Small business marketing is often a case of having to pick and choose which strategies to implement and campaigns to operate within a tight budget and without a great deal of resource. Yet the real investment to be made in online marketing and business development is often a technical one – and that is, SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation to refer to it by its full name).
SEO can make or break a website, but what is it, how does it work, who ‘does’ it and how can you manage it? Read on for the full lowdown and to answer the most common questions that we get asked …
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation is the intensification of a website’s content for it to become as noticeable as possible to the automated algorithms of search engines – preferably boosting its profile to the top of search engine results pages (or SERPs, for short). With search engines bringing up hundreds of thousands of results for most words and phrases searched, identifying relevant information for users is key.
SEO is a marketing practice in its own right and should absolutely form part of any company’s digital marketing strategy.
Why is SEO SO Important?
The world ‘google’ is as much a verb now as it is a name, and society is increasingly dependent on the search engines they can access through their smartphones and other tech devices to find information quickly and efficiently.
Businesses should view search engines as a marketing channel. Any person looking for a product, service or industry relevant to them should be able to easily access information on their brand; so that they can gain awareness of the brand and its products/services, and ideally, eventually, make a purchase.
SEO is important for businesses because as society moves more and more online, so do their buying habits. There are very few industries not yet with any online presence at all; and for those that do have some, businesses without any SEO will find that their brand is ranked below the search engine results displaying information on their competitors.
SEO is imperative amongst small business marketing as it is something that can deliver an inordinate amount of results for a relatively small outlay of finance and resource.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO works by tapping into the automated programming within search engines that determines where to rank what in terms of the results individuals using the search see. This is achieved by ensuring that the algorithm recognises a website as relevant, appropriate, genuine and an expert in a specific niche. It should be able to judge the who, what, where, when, how and why about a brand… just from a millisecond automated scan of the content on its website!
Put simply: search engines are library catalogues. The programs that manage them are the librarians.
The exact ways SEO works change all the time as algorithms and programming develop and grow. The technology involved in search engine operation is always improving and so SEO is never just a job to be done once and never again – businesses serious about it should aim to continuously advance and enhance their efforts toward it.
What Benefit Does Good SEO Give a Business Over Poor SEO?
Good SEO increases a brand’s visibility in search rankings, so when done better than a competitor, gives competitive advantage.
Being top of the search rankings for a relevant search to your business isn’t just important – it’s damn near imperative!
Think of your own search engine behaviours. Do you scroll through pages and pages of results to find the info you want or do you just click through to the first few? Your business needs to be where people will see it, otherwise it will lose out to those who are.
What do SEO Services Include?
Some marketers have training in SEO and can implement it and optimise a website and its content, however this training needs to be taken in a continuous cycle and the content updated with it. If you are going to invest in SEO services, we highly recommend working with an SEO expert.
SEO experts are consultants who stay up to date with the near daily changes and are able to use this knowledge to implement SEO into a site on an ongoing basis, for best results.
Being an SEO specialist is a full-time job. SEO consultants have to ensure every part of a website fits with the current search engine algorithms. That includes, but is by no means limited to: ensuring all written content is optimised, ensuring the website page layouts are optimised and work across different devices, building backlinks (OutreachMama has released a very comprehensive 2020 Link Building Strategy guide, make sure to check it out) to and from other websites to build authority, ensuring every page on a website is tagged and categorised correctly, ensuring every image on a website is tagged and categories correctly, and ensuring that all the ‘backend’ data of a website is optimised.
How Long Does SEO Implementation Take?
The development of good SEO isn’t just a job that can be done once and then not re-visited. The nature of the internet and search engine technology is that it changes all of the time, so it needs to be a continual focus for businesses who want to remain at the top of their game online (and at the top of the search engines!).
It’s impossible to say how long an initial review and ‘go over’ of a brand’s website would take, as it depends on two factors: how bad the website’s SEO currently is, and how much content is on the site. However, an SEO specialist will be able to advise on the initial work required and then recommend an ongoing plan to keep on top of the situation.
SEO specialists are worth their weight in gold, and seeking one out is one of the most effective marketing strategies a small business can invest in. Ranking ahead of the competition in a marketing method where people are already seeking out relevant information? It’s a win-win!
Businesses (especially smaller ones) have to do whatever they can to get their name heard, and with the internet providing everyone the opportunity to carve out their own little space online, it can often be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
When targeting customers or potential customers in a specific geographic area, local citations can be key to a business ranking highly on Google maps. A small focus on SEO(Search Engine Optimisation) can boost your profile on Google and help you feature higher than your competitors.
What is a Local Citation
A ‘local citation’ isn’t a Google term, but instead refers to a really basic form of marketing on the internet. It is simply an instance of your business’ NAP (that is: business Name, Address and Phone number) appearing online – be that on your website or on others. This may be in business directories, press articles, advertiser sites or reviews of your firm.
How does a Local Citation benefit a Local Business
Aside from it being a small ad boost, every time someone sees your information; a local citation helps reiterate to Google (and therefore Google Maps) that you are a leader in your area and that you are a genuine business. Google’s algorithms are well developed to identify spam and disingenuous entries and so good, organic reach through local citations is an easy way for it to understand proper local businesses.
What are the Elements of a Local Citation
The three main elements of a local citation are your NAP: business Name, Address and Phone number. The key is to keep them entirely consistent throughout all citations online – any differentiator will break the link between the citation and it relating directly to your business. It may be worth considering therefore if you have a ‘Ltd’ in your name or a space/unusual capitalisation/sub-brands, that you instead revert to one shorter name for your public-facing communications to avoid any confusion.
Other elements that may be included in citations (but aren’t imperative) include e-mail addresses and links to social media profiles. Where you can, keep the names of such profiles consistent and ensure you refer to yourself in the same way across all of your marketing.
Why Local Citations Matter
Local citations are the best way for Google’s automated algorithms to understand who you are and where you are; and that you’re genuine! The internet is full of bots and false entries, and citations are genuine reviews to show you’re not one of them. Citations alone are responsible for about 10% of Google’s decision in who to rank where on Maps, and with 76% of visitors accessing local results and then visiting one of the businesses featured within 24hrs, it’s a no-brainer that it’s an area of your online presence worth investing in!
Search marketing, SEO or search engine optimisation helps websites to rank well in Google and other search engines. At Woya Digital we are specialists in small business growth through digital marketing, including Local SEO services. We make SEO services affordable for small businesses through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment. Find out more about how we can support your business growth!
We seem to have entered an age where everyone blames their social media, web content or marketing related failures on ‘algorithms’; even if perhaps that’s not really the case. In an attempt to stop internet users scapegoating their tech updates, Google yesterday, for the second time announced a broad core algorithm update in advance of it actually happening and impacting on websites. What does a Google update actually mean for your business and web presence? Read on ….
What is a Google Broad Core Algorithm Update?
‘Broad core algorithm updates’ aren’t specifically aimed at combatting any one issue, but rather at improving Google’s overall systems efficiency. These updates can take anything from a few hours to a few days to roll out across all content online. Whilst there’s no set schedule for these updates to take place, they do usually happen every few months. This means that what can be considered ‘Google friendly’ content changes frequently.
What happens when a Google Update is implemented?
The effects of algorithm updates vary depending on exactly what work has been done ‘behind the scenes’. The most notable impact is usually a change in the search rankings of content; so you may find your pages suddenly rank considerably higher or lower than they did before. This happens as Google reassesses all of its content to better align it and list it out.
For businesses who rely heavily on organic search for traffic to their websites and resulting sales, any change in SEO situation can have devastating effects if not managed adequately. It’s important, therefore, to work on your website optimisation regularly.
What should I do about a Google Broad Core Algorithm Update?
Monitor the situation when it comes to your SEO. Any pages that have dropped in the rankings aren’t necessarily being penalised for poor content but may just sit differently alongside new criteria standards. Regardless, action should be taken after each update to ensure that your rankings are able to recover. No one set action will guarantee full recovery but doing nothing will almost definitely inhibit any chances of it – even if another update is just around the corner!
When creating new content, it’s important for it to remain as relevant and current as possible. It is this, and not necessarily stuffing pages with keywords and links, that will help the content stay well ranked. Seek advice from SEO experts and work with them at each update, staying mindful that the approach to take will need to differ every time, dependent on what changes have been implemented.
How soon can SEO action taken recover a site from a Google Brand Core Algorithm Update?
There’s a common misconception that any remedial action taken won’t take effect until the next algorithm update is run. That’s not true: any recovery should be noticeable the next time that an automated ‘crawler’ (a bot that scans the site’s content to judge its fit amongst other pages and analyse where it should sit in the search rankings) scans it. This happens periodically and doesn’t wait for further updates. This means that rapid recovery is achievable, if effective action is taken quickly.
At Woya Digital we are constantly work to ensure that our clients website SEO is optimised and brought in line with constant security and Google updates. Take advantage of our awesome Instant FREE SEO Site Audit Report which we’ll send you to highlight all the things that can be improved on your website, and to optimise your website SEO ranking.
Local SEO is simply the most effective way to promote your business online where you are based. It provides promotion exactly at the right time; when a local customer is looking to buy your product or services.
Woya provides Local SEO in Chichester and throughout the UK. Whilst we often work nationwide, but still understand the value of a local client.
Also known as local search marketing, to be successful we maximise various strategies to get ranked online locally. These methods include listing on business directories. Yelp, Foursquare, Bing Places, Google My Business Listing, online reviews, along with other less known platforms. Consistency in these directories is the key to our success…
Local SEO is an extremely targeted marketing strategy that enables companies to position themselves on search engines and other business directories. This massively increases visibility and generates awareness within a niche market and locality.
Are you looking to increase your local sales? Then maximise your potential via customers performing local searches. Every day that customers are searching your locality and finding your competitors is lost business that you are giving away. Leveraging Local SEO will increase the chances of being found in your town.
How Can Local SEO Help Attract New Customers?
Local searches have substantially increased in recent years, especially on mobile phones. According to recent statistics, 96% of desktop users conduct local searches. Almost 40% of all searches on Google are now focused locally.
Here’s why locality based small and medium sized businesses should opt to include Local SEO in their marketing strategy:
Local Search Marketing – Google Maps
In the UK, your business and website need to appear in Google Maps. All you need for this is to have a physical location in the town where you are looking to be found. This will make a difference to your local positioning and it’s free. https://www.google.com/business/
If you are listed, make sure your details are correct. Address discrepancies count against you, so check as the information is often pulled from other sources.
Local Search Marketing – Produces Improved Results
The ideal time to connect with a customer is when they are in need of your product or service. With Local SEO, businesses can position themselves exactly when needed. When a need is searched, the businesses appear at the top of the search list.
Local Search Marketing – Conversion Rates Are Higher
As you see in the above image. Google Places or Maps listings display the name, address and phone number of the business. In contrast to other traditional advertising, local search has a high (and measurable) rate of conversion. This means, if your business is positioned correctly, you are best placed to convert interest into customers.
Local Search Marketing – Mobile Internet Usage is Still Growing
Increasing numbers of potential customers are searching via Google on mobile phones to buy products or services on the go. Even from their sofa! In 2015 Google announced that more searches are made on mobiles than PC’s. Make sure your website is mobile friendly and be visible in your locality.
Local Search Marketing – Gives Improved Return on Investment
Unlike traditional advertising, with Local SEO there is little wasted exposure. You only reach a potential customer when they need you. Enticing a customer when they are interested in you is a cost efficient and effective option, offering greater ROI.
Local Search Marketing – Enhanced Credibility
Most online directories allow users to rate and review local business and services. Having a good reputation online can really help you in attracting customers, so keep checking so you can respond to comments.
Local SEO vs. Organic SEO
Both Organic and Local SEO helps bolster your organic ranking on search engines. This helps you reach as many potential customers as possible. However, if you are contemplating between choosing between local and organic SEO, you should take your niche audience and nature of business into consideration.
With Local SEO, your business gets ranked for a specific location. This is ideal for a local business as you can target customers within a particular geographical area. Through this, you will always reach the right customers who might be looking for your service. For example, if you are a plumber in Chichester, ranking top in Google search in London could be a waste of time for everyone.
The Importance of Local SEO
The importance of Local SEO has increased in recent years with the expansion of Google Places, Google Maps, Apple Maps and the mobile web. This has encouraged many companies to make it an important part of their inbound marketing strategy. The targeted results, improved ROI and the high lead to sales conversion ratio indicate that it is an essential element of any company marketing strategy.
Make sure that the directory listings for your business locations are perfect, accurate and consistent. Remember that the main search engines and maps use multiple sources for their data. Including Yelp, Foursquare, Bing Places, Google Business Listing, online reviews, Yell, TomTom among many more.
Work with a partner who understands the importance of Local SEO in the UK. This will provide a real boost to your presence and help you be found online. Woya Digital offer excellent packages paid monthly for SEO without commitment.
Woya digital is a social media marketing agency based in Chichester. We can assist companies of all sizes, anywhere, promote themselves through the internet. Our fixed price offering is straightforward and yields results! We are fantastic at social media management, website design and SEO, all paid monthly, with no upfront investment.
The idea of SEO services or search engine optimisation is more complex than ever before, especially on-page SEO.
It is no longer a simple process of marking various things off of a pre-determined SEO services checklist. Woya Digital’s successful search marketing for our pay monthly SEO services involves the use of 6 important on-page SEO elements that are extensively understood and properly implemented.
1. Title Tag
The title tag, which is basically a short description of 70 words or less, is used by the website visitors and search engines as the identifier. The title tag itself, placed between <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags near the very top of the HTML code for a particular page informs the search engines what the page is about. Together with the Meta description, the title tag is the representation of your business in Google and search engines.
2. Heading Tag and Keywords
Heading tags are simply the headers that are used on a website post to divide it into different sections. The Heading tag is the main heading that comes after the title on any given webpage. The use of the main keywords that help define a target in the Heading tag is one of the most popular on-Page SEO services and techniques because it helps to improve the visibility of your website in a search engine.
3. Subheadings and Keywords
Headers are not limited to just the main or focus heading. There are up to 6 different header tags that can be used in any given website. Each specify and outline a different aspect of a post. The heading tags from number 2 and onwards are all known as subheadings. It is encouraged that each subheading, especially the first three includes the main keyword for for increased SEO ranking.
4. ALT Image Tags
And ALT IMG Tag is the abbreviation to the ALT attribute to an IMG tag. The ALT tags are the alternatives to the text that are added to images in case the browser is unable to properly render them. It is a way for SEO services marketers to ensure that the search engine associates a websites main keywords with related images to strength their search rankings. The use of ALT tags on images is one of the most successful on-page SEO strategies. Especially for web-stores selling their products online. This practice ensures that the products show up on the Google image search as soon as the keywords are entered in the search bar.
5. Keywording the first 100 Words
Most websites include a long and detailed introduction at the beginning of their posts. Only choosing to mention their focus keywords much later and further down. And then they complain that their SEO services and SEO rankings are not working. That is because the later a keyword is introduced in a post, the longer it takes for Google to recognise and understand what information is being presented on your website. As such, for optimal search engine optimisation it is essential that the main keywords be introduced within the first one hundred words.
6. Website and Server Speed
According to Google, the server speed, website and page speed are taken into account by the ranking algorithm. As such it can be deduced that server speed is an essential element in ensuring successful on-page SEO. A slower page means high rate of abandonment, loss of links, and decreased visitor engagement. Making it a critically important factor to take into consideration when marking an on-page SEO strategy.
Need Some Help?
The team at Woya Digital is a social media marketing agency offering SEO Chichester, here to help. We offer SEO and Local SEO solutions that designed to get you to page 1 of Google.co.uk We can assist companies of all sizes, anywhere, promote themselves through the internet.
Our fixed price offering is straightforward and yields results! We are fantastic at social media management, website design and SEO, all paid monthly, with no upfront investment.