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SEO Website Traffic Belfast Northern Ireland, web design

Is there added value in Local SEO?

By | SEO

 Operating a small to medium size business is difficult. Getting your promotional

message out there to both the consumer and the search engines requires some strategic planning and effective marketing. You may have established a loyal customer base and have prospered through customer recommendation but you realise that you have neglected an online marketing option which could deliver many more sales enquiries and conversions. So what steps do you need to take to compete more efficiently with and counteract the growing competition in your business sector? This is not something new or worrying for you but rather an aspect of your business that needs developing and resolution going forward. A solution can be garnered through implementing a successful online marketing campaign that will boost the search engines’ awareness of your business offering. It will enable them to rank you better in SERPS and so attract more targeted consumer attention.

 

If your competition is continually achieving higher rankings in Google than you then you should realise that affirmative action is required to redress the balance. You need to implement an effective local search engine optimisation strategy that will put your website among the top three listings in Google. It may sound expensive and complicated but you can dispense with both these issues by starting a predictable organic approach to building a strategy that is future proofed. It will take some time to achieve optimal results but by following a set procedure you can reach the top three ranked sites in Google in a sustainable fashion. The first thing to do is to ensure your website is compliant with Google’s algorithms so its spiders can elicit your business offering and credibility. Your site pages need to be optimised fully to facilitate the bots understanding of your business services and their authenticity when crawling your site pages. This demands a proactive approach on your behalf to ensure your website is valued by Google as a credible, effective and efficient sales channel for your potential customers.  If you fulfil the algorithmic criteria then Google will reward your efforts and compliance with top SERPS listings.

 

The question on your lips is – what have I to do to optimise my site locally so it complies with Google search standards. On a local level you can start by setting up your chief local listings

such as Google My Business, Bing Place for Business and Yahoo Local. These are important elements that you can optimise by filling in all the available details including address and maps. Ensure you provide a full description deploying relevant high value keywords, meta titles and meta descriptions. You can also add videos and photos to provide a little more substance for the Google bots and so gain a march on your competitors. Local reviews are a very effective promotional tool and Google reviews are particularly good at helping improved rankings potential. To avail of reviews you simply ask and direct people to your Google listing. It is essential to get regular reviews over months rather than a glut all at once. This way it appears more natural and organic rather than forced and spammy.  In Google’s eyes, artificially promoted listings and reviews are contrary to their algorithmic guidelines and could conceivably be penalised. Make sure you only list your website on reputable local listing websites that are trusted and worthy of providing an authentic trusted backlink to your website, which Google can approve. Listing your site to locally reputable listing websites can elevate your online presence and draw attention to your name address and phone citations each month. Again it should be done organically and naturally so it appears genuine and credible. Another local element is enlisting in an industry specific directory – being aware of where your competitors may also be listed. Many you can enlist for free or for a nominal charge, and they all send a relevant signal to Google about your services and their relation to that industry or business  sector. You can often get listed on a relevant website through an entitlement arising from an industry specific accreditation or certification or being a paid member of a local trade or national association. This provides really credible authority links to you.

 

Check that you have Service specific pages which means you should have a separate page for each service that you offer. If you put all your services on a single page you are not providing Google with the standard they require. They prefer to send enquirers to the specific page for their specific enquiry to ensure they get an exact answer. If your competitors comply and you do not then they will appear in the results for that search. You will have missed out on a very important trick! Creating extra pages will win you kudos provided you fill them with relevant content. A recommended minimum page length of 500 words can be extended to 1000 words to impress the Google spiders, as they prefer longer pages – a signal of greater relevancy and authority in providing a more effective search response to your online customers’ searches. Before undertaking this task check your existing content as you probably have lots of sales enquiries, presentations, sales pitches and visual marketing imagery on your hard drive which is all relevant content.

 

For onpage optimisation SEO simply ensure that your website pages are set up in line with best practice. Every page requires a keyword and must have a meta title and meta description so the search engines can understand fully what services you are providing. H1 and H2 Headers are essential elements of each page and give the page structure so the bots can quickly recognise their significance in providing a synopsis of the page and paragraph content. Keywords must appear in the text with an average ratio of 3% of the full page content within a natural unforced flow of prose. They should also be used as the link text or anchor text to link to other pages. The value of backlinks is comparable to votes in an election and the greater the  endorsement, the better the rankings for the website. Links from your suppliers or other relevant industrial or business partners are authentic testimonials of your credibility and are rewarded by the bots. Always avoid spammy link directories set up to jupe the search engines into recognising unethical links as they are heavily penalised by Google.

 

Whilst Google does not say what its algorithms are about, it has admitted two criteria that are critical to a site’s performance in the rankings – website speed and security. Working with your developers, ensure your website is fast and secure as these are ranking signals. To further impress Google with speed it is important to opt for SSD Hosting with electronic storage. For improved Google recognition of security, purchase SSL certificates for HTTPS Hosting. A protective website security shield will add further reassurance against malware or cyber threats and will give your site more credibility in Google’s eyes. Three other elements that will help onpage SEO are mobile friendliness which can be achieved either through switching to a responsive design or creating a separate mobile site. Whichever method you deploy it is essential that you future proof your website to draw more traffic. Google loves content and rewards sites with rich authentic engaging content. You can increase your content offering by writing blogs. Google recognises these as a great source of information about your services and credibility and rewards them accordingly. Through your regularly published blogs  you can offer tips, and provide expert advice, creating content that stands out in the results.

 

Finally the most impactful media on customer behaviour is promotional videos. It is a wonderful way to get  leverage and a distinct advantage over the local competition. As the most popular form of media connectivity the video screen shot can say in a few seconds what it takes the traditional written advert much longer to achieve. The visual advert or video presentation attracts   total and immediate audience participation and endorsement and is recognised currently as the fastest and most effective method of media marketing..

 

You can achieve success in promoting local SEO with little technical skill and that possibility should enthuse the small business owner to embrace a local online SEO strategy that is easy to implement and works organically to sustain better rankings in SERPS. It requires no great outlay financially – just an effort on your part to pay dividends in the form of increased conversions and a return on investment.

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SEO: The Ultimate Key to Higher Rankings

By | Blog, SEO | No Comments

Discovering the secrets of SEO is a little like opening the internet’s version of Pandora’s Box – you never quite know what you might find. Google Algorithms are constantly changing and improving which means that it can be difficult to accurately pinpoint which factors of SEO will have the most effect on your rankings. However, there are a few key components that act as the fundamental basics of SEO and will continue to have a huge impact on the ranking successof your site. Those within the SEO industry constantly change and improve upon theirskills in order to keep up to date with the evolution of search engines. 70% of links that search users click on are from SEO, but how can your e-commerce site get the most out of SEO?

Consider the various aspects and information on your website that search engines such as Google will collect and distinguish in terms of relevancy and quality. Once you have pin-pointed these features, you will be more capable of rendering a SEO strategy that will propel your site to the top of the rankings list.

Words

The words on your site are extremely vital towards having your site ranked highly on search results. Take time to optimise for the right keywords and use onlyrelevant, engaging and high quality content. 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine and ends with the click of a button. Having the right words on your site will help to ensure that your website never falls below the search engine algorithm’s radar.

Titles

Titles are usually one of the first aspects to a site that people will see. It summarizes the content of a page which is why Google’s algorithm collects such information when providing accurate search results.According to Inside Online, the first 50 – 60 characters of your title is likely to be displayed by Google. To ensure that at least 95% of your titles display correctly on search engines, aim to keep your titles under the 55 character mark and avoid longer titles which will not be displayed fully.

External Links

When a domain contains a hyperlink that links to a different domain, this is called an external link. You can have external links within your own site that point to other relevant domains or another website could use an external link to point to your own domain. Either way, whenever a website has many different links attached to it, this will impress Google because it gives the impression that your site has quality information that viewers will want to read.

Google and other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing use various metrics to help them determine the external links overall value including the popularity of the page, the anchor text used within the link and the number of domains that link to the same website etc.

Reputation, Relevance and Regularity

How frequently you publish quality content to your website will play a vital role towards getting your site noticed by search engines. Sites that regularly post fresh content that includes optimised keywords and quality links may be seen as a successful domain and appear more likely to attract a larger number of viewers. The reputation of your site is extremely important to Google and other big search engines. For this reason, the sites that backlink to your domain should only be those that are considered high ranking and relevant.

 

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Google Unleashes a ‘Slow Rollout’ of Panda 4.2

By | Blog, SEO | No Comments

In February 2011, Google introduced a brand new search filter entitled Google Panda with the aim to dramatically reduce the chances of sites containing poor quality content from reaching the top of the ranking system. Since its creation, Panda has updated Google’s algorithms on multiple occasions with one of the most significant updates occurring on September 23rd 2014, which included an algorithmic component.

The most recent Panda update sent shivers down the spines of SEO and content marketers who, following the impact of the September 23rd 2014 update, could actively notice how their sites had been affected by the vivid change. This update has been referred to by Google as the Panda 4.2 which commenced earlier this summer on the weekend of July 18th 2015. This update was barely noticeable upon its time of release and is expected to take up to several months to come into full swing, affecting around 2-3% of English search queries, according to Search Engine Journal.

The term Panda derived from Navneet Panda, one of the talented engineers from Google who developed the incredible technology that enabled Google to implement the Panda algorithm. This technology has allowed Google to focus more accurately on the quality of the content that appears high in their ranking system.

Studies have shown that 75% of search engine users never scroll past the first page of search results and because of this, it is crucial that the sites ranking high on the list do not include any irrelevant content or spam. Panda 4.2 eliminates these sites from appearing on Google’s index. Changes through the Panda algorithm affects the entire domain which means that they are site-wide.

But how can you tell if your website has been directly affected by Panda Updates? And if so, is there any way to improve or retrieveyour original rankings?

Unfortunately, it is still too early in the Panda 4.2 updating process to actively notice much change to your sites ranking scores. However, some sites may begin to notice an increase or decrease in their ranking position over the next few months. If your domain has been negatively affected by Panda, it can be extremely difficult to recover from and it may take some time and effort to climb back up the ranking ladder.

Panda’s main purpose is to prevent low and poor quality websites from gaining more exposure and higher rankings than good quality sites. For this reason, it is important that your site focuses primarily on high quality content because whilst real life Panda’s may becoming gradually extinct, Google’s Panda has ditched the bamboo and set up a permanent camp within Google’s algorithm system.

 

 

 

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Search Engines: Helping your SEO Strategy Keep Up with Changing Algorithms

By | Blog, SEO | No Comments

Think of an algorithm as a data recipe. This recipe holds all of the essential ingredients that search engines require to provide people with the best possible search results.

But what does a search engines algorithm have to do with your website?

It’s simple.

If your website does not contain the necessary ingredients to meet the standards of a search engines algorithm, it will not rank highly on the results page because it will simply go unnoticed and undetected by the adjoining algorithm…this is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) steps in.

SEO is a term used to sum up all of the different tactics and procedures that are used to increase the ranking of websites on a search engines result page (SERP). According to Search Engine Journal, SEO leads have a close rate of 14.6% whilst outbound leads (such as print advertising) have a reduced close rate of 1.7%. SEO and online marketing have surpassed the effectiveness of outbound marketing which is largely due to the fact that E-Commerce is the fastest growing retail market of 2015.

Of course, in order for your e-commerce site to benefit from this movement in the market, it needs to incorporate the right methods of SEO for your site. There are several major aspects to a website that an algorithm will scan and use in order to determine how valuable your site is and where exactly in the rankings list it should be placed. These include the Words within your site (including keywords), Titles, Links (both inbound and outbound), Words within Links and the search engines overall Reputation.

Incorporating each of these relevant factors accurately and effectively into your SEO strategy will help to ensure that your website never falls under the radar of any search engine, leading your site towards a brighter future that is less vulnerable and no longer restricted by the ever-changing conducts of search engine algorithms.