Why Your Competitor’s Website Outperforms Yours In Search And What You Can Do About It!

Why Your Competitor’s Website Outperforms Yours In Search And What You Can Do About It!

Have you ever seen a website doing really well in the search engines and wondered why? Read this and your competitor's website will never outperform yours in search again! |www.bigthinkingonline.com

Quite often we consult with business owners who are frustrated,

No, down-right angry, that after investing heavily on a new website design their main competition and even businesses that they feel they are far better than, outrank them in Google and subsequently gain the majority of new business.

 

Let’s clear something up from the outset. In most cases a new website means new images, new branding, more modern design. Nothing more.

 

And although those things might have an impact on user friendliness, which is a positive, it is not going to make your website shoot to the top of Google or other search engines for commercially viable keyword phrases that are important to your business.

 

“But My Competitor’s Website Looks Dreadful”

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. And just because on the surface it might not look great, or you personally wouldn’t choose to represent your business and brand that way, it does not mean that the website is low quality as it could be built with a sound architectural infrastructure, have a solid social media presence and a whole host of high quality back links that point back to the site, giving it authority and relevance in the eyes of the search engines.  

 

What Do Search Engines Look For In A Good Website?

DU0O1PCIMH

 

When talking about search engines, specifically in the UK, I mean Google. As according to Statista, Google has an 88.58% dominance for search in the UK.

 

Google uses several factors to decide on how relevant a page is for any given search term. In fact it is commonly believed that there are over 200 such factors which impact how well a website ranks (no one outside of Google can truly know how many there are and comment on their Intellectual Property) These include the number of relevant inbound links, the history of the domain your website sits on and whether a sitemap has been submitted to Google or not.

 

However, there are other factors that can contribute to the success of your website in search such as:

How Many Pages People Visit On Your Website

If your website is good the chances are that visitors to that website will find the content good enough that they want to read or learn more on the subject matter and you.

 

How Often You Update Your Content

In everyday life there are advancements in technology, business, health, welfare, popular culture as well as content on the internet. A web page that was relevant two years ago may not be relevant today. A website that has not been updated for a long time may provide less relevant results than a web site or page produced yesterday.

 

How Long Your Content Is 

Serpiq published research that showed that the average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 search results in Google has at least 2,000 words. And it is no surprise that the higher you go up the page, from 10 to 1, the more words they have.

 

Average_Content_Length_in_Words_for_Top_10_Pages_in_Google

 

In the graph above you can see that on average the top result in Google has over 2400 words. The research was conducted across a range of 20,000 keywords and the results suggest that Google favours long form content.

 

Take a look at your website, take a look at the key pages or sales pages and ask yourself does the content provide enough depth and build enough value to keep the user engaged and build trust?

 

How Can You Improve Your Website To Rank Higher In Search Engines?

  1. Use Keyword Phrases That Are Relevant To Your Business.

If you are an accountant. The keyword phrases “Accountant in “Your Town Name” is relevant and important for you to rank for.

 

However this is not the only term that potential clients will search for related to accountancy and therefore your website should contain information that anyone looking for an accountant would find helpful, such as:

  • Tax return dates
  • Budget updates
  • Information on how to perfect a financial statement
  • How to monitor depreciation of assets.

 

The more RELEVANT subject matter that a user can find in one site will increase the authority of your site.

 

Think about the terms your ideal client will enter into the search engines when they are looking for the results that your service can provide. Make a list of them and then make sure that there is content on your website that provides the answers they are looking for.

  1. Optimise That Content For Google

Optimise_your_Website_For_Google

 

In order for Google to fully understand what your website is about it needs to be labelled correctly.

 

There are specific areas on a web page that Google looks at first in order to quantify what your page is about and subsequently where it should index to best serve searchers.

 

These areas include:

  • Page Title
  • Heading
  • Sub headings
  • How Image are labelled – Alt tags
  • URL of the page

 

All of these elements of the page are considered by the search engines when indexing your content in the correct place so that your ideal visitor can find it. But remember that if your page is over optimised, in other words you are writing for the search engines and not for human consumption by using too many keywords, a term known as keyword stuffing, then you will be penalised.

  1. Internal Linking

Internal linking is about how and where you link a page or post to other content that is relevant within your website. The point being that the search engines want to provide the user with the best possible experience they can.

 

Continuing with the “Accountant” from earlier, it would be of benefit if you could then link to pages on your website containing information and references to business audits, financing options and tax optimisation strategies

 

By doing this you are providing greater detail for the user, which will help them make a judgement on your suitability to help them. The search engines will also appreciate this. This will result on the user spending a greater time on your website by visiting more pages , which as I mentioned earlier is a factor that Google uses to rank your site.

  1. Write GREAT Content That Attracts Inbound Links.

If you want to rank higher in Google you have to Write Great Content

 

An inbound link is where another web site owner provides a contextual hyperlink back to your content from their site.

 

Google and the other search engines rely highly on other people linking to your website in order for them to establish how popular your website is. The more popular the website, the higher your return in the search results.

 

The goal here is to create highly valuable, unique content that people want to talk about and share.

 

The more people that link back to your site signifies to the search engines the popularity and value of the piece of content.

 

The more people with authority on that subject matter that link back and share the better.

 

For example an educational body that provides accountancy qualifications providing a link to a local accountant is more valuable than a backlink from Julie’s cake bake.

 

The quality and relevance of inbound links is often more important than quantity.

  1. Have A Social Media Plan

Social signals such as being liked tweeted or +1’d indicate to search engines that your website and content is popular.

 

That is why you need to have a social media plan that includes identifying which social channels your customers frequent, tracking social conversations, trending topics, managing your online reputation and developing and sharing optimised content.

 

By ensuring you can easily create and post relevant content to social channels on a regular basis, you will not only improve your search rankings, but reach more potential customers when your content is linked to, liked, or shared.

 

Search engine optimisation techniques are constantly changing. What doesn’t change, and in fact becomes more prominent, is the fact that if you invest the time creating quality content that has value with the readers on a regular basis you will be able to improve SEO and find your site and pages getting top search engine rankings, driving more clicks and ultimately converting to a higher number of sales.

  1. Cater For Mobile.

  2. 37F02BDB97

 

For the past few years Google has made it abundantly clear that they have been working towards making their search engine more mobile friendly.

 

In February 2015 Google made this statement on their webmasters blog;

“When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. Today, we’re announcing two important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content:

1. More mobile-friendly websites in search results
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

 

What does that mean?

Well quite simply that Google will provide mobile users with mobile responsive web pages first. And this makes complete sense.

 

If you are on a mobile searching Google and they provide you with a website that you cannot read or whose buttons you cannot click because they are too small, then chances are you will go to another site. Over time if you continue to get presented these sites that leave you frustrated and unable to use you may choose to move to another search engine that provides better results.

 

Google wants to provide the user with the best possible search results, coupled that with the fact that in the UK the Smartphone has become the most important way for people to get online. Therefore, how your site ranks will also depend on whether it caters to a mobile audience.

 

Search engine optimisation is a constantly evolving landscape. What works today may not necessarily have the same effect tomorrow and that it is why SEO is an important part of any online marketing plan.

 

To make sure that your site out performs your competitors in search and not the other way around then you need to be producing quality content on a regular basis that is relevant and builds you and your brand to be the authority in your niche.

S3JE5YAMND

 

A website’s performance rises or falls depending on the implementation of the factors discussed in this article, but there are also many more.

 

This Leaves You With Three Options To Improve The Status Quo:

  • Option1: Do It Yourself
  • Option 2: Task an employee to take charge of it.
  • Option 3: Employ a professional to do it.

 

Do you want to spend the time writing a two thousand word post, optimise that post for search engines, spend hours marketing that post on social media sites, emailing it to your list of subscribers or clients, looking for relevant sites that may be interested in sharing or linking to your content? Not many business owners have the time or the inclination to do that.

 

And that is why those select few businesses that choose to either invest the time or invest in the services of a professional search engine optimisation consultant will stand a far greater chance of gracing the top spots of the search engines for commercially viable keyword terms.

 

So next time you look at a competitor’s website that ranks above yours in Google and you consider it ugly, there might be a lot more time and investment gone into gaining those search engine results than meets the eye.

 

If you want to know more about building a website that works for you then download our FREE Blueprint!

Click here to turn your website into a client generating powerhouse

Small Business Internet Marketing – 7 Things Decision Makers Should Know

Small Business Internet Marketing – 7 Things Decision Makers Should Know

Small Business Internet Marketing – 7 Things Decision Makers Should Know

small business internet marketingThe ways in which businesses can now communicate with potential and existing clients continues to grow at break neck pace. Any decision maker that has invested in a form of small business internet marketing in order to grow their business will have seen the number of options to interact with their audience increase rapidly over the last 5 years. From dynamic website design, blogging, video marketing, email marketing campaigns to social media marketing, the list of methods truly is endless.

With all that choice available it can quite often be very confusing for small business owners who are focused on doing what they do best: delivering value for their clients, regardless of the niche they are in. It could be keeping the family warm by getting the central heating working, providing a beautiful smile through dental surgery or helping individuals through a divorce or the death of a loved with one with professional legal services.

The long and short of it is that the Internet has changed the way in which consumers process information and communicate that information between other people. This in turn means the advertising methods of old are not the same and do not produce the same results as in the past.

In order to compete in a disruptive and often crowded marketplace businesses have to be more creative and outsmart their competition by leveraging strategies and techniques that speak to their target market and invoke a reaction.

The Seven Pillars of small business internet marketing:

1.      Know Your Ideal Audience.

small business internet marketing

You may think this sounds super simple but you would be surprised at the number of small businesses who don’t know exactly who their ideal client is. If you don’t have an idea of who this is then your advertising is not an investment, it is a cost. Unless you know who your target audience is you will be spending money trying to attract people who are not interested in what you have to offer.

Increase your chance of success by being specific about who you want to market to.

2. Always offer Quality Content.

small business internet marketing

While it may be hugely time consuming to update your website or Blog several times a week, having a lot of quality content that backs up your authority and helps keep customers interested in you is almost always going to be of benefit to you. I say almost, because if you don’t then take advantage of that traffic, then you will have wasted your time! Think of some of the Big Name Websites, every time you click on Amazon you will see different offers, different products and new information. If someone has been to your site and enjoyed what they saw, then they come back and see the same again they aren’t likely to give you another visit.

Quality content has become a by word of advertising online over the past few years, but that doesn’t mean that businesses haven’t been practising content marketing successfully for years and creating loyal audiences in the process.

And while it may be difficult for a business owner to justify taking the time out to create content, the more quality and insightful content you create that is distributed online, the more targeted clients will see it and the greater the chance you have of making a connection resulting in an inquiry or lead for your business.

The more you can do to educate potential clients about your business from the outset the easier it becomes to convert those leads into paying clients in the future.

3. Distribute Your Content High and Wide

small business internet marketing

In traditional marketing you have TV, Radio and magazines. Online you have websites, blogs, video sites, article sites, micro blogs, and social media. When your business has invested in creating a piece of content, that one piece of content can be broken up and converted into many different formats and then distributed in many places.

Keep your small business internet marketing interesting and different so people will be able to see your messages on different platforms and recognise that is you increasing your authority and building your brand in the process.

Make sure you are taking full advantage of the different online mediums available as the chances are your audience will be and you can bet your competition is!

4. Targeted Search Engine Campaigns are Priceless

small business internet marketing

Search engine optimisation is where you place your business in front of people who are ACTIVELY searching for your business or services. Targeted potential clients go from not knowing who you are or anything about your business, to seeing the benefits of your services within seconds.

Search engine optimisation is a key way to attract clients, the higher up the search rankings you appear, the more clients will click on your listing and therefore you will have a greater opportunity to convert. That is why a lot of businesses invest in improving SEO so they get the opportunity to attract targeted clients before the competition.

5. Connect with those that have trusted you before.

small business internet marketing repeat salesWhen a client has worked with you in the past they have paid their hard earned money to benefit from your services so they already know about you and how you can help them. Continue to educate your clients even when you have served them to keep them in touch with your business and what you can do. One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing.

Make every possible attempt to get the email addresses of your clients and put together a strategic marketing campaign that uses this prized information.

Tell your clients about how you are helping other clients, inform them through multimedia about other services or products that you offer, offer promotions to entice them to benefit from your business once more.

One of the most expensive things in business is a onetime client – leverage email marketing to make sure that you don’t suffer that huge business failing.

6. Online Marketing is measurable.

small business internet marketing measurable

The beauty about online marketing is that nearly everything is measurable. From positions in the search engines, the number of clicks, number of conversions or downloads and leads generated to sales made. Everything is trackable and when everything is trackable it means that you can test for the best performing adverts or marketing methods and repeat them time and again while constantly improving.

This is one of the major reasons why so many businesses choose to market online because there is a ready source of information that can be provided to decision makers to support the work that is being done.

Small Business Internet Marketing is Part of the Marketing Mix

7. Offline Marketing is still valuable

small business internet marketingOffline marketing is still valuable and supports any marketing campaign that you have. If a targeted clients sees an advert in a trade magazine that arouses their interest they then Google your business services to find out some more and they see you on the first page sharing some great content or with some brilliant third party testimonials then they will truly feel that you are the best company to help them resolve their problems.

Small Business internet Marketing is not a quick fix, and you shouldn’t consider it a miracle way to save your business and get profitable clients overnight. As with anything it can take time, effort and patience to get the results that you crave but don’t give up. Listen to feedback, monitor what does and doesn’t work and remember that if you consistently apply great techniques then online marketing will deliver your business targeted leads, increased sales and higher profits.

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

A lot of business leaders are so busy running their businesses that they don’t have time to focus on building marketing systems that get them new clients, let alone worry about their business reputation management online.

Your Business Reputation is Whatever Google Says It Is!

Face it, when someone is looking for your business, or your services they go to Google and type in your business name. The chances are the results they will include your website, amongst several other citations of your business.

Now you might think, “Well that’s ok we have a website and it has positive testimonials on there so we are fine, no need to worry!”

Well I am sorry to tell you that that isn’t good enough and here is why:

Very rarely do people enter your website url directly into the browser, even if they know you. The normal web user goes to Google and types the company name into Google and then hits search.

What the user is presented with is a list of pages that Google believes to be the most relevant for your business name. Now of course your website is one of those pages, or at least it should be, if it is not then you really do have trouble! The other listings will be other relevant and useful information concerning your business. This could be:

  • Press releases
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Forum sites
  • Blog Posts
  • Local directory listings
  • Review sites
  • Social media sites.
  • Images
  • PDf articles

Do you see my point? If the answer is no, then let me explain some more.

business reputation management - ease of reviews

There are many forms of content that people can place online, all of which can be relevant to your business, your name, your products or services. If you don’t know what is online when someone searches for you then shame on you.

Remember, the internet is not static, so just because you checked what came up in a search 6 months ago it doesn’t mean it’s the same today, or tomorrow or the day after and the day after that.

One negative comment left online, or a negative article, can quickly be syndicated to many sites across the internet. Once this happens then that piece of content becomes more credible in the eyes of the search engines because people are taking the time to comment on it and share it.

That means the piece of negative content moves higher up the search engine listings damaging your business reputation, potentially losing market value and impacting your lead generation.

3 Steps to Better Your Business Reputation Management

Take accountability

Don’t ignore your online business reputation. Make a point of taking responsibility by assigning someone in your business to take ownership. Then go out and proactively work to provide the search engines with useful, relevant and quality content that adds value to your business and to people searching for your company.

The sooner you create value added content, the sooner it can be indexed and shared by the public, therefore increasing relevancy.

Don’t enter a Slanging Match

“He said, she did, I said,” is not going to help you out in this situation. If the comment or content is someone having a good old rant then sometimes it is best not to add fuel to the fire by leaving a response.

Analyse the comment or content that has been posted and think about how best to respond. If the comment is reasonable, for example if the user is talking about an experience they have had with your business and how it was disappointing, then step up to the plate and offer an apology and an avenue to interact with that consumer in order to investigate the issue and make things right. By doing this you get the opportunity to rectify the client’s sentiment about your business and also show the outside world, who are watching, that you really do care about your customers and clients.

Positively ask for feedback

reputation managementGetting positive reviews is another way to counteract the negative press that is online. There are many 3rd party review sites that allow consumers to leave their honest feedback about businesses that then get published online.

Ask your customers to go to these sites and leave honest reviews about your business, this will help build up a series of reviews, hopefully positive, that can be used to push down the negative reviews, provide feedback to your business and increase the perception of your business online.

Ultimately business reputation management is vital. If someone is saying something negative about your business or services they might have a reason to make a valid complaint. Consider all negative comments or complaints seriously and take corrective action where warranted.

If you want to know more how we could help you develop an online business reputation management system, marketing the GREAT work that you do for clients, protecting your business from the bad comments and winning new and repeat business online then call us today. 0161 850 4413

Protect Your Online Assets – Even if You Don’t Think You Have Any!

Protect Your Online Assets – Even if You Don’t Think You Have Any!

Protect your online Assets – Even if You Don’t Think You Have Any!

protect your online assets - life ringWe’ve said it many times before, but a website really is a non-negotiable part of doing business. I spoke to a prospect earlier today who said that he doesn’t do any marketing, online or otherwise. Yet this same prospect had a website, has local directory listings and has clients leaving opinions of his services online, Google even brought up a newspaper article from last month that mentions his name and business directly. All of this was (except for his basic website that has been in place and unchanged for years) was without his knowledge and out of his control.

It’s never been easier for potential customers to find out what others think of your business. Likewise, it’s never been easier for existing customers to leave their opinions of you, good or bad, very publically and without contacting you to let you know.

Even if you are like the prospect that I spoke to earlier and don’t wish to actively market your business online there are steps you should be taking to protect your online interests that shouldn’t take you too much time, but will ensure that you are protecting your assets to a certain extent.

Claim your Google+ Local Listing.

Every business in the world has a Google + Local page or they can claim one. The vast majority of businesses haven’t done anything with theirs as they haven’t even realised it’s there to be claimed. If you claim your Google + Local page you can give yourself an advantage when potential clients are searching for businesses like yours in your local area because Google wants to offer its own results over and above anything else. An optimised Google + Local page will also help when people search directly on your business name, because Google will recognise this as another citation of your business being valid.

Claim your local directory sites.

customer reviews - yellSites such as Yell, Thomsonlocal and Yelp are like the evolved version of the old phonebooks. They list business contact details, addresses and usually a brief description. This information will most likely have been auto filled from your website, but won’t necessarily have been refreshed even if your website information has been. These local directory sites hold a large amount of credibility with search engines who recognise them as a valid source of information. Many local directory sites have been online since the early days of the internet, which adds into their trust factor as far as the search engines are concerned. If you claim your business listing in an online directory you are given the opportunity to add additional information, for example pictures, offers, or even just give more accurate detail about what you do.

Set up Social Media sites in your business name.

You may have no desire to represent your business on Social Media, but the fact is that millions of people do use it, and you may have customers or potential customers looking for you on there. The worst thing that could happen is that someone else could set up a page using your business name and pretending to be you. Ensure this doesn’t happen by setting yourself up, and if you don’t want to use the sites leave a message clearly stating the best ways to get in touch with you. Once you’ve set the sites up, set up email notifications for if anyone does write on your wall or send you a tweet just so nothing slips through the cracks.

Make sure your Business Name, Address and Postcode are correct.

Each business has a unique Name, Address and postcode (NAP) and Search Engines use this information to ensure that information they return is about the same business, not another business with the same name. If you have moved premises you’re likely to remember to update your stationary and forward your post, but you also need to make sure that you update your address details with all local directories, Google and on your own website so that online searchers can find you too. It’s also important to keep all citations of your name and address the same, for example if your building number is 24-26 High Street, some people may just list it as 24, or 26. Whilst a postman would hopefully understand and deliver your mail, a search engine would see these as different things and therefore not give you the same credibility in the search results.

Encourage Positive Reviews

local seo - excellent customer service

It’s an unfortunate fact that people are more likely to complain than they are to praise. Your business may have had hundreds of satisfied clients over the years, and you may even have a box full of glowing testimonials, but it only takes one dissatisfied client to vent their frustration publically online to ruin your online reputation. Whilst the obvious solution is to always provide excellent customer care, there’s always going to be an occasional slip. If you already have dozens of happy customers talking about you online then one bad review will be a drop in the ocean. If you have no positive reviews then the bad one is all that anyone can see. Take pre-emptive action by encouraging everyone you deal with to leave a positive review of your business online. If you’ve followed the advice above and claimed your local directory listings then you can even ask people to go to a specific site to leave their reviews. We set up private review portals for our clients to make sure reviews can be captured and posted as easily as possible.

Not every business wants to actively manage their online profile, but it is important to have some kind of system or process in place as even if you aren’t interested in being online, I can guarantee people will already be talking about you and your business on the internet.

To find out how you could make it easier for clients to share their great reviews about your business online click here!

Take Ownership For Your Online Reputation

Take Ownership For Your Online Reputation

Take Responsibility For Your Online Reputation

When it comes to the positioning of your brand online, it might be easy to assume that the brand reputation you have spent years cultivating in the business world will come with it. After all, you’ve worked hard to build up your business, build a positive online reputation and position your brand as an expert over the years – surely that level of expertise and trust will be reflected in the online world?

Unfortunately that is not always the case because if the search engines don’t know about all this great work then how can they present it to potential clients when they search for your business?

Think of it this way, in the traditional business world, the world before websites, search engines and social media, company reputations were built, marketed and maintained through word of mouth and strategic advertising tactics. The result of such business methodologies meant that it could take months if not years for a business to be positioned as a market leader in their field.

online reputation

However the internet has radically altered the way in which businesses position themselves online. Thanks to social media, local business directories, blogs and mobile internet access, your online reputation can be investigated and changed in a matter of seconds with your competition, who do market their reputation online, becoming the main benefactor.

Now that you know that it is as important to market your reputation online as it is offline, here are a few tips that will help you become a market leader online.

Be Proactive in Commanding Your Online Reputation

In order to build a great reputation you need to do great things that add real value to people and then tell other people about them. If you are the best employment solicitor in the North West then keeping this fact quiet is not going to help your cause. Instead be proactive and strategically submit articles, press releases and blog entries that share this fact with targeted clients that are looking for it.

The more positive internet real estate that you own, the better. If people continually see the same message then they will be more likely to remember you when they are in need of your services.

Be Proactive in Providing a Great Service.

online reputationThis may sound a little stupid, as nobody goes out of their way to provide bad service, do they? But providing a great service offline can affect how people perceive your business online.

Any consumers search for a business online in their local area before committing to working with them offline. Therefore when delivering on the service make sure that your customer service is excellent, that you can be contacted easily, that emails and telephone calls get responded to, and complaints get investigated.

There are many cases were clients who have been ignored or received poor service from a company go straight online and share their views with everyone to see. This could severely tarnish the hard earned and positive reputation of your business as once a negative comment is placed online it is very, very difficult to remove.

Be Proactive in Marketing Your Great Reputation

Prospective clients are looking for reassurance before they commit to a major buying decision. So rather than giving those prospects the opportunity to dwell on the decision provide them with proof that your business delivers on what it says it will deliver.

Provide those prospects with glowing testimonials from previous clients who share exactly how your business helped them achieve the results they were looking for. It’s one thing for you to list your credentials, affiliations and expertise, it is another thing altogether for someone who has no relation to your business sharing them for you.

Put in place a process of requesting reviews from clients, good or bad, the positive reviews can help market your business and the negative reviews can be used to identify areas within your business that need improvement. Ultimately resulting in a better service for future clients.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. The more you can do to present your business online as transparent, trustworthy and efficient, the more clients you will successfully satisfy and the more positive sentiment you will create about your brand online, which will result in an increased online real estate, more people finding you and eventually more people selecting you as the partner of choice moving forward.

7 Ways To Get People To Visit Your Business Website

7 Ways To Get People To Visit Your Business Website

7 Ways To Get People To Visit Your Business Website

Getting a new website is an exciting time for any business, but that joy can soon be overshadowed when you find out that visiting numbers are small and conversions are few and far between. In this post we highlight several methods that you can employ to ensure that your website is a hot bed of activity!

Short, Snappy and to the Point!

business website - get to the point

If you plan to use your website as key tool in your sales cycle, providing valuable information, giving potential clients the opportunity to learn more about you and the way you do business, or quite simply to buy your services and products then you need to make sure that the name of your website or your domain name is memorable. If your domain name is overly complicated or difficult to spell then you may find that a large percentage of potential clients go somewhere else.

Go Offline to Drive Online

business website - man delivering post

The purpose of a website is to attract business from the hundreds of millions of users that are already online so why would you want to advertise offline? Because dependent on your target demographic there may be a large percentage of your market that still prefer, read and react to offline advertisements.

Advertise in your local newspaper, send out a press release about your new site to the local newspaper or a trade magazine, or place an advert on the local radio station with a strong call to action directing the reader back to your website.

Notify Your Existing Client Base.

business website

Your Business website is a not just a tool for lead generation. It is also a valuable resource for informing existing and past clients about your business, providing useful information about the services they receive and valuable resources on how to get the best out of your services. It can also be used for informing clients how and where they can contact you if and when a problem arises, outlining the process and procedures that are in place for them to follow to reach resolution in a shorter time scale. This is important in aiding the customer and reducing the impact on your customer care department.

Send an email or a series of emails to your existing database, or invest in a mailing list so you can inform those that have showed interest in the past, or people who fit your targeted demographic, about your website. Make sure that you follow the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations:

  • Have the person’s permission to send the email
  • Provide a means for the recipient to unsubscribe from future mailings.

Email should be an integral part of your marketing campaign, as such there should always be a method for new visitors of your website to sign up to your mailing list to learn more about your business. A good way to incentivise this is to provide a free giveaway; this could be a series of videos, a report or an eBook that would be of value to your potential clients and in the process help highlight your expertise in your field.

Market using the Search Engines

business website

You can use a service such as Google Adwords to pay for a short advert that provides a link back to your website in the Google search results when somebody searches for keywords and phrases related to your business and or niche. You only pay for this service when an interested party clicks on that link and visits your website.

Search engine marketing can send a lot of traffic to your website in a short amount of time and therefore it is very important to have a plan in place as to how you deal with those visitors when they arrive on your site. Consider the following to improve your conversion rate of visitors to leads:

Select the right keywords or phrases

  1. Use targeted ad text
  2. Provide a call to action in the ad
  3. Send the users to a specific landing page.
  4. Provide a free giveaway to gain access to the users email address.
  5. Make it extremely easy for the user to contact you or leave their details.

To learn more about Pay Per Click Advertising click here!

Optimise your website for search engines.

business website

Search engine optimisation is where you optimise the content on your website to appear higher up in the natural search engine results. The net effect is similar to search engine marketing; effectively your business website gets the vast majority of clicks from people searching for your keywords or phrases.

The main difference being that with search engine optimisation you do not pay for each click as your website is deemed a trusted authority for the keyword term and the clicks and visitors are free. This means you can benefit from search traffic without worrying about daily costs per click advertising budgets.

Although this may seem a far more sensible option than Pay per click advertising it can often take months of hard work and investment to get your website to be deemed as the authority.  And, as is the case in business there is always a new website or a new business that is looking to challenge and take your place; search engine optimisation is not a set and forget strategy! It requires constant work in order to maintain and improve.

Get Social

business websiteSocial media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are great ways for your business to connect with your target audience and build an enthused community of people that share in the interests of your business.

Social media is also a great way to disseminate messages to your existing customer bases and share great news stories and of course fun events that make people smile and share with their friends and family.

Make sure that you have a plan for your social media campaign because although social media is a free resource, the time needed to develop and maintain interests on social media can be a significant drain on resources.

Ask Your Clients to Tell A friend


business website

Encourage your happy clients to share their great experiences of your business to their family and friends, ask your happy clients to share their experiences by leaving reviews and testimonials of your business and then use these positive endorsements to attract more targeted clients to your website.

Your existing customers are the best advocates for your business or your brand so encourage them to share your website with people that they know. Word of mouth marketing is one of the best marketing sources on the planet!

5 Mistakes You Are Making With Your Search Engine Marketing

5 Mistakes You Are Making With Your Search Engine Marketing

5 Mistakes You Are Making With Your Search Engine Marketing?

Despite their being many benefits to search engine marketing is important to remember that it is not risk free. In fact, get it wrong and you stand to lose a lot of money in a short amount of time. Like every other form of business marketing Search engine marketing (SEM) requires careful planning, skilled execution and constant vigilance. Make sure you are not committing these 5 simple search engine marketing mistakes.

1. You Are Not Clear about Your Objectives!

Search engine marketing is a form of advertising, but it is very different from all other advertising that you may have done in the past. Crucially it is not just about creating brands it is about generating targeted leads.

search engine marketing

So begin with a clear understanding of how SEM will fit into your overall marketing mix and how many leads you want it to generate for you. But remember be realistic saying you want one hundred leads from ten pounds of advertising is unrealistic. Work out your average cost per lead and use this as your starting point. You can them come back and refine this figure, but it is always good to have a starting point.

2.You don’t have a suitable landing environment!

There is little point sending visitors to your website if those visitors don’t like what they find there. If you are advertising for conveyancing in Manchester, sending the visitor to a PPI claims web site is misleading and will result in the visitor clicking straight out because the web page is not relevant.

search engine marketing

If you are looking to increase conversion rate, and with pay per click advertising that is what you should be doing, you should think about building a specific landing page for each campaign, or service that you are advertising. People searching for Conveyancing see a page dedicated to conveyancing. People searching for accident claims seeing a page specifically for accident claims. Sending people directly to the home page of your website, unless this is well optimised for conversions can also reduce your conversion rate.

3. You are not getting your words right.

Bid on the right words and phrases and the right people will visit your site. It sounds really simple but the success of your search engine marketing campaign hinges on you getting it exactly right. You need to know exactly who you want to attract to your site, what words they will use to find your site and how to advertise on these specific words or phrases at the right price.

Are your target customers searching for a conveyancing solicitor in Manchester or house sale solicitors? There is a big difference, both mean the same thing but have different amounts of people searching, have a different cost and will convert at differing levels.

Always try to think what people are searching for if you don’t know ask your existing client base what they would search for if they were looking for your business or services in a search engine.

4. Your Ads are not Click worthy

Why oh why would your targeted customer want to click on your advert? What is in it for them? Yes it might be relevant to what they are searching for but what about the other 9 adverts on the page, all the organic listings, the map and Google plus local listings? What makes your advert stand out above all the others?

The whole point of pay per click marketing is to get people to click. If you are not receiving clicks then people will not be seeing your landing page and not be introduced to your products or services. Make you adverts enticing, engaging, and accurate and give a clear call to action.

5. You are not Tracking your results.

And when I say tracking I mean testing, tracking and then enhancing. With SEM you get almost real time information surrounding your campaign. That means you have the opportunity to make changes depending on the reception your adverts are receiving.

Forget traditional marketing where you but an advert for a set amount of time then see the results. The results are there for you to see and adapt so harness that astonishing capability to improve clicks, conversions and results.

If you have accidentally included a keyword that is a brand name or has another meaning which you knew nothing about and it is suddenly receiving hundreds of non relevant clicks then you can omit that keyword from your campaign before it does any lasting damage.

Search engine marketing is an incredibly powerful way to attract targeted visitors to your online presence and managed the right way can provide a large portion of your qualified visitors, leads and sales , so do your homework and make sure that you  get the best possible return on investment.

Online Reputation Repair in 4 Easy Steps

Online Reputation Repair in 4 Easy Steps

Online Reputation Repair in 4 Easy Steps

online reputation repairA business’s Online Reputation is one of its most important assets. In many cases, the results that show in a search engine are the first thing that a prospective customer sees about that business. Online reviews, even if left by a complete stranger are seen as a valid endorsement, or otherwise, in the eyes of the searching public.

Businesses should be doing everything they can to protect their online reputation by encouraging positive endorsements wherever possible. However, if you see that your business already has some negative reviews that show up in searches don’t worry, there are steps you can to take to repair your online reputation. Of course, if the negative reviews are not isolated cases you might need to consider a more in depth overhaul of your working practices!

Understand the situation.

Search for your business name and keywords across all the main search channels to get an idea of what exactly searchers can see about you. If anything shows up on the first page you need to try and address that first.

Don’t make it personal.

If someone has written a bad review and you feel it is an unjust or untrue representation of what has happened remember not to take it personally, even if it seems like a personal attack. On a personal level, the review might make you angry so that your blood boils, or frustrated to the point of screaming at the reviewer. If that’s how you feel the best thing to do is to take a step back from the situation. Under no circumstances should you respond with an angry and frustrated reply of your own!

Approach the reviewer

If the reviewer has left their name with their review then it might be best to contact them directly. Try and resolve the problem, and once it is sorted ask them if they will remove or edit their review to acknowledge that you’ve solved the problem. If your reviewer has left a pseudonym or no name at all then it might be a bit more difficult. It might be that you have a good idea of who they are and may be able to approach them discretely, otherwise reply to them publicly sympathising with their experience and ask them to get in touch so you can help them personally. Remember, the more interventions you make the more fuel you’ll be throwing to the fire which in turn will gain you more prominence in the search engine results. Try not to get drawn in to a public war of words!

Promote positive search results

It’s unlikely that you will be able to remove every negative review. Instead, make them less relevant by giving the search engines more results to find! Make it a priority to ask customers to post reviews if you know they have had a good experience. Just make sure they are genuine comments and don’t be tempted to write your own positive reviews, the search engines will soon realise the reviews are coming from the same source. As well as focusing on asking customers for reviews you can also optimise your social media pages like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so that they show up in the search engines. Writing regular blogs and articles is also a good way to ensure that your content is easily found across multiple sites, therefore filling up search engine results as well!

Following these steps will not only repair a damaged reputation, they’ll also help promote a healthy reputation. If you would like to know more about how we can help your business manage its online reputation then please get in touch!

Leveraging Internet Search Engine Optimisation to Grow Your Business

Leveraging Internet Search Engine Optimisation to Grow Your Business

Leveraging Internet Search Engine Optimisation to Grow Your Business

If you are responsible for marketing and developing an online lead generation strategy through leveraging your website and other online property, you already know that targeted clients don’t just appear out of thin air. You have to help people find your site. In fact, you have to work pretty hard to be found. While there are many ways to do this, nothing brings as much traffic to your site as internet search engine optimisation.

What is Internet Search Engine Optimisation?

Internet Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making a website or page more relevant to search engines for a particular keyword phrase. When you improve SEO the desired result is to get your page to appear higher up the organic search rankings. The higher a website or a page ranks in the search engines, the larger the chances of that website being visited by targeted searchers and converting to leads or sales.

If you look at a standard Search Engine Results Page, down the left-hand side of the page you will see what are known as the natural or organic listings. These are the search results that the search engine thinks are the most relevant to the search term that you typed, in descending order of importance.

These listings are free, as opposed to the Google Pay Per Click adverts on the top and right hand side of the page, and if your website is deemed relevant and of high enough quality your business website could appear naturally in the search results when a potential customer enters their search criteria into the search bar.

Why is it important to rank higher in the search engines?

It makes sense to appear as close to the top of the organic search results as possible as statistics show that:

  • 66.7% of all users click on one of the top three links.
  • 93% of all Internet traffic is generated from search engines [Source: Forrester Research]

Click on the following link to get ten more shocking statistics that highlight why SEO is Fundamental to your online lead generation strategy.

Imagine your website appearing at the top of the search engines for a major keyword relevant to your industry. Think about what benefits that would have on your business growth, and by understanding and incorporating internet search engine optimisation strategies into your online activity, over time your business could benefit from a larger number of visitors to your website, more leads and increased profitability for your business.

The most widely used search engines are Google and Bing and it is widely recommended that you submit your site to these search engines. It is a simple process that should take no more than a few minutes and it is important because if the search engines do not know you are there then they will not consider your content for inclusion in the search rankings.

There are many other actions that you need to take in order to fully optimize your website for search engine results such as tailoring your content to be specific to the search terms that users are looking for with relation to your product, brand or service and having the correct site layout so that the search engines can crawl over it to get a complete image of your site and content.

The opportunity that exists from leveraging search engine optimisation could be dramatic for your business. If you plan to build an online presence that generates targeted leads then you have to include SEO in your marketing plan. There are thousands of books and websites out there where you can learn for yourself and of course you can invest in working with an internet search engine optimisation company to get your site moving up in the search engine rankings, commanding higher online visibility, generating more leads and winning more business.

Call us on 0161 850 4413 today for a FREE consultation to show you how your website could be one of your greatest business assets.

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

If you ask the question what is search engine optimisation to a room full of seo consultants, you are likely to get multiple answers.  The majority however, will respond with something along the line of:

Search engine optimisation or SEO for short is the process of making a website more relevant to search engines. The desired result of SEO is to get your page to appear higher up the organic search rankings. The higher a website or a page ranks in the search engines, the greater the chances of that website being visited by users.

what is search engine optimisation

If you look at a standard Google Search Engine Results Page, down the left-hand side of the page you will see what are known as the natural or organic listings. These are the search results that the search engine, thinks are the most relevant to the search term that you typed, in descending order of importance.

These listings are free and if your website is deemed relevant and of high enough quality your business website too could appear naturally in the search results when a potential customer enters their search criteria into the search bar.

Why is it Important to Rank Higher in the Search Engines?

It makes sense to appear as close to the top of the organic search results as possible as statistics show that;

  • 34% of all Google users click on the top organic listing in Google while 66.7% of all users click on one of the top three links.
  • 93% of all online activity starts with search.

Imagine your website appearing at the top of the search engines for a major keyword relevant to your industry – that is the Holy Grail of SEO and why seo is so important. Through understanding and incorporating search engine optimisation strategies into your online activity, over time your business could benefit from a larger number of visitors to your website, more leads and increased profitability for your business.

How does a Business Get Started with SEO?

Before you jump in you need to realise that Search Engine Optimisation is a subject that is littered with misinformation, confusion and controversy – Google makes changes to their ranking algorithm nearly every day and this can result in pages moving higher or lower.

If you have invested any time researching SEO then you probably already know how much of a minefield it really is. The purpose of working with an SEO Company  is to help you cut through the chaos and give you a clear set of things that you and/or your web development team can do to improve your search engine rankings starting!

5 Things to Check off Before Starting an Search Engine Optimisation Campaign

what is search engine optimisation

1 Understand where you rank right now!

There is absolutely no point embarking on any SEO campaign until you understand exactly where you are right now. By that I mean:

  • where does your website rank now for relevant keywords?
  • How many times is your website showing up in the SERP’s for those keywords?
  • How many times are searches clicking through from the SERP’s?
  • What are those visitors doing then?

2 Align your Search Engine Optimisation Strategy with your business goals.

The main reasons that businesses engage search engine optimisation companies are to improve their online reputation and increase sales. Understand what your goal is before embarking on a SEO campaign so that you can marry the two together.

3. Choose Relevant keywords

If  internally you refer to a product or a solution as ‘x’ then that is fine. But that does not mean that your potential customers know it as ‘x’ they might call it ‘y’

Make sure that you are investing in optimising your website for what the client is looking for not what you think they are looking for.

As a secondary note there is no point optimising for something that is not being searched on. It will be a complete waste of time and money, so do your keyword research first and know exactly where you stand.

4. Understand your ideal customer

Is your product or service specifically related to men under the age of thirty or is your ideal client a forty year old housewife? There will be a big difference between the terminologies used by both audiences resulting in you ranking for something that is not relevant to the target audience.

5. Review the competition

By understanding exactly where the competition stand with regards to their SEO strategy it can help influence how you approach yours. If for example your largest competitor ranks highly for a certain keyword this doesn’t mean that this is the correct keyword to target straight away. The reason being that in order to compete you will have to do a lot of work in order to be seen as the most relevant

These are by no means the only SEO tips that you have to take into consideration when optimising your website however these are a start and by sharing them with you I hope to impress upon you that search engine optimisation is not as simple as throwing up a website, sitting back and watching the traffic, leads and sales, role in.