Monday, 15 July 2013

Why SEO is no longer just about SEO

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short is far more well-known nowadays than it was a few years ago. But whilst some of its principles still hold true today the very practice of SEO is so much more than backlink building and keyword rankings.

Effective SEO is really online marketing - think social media marketing, online PR, email marketing and content creation and you might have some idea of what we mean by the overall phrase ‘online marketing. The only reason it is still called SEO is that people have finally got to grips with the name and the concept so calling it something else would be like going back to square one.

So SEO should instead stand for the overall online marketing strategies that will involve optimisation up to a point but also other digital disciplines and channels that contribute to building up the visibility of a product, brand or business online. You cannot ignore the fact that Google has huge power over websites in terms of its algorithms and rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket and relying on organic search alone, or the traffic that is delivered by one or two keywords that are ranking on page one, you now need to cast your net a little wider and look to generate traffic from referrals, from social media channels and from a diverse range of semantically linked keywords.

Yes, gone are the days when you should be building a marketing strategy around 5 or 10 key phrases. There are still plenty of SEO companies out there who are charging per keyword but these strategies are old fashioned. After all, how many of us when searching for a builder in Birmingham would only consider typing builder Birmingham into Google? What about the many other possibilities such as builders in birmingham, birmingham building company and birmingham builder not to mention the fact that some of us will look on Facebook to search for a local company or perhaps act upon information shared when one of our friends retweeted?

If you want to truly build a lasting presence and help your business to grow online you need to accept that SEO is no longer just about SEO and that only an online marketing company that talks about innovation and implementing social media, online PR and other elements will be capable of getting you where you need to be.

Posted by Frances Berry

Sunday, 23 June 2013

A Good Time To Embrace Content Marketing

Content marketing is by no means a new concept but one that is taking even more precedence since the latest algorithm update.  If you have got by thus far without content marketing quite frankly you haven’t been doing SEO.  Google has always loved new content and more and more I am seeing that sites with lots of great content, good onsite SEO to back it up with and some sort of added value for visitors (rather than in-your-face selling) have a stronger online presence.

Google is increasingly placing more value on great content and this means going back to your website and making sure that you have the content to back up the keywords you wish to optimise.  Gone are the days when building copious amounts of backlinks would deliver rankings around many tens, hundreds or even thousands of keywords – now you need content to back up every single little thing.

So many times I have seen businesses that want their website to rank for local keywords but they have absolutely no mention on their website that they even operate in these areas.  If they are not based there or do not serve customers in that area it is pointless trying to optimise around these local keywords as you will never deliver traffic.  Everything has to be relevant to what the business can offer and where.

So where do you need to create this great content?  On your website in the form of updating existing pages and adding new pages to make sure your site covers all the aspects of your business you wish to promote, on blogs in the form of updating people with relevant news and info and in social media through status updates, profiles, landing pages and rel-authored content.

In short if you don’t have someone in house who can do this for you, you’ll need to engage content marketers to create this for you and help you to protect your site from future search algorithm updates.  This won’t just be an exercise in Penguin proofing your site but also ensuring that you deliver the best user experience possible.  

Posted by Frances Berry

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

How Your Website Can Give Something Back To Visitors

You will always hear people talking about engaging content onsite and how important it is when putting together a website that you want to optimise and hope to convert from.  Whilst this still stands true, interesting and unique content though incredibly important, is not the only factor that will help your site to perform well.

A website has two audiences - the search engine bot and the human visitor.  Whilst it needs to be coded, structured and written in such a way that it can be easily indexed and spidered, it is also important to engage the human visitor by giving something back.

Some of the most effective websites are those which appear to be alive - i.e. they feature regular blog updates and have a social feed from their Facebook and Twitter accounts which they also post to frequently.  This is a great way to approach website design - factoring in the need for social icons, links and feeds - because this is what visitors are looking for.  They want to see that you are active and not just a company that last updated their website 3 years ago.

Websites with added value are also more likely to perform and convert well.  If your site simply tells visitors what you can do and how great you are, it may be a turn-off for potential customers as there is bound to be someone else in the search engine listings that can provide a much better visitor experience.  So how can you give something back?

  • Tips - offer your website visitors tips on using or choosing your services, so they feel more comfortable and assured
  • Resources - offer something for free, whether it is in the form of a download with useful information or just a page that gives advice on using your products or the benefits of your services
  • Samples and Examples - if you are in the business of manufacturing you may be able to send out free sample of your product.  If not, you can give examples of the kind of work you are able to create by displaying photos or videos on your site.  This gives potential customers an insight into your abilities and may give them some inspiration for their own projects
  • Videos - human beings are naturally curious so you can play on this by incorporating videos about your products/services/staff or anything related to the work you do on your website.  Just make sure that they do not auto play when people land on the page as this is really annoying and off putting from a website visitor's perspective!
These tips will put you on the right line to creating a website that gives something back to the visitor and hopefully encourages them to find out more about what your business can offer.  To read more about SEO and site engagement please visit

Posted by Frances Berry

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

How social marketing has revolutionised traditional marketing strategies

Traditional marketing strategies used to include things such as television and radio advertisements, press releases and newsletter campaigns. However, as a result of the internet revolution, marketing has had to change dramatically in order to keep up with its target audience.

 Most of us nowadays have access to the internet, whether it is via a PC or a smart phone. Social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ have allowed us to communicate with friends and business contacts on an instant basis, so many organisations have had to change the way they conduct their advertising and PR in order to keep up to date with these changes.

 A user friendly and professional website can really help to attract customers to the product or service. Most websites are now also becoming responsive, which means they can be seen and utilised easily by those users who use their smart phone more regularly than their PC.

Shopping cart sites can also allow customers to make an instant purchase if they wish to. Most large retail stores also have an extensive website where their customers can make purchases at any time of day or night. Smaller suppliers may also conduct all of their business via the internet, as this means they do not have the costly overheads of running and maintaining a shop or storing huge amounts of stock.

 By having a strong online presence, businesses can either create a new brand or they can continue to promote their existing image in a strong and positive way. The internet means they have greater access to their target market, which could also become much wider if necessary. Social media is a great way of increasing communication between an organisation and its audience, and if used correctly it can be an extremely powerful and positive tool.

 If you are interested in social media and wish to find out more about how a social campaign could help to promote your business, then visit our website or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tips for Small Businesses On Using Social Media

If your small business is struggling to meet the demands of the modern business world and in particular social media marketing why not read our simple tips to help you build brand awareness through social activity.

Social media does not have to be a daunting prospect if you just approach it calmly and with the knowledge of what is effective and what can do your brand more harm than good.  If you are struggling to dip your toes in the social sea, don't be afraid, just have a go and see what a difference you can make to your website's traffic and the way your business interacts with customers.

Friday, 22 February 2013

How to make social work for you

If you are just starting out on your commercial social networking journey or have reached the point where you need to enhance the work of your SEO/Social media company with your own responsive socialising, then here are some tips to help you on your way.

When looking at other companies and wondering how they built their presence up online you could be forgiven for thinking they have earned that position simply because of their size, but social media, like organic search is not just about domination by the big boys, it is about clever marketing strategies and hard work.

Ideally you will need to be working towards building up a network of quality followers but this does not happen overnight  - building a following takes time and effort and it is a continual process.
If you haven’t yet figured out how to tweet or have a dusty corporate Facebook page with no updates and no likes there is no doubt that now is the time to act .  Search is becoming increasingly social and with Google rolling out algorithm updates more quickly than you can reel off the list of black and white animals it tends to favour; it makes sense that everyone should be looking to drive traffic to their site socially and not just relying on organic search.

So where do you begin building your brand socially?

Firstly you need to approach social networking in the same way that you approach the design and wording of your website or marketing materials – by identifying your USP – what it is that makes you stand out from the crowd?  What do you do that your competitors don’t?  What can you deliver that no one else can or what can you deliver that is better than everyone else?  Identifying what it is that makes your brand unique will stand you in good stead as you start your social journey.

Social channels cannot simply be used to sell – in fact if you think that tweeting or pinning up images in Pinterest is going to be all about peddling your own wares you need to take a step back.  Creating a presence socially is about giving something back to the community, to your potential customers; it is about creating something of interest which may then lead to increased brand awareness and a rise in sales.

In order to generate more interest in what your business stands for and the products/services you provide you will need to build up a following of like-minded people who will care about your ethos and the services you offer.  Quantity isn’t everything so don’t be tempted to follow any old profile simply to get the follow back, targeting the right kind of audience will be more important as these are the people that are most likely to be interested in what you have to say.  If your business is local, look for people in your local area and other businesses that may have need of your services or that you may be able to collaborate with rather than approaching those people in another region or country who will in all honesty not be able to access what you are offering.

A great way to build up a following is to join groups or even create your own.  This can work particularly well to identify yourself or your business as a leading authority within your industry

You also need to get a better understanding of your customer demographic and know who your competitors are.  There is nothing wrong with trying to emulate the competition so long as you ensure that you are honest about why you need social marketing – to improve brand awareness, to increase traffic, to increase communication with customers or to reach new audiences – and that you put your own spin on everything and make it unique to your business, your brand and your ethos.

Also don’t act in isolation.  If you want people to like and follow your business you need to ensure that you are socially active and follow/like other people.  Join relevant groups and start making a name for yourself and share others’ content if you feel it would be of interest to your own readers.

Of course there are social media and online marketing companies out there who will be more than happy to assist you with your social marketing, but even at the highest price tag and with the best intentions they will never know your business as well as you do.  Any social media marketing that you pay for needs to be supplemented with your own responses, status updates, comments and community building because at the end of the day it is your reputation that is being built.

If you feel you do need help to boost your presence socially please do get in touch :)

Posted by Frances Berry

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Top Tips for Succeeding on Pinterest

Pinterest is the visual social media channel that allows people to pin up images of their favourite things on a virtual pinboard.  It is a great way to market businesses that rely heavily on visual appeal - such as online retailers - but to succeed and win over a new audience you have to add something of value and not just blatantly peddle your own wares.

You need to think about what your audience will find appealing and of value and then target this audience using the board segmentation functionality.  This is a great way of communicating with each target group as they will all have different needs and interests.

Another tip is to create quality content.  Like so many other areas of online marketing it is this quality, original content that will get you to the top, particularly as most people repin so you can gain good brownie points from pinning original content.  Adding new pins is what makes people value you.

Use Google Analytics to track the traffic that is coming via Pinterest as this will give you vital information on the audience you are attracting.  Pinterest can help you to drive traffic to your main website but it is important to assess the impact of pinning and understand how this can affect your potential client base.

As with all social media marketing it is important to get a mix of information sharing and soft selling if you want to successfully engage with your audience.

Posted by Frances Berry

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Why Google Search Is Not Your Only Source Of Traffic

Changes are afoot in the world of SEO.  Ok, so changes are afoot pretty much every week in the world of SEO (!!) but this time there is something on the horizon that may shake up search in a big way.  I refer of course to the introduction of the Facebook graph search which will enable users to find more of what they are looking for on this social site.  Not only is this very clever but the potential for combining this data with the Bing search engine within Facebook to deliver search results from across the web without users needing to leave the Facebook site is immense.

Consider this – Facebook now has 5 times more traffic than Google in the UK.  Consider also that most people have a Facebook app on their phone and since more people access the internet on their mobile devices as opposed to a PC it stands to reason that they will be logged in to the Facebook app for most of the time – so why leave this to open up a browser page and search?  Facebook collects data that be used to translate into search, this combined with the technology of Bing will deliver a far better and personalised experience than Google.

So what does the future hold?

Competition for Google?  Who knows but one thing that we do know is that getting on board the social bus and ensuring that you drive traffic to your website via social channels as well as optimising for Google search is critical.  Competition in organic search is only ever going to get higher as more and more businesses realise the potential of selling to an online audience and the ones that will survive and thrive will be the ones that have built their brand up socially as well as organically.

There are exciting times ahead so watch this space for more insights and updates.
Posted by Frances Berry