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2019 Online Marketing Checkup for Small & Medium Businesses

Posted on January 10, 2019 by

laptop and stethoscope

Time for your online marketing checkup!

With 2019 now upon us it’s time to do a quick check of your online marketing assets. This is designed to be short and snappy but you will almost certainly find something useful.

SEO – Check your search engine rankings in Google

Put your browswer into incognito (Chrome) or private mode (Safari) and search Google for your main keywords or phrases. If you aren’t ranking on page 1, it’s time to take action! There are some free tools that do this but I’d recommend a manual check for this one-off instance.

Website technical – Check your online forms are working

Go to your website and complete all your online forms to check they are all working as expected. If any are broken or end up in your spam, take action to fix them right away so your don’t risk missing any enquiries.

Website technical – Audit your website for technical issues

Go to ScreamingFrog and run a site audit of your website. It’s free and will give you everything you need to know with regard to any technical issues that you have with your website that are negatively affecting your SEO. Fix these asap!

Website design – Look to see how your site compares to your competitors

How does your current website stack up compared to your competition? Is yours looking tired or old? Many visitors are put off by old or dated looking websites so be critical and take steps to improve or redesign it if necessary.

Responsive web design sign

Website technical – Is your site mobile friendly?

Use Google’s mobile friendly test and check that your site is mobile friendly. If it’s not then this is a problem that you need to fix right away as it’s a key SEO ranking factor for Google. It’s also very important that your site works well for anyone visiting your website on a mobile device (obviously!).

Branding – Is your branding consistent?

Check your branding across all your online and offline assets. Are you using the same branding and logo across your social media accounts, website, printed material, sign-work, vehicles etc? If not take action because your brand is important.

Website UX/UI – Audit your website user journey

This might sound arduous but it’s not. Put yourself in the shoes of a website visitor and check that they can easily navigate your website and get to everything quickly and easily. Also make sure that you have plenty of CTA’s (Calls To Action) on the key parts of your site.

Website SEO – Check your website speed

Use Google’s Page Speed Insights to check how your site performs across all platforms for speed. If you are getting a slow score for either Desktop or Mobile, or both, then take action to fix it asap.

Website SEO/Technical – Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Hopefully, you already have Google Analytics set up on your website but you should also have Google Search Console set up too. Follow the links above or Google it and then follow the setup instructions and check out the user guides.

SEO – Optimise your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

Find out who’s ranking well for your keywords and see if their page titles and meta descriptions are more interesting or engaging than yours. Also check your keywords are there. Click through rates are higher for well written titles and descriptions and this is a key SEO ranking factor.

Summary

Running through the points in this checklist will serve you well. You will be able to start the year off knowing that you’re in good shape online.

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback – just leave them below and we’ll get back to you. Otherwise, we hope you found something useful.


7 Step Guide to the Best Local SEO

Posted on November 29, 2018 by

Search magnifying glass

Local Search and appropriate Local SEO is important.

Here’s why – 46% of all Google searches are local

Below, I will share with you the top 7 best strategies to optimise your website for local search and in fact good SEO generally.

1. Nail your keywords (the heart of good SEO)

Keyword research is very important for your SEO and therefore success online. Never assume that you know how people find you online. Sign up for a free trial with either SEMRush, MOZ or ahrefs and this will do a lot of the work for you. Yes, this will be a steep learning curve but you will uncover a lot of useful information. They all have a ton of helpful guides to get you started. Keyword volume is absolutely critical to understanding where there is search volume. Next, you need to know who’s currently ranking well for these higher volume keywords. If you supply niche products and services you can benefit from a higher conversion rate with lower volume keywords. Otherwise, search out keywords that have some volume and try appending your local area to the search. This way you will see what keywords are generating the volume in local search. Once you have a good handle on your keywords you can use that information to find out who is ranking well for them and delve into how they’ve achieved that.

2. Complete EVERYTHING in your Google My Business account

Listing well in Google’s local pack is very important for local search success. It’s tempting to just enter the basic information and make a mental note to go back and finish it off later. Don’t do this. Fill in everything you can as comprehensively as you can. This is the next best thing to free AdWords. The local pack sits between paid ads and organic search so a good placing here is extremely valuable. Google ranks knowledge highly so a well-written description of your business, it’s products and anything else valuable, like some photo’s, is a must. We’ll talk about reviews below but also make sure you keep on top of any you have already. Everybody knows that things go wrong sometimes so make sure you reply constructively to any negative feedback. It’s how you deal with these things that matter.

3. Put a strategy in place to get more Google reviews

Building upon point 2 above, to really nail your local SEO, you need to build trust with Google as well as your customers. There is no better way to do this than get some good reviews and bake this into your business strategy going forward. Ask any recent customers for a review and then put a strategy in place to ask all future customers too. Making this as friction-free as possible for your customers is a must. Use the tools on Pleper to help with this. You can use their Google Review Link Generator to create a short URLs to email or print on business cards along with a QR code inviting reviews. This will take your customers straight to the review card where they can rate you and leave a review very quickly.

Goal, target audience, content artwork4. Research who’s ranking well in Google’s local pack and check their local citations

So now you’ve got your Google My Business listing all done and you are getting regular reviews it’s time to see who’s on top. Search for your products and services online and see who’s listing in the local search box. If you’re not there you have some work to do. Local citations are from directories that list products and services by geography. Whitespark have a Local Citation Finder that will do all the research for you. It will list all the citations from all the people ranking well in the local pack. Once you have this information, you can spend some time listing your business on the same directories. This will likely take a while but it’s time well spent. Some of the directories may charge a listing fee but before you do this, find out how valuable that link is first. Whitespark will rate each citation so only consider paying if the citation has a high rating. Alternatively, do all the free ones and wait and see how this works for you over the next few weeks or months.

5. Audit your website with a special audit tool

If you are serious about nailing your SEO yourself then you have hopefully signed up to one of the services mentioned in section 1. All of these will allow you to carry out an audit of your website in order to improve your SEO and SERPS. The audit will basically pick up anything that’s suboptimal for SEO as well as anything more serious. This process can sometimes be daunting because the volume of errors can be significant. That being said, you can resolve sometimes hundreds at a time with just one simple fix. Other issues such as missing alt tags on images can just become a process of longer-term resolution. It’s unlikely you will fix everything straight away, or even quickly. Don’t be put off, just keep chipping away and everything you do will start to work in your favour. This will translate into better rankings over time. Be patient and don’t expect miracles.

picture of spanner and hammer6. Fix any errors or problems on your website

The tools you are now hopefully making use of are powerful. They are also well established and as a result all have a ton of useful information with regard to understanding and fixing issues. Granted sometimes this can be technical and daunting but don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek assistance from your developer here. Most of the issues are going to be one-off fixes or issues that you can avoid in future with your new found knowledge. The best SEO involves diligent attention to detail and the ticking of many many boxes. Over time, like anything in life, this diligence will pay off, in this case, with better rankings.

7. Write expert content and share it as much as you can

Now that you’ve done all the groundwork to ensure that your website is on a firm base, it’s time to think about content. If you have fixed all the issues with your website and it’s diligently optimised for local search, content becomes the next critical factor. Google, and just people on the Internet generally, value good content. Chances are that you are an expert in what you do. Share this information and you will be rewarded. You don’t need to give away your trade secrets or anything but remember that most of what everybody knows can be found on the internet somewhere anyway. Sharing advice and specialist knowledge will be rewarded with online interest, sharing and ultimately better rankings from Google. Share your content everywhere that you are likely to have an audience and over time you will see traffic increase. This will build your standing with Google and any online followers you have. Don’t try and substitute quality with quantity though. Make your content useful, unique and engaging. Like all things SEO, don’t expect instant results. Work hard at this aspect and good things can happen quickly but chances are you will need to be generating good content for a while before you start to see great things happen. Stick with it though because your patience will be rewarded eventually.

Summary

So that wraps up this article. I hope you found it useful. If you would like any help or assistance with website design, website development or Search Engine Optimisation please get in touch. We are based in Eastleigh in Hampshire in the UK so if you are in the Southampton or general Hampshire area you are more than welcome to come in and see us. We’d love to talk through your online business needs in person. We will be happy to suggest solutions perfectly tailored to your needs.

If you enjoyed the article, found it useful or have any questions or comments, please get in touch below and we’ll get back to you.


You Can Now Submit URLs to Google Directly from Search Results

Posted on April 11, 2017 by

Google has been gradually shifting its various services straight into its search results for easy access. Google has now introduced its dedicated URL submission feature, which can be found directly in the core Google search results page.

The tech giant has updated Search to include an easy-to-access URL submission form, which can easily be found anytime you search for ‘Submit URL to Google.’

url google search results

This latest addition works just like the regular Search Console submission form but enables easier and quicker URL submission to Google’s index. It’s a smart interactive tool that’s been placed in the most convenient location.

To submit a link, all you need to do is fill in the blank space with you page you want to index and complete the ‘I’m not a robot’ reCAPTCHA safety feature.

Google will then review the page and decide whether they want to index the URL so other people can easily find it in their search results. This doesn’t necessarily mean your URL will be listed or included in Google’s rankings, but it makes getting noticed by Google that little bit easier.


Everything You Need To Know About Google Shopping

Posted on July 29, 2016 by

If your business sells products online, Google Shopping could be the perfect way to promote your items, boost sales, and drive more traffic to your site. It’s easy to set up and manage, is very cost effective and can quickly give you a return on your investment. In this post, we discuss exactly what Google Shopping ads are, what they do and look like, and explain the numerous benefits of running a Google Shopping campaign.

Google Shopping

Continue reading →


SEO Facts You Need To Know.

Posted on April 14, 2016 by

SEO was the topic of conversation this morning in the office so I decided to throw together some facts and figures to get your brain working.

We all know SEO is a total pain but is an integral part of any website if you want it to rank more effectively. Below I list some SEO facts you need to know.

Continue reading →


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