Improving the ranking position of your website on search engines is one of the most important tasks you can undertake if you want to drive more traffic to your website.
 
“To appear on page one of Google for searches related to your products or services, you need to understand how Google’s page ranking works and how to optimise your web pages to be found in searches."
 
At the last check, Google had the largest share of the search engine market at 70.37% with the next search engine (Bing) at just 13.09% (source: https://netmarketshare.com).

There are a variety of providers offering SEO analysis platforms. Marketing agencies rely on these tools to optimise clients’ web pages and monitor progress.
 
All of these platforms work on a subscription fee to access the software and allow multiple websites to be managed. This makes it expensive if you are only managing your own website.
 
Some of the tools available include:

1. Audit report

This is the first stage that generates a website audit report and provides information about your web pages.

The tool will analyse your pages and identify any broken links, duplicate content, meta descriptions missing and other actionable items that will need to be fixed to help improve your page rankings.

Website_Audit_tool






















 

2. Keyword research and report

The keyword research tool will generate a report showing the current page ranking on Google for your keywords and how many searches have been made on those keywords in the past month.

The tool can also find new and more effective keywords that can be used on your web pages.

You may think you know the keywords your customers are using to find your services; however, you know your products and services inside out and may not be considering keywords or longer search terms (long tail keywords) your customers might use.

The research will identify keywords that are most profitable and identify new keywords you may not have thought of.

Keyword_Suggestions_tool


3. Keyword spy tool

Find out which keywords your main competitors are using on their web pages and whether they are running Google Ads. This will provide a useful insight into your rival’s keyword strategy.

4. Web page optimisation

Improve your web page rankings by including the most profitable keywords on your web pages. Obtaining a page one ranking for one of your web page keywords can dramatically increase traffic to your website and increase sales.

The tool provides a step by step guide on what to do to improve every page of your website.

5. Quality link Building

Obtaining inbound links (backlinks) to your site from other websites and social media will improve Google rankings.
Only quality, relevant links will be beneficial and the software platform has a variety of tools to provide suggestions on where to find the best inbound and outbound links.

6. Result checking and reports

To measure the improvements of the work that has been carried out during the previous months, the platform generates reports for keyword rankings which can be monitored monthly to review progress.
This is like a league table for keywords which monitors the effect of the work being done on your web pages month by month.

Getting started

Once we have carried out an audit report on your website, the next step is to research the most profitable and effective keywords that will drive traffic to your web pages.

Seed words can be entered into the keyword tool to help find other relevant keywords and the number of searches being carried out per month.

Once your most profitable keywords have been established for each topic, product or service, we can then insert these into your existing web pages and use them to write new content.

By using the web page optimisation tool, we can monitor the changes made to ensure we are not over stuffing the keywords onto the page and we are maintaining the optimum keyword to content ratio.

The tool gives a value score that monitors your keywords and other improvements being made to the page.

Adding new content

Adding valuable, relevant content consistently (https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing) to your website still remains the single most important activity that will improve your page rankings on Google and engage your customers.

Adding new pages to your website or writing articles for a blog, case studies or white papers are all ways of adding new content to your website.

New content is useful to search engines and your customers. Because you are writing about your business and related subjects, you will naturally include keywords that customers will be using to find your services and help search engines rank your web pages.

Keyword research before you start writing will make sure you include your most profitable keywords in the content of your article to be found and ranked by Google.

Keyword copywriting is all about writing great copy and learning how to include your most relevant keywords in the article to maximise the SEO value.
 
“Writing good content is not shouting about how great you are but informing customers how you can help them.”

Continuous improvement and monitoring

By using the SEO tools in the software, continuous improvements can be made to optimise your pages and written content. Analysing and measuring results all help to guide future improvements that will be needed to continually move your website up the page rankings.

Sharing your content

Of course, once you have all of this quality content, you can develop a content marketing strategy and look at other areas where you can share your content and connect with your customers.

Request your free website audit by emailing me direct with the subject “Free website audit”.

mark.langston@crystalthought.co.uk
 

1. Improve your website for conversions

Improving your existing website should not just be about a new look. Your website has to generate leads and ultimately deliver sales in a competitive marketplace.
 
As well as developing a website design brief, we also take account of:
  • Where your website currently ranks on search engines and for which keywords?
  • What your best performing keywords are?
  • What keywords your competitors are using and where they rank?
  • Your calls to action and are they converting?
  • Where visitors are leaving your website pages?
Ultimately, your website has to perform well against your competitors and generate sales. The content on your website has to convert readers into customers and help to rank your pages on search engines.

2. Design

Good design is about capturing the attention of your audience and guiding them to the most important messages on your website.

Using images, illustrations and infographics is a great way of getting your message across. Web designers will use these elements to provide immediate impact, maintain users’ interest and help them to navigate around the site.

UX and UI (user experience and user interface) are about knowing how to blend functionality with creativity. This will provide easy navigation and a design that is informative and interactive by using animation (motion) and video where relevant. UX also includes technical aspects of the page such as fast loading speed and SEO content.

Modern design is moving towards more white space and uncluttered pages to make it easier for the user to find your most important messages, links and calls to action.

With mobile accounting for around 50% of internet traffic and rising year on year, your website design must be fully responsive and intuitive to use on a mobile device.

Designer_making_website_visuals_for_pages


You only have a few seconds to make a good impression and convince visitors they will find what they are looking for when they land on your website.

3. Content

An effective content marketing strategy costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times as many leads.

To give your words maximum impact and help tell your story, your content should guide the design of your website. Your content needs to:
  • Convert visitors
  • Perform well for organic searches
  • Represent your current brand values and latest information
  • Be original
  • Be well written with good grammar, checked for plagiarism and spell-checked
  • Include your best-performing keywords
  • Be regularly updated and added to.
Write for your audience first but keep keywords and SEO in mind at the same time for maximum impact and high search engine page ranking.

4. Website page structure

Using your keyword researched content, you should establish an effective page flow for your information by using:
  • Your most searched keywords in the header and subtitles to break the page up into manageable sections
  • Bullet points to quickly get your facts across to the reader
  • Hyperlinks that click through to more information on other pages to help users navigate the site
  • Calls to action on pages to encourage users to click through to a checkout, find more information or complete an enquiry form.

Calls to action
CTAs work more effectively if you can offer the reader something of interest or value. If they sign up to your newsletter or fill in your enquiry form, offer a discount or an E-book that visitors will gain some value from.

CTAs should be bold to attract attention with careful use of colour and information to encourage the user to click through. Using the right colour for a button has been proven to increase the click-through rate.

Website_Content

Tell your story more effectively by providing well-structured pages that will help users find the information they need and take action.

5. Continuous improvement

New content added to your website will keep your pages up to date for your customers and provide more information for search engines to improve the ranking of your pages (Search Engine Optimisation - SEO).

An ideal way to add new content is with blog or news articles. Search marketing is an essential element of the continual improvement of your website page rankings. Regular posting of informative articles on your blog and reviewing and optimising your existing web page content is the most effective way to achieve this.

Without continuous work to improve and add content to your site, it will not be found on the web unless users already know your brand.

25th October 2019
Business start-ups and small local enterprises with a few employees can find it daunting when they come to think about building and maintaining a website.

Today, most businesses whether they are a local builder, hairdresser or insurance broker need a presence on the web. Your customers are all searching online and even if they find you through a referral or press advert, they will want to check out your website to find more information before making contact.

A website gives your business credibility by providing additional information about your business. What you do, how you do it and where you are. Additional proof of the quality of your services or products is provided through images and testimonials on your web pages.

Small-Business-Website-Design

Domain names, hosting, HTML, website builders, content management

These are words you will be hearing regularly when you start looking into getting a website built.

You can write the content, take the photographs and even build it yourself these days if you have the time to get to grips with what is needed to develop a presentable website. The risk is, you will end up with a website that does not work properly, cannot be found on local searches and turns visitors off instead of converting. If you decide to do it yourself, these are some of the elements you will need to get right.

Developing websites for small business

Because your competitors will already have well-established websites, you need to make a good first impression when you launch. Your website must have a great visual impact and contain well-written content that helps to sell your products or services and gets you found on local searches.
 

Design
A well-designed website with intuitive navigation will give your site a unique presence on the web. Web designers have to keep up with the latest trends in design and technology to provide a website that will convert visitors and perform well on search rankings so you will have to do some research on your competitors and other websites that you consider have good design and perform well.

Website copywriting
Google search algorithms reward websites that are well written, have good grammar and spelling and are easy to read and understand. Search engines and your readers will value content that quickly explains what you do and how you do it. Highlighting the features and benefits of your services will make it easier for them to choose you over your competitors. Duplicate content, thin or low-quality content will put you at a disadvantage in the search rankings.

Before you start writing content, you need to know the keywords your target audience will be using to search for your product or service. You can use Google’s keyword tool or a proprietary software platform to find out how many searches are being made on your keywords and then include them in your content.

Our_Work

Photography
There are many stock image libraries where you can buy images and some of these are free. However, if you can take your own photographs of premises, work you have done for clients or products, they will often have a greater impact than generic stock images.

If you do take your own pictures, they will need to be high quality, fit the layout of your web page and be relevant to the content. Images taken from a mobile phone or camera will give you a large jpeg file that will need to be compressed so it does not slow the web page down.

Web development
The technical quality of a website helps it to rank in searches.  Broken links, large images (uncompressed) that make a web page slow to load and pages that cannot be crawled will all affect your local page rankings on search engines. Speed is a big ranking factor especially on mobile phones and your visitors will not thank you for making them wait while your page loads.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
This is a huge subject that has been covered in some of our other blog articles. The same principles apply whether you are a local or global enterprise, the better the quality of your content, the better your website will rank on search engines. You also need to continue to add content and keep your content up to date. The best way to do this is with a blog. Writing articles about your business sector and informational pieces about your products or services will add new content to your site and help improve search rankings. To read all our articles covering Search Engine Optimisation, click on the SEO tag below.

Online marketing
Once your website is complete, you will need to have a marketing strategy that will drive traffic to your website. It does not have to be expensive. As a small business, you will probably be working with a limited budget to spend on advertising. Social media pages are free to set up and post on except for your time. Email marketing can be a very cost-effective way of keeping in touch with customers and informing them of new developments in your business and there are plenty of free email platforms you can use to design and send multiple emails.

Google My Business
To help get your business listed on local searches you need to register with Google My Business. You can add information about your opening hours, location map, business profile and relevant images together with a link to your website.

Website prices
You may prefer to leave the website build to a professional web developer and supply the content yourself which is a good balance of resources. The cost of developing simple brochure/information style websites has come down over the last few years as template designs and content management tools have improved. The process can be quick and cost-effective if you can gather all the information you need for your web pages.

One of our recent articles covers all you need to know about working with a web designer to get your website built, click on the website design tag below to read all of our website design articles.

Mark Langston
 
Woman-looking-at-a-website-on-computerYou may think that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about search engines finding your website when a user searches in their browser. However, by optimising your website for search engines you will also be improving user experience and information for your website visitors at the same time.

Google is constantly striving to mimic human behaviour and is continuously refining its search algorithms to provide the best search experience; therefore, providing quality information to your readers is also going to help improve your search rankings.

Other important factors that Google and your customers will appreciate include faster page loading times, quality content and relevant images.

Technically, your website needs to be perfect, meeting industry standards such as w3c, have no errors and include a site map.

Let’s look at each of these and how to improve them for users and Google.

1.Page loading speed
Videos and images are the worst culprits for slowing a page down. How many times have you landed on a webpage and been frustrated while you wait for the page to load? This is even more noticeable when using a smartphone.

Images should be good quality and high resolution; however, image sizes should be reduced and compressed so they load quickly on the page.

2.Copywriting for SEO
Writing good quality content means keeping copywriting simple, easy to read, interesting and relevant to your readers.

Google ranks copy that is easy to understand and flows naturally. If your readers have to re-read a sentence to understand what it means, Google will have the same problem and rank you down for it.

Write for your readers first, then optimise your article for all the relevant keywords and include the most important one in the title. Breaking your content into sub headings and adding more keywords throughout your article will help Google understand what the article is about and help readers searching for specific content.

3.Quality optimised images
Providing images to back up your copy helps to break up long content, explains complicated subjects using infographics and provides additional information to Google.

Naming your image is important and titles, filenames and captions should be relevant to the copy that goes next to the image. Include alt text to describe your image; alt text is used by non-sighted users with browser interpreters and search engines to help understand what your image is about.

4.Technical optimisation
We have mentioned site speed and it is worth mentioning again because it is one of the most important ranking markers used by Google, especially as more and more users access the web on their mobile phones.

Constant checking for broken links, optimising pages for ranking keywords and making sure errors are fixed will help to keep your pages ranking on Google search.

Continuous improvement of your content and making sure all your information is kept up to date will tell your visitors and Google that your site contains the latest information and is constantly evolving.

Adding information with blog articles is an ideal way to continuously add new content to your site and inform users about your products and services.

Organising your articles into subjects and including the keywords you want to be found for will improve your rankings for that set of keywords.

If you want to increase the number of visitors to your website and find out which keywords your customers are using to find you, call 01584 890725 and ask for Mark to arrange a free audit of your website.

Mark Langston
 
If you are searching for ways to increase sales in today’s competitive environment, there are 5 steps you can take to start generating enquiries.

infographic1.Website performance
Your website is the hub of all your online activity.

Even if you are advertising off-line using press ads or mail drops, the first thing most people will do is go online to check out your website and research your business before taking any further action.

Like a lot of things from designer clothes to product packaging, image and design are important and will create the first impression visitors will have of your business.

Quality of build is also important. What determines how successful your website pages are at being found by search engines will depend on how the site has been constructed, how engaging the content is and the relevance of the keywords used.

It takes the skills of a good designer and web developer with an understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to provide a sound foundation for your website to develop and grow as your business goes forward. With the right management, continuous SEO work and generation of new content, these skills will help you achieve a page one ranking on Google over a period of time.

A good website is an investment and you will reap long-term rewards if you take time at the beginning of the project to work with your developers to give your website the best chance of converting visitors into clients.

2.SEO
Assuming your website has been developed with SEO in mind, this will provide a good starting point to monitor and improve the rankings of your most important keywords on the main search engines.

A new website will take around 6 weeks to settle and start providing the keyword ranking information needed to identify where to concentrate efforts on improving page content to move keywords up the page rankings.

New content and improving existing content are amongst the most important factors in SEO. Having a Blog on your website and regularly posting informative articles will help improve your keyword rankings.

We already work with a select number of our clients to achieve page one rankings. First, we carry out a review of your keywords and competitor activity. Then, if we think we can achieve results for you we would recommend a programme of work to achieve success. We will be honest with you if we think SEO is not the best way for you to achieve results and we consider one of the other steps below to be more cost-effective for your particular business.

3.Social media
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are some of the most popular social media sites. For small businesses with limited time, I would recommend focussing on one social media platform and spend your time there. Social media can be very time consuming if you want to generate quality leads and increase your connections with the aim of sending them to your website or taking the conversation off-line for a more detailed discussion. Call me to find out how.

4.Advertising
Developing a successful advertising campaign will bring a constant supply of leads into the business.

Choosing where to advertise and creating the adverts for a campaign that will generate enquiries will need research into your products or services. Price comparisons, competitor research and an understanding of your target audience will help decide where to advertise and what to say in your adverts.

Online advertising such as Google Adwords can drive traffic to your website immediately. Campaigns can be set up and tested very quickly to find out what works using conversion tracking and Google Analytics to measure the effectiveness of click-throughs to your website.

Social media paid advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn is relatively new and can be very effective for some businesses. Like Adwords, adverts can be tested and refined to maximise response rates and conversions to provide a constant supply of enquiries to your website.  

Press and TV advertising are still relevant for some businesses; however, it is more difficult to track responses to justify the cost unless you can direct readers to a specially developed landing page or unique phone number to record visitor numbers.

Whichever route is best for you, your website will be the hub of the activity.

5.Email marketing
Sending regular emails to your clients and prospects, providing you have their permission, is still one of the most effective ways of getting your message to your audience.

If you are writing a regular blog article for your website, as well as sharing on social media, send a link in your email to the article and continue to remind subscribers of your products or services.

Further reading
You will find more information about each of the above steps in some of our previous articles and I will be writing in more detail about each of the above in future articles. Alternatively, visit the Marketing Services section of our website.

Call 01584 890725 to discuss how you can use these and other marketing techniques to grow your business.

Mark Langston.
 

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