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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.

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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.

Website Design Process

We are often asked how long it takes to create a new website. Recently we created a graphic that gives some details about that process and shows how relatively complex it is. Here is a low quality graphic version. If you want to use it without the watermark then contact us.

how to build a website

More to it than you thought?

If you follow these steps, particularly the most often neglected ones in the lower “globe” then your website should have a good chance of success.

Does imagery used in marketing really matter?

website images convey messgagesI’m a rugby fan. There I’ve said it. Not football: Rugby.

My sons played football and I’ve been known to kick a round shaped thing around myself in earlier times. The image above is, of course, of some famous faces of the current Welsh international rugby team. In mitigation for aficionados of the English game; I grew up on the borders of Wales and had a Welsh rugby coach so you can forgive me for not using the boys in white. Actually it’s even more complicated than that as I am half Irish so depending on who is playing who, I will support a wide range of coloured jerseys.

I work in marketing; marketing using the Internet. My agency designs and builds websites for businesses. All sorts and sizes of businesses. Very often we are asked to provide images for websites that try to convey a sentiment, a mood, a feeling around the message that the page or the content dictates. You know the usual thing, bright white teeth – perfect complexions – or abstract meaningless shots of “something”.

Maybe it’s my age that is making me become very cynical about “stock” imagery. For years we have used the usual suspects – Istock, Fotolia, even Getty when the budget allows. Recently we redesigned our own website and I wanted to do something a bit different and not use the standard and often over-used images that are chosen by lazy marketeers. I thought; “how about using famous people to catch the eye of the web visitor?”

So I did some research as I already knew the sort of thing I wanted to say, which was along the lines of “picking the right team” having “great backup and support” and, well you can see what I was thinking. I was trying to convey that my team are brilliant at looking after the client AFTER the website has been completed and that the support they provide is honestly valued by our clients.

After several hours of pondering and searching for images I thought I would look at buying (and you must always buy – or photograph yourself – images to avoid breaking copyright. Who wants to end up with a bill for using someone else’s image from Google and the like?) an image that would have some impact. So I searched..

As a rugby ex-player and advocate for the finest points of the beloved game I ended up trying to get images of a try, scrums, line outs, tackles. The best imagery was taken by professionals at big matches, but could I get hold of them, legally? Nope.

I wasn’t going to give up. My business website is important. After all, it is what we do so I have to really care about the messaging that I want to convey.

After numerous emails to photographers and even photo agencies and the copyright owners themselves I was very lucky to be allowed to buy the rights to use this image, along with others.

My questions to you are these:

What does the image above say to you? If you had to write a strap line or two to reinforce your message what would you put on it?

If you come up with something that gets the message of “support” or “team” that inspires me, I will use it – and credit you if you like.

There’s your challenge, over to you, give it a go if you have a minute to spare. Email me at shaun@clickingmad.com.