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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.

The most expensive PPC keywords in Adwords

Clients often ask us about paid for search engine marketing (SEM) versus organic search results. The two are very different methods for bringing traffic to your website.

Firstly with paid, you can choose platforms like Google Adwords or Bing Ads. Organic, sometimes called “natural” listings come from the content of your website (and structure etc) being picked up by the respective search engine and then listed underneath their advertising areas.

At Clickingmad we have over 16 years experience in dealing with both types of Search Engine Optimisation.

Showing off here: On the search term “Search Engine Promotion” we are on the first page – without paying Google. A “natural” or “organic” listing.;

most expensive Google Adwords phrases

and you can then see the other Adverts on the bottom of the page. Again paid for.

I had a thought tonight. I would look at some old posts and website pages that we have created over the years and see how they are doing in search. Some of these pages are years old.

Here is an extract:

Pay Per Click – What is it?

This is the process by which advertisements are shown in a search engine’s results and then paid for for every click, on a basis of how many times they are clicked; hence the name.

Google’s version of this form of advertising is called Google Adwords and is likely to provide your company with the most exposure due to its domination of the search engine market.

Adwords is a very measurable method of advertising your website so it will be easy for you to track your progress and indeed, control your spend.

Google Adwords appear at the top and bottom of the search results, as shown below.

most expensive keywords ppc

most expensive keywords ppc

most expensive keywords ppc

Google Adwords – how does it work?

You create an advertisement in the Adwords control panel and then decide how much you will bid for that advert to appear.

To get started you will need to create a Google account which is straightforward.

You then set up a campaign in Adwords and decide your daily budget that you are prepared to spend bringing visitors to your website.

 

How much is too much to pay?

We came across these phrases that seemed rather a lot of money was being spent on – PER CLICK!

  • Online live roulette – £75.02
  • TAC compensation – £70.19
  • No win no fee accident compensation – £66.75
  • Discounting accounts receivable – £64.90

Extract ends.

I wanted to update that information with the latest prices I can find.

I thought I’d start with money – it used to be very expensive:

  • mortgage – £11.07
  • loans – £13.09

Remember – these are PER CLICK, so each click on your advert will allow Google to charge you that sum of money – each time.

Then I thought “what about gambling?” So…

  • roulette – £29.00
  • online gambling – £171.69

Then the most I have ever seen:

  • Live blackjack – £318.02!

This is scary stuff. Therefore I wanted to be number 1 for 1 week for all the words above, I would have to pay them £64,479.35. In one week!

To put your mind at rest and indeed in the real world however we have recently been managing a campaign on behalf of a client that who sells shoes online and they have been charged on average 32p per click.

So the moral of the story. If you are going to spend literally hundreds per click on Google Adwords, you’d better me making a massive profit and converting 100% of your website visitors !

If you want to read more about this subject go to this page: https://www.clickingmad.com/promote/online-advertising-platforms/google-adwords. There are more links in the right hand column to other relevant information.

 

Is Search Engine Optimisation dead?

Search Engine Optimisation is dead.

Well the term is. Search Engine Marketing is a much better term.

Search Engine Optimisation is about the technical aspects of a website. It’s down to the developers to ensure the website is built correctly. That’s what clients should expect, it’s a given, right?

Not every time it seems. We STILL come across website builts that are not SEO friendly. Hard to believe since our profession has now “come of age” as it were.

‘Search Engine Marketing’ is a better term as it encompasses more about user activity and the greater understanding we now have on users behaviour. When I optimised my first website for search engines, back in erm… 1994? To be honest I didn’t really know what to do. It took me ages to learn about website structures, software and linking content correctly.

The majority of the article below was first published on this blog in 2012. I wanted to se if what I said then is still true today.

The original article:

I wrote a proposal the other evening, for a client showing them how we go about effective

It’s not just on your website…

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Whilst writing the proposal I thought about how far we have come, not only in the 12 years [now 17 years!] that Clickingmad has been providing SEO services, but also in the way we now use Search Engines; Our individual expectations of a Search Engine’s ability to satisfy our incessant demand for information has grown every year but I also think we have become almost blasé in expecting the Search Engines to actually understand our search needs.

I recall a phrase used many years ago that still holds true today: GIGO. (Garbage In – Garbage Out) So why do we expect search engines to really know what we want to find? All search engines are computers, just plain ole’ pcs (well more like servers, but that doesn’t matter for the purpose of this article). Why should we expect dumb computers to understand our heart’s desire? I think we often expect too much.

Apparently there are over 10 billion web pages currently published, [that should now read 1.2 billion WEBSITES not web pages] and as I write this many more thousands have “gone live”. So we now have a vast sea of information that we expect poor old Google to help us through to that nugget that we seek. Ok, Google has become a behemoth in the world of search, there are even movements working actively against Google, mainly in the US and mainly sponsored by other search giants or well subscribed websites. They are actively trying to reduce Google’s dominance over 70% [now over 90%] of the activity we all do online, i.e. Search.

My question in this article is: Does Search Engine Optimisation matter in today’s Internet?

The reason for posing the question is due to the fact that;

1) Google will say that if you have great content, regularly updated and if not unique then authoritative, then your website will be of interest to Google users, i.e. people doing a search within Google. And then Google will do the work for you.

My question is, if everyone does the same as Google suggests how can your website get anywhere near the top of the results? You have to do more than ‘just enough’.

2) Yahoo will say that Bing provides the results for its search results. Ok, so we now have to ask Microsoft, the owner of Bing. Bing says; “Bing website ranking is completely automated. The Bing ranking algorithm analyzes many factors, including but not limited to: the quality and quantity of indexable webpage content, the number, relevance, and authoritative quality of websites that link to your web pages, and the relevance of your website’s content to keywords. The algorithm is complex and is never human-mediated.” (Bing Webmaster)

I think that last sentence is critical when you compare Bing against Google. To repeat, Bing says that the algorithm is “never human mediated”.

Mmmm, I wonder if that is strictly true? Google will tell you that it has Analysts looking through its website database, on occasion removing websites that are breaking the rules, yet it uses automation to do most of this but it’s position is that it uses humans to be the final authority. Bing says not.

Anyway back to what I think about the subject of SEO itself. If we consider that the term “Search Engine Optimisation” (if we take the phrase literally) means your website company optimising your website so that it is effectively search engine “friendly”, ‘surely,’ I hear you cry ‘all websites should be search engine friendly?’ Well, yes, of course they should but why then is it not the case?

Unfortunately, like all fads and bandwagons, people tend to jump onto them to garner financial gain and the Internet is of course no exception. In fact it could be argued that the Internet represents if not the latest, but possibly the largest, bandwagon ever invented. I liken the rise of the web to previous mass communication shifts.

If you think of the invention of the semaphore, the printing press, the telegraph, the telephone, radio, television, the fax (or more properly known as the telefax, and why isn’t the Internet known as teleweb or telenet? Let’s have a YouGov poll demanding a name change!) The list above have all had dramatic effects on how we communicate over long distances. The Internet is, in my opinion the first truly interactive mass communication tool ever invented. Previous attempts were never aimed at more than the individual receiver of the information. Well maybe TV wasn’t/isn’t, and maybe radio, but hopefully you’re still following my thread, tenuous as it is clearly becoming.

So we now have lots of SEO experts promising fantasmagorical results for your website and “yes for only £9.99 we will submit your website to 30495778 search engines. And you will be NUMBER ONE!”

Too good to be true? Of course it is, it’s nonsense.

Two search engines are now dominant, Google and Bing, some 80%/20% respectively of mass market search activity. Sure there are others but as I advise businesses, I want to concentrate on where the majority of activity is and not where the select few go to find stuff.

Does it matter if your website is not optimised? Absolutely it does, if Google can’t index your content correctly how can it list your website? How can it record all the brilliant facts that you state and the wonderful offers you currently display unless it can read it?

Does it matter that you have not researched your keywords and phrases? You bet it does, because Bing uses your meta tags to help rank your website. Google – as you know I’m sure, does not use your tags, but WILL use your page titles, your XML sitemap that your website company did for you (make sure they did that by the way) your header tags, your domain name and domain age and above all Google uses your website TEXT.

[Now add ‘website updates and changes’ to that list]

Does it matter if you haven’t got many people linking to your website, from other higher traffic websites? Yes it does matter, because how can a search engine tell if your website is worth listing if no one else links to it as a source of good information or product availability or knowledge etc?

Does it matter if you are not using Social Media to help your website reach more potential customers? Yes it does matter because your competitors are doing just that, and they are not doing it just for fun. People talk.

[Another big change since this article was published is the way we now use mobile phones to search – more than desktop pc’s and the light but constant use of mobiles by many for many other reasons than just search, Perhaps the art of conversation is over rated? Lol.]

If you agree with me that I still think good SEO is important, then this article has been worth writing. If not, then I suggest you do a little research yourself. Think, why is it that those particular websites keep appearing when you do that search? I suggest that they are taking their SEO seriously, they are taking advice from people like me, maybe even people who know what NOT to do as well as what TO do.

The bottom line is, if your website is important to your business you owe it to yourself to ensure it performs as well as it can.

SEO is important: professional advice about it is even more important. Don’t believe everything you are told about this important subject.

[Interestingly for me, this article still holds true today some 5 years later as it did then. Some things change but really stay the same?]