penalty. And businesses that incurs a penalty, such as a Google Penguin penalty, well it can often take a very long time to recover from such a penalty.

So here’s our number one top tip, whether you are implementing SEO inhouse, or you are employing a marketing agency here in Cardiff, do remember that all work must be white hat.

#2 Read about the “Googles” Sandbox Period”

So, you’ve got your business premises sorted, you’ve hired a website designer, and your happy with how your businesses CMS website looks, so now its time to find a local SEO company?

And your SEO agency should be able to improve where your business ranks straightaway, right?

Well, no- that’s often organic SEO is a slow process, yet what can further slow the process down is if you have a new website.

A lot of SEO companies will say that a new website will take a lot longer to improve its SEO, and this is often due to the Sandbox period.

But what does “sandbox period”- well, a lot of marketing experts will tell you that a new website will take longer to optimise because its like a blank canvass, that’s to say there are no backlinks, there are no meta titles, meta descriptions, alt text, blog posts or business citations, that’s because the website will be brand-new, there will be no SEO work that’s been added to that site, that’s of course the domain name has not been used before by another business?

But let’s just say for simplicity that the domain name has never been used before, well that domain name will have no SEO applied to that website, so if this is the case, then Googlebot will not have been able to indexed any work, which means that Google’s algorithm will not know how strong the businesses seo is.

But there’s something else worth thinking about as well, that is that most SEO consultants believe that new websites are also harder optimise, that’s because many SEO agencies, ours included believe that new websites are placed in a Sandbox, this simply means optimising these websites is harder because progress is slower.

#3 Content marketing

Your business should invest in quality content marketing. Whether you are planning on opening a construction business here in Cardiff, South Wales or lets say a business that sells men’s clothing online, you should invest in quality content marketing.

The reason is Googlebot will index your company’s content marketing, if the work is of good quality then this can help to improve your businesses seo, that’s to say, if you run say a construction business here in Cardiff, and you blog regularly about attic conversions, then your business is likely to appear higher for attic conversions, yet with said, that work must be of high-quality.

It’s fair to say that quality content marketing can improve your website’s seo, yet if the work is low-quality, so for example duplicated, then this could trigger a penalty, such as a Google Panda penalty.

#4 Quality backlinks

Your business will often need quality backlinks, however the backlinks must all be high quality. If the backlinks are not high quality, then your business could incur a penalty, such as a Google Penguin penalty.

Some businesses that are just setting up may have a go at link building themselves, however, we would strongly recommend that you leave link building to an agency or company that knows how to build relevant, high-quality backlinks in a white hat way.

If the business does not build backlinks in the right way, the business may incur a manual action penalty or an algorithmic penalty, this means that the business could drop down the ranks.

Why do we say businesses often need backlinks to improve their SEO?

Well its with good reason, that’s because backlinks are widely regarded by many digital marketing agencies to be one of the most important ranking signals, or ranking factors.

Now when you consider that there are over 200 ranking factors which Google’s algorithm will measure, you can start to see why its important that an agency builds high-quality backlinks for your business. However, all link building must be white hat, plus it must follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

#5 The design must be good

There is no point in spending a lot of money on organic SEO, if your company’s website does not have a good design.

So, let’s say your business sells clothing, so you sell men’s winter jackets for example, yet your website sells over 400 types of winter jackets.

But there’s no way to sort by style, for example ski jackets or wax jackets, so sometimes a shopper will not be willing to sort through over 400 winter jackets to find the jacket that they want.

So, this is often why an SEO company will work with a web design company, so that your website improves its design, which can help to also improve your businesses SEO.

If the design of the website is poor, for example you sell thousands of different cars, but you can not sort by engine size, fuel type or mileage then the business may incur a high bounce rate, many agencies believe that a high bounce rate can mean the businesses seo will be negatively affected, which could mean the business drops in terms of where it ranks.

#6 Onsite SEO

Your business should improve its onsite seo, for example, meta titles, meta descriptions and anchor text.

So for example your marketing agency may improve the following as one the first things they do to improve your company’s website:

·        Meta titles

·        Meta descriptions

·        Alt tags

·        H1-H6 tags

·        Ensure that each page can be indexed

·        Add blog posts

How our white hat SEO company can help:

We are a white hat SEO company in Cardiff, if you would like a quote for SEO, then why not call us?

 

 

Our take on Google’s January Core Update

Okay, so it’s quite safe to say that if you as a business owner were worried every single time Google rolled out a brand new update, because this may impact your businesses SEO-  well you would most definitely be in a permanent state of worrying.

And why do we say that?

Well, that’s simply because Google rolls out a lot of updates, this means that Google is always improving its algorithm, so if you were to think that every update could impact your businesses seo, well you could spend more time checking your Google Analytics than you would actually improving your company’s SEO.

So, if your currently sat at your desk, and your hands are trembling over the thought of a new algorithm update, well don’t- that’s if you’ve followed white hat best practices- if you haven’t followed white hat practices, then your business could incur a penalty, and that’s worth worrying over.

A penalty, such as a Google Penguin penalty could mean that your business drops down the ranks, not by just a few places, but sometimes by whole pages.

Plus, with some algorithmic or manual penalties could mean that your website could be removed completely.

 

“If you’ve implemented low-quality seo, well sure your website could move down the ranks substantially or even be removed from Google”- Kevin Right Adore Marketing Manager

 

So, even if you’ve implemented top quality white hat seo, well its normal for businesses to move up and down the ranks, that’s to say as your competitors improve their seo, well, its normal for the businesses that are competing for the same keywords to move up or down accordingly.

Just as you would if you had a list of businesses on the high-street, and you adjusted the order according to how much profit the business made the previous week. That’s to say one business may be in the number one position this week, but the following week, well that business may well be in position 6.

And this is the same for SEO, that’s to say businesses will move up and down the ranks, and this can happen on a daily basis, often this is not because of a penalty, just a fluctuation in where the business ranks.

If you are however concerned that your business has incurred a penalty, then its worth contacting a white hat SEO agency for advice on if a penalty has impacted your website, and what they recommend to fix the penalty.

 

So how much attention should be placed on when a new update is made?

Well this does depend, if it’s a relatively minor update, then not much, but if it’s a big update, such as the Google Hummingbird update, or let’s say the latest January 2020 update that’s been made by Google, well, we would say to you, or your SEO agency should pay a lot of attention.

 

Pay attention to what though?

Well, we glad you asked- when a major algorithm change occurs, such as January 2020 update, then we think here at this marketing agency that it is super important to check the following:

 

Rankings

Have your rankings changed?

For example where was your business ranked in December 2019?

Now at the end of January has your business changed much?

Also, if your using an SEO tool, such as Ahrefs then check the average keyword position over say a week, or for a few weeks- that’s because if you just take into account one day, then this doesn’t give you much of an average as to see where your business has ranked, as most websites move up and down each month.

So we would recommend taking an average of where your business ranks over say a month.

 

Make adjustments

If the January 2020 update has meant that your website has moved down the ranks, then you may wish to work with a marketing agency, that’s to form a marketing strategy that will aim at improving your businesses SEO.

For example the marketing agency may then improve:

·        Your businesses backlinks

·        Content marketing

·        Onsite seo

·        Meta titles

·        Meta descriptions

·        Anchor text

·        Blog posts

·        Ever green content

·        Speed

·        Schema

·        Local seo

·        Organic seo

For example, your marketing company may undertake an audit of your website, and they may spot that your businesses content marketing is not quality, for example, each blog post that your company has written may only be 300 odd words, and doesn’t offer much useful advice to your businesses customers.

So, your marketing agency may advise that your businesses content marketing is improved, and then you may see your businesses organic SEO improve as well.

 

Monitor

It’s really important to form a detailed marketing strategy, that’s to say don’t just spot that your businesses SEO has not improved since the January 2020 update, then implement a mass of changes all in one go.

Most Cardiff SEO agency’s, and ours included would recommend changes are made over a long timeframe and for the marketing company then monitor the results, say using Ahrefs.

That’s to say all work must be white hat, and all changes should be monitored to see if your businesses seo improves. This is why its crucial that you partner with a white hat seo agency, as if the work is not good quality, then your business could move further down the ranks.

Make sure all work is white hat

Google’s algorithm rewards businesses that implement quality seo. So, for instance one reason that a business may have been negatively impacted by the January 2020 update is simply because the business has low-quality content marketing.

For example, the business may have written its blog posts to hit a set word count, say 1000 words, believing that if the business published enough content marketing then the businesses seo would improve.

However, this approach does not work, Google’s algorithm now only rewards businesses that publish quality content marketing.

 

And what do we mean by quality?

Well, we mean content marketing that your customers will find useful.

So for example, lets say that you run a web design business, then you may publish a blog post about WordPress and why its used by so many businesses.

This article could then focus on the features that WordPress offers, such as an easy to use Dashboard, many free plugins and also an editor that allows the wording of each page to be edited easily.

A business that is looking to obtain a website may read this, find the information useful, and opt for a WordPress website, so the business has therefore published a blog post that its readers will find useful, and this may help to improve the businesses SEO.  

Is the SEO agency doing there job?

So let’s say you run a business that sells organic honey, and your business has employed a digital marketing agency.

Now, since the January 2020 update you’ve noticed that for the terms “organic honey” and “luxury honey” your business has moved from page one, to say page four of the SERP’s.

Now, if your seo agency cannot explain why this has occurred, then it might be worth thinking about switching seo companies.

How do we think the January 2020 update changed SEO?

For a very long time now various SEO companies have been stating that a business’s content marketing must be “good quality” but what does this even mean?

Well, here’s our take on what we think “quality” means when referring to how a business should be writing its content marketing.

·        Written by an expert

·        Well written, i.e no spelling mistakes

·        Should include your sources, i.e links to say a journalist that you have mentioned

·        Be useful

·        Have a high word count

 

What we would concentrate on

If a business was to approach our marketing company, and state that their business was impacted by the January 2020 update, and could we help, we would undertake an SEO audit.

We would then pay particular attention to the businesses content marketing, i.e is it good quality?

For example, if the business sells men’s suits, we would look at whether the content marketing offers good advice?

For example, are there blog posts which concentrate on offering advice on which suits could be worn to a wedding?

Are there blog posts about which suits are fashionable this year?

Or is the business just writing say a few lines of text, which states something very basic such as opening hours over Christmas, and if so this is not likely to improve the businesses seo, in matter of fact it could mean that Google’s algorithm deems the website as “content thin”– meaning that the website may not offer much information.

Google’s algorithm will want to supply quality websites to answer a question, so for example if someone was to ask “which style suits should be worn to a wedding”– if your business, or your marketing company have written a good quality blog post, then your business may get a lot of readers, which may help to improve your businesses seo.  

How our marketing agency can help:

If your business requires a new website, a website redesign, help to improve your businesses organic or local seo, then why not call us?

 

Here are our marketing agencies top-tips when writing content marketing

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re a global business employing thousands of people, or a sole trader- one thing is for sure, that is if your business needs to improve it’s SEO (search engine optimisation), then you’re probably going to need to invest in content marketing.

Whether you’re investing money or your time, there’s definitely a few things that you should know about content marketing.

In a nutshell not all content marketing is created equal, and what do we mean by that statement?

Well, it’s simply not a matter of looking at your direct competitors, and thinking well they have written 40 odd blog posts, if I were to write say 50 then I bound to beat that business.

Nope, this is a sure-fire way of your SEO failing.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, the solution is simple, invest in quality

Now we do appreciate that “quality” is a rather vague term, in matter of fact it can be used describe anything from a new car through to a loaf of bread!

So the description “quality” doesn’t tell us much at all really does it?

Yet with that said, here’s our best advice in a nutshell, that is quality content marketing can help to improve your seo, yet low-quality content marketing, such as work that has been duplicated for example, well, that could damage your businesses seo, and in some cases even mean that the business incurs a penalty.

Yet, with that said, we thought it would be useful for us to write a blog post that’s dedicated to explaining what quality means when it comes to writing content marketing.

Yet, if your in a bit of a rush, and you just want to just read the bullet pointed version, well here’s what we think makes a piece of content marketing quality:

·        Must be super useful– that’s in terms of answering the persons question

·        Well-researched

·        Backlinks that show where you researched the subject, for example did you extract a survey from a newspaper article online? If so link to the work via a backlink

·        Should include meta titles

·        Meta descriptions

·        Alt tags

·        Internal backlinks

·        Title

·        Over 1000 words

·        Well-written

·        H1-H6

High-quality?

Every piece of content marketing that you add to your company’s website should be high-quality, and what do we mean by this?

Well, allow us to elaborate a bit further….

Not created equal

So, let’s say that you run a plumbing business, let’s say that you specialise in boiler repair, so you look at which businesses are on the first page for “boiler repair” within your area.

And you think right, I will write the same number of articles, let’s say 30, and I will just quickly write say 500 words for each, sound like a good strategy?

Well, its most definitely not a good idea!

That’s because the content marketing must be of a certain quality (white hat) for it to improve your businesses seo, if it is not high-quality and white hat, that’s to say the content marketing is low-quality, well, this could damage your business seo.

It could even mean that your business incurs a penalty.

Penalties fall broadly into one of two categories, that’s to say they could be an algorithmic or a manual penalty.

If the penalty is algorithmic, for example if it’s a Google Penguin penalty, then this means that the algorithm that Google uses has flagged that your website does not meet Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Yet, if the penalty is a manual penalty, then this means that someone that works for Google has reviewed your businesses website, and found that it doesnt meet the Webmaster Guidelines also.

A business can see if it has incurred a manual penalty by logging into the businesses Google Search Console account.

However if the penalty is an algorithmic penalty, then often there will be no notifications.

A respected white hat SEO agency, like Adore should then be contacted as to what would be the best way for your business to recover from a manual or an algorithmic penalty.

However, the business that you use to help your business recover from the penalty, must be white hat, and must offer high-quality work.

 

Okay, so what do you think are the essential qualities that a piece of content marketing should have?

·        Well researched

·        Well-written

·        Written to help the reader, not written just to improve the businesses SEO

·        High-quality and better than other blog posts that are currently on the first page

 

What do we mean by “better quality than other blog posts or pages that are currently on the first page?”

Well, that’s a really easy one to answer, let’s say you’re about to start a business that builds garden fencing.

Yet, on the first page there are 10 businesses, each has written blog posts about how to build a feather edge fence, well, your business, if it’s to have stronger SEO than those businesses, must offer better quality content marketing.

So, for instance, you could make your blog post better by offering advice that’s clearer, for example a step by step plan, and also advice on how to build feather edge fencing on difficult ground, such as a slope.

Now, you might be thinking, well, we want to start a garden fencing business, why on earth would we want to give away advice on how a customer can build a fence themselves?

Well, here’s the thing, a lot of businesses give away free advice that’s because it’s used to improve the businesses seo, once the business improves its seo, then it can sometimes generate more business.

So, by giving away free advice, the business can benefit, that’s if the seo is done right

Here’s how a business can benefit from writing content marketing:

·        The business may receive more visitors to the website

·        The websites bounce rate may reduce

·        The business may obtain more quality backlinks

·        The businesses website may well be deemed more relevant, because it has applied white hat seo

And what do we mean by relevant?

Well, lets say that you run business, and your business sells organic beer, if your business is blogging about organic beer, and the work is white hat, then when someone is looking to purchase organic beer, then your website could be deemed more relevant, so it appears higher in the SERP’s.

So, what makes content marketing “high-quality”?

Research

You must do your research, so for example, let’s say you run a car dealership, and you want to start selling more electric cars, so you want to write a few blog posts about electric cars.

Well, before you start writing your blog posts, it’s a good idea to do some research, for example what’s the best-selling electric car?

Which electric car has the best range?

Which electric car can be charged the fastest, all of this information can then be incorporated into your blog post, which is much more likely to be a more interesting to read.

Know your business inside out

Your blog post should be written by an expert, so for example, let’s say you sell double glazing, its important someone with a high level of knowledge about your products works with your marketing company, this is so that the blog posts have a lot of detail about your products, which can help to improve your businesses seo.

References

It’s important to reference where you get your facts, so for example, if you found the model of electric car that was the best seller last year, you should incorporate a link to where you found that fact. Then you could ask your marketing company to add the link and the anchor text.

Googlebot follows links, that’s to say Googlebot crawls and indexes each businesses website, so if you were to write say 2000 words on the best selling electric cars in the U.K, then you may wish to add backlinks to where you read that information.

Then Googlebot can follow those links, and many SEO agencies think that if you incorporate facts into your blog posts, and these facts are correct, that’s because Google has knowledge of these facts through its Knowledge Vault, your website can start to be deemed a source or reliable information.

So for example, you may mention a make and model of a car, and how many were sold last year, when you may state the number of cars that were sold, you could highlight say the number, lets say its 10,0000, and then link to the article where you read that number of cars that were sold.

Many seo consultants believe that if your website contains a lot of reliable facts, and this can if done in a white hat way this can improve your company’s seo.

Well-written

The content marketing should be well written

You should most definitely not grab a double shot espresso and then just start typing thousands of words, as this is likely to be a low-quality article, and if it overly focuses on improving the businesses seo, and not offering reliable information that’s been researched, well, its likely to damage your businesses seo and not help to improve it.

Will the content marketing help the reader?

This bit is crucial, so many businesses make the mistake of writing content marketing just to try and improve the businesses seo.

So for example, lets say you run a law practice, and you want more customers who would like help and advice in terms of employment law,well you may start writing “employment law solicitors” a high number of times, in a poor attempt to try and improve your businesses seo for this term.

We would highly recommend that you do not do this, as your business could incur a penalty.

So, what’s the solution?

The solution is to write high-quality content marketing that will help someone who’s needs an employment solicitor.

So, for example, the marketing company then may work with the solicitor, that’s to work out which questions the business gets asked a lot, and to write blog posts that answer these questions.

Then you could write a blog post that answers these questions, this could help to improve your businesses seo.

Must aim to be the best

The work should aim to be the best.

How can you improve the SEO of each piece of content marketing?

Structure

Each piece of writing should have structure, so for example make use of titles, H1- H6 tags.

Word count

We would recommend a high word count, but the work must also be quality.

Page speed

The website should load quickly.

Mobile friendly

The website should be mobile friendly.

Amplify

The business should work with the marketing company to amplify the content marketing.

How we can help:

If you would like a quote for SEO, then why not call us?

 

What does “high-quality” content marketing even mean?

It’s a question that’s as old as the hills, okay well not quite, but it is a question that digital marketing agencies get asked a lot- that is what qualities make content marketing “high-quality”?

As after all the description “high-quality” is a rather subjective one- it can be used to describe anything from a used car through to food you buy at the local supermarket- yet that doesn’t help someone who’s trying to figure out how to write “high-quality content marketing”.

So here at Adore we thought that we would be super helpful, and that’s by writing down a few things that we think you should think about when you are writing a blog post for your company’s website:

And if you’re in a bit of a rush, or turbo charged through drinking too much coffee, well here’s some bullet points on what we think needs to go into your content marketing for it to be deemed as “high-quality”:

·        Must be white hat

·        Well-written

·        Researched

·        Written by an expert on the subject

·        Have outward bound backlinks to where you sourced the information, for example, if you read a statistic on the BBC’s website, then you should link to that page using anchor text and an outward-bound backlink

·        Should have a high word count, we believe a blog post shouldn’t be below 500 words

·        Should not have the keywords that you wish to rank for repeated too much

·        Must follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

·        Should have a title

·        Should have H1-H6 tags

·        Should have a meta title

·        Should have a meta description

·        Should use alt text

#1 Is content marketing still king?

The short answer to this question is yes, most definitely.

However, with that said, here’s the thing, every year so many digital marketing agencies come and go, that’s because they may fail to implement quality white hat SEO.

Sure, some of the work will be white hat, but that’s like saying “our cars just about meet the standards that are applicable in order to sell our vehicles in Europe- they do not aim to exceed the standards set”.

Now if you were thinking of buying that brand of car, well, would that statement inspire much confidence for you to purchase that car?

It applies that the company does the absolute minimum required in order to be able to sell the cars, when people will be looking for quality and car manufacturer that aims to excel, beat the competition, and offer a product that you want to own because it’s a quality product.

Well, this is exactly the same when it comes to content marketing, that’s because so many digital marketing agencies just produce content to tick a box, that’s to say that piece of work is done, let’s bill the client!

That’s to say a copy writer may well be tasked with writing 2000-3000 words a day, and they do just that, write to hit a word count.

Yet this will never work- think for a second of Google’s algorithm, it will be able to supply millions of different businesses to supply an answer to a question- now why would it serve a business that doesn’t put much effort into answering the question?

Well exactly it wouldn’t.

That’s why your content marketing must aim to be the best, and by this we mean:

·        Expertise- are you an expert on the subject? Well make sure that this is shown when you write the article

·        Sources- where did you source the information, is there a perspective that you have noted in your article, say by a journalist, well why not link to their work?

·        Effort- has enough effort been exerted to answer the question to a good standard? I.e will the reader walk away happy they got an answer to their question?

So here’s the thing, when your writing a piece of content marketing, you really shouldn’t be thinking of improving your SEO at all.

We here you gasp- and shout, well why not- that’s the whole point right?

No, its not, the whole point is to supply a quality answer to a question, so that the person who reads your article thinks that it really helped them.

And then this will help your seo, because that person may link to the work, the bounce rate for your website may well be low, plus your whole website may start getting quality backlinks, as your business becomes a source of quality information.

So, for example let’s say that you sell car parts, but if you have a really good blog section on your website, or an area that offers advice, on say how to change the oil on your car, then this may attract backlinks.

If these backlinks are good quality, Google’s algorithm will spot this, it will notice that you  have possibly hundreds, if not thousands of good quality backlinks, and this could really help to improve your company’s seo.

#2 Search Quality Rating Guidelines

Whether you run a large digital marketing agency, or you’re a sole trader thinking of working on improving your businesses search engine optimisation, the Search Quality Rating Guidelines are most definitely worth a read.

So grab a coffee and have a read before you start to write that 2000 word article!

#3 High-quality and informative

So let’s say you run an employment solicitors practice, and you want to manage your SEO inhouse, so all your solicitors are flat out busy, so if one solicitor quickly writes a 300 word article which offers some insight into the company, and how the company is growing in terms of taking on new staff, attending award ceremonies, and also writing a bit about the employee of the month, that’s enough right?

That will improve the businesses seo?

Well, we would answer that with a big fat massive NO!

Your customers are not going to care too much about that, instead they will have questions, and you should answer these questions, and how do you do that?

Analyse commonly asked questions, for example if you run an employment law practice, you may write a detailed article that is titled, “how can I prove I am being bullied in the workplace”– that’s a question that employment solicitors may get asked a lot, so why not create a really detailed article explaining how an employee can do this?

People will then want to read this article, and if its high-quality, then this could improve your businesses SEO.

That’s to say the article may gain backlinks, plus also your business may have a low bounce rate, Google’s RankBrain and Google’s algorithm may then spot this good SEO work, and your business may go up the ranks.

#4 EAT Expertise, Authoritative, trustworthiness

This returns us back to our previous point, the days where a digital marketing agency can write 300 words of complete nonsense in the vague aim of improving your businesses organic seo are most definitely over.

Google’s algorithm is now very sophisticated, it will know if the work is quality or not.

And how does it do this?

Well, that’s a good question, here’s what our SEO agency in Cardiff thinks about how Google’s algorithm works out if the work is good quality or not:

·        Entities- does the article talk about known entities, if so, are the facts correct? Such as the date an event occurred, such as when a new algorithm roll-out occurs?

·        Bounce rate- has the website got a low or a high bounce rate?

·        Internal links- does the article link to other articles, so does the business talk a lot about a subject, such as a business that sells bikes, do they write a lot about mountain biking

·        External backlinks- does the business link out to websites where they obtained quotations or lets say a statistic?

·        Is the website easy to use, i.e is it responsive?

·        How many good quality backlinks lead to that page?

·        What’s the word count, is it high?

#5 Mobile friendly?

This point is worth making really quickly, some businesses stick with their website, even though it is very old, well, you have to make sure that the website is mobile friendly and responsive, as if your website does not work on mobile phones, well, your seo efforts may well be wasted.

#6 White hat?

All SEO work must be white hat. All work that your marketing agency offers, or that your business does to improve your seo must be white hat.

If your seo work is not white hat, then your business may incur a penalty. There are two main types of penalties, algorithmic and manual, an example of an algorithmic penalty would be a Google Penguin penalty– your business should avoid getting any type of penalty.

An algorithmic, or a manual penalty will mean that your business could be removed from Google, or your website could drop, and by drop we mean move from page 1 to page 10, so you really do have to make sure that all work is high quality.

#7 How our digital marketing agency can help

If your business requires help to improve its organic SEO, then why not call us?

We are a marketing agency that’s based in Cardiff, we work with businesses from right across the city, that’s from Cardiff Bay right through to Roath, so why not give us a ring?

#8 Why not give us a call?

Why not give us a call today?

How can we improve our businesses on-site SEO?

Okay, so it really doesn’t matter whether you run a large business or your a sole-trader, as its safe to say that most businesses would benefit from improving their on-site SEO.

As we will come onto later in this article, on-site seo is a large part of the seo process, simply because there is so much work to do, for example adding meta titles, meta descriptions, alt tags, internal backlinks, content marketing, anchor text and so much more.

But let’s now have a look at a few ways that you could improve your businesses onsite search engine optimisation.

Meta descriptions and Meta titles

What are meta title’s and meta descriptions?

Well, let’s say that your looking to purchase a pair of ice skates, you know the make of ice skates that you want, so you are scanning your eyes down Google’s results (SERP’s), so that you can see that make of ice skate, and if the retailer stocks the ice skates that you are looking for.

Then you see result number three, it has the following description:

Meta title: We stock a range of different ice hockey skates, plus we offer free delivery

Meta description:  Welcome to “company name” we stock a range of different ice skates, including the following “brand name” plus we can deliver the very next day for free.

This is an example of a meta title and a meta description, plus it’s a really good one- and why do we say that?

Well, it is likely to improve the businesses CTR (Click Through Rate)– and what does that mean?

Well, no matter how hard your digital marketing agency works, your business is always going to be just one business that’s listed in the SERP’s. So for example in the organic results, your business will normally be just one of the listings, and there are normally 10 in total.

So sure, the marketing agency may get your business into the number one position, yet if the business result in the number 3 position says something that the shopper is looking for, then that might grab their interest.

Such as the exact product they are looking for, plus an offer, such as free delivery.

So, your marketing agency should spend a lot of time making sure that the meta titles, and the meta descriptions are well written. We recommend Yoast if you do have a WordPress website, as this can be used to ensure that the meta title and meta description are written to the right word count.

What does white hat mean?

Well, what we mean is write as if you are trying to encourage a shopper to visit your website, don’t just cram the meta title, and meta description with loads of different brands, or offers, as if they click on that page, and it doesn’t offer what the shopper wants, then the businesses bounce rate is likely to increase, and this could adversely affect the businesses seo over the long run.

Use Google Analytics to monitor your company’s bounce rate.

So, do adhere to white hat seo methods always.

Content marketing

Are you adding blog posts to your website?

But your SEO does not seem to be improving much?

Well, here’s the thing, so many marketing agencies offer local SEO, yet they do not get the content marketing right.

And, what do we mean by this?

Well, some digital marketing agencies still think that if they write the content marketing to improve the businesses SEO, and not focus on offering useful information to your customers, that this will improve the businesses SEO, however Google’s algorithm is far too sophisticated for a marketing agency to be writing content marketing that is just aimed solely at improving where a business ranks.

So for example, lets say your business sells winter jackets, now if your marketing company just keeps writing articles that mention “winter jackets” and “winter coats” repeatedly, well guess what, this is not going to improve the businesses SEO, its actually called “keyword stuffing”- and it is bound to negatively affect your businesses seo.

However, if the company hires a respected marketing agency, like Adore Online Marketing to write a high-quality article which explains the latest fashion styles, when it comes to winter jackets, and which options would be best for this winter, well, this is likely to do much better. 

So when writing content marketing, we always think that you should follow the following rules:

·        Must be white hat

·        Must be useful, so does it answers the shoppers questions?

·        Must be well-written

·        Should include some links to show where the information was obtained

·        White hat anchor text

·        Meta title and meta description

·        Should have a word count that exceeds 1000 words

New pages

Does your business need new main pages added?

So, this is a really basic question, but sometimes a business will hire a web design business, and they will offer a really cheap quote, but that’s on the basis that the site may only have a few pages.

But as any good SEO consultant will tell you, its important that each main service that the company offers, has its own page.

This so when GoogleBot crawls and indexes that page, it can read a meta title, meta description, alt tag, content marketing, anchor text that are all written to describe that one service.

So, for example let’s say that you run a plumbing business, we would recommend that there’s one page for the boiler repair, one for boiler replacement and another then for emergency plumbing.

Then you can add the following to each page:

·        Title

·        H1-H6

·        Meta title

·        Meta description

·        Alt tags

·        Content marketing

·        Internal backlinks

Internal backlinks

Is your business using internal backlinks?

Make sure your website can be indexed

Can your website be indexed, or is the “no-index” button on? To check this you should speak to your website designer.

What are business citations (NAP)?

If your company is thinking of improving your businesses local or organic seo, then you may have asked a local marketing company like Adore, which is based in Cardiff, what services they can offer?

And the business may have said that they can build business citations (NAP) on a monthly basis or to make sure that your business has its NAP information written on your website such as in the footer on the contact us page.

Some agencies may have said that your business has a high number of outdated business citations, yet now they must work on making sure that the NAP information is consistent with your company’s new business citations- but what does this even mean?

For example, lets say that you run a business in Cardiff Bay, and you have say 40 business citations to a Cardiff Bay address, its just now the business moves to Roath, Cardiff, your marketing business must then update the old 40 business citations to the new address, for example in Roath, Cardiff, South Wales.

Business citations are an important part of the SEO process, but they should not be focused on in isolation

That’s to say your marketing agency should create a marketing strategy, and if your thinking about improving the businesses local seo, then the agency may wish to also think about improving:

·        Building high-quality backlinks in a white hat way

·        Building business citations

·        Rectifying conflicting business citations

·        Making sure that NAP information is consistent

·        Setting up a Google My Business account

·        Add quality content marketing

·        Making sure that each page has a meta title and meta description

·        Making sure that all the work is white hat

And these are just some of things your marketing agency should be working on, that’s because Google’s algorithm is thought to calculate the strength of over 200 ranking factors, that’s when working out how strong your businesses seo is.

That is why we say if your business is just focusing on building business citations, then this is likely to be a weak strategy. Instead often an agency is needed to build links, and write quality content marketing on a monthly basis.

What are business citations?

Business citations, sounds complicated doesn’t it?

Well, it shouldn’t.

That’s because business citations are just mere mentions of your businesses name, its address and phone number, nothing more and nothing less.

Yet, with that said, so many marketing company’s and businesses implementing SEO themselves get this wrong.

So here’s the thing, your business will need citations, but these must come from a quality business, plus all citations must be built in a white hat way.

So, what can happen is a marketing company builds business citations, they get the NAP information correct, yet then the business changes its address, yet the business citations still state the old address, this is what can cause conflicting business citations.

So not only should your marketing company be building citations, they should also be making sure that old business citations are kept updated.

Is NAP all that important?

When you call an SEO business to help improve your company’s seo, then those business then can then improve over 200 ranking signals, yet the work must be white hat.

And business citations, well they are well down the list of importance.

However, with that said, if done right they can help to improve a business’s seo. Your business may wish to focus on building backlinks, and writing quality content marketing first, as that’s often considered more important.

Why you shouldn’t confuse backlinks with business citations

A lot of businesses make the mistake of confusing business citations with backlinks, however it is often true that a business citation comes with a backlink.

However, the backlinks that often come with a business citations are often no-follow backlinks, or they are low value, so they will often not help to improve your businesses seo.

So what this means is that when an agency reviews your company’s backlink profile, often there will be a lot of business citations, however these are often not that important from an SEO perspective.

What are often needed are high-quality backlinks, backlinks from a website like The Times newspaper for example.

The real reason why most digital marketing companies build business citations is to improve a business’s NAP, which are mentions of your businesses name, address and phone number which can if completed in a white hat help to improve your businesses local seo.

How NAP works

It is widely thought that if your business has its NAP details, such as business name, address and phone number written in business citations, and this matches the NAP information on your website, then this can make the information more reliable.

For example, let’s say that wanted to purchase a new tennis racket, and you had a look for local businesses that sells tennis rackets locally.

Now, if one business had a website, and it said it was based in Cardiff’s city centre, yet the business citations said the business was in a different location, let’s say on Newport Road in Cardiff, and that’s because the business had moved, well you can see how the algorithm would be confused.

That’s to say where is the business, Newport Road, Cardiff or the city centre of Cardiff?

So, this business is likely to have weak seo.

However, a second business that sells tennis rackets has a shop on Albany Road, Cardiff, and its address on its website is correct, plus all of its business citations match, so you can see which business has better SEO.

How we can help:

If your business would like help to improve its seo, then why not call us?

 

 

How did Google’s Bert update change SEO?

You may well be a marketing manger for a large online business, on the other hand you may well be a small business owner operating a business right here in Cardiff, and you may well be working on  improving the businesses SEO yourself.

In either case you will want to know what Google’s Bert update was, and also how it may change how you improve your businesses SEO.

After all there has been many Google updates over the years, such as the Google Hummingbird update, the Panda and the Penguin update, all of these were really important.

And now the Bert update, yet where there was a lot of conversation about the Google Panda update and the Google Penguin update, there has been less so about Google’s Bert update, so we thought we would ask our team at our SEO agency to say a few things about what Google’s Bert update is all about.

So without further ado, this blog post is all about the Bert update.

What was the “Bert update”?

Bert stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformer”- which is quite a mouthful, yet it’s important to understand what the Bert update means.

The Bert update basically allows Google to better understand the context of a question.

We will elaborate on this later, but just imagine this question for a second you are about to cook your dinner, you fancy a tasty curry so you as Google- “how do you make a chicken Madras?”

How do you make a chicken Madras- well to us humans that’s obviously someone who wants the ingredients and recipe for making a chicken madras curry.

And many search engines are now clever enough to know this, but here’s the thing, it wasn’t that long ago when people were being more exact when asking a query, so for example, they may just type “recipe for a chicken madras curry”- which is self-explanatory what the person wants.

Yet, on the other hand, asking “show me how to make a chicken Madras curry”, well that’s more informal, and almost as how you would speak to a human, so as more and more people are talking to Google as you would a human, well this is why the need for Bert has emerged, so Google can better understand what information the person needs.

AI and Google’s RankBrain

Artificial intelligence and SEO is nothing new, that’s because of Google’s RankBrain- however with that said, we think the Bert update is just another continuation of AI becoming more and more a part of Google’s algorithm.

We think that as people talk to Google as if they would a real human, Bert was needed so that the algorithm can answer the question accurately.

So for example, “what’s the weather going to be like today”?

Well, does this mean generally across the U.K, most probably not, the person who’s living in Cardiff Bay will want to know what the weather is going to be like in Cardiff, South Wales.

So it might well be that Google is using the Bert update so that it can answer the question much more accurately.

Context

So, in a nutshell we think that the Bert update is all about understanding the context of a question better.

So for example, “what time does Cardiff City play tonight”-, if this sentence was taken literally, it would appear to the algorithm that the person mentions a capital city, and refers to an event that’s due to take place that night. But it might have confused Cardiff city with someone asking about the city and not the football team.

Yet, because of Google’s Knowledge Vault and understanding of entities, Google will know that “Cardiff City” is a football team, and “what time do they play tonight” would refer to what time does a match start.

So Google’s algorithm is therefore using Google’s Knowledge Vault, AI through RankBrain and also now the Bert update to better answer the question.

So, this is where Bert may help, this is so that Google’s algorithm can better understand the question.  

Voice search

As more and more people ask a question, rather than typing the question, we can see why Google needed Bert- that’s because the query, or as some SEO’s refer to the question as the “search string” is getting more complicated, as people talk to Google like they are talking to a real human.

How will this change SEO?

Well, do you know what, we don’t think by much, and why do we say that? Well we think the same old rules apply, businesses and seo agencies must still offer quality content marketing.

Quality content marketing + write for the user not the search engine

We think it’s important to remember this, that is seo company’s and businesses must offer quality content marketing.

And do not write just to try and improve your businesses SEO, no instead offer helpful advice.

If your business offers really good advice, then your website is more likely to be deemed more relevant for different queries.

So for example, let’s say you run a locksmiths, just as an example, and you publish blog posts about how you can improve the security of some ones home, by upgrading locks, then your business may receive more visitors.

The reason being is that if your website has quality content marketing, then your business is more likely to deemed more relevant when someone is asking a question about locks.

So our best advice, as a white hat SEO business is this, invest in high-quality, white hat content marketing.

How our marketing agency can help:

If your business requires a new website, or help with your organic seo, then why not call us?

 

 

We need to improve our local SEO, what are the most important areas to improve?

Okay, so you own a business right here within Cardiff, and you’re currently wondering well how can we improve our local SEO?

And you may have read a few articles, and you may have read that Google’s algorithm weighs up over 200 factors that’s when working out how strong your businesses seo is. So now you may well be at a loss as to where to start.

Well here at Adore we have a team that has a huge amount of knowledge on how to implement white hat seo, so we thought we would dedicate one article to explaining how businesses here in Cardiff can improve their search engine optimisation.

Here are some of the more important factors:

Content marketing

Let’s say you run a bakery, and you want to expand your bakery and start making wedding cakes.

So, you may hire a local SEO business for advice, and they say in order for your business to rank for “wedding cake makers Cardiff”- well your business needs to set-up a blog.

Then with the help of a white hat marketing company they may write blog posts for you, however the work bust be quality.

As quality content marketing, which explains more about your wedding cake business, then this can help to improve your company’s SEO.

So what we mean is that for your website to rank for certain terms, such as “wedding cakes” you must show that your website is an authority on the subject.

Now, this could be publishing guides on the various styles of wedding cakes, or it could be talking about the different sponges, icing, and how you source your organic ingredients.

But what you must do is offer useful information, so which questions do you get asked the most?

For example, you may get asked, “how long before my wedding do I need to place an order for you to make my wedding cake?”

And you may write a whole blog post to this, now if the work is good quality, Google’s algorithm, using Googlebot and crawling and indexing your website will know that over time you are an authority on wedding cakes.

So your rankings should improve, notice how we use the word “should”- well we use that with good reason, because so many businesses think that content marketing is just about writing 500 words or so, and mentioning a few times the word, or the phrase that you want to rank for, such as “wedding cake suppliers”- however, if the work is low-quality, then this wont improve your businesses seo, it could actually mean that your business goes down the ranks.

So what’s the solution?

Well, that’s simple write really high-quality content marketing, that your customers will find useful.

Business citations

Does your business have NAP (Name, address and phone number) information on your website? Does this NAP information then match your businesses citations? You should work with a white hat marketing company that can help to build business citations for your business.

What do we mean by this?

Well, as Googlebot crawls and indexes not just your website, but all the other websites, it will spot that your company is mentioned, then it will spot your businesses NAP information, which stands for name of your business, its address and your company’s phone number, now if say 100 citations all say the same thing, well guess what?

Google’s algorithm will have much greater confidence that your business is based at that location, and if done right, so in a white hat way, this could improve your company’s SEO.

Google My Business

Has your business got a Google My Business account all sorted? If your business has not, then you may wish to work with a digital marketing company to help set your business set up with an account.

Then your marketing company should make sure that the NAP information matches with your website, your Google My Business account and your businesses citations.

Here’s another top tip, all of your businesses NAP information should match, that’s to say your company’s address and phone number and business name should match your website, with what’s on your company’s citations, with what’s on your businesses Google My Business account.

If they don’t, then your SEO agency may state to you, that you have “conflicting business citations” which means that more time may needed to correct your businesses citations.

Partner with an SEO company

Within Cardiff there are many marketing companies, however with that said, many company’s hire Adore Online Marketing.

Many company’s hire us for one simple reason, we have consultants that have been implementing white hat seo for over 10 years.

So we can offer the following:

·        Business citations

·        Adding Schema to your website

·        Setting up a Google My Business account

·        Building backlinks

·        Writing Content Marketing

·        Building WordPress websites

White hat

All SEO work should be white hat.

Backlinks

So let’s say that your wedding cake business publishes a blog post once a week, within these blog posts your business mentions how to make different wedding cakes, and how to make different icings for the cake, such as vanilla icings.

These blog posts, which talk about how to make different cakes may be read around the entire world, and sometimes a reader may have their own blog.

The owner of the blog may decide to link to your work, and this is how backlinks can be built.

How we can help:

If you are looking for a white hat marketing company here within Cardiff, then why not call us, we can offer:

·        Content marketing

·        Link building

·        WordPress websites

·        White hat SEO

·        Organic SEO

·        We are a marketing agency within Cardiff