SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization and basically refers to the processes that are followed when it comes to optimising (getting the most out of) a website to be ranked by search engines. The most popular search engines on the internet are Google, Yahoo, Bing and Microsoft.
When a website is designed and developed, it should represent more than just a portfolio of your products and services. After all, what’s the point of having a website that looks awesome, but goes unseen by the people that would like to buy your wares? SEO is the technical part of marketing online as it helps your website get promoted to the correct location – right in front of buying customers.
There are various techniques used to get more traffic to your website from search engines, which can be broken down into two categories. Off-page SEO, is the work undertaken externally to a website and on-page SEO are the changes made on the actual website.
Why is SEO important?
Undertaking SEO is important as it can improve the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines. If you want to get more visitors to your site, then you must employ SEO. Remember, there are billions of websites on the internet and billions of people visiting those sites looking to buy or hire services or products. If you want to receive some of that revenue then add SEO to your timetable and budget.
On-page SEO, examples…
Keywords are very important for every business as they can drive targeted web traffic to your business for free. To use keywords effectively, they must form part of quality content writing.
When a visitor uses a search engine, like Google, to find what they are looking for, the content on your website comes under scrutiny. With quality content and SEO-friendly formatting, the Google algorithm, for example, will look for important words at particular places on your web page or blog post – thus enabling you to get found.
Long-tail keywords can also be used with great effect. These are keyword phrases that contain at least three words, sometimes more and can be used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. In other words, they're more specific and often less competitive than generic keyword terms and are very specific to whatever you are selling. An example could be 'wedding venues in Romford', this is more specific than 'wedding venues'
Some businesses choose to include keywords relevant to their business in their domain name. This strategy works as long as the name is in line with the brand identity for the website. It is also important not to limit your business by choosing a name that is applicable for your business only in the short term. Let your 5 to 10 year business plan reflect where you want to be long term.
A conversion comes in different formats. For example, it may mean that a visitor has left their details in a 'contact us' form; someone buys a product, or leaves a comment on your blog post.
So what is a landing page? A landing page, sometimes called a destination page, is the web page that visitors arrive at after they click the link on a search engine results page or social media post. A landing page can be the first page of a website that was advertised on the search engine results page, or a website page that appears most relevant to your search query. This page generally displays logical information, usually something that pertains directly to the keywords searched for, or has the keywords directly on the page.
It is very important to optimise your landing pages for two reasons. Firstly, an optimised landing page is likely to get higher rankings by the search engines. Secondly, attractive landing pages are likely to lead to conversions of your potential customers.
Off-page SEO, examples…
It is key to remember that search engines are not humans but text-driven computers. They do not care about how a website looks but more about the content within it. The main processes of search engines are crawling, indexing and retrieving information.
Search engines review not only the content within a website but also the information that describes the pages. On a website, meta tags should be applied to the title and description of each page. Search engines use the meta data to better understand what your page or post is all about. When a search engine creates your listing, the meta data is used for the title and description showing up for your page or post. As a result, with the right title and description, you improve your SEO positioning.
Linking to other websites is another vital part of the SEO process. When a website is newly created it can take some time to be indexed in the search engines. Having links to and from other websites makes this process much faster but should be undertaken with moderation. Creating too many links, too quickly can lead to problems and potentially being penalised by the search engines.
Obtaining quality backlinks is imperative, as it can improve the importance of your website. There are 3 types of links:
Inbound links - when an external website links to your page
Outbound links - when you link your website to an external web page
Internal links -when you link a page to another page that is within your website
This blog doesn’t cover the full list of SEO techniques out there, but is a start to getting your head around what you need to do. Give us a call on 01708 578 015 if you would like to discuss how we can improve your website and get you ahead of your competition.
If you thought that GMB was shorthand for a trade union, think again! In the modern age it’s much more likely to be a reference to Google My Business.
You may feel that people “google” your business all the time, but do they always find you? Google’s free product Google My Business (GMB) is incredibly useful for helping people discover you and for putting your name on the first page of search results.
So, yes you do want to be on Google My Business.
How does GMB work?
You’ve probably seen hundreds of Google My Business listings without realizing it. They’re the short lists that pop up when you search for something generic like “cafes near me” or often when you search for a specific business name it’s the GMB listing that appears.
Below is an example of a “cafes near me” search. Each one of these businesses will have a GMB listing. You’ll see that a list of 3 names appears, this is what Google calls the “3 pack”
When you click on one of the named business it will take you through to their individual GMB listing, containing more information including a location map and often a photo, video, blog and lots of useful info.
This information can satisfy searchers, but most will then click through to your website using the button at the top of the listing, especially if you have lots of products and services. A café for example would likely have menu details on their site.
GMB is therefore essentially a widely used local business listings service, used by large and small companies. The great news is that every business can achieve a prominent listing if they get the basics right and deliver great value that customers appreciate.
The top 8 Reasons you need to be on GMB
1. Achieving prominence in search results
A listing can help your business to stand out in search results, and can help people to find your business, whether it’s online or offline. Your objective should be to get into the top 3 search results, which is where factors such as review scores are important.
2. Local search for local services
If you want to improve your chances in local search results, then a GMB listing is the key. Research shows that 46% of all searches are for local businesses while the “3 pack” format of results now appears in 93% of all local searches, so you have to be there!
3. Searching on your mobile
Most local search is now done on smart phones and GMB listings dominate mobile search results.
4. Make it easy for customers to find you
GMB listings provide a quick snapshot of your business. Maps, opening times, images and reviews all help searchers quickly decide whether they should visit you.
5. Think about your competition
If you’re annoyed that your competitors always appear in searches and you don’t, it’s because they have a GMB listing. Something as simple as that will mean they’re getting some of your business, unless you get on GMB yourself.
6. Gives you credibility
Users are accustomed to seeing these profiles, and it can lend some credibility to your business. Listings look professional and provide key information that helps people to decide whether you’re a credible business or not.
7. GMB has amazing features
Google are constantly updating their GMB features, so you can now add all kinds of fabulous elements to your listing, not just photos but videos too. Videos are a great way of educating customers and really help them make buying decisions.
As with everything on the internet it pays to keep your GMB listing fresh, so make sure to add seasonal special offers, events information, and to add regular blog posts. They all help in making you easier to find and to ensure you appear in the “3 pack”.
8. Free and Easy
Google My Business is free and easy to set up, but if you don’t have the time or feel you don’t have the skills it’s second nature to our digital whizz kids at Perfect Layout.
If you are unsure or don't have the time to set up your GMB, give us a call, we can help you get your business visible online.
We are asked all the time, why do I need a blog on my website? It probably ranks right next to, what is SEO? And believe it or not the two are related. In a nutshell the number one reason for having a blog on your website is that it drives search engine traffic.
How does it drive search engine traffic? Well, for one it enriches your content, but secondly and of equal importance it keeps your site updated.
If you think about the way Google and other search engines work, they constantly look for indexed pages. So every time you put up a blog it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means there is a greater opportunity for it to show up in search engines.
Blogging also shows search engines that your site is active and they should be checking back regularly for new content, even better it puts more keywords on your site, all of which help it rise up the page rankings; in the trade it’s known as organic SEO!
But it’s not all about SEO. Blogging is one of your best sales tools that can help increase leads and improve conversion rates.
While its pretty tacky to use your blog for a direct sales message, it is your big chance to really tell your organisation’s stories.
It will also show your credibility and to prove your authority in your market. In many ways blogging is your chance to show off and to really convey that you are an expert in your field.
We always get a real buzz when we read a blog that teaches us something new, written by someone passionate about their subject, it’s such a great opportunity to get inside the personality of a business.
Don’t make it too long though (around 500 words is optimum), but tell compelling stories in your voice which help customers and potential customers understand something about what you do, how you work, your industry or what you’ve learned on the way.
Your blog therefore is the enrichment you put into your site, the thing you do to change it from a showroom into a friendly business.
The big benefit of this rich content is that readers love to share new, fun and interesting material they’ve found online. Which means that not only do you have something to put up on your social media channels every time you blog, but so do your clients and potential clients.
Think about it, if a potential client has read your blog and has even linked to it on social media, how much more likely are they to buy from you than if all they’d seen were the static “services” or “about us” pages on your website?
You know we said its not all about SEO, but actually those social media links are great for creating inbound links to your website, something search engines absolutely love.
As you can see we practice what we preach, believing passionately that blogging is the most creative way for driving search engines to find you and to influence prospects to buy from you. If you need help with making this happen, why not get in touch on 01708 578 015 or take a look at our copywriting services for more information.
Today more than half the media we consume comes through digital channels. Reaching consumers through digital channels offers various advantages and today we will discuss five of those reasons. In 2019, no business wanting to succeed can be without a digital strategy. It should be a fundamental part of all businesses to produce, publish and distribute content which allows them to expand awareness of products and services through digital channels.
It takes money to make money. If you want to expand your brand, increase sales and grow your business fast, then it is important to invest in marketing for it to happen.
Offering a sale during a festive season in a certain area, can be an example of location-based targeting. Example: A Sandwich Bar can post google ads during rush hours to working class people at 4 PM around 6 KM diameter of the bar.
Reason 2 - Visibility in the Online World
All potential customers have moved online where they are actively searching for products and services. Unlike the traditional form of marketing, Digital Marketing has the capacity to reach the right audience and also engage with them in various forms of communications. The more you penetrate online the more you can motivate the customers to take action, which generally leads to a better Return of Investment (ROI).
Nowadays, there are various platforms in which businesses can be listed. Using social media, directory listing services like Google Maps, Trip Advisor and Yelp can help to increase the brand visibility on the internet. Search Engine Optimisation plays a huge role in the organic side of visibility. Placing Ads on Google or social media are other ways to help increase the visibility of the brand.
Reason 4 - Fast, Effective and Low-Cost
Unlike traditional media, digital marketing is able to penetrate the market quicker. Campaigns can be effective when applied with great marketing vision. When comparing costs, it’s more likely to be much cheaper than traditional medians such as directory, print, radio or TV advertising. Businesses can market their services with better effectiveness and at a lower cost.
Reason 5 - Measurable
Digital marketing campaigns are measurable and can be segmented in metrics to create a meaningful output. The output can be further analysed, in order to optimise further campaigns to create more efficient results. Some of the tools used for Digital Marketing are Google Analytics, Google Ads Platform, Facebook Analytics.
An example of how analytics can have an effective impact on a business is demonstrated by this example…A barbershop decides to put a store ad to Facebook. He creates an ad which ran 24h every day. After a few weeks, he looks at the analytics and finds that the peak hour of the clicks in the ads are during the day from 12pm-4pm. Now, he edits his campaign so that the ads run with more budget during these peak hours, and less or not at all outside of these time frames. This way the barbershop used the power of Digital Marketing to successfully give him an increase on his Return of Investment (ROI).
Get in touch you if require help with your marketing strategy by emailing us, or calling 01708 578 015.
Organic SEO or search engine optimisation is one of the most powerful online marketing strategies available to webmasters and bloggers. It takes a combination of high-quality content, social media presence and other factors to climb to the top of the search engine rankings for your specific keyword phrases. Without the right ingredients, your SEO strategy can actually backfire.
It all starts with the keyword phrases and the theme of your content. Without unique, high-quality content, you will struggle to find your website or blog listed on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine. According to Optimonster these are the most important SEO ranking factors:
Below, you will find the top five organic search engine optimisation techniques and a few tips to help you gain a larger web presence. SEO is no longer a world dominated by the website receiving the largest number of backlinks.
Content matters and it must be high-quality content. Low-quality, poorly written content doesn't rank very well because it doesn't provide the user with a great experience.
The goal of Google and all other search engines is to deliver the best possible search results for their users. High-quality, usable content provides the type of experience internet searcher want.
Most searchers seek information, such as a solution to their problem or a how-to type of article about something specific. When your content delivers this type of experience, you gain higher ranking on the search engines because they consider your content to be high in quality.
Use videos or images
Not all content requires a video or an image, but the use of both or at least one can greatly aid in ranking higher in the search engines. Images provide away to break up your content, give the user something to draw them in and give you the opportunity to increase your on-page SEO.
Whenever you provide a relevant image with your written content, you can change the ALT tag and the image title to match your theme. By using your main keyword phrase or a secondary keyword phrase as the ALT tag and title of your image, you score extra SEO points.
Images also provide a second benefit. Google and other search engines will list the images in the "image" search category. This means, when somebody is searching for an image and they find yours, it could potentially lead them back to your website. However, if you don't provide an image title or ALT tag, you may not get listed.
Videos are another very powerful way to deliver content. Providing a video with your written content gives the visitor a better experience, as long as the video fits with the content. This is a very powerful way to build better organic SEO. In addition, videos tend to gain higher ranking on Google than some written content does. We can constantly find out more concerning techniques for organic search through correct searching.
Create a blog
Websites without a blog can still rank high on Google, Yahoo and Bing, but they are missing out on one of the most powerful organic search engine optimisation techniques online today. Blogging provides the ability to target a broader subject area and cover very narrow topics within the broader spectrum.
Every blog post acts as a small traffic engine and provides the opportunity to gain more traffic from the search engines. Think of blogging this way, when you post high quality content to your blog, it's like deploying an army of individuals with a stack of business cards. Each blog post will go to a different corner of the internet and attract a different type of individual to your website.
Not only can the blog posts take over first page ranking on the search engines, but they also help you build a community. If your blog post covers topics somebody is interested in, they will subscribe to your blog. When somebody subscribes to your blog, you gain multiple opportunities to sell your products and services to them.
Use social media
Social Media is not going anywhere and it is important to be present on all relevant platforms.Google and other search engines track the networks that your business is connected to. Social signals factor heavily into organic SEO and if you want to rank high for your target keywords, you must use social media and social bookmarking.
Sites, such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest many others offer great leverage if a business is looking to increase their organic search engine optimisation. By sharing blog posts across these social media sites, gives you the ability to increase organic search and gain social traffic.
Meta tag your website
Your META title, description and tags are really important to your overall SEO. Search engines use the meta data to better understand what your page or post is all about. When a search engine creates your listing, the meta data is used for the title and description showing up for your page or post. With the right title and description, you improve your SEO positioning.
Now that you know five of the most important techniques to help you get organic search traffic, it’s time for your to take action. This is not an overnight job, it takes a strategy, a plan and then dedication to keep it up regularly.
If running your business is taking up all your time and you need someone else to manage your organic search traffic for you, contact the team at Perfect Layout on 01708 578 015.
According to emarketer approximately $11.5 billion was spent on online video advertising in 2018. There is no getting away from the fact that there is now an expectation from consumers to view the products and services of a business in a different format. Those in the know, have incorporated some of their advertising and marketing budget to attract customers by using this method in different ways.
The reason for the rise in video advertising becoming more popular is its effectiveness. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth much more. Forrester estimates that one minute of video equates to 1.8 million words of text in the message communicated. That’s an amazing statistic!
Research shows that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it. Video content already represents 76% of all Internet traffic and projections estimate 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019 will be videos. The same study states that using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates by 65%.
Video on a Landing Page
When a visitor lands on your site, you’ve literally got seconds to impress them and get them engaged with what you have to offer. This is the whole point of a landing page. But these days, people are so used to seeing rich media content on the internet that, quite frankly, text content often doesn’t keep them engaged.
Embedding a video on your website will not only increase the length of time that visitors stick around, but also, the number of conversions to paying customers, which, ultimately, is what SEO is all about.
Cons of using videos on a landing page
1. A low-quality video or poor video execution could possible cheapen your brand and offering
2. A video can be an overkill or a distraction when it's too long
3. An autoplay video might be annoying for users if the website is visited frequently by your prospects and customers.
4. In some instances, an image (meme, infographic, etc.) can be more interesting than a video, especially if your target demographic is less inclined to pay attention to videos.
5. Producing top-quality marketing videos will require hours of learning a new skill set.
There are many different types of video content you can use. To give you a flavour of the different types on offer – here is a short list explaining some of them:
Demo videos should teach prospects or customers how to accomplish something with your product. It’s not a 1 hour demo caught on camera, but a quick overview of one or more of your features. Keep your demo videos to the point, walk viewers through one action, and do it succinctly.
Brands need to create extraordinary video to earn attention, likes, and shares. The video should reflect the business ideology and style in a short and effective way.
Most event organisers have recognized how important video content is in making people aware of an event. Event videos communicate impressions of the event and transport emotions.
Effective educational videos are driven by emotion and backed by facts. Our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster and the use of sound and visual cues increases enjoyment and retention.Video puts us in the room where it happens, which makes it particularly effective in education as it creates context and puts learners at the centre of the action.
Obviously, not every business with a website has a product to sell, as some businesses are service oriented. For these, you can increase conversions with the use of explainer/introductory videos. There are varying styles for these videos, and truthfully, there’s no exact science as to what styles work best. It’s more about producing a video that explains/introduces a client’s business effectively and in an engaging way.
Animated video brings concepts to life that text or live videos can’t. Think about it the world really is your oyster where you can make your characters talk all you want, fly, or travel in time. With the help of animation, you can show how mechanisms and processes work in an interesting way.
Case study Videos
Rather than focusing directly on your product or service itself, a good case study tells the story of your customer from their point of view and how your business helped to solve their problems. All of this builds the credibility of your brand. Social proof is another reason why case studies work so well. It’s a psychological phenomenon that means people are more likely to take certain action if they see others taking that action also.
If you’re hosting or participating at an event, that means your customers are likely to be there too. Take advantage of the opportunity and get them on camera to create customer testimonials full of passion for your brand. Attendees can also be interviewed on what they are enjoying and learning to get more people to attend your corporate events in the future.
This list is just a snapshot of what can be done to help sell your product or service via video. If you need help with incorporating this marketing idea into your digital strategy – give us a call today on 01708 578 015.
Online Marketing is the method to deliver promotional content through the internet to the
people’s browser or email. Online Marketing can be done by text ads, image ads, video ads,
native content or from Apps like Facebook or Twitter and many more. Online Marketing allows
you to reach people you may not reach with offline marketing campaigns.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic
using various strategies, techniques and tactics to obtain high ranking in organic [Unpaid]
search results. In other words, SEO is a process of making web pages attractive to the search
engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
SEO can be done by editing on-site and off-site elements of the website to improve the chances
of showing up higher in Search Engines Results Page (SERP) for important keywords.
According to Hootsuite, Google holds 76% of the total Search Engine market share while 93%
of people click on the search results in the first page of Google.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM refers to paid search marketing in the search results. We can define SEM as serving an advertisement to a user using a search engine based in their query. For example, for a user who searches for a query, we can bid on certain keywords which match algorithmically to the user query and serve a text ad to them.
Search engine marketing has grown exponentially over the past decade. Google AdWords is the most popular paid search platform used by search marketers followed by Bing.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social Media Marketing is a method to increase traffic and promote your content, product or
service using social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or other
social media apps. We can term Social Media Marketing as the process of using the potential
of social media to leverage the value of your business.
Out of 4 billion internet users, 3 billion people use social media. So, the power to networking
and publishing through social media is high.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is a model of online marketing in which advertisers pay a fee
each time one of their ads is clicked.
Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to 'earn' those visits
organically. The advertiser pays publishers every time a visitor clicks their ad, hence the model
is known as pay-per-click, as advertisers only pay when the visitor clicks their ad. If a visitor
sees an ad but doesn’t click it, the advertiser is made aware of the impression but doesn’t have
to pay as no click took place.
Content Marketing is promoting free or additional value to your targeted audience or users
that you already have. Good content either should provide information [that the user is
looking for to solve the problem], inspiration [So people can get inspired to buy or use the
product service to solve the problem.] or entertaining so that user will stick to the content for
better click through rates.
Writing a blog, making video contents, creating a podcast can be few examples of Content
Affiliate marketing is monetisation of word-of-mouth marketing. It is a way of getting a
commission in exchange for referring a product or service to another customer. Affiliate
marketing has evolved over the past decade as the internet has evolved and a number of
channels such as social or email etc. Basically, it is influencers that are recommending products
and services that are not their own, but people go to them to get the information.
Email marketing is a workhorse of digital marketing as you can deliver a highly personalised
experience, multiple times on a scale through email. The main advantage of an email marketing
is that you precisely know how many emails have been delivered, opened or clicked upon.
Tying up these numbers with revenue metrics, the numbers will have a big meaning to your
email marketing campaigns.
Example of email marketing can be sending promotional emails, email with offers or discount or
thanking customers or users for using the product or can be used to provide inspirations to try
your product or services. Some of the popular automated email marketing tools are MailChimp,
Constant Contact, drip and convert Kit.
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.
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.
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!
Search Engine Optimisation, also known as SEO, is the techy way of describing how to make the most of a website’s online visibility. Imagine you have purchased a house that was in desperate need of repair. How would you go about getting it to look it’s best?
There are various things that you could do. You could: replace the windows, build an extension, re-plaster the walls inside out and landscape the garden. After completing these jobs, the house would serve better as a home. It would also be more comfortable and functional. That’s what SEO is. It’s a way of making the purpose of a website work better and be found by people looking for it.
If you have a website, blog or online store, SEO can help your business grow and get your business found online. SEO techniques vary. It’s a good idea to make sure that you put in place the basic strategies and check them regularly. The process of optimisation is not a one-time process. It requires regular maintenance and fine tuning alongside continuous testing and monitoring.
SEO can increase the quality of a website by making it user friendly, faster and easier to navigate. In today’s competitive market, undertaking SEO is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users per day. They look for answers to questions and solutions to their problems. The job of a search engine is to come up with the best options for its users. When applied correctly, good SEO will bring in online traffic and grow your customer base.
The following is a list of some SEO techniques that you can apply to your site:
- Your competitors are doing it
If your competitors appear above you in organic search, it’s likely that they are applying SEO techniques. If it can work for them, it can work for you too. Invest time doing it yourself or employing someone to do it for you.
Backlinking is a key feature of Search Engine Optimisation. Also known as ‘incoming links’ and ‘inbound links’. This is when a link from an external website is directed towards yours. Websites that link to a variety of authoritative sites will rank higher in search engine results pages compared to those who have links to sites that are not as powerful. Getting it right is key.
If you have inbound links on your site that don't relate to the content on the page, they will be considered irrelevant. Your website could be penalised. The higher the relevancy of inbound links, the greater their quality.
- Internal linking
Linking to related articles, or pages, on your own website helps search engines better understand the importance and topical focus of each page. Creating links this way assists Google in determining the relevancy of your website. The more people like and share your content, the more visibility you’ll receive from these social media channels. As you develop quality backlinks, it will help to boost and sustain your rankings over the long term.
- Back end SEO
Complete the page title, page description and meta keywords for each page of your website. Search engine algorithms select websites with keywords that match the users search terms.
- Page titles
Keyword-based titles help establish page theme and direction for your keywords. Choose a title that reads naturally and effectively. Make sure it communicates the topic of the page’s content.
- Meta tags
Meta description tags can influence click-throughs but aren't used for rankings. Meta tags contain keywords or phrases alerting search engines of a website's content.
- Place strategic search phrases on pages
Integrate selected keywords into your website's content. Make sure the tone sounds natural. Doing this will help the search engines quickly determine what the page is about.
- Sign up your websites to online directories
Find directories where you can list your business for free. This method will get links to your website quickly and naturally. It also helps get your site indexed by the search engines. Start with directories such as yelp, Yellow Pages and Thomson Local.
It’s important to continually review the movement of your website. Where does it sit alongside your competitors? You will achieve good results if you consistently undertake these SEO principles. A common mistake is to focus on the quantity, rather than the quality, of backlinks. If you’ve ranked for a particular keyword, there is no need to build excessive backlinks to that page. Google can detect if a site is gaining links at an unreasonable pace. Building links too fast is like waving a red flag that can potentially get your website closed down. If you want to maintain your keyword ranking, try to expand your inbound links to the various pages on your site. This strategy will diversify your backlinking profile and increase your website authority.
If this sounds confusing, fear not. The team at Perfect Layout Digital Marketing, would love to help fix your website with some SEO TLC. Give us a call on 01708 578 015
The success of your website is determined primarily by its content. Good content is what sets your website apart from the masses and delivers the right message into the minds of your customers or audience.
Having clear, relevant and keyword-rich content that delivers the right message with power and conviction is the key to success. The content of your website should always begin with proper market research.
Taglines and slogans that are customer-centric (focusing on the needs of the customer) are essential to capturing their attention. The content on your website should target your audience, engage them and persuade them to take action.
Content marketing involves the creation and publishing of content and sharing that content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including blog posts, videos, white papers, infographics, case studies, and so on. Posting relevant, valuable and frequently updated information on your website will help boost your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It will also help by placing you in the position of an expert and allow you to build relationships with your audience professionally.
Your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines.
Quality content writing is the most important part of your SEO. Keywords are very important for every business and a website drives targeted web traffic to your business for free.
When a visitor uses a search engine, like Google, to find what they are looking for the content on your website comes under scrutiny. With quality content and SEO-friendly formatting the Google algorithm will look for important words at particular places on your web page or blog post – thus enabling you to get found.
Another important detail to keep in mind are long-tail keywords. These are keyword phrases that contain at least three words, and sometimes more. Long-tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. In other words, they're more specific and often less competitive than generic keyword terms. They are very specific to whatever you are selling. So, said more specifically, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy.
Some businesses choose to include keywords relevant to their business in their domain name. This strategy works as long as the name is in line with the brand identity for the website. It is also important not to limit your business by choosing a name that is applicable for your business only in the short term. Let your 5 to 10 year business plan reflect where you want to be long term.
One way in which to create relevant and powerful SEO keyword-content for your website, is through brainstorming. Try and put yourself in the position of your customers and think about the words they might use to search for the services and/or products you are offering. This process can be undertaken on your own or in a group.
Because algorithms are constantly changing, it’s paramount that you keep a fresh eye on the content of your site. If people are changing the way in which they search for you – the keywords on your website will need to reflect this too.
Why not have a look at your site today and think through some of the keywords your customers might be using. Do they appear on the pages of your site?
Simple answer - YES! Whilst there are website design companies like us that optimise websites for a living, undertaking this role is something that you can do yourself. For example, designing a landing page that’s built for leads doesn’t have to be an overwhelming nor time-consuming exercise. By simply looking at examples of some of the best converting lead generation websites, you can learn precisely what works and why. If you want to attract visitors who have a strong intention of ultimately using your services, your landing page will have to have plenty of good content, quality links and authority.
14 Top tips for optimising your website…
The following steps are proven to increase not only conversions, but also your site's trust factor and presence. For good optimisation of your website that will help generate more customers it's worth considering the following...
Top tip 1 - add forms to the pages that get the most traffic
To begin with, conduct an audit of where most of your online traffic and outreach comes from.
Here are some of the most common places that a business might get visitors from:
Email Marketing - traffic might come from users who click through to your website from one of your emails that you have provided.
Social Media - traffic might come from users who engage in a campaign through one of your social media profiles linked with your website.
Live Chat - traffic might come in the form of users who reach out to your customer service team through a live chat window on your website.
Blog Posts - traffic might come from your highest-performing blog posts.
Top tip 2 - start with a basic CTA on your homepage
If your homepage's design is what catches a person's attention, the CTA (Call to Action) is what keeps it. Your homepage sits at the top of the marketing funnel and should therefore offer either a free trial or subscription to a recurring campaign, such as a newsletter. Consider including one of the following CTAs on the front of your website:
Top tip 3 - offer ebooks for download on specific blog posts
Another way to generate interest in your business is to create blog content that promotes an ebook or whitepaper, wherein your website visitors can learn more about the same topic they have just read about on your blog. We are always writing about the importance of blog posts and keeping content on your site fresh and relevant and this strategy is where lead generation meets search engine optimisation (SEO).
To start, conduct keyword research on a topic that's relevant to your industry, and create a group of blog posts around this topic. Then, draft a report that delves much deeper into this topic. Package this report into a PDF that your blog readers can download using their name, company, and email address.
Top tip 4 - develop a live chat service for your website
To generate leads though live chat, audit your website to see which pages your visitors spend most of their time on. With the right development resources, you can install a live chat tool on the pages where customers need the most assistance or information. This allows you to practically collect and log insight on their product needs while answering their questions.
Top tip 5 - personalise your calls-to-action
Personalised calls-to-action convert 42% more visitors than basic calls-to-action. Visitors who see website pages that remember them from an earlier date are more inclined to stick around and start a conversation with you.
Top tip 6 - make your videos speak to the user
Online videos greatly increase conversion rates for a wide range of industries (particularly e-commerce websites). The highest performing videos speak to the user rather than at them. Online users who viewed a product video are much more likely to convert over users who simply viewed an ad.
Top tip 7 - use action oriented words when describing your offers
Using action-oriented words in your offer (such as, ''feel'' and ''get'' etc.), places the customer in a pivotal role as the one receiving the benefits as opposed to simply imagining them.
Top tip 8 - featured image
Every great post has a great image. This makes the post more attractive, both on your site and in the social streams when it gets shared. This is your chance to explain concepts visually with informative charts or diagrams.
Top tip 9 - descriptive header
A descriptive header is good for visitors and good for search rankings.
Top tip 10 - social sharing buttons
Make it easy to spread the word. Share buttons can appear at both the top and bottom of the post, or even as a “sticky” element that follows them as they scroll down the page.
Top tip 11 - try to avoid cookie-cutter site templates
It is best you avoid any cookie cutter “all-the-work-is-done-for-you” website templates. Instead, consider investing in the best possible website that you can afford, and make sure you make the purpose of each page clear, up front, so that the designer can tailor it to generating leads.
Top tip 12 - evidence, data and social proof
Add evidence of your legitimacy and the value of your services. This may include examples, statistics and research.
Top tip 13 - personality, values and your story
Talk about your values, your origin and why this work is important in order to make this a page that sets you apart.
Top tip 14 - nurture your leads
Place leads into a workflow once they fill out a form on your landing page so they don't forget about you. Deliver them valuable content that matches their interest. Lead nurturing should start with relevant follow up emails that include great content.
Finally, take a look at your website. How do you think it’s doing against the above points? Call us today so that we can discuss how we can help you put in action what you currently have missing.
Last week, 13 July, Christine Huntingford from Perfect Layout Digital Marketing was invited to give a presentation at the Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) breakfast meeting, where members and visitors attended. She thought long and hard about what to talk to them about and decided to make it an interactive session with the participants and let them know in 10 minutes, after a few simple checks, whether their website was working well for their business and whether their website and digital marketing need some real Tender Loving Care (TLC).
Firstly, to get a sense of their initial thoughts she asked the following questions:
This gave everyone a moment to reflect not only if were they genuinely happy with their current service, but also to validate if this was a way in which they were bringing in customers.
Now we know its all very easy to think that everything is fine with our website, but how do we really know? Well, these next simple tasks can reveal whether your website is working for you. You can do this for your site at any time.
Open your search browser for the internet and look for your business, by type and location. Please don’t type in your company name but instead type in say ‘Accountants in Romford’.
Is your company is listed on page one?
If it is that’s great news. Potential customers have a chance of finding you and calling up your business.
For those of you that didn’t appear on page one, you may need to think about how to improve the content of your website to help you to be found.
Whilst before you were asked not to type in your company name into the browser, this time, do exactly that. For example, for our Company it would be, ‘Perfect Layout Digital Marketing’.
Can you see the Google My Business (GMB) listing for your business? Can you also see photos, posts and full details about your company? Do you have reviews?
If it’s a ‘yes’ for all of that, that is excellent! You are on track with taking full advantage of GMB’s latest updates and features.
If you didn’t, Perfect Layout can help you either set up a Google My Business, or help you enhance what you already have there.
Keeping the page that you had open for task 2, now scroll down the results page, do you have your business listed in external directories? Such as Yell, Thomson, Netmums, or any online directory for your sector?
If you have more than 3 external directory listings, you are doing well, these connections on external sites help give your website relevancy and demonstrate that you are an active business.
If you are not listed on any external directories, it is recommended that this strategy is employed in order to help your business get found.
Does your website have a blog section? If it does, was the last post published within the last month?
If this is you - congratulations! You are doing a good job of sharing news about your company’s activities and products to your community.
If you don’t, get in touch with Perfect Layout about the benefits of a blog, which can help your website rank better.
Being on external directories can improve your online visibility with prospective clients.
Having a blog section is an opportunity to update your community on what you are doing and makes your business more authoritative.
In the second half of the presentation we introduced an alternative strategy for phone-based businesses who don’t have the money to invest in a new website or redesign of their current website - but need to be earning more money and secure new customers.
To clarify, a phone-based business is when people would call you as their primary way of contacting you, rather than via email or walking into your business premises.
Let’s imagine the following:
Our client, a dentist, gets some enquiries from his website, but he would like more. His family is growing and they need a bigger house, but what he is currently earning isn’t quite enough to be able to move, just yet. He doesn’t have the money to rebuild his website and invest in keyword-rich content.
However, as a phone-based business, he has the option of securing potential customers through a customer generating website that’s run by a digital marketing agency. This website will generate new contacts specifically for his business by creating a new website free of charge. It will be found organically on the top pages of search engines and could bring him that extra revenue that he is looking for. From these new clients there’s a high likelihood of them becoming repeat customers, who will visit for check-ups, as well as the need for ad hoc additional treatments. Fabulous recurring revenue for years to come.
It’s a no brainer – so where's the catch? It’s simply a matter of paying a small fee to the digital marketing agency for each enquiry that comes via that website.
If this has struck a chord with you and you would like your business to build up its client base and recurring customers, give us a call today to talk about whether your niche would suit such a website.
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 this Friday (13 July). She will talk about how businesses need to invest in their website and digital marketing; in order to stay ahead of the competition. Breakfast meetings are free to members and guests are welcome too.
As a local business owner, it is likely that your days are filled working with for your customers with your specialist skill-set. If you are lucky to have a lot of referral work, it is likely that one day rolls into the next and one week into another and before you know it, that promise that you made to yourself that you will update your website, or that you will post more often on social media, falls to the way side.
If you are one you one of them, now is really is a good time to take stock and find out if what you are doing is really working for your business?
Ask yourself: 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. There are simple and relatively quick things that you can do that can make a big difference to your visibility online. 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); your website is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy and if that isn’t right, that is where you need to start first. From there we can build the blocks to ensure that you are engaging with potential customers on a regular basis.
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 you have accessed your Google My Business (GMB) listing recently you may have noticed some changes. Whilst you may think, ‘here we go again, another thing to add to my to-do list’ it is worth taking the time to update your profile and ensure that everything is relevant and fresh.
If you are a small business you will know that reaching a wide customer base can be tricky. With this free-to-use profile, invest the time to make your business shine. Be one of the leaders in this change making sure that your profile is singing your praises from the rooftops.
If you haven’t created a Google My Business listing, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing recommends that you do. Not only does it show the essence of what your business has to offer, but the new features means that this platform is more attractive than before.
Why is local SEO so important?
If you are a local business, local SEO could have a huge impact on the success or failure of your business. You can use local SEO to outrank the competition. The relevant information is accessible for everyone to take advantage of and whilst many local businesses spend their time running their business, digital marketing is usually at the bottom of their list of things to do.
For companies making use of local SEO and in the case of Google My Business, taking advantage of the new features demonstrates to potential customers that they are: staying up-to-date, that they are knowledgeable and well-informed and that they are taking strides to separate themselves from the competition. The result is that it can help secure potential customers more easily. Would you like this to be you?
So what’s new with the Google My Business Listing?
This is a snapshot of the most important information that a potential customer may be interested in The information section includes opening hours, reviews, address, phone number etc.
Ok, so what’s so great about the description feature? Well it’s back! And that IS exciting. When Google My Business was called Google Places, the description section about your company was available, but then they took it away. Now all businesses have the opportunity to describe the wonder of their business on GMB in 750 words or less. Make sure you spend time writing a description that will attract customers to engage with you.
In 2017, Google released a new messaging feature, which allows you to 'live message' with customers directly from the search results page. So if a customer has a quick question, when you have this function enabled they can send you a message and in an instant you can reply…talk about fabulous customer service before they have even come to you!
If your information changes, like your business location, name, or telephone number, Google will allow you to easily make updates to your dashboard. This is another feature that they once removed but has resurfaced again and it is this tool that will help you make changes more easily.
Yes Google My Business Photos has added video content as a feature. Posting videos on your listing can help encourage customers to stay on your listing for longer and therefore find out more about you. These videos can give you the edge to your competitors. Currently, video clips are limited to 30 seconds in length and they will feature next to the photo section.
If the business you own is a restaurant and your listing is categorised as a restaurant (vs a café or bistro), Google have been thinking hard about you guys. Restaurant owners can now add and edit menus on their Google My Business listing. There is now a facility that will allow you to categorise the food into sections, such as starters, mains and desserts, as well as adding descriptions and prices.
Again, this is a powerful tool that can help you stand out from the crowd. Why is your restaurant different from the others in your area, what makes you special? Do you have something unique? Do you have special offers? Remember to include as much information as you can to help you stand out and get the diners through the door.
‘Posts’ is the most exciting feature that looks to have a big impact on local businesses and their local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. The feature will allow businesses to quickly connect with customers, both new and old, in a unique and attention grabbing way.
Posts allow you to share content with people who are searching for terms related to your business. It can be seen as a cross between social media marketing and search engine optimisation. It not only allows you to increase the visibility of your business, it also offers a way in which you can give deeper information about your services and products, that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. You can also post links to your website and include call to action buttons like ‘Buy’ or ‘Learn More’. Using Posts also helps you to get more of the organic search impressions and clicks.
When you decide to include Posts on Google as part of your local SEO strategy, remember that this task will never stop. This is another beast that will need constant feeding. However, it is worth giving it a try. What have you got to lose versus how much do you have to gain?
If all of this just seems too much, help is at hand. Give Perfect Layout Digital Marketing a call on 01708 578015, or fill out the quick form below so we can get in touch with you.
If you complete this form, we will only contact you to ask you about GMB listings.
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.
Having a website is just one stepping stone on the path towards mastering digital marketing and achieving online success for your business.
Another vital component is not looking like a lone wolf, meaning that it is vital to connect with other online features, such as online directories. Why? Because being connected and building a network helps your business expand.
There are many online directories where you can list your business for free. If you choose to go down this road you may find that many of these companies will be in touch with you soon after offering you the opportunity to enhance your listing, i.e. pay for an upgrade. Dependent upon your budget, paying for an upgrade is not needed at this point unless you’re happy to do so.
Being listed across the internet on different online directories adds weight and authority to your business. It also indicates that your business is live and active.
Here are some points to remember:
NAP (Name, Address and Phone number)
You must be consistent across all listings with exactly the same layout. Any discrepancies can confuse the search engine algorithms and make it think that your one business is in fact, two, three or even four separate businesses. You can see how this can be perplexing and it may affect your organic search positioning.
Description within the listings
While it’s extremely tempting to create an introduction to your business and copy and paste this across your all of your other listings - this could penalise you. Search algorithms can detect text that is exactly written the same way elsewhere. When this happens, you compromise your organic search positioning.
Add personality through images and photos
Let your potential customers get a feel for what your business offers. If you have photos that are of your business’ services, use them to give your customers a sense of who you are.
Build out as much as you can
Each directory will enable you to add a varying degree of content. While this can be a time-consuming task initially - getting it right and enhancing your listing to the max will pay off over time. So do it well and do it once.
If you are busy with your business and would like help, Perfect Layout can do this for you for a small fee. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule this work in with our team.
I am thinking about buy I have getting a new website and the current website address I have is great. I'd really like to keep it - is that possible or do I need to buy a new one when I have a new website built? Also, what will happen to the Search Engine Optimisation efforts from my current site?
The quick answer is yes! If you have a website address (domain) that you want to keep, then you can - that's not a problem. Websites can be built on other platforms. All you need to do is re-point the settings to the new platform's servers.
In order to do this, you will need to have access to the domain account, rather than your current web provider. If your website was created and set up by your current provider and they have access to your account, ask them to transfer it over to you.
So how does it work?
Think of it a bit like moving home. When you move house, the shell of the property changes (this is your website platform) and when you want mail to come to you, you give everyone your new address (this is repointing the DNS settings on your account).
Then, hey presto, the move is complete and people can find you in your new home.
What else might you want to consider when creating or updating a website?
If you are going to the effort of redesigning your website or creating a website from scratch, now might be the time to check that your company name and your domain are still a good fit for your business. Read one of our previous blogs on domain name registration–3 tips to getting it right, which is about how to choose your company name correctly.
The world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be hot topic, with opposing views on what the right approach is for your website to climb to the top of search engines. Google is continuously evolving its algorithms, so what might be the right approach today may be different tomorrow.
While there certainly are benefits of having targeted words in your domain, they are not as important as they once were for SEO. However, spend some time thinking over the following points to help you decide on an appropriate domain for your business.
Things to consider are:
These days there are many new domain endings available, but where possible, we recommend our clients to buy a .com or .co.uk extension (where relevant for their business).
Is your domain memorable?
If you over complicate it or have unusual spelling of your company name, it will make it harder for clients to remember you so keep it simple!
Keep it short
Websites with long or confusing names can impede you. It is recommended to use one or two words in your domain. Try not to abbreviate words as only YOU will remember this.
Should you choose keywords or build a brand name?
What business are you in? Consider whether the inclusion of location and business keywords related to your business is better than trying to establish a brand name. Will your brand name resonate with your business, or will it get lost and forgotten?
Does it sound professional and authoritative?
Are you attracting your ideal clients with your name? A name that doesn't fit in with your business could prove costly. Think about what your customer will be attracted to.
Will I lose my existing SEO when I change platforms?
If done properly you shouldn’t see any impact of changing your website to a new platform.
These are some key points, as recommended by Digital Marketing Pro:
Talk to your web designers about any concerns that you may have and ensure that they are following all the recommended steps to ensure that everything transitions smoothly.
Now you can see that changing platform, but keeping your existing domain and SEO, is a straightforward process.
As the saying goes, ‘you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure’…In our business, quite often we are told by clients that their friend or a family member was building/has built their website but:
…they have spent months (even years) working on it and it’s still not finished
...it doesn’t look the way they thought it was going to
...it's not working the way that they want it to
Usually, when they are a friend or family member (and not a web designer), they invariably take an off-the-shelf package thinking 'how hard can it be?’. It’s true that building a website from one of these off-the shelf-packages isn't necessarily hard, but do they really know what they are doing? Do they really understand how to make a website perform well and not just look good?
There are thousands of cook books out there and it's easy to follow a recipe, but that doesn't mean the results will always be the same, or that what you make will even taste nice. There is a knack to good cooking and the same principle applies when building a website.
Often it's the things that look simple that can be complex underneath.
Building a website in itself isn't rocket science, but there is a method to making a website great. A website with all the right elements in place will add value to your business. A nice looking website, may simply be aesthetically pleasing but does nothing for the growth of your business. The fundamental components you need include:
By that it needs to be clear, well-written, grammatically correct and keyword rich. Content IS King. Being found in search results is determined by the search engines algorithms matching the users’ keywords with the content on the site. If your content is sparse, poorly written, not properly thought through (using a range of keywords) it is likely that you will feature low down in the rankings.
Search Engine Optimised headings
Headings carry more weight than body text, so ensure that your headings are relevant to what your audience is searching for. Using keyword-rich content in header tags will improve the search engine visibility for your target keyword. Mashable also recommends not having the same article title as you would for your page title, and advises how to write a good meta description.
Easy to use navigation
If your user experience is cumbersome and clunky, it's likely to put customers off. Make sure that you think carefully about how your users might navigate through your web site. Keep it clean and simple. Before you ‘go live’, test your website out as if you were visiting it for the first time. Can customers navigate your website easily? Is it clear and easy to understand? Could any steps be simplified?
High quality images, but not high resolution
There are so many stock photo agencies these days, that having low quality images is not an excuse any more. Your photos need to be clear and crisp, but they must also be saved as smaller files. Large image files will make loading your page slow, which may put people off staying on your website.
Calls to Action
A Call to Action (CTA) on a website is a prompt to get the user to take some specified action. It could be a button asking you to ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Subscribe’. Visually it can be a button or hyperlink. When designing your website consider how your customer might want to get in touch with your business. Are you making it easy for them to do so? Are you giving them choice; email, online forms, telephone numbers? Find out more about why Calls to Actions are important.
When Perfect Layout Digital Marketing works with customers, these are the core principles which we adhere to as the starting point for building their website. These fundamental steps are the foundations to having the building blocks for great online presence. Though don’t be mistaken with thinking that the work starts and ends with a website alone. Consider the website edging of the puzzle - there are still other pieces to put together before the picture is complete. Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can talk you through what other digital strategies would work best for your business.
Perfect Layout can of course create a website that looks great and functions well - but we prefer not to do that. Because we want your business to beat your competitors and bring in a consistent stream of genuine customers, we encourage our customers to take up a support package. Month-by-month we will monitor your website against the competition, check where it is ranking in organic search and, if needed, suggest tweaks.
We also apply other digital strategies to ensure that your visibility online is not just limited to your website. Are you active on the right social media channels? Is your business listed correctly in external directories?
If you are unsure of what your next step should be, give us a call and let’s have a chat today.
The term ‘Content is King’ has been bandied about for many years. It’s something that you may have heard mentioned on one of the blogs at Perfect Layout or whilst perusing the internet for news and top tips on how to make your website attract customers.
So, what does the term Content is King mean and from where did it originate?
The term ‘Content is King’ came from an essay that Bill Gates wrote in January 1996 entitled, ’Content is King’. It was published on the Microsoft website and stated…
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
Imagine, Bill Gates, the creator of Microsoft computers made this statement over 20 years ago! Did he have a crystal ball? We’ll never know, but his intuition was certainly firing on all cylinders as his prediction has become a reality. Today, content is a huge factor in what drives the internet. It’s what search engines love to find and use to rank a website as an authoritative and trustworthy site - hence content being at the top of the pecking order when it comes having a great website.
Is content on a site that important?
There’s really no getting away from the fact that having interesting, informative, content on your website is great news for your business. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t buy a book entitled: ‘How to create a great blog’ if the ideas contained within it was not about blogs and full of grammatical mistakes.
It’s the same with a website. Nowadays consumers aren’t solely surfing to buy a product or service. They want to be clued-up, educated or tickled with something that will draw them in to press the buy, subscribe, like or recommend button, and ultimately come back for more. The right content on a website can help a business achieve these things – but it can’t do it on its own. That’s where the rest of the royal family come into play…next up, ‘The Queen’.
So, what is the role of the Queen?
My thoughts are that having great content is not a stand-alone facet of getting customers to a site. There has to be a strategy behind the content to ensure that it’s relevant and directed at the right customers at the right time.
The content that’s being offered should have the right ‘context’ which means offering information that is relevant and helpful to the customer in their current situation. The more relevant a post is to that person’s need, at that point, the more that person is likely to buy that product or service. To fully merge the right context into your content means thinking about what context would be helpful for your customers and then identifying the kind of factual data you need to identify that context.
The work of The Queen doesn’t stop there. Her role also holds the title of ‘creative development’. Making your content stand out and really shine amongst the competition isn’t easy. Depending on your niche you will have a particular demographic and age-range that you need to appeal to. Do your research and tailor your content to appeal to them.
I believe that the final role of The Queen (such a busy lady!) is that of ‘distribution’. What platforms are the best to get your content seen by those that need to see it? Nowadays, there’s a plethora of social media platforms that can be used to get your content seen by the right people. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ are just some of the ways in which you can distribute your content directly to the people that want to see it.
So, during the planning stages you will need to think about:
And last but not least…The Prince and Princess
Whilst there’s little written about the off-spring of this royal family, I’ve taken the liberty of identifying who they are and the role they play in keeping the King on his throne.
The key to ensuring that your website, and the content contained within it, are working optimally, are Web Designers – surprise! They may also go under different Marketing titles, but I’m writing this blog so have the freedom to be biased!
If you are unable to write content like a King with the right context and undertake all the other tasks included within the role of the Queen, the Princesses within this company can assist you to:
Be inspired to… think and write creatively
My husband has a beard. Not a moustache, goatie or bit of stubble – he has a full-grown cave man beard. It suits him. It draws him attention and makes him stand out from the crowd for his unique style.
These days, having a business online can be difficult to master. Depending on your niche, getting a foothold amongst your competitors can be a daunting task. You have to think outside the box, be unique and have the equivalent of a really big beard (!) to draw customers in.
We are accustomed to writing content and thinking outside the box when it comes to promoting local online businesses. We write content that’s relevant, interesting and full of keywords that will get you seen by the right audience. The key is to making the text sound natural, interweaving an outline of your services and products into the content all the while helping you to stand out from the crowd.
What role do you think The Prince and Princess play in this royal family?
So what is a citation?
A citation, or being listed, is an online reference that contains information about a business, namely their name, address and phone number (NAP). This mention can be made on directories, like Thomson, Yell or 192, on websites like Netmums, or social media platforms like Facebook.
Google My Business is a core platform that all businesses should try and list their businesses on as it’s key to being seen on Google Maps. It also allows customers to connect with companies directly via a search, Maps or Google+.
Is it worth taking the time to cite your business on local directories?
Yes! It allows you to be found by a greater number of online customers and search engines like Google and Yahoo. The more directories your business is cited on, the better, as it will increase your chances to rank highly for local searches.
Online directories have replaced the paper versions of Yellow Pages and Thomson Local. Whilst they still exist in paper form, how many of us actually access them to find out where the Chinese restaurants are if visiting a new town? Or which shop on the high street sells your favourite perfume? Are you really going to carry a paper directory around, just in case you need it? Didn’t think so!
The fact is, online directories offer the facility for customers to find out much more about a business other than just the name, address and phone number. It has the added bonus of being accessible whilst on the move via your mobile phone, laptop or iPad.
Here is a list of the information that a business may include on a directory listing:
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 worth trusting and ultimately worth ranking:
Remember, citations that are accurate help your business to be discovered. Which business wouldn’t want the traffic to their website to increase?
Have you undertaken a review of where your business is cited lately?
If you are in the process of deciding on an appropriate name for your business, you’ll soon realise that whilst registering your domain name may be simple – deciding on the right name for your business can be something of a mine-field.
Domain name registration is big business and there are many firms vying for your income. The big hitters in this market are; Godaddy, 123-reg and Ukreg who all facilitate registration as well as offering links to other services. So get clued up and read on…
If you are in the process of deciding on an appropriate name for your business, you’ll soon realise that whilst registering your domain name may be simple – deciding on the right name for your business can be something of a mine-field.
Domain name registration is big business and there are many firms vying for your income. The big hitters in this market are; Godaddy, 123-reg and Ukreg who all facilitate registration as well as offering links to other services. So get clued up and read on…
Give your business a name that is relevant to the type of service you are offering. For example, if you are a caterer selling freshly made sandwiches to order for local offices a name like, ‘Gourmet Goodness’ might be too broad and vague. What type of gourmet food is being sold exactly? An indistinct name could slow the growth of your brand recognition and rankings.
A name that is too specific to your services, products or geographic area could also harm your business long term. If your 5-year strategy includes the gradual introduction into other services, products or areas, the business name mustn’t be too restrictive. If this same sandwich making business, for example, wanted to eventually offer home-made desserts, being called ’Sandwiches At Noon’ wouldn’t do. In the same way that the name ’London City Sandwiches’ would restrict growth if areas outside of the City were being considered.
To avoid any legal issues check with the Companies House web service that the name you have chosen is not already taken. You may also want to check that your name of interest is not the subject of a third-party trade mark. Taking the time to ensure that you are free to use your preferred name at an early stage may help to avoid unnecessary costs further down the line.
To sum up, don’t buy a domain name simply to get ahead in the search rankings. There are many other ways for your website to be optimised that over time will see customers continually coming to you because they know your name.
If you started building your website, but it hasn't worked out how you want it to, let us give you a helping hand.
With many do-it-yourself website building packages out there, with drag and drop functionality, many small business owners look to build their own website. But as with most things in life, what looks easy on the surface, may not be so in practice.
Often Perfect Layout Digital Marketing gets a call from a business owner asking us to help them with their website. Not a problem. By giving us the log in details to your provider, we can make the necessary changes to help make your website look and perform exactly as you would like.
We can look at your content, to make sure that it is keyword-rich, which will attract customers to your site. We will ensure that the layout and functionality is user-friendly and we will look at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to ensure that you have greater chances of being found in organic search.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing recently helped an entrepreneur based in Romford, Essex with his website. This is what he had to say about our work.
My website now looks outstanding, it's exactly what I was looking for. I can't thank you enough. You gave it the wow factor. Ian, Romford, Essex.
If you are struggling and need help with making the design of your website look more appealing, give the Perfect Layout team a call on 01708 578 015.
Having a good website seems easy to do these days. There are many website builders on the market offering web packages at reasonable prices, but there’s a lot you need to know when it comes to ensuring that your website design has everything in place to make it work for you - especially if you want to generate more leads.
1 Content is King. Make sure that you explain what your business is about, ensuring that you use keywords that customers will use when searching for you. Google can then marry up your website with their search terms. If you don’t have the copywriting skills yourself, we can help you get keyword-rich content onto your web pages.
2 Use Call to Actions. If you want your customers to strike while the iron is hot make sure that you have Call to Actions on your page. This could be your phone number, contact forms or special offers to make them act at that moment.
3 Make sure your website is user-friendly. Make it easy for people to find their way around your site. Bad navigation could lose you a lot of business.
4 Use external directories to help boost your online presence. Is the platform that you are building on mobile friendly?
5 If your website isn’t responsive Google will penalise you and your website could suffer in organic rankings.
These are 5 essential tips to keep in mind when you are looking to build your website. If you feel out-of-your-depth and would like some help, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can offer you a free consultation and put together a digital strategy to get your business to where you want it to be. We can either look at hosting you on one of our monthly packages, or you can arrange ad-hoc work, such as re-writing your current website copy, based on our hourly fee.
If your website has already been built, but you feel like you are not getting enough new leads, it could be because you are missing out on other digital strategies that help boost your online presence; this is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you don’t know how to do this, Perfect Layout can help you with elements such as keyword-rich content, setting up and activating Google My Business and Bing Places accounts, as well as listing you on other directories.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is a web design company in Romford, Essex. While most of our customers are local to us we do have clients in London and across Essex. Whether you need ad-hoc work to help improve your website design and online presence or you would like ongoing website support, we can help you.
Give the Perfect Layout web development team in Romford, Essex a call today on
01708 578 015.