Are you failing to get leads from your website? Does it feel like a ghoul has hijacked business leads? Are you scared about this ever-changing world of digital marketing? Well, Perfect Layout are here to rescue you from your nightmares as we explain how Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) works. If you put in place these strategies, you will see your ranking improve. Are you ready to handle more leads coming to your business?
If you’re serious about wanting people to find you through a Google search, Search engine Optimisation (SEO) must be at the top of your priority list. You won’t be able to generate leads for your business if nobody can find you.
So, what happens after someone makes a search? Here is the likelihood of someone clicking on a link, depending on their organic positioning.
Breakdown of Google Click-Through Rates in by position
Position 1 – 20.5%
Position 2 – 13.32%
Position 3 – 13.14%
Position 4 – 8.98%
Position 5 – 9.21%
Position 6 – 6.73%
Position 7 – 7.61%
Position 8 – 6.92%
Position 9 – 5.52%
Position 10 – 7.95%
That means if you’re not number one on the page, you just missed out on a fifth of potential traffic. Most people won’t even click on the second page of the search results. If you are wondering why other websites are ranking higher than you on Google. It is because they are making a concerted effort to work on their SEO.
The good news is that it's never too late to start...you just have some catching up to do. There are techniques and strategies that you can apply to get you going.
The following 17 tips will increase your chances of getting ranked higher on Google searches.
1. Optimise your site for mobile devices
Long has the tablet and smartphone been around. They have taken over as preferred devices to search on when compared with a laptop. If your website design is not mobile friendly, you are going to be penalised. Why? Because Google recognises whether your site is mobile-friendly and ranks sites accordingly. Your website must be optimised for mobile users. If this means investing in a new web design, it will be money well spent. Ignore this tip at your peril.
2. Make sure your site is readable
Is the language that you are using on your site, written with your customer in mind? If you want people to visit your site and spend time there, speak in a way that they will understand. Don’t try to sound too professional. Write your content in clear and simple terms. Use short sentences. If you are not sure if your content is readable, use the Hemmingway App. It highlights where your content isn't working as well as it could be.
3. Format your page
When designing your website, take time to think about the layout for each page. Make sure it is neat, logical and uncluttered. Consider things like your font size and typography. Use coloured text, bold font, and italics sparingly. Consider using bullet points and checklists to make it easy to scan through your content. A clean design and format will improve your organic ranking.
4. Encourage people to stay on your site
How much time do people spend on your website per visit? If your site has fresh information, it will keep visitors on your page longer and this can be achieved in various ways, as outlined below.
5. Produce high quality content
There is no substitute for great content. Quality content created for your audience will increase site traffic. How often do you update your website? To encourage visitors to return you need fresh content. The more traffic to your website the more you will increase its popularity. Your content needs to be high quality, recent, and relevant.
6. Start blogging
Blogging is great for your business. It’s an outstanding tool for lead generation and helps you engage with visitors that come to your website. If you can create a group of loyal readers, you can get lots of traffic to your site on a regular basis. Blogs that incorporate good SEO practice, such as links, increased readability, and keywords, all positively impact on your search engine ranking.
7. Use keywords
Keywords play a major role in ranking. Brainstorm your sector. How do you think people will find you? 'Plumber in Romford', vs 'Central Heating Company in Romford' or 'Emergency Plumber in Romford'. There are so many ways people may look for your company. Now you need to include these 'keywords' into the content of your site. But do it sparingly. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon by the search engines and you will be penalised.
Keywords should fit naturally into sentences:
· Include them in your header tags
· Include then in image captions
· Include the use of long-tail keywords, (three or four words that make phrase)
If your keywords match their search, your website will have a greater chance of getting ranked higher.
8. Break up your content with header tags
Headings are another way to help improve the user experience. They break up the content and make it easier to read. If your website is big block of text, people are going to click off your website. If you’re not using headers, try and incorporate them within your content now.
9. More than words
Your website shouldn’t be only written words. Break up the pages with relevant, high-quality pictures. Consider also adding videos, slideshows, or audio to your site. This improves the user experience, as not everyone enjoys just reading.
Also remember what we said about the time people spend on your site. Videos, for example, can extend significantly the amount of time spent on your website. If that happens, it will boost your search ranking.
10. Optimise your images
Pictures and other images are not only visually great for your website. But when they are optimized properly they can improve your SEO ranking. Make sure you do the following:
Resize your images. Huge images can slow your page loading time, which can hurt your ranking. Use your images to sneak in keywords by naming them accordingly. Add keywords in the title of your image as well as the caption or description.
11. Include internal links
Internal links direct visitors to other pages on your website. Not only are you encouraging the reader to find out more about what you do, you are keeping visitors on your site for longer and reducing your bounce rate.
12. Use outbound links
When you are writing a blog or have content that researches a topic, link to sites you have used for information or that go into further detail. Connect your facts to the data source with a hyperlink back to them. When you source something, try to ensure that it is the most recent information.
13. Create anchor text properly
If you ever type 'Click here for more information'. STOP. Start creating relevant links within the text. 'Click here means nothing to the search engine. “Central Heating Installations” is rich with keywords. It will improve your search engine rankings, as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to.
14. Provide appropriate contact information
Have you ever struggled to find the contact information of a business on a website? This should never happen. All your contact information should be easy to find. Make sure you have a footer on every page of your site that includes your Name, Address and Phone number, otherwise known as the NAP.
15. Sharing is caring
Every business and website need to be active on social media. Your SEO ranking will improve when people share links to your website on social media. If you encourage social sharing as a regular part of your SEO campaigns, you will see a difference. Include social sharing icons on all your content and share links on your social media pages.
16. Title Metadata
Title metadata is the page title displayed at the top of a browser window and as the headline within search engine results. It is the most important metadata on your page. Make sure your site has this section filled in.
17. Description Metadata
When you see the results in organic search there will be a title and a description. This description metadata is vital to encouraging visitors to click to your site.
Search engine optimisation isn’t going away. If anything, it is getting more sophisticated and complex and is an ongoing job that needs focus and attention. This blog contains a long list of actions but don’t be put off! Write these actions on your to-do-list and go through them week, by week. Every improvement you make will stand your website in good stead.
Monitor your results monthly. Checking your traffic and search ranking will help validate your SEO strategy. It will also highlight areas on your website that need more attention. Who knows, by working on these elements, you might claim that elusive number one spot! It's all about outsmarting your competition. That’s what we at Perfect Layout Digital Marketing are working on every day with our clients.
These are only a few of the many methods for improving your search engine ranking. If you want to learn more, we recommend that you visit: Improve your performance on Google Search or give us a call and speak to our friendly team. Call 01708 578 015.
In short, yes!
When it comes to branding and awareness of your company, you should try to be as visually consistent as you can. You want your customers to instantly recognise you. First you must start with your logo and then build out your brand from there.
Ensure brand consistency across all your channels
Brand consistency refers to your brand identity, brand voice and brand guidelines. Does everything you create follow these guidelines? Doing so is a major step towards letting consumers get to know you as an organisation.
When they know you, they will identify with you and your purpose. And when consumers feel like they know you and can trust you, they will be more likely to buy from you. They will also be more likely to recommend you to their peers.
The content on your website, social media channels, newsletters and any offline marketing should all have the same 'feel'. Making connections between the content you own is a great way to maximise your presence. This way you can ensure you get the largest number of eyes on your products and services.
When it comes to your website you should ensure that it is consistent with all your other marketing. You should also be mindful of how user-friendly your site is. Can customers navigate around your website easily?
Structure: how well structured is the content on your website? You need to aim for a minimum number of navigation layers. Customers want as few clicks as possible to get to what they want. The website section division must be clear, logical and predictable.
Minimalism: efficient web page navigation is always simple and user-friendly. Add only those elements to your menu design that are essential for the effective communication. The key to success is a menu bar consisting of a minimal number of sections that goes to what they need.
Design: when selecting a design focus on readability, integrity, and harmony. Too many icons, buttons and shortcuts will put visitors off your site. The simpler the web navigation, the likelier customers will stay on your website.
Remember that: navigation can affect traffic and how high you’ll rank and how much traffic you’ll get from search.
Navigation affects conversions: how easy the site is to use effects what percentage of visitors convert into leads and customers.
Social Media Integration
Do you want to grow your market and reach a broader audience? Then the key is to integrate your business into social media. Social media channels and your website should work together to promote your online brand. Opening accounts in these platforms is completely free. They are a very good tool to increase your popularity and online presence.
Add links to your social channels from your website to increase the chance that search engine users will find your website.
Being active on social media channels can help build (or retain) a solid audience. Post regularly and keep your audience updated on your products and services as well as what's new on the market.
Unless you are able to do it yourself, marketing requires a lot of time, effort and money. But when it is done correctly and consistently across the various channels, it can be extremely powerful and rewarding.
Getting your brand, marketing strategy, website and social media platforms to where you want them to be, takes time and a lot of effort. If you are a small company, it might be worth considering hiring external professionals to help you.
If you want to know more about this important topic read our blog How important is branding for my company?
You might also like: 50 meticulous style guides every startup should see before launching by Canva.
Nowadays it’s plain to see that a massive part of our marketing strategy is undertaken digitally. Consumers and businesses spend more time searching online than anywhere else, so that's exactly where your business needs to be in order to reach them.
Whether you have been in business for a while or your business is in its infancy, the ever-changing picture of digital marketing can quickly grow and feel overwhelming. As a self-employed business owner, you are already faced with a long daily to-do list. How are you supposed to create, and maintain, an effective digital marketing strategy too?
What is a digital marketing strategy?
Your digital marketing strategy encompasses a series of actions (that take place online) with the aim of marketing your business and attracting the right customers.
The term ‘strategy’ might seem frightening but simply means, ‘plan of action’. Creating an effective digital strategy doesn’t need to be scary and should be viewed as a necessary tool that's used for bringing more paying customers to your business.
How to build a comprehensive digital marketing strategy
You will gain a better insight into your sector by studying other business models and reviewing the approach taken by your competitors. The results can form part of your strategy.
The following is a list of other factors to consider when devising your strategy.
1) Identify and build your buyer personas
Buyer persona's shows your ideal customer and can be developed by researching, surveying, and interviewing the target audience of your business. It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data. Making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to fail.
To get a rounded picture of your persona, try and include information that relates to their demographics, motivations, behaviour patterns and goals. Include a mixture of customers and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.
2) Identify your goals and the digital marketing tools you’ll need
Your marketing goals should form a significant part of the objectives for your business. For example, if your business’s goal is to increase online revenue by 20 per cent, your goal as a marketer might be to generate 50 per cent more leads via the website than you did last year to contribute towards that success.
Whatever your dominating goal is, you need to know how to measure it. The success of a digital strategy will be measured differently for each business and will vary dependent upon the nature of your goal. Having the ability to measure the impact of a marketing strategy is essential as it will allow you to refine your approach accordingly.
3) Evaluate your existing digital marketing channels and assets. Which ones are you using? Should you be on others?
The digital landscape changes quite often, so it’s a good idea to do your homework and find out what is out there, who is using it, why are they using it and if it’s a method that will fit in with your business. Not all platforms or assets are right for every business.
The key is to build a plan of what you would like to do and how you are going to achieve this. Can it be executed with your current resources or do you need to invest in more staff or external help?
4) Audit and plan your owned media.
Your owned media (original content that you create yourself) is often placed at the heart of digital marketing – your website. Each element of content that your brand creates, such as your website pages, product descriptions, blog posts, e-books, infographics, all helps transform your website viewers into leads and customers. It can also boost your search/organic traffic.
Whatever your goal is, you’ll need owned content to form part of your digital marketing strategy. You can then use other platforms (e.g. social media) to broadcast your messages to other audiences.
5) Create a content strategy and develop your earned media
Earned media is external publicity that you haven’t paid for. This is media exposure that comes to your business via methods such as, customer reviews, or content that has been shared, reposted, or mentioned by other people on their social media channels.
A good content strategy creates earned media. In turn, this exposure gets picked up by search engines and works towards them favourably ranking you above your competitors. Review the digital marketing asset column above and consider which tools will help your business receive more engagements and improve the external publicity for your site.
6) Do you have a budget for paid media?
If you have a marketing budget, you may want to spend some of it on advertising. Branded content, pay per click advertising (PPC) or display ads in print/online newspapers/magazines are all varieties of paid media. Budgets can be spent easily, so choose wisely where you want to spend your money. For online businesses, this is an essential aspect of revenue growth and building brand awareness.
7) Bring it all together.
It’s never too late to start implementing a good digital marketing strategy for your online business. A combination of owned, earned and paid for media can often give you better results.
Remember to plan ahead (as much as is realistically possible) and schedule regular meetings to evaluate the impact and performance of what has gone out. What lessons have you learned? Going forward, does the marketing plan you have in place need to be tweaked?
Digital marketing checklist:
- Profile of your buyer persona
- One or more marketing-specific goals
- An inventory and audit of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
- An owned content strategy plan
- Social media marketing plan
- Ideas of how you can create earned content
- A budget and plan for paid for content (advertising)
Have you got everything covered? We’d love to hear how you plan and action your digital marketing strategy. Leave a comment below to get the discussion started.
On 1 October the Havering Chambers of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) held their annual showcase event at the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch. For the first time, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing were in attendance as exhibitors.
As we arrived to set up, many businesses had already organised their tables and there was a buzz of anticipation in the air. Exhibiting at this event was open to both members and non-members of the HCCI and Barry Hicks (Chairman of the HCCI) had meticulously overseen the planning and administration.
The evening was opened by the Mayor of Havering, Dilip Patel, who spoke about the value that local businesses added to the community. There was a raffle with prizes that had been donated by the exhibitors and a free buffet and wine, for everyone in attendance.
Being on the other side of the table presented the challenge of attracting business owners to the table to talk about how our services could help theirs. Whilst we understand that not everyone needs our services, it was our aim to highlight that having a website that ‘looked good’ was only one element of drawing regular leads to an online business.
We presented a PowerPoint questionnaire that asked attendees the following questions:
Does your website and digital marketing need some TLC?
We have some quick tips to help make your site work better for you.
Enter your business service plus location to find out where your business comes up, i.e. website designers Romford
It’s a well-known fact that when people search for a service, businesses beyond page two don’t get looked at
When searched for locally, where does your business appear?
Does it appear in the Map Pack?
Do you have a ‘Google My Business’ listing for your business?
When you type your name into Google, does your business appear in a box to the right and does a list show where your business appears in directories?
Claiming your GMB and optimising your profile can do wonders for increasing your online visibility
– and it’s free!
If you are struggling to be found, let us put the icing on your ‘website’ cake.
Do any of these questions touch a nerve or highlight aspects of digital marketing that your business is lacking? If so, get in touch, was we can definitely help!
We really enjoyed attending the HCCI showcase event. It enabled us to mingle with other businesses and sow a seed in their minds about what we do. It’s still early days to know whether or not we’ve acquired any new customers, but networking for us isn’t just about that. It’s about getting to know the faces and personalities behind the businesses in our area and passing details on to others that may need their help. For us, creating real connections in this way is what networking is all about.
I’m keen to have a website for my business, but money is tight. I’m thinking of creating one myself, any tips?
Whatever type of business you have, there is no getting away from the fact that people will expect you to have an online presence. Whilst some business owners are able to make a reasonable income via social media platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) or e-commerce platforms (like Etsy and Shopify) having your own website has many benefits.
If your budget limits you from hiring a website designer, or you are attracted to the idea of creating a website yourself, there are many website providers to choose from. They will advertise low-cost packages with guidance on how to do it yourself, but will the end result generate more customers coming to your site?
Five top tips to having a great website
Top tip 1 – ensure that the content on your site accurately reflects the services/products of your business. Your bounce rate will increase if your writing style includes over long sentences, has grammatical mistakes or has a dull/flat tone. Analyse your competitors and review what does and doesn’t work for them. Let your website reflect your personality and the type of business that you have so that you don’t come across as cold and boring.
Brainstorm the terms that your customers search for you. Googles keyword planner is a tool that can help you pinpoint relevant long and short tail keywords. Having relevant keywords allow search engines, like Bing and Google, to match the right business to the right customer.
We understand that creative writing is not everyone’s cup of tea, so if the thought of doing this doesn’t sit well with you, why not give us a call? We have an excellent copywriting service that can be accessed in isolation or as part of an ongoing package.
Top tip 2 – be sure to encourage your conversion rate by giving those perusing your site every opportunity to get in touch or make a purchase. Using Call to Actions (CTA’s) throughout your website are a great way of nudging customers to act. CTA’s can be contact forms, telephone or current special offers.
Top tip 3 – gone are the days when all websites were difficult to view on a mobile phone. Business owners on platforms that are not mobile friendly will be penalised by search engines, which could negatively affect your rankings.
When creating your site, make sure it has the ability to respond to the device (mobile phone, laptop or iPad) that is being used. Customers do not like websites that have poor navigation. Make it easy and obvious for people to find their way around your site as clumsy navigation that has not been thought through could lose you income.
Top tip 4 – take the time and get your business listed on external directories. This will help boost your online presence as search engines view you as a trustworthy business. Read our blog for more details about why your business needs to be listed on directories.
Top tip 5 – consider the layout of your website. Have a theme that limits the use of colours, fonts and gifs. You will want each page to look its best and engage with customers – not distract them. High engagement leads to a higher conversion rate. Pages that are cluttered will prohibit users from scanning text for key points.
The use of photographs can really bring a website to life. Avoid using stock images, wherever possible, as they can depersonalise your business. Having images of yourself, staff and business premises will assist customers build a picture of who you are and the service/product you offer.
This list will definitely put you on the right track to getting the most from your website. If you find that later down the line your rankings haven’t improved, why not get in touch? Our Perfect Layout web development team are ready to help!