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.
Christine Huntingford, CEO, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing will be one of the guest speakers at the Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (HCCI) breakfast meeting in July.
Many business owners are busy working ‘in’ their business and rarely take the time to work ‘on’ their business. Are you one of them?
When was the last time you really looked at your website? Does it really work for you in the way that you want it to - i.e. are you getting leads from it? Do you know how easy it is for potential customers to find you? Is your social media activity where it should be?
We all know that there is more that we can, and should, do. Often the, ‘time thief’, prevents us from taking action. But there are simple and relatively quick things that you can implement (if you haven’t already) that can make a big difference. Some elements cost you time, not money. And those that do cost money, can be scaled to what is affordable for you.
Come along on Friday 13 July to the Havering Museum in Romford and join the members and guests of the Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry to hear Christine share ways for you to check if your website is easily found (or not) and things that you can implement quickly.
The meeting starts at 7:30am for networking and the speakers will be presenting between 8am and 9am. There is a further opportunity to network until 9:30am.
Guests welcome: £10 on the door.
If your business has a website, it is important not to see yourself as a stand-alone island with no links to other shores. If you want your island to be successful it needs to have connections with other islands that are well connected too.
In other words, having your website is just one of the steps of having a good online presence. However, it is imperative to take the time to list your business on other online directories too; so that they not only promote your services, but also add authority that you’re a current and valid business to approach.
When creating your listing on directories, like Thomson; on websites like NetMums, or on social media platforms like Facebook, you should include as much information about your business as possible. This includes giving obvious information such as your name, address and phone number (NAP).
Google My Business has made many changes to their features (read our article: What's new with Google My Business?). All businesses should list their information on it as a starting point in creating citations.
Why is it worth taking the time to cite your business on directories?
It allows you to be found by a greater number of customers through search engines like Google. The more directories your business is cited on, the better chance you will have for your business to rank highly in organic search.
With the majority of users turning to their mobile device to look for products, information and services, online directories help facilitate being found at any time, from anywhere. Do you want to miss out on potential business because you didn’t take the time to invest in this digital strategy?
Each directory company will offer different features, but this is what you may be asked to provide:
Listing a business on a directory is not difficult, but it can be time consuming. If you choose to give it a go yourself, make sure you do the job properly. If you don’t, it could affect your income, online rankings as well as your reputation.
Follow these tips to ensure that search engines, like Google, view you as a business that’s real and trustworthy and ultimately worth ranking:
Remember, citations that are accurate will help your business get noticed. So what are you waiting for?
If you don’t have the time, or the inclination, to do this, the team at Perfect Layout can help you. Fill in your details below and we’ll get in touch to find out more about your business.
By filling out this form, we will only contact you regarding this matter; we respect your data.
There are good websites and there are bad websites. If you have had a website for a while, but you find that you are not getting much from it, in terms of traffic, leads, calls etc, it could be that people are finding your website tricky to navigate or difficult to find the right information. I know it’s hard, but every six months or so, it is worth doing an audit of your website with, 'a fresh pair of eyes’, to check that everything is relevant and it all still makes sense.
Is it mobile-optimised?
The first thing to check is whether or not your website is on a mobile optimised platform? If not, the search engines will penalise your organic rankings. You will also find that customers, who have to pinch and expand the page to read the text, will more often bounce off to find another website that has a better user experience.
- Check: Is your website built on a mobile optimised platform?
Is your site easy to navigate with clear navigation buttons?
Most websites follow a similar structure which includes, a home page, an about page, pages on the services that you offer and a contact page. It may also be useful to have pages about the areas you serve, a portfolio of what you offer (whether it’s services or products) and even a testimonial page.
- Check: Are your navigation headers clear for a brand new visitor to understand?
Do you explain what you do?
It is all well and good you knowing what you do, but is this clear to your potential customers? If your business is selling products, do they have relevant descriptions that will help minimise the chance of those products being returned? If you offer a service, do you explain, in everyday language, what it is that you offer? When you work in a particular sector, it can become second nature to speak the jargon of that industry. But would everybody be able understand such specific terminology? Also make sure that you have clear headings throughout each page to make it easy to skim read. Often people are time-poor, so make your website a breeze to read through.
- Check: Is your website easy to understand? Ask a friend or family member to read through to see if it is clear to them. Do they have any questions about elements that remain unclear?
Can you add more visual elements to your website?
As they saying goes: ‘A photo tells a thousand words.’ Remember to include high resolution photos (that are saved for web) that convey clearly your products and services. If you offer a service then show before and after photos of projects that you have worked on. Be proud of the transformation that you can achieve.
- Check: What are the photos like on your site? Do you have relevant images that are crystal clear? Blurry photos will convey a slap-dash image of your company.
Do you have ways that customers can reach you?
The majority of users will be viewing your website on a mobile device. No longer is it OK to have your phone number only on the Contact Us page. Think about adding your contact details in your footer, so that it is easy to find you. If you are on a mobile optimised platform your web designer will be able to enable phone number hyperlinks, so that visitors can click on your number and call you straight away. Also think about other Call to Action buttons that you could include on each page.
- Check: How you can optimise better user engagement on every page, so that visitors can contact you immediately. Does your footer have contact details?
What are your customers saying about you?
If you are getting positive feedback from clients, then add this to your website. Why not create a testimonial page to enable new visitors to see what your customers think of you. Lots of lovely reviews will more likely result in a new visitor engaging with you.
- Check: When did you last upload a testimonial? Visitors will look for recent reviews, so keep adding them to your site.
Is your logo on your website?
Add your logo to the top left of your pages. The readers’ eyes will read from left to right and top to bottom. So by adding your logo to the top left will ensure that it is the first thing the reader sees. This implants your branding into their memory; making it easier to remember you when they re-visit your site.
- Check: Is your logo positioned in the top left hand corner?
For more user-friendly tips for your website visit Hubspot’s article.
Is your website in need of redesigning in order to make it a more user-friendly? Or perhaps you want to take this opportunity to start afresh? Either way, give Perfect Layout Digital Marketing a call on 01708 578 015.
It was earlier this year, when we were away for my son's rugby tour, when the stars seemed to align and offer me another opening for a client for newly formed Perfect Layout. As you do (when staying in a holiday camp as part of a rugby tour) I headed to the club house to socialise with other parents from the team and partake in a little beverage - mine was a white wine!
As I arrived at the table, I heard one of the dads moan about his website and how it was doing 'nothing' for his business. In the seven years that he had been with this reputable household-name web design company, he said that the only calls he was getting were cold calls. All of his work came from word of mouth. He was thinking of ending the contract, as he was paying a considerable amount of money each month with no real results and couldn’t see the point in continuing.
I decided to join in the conversation and let him know about Perfect Layout Digital Marketing and the work that we do. I didn't lay it on thick; that's not how we work. But I asked him what the domain was and that when I had a moment I would take a look, do a quick website analysis and let him know my observations. Over that weekend, when I found a connection to Wi-Fi (not so great in the middle of the country) and had a look. I was shocked!
This reputable company was taking a fair amount of money each month, for nothing. Their web account manager appeared to be always on the upsell telling him if he did x, y and z, their organic search would improve. What a joke!!!
The only credit I can give - and don't get too excited - is that their website was on a mobile friendly platform, but the content was next to nothing! Across the entire site was a total of approximately 500 words. How would his company ever be recognised for the services he offered when there was no content talking about what he did on his website? How were search engines expected to return his company in organic search when there was so little to go on?
Through a few sketchy headings, you got a sense of what they did, but it didn't even come close to what the recommendations are today regarding the amount of content there should be on a website. It also failed to explain the services they provided and there was no geographic explanation of which areas they served. No wonder he was miffed in spending money each month on this.
To cut a long story short, we recently launched his new website (Oct 2017). We created a comprehensive home page giving a full overview of the company and developed unique pages for each of the services offered. Each page is rich in keywords, making it easier for the algorithms to decipher the business that this company is in. We are confident that in the next few weeks, we are going to see his site climbing up in organic search and that in the near future he is going to be receiving calls and winning new business.
This is the point where most companies would hand the website to the client, say thank you very much and leave you to it. Not with Perfect Layout. With all of our customers who are on a monthly package, we will invest our time on other digital marketing strategies. In our opinion, having a great website is like making a cake with all the right ingredients.
If you want a fantastic cake you will need to enrich it with flavours and toppings. In today’s world, being basic just won’t make you stand out.
So the moral of the story is: listen, because you never know what you might hear...and more importantly, speak. Don't ever be afraid to tell people what you can do, especially if you can offer your services. Whilst it was a 'win' for Perfect Layout to sign another client, our mission is always to strive for a 'win-win' all round.
We will monitor the site month-on-month and continue to apply digital marketing strategies to ensure that this website gets noticed. If you're not sure why your website isn't delivering leads to you, give us a call. Let's have a chat and we will schedule a free website consultation.
Bespoke Curtains & Blinds in Romford, used to be based in North West London. With many existing clients and referrals still coming from that area, the business owner decided that by creating a website, she could attract new clients closer to her premises, as well as the Home Counties.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing worked with the owner, to understand the industry and wrote all the content for the site. it created specific location pages within each of the counties to ensure that her site would be found in organic search. Within a week of the site going live, her first local lead called through.
When a local hypnobirthing instructor set up her business, she was not aware of the importance of search engine optimisation and the use of keywords; in not only her site and but her url.
Whilst having a successful website under the business name Magical Baby Moments, she felt that having a second website, specifically called Romford Hypnobirthing would help her with local search.
Both sites are on page 1 of organic search, for key terms such as ‘Romford Hypnobirthing’ and ‘Hynobirthing in Romford’. This success on the search engines isn’t by luck, but instead because of tools and techniques implemented to deliver these results.
By adding these factors to her business, there has been an increase in local leads being generated from online searches.
If your business is struggling to be found online call Perfect Layout Digital Marketing today on: 01708 578 015.
Carly runs an established ice cream van business that has been in the family for almost 20 years. Her desire to promote her customer base and hire out her services to the Essex public led her to us. We immediately knew that with our help she would be able to have an online presence that would bring in new and repeat customers to use her services.
We started from scratch. During the consultation, we gained valuable insight into who she was and what her business had to offer. Her busy schedule and lack of website design experience meant that she was happy for us to write her content, source her images and effectively design, build and maintain for her a fabulous website.
Whilst this is a niche sector, there is significant competition. Through implementing a number of tools and techniques we were able to get this website up on page 1, organic search for the following keyword searches: ‘ice cream vans Romford’, ‘ice cream van hire Romford’, ‘wedding ice cream vans Romford’, just to name a few.
Carly’s Ice Cream Vans is a website that is hosted by Perfect Layout Digital Marketing and has been search engine optimised and is mobile responsive. Call us now so that we can help you get more leads and grow your business.