Tag Archive: SEO

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.

New coach hire website finds top Google success within weeks

Coach Hire Hertshttp://www.coachhirehertfordshire.co.uk/

Toucan Internet was delighted to collaborate once again with local coach hire company St Margarets.  St Margarets provide affordable and luxury coach hire for group travel.

In order to publicise this travel service, St Margarets commissioned Toucan Internet to construct a commercially successful website that increased their web exposure and assisted them with their business goals.

The key objectives for St Margarets coach hire website – along with intuitive aesthetics and functionality – was that the website was well optimised and Toucan’s approach has certainly borne fruit; after only a few weeks the website now appears on the first page of Google following typical and generic local searches.

Toucan Internet is pleased to be able to contribute positively to success of this long-established and well-regarded professional coach hire company.

To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can improve your online success, please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.

t: 01279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

How much web page text is required to please Google?

Having been optimising websites for greater search engine performance, whilst giving a quality visitor experience since the turn of the millennium, Toucan Internet has always favoured including text of reasonable quality and in modest quantity.

Reasonable quality in that it must be well written English, relevant to the subject, contain the researched keywords to an adequate frequency and be cross-linked within the whole website, or websites should the enterprise operate multiple websites.

Quantity is always an interesting balance between satisfying two masters:

  • the human master needs to be provided sufficient text so that the reader gets adequate information but without presenting them with a wall of words and without flooding the creative design underpinning the visual attractiveness of your site.
  • the search engines and Internet directories master that will drive large numbers of relevant visitors and customers to your site if it’s done properly. When developing websites that need good search engine returns we’ve always considered minimal text content to be a poor choice; after all Google and the other search engines read the words to classify your site so that they can recommend it to others and if you provide either too little content, or content with insufficient focus for that matter, the search engines will not be able to adequately index your site. As a consequence it will not rate or perform highly.

The big question is “what is the right amount of content”. The simple answer is that from page to page in your website there really is no hard and fast rule as some pages will require masses of content and others quite a minimal amount to be fit for purpose. However we’ve found from many years of online marketing experience that the bare minimum to get noticed to any sensible degree is 100 words, however if it’s practical get this above 300 words.

This recently published article lends weight to the argument that it’s good practice to give Google as much relevant content as you can practically include – http://www.sitepronews.com/2012/12/09/googles-stance-on-content-length/

 


About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP who has been active on the Internet since 1995 and runs a number of commercially successful Internet projects. Toucan supports client’s web build to the correct standards, not just SEO, and maintains on-going search engine marketing for clients that value high performing websites.

For more information.

t: 01279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2013©. All rights reserved.

 

 

11 factors that influence online success – Website performance markers

 

  •  Original creative design that echoes your brand
    The design should be in line with industry acceptability though pushing the norms so it’s not totally conformist. It must in every instance be immediately identifiable by any visitor as to what the site is about and have intuitive navigation whilst being avant-garde.
  • Proper Coding
    Proper coding to W3C standards means the site will be compliant with accepted world standards. Further audience specific coding is important as additional code needs to be written for “broken” browsers that have their own stilted interpretation of the standards. Bloated sites and pages stuffed with poorly optimised images and video will hurt your rankings.
  • Properly Programmed
    It’s no use using programming that is not supported by key sections of your market. If you are selling to institutions such as banking, you’ll find that their web browser security is set to “paranoid” which means it will block all but the most mundane code. Therefore any facilities on your site using Flash, Java or even humble Java Script must have fall back facilities using basic code. This is what we call degrading nicely. The majority of sites we see will not degrade nicely and in the worst cases page construction falls apart completely and the site becomes un-navigable as the menus disappear or become dysfunctional.
  • Properly Researched
    The Internet thrives on search results and king of the search results is Google providing some 80% of the worlds domestic and business search traffic. Key to success here is to use the right keywords in the right place in the right manner and frequency. Ideally research the key terms for your business by quizzing the websites of your leading providers in your sector. Then rank all the terms you’ve gleaned against real world search usage to determine the most effective. Then optimise the site using these terms. This search engine optimisation routine is a complete science in itself, but is well founded with clear rules. The basics are for you include a bare minimum of 100 and preferably 300 words per page. Make sure the prime keywords are used in the page title, meta description and titling on the pages. Cross link on the prime key words and ensure the key word density is between 4 and 8% per page. That will get you a fair way to making a reasonably well optimised website.
  • Good content
    Search engines are much cleverer now and, through what they call Symantec learning, know what constitutes a good site from a poor site and grades it accordingly. Don’t try and fool the search engines by overly keyword stuffing. A good SEO company will be able to optimise the site for both human and search engines without resorting to what are called Black Hat techniques that will ultimately get your site blacklisted. Google has expanded its algorithm that catalogues and ranks sites to include Video and PDF files so this is all valid content if used in the right way.
  • Relevancy
    This word crops up all the time in the search engine optimisation world. Keep your website relevant and on target. This strengthens the message and makes it clear to the search engines what you are all about.
  • Keep it current
    Stale websites eventually get side lined as they offer nothing new. Keep your site fresh with new and relevant articles. One way to do this with the minimum of effort is to have a blog running for all your news and take a feed from your blog to a news flash on every page. This way when you update your blog with a new article you also update every page on your website.
  • Link and Be Linked
    One of the biggest performance markers is to have a goodly number of relevant back links to your website. Backlinks are links to your site from other websites. Even a handful will noticeably improve your rankings. We invariably advocate an exchange links programme to our clients and provide visiting webmasters the exact code we want them to use when linking to us so they use our chosen keywords how we want them to.
  • Social Media Marketing Shares
    More than a complete seminar in itself is the boom phenomenon of SMM. If your clients Tweet, Facebook and alike, then add the SMM share buttons to all your pages so anyone can rebroadcast your pages to their followers. This way your interesting pages can be shared at a click with the viewers followers.
  • Correctly Hosted
    When a site has been coded properly it will use the smallest files possible so that the site can be delivered quickly and give a great visitor experience. Google monitors and rates sites for performance. All the good coding work can be undone by simply hosting on budget servers that are maxed out for profit rather than performance. There are free tools available to performance rate your hosting  for your site.
  • Marketing
    Promote and monitor your website on a regular basis to all the key search engines, the niche market search engines and directories and the local gazette sites. Use Google Analytics to monitor your site traffic and work out where improvements can be made. Use Google Webmaster to tell you where improvements can be made to your site. Test and measure all the time.

That should give some additional considerations for getting you the best advantage for your website on the net and therefore getting a greater return.


About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas who has been active on the Internet since 1995 and runs a number of commercially successful Internet projects. He supports the building of clients’ websites to the correct standards, not just SEO, and maintains on-going search engine marketing for clients that value high performing websites.

For more information.

t: 01279 871 694

toucan-beak-tag-150e: simon@toucanweb.co.ukw: www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2009©. All rights reserved.

11 FAQs on Search Engine Marketing

Having a commercially successful website is ever increasingly important to businesses as the website moves centre stage in delivering corporate communications, be that the sale of products or services, liaison with suppliers, customers, after sales support or integration with back office systems for integrated accounts and stock handling.

However if your website is not showing highly in the top search engine results for your prime search phrases your business is missing out. This is shark infested waters for businesses looking for quality honest suppliers to provide effective and affordable optimisation of their websites so it is found by the search engines with their chosen key terms. There are companies that promise results and either fail to deliver, fail to deliver consistently or use techniques that could ultimately damage your reputation or brand online by having your web domain blacklisted.

Below are a few basic questions that are routinely asked to help you fill in the blanks when considering how to make your website work harder for you.

1. What is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It encompasses a raft of techniques and approaches to increase the readiness of your website to be understood and therefore categorised by the search engines.

2. What is an Organic listing?

An organic listing is the listing of one of your web pages in a search engine and it is included and ranked based on the search engines perceived merits of your web page and website. More and more it is apparent that the good quality websites that deliver great content and play by the rules are finding favour with the search engines.  

3. What is Ethical Search Engine Optimisation?

Ethical Search Engine Optimisation or White Hat SEO is simply the use of good optimisation techniques that brings real benefit to the possible visitors to your site. The programmes that assess your site are getting ever more cleverer about rating what is good and penalising what could be seen as trying to take unfair advantage.

4. What are Black Hat techniques?

These are techniques that can be employed to spoof the search engines into thinking that your site is better than it actually is. Whilst we perceive that good SEO techniques should push the envelope, we strongly recommend stopping short of Black Hat techniques since should you be found to have used techniques, or have engaged someone who has used such techniques on your website, it can result in your page being penalised or even excluded from some or all of the major search engines.

5. Why does my website not show in the search results?

There is a raft of different reasons when this may be the case and here are a few for consideration:

  1. You may not have a search engine optimised design. Many designers create brilliant designs, but do not team up with equivalently skilled web partners who know how to write the code that delivers the site to the web browser.
  2. The site may not be written to be adequately readable by the search engines that you want to engender.
  3. The site or web pages could have missing or incongruous elements such that the search engine is confused about the content and purpose of the site.
  4. You or your web engineer may have strayed into inadvertently using Black Hat Techniques. And the site has been downgraded in response. You may not have submitted the site adequately as part of your post launch search engine marketing. (See http://blog.toucan-group.com/?p=17 for an extensive SEM program) .

6. What is Keyword research?

Keyword research is finding the right words that will deliver the highest number of visitors to your website possible. Believe me, a single “S” going from a singular to a plural can mean a tenfold difference in visitors.

To get to the optimum keywords the routine is to start with your instinctive choices, extract key words from top competing sites, then rank all those terms in order of real world usage. Then, by applying some instinctive personal understanding of the market place, together with an eye to how much the term is contended, draw up your final list. How this list is subsequently used is down to the skills of your web coder and copywriter who should work “hand in glove”.

7. How do I get recognised or ranked for specific keywords?

Apart from putting the right keywords in the right places you have to have the right keywords selected in the first place. Once the site is optimised and launched into the big wide world it needs to be promoted and this is where a comprehensive Search Engine Marketing programme needs to be put in place so the site is promoted and monitored properly. It not only needs to be promoted to the obvious search engines but also the niche directories and local gazetteer sites.

8. What is search engine friendly design?

The way a design is converted to a web page can be the make or break of a site’s search engine performance; a friendly design is readable and an unfriendly design is far less so. Certain techniques hamper search engines from understanding your site and some can stop a search engine from even looking at your pages. This is where you need a good web construction partner who you trust to understand what can be done and also to get the best out of the creative design provided by the designer. Here you start to see that web coder, creative designer and copywriter have to work as one for a website that stands any chance of success against the every rising bar of other quality websites.

Cheap doesn’t work – no matter how pretty the design.
9. Are Meta tags useful?

Absolutely, Google may ignore Meta Tag Keywords, but the properly written Meta Description is paramount to good SEO.

10.How can I achieve a top 10 result?

Follow all the rules, do the research and keep the site current and relevant. Promote under a structured Search Engine Marketing programme and respond to the feedback that the SEM campaign gives you.

11. Is cheap hosting a good idea?

Absolutely not! Taking Google as the market leading search provider; it rates websites on performance. Performance is measured a number of ways, some will be as a result of how the site was built and some by how it is delivered. Cheap servers deliver sites in a measurably slower manner for any number of reasons and your site will be ranked accordingly. There is free software on the Internet to monitor website performance and you want to be sure that you’re not “saving” on hosting but missing out on good rankings – it’s a false economy to do so.


About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas who has been active on the Internet since 1995 and runs a number of commercially successful Internet projects. He supports the building of clients’ websites to the correct standards, not just SEO, and maintains on-going search engine marketing for clients that value high performing websites.

toucan-beak-tag-150For more information.

t: 01279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2009©. All rights reserved.

Toucan Internet at the Dentists

Nobody likes going to the dentist; or do they. Toucan Internet LLP seems to have found favour with progressive dentists looking for success online.

Welcome to Smile and Wellbeing

Welcome to Smile and Wellbeing

Smile & Wellbeing in Bishop’s Stortford was Toucan’s first success when charged with getting the site favoured by Google with top search terms “Dentist in Herts” and “Dentist in Bishops Stortford”. Entrepreneurial dentist Dr Bhavin Bhatt said “We had a lovely site that projected our practice well, but until we handed control of the website to Toucan, nobody was visiting. Since Toucan optimised the site we have a steady stream of visitors and new clients, primarily from these search terms. We are pleased with the results and as such have referred Toucan to other colleagues looking for good web partners”.

See www.smileandwellbeing.co.uk

 
 
 
Hook Lane Dental Practice logo developed by Toucan Internet

Hook Lane Dental Practice logo developed by Toucan Internet

One such referral was Dr Kieron Khoorbhoor of Hook Lane Dental in Welling, Kent. This was a new practice and Toucan was pleased to get involved at an early stage and provide creative designs for the practice logo, business stationery, referral forms, and of course a rather unique website including a video of the practice.

See www.hooklanedental.co.uk

 

 

 

Northwood Orthodontics PracticeAnd just last week Dr Saba Qureshi’s Northwood Orthodontics website was launched. This site was designed to be in line with industry norms and project a friendly approachable practice that both parents and adults would feel comfortable using. The site is heavily optimised ready for search engine marketing and the domain name of www.orthodontics-london.co.uk hides no secret that we’re after some serious Google referrers.

For more information on Toucan and how we could help develop your business please call us for a chat.

t: 01279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2009©. All rights reserved.

Key Steps in the Preparation of a Commercially Successful Website

Simon Thomas 7th May 2009 BNI Stansted

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP delivered a ten minute talk to Stansted BNI on the key stages involved in the development of a commercially successful website.

By popular request the MS PowerPoint “slides” are made available for those that may want these for reference.

Download presentation BNI10mins200905i1PublicLIVE.ppsx 4.17MB
We suggest you save this to your local hard disk to run.
Note some browser security may convert this to a ZIP file as a security measure.

If you are at the point where your business needs a commercially successful website, either by creating one from your current cobweb or by creating one anew, just contact Simon for a chat.

t: 01279 871 694 toucan-beak-tag-150

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2009©. All rights reserved.

Free Money Promotes Winning Website

screen-grab-aralia-300Aralia Garden Design is a progressive garden design company based in Herts. Toucan Internet LLP has worked closely with Aralia on their current website since its inception in 2007.

www.aralia.org.uk

With the assistance of Business Link, Aralia gained funding to:

  • update more of their site to include intelligent content management
  • bring the optimisation in line with current search engine expectations
  • run a full marketing session on the site

This website has generated approximately £80,000 of business in the last three weeks and as Spring is in the air greater web activity is predicted.

Toucan Internet LLP is approved and included in the Business Link supplier brokerage.

To find out more we suggest you contact us about your website and Business Link to see what regional business grants are available to your business.

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2009©. All rights reserved.