The perfect kind of traffic to your website will cost you nothing. Off page Search Engine Optimisation is a method of improving your websites rankings; by building quality on theme backlinks. It is important that the links stem from relevant or similar sites to your own. By building poor quality backlinks from spam or irrelevant sites, it may have a detrimental effect on your rankings. This is due to the recent Penguin update.
Now off-page search engine optimisation is achieved solely by building anchor text rich backlinks from relevant content written. These links should always stem back to the relevant pages on your website. There are a variety of different ways to obtain these links, such as from content on a forum or posts on a blog. The keyword or phrase anchor text needs to be repeated and clearly accessible by Google so that it can be placed in a local directory. This will also allow for more and more visitors to your website as you will be a registered site, have information linked back from various websites and will ultimately allow for your website to rank higher.
In regards to content for your website, it is just as important off page as on! Third party articles containing backlinks will boost site rankings drastically. The content can be as specific or ‘out there’ as you like. As long as it contains at least some relevance and links back to your website; you have the freedom to appeal to a wider audience through various themed articles.
Press releases are also an excellent way to increase the exposure of your site, whether you are promoting an idea or selling a product. A good press release will expose your website to the media and supply you with, if done well, tons of free publicity.
Now the use of H1 tags and content is absolutely vital. These tags will be what the search engines will read in order to recognise exactly what your site is about. The content below must be short and clear and basically expand from what the title tag has already stated in a nutshell. If search engines are able to clearly read the H1 tags and the content, and also if there is a recurring theme throughout your website, Google for example will notify this and drive any searches towards your site.
Content is essential, It must be unique, interesting and be clearly written to your desired target audience.
Mobile phones are changing the way we search online. If you don’t have a mobile website then potential customers looking for your business will go to your competitor.
Over the next year every business will need to have a mobile friendly version of their website. I know that is a bold statement but if you don’t have a website that is readable on a smartphone then you are giving your competition your business. The statistics show that 60% of users of mobile phones looking for a business are more likely to go to a competitor and even worse is that 40% will never come back to your website. Can you afford to lose this revenue from mobile phone customers?
Recent research into the use of smartphones and tablets predicts that mobile searches will overtake desktop searches in 2013. Mobile searches have QUADRUPLED in the last year and this means that if one of your friends used their mobile device last year to search for something…today it’s FOUR of your friends.
Today one in 3 Mobile searches are local. That means if you put 100 consumers doing mobile searches in a room-33 of them are searching for local businesses! So if your site is mobile friendly it is more than likely to be found, especially if used in conjunction with Google places pages.
And it is not just local businesses that are benefiting from mobile phone searches. Jeff Bezos from Amazon states that “In the last twelve months, customers around the world have ordered more than $1 Billion of products from Amazon using a mobile device or Tablet
Social media is also used more on the go. Facebook on mobile is now 44% of Facebook users. And Twitter is higher with 55% of all active Twitter users are on mobile.
From our own research we can see that Google has a different index for mobile websites. It looks like Google is dropping from results delivered to smartphone users any website that does not have a mobile version of their site. So expect to never make page one in google if you do not have a mobile friendly site.
So what do you do if you do not have a mobile friendly site? You need to contact a website design company that has experience in mobile website design. There are important criteria that needs to be taken into consideration. It needs to be:-
- The correct size to be viewed in a mobile screen
- Compliant across all the main mobile platforms
- Small file size for quick download – you customer is paying for data downloads
- Easy click buttons to call you
- A map and location finder – especially if you are a shop or restaurant.
- The site should automatically redirect to the mobile version of the site
Choose carefully the website design company and check they have already designed and delivered good quick mobile websites – don’t forget to try it on your own mobile phone! So don’t get left behind – get a mobile friendly website today before you lose any more customers.
Last Friday Google was off again on its merry dance that it does this on a regular basis to improve the results served to search users. Most of the time it has little impact on results for your website being found.
This week was different and we all need to look carefully at what they are saying. Here is what the Google blog says:-
Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking–a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries–and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites–sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites–sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
So what does this all mean? Unique content will be rewarded if it is of a high quality and if it offers real value to visitors to the site. This is all good and how the search results should be. We see a lot of sites pushed down the rankings for specific keywords because of sites offering no benefit to those searching – its just that these sites have lots of key worded content that is trying to make you click on the on page adverts for financial gain.
People out there on the net are calling it a return to “on-page optimization “ but the important lesson is as always – Users need to always see unique and good quality content when they visit your site.
This update does impact on “Content Farm” websites mentioned before. These are sites where content is not totally unique or recycled from other websites. Even the larger quality article websites such as EzineArticles will feel the impact and have increased the quality checks on the articles accepted to its service.
And remember that Google is including Facebook and Twitter results in its results. So if you do not use these Social media services, your site will start to see a drop in its position in the search engines and specifically Google. These are services that are easy to set up and maintain and excellent tools for businesses to engage their current and new customers. Its is powerful stuff if done correctly and benefits businesses with good public relations and ultimately more website sales.
Running an online business is no different to having a chain of stores on the high street – your best customers are always your existing customers. People that have purchased from you before know how good you are, know your service levels and more importantly know you. As long as you ticked all of these boxes with a big green tick and your prices are well levelled against your competition, these are the kind of customers you should hold on to and existing customers are the easiest to sell to in the future.
Many businesses spend lots of money and time on chasing new customers, organising offline marketing in newspapers, paying for flyers, running TV / Radio adverts and just always chasing the fresh £. How often do you see adverts which apply to “new customers only” and feel slightly frustrated and maybe irritated that you are not allowed to apply for the promotion because you are a loyal customer already?
Isolating your existing customers in pursuit of the new breed is a such a bad thing to do, especially if you are selling products that frequently need to be renewed like food, clothes or peripherals, because your existing customer base is always the easiest to encourage back onto your store to buy from you again.
Imagine if you have a database of 1000 people that have purchased from you before. You could easily email every single one of them using your own system or a dedicated email sender for less than £10. But you decide to spend hundreds of pounds on a newspaper advert and mailing list trying to get new customers. Not only have you overlooked your perfect target audience, but you have just wasted money on chasing new customers which will be harder to convert rather than targeting your existing database which will be much easier to convert.
There are a few things that you can do to keep your existing customers satisfied and buying from you and these can include:
Special Discounts / Voucher Codes – Discounts will always work for all of us, especially in these hard times. You could offer returning customers 10% off or maybe free postage and packaging.
Exclusive Promotions And Offers – Exclusive BOGOF (buy one, get one free) are a cracking way of getting people to buy from you again and also to make them feel rewarded for their loyalty.
Personal Product Promotion – How often do you get product information through from certain retailers and actually connect the product with something you want? Again, this makes you feel looked after as a customer.
Loyalty Schemes – As most of the major supermarkets will testify, loyalty schemes work because you are encouraging customers to keep spending with you to earn something back.
Previews And Specials – One of the leading clothing retailers offer their customers 24 hours exclusive access to the sale items before the general public can see these items as this kind of thing makes people feel rewarded.
If you can implement some of the above then you have a very good chance of getting that customer to buy from you again or at least come back to your site.
New customers are always great and sometimes have a higher disposable income with their first order, but it is always cheaper and more effective to get sales from your existing customer database than to spend thousands of pounds of trying to chase the new customers.
Is your Social Media brand name available? Are you not even sure what social media is? Social Media is getting to be one of the most important marketing tools for business today. And at the forefront of your campaign should be your brand or business name. For readers new to Social Media, we are going to start by finding out if your brand name is available. Sometimes it is already hijacked by cybersquatters. These are people who register a name without using it, mainly to make a profit.
So what is Social Media? Wikipedia says that it is media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques – social media uses web-based technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogues. Basically it a way for billions of people on the internet to have of conversations online 24/7.
Basic Rules – Its not as simple as putting your message on social media sites and wait for customers find their way to your site. There are some basic rules business need to follow to be successful on social media – Listen : Engage : Measure.
We are going to cover these topics in depth in further articles but this is about getting started and the first is to see if your brand or business name is available. This can be done by finding each of the social media sites in a search engine and going onto the site and trying to sign up for an account. But there is an easier way to check them all in one place.
The site to do this is called Namechk (http://namechk.com). Go onto the site , enter your brand or business name in the search box and the site goes and checks the availability of your name. If after running the check you find there are sites you do not have accounts with your name or used by others. You can then click on the name of the sites and sign up. You now can really get started on spreading your brand across the internet and interacting with your clients.
But what if my brand or business name are taken by a cybersquatter? Well don’t panic it can be recovered. Take for example Twitter. If your name is taken, then you can use a location or underscore to generate a new account name. For instance Net9design could be Net9_Design or Net9designGlos. If the account name you want is taken but unused by the user, Twitter will allow the name to be reassigned to you. But you need to contact them and follow their instruction to prove your case.
Don’t Panic Mr Webmaster – Examine The Facts First
Most of us have all been there at some stage, your highly ranking site has lost a load of sales or enquiries and when you check your Google Analytics account you see the downward red arrow of fear and worry and you then break out into a cold sweat and start to panic. The good news is that most of the time the panic is unwarranted and once you have done a few basic checks you can then start to put your worries to bed and start to concentrate on regaining those rankings.
It is important to remember that unless you have done something really, really bad and against Google Webmaster guidelines then it is very unlikely that you have been kicked out of the engine or “de-indexed”. Although it can cause a lot of worry, especially if you are seeing a drop in sales, you do need to take a logical and calmed approach and really sit back to discover exactly what is going on.
Below, we look at our steps to making sure your site is ok and has not been “dropped” or “de-indexed” by Google.
Check Your Webmasters Account – If you don’t have a Google Webmasters account then you really should get one. All three of the search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing have this facility, so make sure you sign up to all of them. If anything happens to your site then you will be notified, things like hacking, unsafe pages and anything else that could lead to site problems. If your site has been hacked then Google will display the “This Site Could Harm Your Computer” on your ranking listing, and only someone who was slightly short of intelligence would then click onto your site, explaining the drop in traffic.
Check Your URL In Google – The quickest way to see if you have been totally dropped from Google is to head to the Google site and search for “yourwebsite.com” and see what happens. If you see results, you have not been de-indexed so you can wipe this worry away, but it can also show you if any pages have been dropped for whatever reason, allowing you to find the source of the problem.
Check Your Website – Have a quick look through your site and see if you notice any problems. Are the pages taking too long to load? Have you got any broken links that are hampering the spiders? Is your code causing problems when displaying the information? There are literally a hundred things or more that could be affecting ranking when it comes to losing traffic, so make sure you have a good look through the site and try to identify any issues.
Think About Any Changes – Many ranking and traffic drops happen after webmasters and site owners change things which really didn’t need to be changed. For instance, if you have changed our page titles, this can cause major issues as Google will then need to pretty much re-rank the page according to the new information. Also, if you have moved your site or gone onto a CMS, maybe the pages haven’t been changed accordingly and this will also have a dramatic affect on your traffic.
Study Your Analytics – Once you have done all of the above, it is then time to log back into your analytics and study them in massive detail. Look at the traffic per page to find out if you have dropped for certain pages and also look at the keywords compared to when you were doing better. This can really help you to identify where you have suffered the fall in traffic and can then help you to understand what has gone wrong and how you can go about fixing it.
Sit Back And Have A Ponder – You do also need to think about any outside factors that could be affecting your traffic. For example, in August, most people’s traffic drops dramatically as people take holidays and there are many examples of things like this that can see a drop in traffic, things like Christmas and other holiday periods and time sensitive events etc.
One of the very true sayings in the Search Engine Optimisation and Web Design world is that to get the visitor to your site is one thing, to keep them coming back time and time again is another. Keeping visitors coming back to your site is vital, especially if you are selling products that can be purchased multiple times or if you are offering a subscription based service that relies on people paying money to keep coming back.
The reason big offline supermarkets like Tesco’s and Iceland offer loyalty cards is to increase the chances of their shoppers coming back to the stores. Running a website you have to think along the same lines as the big shops in respect of 5 repeat customers is easier than chasing 10 new ones.
Below, we look at our top five features that you can use on your website to keep visitors returning time and time again.
Online videos are one of the fastest growing forms of online media on the Internet, meaning that more and more people are now watching videos and clips online than ever before. Google of course owns YouTube which continually breaks records in terms of how many visitors it has coming to the site and how many videos are being watched. Make sure you have a good set of videos on your site, with any type of site being able to find a reason to make a video, from a “how to” video to a video describing your latest product.
With the rise of the Ipod and other forms of MP3 players, more and more people now download music and podcasts so that they can listen to them whilst travelling or relaxing and not needing to be near a computer. If your website has any informative articles or guides, these can easily be made into podcasts, which will encourage people to subscribe to your feeds so that they always get the latest podcast once it is made and released by you.
Competition drives mankind, online games drive anyone that has an ounce of a competitive streak in them. If you can get 100 people all trying to get the top score in a game, you can rest assured that about 10 of them will keep trying and trying until they really can achieve no more. Games are a great way of not only getting people to come back to your site but to also spread the word about what you are doing, as users always spread this information virally and it could become really hot if it is a good game.
Forum / Message Board
A forum is a good way of encouraging people to use your site regularly, interacting with others and generally just spending a few spare minutes answering questions and topics. One word of warning; make sure that you are able to moderate and control your forum, because once a forum gets out of control it is very hard to recover status.
In every day walks of life, everyone has an opinion and some just love to express it, and this is where having a regularly updated blog comes into play. If you write a blog post or article and have a loyal set of followers, they will come and read your article or blog and leave comments on it. People just seem to love blogs, as do the search engines, so make sure that you have a decent blog set up and more importantly make sure that you post as often as you can.
Google has recently made a major change to the way it builds its website index with the announcement of Google Caffeine, but what is it all about? And what does this mean for my website search results in Google?
When you use a search engine such as Google you are actually searching through the index of websites they have built, its just a big database. You may have heard of search engine spiders or robots that crawl through websites looking for pages? Well this is the way that the Google looks at the content on your website. Content has long been king on the Internet, the better quality it is and the more that gets added means that your website can see a major increase in website traffic, especially if you are writing about current trends related to your websites industry.
“So how will Google Caffeine affect my website?”
The whole reason for Google changing was to enable them to offer its users the most current content available, what this means that you will now be able to access blogs, tweets, news and videos faster than before. This allows you the user to get up to the minute information pretty much as it happens which will make using the web more of a live experience.
Now more than ever there is a need to provide regular information and news on your own website, social media elements such as Twitter and Facebook will also count towards your search result a lot more. For example, if you tweet on Twitter about something that is current, users will be able to access this in search results a lot easier than ever before. Quality current content is so important so things such as videos are going to be an essential items on your website. Video blogging will now be spidered or found as you upload it so setting up a Youtube channel is of paramount importance.
There are now many websites out there that are ready for this new way of searching by having established blogs, videos and social media accounts, however there are also many that are not. There are still lots of websites that have been stuck in the old ways for a long time, still the same from their original launch, never being updated with new content and just plain boring for users. These type of websites will not benefit from the way the web is changing today.
So to ensure that your own website benefits from Google’s index changes is by making sure you have the following:
An integrated website blog
This must be part of your websites structure and navigation not an external site that just looks the same e.g. WordPress.com, Blogspot.
Social media accounts
Twitter and Facebook are king, these should be linked up directly to your own website. A Facebook page is best for the search engines because there is no login area to block the spiders getting access. Then Search engines find your Facebook page so it gets a greater chance of your content being found and indexed.
When you create a Youtube channel and embed the videos into your website, you give users an interactive multimedia experience. Videos are best when they are simple and a little rough round the edges; don’t be tempted to invest lots of money on expensive equipment or on a company making a professional video for you. Users want to see the real you and the real business that you run.
Google Caffeine will change the way users search for their content, letting them find content as it happens. To make sure that your website is ready you need make sure that you have all the above in place, if you haven’t already done it, don’t worry it isn’t too late and also if all of this sounds foreign to you, then contact a reputable SEO or web design company who will be more than pleased to help future proof your website.
Pillow (http://www.pillow.co.uk/) is an adventure travel company. Net9design have upgraded the site adding a full CMS system in the backend to give the customer full control over the site content. Also the CMS will give the customer control over the website SEO and includes new plugins for Social media.
Based in the UK, the travel company which offers tours to major festivals and events across Europe. We offer tours to major European events like Anzac Day in France and Belgium, Tomatina or Bull Running in Spain and trips to major European Christmas markets. However we also specialise in offering tours to some of the UK’s best but also most quirky festivals & events, such as the Cheese Rolling at Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire, Shin Kicking in the Cotswolds, or Running the Tar Barrels in Devon.
This site has a special customised Event management plugin that provides a way to take online registrations for events such as conference and seminars that are held live. Events are managed quickly and easily from within the WordPress dashboard.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) has become vital significance to achieve higher rankings in search engines and increase the right traffic to your web site. We design all our sites firstly with search engines mind. Then use a combination of keyword research and site optimisation to make your site desirable to the search engine spiders and site visitors alike. Finally to increase site link popularity, we spawn inbound links from relevant web sites.