Your Brand Matters – And This Is Why

You might not consider yourself a ‘brand aficionado’, but chances are, you’re fooling yourself.  Every time you search – no matter what you’re looking for – Google comes up with a list of sources it thinks you might be interested in.  Regardless of SEO – regardless of all the keywords and all the meta tags in all the world, if you’re represented with a brand or a name you recognise, you’re probably going to click on them first.

Go ahead – deny it.

 

This is important to bear in mind from the other side of the playing field.  If you’re a small business, how would you suggest appealing to your public through basic SEO?

  • Simple keywords?
  • Plenty of healthy links?

Sure – it’s a start – but if you’re going up against big boys in your trade or in your line of expertise, you may as well throw up the white flag now.

Throw that in with what’s happening to Google searches as of late – oh, yes – they’re changing again.

Recent data shows that Google is changing the game, albeit in a different way to their usual algorithm shifts.  While simple search queries may have previously brought up small, independent entities and blogs, broad terms are being met with bigger fish, trusted sources, informative articles – all in an effort to help make finding the right answer that little bit more efficient.

This also means that – with the dawn of the knowledge panel – you know the ones – searchers are being given the answers they need without actually needing to click anywhere.  This means that you’re going to take a further hit.

Industry boffins are predicting that the click-per-search percentage is set to dip from 60% to below 50%.  In layman’s terms, this is very big indeed.

This means that Google is keeping more and more searchers on-page – and unless you do something, this means smaller fish like you are going to get less and less chance to impact upon the public.

In this day and age – with Google evidently (and very clearly so) putting algorithms together to help searchers find answers easier than ever – and with these knowledge panel changes and the drop in click rates, it’s getting harder for smaller businesses to stand out against more recognisable names.

This why – while basic SEO and all the bells and whistles are still HUGELY important (let’s not forget that), you’re going to need to focus on your brand, too.  Perhaps more so than ever before.

The game’s changed.  It’s no longer enough to be, say, an ‘affordable painter and decorator in Penge’.

You’re going to need to be THE painter and decorator in Penge that Penge searchers are going to immediately recognise and trust.  It’s all well and good getting to the top of Google’s holy search ladder, but without that sense of brand – that recognition –, you’re doomed to get cast aside.  Especially when the searcher might not even need to click on you.  It’s all about increasing your chances.

So – what now?  How do you combat Google’s search streamlining – and the bigger fish?

Firstly – once again – don’t ever discount basic SEO.  It evolves, it works, it brings necessary results for businesses time and time again – and it conquers half, if not two-thirds of the battle.

That last little stretch is going to be all about getting your name out there in different ways – being your brand.  Developing a unique identity.  Be the go-to guys on social media – your clients are all over the internet,  you need to get them to your website.

This is where your traffic will feel inspired – and once they search, they’ll remember you.  Lead with simple, straightforward branding and marketing – dump the clichés and the same old spiel.  No one wants to hear it.

Take a look at yourself.  Your brand.  Would you be inspired to click if your result came up against, say, a world leader in your trade?  Maybe not – meaning it’s high time you shouted your brand, your ethos, whatever you’ve got – from every soapbox going.  Show people who you are – build that image – and let them come to you.

Don’t panic – but do be smart about branding, and be smart about it now.

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SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

Google Is Cracking Down on Hackers and Spam

Hacked WebsiteSo – the latest news from Google HQ is that they’re more focused than ever on making sure that the search experience for everyone isn’t just as relevant as possible, it’s as safe as possible, too.  This has led to greater engagement, reportedly, with website owners through their Search Console, and a major clear-up of ‘hacked’ sites which appear to be pushing useless spam content.  It’s all done in the name of the greater good – the engagement that Google is talking about is that they’ve approached site owners who update regularly with warnings regarding certain factors that could impact them negatively in search results.  That’s nice of them – you’re probably thinking – but it’s worth bearing in mind that, unless you’re regularly updating your web content (via blogs, tweaks, etc), Google is probably going to forget you exist at all.

 

It seems to be the Big G’s collective opinion that legitimate sites which update regularly are worth paying attention to – it makes sense, in a way – as the longer you leave a site unmanaged, the less relevant it’s going to be.  An untouched site is one which is going to look uncared for – and how is your potential traffic going to see that?  Not in a great light – so it’s not surprising Google runs with this ideal.  What’s more, if you’re negligent with your website to the extent that it is regularly hacked or completely over-run with spam or worse, Google will simply wipe your results clean off the grid.  That’s pretty much the worst case scenario for anyone looking to retain a foothold online, we’re sure you’ll agree.

 

Google are also actively approaching webmasters who are failing to adhere to the engine’s guidelines – which, it can be assumed, has helped them in eradicating ‘more than 80% of compromised sites from search results’.  It’s safe to say that just staying active isn’t enough to remain in favour with the Big G – you’re going to need to pay attention to what they deem fair and legal content, too.

 

Google are head-on spam fighters at present, but it’s worth remembering that the giant won’t see you at all if you fail to regularly maintain and update your website.  Let your audience know you’re active – make changes to your site.  Regularly update your security standards – converse with Google – and let them know you’re alive and kicking.  Getting the right sort of attention from Google isn’t hard, but it’s going to need your interest as well as your investment.

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

10 Google Partnership Exams Passed 2018.

Sounds pretty neat, doesn’t it — but what does it mean? Well for one, SEOmers gets to have a special badge on the site. However, it does offer much much more than that.

Earning Google’s Partner badge means that we are an online company that’s trusted by Google directly, trained and accredited in Google’s best practices.

We are not awarded by paying an entry or subscription fee. It is more than just passing a couple of exams, you have to PROVE what you can do, and have a proven track record that is verified by Google.

Any marketing company, large or ‘one man band’ that runs or manages an AdWords or a marketing campaign can attempt to qualify to earn a Google partner badge, free of charge, no strings or entry fees. You learn your trade and have a good track record of “getting your clients results, then take exams”. We have done this for the last three years since SEOmers has been running.

You can check for yourselves, but we’re one of the Most Qualified & Certified marketing companies in Suffolk, according to Google themselves, feel free to check!

AdWords Fundamentals – Passed

“You know the basics of Google AdWords and how to promote your business online.”

AdWords Mobile Certification – Passed

“You know how AdWords can help you reach customers on mobile devices in the moments that matter.”

AdWords Search Certification – Passed

“You know how AdWords Search works and how to setup your AdWords Search campaign.”

AdWords Video Certification – Passed

“You know how TrueView ads work and how to set up an AdWords video campaign.”

AdWords Display Certification – Passed

“You know the basics of Display advertising, and how you can show ads to your audience via the Google Display Network.”

Google Shopping Certification – Passed

“You know the basics of Google Shopping, and how to create, manage and optimise your Shopping campaigns.”

Mobile Sites Certification – Passed

“You have strong knowledge of mobile sites design, and an understanding of best practices and current browser technologies.”

Digital Sales Certification – Passed

“You know how to sell digital marketing services and products.”

Google Analytics Individual Qualification – Passed

“You understand advanced Google Analytics concepts.”

Google Web Designer Basics – Passed

“You know how to build engaging creatives with Google Web Designer.”

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

Suffolk News – The News Websites who are tracking you (a-lot)

So while we were waiting for our bank to call us back about a payment. We decided to do the same as 4,400 other people do every month,  in Google.co.uk, we searched for ‘Suffolk News’.

We found EADT to have the prominent results but while on the site, we were redirected to App Stores and strange looking websites. We were quite surprised due to EADT being so well known, you could argue that it is ‘Suffolk Main News Paper’?

In the terms of ‘SEO’ – Being redirected, without a valid reason is SPAM and very much against Googles own webmaster guidelines. You can read about that in the link at the bottom of the blog.

We decided to have a look to see what was going on, EADT wouldn’t add spam and add shady code on their website, would they? Why would they do that?

We discovered that EADT are very much tracking you, and sharing that data with over 60 third-party websites, while also using ‘sneaky redirects’ which is something Google hates, along with anyone who is annoyed with being asked to download the latest dating App, even if you are married with two kids and a dog!

So with our findings, we decided to have a look at the top 9 results in Google for the keyword search ‘Suffolk News’ to see who else is tracking you and how much of that data is going to third-party websites.

The websites we found in the Top Nine (written in ranking order) of Google at the time of writing this blog (4/4/18) are:

BBC Suffolk – Two Trackers

BBC Suffolk News BBC Suffolk is at the top result in Google.co.uk. BBC only have two types of trackers on their Suffolk section of the website. This is more than acceptable. They know how many people come to the site and where from, simple but good data. Their main tracking is Google Analytics which is very much the standard for any website on the internet.

 

 

 

EADT – Over 77 Trackers

EADT News Paper Tracking

The second two results in Google is eadt.co.uk/home and their eadt.co.uk/new pages. We found the website to be very slow on an iPhone and a MAC/Laptop. We found that if you are using a mobile device, you will end up being redirected to a website that tries to force you to download an app etc. We found EADT 77 trackers on the website with three of the tracking codes being extremely insecure. One of the most concerning tracking codes is eXelate which buys and sells data to various sources.

 

 

Ipswich Star – Over 100 Trackers on some pages

IpswichStar News

Ipswich Star is within the same group as EADT. We expected this website to be flooded with third-party tracking in the same way. Ipswich Star doesn’t appear to have as many tracking codes as their mother site but it is still an extremely high number. We also found two of the tracking codes to be insecure. We also found some tracking codes that are linked to websites that buy and sell data. We also double checked the website in their news section of the website, we recorded over 100 tracking codes on that one page.

 

 

ITV Anglia – 8 Trackers

ITV Suffolk

We were pleasantly surprised with ITV Anglia. We expected them to be flooded with tracking codes because they are paid for by advertising. We found the industry standard of Google Analytics which is expected. ITV has barely any real tracking on the website at all. We only found two trackers that record traffic with just two others related to advertising. The remaining four codes were related to having social sharing buttons or video players.

 

 

Suffolk Constabulary – 8 Trackers

Suffolk Police News

We only listed Suffolk Constabulary because Google ranking for a news-related term. However, we can safely presume that its one of the most popular news type websites around for crime or campaigns. We expected Suffolk Police to have a lot more tracking and data filtering services than we thought. We only found eight with four of the tracking codes being related to Facebook. We would presume Suffolk Constabulary would use social media to their advantage, if a crime happened in Sudbury, they can easily target people within 10 miles of Sudbury while not including unrelated people in Ipswich.

 

Independent Suffolk – 63 Trackers

Independent Suffolk

Independent Suffolk has over 63 types of tracking codes on their websites. We looked into what type of tracking they have, most of it is related to selling advertising space, one of the most known tracking codes is called ‘BlueKai’ who have been accused of invasion of privacy more than once. Independent are also using services such as ‘ScoreCard Research Beacon’ which is a well-known service that records anonymous information about users so websites can improve their content etc.

 

 

Heart Suffolk – 26 Trackers

Heart FM Suffolk News

Heart is using 26 tracking codes on their Suffolk section of the website. We have found that this website is not classed as ‘secure’ because they are not using something called HTTPS. Banks, Police and Google have all stated that websites should be using SSL/HTTPS. Heart appears to be gathering data so they can build up a database of user behaviour, it appears they are focused on tracking people who are classed as ‘buyer intent’. Heart do sell advertising on the website so we expect third-party websites to be sharing Heart’s data so they can show adverts of interest to a user.

 

Please don’t get us wrong here, we love data, we love tweaking and playing with websites to make them perform better for us, clients and their users. We believe using website data in the most ethical way, we don’t even store personal data other than ‘hits’ to our websites which will record the data in the points below. There is no real need to install tracking code over tracking code, there is no reason at all to send anyone to a third party website without the user actually knowing, and agreeing.

  • How many hits
  • Where those hits have come from, such as a search engine or social media.
  • Where the rough location is of that traffic,
  • What web browser they are using, mostly so we know a website looks and performs as it should.
  • We don’t record IP addresses for more than 30 days – We have no need for it unless it is from a spammer and we will simply block it.

There is nothing wrong with tracking website users at all but there is a very fine line between tracking to improve a users experience and stalking them. We all need to question websites about data, how they track, store and use it.

Google Webmaster Guidelines – Sneak Redirects

p.s SEOMERS use five tracking services on our website. Two are related to Google Analytics, Two ‘live chat’ codes which is more of a chatting system rather than ‘tracking’ and the other is called ‘Gravatar’ which is a WordPress feature for people who may comment on our blogs, so they can use custom avators.

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

7 WEBSITE MISTAKES TO AVOID BEFORE EVEN HAVING ONE

No one ever said getting started online was easy – but we’ve all seen a few disasters in our time.  Some of the ways in which we start out on the web really do us no favours whatsoever – and while some of these factors can be fairly easy to spot, a lot of them go unnoticed, astonishingly regularly.  Let’s take a look at seven of the biggest ways you can really set yourself back before you really get started.

 

Avoiding Your Homework

Too many people are keen to jump straight in and build a catch-all website and fill it with content that appeals to a wider competition – this really is doing yourself a disservice.  What you should be doing is plenty of research – honing your online presence to a specific need an audience to capture their interest and to provide them with a one-stop shop.  Don’t just guess – do your homework.

Avoiding Any Planning Whatsoever

This is a big one – plans do matter, and when it comes to ensuring that your business and brand survives online, you’re going to need to know where you want to go and what it is you want to do.  This is essential for communicating with web designers as well as your prospective clients – build yourself some goals, set yourself some targets and be ruthless – reward yourself at the small milestones but for your own sake, think big – don’t do this on the fly.

Letting a Website Fester

Yep – one of the biggest ways you can truly shoot a website in the foot before getting started is leaving it to its own devices.  You’re not going to start ranking highly for keywords people are searching for on Google unless you partner with a professional who knows what they’re doing, or at least work on it yourself – Anyone can rank “rent elephants in Ipswich” but if no one is searching for it, it is not SEO or marketing. 

Keeping Your Network Tight

You’re likely to be tempted to market your brand and your social media to your family and friends – this makes sense particularly if you’re just starting out and are unsure about what you might be doing – but you’re going to need to start branching out and approaching people who are beyond your network to get long-term success to come to you.  Facebook isn’t being particularly kind to businesses right now with regard to proposed changes to the News Feed – and you should take advantage of really branching out.

Working With the Wrong People

This goes for all walks of life and work – but work with toxic people who are more about their own success and less about yours and you’re only going to dwindle.  Partner with firms and professionals who offer genuine support – build mutual relationships for long-term success! You want the right men, not yes men! (or woman). 

Poor Money Management

When you’re promoting yourself online, you may be tempted to leap into something like Facebook promotions – but a lot of these social media campaigns – the funded ones – aren’t as simple or as cut and dried as something like Pay Per Click.  Facebook promotion, where you pay a premium for a few added likes or shares, can have a habit of getting a little bit out of grasp – so be careful!

Taking the Cheap Route

Spending less now on what might be getting sold as professional SEO for a bargain rate might sound worthwhile, but long term, you’re in for a world of poor results.  Cheap, poorly-realised SEO is hardly worth the money you fork out for – go with reputation and a firm that has a cast-iron plan – don’t be afraid to invest more in getting factors such as your long-term SEO sorted out sooner rather than later – or you’ll be paying for it in the long run. Found a website for £50 for your new e-commerce store? Are you sure the exact same template hasn’t been used in 163 otehr websites? Will it grow with your business? 

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

The Visual Differences Between Experience and just having the Tools

Cadwell ParkAnyone who has spoken to Dan over the years will know that he is very much into motorcycles. It’s no secret that he is often at race tracks with his mates, having a bit of downtime. (no pun intended, that’s his photo on the left)

On his late night social travels, he spotted a few posts from a chap called Steven Morgan. He was sharing photos of him and his son enjoying a motorcycle track-day, Steven was on his ‘proper bike’ and his son on an electric motorbike, It looks like a really good day out between father and son.

Dan spotted one of the photos Steven shared. He is holding his son, perched on his electric bike over one of Cadwell Parks most famous parts called The Mountain it’s the real reason why anyone on two wheels goes to the track, it’s simply amazing.  You can clearly see Dad holding up his son. Dan offered to remove Dad from the photo, he said he’d try his best but he isn’t a graphic designer, he just has the tools which is PhotoShop in this case.

Steven was really happy with Dan’s attempt but Dan wasn’t. if you look close, the crash barriers on Dan’s attempt isn’t that great, he isn’t a designer or claims to be one just because he has the toys.

The post caught the eye of Craig Grew from KeaKeative. He decided to have his own ‘attempt’ which took him less than ten minutes. He sent Dan two or three versions of the photo, each one getting more and more fine tuned to detail. Our point is hopefully a really clear one. We can all buy the tools but we can’t buy the skill and experience that comes from someone who really knows their trade inside out, and still keeps learning the craft they sell.

The photo went from simply removing Dad from the photo to ‘smudging’ the front wheel to make it look like he is moving forwards.

(Open images in new tab)

 

So, you might be asking whats the point of this post? In our industry, we are littered with a lot of businesses selling websites, marketing and all sorts. Just because you have the tools, it doesn’t mean you are an expert. They might have a hammer and chisel but can they really carve the fine detail of the Appennine Colossus in Italy?

The finest, sometimes barely noticeable fine detail of your brand or services can have the most impact. So when you want to ‘have a go’ at something, just because you’ve Google’d a guide or downloaded an amazing tool, just ask yourself… Is the fine detail better than someone who does it for a living? More to the point, will you even notice that the fine tune is missing?

 

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

Ranty SEO Blog post alert!!

We have been busy but sadly for the wrong reasons. Here are some screen shots of business owners Google Analytics. If you are unsure of what that is, analytics is a tracker to see how many people visit a website. Put it this way, if you have a website and don’t know if you have analytics installed then speak to someone because you will be losing customers every single day and not know about it.

What do these businesses have in common? They have all bought “SEO Ready” sites from local designers in Suffolk. These people are claiming that their wonderful design will turn into a cash machine the second it’s launched without any planning or historic review, it will have lots of traffic and everything will simply be amazing.

“SEO Ready” means nothing at all. However, a designer who claims they ‘do SEO’ can cost you thousands which can sometimes take MONTHS to recover after the damage has been done.

The one thing we see ALL THE TIME is that designers design, coders code but they rarely plan site launches correctly… That is the difference between making something pretty and understanding the consequences, before making ANY website changes at all.

PLAN EVERYTHING!! If you do not know how then speak to us BEFORE your designer could potentially ruin your online income. It takes us less than an hour to plan everything to work WITH your designer.

If you don’t know the difference between a good and bad designer then contact us. We will give you some questions to ask before you buy their services.

We’d like to state – We are not anti-designer. We are anti ‘have a go at it’ services that cause business owners big issues that people like us have to sort out. We work with some fantastic designers day in, day out.

So, take a look at the screen grabs below. This is what poor planning looks like, sadly.

 

Example One – a national website that was getting nearly two million visits every month. We personally helped the site improve from a few hundred visits to millions between 2013-2015 until the site was sold. The site appeared to have slipped with traffic after a year so the new site owner used a Suffolk based company to ‘refresh’ the site.  The unplanned ‘refresh’ caused the traffic drop as you can see below. The site owner waited for a few more months while the design company ‘had a go’ at fixing the issues. We spotted the issue within 17 minutes, sadly we weren’t contacted for well over 12 months so doubt we’d get the same PR buzz as we did back in 2014. The site owner decided to cut his £30.000 loses.

National SEO Rankings Drop

 

 

Example Two – A Suffolk business that accepted a proposal from a local designer who was chosen because they had so many mentions in a well known Facebook group called ‘Suffolk Business Stars‘. The agency that designed the site said to the client ‘you only get 500 visits a month so we don’t have to do anything’. The truth behind this client is that their average customer was worth £1500 at a minimum, they could only serve Suffolk, they will never get traffic into the thousands because of their localised audience. The new site was launched as ‘SEO completed’ without any research at all, they’d told the client they could manage the SEO which resulted in the issue below.

Sudbury Web Design SEO Issue

 

 

Example Three – Another local business, wrecked by a local Suffolk based designer. The average sale for this client was £150, they’d easily make 50 sales per month for their most high-end product. The peak season for selling their products is middle of March to end of April, with sales increasing to over 30 sales per week. Sadly. this income from their ‘shoddy website’ was lost due to being replaced with ‘an awesome website’ – The awesome website undone years of link building, PR and Social Media traffic… Purely because the designer ‘thought what would be best’ without any forwarding planning at all.

 

Long Melford Web Design

 

This post sounds like we’re having a go at designers, we’re not at all. We love designers, coders, PR companies and anyone who gives their clients everything they can to make sure that the person who is paying them, gets the return on investment, not run a massive loss. We love working anyone who needs our help, the same as when we call in graphic and web designers when we need their help.

If you’re about to invest in a new website then get in touch. We will be able to review where your website is now, and where you need it to go.

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

So WIX is awesome…Isn’t it?

Build uo
Many small businesses have either a snazzy looking website and no visitors or a lousy looking website and no visitors. The first problem is a result of an incomplete job by the designer/builder who didn’t engage in any meaningful SEO activity and the second is due to the business owner using a second-rate DIY site builder like WIX or Blogger that relies on a CMS patched together using 2005 SEO principles.

A belated welcome to 2016! We’ve Been Waiting for You

If you’re ready to join the present, you first have to understand why you should abandon the past. After all the past is a known commodity like that comfy old armchair with the cigarette burn holes and unspeakable stains. You need a reason to move. Well, here are a few reasons.

Subdomain Sites: If you’re using a web name like myshopname.wix.com or yoursite.blogger.co.uk then that isn’t your website, the content isn’t yours, you do not own it!

Want completely free? Well, most site builders will offer ‘free’ but on one condition…They slap adverts all over it!

Fugly Designs: Think of visiting a website as a kind of blind date. Even if you’re lucky enough to snag a few visitors they won’t stay for long if your site is ugly. Most sites using site builders like Wix or Vistaprint are extremely same old, rubbish and look like they’re from the 90s. They’re ‘ok’ for a kick start, maybe, but your conversion rate will normally be pants.

SEO, well, there isn’t much! Yes, if you want a blog then OK, a site builder will sometimes work but what about having a custom page/URL structure, what about custom Google Analytics code? Can you use canonical tags? 301 redirects? Can you do any of those without needing to pay an ‘upgrade fee’? (most self-hosted CMS’s offer as standard, and free!!)

Slow to load!! Google hates slow sites so why on earth would you put your site on a service that’s sluggish? Services like Vistaprint, Wix and other site builders are built for bulk, and quick cash cows as a sideline for advertising other services they offer.

Try leaving! Typically, unless you know how to scrap/pinch a website, its’ hard to move your site to a new host or provider, you often have to start again! Self-hosted CMS’s systems, like Joomla, can be taken over by any web designer or hosting company in the world without any issues at all.

If you don’t believe us, run a search on Google for things like ‘Top sites built with Wix’ – Most of the websites that are listed as being ‘stunning’ are not using Wix, they haven’t for months, sometimes longer! They’ve maybe picked up some traffic, found Wix to be a hassle and paid a web designer to do the job properly! Have a look, and you’ll see.

OK, you want more than WIX or Godaddy Site builders?

Rather than wandering the digital wilderness like some reject from a Jeremy Kyle episode, find your courage and embrace the present. Here are 3 of the most popular free CMS that can help with SEO and general website freedom:

WordPress: With WordPress, you’ll be able to easily add hyperlinks, header tags and the kind of easily crawlable content for your customers to find you. Your site will also load in a snap, look great and have a clear, sensible URL structure. If you can use Facebook then, you can use WordPress with ease! Any web designer will be able to take over and make it look exactly how you want!

Joomla: Joomla made social network integration part of the game plan. Messaging, event creation, forums, groups and more all play a crucial role in any effective website campaign today and Joomla allows you to integrate them into your site with simple, easy to use tools. A downside to Joomla is that the decent experts are few and far between.

Drupal: Drupal is technically advanced for the code geeks out there, loads as fast as lighting and is fully customizable and updatable. It’s maintained by a stable community so addons/plugins tend to be solid, unlike WordPress. You can trust what you’re plugging into your website, as long as its from their website.

The best free CMS’s enable you to create the type of engaging experience search engines today are looking for. Don’t get caught sleeping in the skanky old armchair offered by the WiX-ers of the world. Rise and take control of your company’s digital fate by using one of the best free CMS for SEO we’ve outlined here. Your online business will actually thank you.

This post is aimed at the small business owners who may be branching online. If you have a large website like a shop, consider using software like Magento or even Kentico. Your best option is to find as many designers that you can, build a list and get rid of the ones that you don’t’ get along with, drill them, find out what they can really do for your business. It will be more rewarding and cost effective that using any website site builder.

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

WANT TO BE NUMBER ONE? GOOGLE YOURSELF

Googling yourself SEO can take a fair bit of experience to get your head around completely – while it’s essentially the ‘science’ of getting your website as near to the top of Google’s search rankings as possible, it’s never really that simple (no matter what some Guru’s are telling you). The fact is – and this might come as a shock to anyone that’s been told they can sit at the top of the pile and lord it over their rivals from a throne made of amazing SEO magic – Google rankings vary from person to person. SEO is more about increasing your chances of being seen by the right people, never a case of simply climbing your way up past every other website to plant your flag at the top of Mount Google search.

Why is this? Simple. Google tries its hardest to personalise the search experience for every last user (at least if they’re logged in). This means that their search history will influence the searches people make – no matter how embarrassing – their location, and even their IP address. Google archives all of these things for logged-in users so that it can, in any hope, find the most relevant sites for each person. The only way you’ll ever see a ‘bare bones’ Google ranking is by actively logging yourself out of Google, wiping your cookies and browsing in private mode. (They still track your IP though)

This is a worrying trend with unskilled, sideline ‘SEO’s’. Some small businesses may find themselves throwing money at hollow promises to ‘get them to the top of page one’ without actually knowing the implications of how the process works. SEO is much more complicated than many people give it credit for being, and even the most experienced SEO professionals will agree. With this in mind, let’s face it – any firm telling you that they can guarantee you top billing for your given keywords isn’t giving you much credit. Just because you have a beautiful website, it doesn’t mean people will find it, ignore web designers when they say such a thing.

Good SEO practice takes into account the fact that Google personalises so much of its experience – anyone tackling it properly will be well aware that a Grandmother living in Scotland will have vastly different search preferences and habits to that of, say, the lead singer of a Queen tribute band based in Sheffield. They may well be searching for the same things, however, despite their differences – and the aim with good SEO is to ensure that it enables a website to be seen by as many people as it possibly can. You can’t please all of the people all of the time – it’s an old one, but a good one – and it’s worth bearing in mind when it comes to search rankings.

What should you focus on?

Check your Google Rankings, no more than once a week – They change hourly, per person, don’t get too caught up. You can spend your time promoting your website instead.

Log out of Google – Don’t believe your ‘SEO Ready Web Designer’ when they keep claiming they’ve got you to number one. Wipe your history, even better use a private web browser. We’ve seen a pattern of self-taught ‘SEO Ready Designers’ running reports on incorrect rankings. Some don’t even do keyword research, or look to see who is ranking already, i.e., competition. Sorry but that’s not doing SEO, that’s guessing.

You can either improve your conversions or keep checking your keyword rankings every five minutes…..which is more rewarding? People leaving your website within a few seconds will cause your keywords to go down over time, so get the traffic and keep it and then get more.

You know you can gather traffic by good old fashioned blog posts? How about a video? Even thought about sponsoring a local charity? Think more than just keyword rankings, think of ‘real SEO’ as gathering traffic from as many places as you can…..quality traffic, the right traffic that you can actually convert into a sale.

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.

SEO Plugins that we use for WordPress in 2016

We use WordPress all the time for our own sites, and clients. We are often asked the same questions about which ‘SEO’ plugins are the best to use for websites that use WordPress as their CMS.

We do believe that a good developer is worth their weight in gold but for those on a limited budget, this video is for you.

A general rule of thumb is ‘The less plugins, the better’ so if you have a good developer then use their skill set!!

WordPress SEO by Yoast

Download Yoast now and use it on every WordPress site you own. This plugin, in SEOmers opinion, is as important as the WordPress installation itself. It’s also extremely easy to use. Its great for starter SEO for the small business.

Download Yoast

RB Internal Links

Although this plugin hasn’t been updated in sometime, it still should be included in every WordPress installation. This plugin helps with internal linking which is vital for usability SEO

Download RB Internal Links

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is the most powerful and comprehensive caching plugin available. This plugin handles everything from combine and minification for both CSS and JS to HTML linebreak and comment removal, disk caching, browser caching and more.

Download W3 Cache

Redirection

Not sure how to redirect by using something called a htaccess file? Redirection will make redirects extremely easy for you to 301 redirect an old URL to the new one. Never have a 404 (broken) page again!

Download Redirection

Related Posts

Related posts help your readers discover your own related content by automatically linking to it at the bottom of each post. We normally show no more than 5 related posts under each page, this is great for helping lower bounce rate.

Download Related Posts

Regenerate Thumbnails

Images can use up a lot of resource, both for storage space and bandwidth. Optimising those images is essential to boost performance whilst not sacrificing the image quality.

Download Regenerate Thumbnails 

Social Structured Data

Hate the way social sites use the wrong image or titles when people share your website? This plugin sorts out all of the social structure for Twitter Cards, Facebook Open Graph and Google+ META data.

Download Social Structured Data (Paid)

Revive Old Post

This plugin helps you to keeps your old posts alive by sharing them and driving more traffic to them from social networks. It also helps you to promote your content. You can set time and number of posts to share to drive more traffic

Download Revive Old Post 

Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker will check your website for broken links. It’s great for not only traditional SEO but usability for your web users.

Download Link Checker 

Social Locker for WordPress

Do you have a post that gets a lot of traffic but you can’t figure out what to do with it? Use Social Locker to “lock up” content that can be unlocked with a Facebook Like, Tweet, or +1. Great way to accumulate some social metrics. Do not abuse this and only use for the really good content

Download Social Locker (paid)

Thank you for reading this article. You are welcome to share it

SEOmers is a Suffolk based SEO and Marketing Company. We're known for straight talking, no fluff approach about website performance. If you would like a chat about your website, please do get in touch on "01473 760140"

Did you know that we send out monthly tips and tricks via email? No selling, No marketing. Just quick tips on how to make your online performance work better. SEO & Marketing Email List Here

Do you want to see some of our latest reviews from clients who have great success by working with us as a team.