My business is currently listed on independent directories does it matter if the details are slightly inconsistent?
Part of ensuring that your website gets good organic search results is ensuring that you also list your business on independent directories, such as, Yell, 192.com, netmums and other sector relevant directories where your customers might look for your services.
However, it is vital that all your contact information is exactly the same on each listing. If your contact details (name, address and phone number) are inconsistent this could penalise your results in organic search.
Whilst search engine algorithms are sophisticated, they can invariably get confused as to whether two similar listings are the same or not. Given that businesses can have comparable names or that businesses may share an address, it is essential that you do not put your rankings at risk by being sloppy.
So, if your address contains the word ‘Road’, decide whether you will choose to spell it as ‘Road’ or ‘Rd’, and stick to the way you will always write your address. If you have a limited company, do you want to have Ltd at the end of the company name? Decide and be consistent.
A personal bug bear of one of the founders of Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is the way in which telephone numbers are listed. For example, in London, telephone numbers should be listed as 020 8XXX XXXX or 020 7XXX XXXX and not 0208 XXX XXXX or 0207 XXX XXXX. Make sure that your telephone number is listed in the same way each and every time.
What happens if my details change?
This is not a problem. But make sure that you keep a record of all your listings with usernames and passwords, so that should you need to alter any information, you can dedicate a period of time to update these in one go. This means that by the time the spiders trawl the internet for updated information, all your details across all the directories that you are listed on are updated at more or less the same time.
The only thing that must be different on each and every directory listing is your description. Search engines penalise plagiarism, so even if they are your own words, copying and pasting the same content numerous times is seriously frowned upon and could hurt your rankings too.
To sum up – Contact details (name, address and phone number) must always be in the same format; description of services and products should be unique to each directory listing.
If you need any help with creating or editing your directory listings, Perfect Layout can do this for you. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01708 578 015.
So, whether you have built your own website or have hired an agency to build one for you, please remember that a website on its own will not bring customers knocking at your door. There are many more digital strategies that you must apply in order to stand a chance of being found in this fiercely competitive digital world.
The good news is, that currently, not everyone is aware of what these digital strategies are and how they can benefit your business when it comes to being found in organic search.
Whilst your consumer-facing website is one cog in the digital wheel there are other cogs that will help keep that wheel spinning smoothly.
The back-end of your website
1. Have all the pages on your site been search engine optimised? Does each page have a title, description and meta keywords added? Without these you are missing out on digital juice.
2. Do all your images have a description (alt text). Search engines are unable to detect an image and what that image means. Ensuring that all your images and photos are properly tagged keeps the algorithms happy and helps them understand what your business offers. Don’t miss out on this simple step that is extremely valuable.
3. Have you created a Google Analytics code and embedded it in the right place? Google wants to know the websites that are doing well. Using their free analytics tools not only provides them with a wealth of data, but that you have access to this too.
Supporting your website
Man cannot conquer the world alone. S/he must always have a team supporting them. The same is true of your website. No matter how fantastic it is, it also needs support. You can get this by creating listings on independent directories.
A good place to start is with the big search engine business directories such as Google My Business and Bing Places. This ensures that you have claimed your business and that you can enhance your listing with contact details, images and text.
Then think of all the relevant trade directories that your sector has. Which of these do you think is worth investing a listing in? This can be a paid-for or free to join directory. Remember to take the time to complete each listing as fully as you can.
Finally, think of the mass directories like Yell, 192.com, Yelp, etc. All of these will have a free version of a listing. It is highly likely that they will call you to upsell to a paid for listing or target a specific area. It’s up to you whether your budget stretches that far…though Perfect Layout doesn’t think it is always necessary.
Backlinks. These are links on other people’s websites that direct traffic back to a page on your site. These are the golden nuggets that can really boost your online presence. Think long and hard about how and where you can make links with other businesses and that these businesses will happily add a link back to your site. Think guest blog posts, cross promotion and other creative ways of talking about your business elsewhere in the digital world.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing has the skillset within the team to help any business with all or any part of these digital strategies. If you would like us to implement these for your business email us at email@example.com or call us on 01708 578 015.
Every other month, Perfect layout goes out into the community to talk to local businesses. The aim is share with our readers the personal experiences of these companies. What has worked for them and what they could do a little better…
Perfect Layout believe that sharing knowledge and experiences is a great way to help other local businesses. Attracting customers to the Essex area is paramount if independent companies are to thrive.
As a result, we are keen to promote the awesome, creative and varied companies that exist right here on our Essex doorstep.
Read on to find out more about a talented artist that works just around the corner…
How long have you been an artist for?
I would say about 17 years since I graduated, I’ve been doing it from day one.
Did you always want to be an artist?
Absolutely! From the age of 9 I knew. During an art class at school I drew a still life of a pot plant and my teacher said that mine was the best.
Is this your full-time job?
What type of artwork do you produce?
Currently, I am doing large illustrations with pen and ink. Six years ago, I stopped painting and I am enjoying illustrations so much that I might not paint again for a good few years.
What inspires your creativity?
I draw a lot of inspiration from my surroundings. I like drawing communities and people in the communities. I also enjoy drawing landscapes and cityscapes as well as poultry, which sounds a little odd, but I love it!
What type of mediums do you work with?
Currently I am working with pen and ink. Although I’ve previously worked with paints, print making, animation but drawing seems to come up as my favourite.
Who buys your artwork?
People who visit my exhibitions, primarily. I currently have a gallery that help me to sell my work to a third party.
How can your customers find you?
Social media. I have Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and a personal website.
Do you sell any of your work through your website?
Do you think that your website is a good medium through which to sell your artwork?
Have you thought about growing your business more through your website, i.e. create an e-commerce website that would allow people to peruse your work more as though they were in a shop?
What other digital marketing do you do to sell your artwork?
I’m on a couple of on-line galleries but they’re not really selling anything.
What advice would you give to other artists trying to successfully sell their artwork?
I would say that sometimes you’ve got to wear the business hat, which I lack. You’ve got to get yourself out there and be happy about promoting what you do, which I think I need to work on.
What plans do you have for 2018? Will we be able to visit your new creations anywhere?
I am working towards a show that will be at The Havering Museum in October. During the year more, exhibitions will start to pop up and I’ll see whether or not my work is suitable to submit.
Where do you see your artwork business going in the next five years?
Hopefully, I’ll be more comfortable wearing the business hat and be happier with promoting my work. I want to be climbing that ladder of success and I want to head to the top.
So, if you’re looking for some artwork that will add life to a bare wall, how about you check out some of Shema’s amazing creations via:
Facebook – Shema Ladva
Twitter - Shema Ladva
Instagram - shemaladvaarts
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a business that you would like to feature in this regular slot, why not get in touch? We’d love to hear from you!
If you’re thinking about having a website built from scratch it may be wise to shop around. Prices can vary as well as the details of the packages that some companies offer.
Here at Perfect Layout we are upfront about the cost of all our services to ensure that you are kept clearly in the picture, right from the word go. The relationship that we develop with you is important to us as our aim is to always to give you an honest and professional service.
Building a website from scratch can be paid for under two package systems. The first we call a website build only with hosting. The cost? £500 for a 10-page site. This is based upon you providing us with all content and images. The cost for hosting in year one is included in this price and there is a separate cost for hosting thereafter.
Regardless of which package you opt for, our consultation process remains the same, which is us trying to understand you and your business inside and out. Your success means our success and we are in this profession to help grow your client base as well as your profits!
Our second package is for those who understand the impact of having a fully optimised website and the revenue it could bring to the company. For £150 per month (for 12 months) we will build you a: 10-page website; identify and monitor keywords for your sector; provide monthly analytics of these keywords and where they rank when searched for as well as other important techy stuff that will help your website rank well.
Our ongoing support package also includes undertaking changes to ensure that keywords consistently rank when searched for. We also include listing you on up to ten online directories. The website build and hosting cost is included as part of this cost.
Because digital marketing is a constantly evolving entity, our package provides the reassurance that your website will be tweaked to reflect any emerging changes. New online businesses are being formed daily and to keep ahead of the competition, a website should be regularly reviewed so that it doesn’t look dated and keeps in touch with the tastes and needs of its clientele.
Need another service in addition to a website build? Take a look at our other services.
We look forward to hearing from you!