Tag Archive: Search Engine Marketing

Your New Website – Have you failed at the last hurdle?

search engine marketing

So your website has been built and properly optimised for the search engines, directories and local search tools – Job Done!

No, more like Journey Started to greater ROI.

During the build of your site, you’d have commissioned a design that was in line with your brand and visual identity, you’d have research the most effective keywords used for your market and then worked with the SEO team and the copywriter to maximise the search engine results, then you’ll have launched the site, normally to a fanfare and great accolades.

The final hurdle is seeing how it fares out in the big wide world as despite doing everything according to the rule book there are still pot holes to avoid. Avoid these and turn your great website into a star performer.

“You really don’t want to be scratching your heads in six months from the website launch
wondering why it’s not performing and regretting the investment.”

Consider:

  • Spotting and disavowing toxic backlinks that will damage your site’s reputation
  • Mapping missing landing pages from valuable legacy backlinks to new pages
  • Spotting and correcting tags and titles with insufficient or poor content
  • Correcting blacklisting by association with a tainted server
  • Correcting missing or incorrect site maps
  • Removing false Google reporting due to bots
  • Advising Google of remedial work on items completed that it flagged up as needing attention
  • Spotting trends in:
    • Falling Smartphone audiences
    • Poor social media engagements once on the site is published
    • Backlinking sites
    • Internal cross linking on new pages
  • Search terms that are performing well and those missing the mark so you can apply more suitable content and pages
  • Security issues
  • Changes in Google’s SERP’s algorithm – playing fair and by the rules is important!

“playing fair and by the rules is important!”

There’s a raft of checks and feedback to be done periodically to make sure you’re getting the best from your investment. This analytical work is not normally the domain of your marketing company, they normally do a great job with content provision, and inbound marketing with blog articles and social media strategy, but do not major on the mechanics that underpin the entire site.

Google Analytics example

Universal Analytics example

The above are just a few of the many review items website owners who are earnest about being the best that they can be online should be actively monitoring and acting upon. Post launch of your website, just one or two of these items can seriously impair a website’s performance. It’s such a shame to see website failure or significant underperformance when such blocking errors are not spotted and the owners are unaware of how much they could get from their investment.

“be the best that you can be online”

The business message here is find someone to look after the health of your website and manage its performance.


About the Author

Simon Thomas is the lead partner at Toucan Internet LLP who have provided progressive web development and online marketing resources to clients since 1997. Simon also has 20 years direct marketing experience pre-internet and provides a unique blend of innovative advice based on experience and an informed understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694
www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

 

Are quality keywords alone sufficient for good search engine placement?

Search engine performance has always been a predominant part of the specification of most website projects, even before Google had reached the consciousness of the masses; a time when Yahoo was the ascendant search engine.

 

Is good keyword selection important? Absolutely yes, however it’s the start of your optimisation journey, not the end. We frequently come across website owners who have commissioned an excellent website for their business; all the keywords are in place, the navigation is intuitive and the calls to action expertly implemented, but it just not drawing either the traffic or the business despite the serious cash injection. Sitting around for the return on investment could be a long wait.

 

Assuming you have professionally researched the keywords and they are correct for your marketing message then you’re ready to start the search engine marketing and monitoring. This is a basket of activities that will turn your website from a cobweb to a proactive marketing tool; a sales team ready to close new business.

 

The online marketing part of the process is primarily aimed at increasing your inbound referrers – the external links to your site. Apart from other search engines and directories, the world of social media offers a vast number of channels where this can be done to great effect with minimal cost and a small amount of dedicated time applied regularly on a weekly schedule.  Assuming your overall objective is to build business and drive people to the calls to action in your website, then the focus needs to be to deliver new people to the website. The social media will allow them to get to know you and see peer recommendations. Ultimately it will deliver them to your website where the convincers and calls to action should deliver you the new business you wanted.

 

The great thing about this is these potential customers arrive at your website voluntarily from peer recommendations, all orchestrated without the loth’able sales emails or other pushy sales techniques.

The monitoring part of the process is to ensure that you keep your nose clean and obey all the rules that make for a quality web presence rather than something that just looks good, but is effectively lame. Spotting build code errors is important as the Google spider may baulk at code it doesn’t understand and therefore stops indexing your site. You don’t want that as you’ll be largely invisible in Google searches. There are a raft of other crucial items to monitor and an ongoing marketing and monitoring program will do this, ensuring a site is truly “fully search engine optimised”.

 

Once other people like your site and link to it using relevant keywords then your site will start to gain prominence. Better still if they are very relevant referrers in the same field as yours; then the Google “love” increases ever more.

 

It’s far from rocket science; develop a good website that is relevant to your message and appealing to both people and Google, get liked by other quality online referrers, feed the referral channels to keep the whole marketing machine oiled with new posts that link back to the website and encourage relevant others to link to you.

 

If you do it well your market will respond, but just play with it and you’ll be joining the masses who tried and failed to maximise their potential and return on investment.

 

In answer to the question “Are quality keywords alone sufficient for good search engine placement“, the answer is a resounding “no”. They are however the crucial start to the foundation of your website and online marketing.

 


About the Author

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP has been involved in the development hosting and marketing of websites since 1995. He is passionate about his client’s online success and will welcome any approach for web development or consultative engagements.

t: 01279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2014©. All rights reserved.

Are your SEO practices in line with Google Hummingbird?

Hummingbird, Google’s search algorithm overhaul

Customers earnest about getting and maintaining a quality online success have consistently invested time and effort in selecting the right keywords for their website and inbound marketing channels. Why? Because Google will recognise these and will index your site accordingly; done well and consistently, Google will give your site the rewards you seek with higher search engine results positions.

If you thought you’d grasped what needed to be done, Google changes the rules and in flies Hummingbird. It’s probably the most significant change to Google’s search rules in 13 years, reportedly affecting a massive 90% of all searches. Now it’s more important than ever that you have quality inbound organic referrers to your website, i.e. visitors referred to your site by other websites.

The Hummingbird change means that searches are now totally secure, suggesting that keyword analytics data could well be a thing of the past! Basically Google has switched all of its searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners and website owners will no longer have the ability to track users by their keyword searches.  Other search engines will still send keyword data through to help with your analytics and keyword development.

The exact way the Hummingbird algorithm works is not 100% clear, however it appears Hummingbird looks at over 200 different components when determining the search rank for a site much like previous releases.  However previously Google would focus on the specific keywords where as now, with Hummingbird, the focus is on the context of the words entered and the matching of that meaning to web pages to which it relates; web pages matching the meaning do better than pages matching just a few keywords. This is a good thing overall and will kill the trend of content writers damaging the copy of their content trying to achieve “the right level” of keyword stuffing.

What is clear is that if you are to maintain leading positions in Google search engine results your emphasis now needs to shift to the breadth of your website and to answering of specific questions for your audience. As has always been advocated by search engine marketing professionals, quality content remains key, it is that that your customers have and will continue to want to see irrespective of Hummingbird, but now the more the content aligns with answering specific customer questions, the more likely your page positions will prosper under Google Hummingbird.

In short, the new Hummingbird algorithm is trying to measure the quality and how valuable and helpful your website is in answering customers’ questions. The key is therefore having as many unique entrance pages on your website as possible offering breadth, help and expertise on many relevant topics, plus of course relevant peer backlinks.

So how do you grow the number and breadth of entrance pages? One answer could be simply by adding new content regularly to both your website and blog. The need for a blog becomes even greater if you don’t already operate one on your site. The more energy you place into the content on your site the higher you are likely to appear on Google search. It is clear that Google wants useful and relevant content to be king, and any future changes to its algorithms are likely to reflect this also. This may require many companies to examine their content strategies and look at how they can use as many forms of content to maintain the desired energy and diversity (e.g. Videos, PPC promotion of best content, info-graphics, re-blog on industry hot stories, etc.)

Are your SEO practices in line with Hummingbird? If you review your Google Analytics since Hummingbird was introduced in late August you will be able to see if there has been any decline in your website visitors. However, if you are to maintain and improve your search position you will need to reflect upon your whole online content strategy and the links to your site/content both on site and backlinks from other website and your inbound marketing from your social media. Make sure you focus on growing the number of relevant links and the quality, breadth, depth, frequency and value of your content if you are to maintain and improve your search position.


About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP, developing high performance websites on the Internet since 1995.  Passionate about his clients’ success, you’re invited to get in touch to see if you too could benefit:

For more information.
t: 01279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2014©. All rights reserved.