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Free SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tips by Clickingmad.

google adwords agencySEO Optimisation tips.

The image above is a fairly rubbish image I agree, but it does show clearly where people eyes are tracked when using a computer screen whilst doing a search on Google. This “heat” map shows where users looked at the page after a search result appeared. You can see the “hot spots”.  Clearly being near the top is important.

SEO can help with your organic listings but Google Adwords advertising is above you, even if you are number 1 in the organic result.

SEO is relevant and achievable, but it is not easy.

So, although Adwords is certainly becoming very popular, and more trusted than when it first started, there are still things you can do to help your website achive higher rankings for the search terms you wish for.

I will firstly provide four golden rules about the subject of SEO, (search engine optimisation) that everyone needs to know. I will state them as negatives. I.e. what SEO is NOT.

I’m talking about “natural”, or “organic” results here, not the paid for advertising such as Adwords as I refer to above.

When you search for a product or service through Google you will be presented with three result areas. The very top three are paid for adverts within Google itself, with the advertisers being charged when you click on their advert. How much they pay depends on how much they have had to bid for the word or phrase you used in your search. You can read more about Google Adwords in another article HERE (opens new window)

Here I am discussing “organic” results. The results that are listed just under the top four on the main body of the page. The place where everyone wants to be as theoretically the website has earned the right to be there for the phrase you used. In Googles’ opinion of course.

To see a website that is (at the moment) at the top of the tree. Type into Google: “Estate Agents in Wombourne”

You should get this result:

seo company

 

That is an organic result – i.e. Google thinks it is the most relevant website in relation to the search phrase. And that is without paying Google a penny!

Or another one: Try typing in “search engine online promotion”

seo company near meYes, that is our website, in fact it is this website. Just showing off a bit there. Apologies.

Back to my points (or golden rules if you prefer) about Search Engine Optimisation or SEO as it has come to be called.

Effective SEO is not CHEAP.

Effective work on promoting a website takes time. Time is money. The skills are learned over time and good SEO takes skill, technical knowledge, lateral thinking and a lot of experience on the subject.

SEO is NOT fast

It can take months to get any results from this activity. and to be honest I think its probably right that it does. The results that Google wants to give are supposed to be the best it can do, so fair enough, it takes time. Don’t be put off by this. The results are definitely worth the effort.

Any work done on SEO is NOT guaranteed. There is no way anyone can manipulate the complex algorithms used by the big search engines to their own benefit. Frankly there is no need to try as if you’re spotted your website will either be blocked or so far down the list as not to be relevant. So don’t believe silly promises, you could be risking your company’s reputation.

SEO is NOT a one time operation

In the ways in which search engines work, their predilection to shake up their database on regular occasions and the fact that your competition is also working on their web search results means that you have to keep doing it, as frequently as required.

When I talk about SEO to clients or groups of businesses I use the “plate spinning” analogy. To get the best from the search engines you have to do many different activities, all at once. So you set your plates spinning and keep them spinning effectively. The plates can be labelled; web page updates, website structure updates, news updates and more and more updates. You can see the “update” theme here coming through.

Further labels could read; statistical monitoring, meta tag research and implementation, competitor research, website speed monitoring, building “back” links to your website. Generic domain name effectiveness. Looking at effective page titles and descriptions. The list goes on and on.

Frankly if your not updating your website on (at least) a monthly basis you’re not giving a chance at being attractive to search engines. If you can’t update your website easily, talk to your provider. There are numerous ways of updating a website. Get a good CMS (Content Management System) installed. Use a Blog to do it, like this one! I am updating this entry via my phone! There is no excuse for businesses to have a website that is out of date. Not now, when there are lots of ways of doing it, many of them very cost effective.

So the SEO message I am peddling is this.

Don’t expect quick and easy results.

It’s not rocket science but you wouldn’t want ME working on the engine of your car, you would want an expert. Pay for good advice and don’t skimp.

Remember that good Google listings ARE achievable, it’s a fact. But like everything in life, you have to put the effort in to get the results.

__________________________________________________________

website design companyAbout the author.

Shaun Carvill has 23 years experience of promoting websites. Yes he IS that old! He is the MD of Clickingmad Ltd, a website design, website development and website promotion agency. Since 2000, Clickingmad have become known as one the most capable and experienced of digital agencies in the region.

Our customer base is varied and includes companies large and small and in nearly all sectors. Get in touch if you want some free expert advice.

How to write content for Google #2

website rich content explained

How to write Rich Content for website success #2

Continued from previous post www.clickingmad.com/blog/how to write rich content for Google.

What does “rich content” mean? (it’s a phrase used by Google, Bing; aka Microsoft and other search engines). I believe rich content to mean several things;

  • Unique.
  • Interesting
  • Easy to read.

Unique content is not a quick fix, you have to think about your product or service perhaps a little differently than you do indoors so to speak. Think about how your customers talk about it. What words do they use to describe your goods and services? How does your trade body talk about them? Use different terminology to describe them. Above all it has to be your own language, do not copy your content from anyone else.

Look at competitors by all means, perhaps for inspiration, but always re word what you say so that the search engines couldn’t possible have read it anywhere else. If the content is already in their database, they will know and the will penalise you for it. One way to do this is think about the conversation you might have with a prospective customer or client. Think about the words and phrases you use when talking to them. Use some “unique” selling points that I bet spill easily off your tongue, but that you struggle to write down.

I don’t know about you, but I can tell when content has been written by someone who is not very good at English, or who doesn’t really know about the subject. I can also tell if it’s been written by a marketeer. Too much spin and not enough substance. Too many buzz words and not enough facts. I tend to feel similar to hearing a script on a telesales call from a call centre; they’re reading the words but they don’t know (or don’t care) what they are saying. Making content interesting is not easy. But it’s doable.

Two ways to write website copy;

An example of fictional content on a website selling hotel breaks.

Boring: “2 nights bed and breakfast at the “Dorchestering Hotel”, Central London. River views and top class service. Book now.”

Interesting: “Fancy a break at a top class London hotel with all the trimmings? How about watching the sunset over the famous river Thames and looking forward to a sumptuous full English breakfast the next morning after a relaxing comfortable night in your beautifully decorated room? All included.

Why not take in a show or museum visit during your 2 night break. Be welcomed in style by clicking here to book now.”

See my point? Yes it’s waffling a tad but the facts are all there and it’s SELLING the trip.

A good example of content writing;

Here is a real life example from email inbox from Groupon, an broadcast email sales tool for retail deals.

“When life’s a bed of roses it usually means you have things sweet, or you’re a particularly messy gardener. Blossom into bedding with today’s Groupon for memory foam Silentnight pillows distributed by (name deleted). These Silentnight pillows can be bought as a single, pair, quad, or happy group of eight to provide a soft spot for weary heads.

Now that’s flowery alright, but I think it’s brilliantly written. Quirky, funny and still with all the relevant facts in the offer. That’s what I mean by interesting. It also makes you want to buy the product!

Ease of reading may sound a bit obvious. I always read out loud anything I write, apart from my shopping list! This is more aimed at your real website visitor but is also relevant to search engines as they often will present an excerpt of your text in their results. Therefore if your content is easy to read the user will get the gist straight away, which is of course what you want. Try not to use too many technical, industry only words.

Stop the hype

Be very careful over the use of nonsense marketing terms that many fall foul of. Examples of which might include;

Holistic
Seamless
Blue Sky Thinking
Ground breaking
Mission critical
Best of breed
Leader
Outside the box
Robust
Empower
Iconic
Win Win
Proactive
Best in class
Turnkey
Industry standard

 

 

 

 

The reason I don’t like these type of words is that they seem to imply that the companies that use them have a totally unique way of doing things. Does anyone? Really?

They are being used to pretend to be unique, then that pretence may lead us to the conclusion that we can’t believe anything they say in their website, or press release (where these types of words are most commonly used).

What I want to see are facts, details and proof. Well written and concise, after all none of us have much time anymore to be “flannelled”. (see my article on website speed.. here) We need (or expect) instant results, accurately describing the product or service that we seek. If highly descriptive or even misleading terminology is used we immediately mistrust the source.

Maybe I am becoming cynical in my (not so) advanced years. But tell it like it is. Try to get your website visitor to trust you by telling them the truth even before they make contact. Surely that’s a better way than shallow over used “speak”. Apologies to marketeers (who disagree) out there.

  • For SEO success write interesting, unique content.
  • To engage your website visitors write interesting and unique content.

For assistance on SEO as a business tool contact a professional company or spend about 5 years learning the subject. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is either cheap or quick, but be assured that it can and does work.

If you have any questions about SEO and content writing, please get in touch by clicking the box on the right and we will keep you “in the loop” or call 01746 769612 for some free advice.

How to write “rich content” for Google success

website rich content explainedIf you are interested in the “performance” of your business website you will have heard many times that the “quality” of the content is of paramount importance.

I have this from google themselves:

Basic principles of Content Writing

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee.
  • Ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

I want to explore this further and provide some tips on writing good copy for Search Engines to index (record), because if they index your content then you are much more likely to be found higher in the search results, which of course is what you and everyone else wants.

Over the past 16 years and as a professional website development company the team at Clickingmad is asked probably 9 out of 10 times how to write effective website copy by our clients.

The answer is often easy to come by, dependent on the subject, but still eludes many a website owner. I will firstly provide four golden rules about the subject of SEO, (search engine optimisation) that everyone needs to know.

I will state them as negatives. I.e. what SEO is NOT. I’m talking about “natural”, or “organic” results here, not paid for advertising such as Adwords etc.

Some “Golden Rules” for SEO success.

  • Effective SEO is NOT cheap. Effective work on promoting a website takes time. Time is money. Etc.
  • SEO is not fast, it can take months to get any results from this activity.
  • Any work done on SEO is NOT guaranteed. There is no way anyone can try to manipulate the complex algorithms used by the big search engines to their own benefit. Frankly there is no need to try as if you’re spotted your website will either be blocked or so far down the list as not to be relevant.
  • SEO is not a one time operation, as the ways in which search engines work, their predilection to shake up their database on regular occasions and the fact that your competition is also working on their web search results means that you have to keep doing it, as frequently as required.

When I talk about SEO to clients or groups of businesses I use the “plate spinning” analogy.

To get the best from the search engines you have to do many different activities, all at once. So you set your plates spinning and keep them spinning effectively. The plates could be labeled;

  • web page updates
  • website structure updates
  • news updates
  • statistical monitoring
  • meta tag research and implementation
  • competitor research
  • website speed monitoring
  • generic domain name effectiveness
  • more and more updates

The list goes on and on.

Important; if your not updating your website on (at least) a monthly basis you’re not giving it a chance at being attractive to search engines.

As usual I have digressed, so back to content.

Click here to read the next article in this series