April 2014
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What are rich snippets and why do we need them?

If you haven’t heard of rich snippets then don’t worry you are not alone, however you can expect to hear much more about them in the future. Rich snippets provide a better quality and more effective search result by pulling more information from your website or blog – namely the author, their picture and a ‘more by…’ link.

Author rich snippets are beneficial because:

  • They make these search results stand out from the rest of the listings
  • They help build up trust for the website
  • They encourage people to read more posts/articles from the same author
  • They lead to better qualified traffic as searchers come to know what to expect when they click on your results.

Basically a snippet can help you to stand out from the crowd and in an increasingly competitive marketplace which is subject to algorithm changes, being more than just a number on the list will keep you ahead of your competitors.

Rich snippets are relatively new so now is the best time to take advantage of their power, particularly in this post-Panda world.

For more information on rich snipppets why not visit our website where you can find out how we can help you get your name out there.

Posted by Frances Berry

The True Value Of An SEO Link Building Service

When people talk about search engine optimisation they will most likely talk about two things – rankings and backlinks. It is these two things that will demonstrate whether a site has had SEO work done on it and will also provide some way of grading the site against other websites. Generally speaking the more backlinks a site has and the more keywords it ranks for the more popular it will be. It is also important for these backlinks to be built from a wide variety of referring domains as this is what gives the backlinks a higher quality score with the search engines.

In the past an SEO link building service may have had a bad name as people perceived this to be a quick way of buying poor quality backlinks in order that they can dominate the SERPS (search engines results pages) in a relatively short space of time. However, now that this way of building links has been discredited you are much more likely to hear the phrase SEO link building services attached to SEO in its entirety because optimisation is still build around link building.

Whilst the nature of the beast may change – and this will involve Google making endless algorithm changes to keep SEO experts, website owners and online customers on their toes – the principles behind SEO will remain the same. Building backlinks based on relevant keywords that point to relevant pages on a website and are embedded in quality content SEO articles is the best way to achieve SEO success in the current climate.

An SEO link building service can provide this quality and relevance to help businesses build up their brand awareness and create a name for themselves in the increasingly competitive online marketplace. This will be important because so many people use the internet to search for the products and services they need and if businesses do not maximise their use of the online marketplace they will almost certainly lose ground and potential customers to their competitors.

Aside from the standard optimisation packages, SEO link building services will also provide other associated products such as social media interaction, blog creation, email marketing strategies and onsite advice all designed to help the business to make the most of the potential of the online marketplace and put their business firmly on the map.

Posted by Frances Berry

Taking a holistic approach to SEO

SEO in itself is a hotly contested topic at the moment. With endless algorithm updates to deal with and the ever evolving role of social media, as an SEO expert you simply cannot sit still because to take your eyes off the ball for even a day or two could be catastrophic. That said, even with so many changes coming into SEO on a regular basis, there are certain things that remain the same and a lot of it really comes down to common sense rather than technicalities.

So what can you do to make sure that your SEO is going to be beneficial to your business and to your customers?

First of all your website and your brand needs to have value before your start optimising it. There is no point, after all, investing time and money in optimising a website that will deliver a poor quality visitor experience. If you have a website or are looking to get a new one built it must focus on what makes you stand out from the crowd and what makes your product or service different from the next business offering it because if not visitors will simply go elsewhere and your bounce rate will go through the roof. Delivering a high quality user experience once people land on your site is as important, if not more important, than getting them there in the first place.

Secondly, your SEO approach needs to be holistic in that it should integrate with other marketing campaigns. If offline marketing is concentrating on a particular product or target market, the awareness this generates may mean that people want to look online for additional information so it is important that the website is geared up for this and the relevant keywords are optimised.

Thirdly – don’t get too caught up in SEO trends – what is prioritised today by the search engines may well be old news by tomorrow. So rather than worrying about should you be on Google+ or should you optimise for a certain keyword density concentrate instead on creating great content, keeping your customers informed and delivering a fantastic user experience because when SEO delivers increased traffic to you, you need to know that you are in a position to convert.

To find out more about the right way of doing SEO why not visit our website?

Posted by Frances Berry

What To Do if you have Writers Block

Believe you me when you have written as much as I have writers block comes as no stranger to you. You sit there in front of a blank screen or piece of paper and the only thing that comes out is either something you have said before or nothing at all. It happens. Not just to writers and copywriters but also to business people who are trying to update their online content to keep their blog posts fresh and thus give all the support they can to their search engine optimisation services provider:

When it comes to SEO you cannot use content you have used before and you absolutely cannot copy and paste content from elsewhere (despite how well it reads and how useful it is). Google will not like you at all if you copy and paste and so everything you write about must be fresh and unique, however that is not to say that you cannot find inspiration from elsewhere…

1) Read around your subject area – Just because you can’t copy content doesn’t mean you cannot read about something interesting and then put it into your own words.

2) Think about what your customers want to read about – special offers, discounts, new product lines, new branches opening – all of these things are interesting to your client base so make sure you use your blog to keep everyone up to date.

3) Use resources you have created for seminars, conferences and other events – these can be broken down into short posts and thus used as content over the period of several weeks or months.

4) If all else fails talk about the weather…well not literally but just give people an update about what is happening in the company – you could use the blog to write about new members of staff or perhaps interview employees or customers to create a feature blog each month.

There are so many ways in which blogging will help your website so remember to link each post back to the relevant page on your website so that people can find out more. If you need help with content management services or want to find out more information about our SEO link building services please do visit our website for more information.

Posted by Frances Berry

What does Google mean by over-optimisation?

Many websites have been penalised recently in the latest Google algorithm update for having bad links – some have found messages via their Google Webmaster tools to say that they have been penalised for having bad links and since Google is not one for necessarily explaining what it means by this we are left to guess what has happened.

Rest assured at SEO it Right none of the latest algorithm changes have affected us as we don’t subscribe to the quick link building strategies of some of the big SEO companies but if your site has been worked on by another internet marketing services company or you want to find out more about what could constitute these bad links read on.

Over-optimisation is bad news – but what could Google mean by it? Here are our top three guesses at what could be making Google frown:

• Too many keywords on the page
• Link exchanges
• Poor content

And this is the key – it is the content that Google looks at first – not your meta data, not the number of keywords you have on your page but the relevance and the fact that your content is interesting and well written. If you stuff a page full of keywords and clearly make it look as though you have done everything you can to optimise that page but completely ignored how the content reads and whether it will be useful or interesting to anyone that comes across it then you may well have stepped into the over-optimisation trap.

Food for thought? Well it pays to keep your content fresh and interesting before you even think about optimising your site so make sure the affordable SEO services company you choose can do this for you ?

Posted by Frances Berry

5 Reasons Why The Sun is good for SEO

I know what you are thinking… the sun is shining, it is unseasonably warm for March in the UK and everyone should surely be outside soaking up the sun rather than slaving away in the office? Well, it’s nice if you have that opportunity but for those of us that are still working hard whilst the weather is at its best there are plenty of reasons why you can turn the sun to your advantage. Take SEO for example – it’s not just lots of pasty geeks sitting in a darkened room spending 12 hours a day in front of several monitors – it is a truly adaptable and versatile industry and at SEO it Right we welcome the sunshine on our days at work and this is why:

1) The sunshine brings out the best in people – they smile, they laugh and they make purchases – whether it is summer clothes, padding pools or holidays abroad – many of these purchases will be transacted online thus increasing the need for superbly functional and eye catching websites that can be found online using related search terms – cue SEO!

2) The start of the summertime can often herald the start of new things for businesses and what better way to move forward this year than by making sure potential customers can find your website when they search for the products or services you sell?

3) Sunlight helps plants, fruits and vegetables to grow so anyone selling these items may have more stock than usual if we have lots of warm balmy days – so how can they let their customers know about this? Well SEO and associated services such as email marketing and social media marketing are a great way to let people know that you have a special offer on thanks to a bumper crop!

There are so many others ways in which the sun is good for all of us and yet the main reason I can think at the moment is that it is so nice to sit in the office with the sun at my back and the cool breeze circulating :)

So wherever you are working on this warm March day remember that the sun is good for business as well as you!

For more information on our SEO services please visit seo-it-right.co.uk

Posted by Frances Berry

It’s all in a name!

If you’ve read anything about SEO lately then you have most probably come across the mumbles and grumbles of so-called SEO experts in response to the latest updates from Google. Some of the major link building networks have been effectively brought down over the last few days and this de-indexing is no doubt causing a lot of headache for those SEO Birmingham companies that had managed to achieve high search engine ranking positions for their clients using these low grade, quick link building techniques.

It has been a year since the Panda update and this latest update will come as no surprise to those of us who have our ears to the ground to listen out for any signs of rumbling from the might beast that is Google, but sourcing all of your links from one blog network is not good SEO practice and clearly Google has had enough of it.

Fear not though because at SEO it Right we do SEO the right way (or else let’s face it we would be called SEO it Wrong!) – even when that means constantly adapting our SEO strategy to meet the ever changing requirements of the search engines. Our R&D department here is second to none and if changes are afoot you can be sure that we are at their heel.

Question - So what is Google now looking for?

Answer – Websites need to focus on high quality content, that has been put together by an SEO copywriter (with equal emphasis on each – you cannot have a site written with SEO in mind but neither can you consider not having it written by a copywriter who knows how to write informative, unique and interesting copy) to attract links naturally. Links need to come from diverse sources and if you’re not sure if yours do check out the number of referring domains in comparison to the number of backlinks you have.

Posted by Frances Berry

Five SEO Factors That Could Penalise Your Website

SEO is great…no, scrub that, SEO is fantastic.  It is quite literally what is making and growing businesses at the moment and anyone who shuns SEO, apart from being a fool, has clearly not thought about the repercussions of ignoring the vast potential of the online marketplace.  Ignoring SEO is a bit like saying ‘no, I don’t want any more customers thanks’ and let’s face it who honestly wants to do that?

However, despite the greatness of SEO there are still some shady tactics and SEO operators out there who if you don’t do your homework could not only take away vast sums of your money for little or no return on your investment but could also do devastating things to your website that may lead to you being penalized by the search engines.  So what are the five things that you or your SEO Birmingham company need to avoid doing?

  1. Paying for links – in a sense all SEO is paying for links in that your SEO provider should be building up the number of backlinks to your website from a wide variety of domains, however buying links just in itself is a bad idea so make sure you know where your links are coming from.
  2. Cloaking – this is where search engines and human visitors to a website both see different things.  Sending a text-heavy version of your site to search engines whilst visitors see an image-led site is seriously frowned upon and could lead to penalisation
  3. Stuffing your pages full of keywords – the idea that the more times a keyword appears in the content of a page the more relevant the search engines will find it is so old hat that it is positively a bowler hat on a city gent (yeah, exactly – ancient!) so avoid shoving tons of keywords into your copy and instead write interesting, factual and persuasive copy that will entice your visitors and include only a few keywords strategically placed so that they read well as part of the overall copy.
  4. Hiding text – Much like point 2 the practice of hiding text – usually keyword-stuffed and concealed perhaps by including text that is the same colour as your page background so only the search engines can see it is bad SEO practice – it won’t help your site in the rankings in fact it could well lead to penalisation so make sure all text is visible and that it is well written and unique.
  5. Copy and paste – tempting isn’t it to copy and paste text from another website that offers a similar product or service to yours?  Tempting it may be but if you can’t write it yourself or have your site professionally written by a copywriter don’t bother at all.  Copying from another site is a bad move – the search engines aren’t stupid and they can see copied content and where you’ve copied it from so your site could be penalised for literally stealing words from someone else.  Surely your business/website is unique or you wouldn’t have set it up in the first place? So, don’t get that far and then ruin it by copying content from elsewhere!

There are many ways in which you can remain SEO savvy even when you are paying for the privilege of SEO services and by asking the right questions you can make sure your site stays safe and performs well.

 

Posted by Frances Berry

The Changing Face of Social Media

Whilst social media continues to be an important vehicle for improving brand awareness and increasing the online presence of the businesses who embrace it, it has to be noted that the face of social media may be changing somewhat.

Google+, once heralded by many a UK SEO company as the alternative to Facebook, appears to be losing ground with users spending just 3.3 minutes on there in January this year compared with a whopping 7.5 hours on Facebook!  Whilst Google+ offers some interesting features including video conferencing and the expected ability to share comments, articles and photos it seems it isn’t enough to persuade the Facebook faithful to and start again from scratch and build up a new network of contacts on Google+.

Now there’s a new kid in town and even the mighty Facebook and Twitter may have to watch their backs.  Pinterest, which was launched in 2010 and which only had 1.6 million visitors last September has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity with user numbers soaring to 11.1 million visitors this February.  Moreover it seems that women hold the key to this social surge as they make up around 82% of Pinterest’s active users.  Ok, it may be that women are more socially inclined than men but what does this mean to business users?

Well, as women account for 85% of purchasers it cannot be a bad thing for any consumer product business to use Pinterest as a marketing tool as this will enable them to reach out to this target market.  The pinboard style social photo sharing site aims to connect people by bringing them together over the things they like.  It lets users organise and share the things they find on the internet and browse the pinboards created by other people.  Although shameless self promotion is frowned upon, businesses can market themselves effectively by creative positive associations with their brand – thus building up a community and creating and experience rather than blatantly selling and as the majority of users are women, the sex that is apparently faster to catch on to new social media tools, it is with interest that we should all be watching Pinterest and how it develops over the coming months.

Whatever form it comes in, social media, as any SEO company will tell you, still has the power to attract new customers and create interest in your brand so whatever you do don’t dismiss it just because like everything else it is evolving.  Change is good after all.

 

Posted by Frances Berry

Do you really need to pay for each click?

Well that is the question all businesses should be asking themselves when considering any kind of online marketing campaign.  But what if they haven’t had time to think about it?  What if someone rings them up out of the blue and offers to get them to the top of page 1 for a local keyword that pertains to their services (for a few hundred pounds a month)?  If they are a small business who relies heavily on customers in their local area this may sound like a great idea until anyone with any SEO knowledge steps in to reassure them that it is a pay per click campaign and that they will only be at this number 1 paid spot for this one local keyword for as long as they continue to pay for it.

Paid search can work extremely well for those businesses that are targeting specific areas or who have the large budgets needed to scope out a wide range of relevant keywords, however paying over the hilt for something that does not guarantee traffic is not going to be ideal for a small business.

Just in the last week we have spoken to several small businesses who have been approached via sales calls to commit themselves to paying up to £500 per month to get their website on the paid search listings for one local keyword.  When working what traffic these keywords deliver and the cost per click as set out in Google Adwords to our calculations this should amount to £36 per month – so quite what the other £464 was for is anyone’s guess!

So our advice for anyone who gets one of these phone calls?  Tread cautiously.  Whilst it may sound like a good idea at the time consider that here at SEO it Right we don’t even charge £500 per month for our top organic package and can start to improve your rankings for up to 6 keywords at a time for that kind of price.  It is important not to get ripped off so do some research into paid search, find out the cost per click of any keyword and the traffic it delivers using the Google Search tool and if all else fails ring around other UK SEO companies for some comparison prices before you commit to something that will cost a lot and deliver little.

Take care out there in the big wide world of SEO!

Best wishes

Frances Berry