How long does it take to get a website ranked on first page of Google?

Introduction

It’s understandably one of the most frequently asked questions that most seo agencies will get asked.

And that is, how long will it take to get a business’s website on the first page of Google?

After all, that’s the whole purpose of an seo company, to get a business to rank as high as they can on Google, right?

That’s true, however before any agency owner pauses for breath, and then attempts to answer such a question, there are several things that each agency should consider first.

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to explain to business owners what a marketing agency should be considering, that’s before making an estimate for how long it will take to get a website onto the first page.

The level of competition  

As you can imagine, there’s no point in entering a sports car from the 1960’s into a race today up against a brand-new sports car. As you would expect, there would be no contest.

The more sophisticated car, with its complex and modern engineering would win hands-down.

And this is the same when it comes to assessing a new website up against the established competition.

Of course, there’s no point in having a defeatist attitude, yet that said, its of paramount importance to be realistic as well.

What we mean by this is that both client and agency have to be is realistic about their chances of getting on to the first page, that’s within the constraints of their marketing budget.

Therefore, to enter the race, the agency and client must have thought about if their chances are realistic. As otherwise it can mean that a business is wasting money.

So, in a nutshell, if you do have a phone call, or a meeting with a local seo company, and they start repeatedly comparing your website with your direct competitors, well this can only be a good thing.

Comparing your businesses website, with your direct competitors is not an exercise in displaying how weak your website is in comparison, but instead an exercise of weighing-up how much seo work is actually needed.

Therefore, setting a benchmark that needs to be met, and then exceeded is indeed a very important factor that your seo agency must consider.

This comparison of your website, with your direct competitors is essential in determining how strong your websites “ranking signals” are.

There are thought to be over 200 signals that can be optimised. Google, as well as the other major search engines keep which signals they use, and which ones are the most important secret to their business.

This is with good reason, as if seo companies knew how the algorithm works, well some companies would try and cheat the algorithm.

Instead most seo businesses look at which businesses are the strongest, then spend great deals of time working out how that business is holding such a high position.

New websites are simply much harder to optimise

You may well be launching a new business, and therefore your website is therefore likely to be new as well.

It’s something that some marketing agencies do not make clear from the outset, and that is new websites are much harder to optimise.

This means it normally takes considerably longer to optimise a brand-new website. The reason being is a new website is somewhat of a blank canvas, it will most likely have no backlinks, no onsite seo and therefore it will take much longer to catch up with the competition.

Be realistic about how much you will have to spend

There are some seo agencies that advertise their services in the form of fixed priced packages.

Now this is all well and good, as often the potential customer would like to have a vague idea of costs prior to picking up the phone.

However, its worth keeping this in mind, if say you work in a competitive industry, you really do have to be realistic as to what you can achieve for a low set fee.

By this we mean, some agencies will take the fee from a business knowing full well its going to be a drop into the ocean of what’s really needed.

Imagine for example what some car insurance companies spend on online marketing per year, then a car insurance broker who wants to get onto the first page for say £300.00 a month, well how realistic is this? Not very is the answer.

Therefore, your seo agency would sit down and carefully evaluate the competition, as we earlier mentioned, its only then a price should be delivered.

Don’t forget that your competitors can step up seo activity at any time

There will be those businesses that have occupied the top positions within the SERP’s for many years.

They have grown accustomed to the high volume of sales that can come from ranking high in Google.

So, when a new company, or a company that has ambition to knock such a company off the top spot comes along, its often the case that some companies will ramp-up seo activity.

That’s to say a business may well break-through and get into the top three positions, yet the businesses at the top may well come back by investing even more time / money to ensure that they once again occupy the top position.

So, with this in mind, this is often why most seo agencies are reluctant as to state how long it will actually take to get to the top.

Not all agencies are equal

In seo there’s the term “white hat” that’s used to describe doing the job properly. So, a business owner may think that all they need to do is find a white hat agency, that offers what they want at an acceptable price, right?

Well, the answer to that is no, and the reason is some rubbish seo companies call themselves white hat, knowing full well they are not using white hat methods.

So, here’s the thing, how long it takes to get onto the first page we believe depends on two factors, that’s the strength of your competitors, and also whether the right agency has been hired.

Does your business need help with its online marketing?

There are so many businesses out there to choose from, yet we are trusted by many companies because of our honest approach to seo.

We simply explain things simply and honesty, so if you like our approach, then why not give us a ring?

How to create good quality content marketing for your business

Introduction

Do you run a business that has invested in a website? Yet you have found that your businesses website does not even come close to the first page of Google.

This has got you thinking, how do your direct competitors get onto the first page? And then the penny drops, that part of getting onto the first page is to publish blog posts on a regular basis.

So, this has got your cog’s turning, if you were to invest in content marketing, you can see how your website could reach the top as well.

Well, its true that content marketing if implemented correctly can help a business’s rankings, that’s for sure. Yet, with that said there are so many seo companies, and businesses alike do not get it right.

And not getting it right can result in a website incurring an algorithmic or manual penalty. So, for this reason its of the up most importance that a business invests in quality content marketing.

Yet what is deemed as “quality work”- what’s the gold standard that must be reached?

Well its fair to say that many seo agencies, including ours are in a continuous improvement drive to ensure that we creating the best quality work.

So why not have a read of the rest of this article, and pick-up some handy tips along the way of how to create good quality content marketing.

First things first, what is content marketing?

Content marketing is the term that is used to describe the work that is created to help market a business.

Now, don’t get us wrong, not all content marketing is created to sing the praises of a business. No, its more creative than that, it can be used to educate, and offer useful information to the business’s customers.

There is an overarching aim to assist the businesses seo, yet the central aim should be to help a business’s potential customers.

Therefore, content marketing can be in the form of written articles, like this article, or it could be an infographic or a video for example explaining the benefits of a particular product for example.

The overarching aim is to therefore help a business increase its sales, yet with that said, any seo company worth their salt will advise you that if you focus too much on the SEO then this can actually damage a websites ranking.

Now the emphasis has to be placed on helping the customer, helping them to solve problems they may have.

For example, someone may well be looking to purchase a new petrol car, and the customer may have queries about pollution and emissions to do with that car.

So, for example, that person may well be looking on a search engine to find “the most economical petrol car on sale in the U.K today”.

Which is quite a complex search string. Yet, with that said, a website that just focuses just on seo will not do very well here.

Yet, a car manufacturer that has spent the time to add content marketing which explains how its car is very efficient, and which answers the customers questions the best, well you guessed it, that business is likely to rank the highest for this question.

Quality matters

If there’s one point that we cannot stress enough, it is this, it’s that quality truly matters when it comes to content marketing.

So, what we mean by this is, say for example you run a business, that the business manufactures ladder. And this ladder business wants to improve their SEO, then you will naturally start writing blog posts to do with ladders, right?

Yet, the trap that businesses, and also seo consultants fall into is to target the keywords that they want to rank for in an overly aggressive way.

This can lead to what we here at this agency “overoptimization issues”- which can result in a penalty.

So, here’s a top tip, instead focus on writing articles that are of a very good quality. Articles that will help your customers.

So, let’s think off the top of our head, which articles would help the ladder business, here are some article suggestions that they may wish to use:

  1. Which aluminium step ladders are best for electricians to use?
  2. Which brands are some of the most popular when it comes to step ladders?

Valuable

Here’s another top tip, you have to make your content marketing valuable. By this we mean there’s no point in just writing content marketing that’s the same standard as your competitors- you have to look to surpass their marketing efforts.

Now, this doesn’t mean if they write an article that’s 1000 words, you should be writing 2000 words- it simply doesn’t work like that.

Instead the work has to be of a better quality in a more rounded sense. So, for instance, if someone is looking for DIY advice for example, on say how to fit a new kitchen tap, well make the article the best you can at answering that question. Strive to answer it better than any of your competitors.

Why not include a walk-through video, which explains step by step how to fit the tap? Why not then add a bullet pointed list to follow that video of how to fit the tap, and also whilst you’re at it, point the reader to other websites, where they could obtain more help?

How many words should our blog posts be?

In the past digital marketing agencies had a kind of unspoken rule, that is when writing content marketing articles for clients, it was somewhat of a standard practice to write an article to a 500-word count.

Yes, obviously there were some seo agencies that didn’t stick to that rule, and would write shorter, or longer articles.

Yet, with that said, it was very common for articles to be written to between 400-500 words. Yet how effective was that marketing strategy?

Well, the answer may well be not very effective. That’s because there has since been much discussion among those that work in SEO, and a lot of people now agree that quality articles, that have a longer word count work much better.

For example, why not have a read of this article, which discusses that articles with a higher word count may rank better.

Engagement and long articles

Now, we know what your thinking, your thinking brilliant, that’s the secret to improving a businesses seo- super long articles!

Well, no is the answer to that. The reason being is if you think you can stick the kettle on, make a coffee and write a super long article, and that’s all there is to it, well your mistaken.

The reason being is that most agencies, including ours believe that engagement is now a really important thing for marketing agencies to follow.

What we mean by this is you can’t just publish an article these day’s and just hope it helps the businesses marketing efforts.

No, you have to monitor engagement. For example, what’s the page’s bounce rate like? How long is the average visitor spending on the business’s website?

Low engagement, i.e a high bounce rate is not good, your digital marketing company should take action.

Bored readers simply bounce off, and then you lose what could be potentially a customer.

Take for example this article, it states that only one in five people actually read an article to the end!

So, in a nutshell, if you want your content marketing to help your business to generate more sales, its got to be intresting!

If my competitors have 30 articles, will 31 mean I obtain better rankings?

No. That’s the simple answer, and the reason being is when it comes to content marketing, it’s not about quantity it is quality that matters.

With that said, remember that a lot of companies now have quality and quantity. This means that to beat your competitors rankings, normally the best thing to do is partner with a respected, quality focused white hat seo business.

How should I be writing keywords into my businesses blog posts?

Keywords are what help’s Google’s algorithm to work out what your website is about.

So for example, as you would expect a dental practice that wants to obtain more customers that want their teeth made whiter, well they are not going to get many calls if they don’t start writing about teeth whitening.

Yet with that said, it is possible to over optimise a website. That’s to say if a website is not optimised in accordance with white hat standards, then yes a website could incur a penalty.

Therefore a website should naturally write its keywords into the content marketing. By naturally we mean offer really good advice, and if the sentence requires the keyword to be placed within the sentence, then do just that.

However, here’s another top tip, don’t write loads of articles about the same thing. You need to vary what you talk about, for example one week teeth whitening another week about teeth straitening.

Focus too much on one keyword and this is likely to mean your business will incur a penalty.

What are Google penalties?

There will always be businesses and seo agencies that want to cut corners. That’s to say not to do the hard work, yet still get their websites onto the first page.

Yet, thankfully to stop these companies cheating, there are loads of spam filters. Now in the seo profession we call these penalties.

Hummingbird

One important Google update you need to be aware of is the Google Hummingbird update. It is a very complex algorithm update, one which would demand its own blog post. So, if you do want to read more, follow this link about the Google Hummingbird update.

Also, before you start writing blog posts for your business, you may want to learn a bit more about what semantic search means.

In a nutshell, a lot of agencies believe that the content marketing that works the best, is the content marketing that is comprehensive.

So, for instance, if someone wants to learn more about what going vegan means, a short two paragraph article isn’t going to cut it.

However, an article that’s much more in-depth, and talks about loads of related issues, well this article is likely to do a lot better.

Semantic search is therefore works with something called the Google Knowledge Graph, which basically means that Google has an understanding of how topics interconnect.

You may have even read a few seo blog posts where industry leaders have talked about how us SEO’s may see a move away from backlinks being the most important ranking signal.

Hence the phrase “things and not strings”- well this is all to do with semantic search.

Let’s return to our vegan example, Google will know that related topics are do with nutrition, the welfare of animals, and even how being vegan helps to protect the environment.

So, the search engine knows these are all related topics to the entity, which is being vegan.

So, us seo’s believe that a more comprehensive article, one which includes related topics, will rank better than an article that is very short in terms of word count, and one which doesn’t cover related subjects.

Why you shouldn’t add too much work over a short period of time

Here’s another top tip, don’t add too many blog posts all at once, or over a short period of time.

Instead, space the timing of how frequently you add blog posts to your website.

The algorithm will reward quality work

Measure

Here’s another top tip, its important to measure and evaluate how well your blog posts are working.

For example, if your blog posts are not getting many visitors, well you should look to improve the blog posts.

If you are now wondering how do you measure, and evaluate if your blog posts are getting read, you need to get a Google Analytics account.

If you haven’t got the foggiest about how Google Analytics works, then why not have a read of this blog post by Moz.

Which keywords should you be targeting?

Okay, so it’s fair to say that a lot of seo agencies write blog posts that offer advice, yet quite often they don’t tend to go into much detail.

For example, most marketing agencies would agree that good quality content marketing can help a businesses SEO. And also, that keywords need to be written, yet how should a business know which keywords will bring in the most visitors?

Well, simply put there’s loads of tools to help you. For example, a lot of seo companies use Google’s Keyword Planner.

This can help to give you some idea of which keywords you may wish to use within your businesses content marketing.

Also, Moz has a good tool also.

Don’t expect results over night

It’s important to remember this, do not expect to add a new blog post, and then see the website shoot up the rankings. It doesn’t work like this.

Many good quality articles need to be written, and added over a long period of time in order to see results.

Must have meaning

Your content marketing efforts must have a clear goal. For example, say you manufacturer glasses, yet your glasses are no ordinary glasses, they are designer glasses.

This means your content marketing efforts must be focused on targeting people that would like to purchase designer glasses.

This sounds like common sense, right? Yet if you produce content marketing that doesn’t focus on your customers, well the work will lack focus.

If it lacks focus on which customers you would like to bring to your business’s website, well your website could incur a higher bounce rate. That’s because you may well be bringing visitors to your website, which are not interested in the glasses that you manufacturer.

Attention spans

Also keep this in mind, now that we are talking about bounce rates, its important to get your writing style correct when writing blog posts.

For example, a funky marketing firm can use a writing style that’s informal, like your chatting to an old friend.

Yet, if you sell a product that’s rather serious, like for example home insurance, well your going to need to adopt a writing style that’s more formal.

This is important, as you will want to reduce your websites bounce rate, and remember that if you bore your readers, they are likely to leave your businesses website. So, think about keeping your readers interested.

Duplicated content

Do not use duplicate content, that’s work you may have copied and pasted from a competitor’s website.

The reason being is if you use duplicated content, your website will incur a penalty.

Internal backlinks

Use internal backlinks, but only when it is helpful to the reader. For example, say you were a manufacturer of a brand of car, you may wish to have an internal link to another page, which allows the reader to find a dealership that’s close to them.

Bounce rates

Aim to keep your websites bounce rates low. If you require help with this do contact a respected seo company.

External backlinks

Sometimes an author will want to include a backlink to another website, and the writer should do this occasionally.

Yet, don’t add too many backlinks, that’s because you may find that you are losing readers, as the other website may explain things a bit better?

How we can help

If your business requires help with its SEO, then why not give us a ring? 

How Google Analytics can help your small business

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can my business set up a Google Analytics account?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audience data

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

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

Number of sessions / users

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

Pages per session

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

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

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

Bounce rate

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

Acquisition

How is your website acquiring it’s visitors?

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

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

Partner with a respected seo company

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evaluate

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

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

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

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

Improve

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

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

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

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

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

 

·        Check all backlinks work correctly

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

·        Make the article more interesting

More interesting

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t get lazy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use a respected seo agency

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

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

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

 

 

 

Can customer reviews help to improve my businesses SEO?

Introduction

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

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

Focus on Google

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

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

Are they best left on a social media platforms?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, but will this actually help my businesses seo?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use a white hat agency

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

 

 

 

 

Why should my business invest in local seo?

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quality work = quality results

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

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

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

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

·        Business citations

·        Ensuring that businesses NAP signals are all consistent

·        Updating the companies Google My Business account

·        Updating the businesses social media

·        Producing content marketing

·        Building backlinks

·        Writing meta titles, meta descriptions and alt tags

 

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

Cost effective

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

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

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

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

Expand

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

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

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

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

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

White hat

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

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

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

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

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

Does your business deserve to be on the first page?

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

New era of SEO

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

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

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

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

Monitor the stats

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time on site

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

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

Bounce rates

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

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

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

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

How long are people spending on your website?

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

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

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

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

RankBrain

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

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

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

400 words of nonsense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Google Analytics

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

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

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

Relevant

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t preach, listen

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

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

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

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

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

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

How we can help

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

How to choose your next digital marketing agency

Introduction

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

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

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

Does this dilemma sound pretty familiar?

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

Must explain things clearly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smoke and mirrors

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

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

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

Don’t pay over the odds

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

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

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

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

Talk to us

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

How much does SEO cost?

Whether you’re a start-up business, or a business with over a century of trading behind you, it’s safe to say that your business will need SEO.

After all, more and more people are buying what they need over the internet, so it does make sense for your business to start standing out from the crowd.

Recognising the need for seo is easy, what’s not so easy to fathom, is which online marketing agency to choose.

After all, most cities are now crammed with various digital marketing agencies, all with fancy names, and offices to match.

So, who do you choose? And, whilst we are at it, how much should a business be paying for SEO?

If your struggling to find an answer to these all-important questions, then do not fear as we have been in the seo game for a long time, so let us enlighten you as how much you may wish to pay.

What will my business get is we pay around the £500.00 mark per month?

Firstly, we should probably explain why seo is charged per month, as some business owners struggle to get to grips with understanding why.

Every single website is ranked according the strength of the websites “ranking signals”. These can be anything from meta titles, through to backlinks.

Every single month, your direct competitors will be looking to get to the top of Google as well, this means they will be improving, and strengthening their businesses ranking signals as well.

This is why SEO is a continuous process, it never comes to a stop, and this is why SEO is charged per month.

So, we or another agency can optimise your website, so it doesn’t start flagging behind the competition.

Now back to the question at hand, what can you expect to get for the £500.00 mark per month?

Well, if you’re a small local business, such as a local hotel, or perhaps say a local vet, then the five hundred pound mark should be about right.

However, if your looking for national seo, or you work in a competitive business sector, such as being a solicitor for example, then the £500.00 quid mark is not likely to be enough.

What should I expect if I was to pay around £500 to the £1000.00 per month?

If you run a local business, and therefore need local seo, and your business is in a more competitive sector than average, then the £500.00 to £1000.00 per month is about right.

So, for example, perhaps you run a business that employs many plumbers, well the £1000.00 per month would be a suitable seo package if you needed seo to advertise your company in one city.

With that said, certain major cities across the U.K you should expect to pay more, closer to double.

What should my business expect for £3000.00+ per month?

Now your starting to talk more about the budgets that are more suitable for national seo. Yet, with that said, the budgets here can vary massively as well.

For example, a business selling a niche item, such as knifes for people in the catering profession, well £3000.00 per month would sound about right.

However, if you work for a car insurance business, and you’re looking for seo then expect to pay well above £20,000.00 per month.

Reason being is this, super competitive business sectors, like car insurance, will have massive companies competing for business, and they will be spending massive sums in order to retain being at the top.

How we can help your business

If you are looking for a seo agency that can cater for most marketing budgets, then we will be the business for you.

We offer both organic and local seo, so why not give us a ring?

How did the Google Penguin updates change SEO?

Introduction

The Google Penguin updates were first mentioned way back in April 2012, and many businesses that had low-quality backlinks were hit by a penalty. So as you can imagine many SEO agencies were talking about the “Google Penguin updates” on their blogs and on social media for a very long time after the the first Penguin update was rolled out.

However for some the word “Penguin updates” now brings a sense of fear! And that’s because the businesses that were hit by a Google Penguin penalty, well, those businesses often seen their rankings drop and sometimes quite considerably.

Sure, you’re always going to have the white hat agencies, like us which follow the rule book, so we were immune from the Google Penguin updates. Even so, as an seo agency it’s still important to know what the rule book is, so most online marketing agencies had to learn quickly what the Google Penguin update was all about, and how it was likely to evolve.

So, here’s what our SEO consultants know about the update since it first rolled out.

So, how does the Google Penguin update work?

In a nutshell Google decides where websites should be ranked by using its complex algorithm.

Now, most business owners know that for a business to rank high on Google the website will need strong “ranking signals”.

So, building backlinks, and writing quality content marketing yes is very important, yet Google also has spam filters. This means that the businesses that try and cheat the algorithm, by using low quality methods of seo, well, often these business will incur a penalty.

These updates, like the Google Penguin updates are built into the algorithm, and therefore ensures that Google only delivers the best possible results when someone asks Google a question. Spam is therefore filtered out, and websites that use low quality seo methods will be weeded out.

Let’s give you an example, let’s say you’re a bit hungry and you fancy ordering a peperoni pizza, and why not none of like cooking every evening!

So, you ask Google to find you a local pizza take-away business, and you therefore expect to see businesses that are local to where you are.

Now because Google is focused on providing the best possible answer to your question, you will see a list of local pizza shops in the Google local business results, and then around 10 businesses will be listed in the organic business results.

Now, if Google didn’t roll out its Penguin updates, well this means that many businesses could have tried to fool Google into thinking their websites were better than they were. Meaning that some companies may have tried to make out that their SEO is the best, when it is not.

How could they do this?

Well, some businesses may want to try and fool the algorithm by using low quality backlinks. Yet thankfully the Google Penguin updates stops this, and penalises any business that uses low quality seo methods.

So instead the businesses that are on the first page are there because they deserve to be, and have used white hat seo.

So, for example, the pizza shops that are now shown on the first page of Google, may have links from businesses that have given that pizza shop an award for good customer service for example. They have therefore obtained backlinks in a white hat way, and not used low quality links.

This means that the businesses that have invested in white hat search engine optimisation, and have good quality links will now be rewarded with being ranked higher.

So, websites that have spam or low-quality backlinks linking to the website could be hit by the Google Penguin update. This is why its super important that your SEO agency ensures that your backlinks are of good quality.

Why was the update introduced by Google?

Google would have rolled out this update to clampdown on black hat seo methods. As mentioned earlier, for a long time prior to the Penguin updates many websites built low quality backlinks, this was in an attempt to try and fool Google’s algorithm into thinking the website was more important than what it was.

However Google’s always quick to notice such seo methods, and these were the websites that would have been hit by a Google Penguin update.

Is this why some seo agencies offer super cheap quotes?

Regardless of what the digital marketing agency charges, if the seo implemented is low quality then a website can receive a penalty.

Really cheap prices can be an indication that the SEO work may well be low quality, as in reality how much quality work can be offered at a low price?

With that said, even if you were to pay a small fortune for search engine optimisation this doesn’t always mean you will be getting quality seo.

So therefore you as the business you must ensure you are getting white hat seo.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

If you are interested in white hat seo, then we would recommend reading Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Simply put don’t use black hat search engine optimisation methods!

If we can labour the point some more, when it comes to online marketing, there really isn’t any shortcuts anymore.

We believe that the best way to build backlinks is offer quality information that will be useful to your customers.

For example, if you run a solicitor’s practice, and you specialise in the area of divorce, then you should offer advice that will help people during the divorce process.

Really good quality advice can help the business to obtain more backlinks.

For example, you may write a really detailed blog post with the title “how to start the divorce process”. If this information is of good-quality then other websites are likely to link to it.

For example, a website that blogs about helping couples who are going through divorce may read your blog post, and mention your work on their website. Therefore your business can earn a backlink this way.

However, your SEO company must regularly check the health of your businesses backlinks as well.

That’s because if spam backlinks are allowed to accumulate, or the backlinks are of a low quality, then this could result in a link penalty being incurred.

So your digital marketing agency should be checking the health of your businesses backlinks on a regular basis.

What happens if a website does get hit by the Google Penguin update?

If a business does incur a link penalty, such as the Google Penguin penalty, then often this means the websites rankings will drop.

So, for example, the business may have ranked number one on the first page on Google for the term for “painters and decorators”- yet after the penalty the business may have dropped to say page 10 of Google.

Also, a link penalty can mean the business is removed altogether.

This is why its so important to only pay for white hat seo from a respected seo agency.

What does it mean to disavow backlinks?

Once a website has poor quality backlinks, or spam links a white hat seo company may recommend that the links are disavowed.

However disavowing links requires great skill, and you really should consult with a respected seo business.

Realtime

There was once a time where if your business was hit by a Google Penguin penalty, there was sometimes a very long period before the company recovered.

This means that your website may have had low quality backlinks, and your search engine optimisation business may have tried to rectify this problem by disavowing backlinks.

Yet, even though an agency or the business might have disavowed the businesses backlinks, there was once somewhat of a pause between when the business would recover.

Many seo companies have stated that it can take 6 months to a year in order for a website to recover from a backlink penalty. However, with that said, some businesses have also stated that it can take much longer to recover from a Google Penguin penalty.

Why is so important to check the quality of your backlinks?

It is crucial that your seo business checks your companies’ backlinks on a regular basis. This is spot if spammy backlinks are accumulating and to see if there are any low-quality backlinks.

If your business requires help building backlinks, or with any part of the SEO process why not give us a ring?