Brighton SEO

On the train back to Coventry having  spent the day in Brighton attending the FREE SEO conference.  There have been a good selection of talks which have provided some additional resource that will be shared over the next few weeks.

It’s always good to attend events such as this in order to keep my knowledge up-to date and develop additional content that I can pass on to clients.  It’s all about being able to provide small nuggets of information that help in making small changes, helping them to take advantage of the information and make changes to there current marketing activities.

The day covered many different topics ranging from enhanced eCommerce function for Google Analytics through to Cannibalisation of content across domains and websites.   This particular session touched on some very interesting areas that addressed the issues with content within a website competing for position in SERPS (search engine listings) against each other – effectively reducing the quality of the website in SERPS because of incorrect targeting of the webpages.

The event saw a large number of delegates attending with the same goal in mind to develop in there understanding of SEO activities in order to make changes to their current marketing activities.

 

 

Unlock the potential in your online marketing with Google Analytics Training

Over the past few weeks I’ve started receiving a number of requests for Google Analytics training.  As more and more people are starting to look at making more from the website, Analytics is becoming a key area of interest.

Whilst working with a client this week, a simple goal report looking at potential customers adding courses to the checkout showed 28 potential customers lost.  This may not seem a lot but roll that across the year it equates to nearly £500,000 in lost revenue for this particular business.  This brought a level of focus to the meeting and the need to fix / change / replace the current website.

Analytics if set up correctly gives very useful insights into all the activities being operated within a business that result in someone accessing the website.

I’m already running a number of course in the Coventry and Birmingham area on Google Analytics through various organisations such as the National B2B Centre, Coventry Chamber of Commerce and Birmingham Chamber.

What’s good for me is that the requests are for in-house training for a team of people involved with the companies online activities.

Very often it can be more beneficial to undertake an in-house course as this enable you to include more people at a lower cost than sending 1/2 people onto a full day training course.

If you’re interested in finding out more then take a look at our Google Analytics training course overview page and get in touch.

Review page on the p-tech ltd website.

Keyword Rich Domains or Brandable Domain Names

Which one should you go for, a exact match domain name that features all those wonderful keywords or something that can be branded.   In practice a lot of people probably trend towards the keyword rich domains, because they’re pushing for good position in Google.

In reality it’s probably not the case, Matt Cutts released a number of posts on  Twitter suggesting that an algorithm change is due which will start to impact keyword rich domains, especially where the content of the site is low quality.

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Why isn’t my website appearing in Google?

A very good question when you’re with a client, means you have to start looking at possible causes for this and come up with a solution. Yesterday I was asked this very question and proceeded to carryout the usual tests to find out the answers.  The site was built using wordpress by a web company and generally wordpress tends to be indexed very well in search engines.

Google and yahoo reported only one page within their repective indexes, this happened to be the terms & conditions page, probably one of the ones you’d actually put a no-follow on so it doesn’t appear.

After looking at the code in the header section of the page generated the following few lines appeared.

<meta name=’robots’ content=’noindex,nofollow’ />

There it is, everypage had been telling the search engine not to index the content and also not to follow any links meaning the whole site has been blocked, by it’s owner and not by the search engines.

In WordPress this is easily done by failing to adjust the privacy settings for the site, as in some cases it’s left to not be indexed.  It’s a farily straight forward procedure which can be carreid out by any user with ADMIN level access following a few simple steps.

Login to your wordpress installation – the address for this is (you will need a user name with admin level access to make the following changes);    http://<YOUR DOMAIN>/wp-admin

You will see a screen that looks similar to the screen shot below.  There will be a difference due to the version of wordpress installed on the website currently.  The section should still be called ‘settings’ (marked with the RED dot).

Click the settings option and the menu should expand to reveal a number of options.

Choose the Option labelled ‘Privacy’ – shown with RED dot – The Privacy Page should appear and you will see two options

Deselect the option labelled: ‘I would like to block search engines’ (It will be selected already)

Select the option labelled: ‘I would like my site to be visible to everyone….’

Click save changes

Logout of Admin area

 

Changes to Keywords in Google Analytics

Do you make use of the keyword report in Google Analytics to look at keywords that reach your website? If so you may be seeing a number of changes to the data.

You’ll start to see times when the keyword is represented as ‘not provided’. In reality it’s all down to how google passes referrer data from a Google search result provided to a signed in user. Its all done to privacy and hiding the actual keyword string searched and passing it across as a secure connection to your website.

Will this really cause an issue to the operation of the site. It’s been reported that it will effect around 10% of the organic traffic to a website and a number of people have tested this and agree through looking at the traffic to the site.

If your running PPC ads then the data is still passed across. Some will argue that this is Google providing a better service to its paying customers and the easy answer is, Yes they are.

This will change the way we collect data, but from what Ive read you’ll still get an idea of the search phrases where your site appears through the Webmasters interface and Adwords reports.

If you want to read a more in depth article on this topic, take a look at the following site

How to get good search positions for your website

How do you get good search position for your website? The workshop I ran today with Gareth Edwards of Arrowsmith Marketing looked at a number of key aspects within online marketing. Here are a few of the key points raised and discussed with the delegates.

1. Create quality content – one thing search engines are looking for is good quality content that users wish to engage with. A good page should be one that gets users to link to it or share it on a social network with other users. A good number of websites are full of dull boring content that adds no value. A lot of emphasis is now on content that is both unique and has a clear value to the person reading it. Site site content is not for your own self gratification but to get a user to contact and engage with your business

2. Analytics is an important part of your marketing strategy, whether it be to measure PPC, Search Optimisation or Link Building activities. Setting up and tracking all traffic to the website is becoming an important activity in any business serious about carrying out online marketing. The inclusion of Multiple Channel Conversions enables the website owner to fully recognise the value of all the social media and email marketing activity you carry out.

3. Plan and understand the user. This is probably the most important point we covered today. Understanding the user is key to setting up your social media activity, designing the website, selecting keywords and creating engaging content. The particular user groups will expect the message and imagery to reflect their perceptions and interests. Getting this part wrong will result in a website that targets the wrong users and ultimately generates very little in the area of conversion.

Digital Marketing and a lot more – Free Workshops

Spent this evening finalising a workshop for deliver at the University of Warwick.  The National B2B Centre have won a contract to deliver a number of workshops on a range of subjects and Gareth Edwards and myself are due to deliver the first workshop tomorrow.  We’re hopning for an interactive session that will enable the attendees to go away with their questions answered.  The course will be running again in November and you can book for free at the following website.

What will we be talking about?  In effect everything to do with on-line marketing such as:

  • Planning your on-line activities
  • Search Engine Optimisation and topics such as keyword research, canonicalisation, cannibalisation and latent semantic indexing…..
  • Social Media, how to use to grow your business
  • PPC and on-line advertising, the basics to maximize conversions and reduce expenditure
  • Measurement of all areas to understand where best to spend your money

It’s a lot for one day and the aim is that you take away the basics and then come back for more through one of the more in-depth sessions arranged by the B2B Centre.  To see a list of B2B Courses follow this link to the website.

Do you make full use of google Analytics – new feature

New feature in my Google Analytics interface today. Been waiting for it to appear and it’s there now. What is it? Search Engine Optimisation. It links the search queries shown in Google Webmasters to a view within Google Analytics. What does this mean for you and me?

When you login take a look under the Traffic Sources tag in the new version of Analytics. At the bottom you’ll see a link title Search Engine Optimisation. When clicked if you have Webmasters set up then you can click through and link the two tools together.

This then pulls through the webmaster data relating to search queries and ranking positions into the Analytics interface, providing a full view of how the site is performing within the search engine and then access to the metrics relating to conversions.

Picture this, I was working with a client today and we viewed this report and saw that they had 200 impressions for the keyword phrase ‘disabled clothing’. Of this 35 people clicked through to the website. By reviewing the search engine keywords report it would be then be possible to pull a report showing the conversion and sales relating to this traffic.

What is good is that when you use this search phrase in Google the site appears number one, achieved through, good page titles and site content.

Focus on these areas and start seeing your site improve in the search results.

3 Tips to Understand your Competition – gain an advantage through search

One of the biggest questions I get asked is, How do I compare to other people in my business area?  It’s a hard question to answer unless you happen to deliver services for a number of organisations within a specific sector.  This would then pose a question of ethics as to whether you shared this information with you client.  The main point is to ensure that your taking note of what your competition is up to by carrying out a number of standard tests.

Checking out your competitors – How to do it……

1. Identify the people within your target market.

You have a number of keywords that you would wish to position for within the search engines.  The starting point is to carryout a search in Google for the indentified keywords and record the top 10 results and rank these against some of the suggested factors;

  • Size of Business.
  • Position within the market – are they an A / B player (e.g – lots of budget and people available for SEO services) – is it possible to take over their position within the index.

2. Analyse the Competitor sites

Take the list of competitors and look at their websites and identify the Page Titles and Descriptions being used within the site.  In addition look at the sites they are mentioned on within the search indexs and any inbound links to the site.  These are standard queries within the search engines and they are shown below.

  • List Pages & Description for the site.  The following command in Google:  site:www.domainname.com
  • Identify Links within the Google index & Yahoo.  link:www.domainname.com
  • Find sites that talk about the website.  When running take out your own website.  “www.domainname.com” -site:www.domainname.com

Replace www.domainname.com with your specific domain name.

3.  Record the figures and track over time

Make sure you have a plan and data to work from.  As you put time in it’s important to ensure that you’re improving the site and moving it forward.  Targeting key search positions is a goal, however remember that search listings are localised to the users location and search history will heavily influence a users search from their local machine.

Are you creating duplicate content without knowing……

Canonicalisation is a very long word that can be causing issues within your website and you may not be aware of it. When you register a domain name you are registering the domain without any additional parts such as www. or mail. These are in reality a sub-domain of the domain name.

Canonicalisation typically can be seen with a website when it can be fully navigated as both the www version of the domain name and also the non-www version of the domain. The search engine effectively has the ability to create 2 version of the same site, seeing them as being different (or actually a duplication of the content). Again I’ll suggest you take a look at what Matt Cutts has to say from a post way back in 2006.

It may not be causing an issue but it only take a few links to your non-www version of your website and the process can start. Google are doing a lot of work around assisting with removing canonical issues within a website by providing tools within the Google Webmasters Toolset to help you identify issues within your websites beyond just the non-www and www versions, caused by e-commerce / CMS solutions.

I would suggest you check the domain for the site and also whilst your doing this, make sure that any additional domain names pointing into your website also get pointed correctly to the right domain, as again this will cause issues with duplication.

If you think you have a problem then contact me and I can check to see if this is the case and look at working with you to put the correct types of redirects in place to remove the duplication.