How to Choose A Good SEO Agency

How to Choose A Good SEO Agency

SEO can boost or harm you business, so don't risk it! Read How to Choose A good SEO Agency | www.bigthinkingonline.com

 

If you think it might be time to put an SEO Strategy in place,

but have no idea where to start, then here are some questions to consider before you call in the professionals.

 

What Do You Want To Achieve By Implementing SEO?

The most important step to take first is to understand for yourself why it is important for you to implement an SEO strategy for your business. If the only answers you can come up with are along the lines of “because I’ve heard I need it” or “because I want to rank at the top of Google” then I suggest you don’t have a clear enough goal.

 

If you can’t explain to yourself why you want SEO then you won’t be able to hire someone to do the job you want doing.

 

Instead, establish some goals that you want to achieve. It might be to increase the number of leads or phone calls you get by a certain percentage, it might be that you want to be known for a different service than people currently use from you, or perhaps you are launching a new product. If you know your goals, it will be easier for an SEO agency to provide the plan that meets your needs.

 

Get To Know Some Of The Basics Of SEO

I understand that the point of hiring an expert is because you need them to do a job that you can’t. However, in order to make sure you are getting the right job done, it makes sense to know enough of the subject matter so that you don’t get confused by jargon, and that you are confident enough to ask and understand relevant questions. Think of the last time you made a significant purchase, whether it was a house, a car or a new phone you probably did some research. Investing in a good SEO strategy for your business is no different, if you do your research you’ll be more satisfied that you made the right decision and that a good job has been done.

 

Ask Around

If you know anyone else who has a business, whether or not they are in a similar industry, why not ask them about who did their SEO? What did they like or dislike and what would they recommend?

 

Get In Touch

Find an Agency, or a few agencies, that you’d like to find out more about and get in touch! Talk about your goals and what you want to achieve and find out how they would approach the issue. Don’t expect specifics at this stage, a good agency will want to do a little research on your specific issue before giving you any solid feedback.

 

You should, however be able to get a sense of how they approach their work, if they are methodical or seem a bit slapdash. You’ll be able to get a sense of how knowledgeable they are about their industry, or whether they are just hoping for a quick sale. You’ll also get an insight into their personality and if you think they’re someone you’ll be able to work with.

 

Find Out What The Bigger Picture Is

SEO is not a “one stop marketing shop”, meaning that on its own it won’t solve all the problems with your online presence. If the SEO Agency is going to be tasked with revamping your site so that it’s better placed in the search engines, it could mean that more work is needed across the site in order to give you a better result. For example, if your website is old and outdated the technical structure you have just may not support a robust SEO strategy.

 

It might be that your website needs completely rebuilding in order to support your SEO campaign, if so, can the same agency do all the work, or will they want to outsource?

 

Experience

Whilst there are plenty of SEO Agencies around, not all of them are equal! It should go without saying that a good SEO Agency will be able to show you examples of how they have helped other clients achieve their goals. Be very wary of anyone who guarantees you a top ranking – this is almost impossible to guarantee through organic SEO, especially for competitive keywords.

 

There are also agencies that specialise in particular niches or industries, choosing someone who specialises in working with similar businesses to you can have an advantage that they are familiar with the key words and terms, or the disadvantage that they are already working for a competitor in your area. Always check whether or not they offer any exclusivity in their contracts.

 

How Do They Track And Prove Results?

One of the best things about online processes is that almost every aspect can be tracked and measured, this allows a great transparency to businesses who are relying on others, such as an SEO Agency, to complete work for them.

 

Find out how your chosen agency plans on tracking their progress against your goals. How will this be communicated to you? How often? What are their processes for ensuring goals are met, and do they adapt these without telling you?

 

The more you can understand about how your agency works, then the easier it will be for you to trust them to do the job.

 

Are You Ready For A Long Term Partnership?

Don’t ever think that SEO can be done once and the results will last forever. It is an ongoing exercise. Search engines constantly update their algorithms, your competitors constantly tweak their own websites and therefore if you want to stay current your SEO will always need to be worked on. Make sure that whoever you choose to work with you are happy with their style of working, as to get any real benefit you’ll probably have to work together for a minimum of 6 months. 

 

If you want to know more about our own SEO offering and the businesses we’re currently working with then get in touch! We’d love to hear from you! 

 

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.

How to Write Targeted Pay Per Click Ads

How to Write Targeted Pay Per Click Ads

How to Write Targeted Pay Per Click Ads

targeted ad textPaying for search engine adverts or pay per click ads, can be a simple and effective way to ensure that people who are already searching online for information related to your business will see relevant, engaging information about your brand at a time when they are already looking to connect with someone.

Each search engine will have slightly different rules regarding what they do and don’t allow to be advertised, as well as rules about the format, length and style of advert so it’s important to check the detail, however in general if you want to have an attention grabbing advert there are some basic rules to follow.

Highlight your Strengths.

Whatever USP you have that differentiates your business over and above your competitors, make sure you highlight it. You don’t get much space, using Google Pay Per Click, to write long, wordy adverts so use the few words you’re allowed to highlight any unique features or special promotions to catch a customer’s eye with.

Where possible show prices

It’s not always appropriate to show prices for services, but if you’re selling a product for a great price you should be shouting about it. Internet searchers generally don’t want to spend their time looking for the wrong thing so give them as much accurate information as possible. If they like the price and click your advert you know they are very interested. If they don’t like the price, they probably won’t click, meaning you’ve save yourself the cost of a click on a searcher who won’t buy anything.

Click on the following link to learn more about the costs of pay per click advertising.

Always Include a call to action.

A Call to Action is something that tells the searcher exactly what you want them to do. This could be words such as Buy Now, Call Us, Order Here, Get A Quote or Sign Up Today! If you convey a call to action s well as the benefits of your product or service it encourages users to click your ad and ensures that they understand exactly what you expect them to do when they reach your landing page.

A call to action will significantly improve your pay per click marketing campaign.

Include Keywords in the text.

If people search on a particular keyword, then they see that keyword in your Advert it reinforces the fact that you are offering what they’re searching for. The relevance of your advert should help to draw the users’ attention to what you are telling them in the rest of your advert. If you include the keyword in the title it will be in bold font – a minor detail that helps the information penetrate the customers mind that bit more!

Keep it relevant

Search Engine Adverts can be precisely targeted to users based on their interests, location, language and demographics. This gives a huge advantage for businesses who place adverts as the advert can be tailored specifically to their target buyer.  Adverts are displayed only in response to a user’s query so if your advert is directly relevant to the target audience, that audience is more likely to be further along in the buying cycle, and therefore more likely to click your advert and convert.

Advertising is very difficult to get right first time. When starting a new campaign it’s wise to start with a low budget to see how pay per click ads converts. If you’re not getting the results you wanted or expected then try tweaking your wording slightly. Sometimes swapping a few words round makes all the difference in the eyes of the searcher.

SEO Reputation Management – Proactively Protecting What’s Great About Your Business

SEO Reputation Management – Proactively Protecting What’s Great About Your Business

SEO Reputation Management – Proactively Protecting What’s Great About Your Business

 

No matter how good your business is the majority of businesses will find themselves under fire from negative press at some point. You can run the best of businesses for decades, surviving by word of mouth referrals resulting in thousands of happy customers but it only takes one disgruntled patron to write a blog post, leave a couple of negative business reviews or shout about their feeling of discord on social media for years of hard work building a brand to come tumbling down. seo reputation management To top it all off, many of the blogs, review sites, forums that people post on and social media platforms are very well respected by Google and therefore rank highly in the search engine results. When people next search on the name of your business or the products and services you offer, these will often show right on the first page. Right under your main website, quite often as part of your listing thanks to Google’s local business directory, Google Plus Local.

How Does Seo Reputation Management Work?

Negative, inaccurate or misleading content appearing in your top Google results makes a bad impression on people searching for you. And while no one can delete that content (except the person who posted it), effective seo reputation management can make it go away. Whether it is a business name, product, service or person within a business that is receiving negative attention online, by employing seo reputation management strategies you can make it go away. This could involve;

  • Performing an audit of online reviews, discussions and articles about your brand
  • Collating all negative mentions and assessing the best way to address them
  • Creating new positive pieces, such as press releases, advice articles or videos to outrank the negative mentions
  • Regularly monitoring the market for new unfavourable mentions
  • Using other web properties that you have to appear more relevant to the search engines.

By being proactive and taking control about what is being said about your business and what prospective clients can see when they search for you, you can help influence their decision about working with you. To put this into context if at your reception or outside your office were posters, posted by former customers advising people to avoid your business like the plague do you think it would impact the number of people that followed through and become a client?

A 2012 survey of internet users in Britain by reevoo found that 88 per cent of consumers consult reviews when making a purchase, and 60 per cent said they were more likely to purchase from a site that has customer reviews. reevoo’s research shows that shoppers trust independently collected reviews more than twice as much as reviews collected by the business being reviewed. This approach also prevents future negative content from appearing where people will see it. So don’t wait — the longer people see the personal attacks, police reports, bankruptcy filings or other negative content in your top search results, the more damage it does. Take back control of your search results before it is too late. Click on the following link to get 4 great tips on how to repair your online reputation.

Pay Per Click Advertising – The Real Cost of a Click.

Pay Per Click Advertising – The Real Cost of a Click.

Pay Per Click Advertising – The Real Cost of a Click.

There is no doubt that pay per click advertising is a very powerful means of positioning your business in front of people who are searching for your type of services. When your customer uses a search engine such as Google to find something, the search engine presents them with natural search engine results, paid results and local search results as appropriate pay per click advertising Paid search results are typically accomplished through a pay per click advertising model where you create your own ad listing that will appear when certain keywords are searched on the particular engine you are advertising on. You pay £X for every “click” you receive on a given ad listing, where X is determined by factors such as

  • keyword popularity,
  • competition of the keyword
  • effectiveness of your ad.

From an inbound marketing perspective, PPC can play an important role in increasing the visibility on the search engines if you know how to leverage it strategically. However, there are many pitfalls and disadvantages that should be understood before relying too heavily on pay per click advertising to drive your business success.

Pay per click advertising offers multiple benefits as a lead generation tool. Used properly, PPC can benefit your business in the following ways;

Ability to target demographics

PPC gives businesses the ability to target who, when and where your advert is shown. You can select the time of day, for example during business hours, or your adverts can be displayed only on the weekends. If you wanted to only show your adverts to women of 40+ who live in the Greater Manchester area then you can. This hyper targeting means that if you know who your ideal client is then you can specifically focus your ad to that demographic, often benefiting from an improved click through, conversion and lower cost of acquisition. As a safeguard you can set a daily budget so that if a keyword slips through the net, generates a lot of clicks and eats up your budget you can remove the keyword from your targeted lists. A key point here is that pay per click advertising is not a set and forget strategy, you need to be prepared to dedicate time to get the right results.

Immediate online exposure

Once you have set up your Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcentre or other advertising account, set your keywords and written an ad then you are away. Once your ad is approved it could be showing on the search engines within 24 hours, often less. PPC is a great way to advertise in the search engines while you are building up your organic listings in the search engine results pages.

More First page Listings

The first page of Google is made up of paid, organic and where appropriate, local search listings. By including Pay per click marketing in your inbound marketing mix your business will get more real estate on the front page, which incidentally is the best place to be for a targeted search term. The more listings you occupy on the first page the greater the chance of a user clicking on your ad or listing, visiting your site and signing up to your offers over those of your competition.

Quantifiable results, allowing you to measure conversion rates and control your costs.

When you use Pay per click advertising there is an array of Data at your disposal: the number of times your ad has been served, the number of times an ad has been clicked, the number of times the click has resulted in a set action.  You can also see the specific keywords that have been searched for and many other factors. All of this data allows your business to strategically target the keywords that convert best for your business, improving your return on investment.

How much does Pay per click advertising cost?

One of the major reasons that businesses shied away from pay per click advertising was the fear of cost. The truth is, PPC marketing can be expensive and produce very little reward if you do not know what you are doing.  Read Google Pay Per Click – 8 Top Tips for a Great ROI.  That will provide you with some top tips to make sure that you see results. The cost of PPC advertising varies depending on the niche you are targeting and as always the competition. The simple fact is that the more businesses looking to advertise on the same keyword means that the price for this keyword will increase. For some keyword phrases this cost can escalate to really high levels.

Below is a List of the Top Twenty Most Expensive PPC Advertising Keywords

 

Keyword Search volume Cost Per Click
mesothelioma settlement 1,900  ∼ £88.57
mesothelioma asbestos attorney 5,400  ∼ £75.53
asbestos attorney 9,900  ∼ £72.80
asbestos law firms 2,900  ∼ £66.27
sell annuity payment 1,900  ∼ £59.07
annuity settlements 5,400  ∼ £57.33
structured annuity settlement 6,600 ↑↑↑ £57.33
auto donation 33,100  ∼ £52.48
virtual data rooms 4,400  ∼ £49.38
donating a used car 2,900  ∼ £49.25
auto accident attorney 135,000  ∼ £45.40
mesothelioma cancer 9,900  ∼ £44.29
data recovery RAID 8,100  ∼ £43.98
motor insurance quotes 301,000 ↓↓↓ £41.61
auto insurance discounters 2,400  ∼ £40.99
auto accident lawyer 135,000  ∼ £40.06
RAID data recovery 8,100  ∼ £39.88
asbestos cancer 14,800  ∼ £37.95
personal injury attorney 673,000 ↑↑↑ £38.14
insurance quotes auto 201,000  ∼ £37.27

*Price converted from $USD 1.61 to 1 £GBPSource: Fetch123

As you can the highest cost per click is £88.57 for mesothelima settlement; that means that a business is paying nearly £90 to advertise to someone when they enter the keyword phrase “mesothelima settlement” into Google. That does not mean that searcher will become a client, it simply means that if the searcher chooses to they will click on the advert and be taken to whatever page the advertiser chose to send them to. It could take many clicks before the user actually contacts the business.

For example if the page the business was sending the searcher to converts at 10% (meaning 10% of the people who click the advert will call the business, requests a call back or leave their details), then it will cost £900 for that business to acquire a lead. While many may baulk at that price, according to specialist lawyers, each payout could amount to anything from £65,000 to several million pounds, depending on individual circumstances. Therefore a successful claim will likely see the solicitor claim substantial fees which will no doubt recoup the cost per lead many times over.

Another example from the list is “virtual data rooms” at a cost of £49.38 per click on Google Adwords.  After typing the search term into Google I can see one advert that says starting at $295/m (approximately £183.22 per month). Now working off the same 10% conversion rate as before that would mean a lead would cost the business £480, yet they are only charging £183.22 per month. The key thing here is per month. Services like virtual data rooms are going to have minimum 12 month contracts, possibly 24 month contracts. That means that the life time value of the client to the business could be anywhere from £2198.64 -£4397.28. To be honest when something says “starts at a minimum” you know that with all the add-ons you are looking at a lot more!

It might take several months before the business starts seeing any profit from acquiring customers at this cost however after six months they will be making profit and that is more profit then they would be making if they weren’t advertising.

The point is, acquiring new business costs a lot of money as long as you know the life time value of your clients and your break-even point. If there is search traffic for your keywords then there is no reason why a well managed pay per click advertising campaign will not add value to your business.

If you want to know more about how you can generate more business by leveraging pay per click advertising contact us today!

 

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.

Why SEO Should be a Fundamental Element of Your Lead Generation Strategy

Why SEO Should be a Fundamental Element of Your Lead Generation Strategy

Why SEO should be a Fundamental Element of Your Lead Generation Strategy

Many businesses realise the hard way after investing in a website that traffic, leads and sales do not magically appear on the internet. Businesses are competing with millions of websites to be seen, and this is where search engine optimisation comes in. It is no longer good enough to just have a website, you need to make sure it can be found through the major search engines and this is why SEO is so important.

A website that is not optimised is as successful at attracting new clients to your business as the sign above your business. It is only visible to those that are standing directly in front of it or who already know your business is there. People in the next street, the next town, the next city will have no idea you even exist.

why seo

That’s why SEO needs to be high on your list of imperatives. If you are not continually working on your online presence to boost and maintain your search engine rankings, your company will likely experience a poor return on investment for its online marketing efforts. Without a search engine optimisation strategy, your organisation could be losing countless potential prospects and new business to competitors who are focusing on SEO.

While many business owners believe that SEO can be a “set it and forget it” exercise it is more evident than ever that it requires constant vigilance and adjustment. Major shifts in the area of search have been taking place over the last few years and businesses that don’t adjust will see their listings sink to the bottom of the results pages.

Search Engine Optimisation is still new to many businesses and because of that it can be hard for department heads or business owners to justify investing in SEO. Here are some facts that might help your decision:

Top 10 Reasons Why SEO is Worth the Investment

Close Rate – According to HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, which are 8 times more likely to close into customers than outbound leads.

People Search for a Reason – Search engines are one of the most popular ways that people find information and make purchasing decisions. According to info please, 81% of internet users say they use the internet to do research on a product before buying.

why seo

Real time, All the time – The internet is alive and speaking to your potential clients 24/7/365. So while your business is closed and there is no one manning the phone lines a perfectly optimised website can be providing useful and valid information about your products and services, helping them conduct their research and putting you in the prime position when they are ready to buy.

Branding – SEO helps improve brand awareness. People are more likely to move forward with a company if they have an online presence that fills the searcher with trust. By showing up where users expect you to be and having a great online reputation you can earn that trust.

Relevance – Search engine marketing enables brands to reach the audience that is most likely to be interested in their products or services. This can be contextually, where results are based on what the searcher is particularly looking for or location based, where your audience is at the moment of time. Both of which add to why SEO is so important for business.

Reach – According to UKOM in September 2012, over 42 million individuals in the UK where online, that is 69.4% of the total population and on average people spent 25:44hrs online.

why seo

Creativity – Search engine optimisation offers businesses and marketing teams a limitless creative canvas to attract and captivate their target audience through multimedia: video, audio, imagery, text, all of which can be used to drive customer engagement.

Long Term Benefits – A print advert, a direct mail campaign, a radio advert once delivered is gone and if your target audience miss the advert there is little chance of them finding t again. If you have a website that is optimised for targeted keywords that drive traffic on a daily basis you will have the opportunity to engage potential clients on a day by day basis for years to come.

Competition – in most cases doing something because everybody else is doing it is not necessarily a strong argument. However if a business is serious about generating  a healthy supply of leads then not being optimised while others in the niche have adopted a local seo strategy, will mean that those leads, prospects and sales will be going straight to those that have made the investment.

Organic – In a recent report conducted by GroupM carried out with Nielsen, Evaluating the Search Marketing Landscape, it was found that only 6% of clicks were from paid search while a massive 94% were from searches in the organic listings. This in itself highlights why SEO, and having your business listed for key terms related to your business and niche in the organic listings, is so important for business.

Accountability – Unique to the internet is the ability to show the entire customer journey: the number of sales, newsletter sign ups, the number of times people click on your listing in the search engines, where they go, what they interact with and much, much more.

All of this information can then be used to work out where to target your efforts to increase conversions.

Although it can be difficult to justify spending money on something that doesn’t yield immediate results and comes with few guarantees, it’s important to realise that SEO is a lasting investment and can be a fundamental part of your lead generation strategy moving forward.

Consumers are using the internet for everything, as the demand for information about products and services continues to increase and the numbers of ways people can access the information evolve, search engine optimisation is not going away. In fact the need is only going to get stronger. So instead of asking why improving SEO is a good investment, maybe you should be asking yourself why didn’t we invest in SEO sooner?

5 Reasons Your SEO Strategy is Not Working

5 Reasons Your SEO Strategy is Not Working

5 Reasons Your SEO is Not Working

seo strategy

Having an online presence these days is absolutely essential for any business. Just commissioning a website is not enough. You need to discover and implement methods of getting targeted users to know about and interact with the website in order to generate a return on investment.

A perfect online marketing plan may suddenly grind to a halt and stop producing results overnight. This is not a time to panic, it is instead a time to take a step back and analyse what is going wrong and then put it right so that once again your website is the lead generating behemoth it can be.

Here are some things that you need to check:

1. How Good Is The Website?

Before making any radical changes to your website, take some time to assess where you are. What level of traffic you are receiving? How many times is your website being served? How many times are people clicking on your website? How long are people staying on your website? What parts of your website do they visit? What do they click on in your website? And of course, what is your conversion rate?

Each question can be assessed separately and then changes made accordingly. For example, if people are landing on your website but leaving quickly, or bouncing, then this is due to the fact that the content that the find when they land on the page is either not relevant to what they were searching for or simply is not of a good enough quality to keep them on your site.

There is a lot of competition on the internet so make sure your website goes over and above the rest by providing excellent content that is compelling, educational and informative. If you can do this then you stand a great chance of converting your visitors into leads for your business.

2. Targeting the Wrong Keywords

Just because you are in the insurance industry you don’t have to target the keyword “insurance”. Why? Because the likelihood of you getting traction for the keyword insurance without an army of skilled SEO practitioners and a lot of money, is extremely slim.

Drill down into the services you offer to the nth degree to see how they benefit the user and try to think how the user would search for your products. Send out a questionnaire to your existing user base and ask them how they would search for your products and services online. Check those keywords and phrases to see if they generate traffic and consider building your site around these phrases, or phrases that are more niche.

Be careful not to go too niche and target a keyword phrase with little or no traffic as this can mean although the users may be super specific, the return is poor.

A good way to test the commerciality of your keywords before optimising your website is to run a Pay per click campaign to assess the keywords over a period of time.

3. Building Weak Links

If your content is good enough and you market that content incredibly well, then there is an argument to say that you don’t need to build any links at all. The good work that you do in increasing the awareness of your site through marketing will mean that you will generate enough natural high quality links referring back to your website, over time leading to a boost in rankings for your chosen keyword phrases.

One link from a high quality, niche related site can do far more good for your website than 100 weak, non contextual links. Focus on the quality of your links not the quantity.

Google is very quick to punish sites that are “over optimised” so make sure that you use a variety of related terms as your anchor text pointing back to your site.

4. Not being social

Social Media is a very important part of any search engine optimisation campaign. If an article is very good than the natural progression for that piece of content is that people will read it, it will provoke an emotional response from the reader and they in turn will share this with their friends over social media. A piece of content that gets shared over and over again will get noticed by the search engines as something that people are enjoying and that is relevant to the indexed terms. As a result, Google will start offering this piece of content to other people as they know it is good.

Be active on social media, interact with other users, and share other peoples’ content. Then when you have something of your own to share, ask people to Retweet or share with their friends to help the process along.

5. Lack of Consistency

Sport icons, pop stars and business people get to the top through consistency: through being better, working harder and providing more than the competition. Getting your website recognised as best in class is no different. You have to consistently provide a great service to those people who visit your website while at the same time giving the search engines a little reminder that you are there through fresh content and relevant citations.

One of the biggest problems with any SEO campaign is the fact that once a website reaches the top of the search engines then webmasters and businesses switch off and think the job is done. It is not! In fact it couldn’t be further from the truth. When you reach the top everyone is looking to beat you and to take your position from you. The only way to maintain that level of success in the search engines is to continue diligently to make your website stand out above the rest.

We live in an increasingly connected world where consumers want the best information, the best service and the best products at their fingertips. Nobody has the time to go trawling through page after page of search results to find what they are looking for and that is why if you want to get a return from your online investment you need to take your SEO strategy seriously.

As with any plan you need to research, design, implement and test consistently to see positive results today and stay wired to the connected consumer in the future.

Using Quality Content to Establish Authority Online.

Using Quality Content to Establish Authority Online.

Using Quality Content to Establish Authority Online.

SEO company ManchesterFrequent readers of this blog will be well aware that we are firm believers in the fact that in order to create any form of online authority in your niche and to position your business online you should be producing fresh, relevant and compelling content on a regular basis.

One of the best ways to do is that is through blogging about key ideas, issues and topics that are relevant to your business and niche and can provide value to your target audience, compelling them to hungrily consume your content and passionately share your advice with their friends through social networks. All of this acts to increase your level of perceived thought leadership in your space, get more and more targeted readers viewing your business and ultimately generate leads for your business and services.

Sounds easy right? It’s not! Make no mistake, just by having a website or blog there is no guarantee that you will get your site noticed in a gigantic and fiercely competitive ocean of niche related blogs reaching out to the same few targeted users.

However when you get it right, your blog gets noticed and your content gets shared, it can have a dramatic effect on your online reputation and your business will start to benefit in the organic search results; targeted traffic will increase and you will see generate more and more leads for your business through your optimised website.

That is why after nearly 3 months of the Big Thinking Online Blog being live and providing key information on online marketing, search engine optimisation, reputation marketing and everything digital we are excited to share that our Blog was ranked in theTop 5 Small Business Blogs by Technorati.

For those that don’t know, Technorati is the leading blog search engine and directory, Technorati.com indexes more than a million blogs. According to Technorati the site has become the definitive source for the top stories, opinions, photos and videos emerging across news, entertainment, technology, lifestyle, sports, politics and business. Technorati.com tracks not only the authority and influence of blogs, but also the most comprehensive and current index of who and what is most popular in the Blogosphere.

Big Thinking Online Altrincham

To even be mentioned along with some of the top online publishers such as Social media examiner, SEOmoz and Google’s own Inside Adwords is a credit to the hard work that has gone into making Big Thinking Online an authority in the small business online marketing niche, and all within 3 months of the launch!

How can this help your business?

The internet is an incredibly lucrative market place for businesses of any size. Competition for highly targeted web users can be terrifyingly fierce and although there is a lot you can do as a business owner to help your online positioning, there are many more actions that need to be implemented, tested and tracked on an ongoing basis to truly see a return on your online investment.

Here are some things you can do to promote your business online.

  • Create content on a regular basis.
  • Know who your target market is
  • Promote your content across the internet.
  • Register your website and blog with niche related directories.
  • Get social with your content, use Twitter, Facebook, Google+ to share your content.
  • Be patient.

Our blog aims to provide users with as much information as possible, to allow them to make an informed decision as to whether we can help them achieve their online goals and business aspirations.

The majority of business owners don’t have the time or the level of expertise to put this information into practice and that is why our portfolio of professional services is catered specifically to business owners who want to turn their internet presence into a leading referral source to help grow their businesses just like we have.

A successful online presence that targets ideal clients for your business is more than possible, you just need to have the desire, consistency and patience or leverage the skills of those who know how to create and maintain it.

For more information on how to turn your online presence into a business asset please contact us at Big Thinking Online. 0161 850 4413.