Call today:
t: 01376 322782 or Email

So where exactly is Number 1 in Google Nowadays?

Once upon a time, website owners were constantly bombarded with wannabe SEO “experts” namely from another country that could promise to rank them number one in Google.  A lot of people took it for what it was:  a steaming pile of bull; while some went along with this expert and may have got some rankings but only for a very short term.  After which, Google had wised up that yet another fool was gaming the system and dropped the offending website from its listings.

You don’t really get that nowadays, do you?  There is a reason for that:  The natural listings for Google now start halfway down the page.

It was an ideal world when you could rank your website with little or no effort without having to pay a penny, but since then Google (et al) came up with Cost-per-click where adverts were made for specific keyphrases and you just pay when someone clicks onto your ad.

To make things more difficult, the search engines other branches including, videos, images and business search.  Great news for the searcher, not so great for the website owner.

Let me give you an example:  We have recently had our patio laid so the trade is still quite fresh in my mind, so let’s do a Google search for “Landscape Gardeners in Colchester”

landscape-1

Ok, the top 4 positions are all paid adverts.  All well tailored to match my query and to help me make an informed choice.  Google have also identified that I am looking for a trade in a specific area so they’ve also included a map showing some of the local businesses in that specific area, couresy of Google MyBusiness.  But this is the first page, above the fold and so far there is no sign of any natural search listings yet.  So lets come down the page.

 

landscape-2

So Google My Business (Used to be Google Places) list the top 3 landscapers in Colchester and provides a link to their website and directions.  Below that begins the first top 10 listing of the organic listings followed by 3 more paid adverts at the bottom of the first page.  I might add, that the number one listing in hese results is a directory of tradesmen in that local area.

Lets try another example:  I do a lot of work for an office furniture supplier.  My son could do with a snazzy new student desk, so let’s try with “student desk uk”.

 

desksA slightly different format as I am searching for an object not a company but Google assumes that I might be looking to buy a desk so other than the top 2 listings being paid adverts once again Google have also provided a little box listing the top products for Student desks for the UK from their shopping channel.  These are also paid ads also known as PLA’s (Product Listing Ads).

the number 3 position in this case (circled above) is now the top natural listing which is Amazon, followed by Argos, Ikea and then Desk Warehouse.

Ok one last try,  another company fresh in my mind, Videographers in Colchester once again.  Zap.

Videographer SERPs

Now this is interesting.  A videographer in Colchester is named again courtesy of Google My Business (this is a full profile).  Below they list similar companies that people have listed for.  But the top 4 adverts are (you guessed it) paid adverts.

I should add that when I did the same search yesterday there were only 2 adverts listed,mainly because by early evening, most people’s daily budgets have been reached.  Even so, top of the natural listings is by no means top.

So why would you now pay to be top of the Google search results when in effect the top is halfway down?  Simple answer: you wouldn’t.

If you really are advertising your company on a tight budget, then Google My Business is your best bet.  If done correctly this will get you on the first page for your trade and area, but if top is your sole aim, then contact an AdWords specialist (preferably a certified one) and heed everything they tell you.

Hopefully by the time you read this, I’ll be listed on there as well.

SEO in 60 Seconds: Little & Often

I have just realised that my last Blog post was back in February.  In my defence,  since my last post I have moved into a new office, had the new half of the house decorated, and run a half marathon.  But this 60 second SEO tip is simply this:  regularly contribute to your SEO campaign.

Writing a tweet about your latest products, tweaking your Adwords campaign in anticipation for Easter or just take a good old-fashioned analysis session, schedule a small amount of time (preferably at the same time each day) to focus on your SEO efforts.

No one has the time to focus all day solely on SEO.  Just like my 15+ miles per week half-marathon training is set out over 3 sessions of 5 miles.  Doing one session of 15 miles, wouldn’t be practical and would leave me feeling very exhausted and less likely to do anything for the rest of the week.

Some things may require more time and energy, but getting into a regular pattern of doing regular SEO can make the difference of being up there or down here.

And yes, I do practice what I preach.  🙂

This is one in a series of SEO Shorts. For more short-term tips. Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS Feed

SEO in 60 seconds: Who are you anyway?

New websites are an issue with search engines.  They’ve found your new website, but for the first few months, they’ve got their eye on you to see what type of a website have they found.

Like any new relationship, trust is key.  Trust determines if your website is:

  • A trusted resource (good content that people appear to like/share),
  • Low quality (ok content but a bit samey and not much interaction), or
  • Spammy (links, ads, and or negative interaction).

Sites pop up all the time, and some disappear as soon as they reappear, so in a nutshell:  Are you going to be a good little website that’s around for the long-term, or are you going to mess us about, and then disappear?

When building a new website (or any website for that matter), it makes sense to implement SEO from the very early stages.  So use this time wisely:  read the search engine guidelines, get your good content out there and share it with the world.  And keep doing this regularly.

Sure, you probably won’t rank for any of your major keyphrases to begin with:  A couple of months, a few, 6 months, a year, but the sooner you show Google (et al) that your website can be trusted and not there to play either them or your visitors, the sooner you will start seeing results.

SEO in 60 Seconds: Keep your content compelling

You know you’re an expert in your line of business or a great salesperson, but how do you portray that to the outside world and potential customers?

Sure, some companies give away free samples so you can see how great their product is, but in cyber world there is something more valuable and sought after by many:  Free advice.

I’ll explain.  Search engines are used to give advice, answer questions and to find information.  the Google Hummingbird updates over the past year improve how Google handles conversational queries, for example, “Where is the nearest..?”, “how to…?”, and “where can I get…?”.

Therefore informative and compelling on your website is now key to the success of any online business.

For example an online boutique would maybe give advice on the ideal dress for a pear-shape. An Estate Agent, would review local towns and villages including local schools and facilities.

It does come down to time, but there are many ways you can deliver your content:  A 10 minute video from your YouTube channel, a post (or a quick tip) on your blog or a comprehensive downloadable report from your website. But spare the time and post regularly because it is worth it.  Your information will benefit your readers, demonstrate that you know your stuff and by doing so, Big G will recognise and reward you.

This is one in a series of SEO Shorts. For more short-term tips. Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS Feed

SEO in 60 Seconds: Keep it natural.

You’re working on your website, writing up some great content that contains lots of lovely rich keyphrases.  Just one quick question:  Who are you writing all of this for:  The search engines or your end user?

Sure the user cannot find your content unless they find it on the search engines first, but if you have written this purely for the benefit of getting your site listed, are your readers really going to stick around for manufactured tot that was merely spun off to keep Google happy?

Google has the reading age of a 14 year old, which for sophisticated software, is pretty good going.  So if you just keep your content clear, to the point and easy to read.  then both reader and search engine should be happy.  Keyphrases naturally occur and that’s fine.  But just don’t force it.

If you’re still unsure, give it to your Mum (or someone whos not in the know) to read.  If they haven’t got a clue what you’re on about then you definitely need to revise your content!

This is one in a series of SEO Shorts. For more short-term tips. Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS Feed

SEO in 60 Seconds: A Quick Word about Links

One way links to your website are good.  Very good.

But here’s the scoop: Getting your site listed in every online directory you can find no longer works.  Google saw to that with their Panda updates. The old tricks of commenting on other peoples blogs and forums is no good anymore as most of these have a nofollow setup, meaning that Google won’t … You guessed it.  So how can you get inbound links while Google make it so increasingly hard?

Google has and always will strive to become an resource and you should do the same, after all you are the expert in your field, right!

For example, If you’re a private tutor specialising in children taking their 11+, it would be good to write about the new changes to the exam. It would be even better to provide a few old test papers that children can complete and calculate their score.

You could also offer your expertise on other people’s websites.  Approach them & courteously explain what you can offer them and why they would benefit from your expertise.

It would certainly be more beneficial to your website and more fun, than wasting your time submitting the same information to directories that don’t even work anymore.

This is one in a series of SEO Shorts.  For more short-term tips.  Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS Feed

 

© 2000-2019 DVH Design. All rights reserved.