Tag Archive: Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Marketing

Fundamental health check and opportunity spotting for your website

Introduction

Keywords

So your website has been built and properly optimised for the search engines, directories and local search tools; it is now ready to be promoted.

This doesn’t necessarily mean engaging a dedicated search engine optimisation and marketing team, though the results from such programs are normally very effective. It does mean making certain that the world is accepting your new web site as you expected and making sure that nothing that could impede its success remains undiscovered.

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

You want to be celebrating the website meeting the objectives you set for it.

Don’t for one minute think that building a great website with quality content will work on its own. Your website is part of a bigger marketing ecosystem and needs to be linked in accordingly; linking typically with Social Media programs, the wider marketing activities of the enterprise, the blog, the traditional marketing, your legacy backlinks etc.

It’s at this stage where so many websites of great potential fail as there is a need to watch how a website is accepted or not by the search engines and optimise accordingly.

The Search Engine Marketing (SEM) performed by Toucan Internet is a mix of promotion, monitoring and feedback. The feedback is provided to you with the sole objective of improving your website performance and is focussed on specific outbound and inbound improvements in line with your performance goals.

We provide feedback in the form of basic reports and a commentary that you can act upon as you feel appropriate. It does give you the professional test and monitoring essential to any business activity where performance is critical. Search Engine Optimisation and SEM are essential and inseparable partners, each one feeding the other in a loop of continuous improvement.

Promote, Monitor and Feedback

www.ebusiness-cards.co.uk

Our mission is to see our clients get greater results and we promote to the search engines (SE) and directories in a number of ways. Since Google is the prime referrer nationally and internationally for b2b and b2c, this search engine is the prime focus of activity as it will return the highest rewards once successful. Google performance and feedback is reviewed manually every session in some depth. You will be asked to include a Google verification code in your website so we can gain access to Google’s valuable activity and performance data held for your website in their webmaster section. We will also need you to add a Google tracking code so we can access the visitor data captured by them and therefore provide qualified feedback.

We promote to the prime SE’s manually and the rest using automatic submission software.  We manually verify your listing on Google, Yahoo UK, Bing and DMOZ – The Open Directory Project.

We manually submit the site to local and individual referrers such as UFindUs and Hotfrog and subsequently check for a positive listing.

Once the promotion is complete, reports are compiled including one for all the automatic submissions and a more detailed one for the manual SE including a comprehensive analysis of Google’s take on your site.

We analyse these results in line with your goals and will feed back our recommendations. The recommendations should be considered for your SEO activities and will likely involve updates to the website so the site will play a stronger hand to the search engines, particularly Google.

The Typical Routine
For most clients we perform this comprehensive SEM routine on a cyclical basis with most clients having such a review every three months

After the first registration session the next recommended session is at the six-week point and then three monthly thereafter. This programme can be tailored to specific needs.

After each session you will receive submission and analysis reports. After the second session the results will normally start to appear and we can see clear indicators as to how to improve the results, if need be.

Whilst there is no firm guarantee of a search engine position without paying for it by a Pay Per Click campaign (PPC), Toucan does gain good results for its clients who understand that we have to work together to get the results over a period of time. We will of course also help you establish PPC campaigns if required.

Our Promise

  • We agree the goals for the website in the form of key terms & phrases under which the site is to be found in line with your website optimisation
  • We manually promote to the key search engines and monitor accordingly
  • We manually monitor in-depth Google activity
  • We manually promote to emerging directories and local search type websites
  • We provide a report of manual monitoring and promotional activity
  • We provide an online report of automatic submissions with history
  • We provide you an online Ranking report for Key engines and with history and graphs for multiple key terms
  • We provide you a list of recommendations in summary for future SEO of the site

As Toucan needs to keep up to date with the ever changing requirements of SEO and SEM this programme is subject to change as new practices, search tools and requirements evolve.

If you have any special requirements or would like to discuss these programmes in more detail, please contact us at:

Toucan Internet LLP

t: 01279 871 694

e: info@toucanweb.co.uk

Has your web developer covered all the SEO bases?

Search Engine Optimisation

We’re all trying to make sure our web pages are best placed in the search results on the key search engines such as Google or Bing and these days it is much more of a meritocracy than ever before; the genuinely good websites rising to the top for their sphere of authority.

That’s not to say that they can’t be influenced. Please dispel any ideas of the black hat techniques of the past and concentrate on writing quality websites that are genuinely better than their compatriots, better content, better written, better composed, better liked, better coded, basically fundamentally better by any real measure.

Today we’ll consider ten key on-page items that make websites perform better in the search results. In other editions we’ll go deeper into this as well as looking at other off page factors. Follow us @Toucan_Group for later editions of the SEO Checklist.

Let’s now look at the on-page items that we consider mandatory for good SEO in this session. There are hundreds of items to consider but here is a snap shot of ten very important on-page items. Don’t shoot the web developer if these are not implemented exactly as prescribed here in your site as it can depend on the brief you’ve given them and the mission for the site.

To check many of these you’ll need to see the code that makes up your pages. This is browser dependent but is normally under a term such as “view page source”. In Chrome on PC, right click and you get that option.

  1. Keywords in the Title Tag
    The title tag is the webpage’s second most important piece of SEO content and it therefore provides the search engine a high SEO ranking.
  2. Title Tag Starts with Keyword
    Title tags that start with a keyword invariably perform better than title tags with the keyword elsewhere in the word order.
  3. Keywords in Description Tag
    This is a less relevant tag than in the past however these still make a difference to ranking with some search engines.
  4. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag
    H1 tags are the next most important item to get right after the title tag. These send another relevancy signal to Google as they reinforce the title tag.
  5. Word Count
    The extent of the content on your page with more words expanding on the relevant topic is a ranking signal and will affect the Search Engine Results Position. A bare minimum of 100 words is a fair rule however 300 words of more will give better results.
  6. Cross linking within the site using Keywords
    In the text within the site use links on the keywords to navigate to other sections of the site. Google picks up on these as items that are of high relevance within the site.
  7. Page Loading Speed in a browser
    Google and Bing monitor page loading speed as a ranking factor. Poorly built sites with no code minification, bloated code, badly compressed images and alike all increase page load time. For an impartial test of your site go to https://tools.pingdom.com/
  8. Duplicate Content
    Never use identical content anywhere in a site, it will be spotted and the site penalised in the search results as it is a negative indicator of quality. This includes all tags, meta and image except the keyword tag.
  9. Image Optimisation
    Images with a page provide search engines relevancy signals and usability factors. Use the file name to be descriptive, use alt text to describe the image so that text readers for partially sighted get an explanation and consider adding title, description and caption.
  10. Page html errors
    Poorly coded web pages are indicative of a poor website. If the code doesn’t comply with standards then there’s a chance the search engine spiders may even baulk at indexing it altogether and not all browsers will render it properly. The standards book is W3C and they provide a validation tool athttps://validator.w3.org/. Once again don’t cane your web developer too much if there is the odd Warninghowever if there are many Errors, then you should delve further.

Further publications will deliver further manageable bite-sized advice on this enormous topic. All announced @toucan_group.


 

This information has been written and collated by Simon Thomas, active in commercial web development and online marketing since 1996, who understands the need to stay current with standards and methods almost week by week.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
@toucan_group
01279 871 694T Bird 72ppi

Has your web developer covered all the SEO bases?

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 quality keywords alone sufficient for good search engine placement?

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.

Are your SEO practices in line with Google Hummingbird?

New coach hire website finds top Google success within weeks

 

Coach Hire Herts – http://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

New coach hire website finds top Google success within weeks

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.

 

 

How much web page text is required to please Google?