Many business owners will here hear the phrase ‘search engine optimisation’ (or SEO) from friends in the business community or even competitors and may consider it as a route to increasing sales, but what is SEO? Alternatively, a business owner may have tried ‘SEO services’ in the past and found it either didn’t work as well as expected or was working, but no longer as effective – SEO Company Bristol explains what SEO is, and why ‘new’ SEO is working better than ever.
How to Hire an SEO Agency, Company or Consultant Explained by SEO Company Bristol UK
This is Maile Ohye and she works with Google Search. She provides great advice to help you hire a useful SEO and prevent hiring a bad SEO one who you might pay a lot of money without positive results or even worse one who implements shady practices on your website that result in a reduction in search rankings.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation – some SEO seems like black magic, having worked with Google search for over a decade, she has learned that first it’s not black magic and second if you want long-term success here aren’t any quick magical tricks that an SEO will provide so that your site ranks number one.
It’s important to note that an SEO potential is only as high as the quality of your business or website, so successful SEO helps your website put your best foot forward so that it ranks appropriately in the spot where an unbiased potential customer would expect your site to be seen.
A successful SEO also looks to improve the entire searcher experience from search results to clicking on your website and potentially converting a customer. A good SEO will recommend best practices for a search friendly site from basic things like descriptive page titles for a blog or small business to more complex things like language mark-up for a multilingual global site. To ensure that you’re serving your online customers a good experience, especially for those coming from a search engine, and that your site is helpful whether they’re using a desktop computer or mobile phone.
In most cases the SEO will need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.
Her strongest advice when working with an SEO is to request if they corroborate their recommendation with a documented statement from Google either in a Help Center article video or Google a response in a forum that supports both one the SEO description of the issue that needs to be improved to help with ranking and to the approach they prescribed to accomplishing this tasks. Requesting these two bits of information will help prevent hiring a poor SEO who might otherwise convince you to do useless things like add more words to the keyword meta tag or buy links.
If you search for google advice on this topic you’d see blog posts and videos from Google that clearly explain that adding keywords to the meta tag wouldn’t help. Furthermore, while Google uses links for page rank, our documentation highlights that we strongly advise against the approach of buying links for the purpose of increasing page rank.
One basic rule is that in a majority of cases doing what’s good for SEO is also doing what’s good for your online customers things like having a mobile-friendly website good navigation and building a great brand. Additionally, if you’re a more established brand with complicated legacy systems then good search friendly best practices likely involved paying-off some of your site’s technical debt such as updating your infrastructure so that your website is agile and able to implement features faster in the long-term.
If you own a small local business you can probably do the initial work yourself check Google’s 30-minute video series on how to build an online presence for your local business.
How to Hire an SEO – the Process
Now if you still believe you want to hire an SEO here’s a general process.
Conduct an Interview
Conduct a two-way interview with your potential SEO. Check that they seem generally interested in you and your business.
Conduct a two-way interview in the interview here are some things to look for a good SEO doesn’t focus only on search engine ranking but how they can help your business. So, they should ask questions like what makes your business content and/or service unique and therefore valuable to customers. They want to know this information to make sure it’s highlighted on your website for your current and potential new audience
What does your common customer look like and how do they currently find your website.
How does your business make money and how can search help for what other channels are you using offline advertising social networks.
Who are your competitors? What do they do well online and potentially offline? If the SEO doesn’t seem interested in learning about your business from a holistic standpoint look elsewhere. It’s difficult to do good SEO without knowing about a business’s goals, their customers and other existing marketing efforts.
SEO should complement your existing work.
Check their References
Check their references or ask for evidence that they have worked on websites in the same or similar industries or websites with the same technical issues.
You want to hear from past clients that the SEO was able to provide useful guidance and worked effectively with their developers Designers, UX researchers and your marketers.
A good SEO should feel like someone you can work with, learn from, experiment with and who generally cares about you and your business, not just getting your site the highest rank
Ultimately those techniques rarely last long, if they work at all, they’ll want to educate you and your staff on how search engines work so that SEO becomes part of your general business operations.
Get an Audit of your Website
You’ll probably have to pay for a technical and search audit, however, this will document the issues on the website and provide a list of the actions that will need to be addressed to improve the website and customer experience.
Request a technical and search audit. If you trust your SEO candidate give them restricted view not full or edit right access to your Google search console data and even your analytics data.
Before they actually modify anything on your website have them conduct a technical and search audit to give you a prioritized list of what they think should be improved for SEO.
If you’re a larger business you can hire multiple SEO to run audits and prioritize improvements. See what each has to say and then determine who you could work with the best.
In the audit, the SEO should prioritise improvements with a structure. One, the issue. Two, the suggested improvements and three an estimate on the overall investment. In other words the time energy or money it would take for your developers to implement the improvement and for Google search as well as searchers and customers to recognise the improvement.
The SEO will need to talk with your developers to better understand what technical constraints may exist for the estimated positive business impact. The impact might be a ranking improvement that will lead to more visitors and conversions or perhaps the positive impact comes from a back-end change that cleans up your site and helps your brand be agiler in the future.
Five, a plan of how to iterate and improve on the implementation or perhaps how to experiment and fail fast, should the results not meet expectations.
In the technical audit, your SEO should be able to review your site for issues related to internal linking crawl ability URL parameters server connectivity and response codes to name a few.
If they mention that your site has duplicate content problems that need to be corrected make sure they show you the specific URLs that are competing for the same query or that they explained it should be cleaned up for long-term site health, not initial growth.
If lots of duplicate content exists on websites, and often it’s not a pressing problem in this search audit, your potential SEO will likely breakdown your search queries into categories like branded and unbranded terms.
Branded terms are those with your business or website’s name like a search for “Gmail” is a branded term while the search for “email” is an unbranded or general keyword.
An SEO should make sure that for branded queries your website is providing a great experience that allows customers who know your brand or website to easily find exactly what they need and potentially convert.
They might recommend improvements that help the entire searcher experience from what the searcher sees in search results to when they click on a result and use your website for unbranded queries. An SEO can help you make sense of the online competitive landscape they can tell you things like here are the types of queries it would make sense for your business to rank. What your competition is done and why they think they rank where they do. For instance, perhaps your competition has great reviews, really shareable content or they run a highly reputable site.
An SEO will provide recommendations on how to improve rankings for these queries and the entire searcher experience they’ll introduce ideas like update obsolete content they might say your site is suffering because some of your well-ranking content is obsolete has poor navigation, a useless page title or isn’t mobile-friendly. They may say, “let’s improve these pages and see if more website visitors convert and purchase”. Or if they can micro convert meaning that perhaps they subscribe or share content improve internal linking. Your SEO might say your site is suffering because some of your best articles are too far from the homepage and users would have a hard time finding it. We can better internally link to your content to feature it more prominently generate a buzz.
The SEO might say you have great content but not enough people know. We can try to get more user interaction and generate buzz perhaps through social media or business relationships this will help us attract more potential customers and perhaps garner natural links to your site.
Learn from the competition – your SEO might explain here’s what your competitors do well. Can you reach parity with this and potentially surpass them in utilities or can you better show customers your business’s unique values? Again, a good SEO will try to prioritise what ideas can bring your business the most improvement for the least investment and what improvements may take more time but help growth in the long term.
Once they talk with you and other members of your team such as developers or marketers they’ll help your business forge a path ahead.
The last thing is that when she talks with SEO’s, one of the biggest holdups to improving a site isn’t their recommendation, but it’s the business making time to implement their ideas. If you’re not ready to commit to making SEO improvements, getting an SEO audit may be helpful. Make sure that your entire organisation is on board, else your SEO improvements may be non-existent regardless of who you hire.
How to Hire an SEO – Hire Us!
SEO Company Bristol works with small local businesses, national companies and international organisations in the UK, USA and UAE. We follow the advice given in this video and SEO best practices.
Information on how to get more customers to your website
Websites and digital marketing can be incredibly frustrating for a business. You can have the best-looking website, that you know will convert visitors to paying customers, yet you cannot get the “traffic” to it. This helpful article is full of information on how to get more customers to your website.
Get An Accurate Number On Current Visitors
Make Sure Google Can Read All of the Website
Secure Your Website
Use the Correct Search Terms or Keywords
Place the Search Terms in the Correct Place
Use Trusted Websites to Promote Your Website
Get An Accurate Number On Current Visitors
Measuring the number of current visitors to your website is imperative. Any changes, improvements or alterations you make to your website you will want to see how it impacted on visitor numbers and their behaviour. The first step is to install analytics to your website. Although alternative solutions are available, the standard analytical system used is the free system provided by Google. Simply search “Google Analytics” and follow the easy to understand instructions on adding it to your website.
The next step, or for websites that already have analytics is to ensure that data you are seeing is factual and accurate. There are many reasons why the data can be skewed. Adding “spam filters” to analytics blocks many of the websites that attempt to put false data in your results. Adding spam filters to Google Analytics blocks the robots and websites that would otherwise add their false data to yours. In blocking spam visits in Adwords you will have a base of accurate visitors in which to analyse and measure the impact of changes and improvements to your website.
Make Sure Google Can Read All of the Website
What good is that website page that you have perfected to drive traffic and convert visitors if Google cannot see it? Contrary to popular belief, Google does not see (or index) all pages of all websites. There are a number of tasks you can do to ensure that you give your website the best chance of being indexed.
The first one is a little technical, the others are not.
Now that you have created a Google Analytics account, create a Google Search Console account. In Analytics, link the search console (formerly Google Webmaster) to your analytics account. In “search console” ensure that your robot txt file can be read.
If important pages, that you know will convert visitors, are not indexed you can “fetch as Google” – in search console add the page URL (website address) you wish to be indexed. Google will fetch this page and index it.
Secure Your Website
If you think that getting a website traffic is frustrating, even more frustrating is if you finally get visitors to your website and then your website goes down. Protect your website from security failures and breaches:
Keep plugins and software up-to-date – hackers use out of date plugins to access your website and take control of it. Logging in regularly and updating plugins (it only takes a minute) will protect you from such breaches.
Use a password that is difficult to crack – I know, that you already know, that your login details should be unique and difficult to break. The trouble is that most of us know this, then don’t actually apply it. We assume hacking will happen to someone else and stick with our old favourite password. If you want to protect yourself from hacking – DON’T!. Use 3 random words to create your password.
Keep a backup – If the worst happens you can easily restore your website if you have taken a copy, called a backup. The hosting account where you keep your website can automatically create backups of your website on a regular basis. Daily, weekly or monthly. Backups can soon fill your hosting account and so set the frequency on how often you genuinely update your website. Remember, and set dates in your diary, to review the number of backups in your hosting
For each keyword, it offers an easy to understand matrix of the search volume, the CPC if using AdWords, the competition on Adwords etc. However, its best feature is the ability to see, by keyword and location who currently ranks for the search term and a breakdown of the SEO on their website, making it easy to find a way of jumping ahead of the competition.
Whichever keyword research tool you use, you need to consider the search terms that people would use to find the product or service. You need to think like a customer, not someone who works in the industry.
People will often search for a problem. Rather than searching for a “cheap plumber” they will likely search for “fix leaking tap”. In making the content of your website aimed at problems and solutions you will be providing the user (and Google) with the website content they are looking for.
Great content has three functions. Firstly, good content that addresses a problem for a potential customer and provides a solution, is likely to engage the website visitor and encourage them to continue reading. Secondly, once you have captured the attention of the reader you can provide a solution to their problem and start to convert then to a paying customer. Lastly, great content gives Google multiple opportunities to understand the message your website, or webpage, or blog post is trying to convey. Once Google understands the message, and if it deems it quality information, it will rank the content for searches based on the message.
The format of your content should be:
Introduction to the issue/problem.
Why this is usually an issue and the effects this issue can have for the reader.
Name and explain a number of solutions for the customer and how they will resolve the issue.
Why you are the company to provide these solutions.
A call to action
Place the Search Terms in the Correct Place
The structure and layout of your website should be such that search engines, like Google, can easily understand what products or services you are offering and in which geographical locations. This involves adding “behind the scenes” data that Google can read to fully understand the messages your website is trying to convey and which geographical locations you would like the custom from. This information should be unique and relevant on EVERY page and image on your website.
Adding your relevant search terms to the page/meta title, the main headline on the page, in the 1st paragraph of copy and in the call to action at the bottom are some of the areas of the website that Google will look for important phrases.
Use Trusted Websites to Promote Your Website
Using the power of other local websites you can borrow their authority and add it to your website. A good example of this are local business directories.
You can also add data to your own website to make it easier for Google to understand the location(s) to prioritise your business in the search results.
Because of the huge volume of content all wanting to be ranked on the multitude of search engines, it makes it impossible for something of that scale to be manually checked and ranked by search engines. This is why software and algorithms are put in place, as it’s a sheer impossible task to manually rank these amounts of sites with a fair approach. Whilst software is advancing at a relatively fast rate, there isn’t something on the market that can actually read the validity of content outright, there are things that can check the keywords count etc. and this is an element we try to focus on when creating our content. Aspects that we know are going to be picked up on by the software search engines use are always going to be a priority to use as these are the largest steps we can take into advancing the ranking of a website. If the software were to remain the same, it wouldn’t take a few months before people would manage to completely overhaul and understand every facet that the algorithms look at to rank, making the rankings void as the system would have been exploited by everyone wanting to rank their sites.
Because of this never-ending chase, we are always going to be searching for the new element search engines are going to use once the old ones have been removed or updated. It’s this process that is important to our process as the fundamentals of search engines ranking systems are always wanting to find the most supported and linked page to place on page 1. The algorithms are always going to change, which is inevitable for search engines to remain a valid platform for sites, which makes it tricky for local businesses to rank their website. We thankfully are one step ahead as we have managed to find a new facet, which Google’s algorithms use to rank websites.
Local SEO – Schema Data
This new element is called Schema data, which is the new component that Google especially likes to pick up on, through the coding in all web pages. What it is basically doing is thoroughly checking through a new source of code, which we are able to input a complete list of directory listings that gives sites we rank a huge advantage as search engines greatly favour sites with this Schema data. A simple breakdown of Schema is that it is a semantic vocabulary that search engines like Google can use to read your website. What we are effectively doing is manually inputting data that we know is effective, in a source of code,
In simple terms – schema data adds to your website a number of important pieces of information.
Your Status – It marks your website as a local business
Your Name – Business name
Description – What services and products your business sells
Address – The address of your local business
Profiles – linking together all of your social profiles such as Facebook and Twitter
Longitude & Latitude – of your business address
This means that on every page of your website there is hidden code that informs search engines exactly who you are, what you do and where you are – very powerful information for search engines and one that has accelerated the rankings of local businesses to the first page of Google and into the Google Maps.
Ranking Local Businesses – Directory Listings
Listings on directory websites is an important SEO factor for local businesses. Google has a number of directories they trust to provide to them with data on local businesses. As part of our standard SEO services, we list our local business in over 500 directory websites. Most of these are free, and as a local business owner, you could do this yourself. However, each directory takes about 10 minutes to create (10 minutes x 500 directories = 83 hours of work). They also should be checked and updated on a monthly basis.
When combined with Schema the power of directories for local listings is multiplied 100’s of times.
Use a Local SEO Expert
Regardless if you are a one-town business or a national (or international) company with numerous branches – Local SEO can be a huge factor in gaining leads and customers to your business.
Seeing That I Have Very Good Rankings, Can I Cease Doing SEO?
Let’s say your company has invested in Search Engine Optimisation marketing by hiring a professional SEO (search engine optimisation) agency and delegating selected strategies to be done in-house. The aim when you start these types of services is to make it to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
After a couple of months working with the SEO agency and consistently carrying out your in-house strategies, your website eventually ends up listed near the top of the SERPs for your important search phrases. After accomplishing this increase in the rankings, it really is natural to wonder, “Can I stop my SEO services and keep my position in the search engine rankings? ”
On the surface, it might seem like when you have reached the top of the search engine results, the work is completed and your site will continue to be near to the top for your major keywords. However, the internet is much too competitive of a marketplace for this to be true. Effective SEO marketing requires numerous practices all working at the same time to attain not simply superior search engine rankings but eventually boosting conversion rate by generating increased traffic from your potential audience. After the processes at work are halted, your website will slowly begin to fall in the rankings as your rivals with active Search Engine Optimisation campaigns take your place. It requires ongoing Search Engine Optimisation maintenance to remain at the top of your competition, Search Engine Optimisation is not a one-time wonder.
Here are important reasons why you ought to continue with your Search Engine Optimisation marketing and advertising or SEO services despite obtaining great rankings.
Remain Above The Competitors
The web allows anyone with a connection to advertise their business meaning competition for search engine rankings is tough. It’s been continually demonstrated that websites that show up near the top of the first SERP get a greater click-through rate and determined by what you are promoting, you’re likely to be competing with hundreds or even thousands of other websites looking to rank well for similar keywords and phrases. When you reach the top of the search rankings and stop using the systems that got you there, the competitors will begin to take the top rankings and drive your site further and further down.
Satisfy Changing Algorithms
Google is considered the most used search engine on earth and gradually, some might discover different ways to manipulate its algorithm with black hat SEO tactics to acquire high rankings. Due to this, Google frequently updates its algorithm to change the way it crawls and rates web pages. It is very important to keep up with Google algorithm criteria adjustments because a specific Search Engine Optimisation technique that once was effective can become unbeneficial following an update or even more serious, be eligible for penalisation by Google. You need to modify your SEO advertising and marketing strategies with each Google algorithm update or your search positions may very well be hurt by the new algorithm. The experts in an Seo company are always informed on the most recently released Google enhancements and will help you change your Search Engine Optimisation marketing for better results.
Produce Innovative Content
There is a saying within the Search Engine Optimisation marketplace that “Content Is King” as it normally takes brand new, valuable, and fascinating articles to maintain your audience or client base returning to your website. People consume information on the web at an unbelievable rate, especially on mobile phones, of course, if you stop delivering brand new written content, you might lose appeal among your audience as the previous content gets stagnant or irrelevant. Google is also far more generous to websites that continuously offer new material. Content creation needs to be at the centre of your respective SEO marketing strategy and an SEO agency can provide article writing expertise if your business does not have the time or the resources to get it done in-house.
SEO Marketing And Advertising Usually Requires Upkeep
As outlined by a search engine optimisation ranking study accomplished by Search Engine Roundtable, quitting all Search Engine Optimisation marketing activity after attaining the top of the search rankings can result in a drop in the rankings as high as 30 %. Various Search Engine Optimisation methods make an effort to build inbound links to your website so when you cease building links, Google might determine that your website is no longer lively or relevant. The same study from Search Engine Roundtable also demonstrated that companies who continued their Search Engine Optimisation online marketing after getting good search rankings enjoyed up to an 18 % increase in their search rankings.
Keep Up With New Trends And Technologies
The world wide web is constantly transforming with new technologies, trends, and equipment and it is important for your website to continue to be in line with the hottest changes in technology. One example is, a lot more people do online searches from a tablet or smartphone than a traditional laptop or computer, which was not the case a short while ago, and if your website is not mobile friendly, most mobile users will immediately abandon your site. As the technology shifts, you must reexamine your SEO marketing strategies to work with the changes and you could even want to make modifications to your website. This is yet another area in which it helps to work with an SEO agency because SEO authorities stay up to date on the newest trends and technological innovation and will assist you to adjust your Search Engine Optimisation plan and your website as necessary.
Keep Up With Adjustments Inside Your Business
Corporations often go through regular changes whether they are adjustments to their industry or internal changes such as new solutions to conduct business, new products or services, or rebranding. Whenever you complete a significant alteration to your enterprise, you should reflect the change in your SEO plan. Rebranding and new products or services are wonderful reasons for new content that will keep your current target audience engaged whilst bringing in new potential prospects.
Match Modifications In User Search Practices
The general trends in consumer practices tend to change over time and unless you alter your SEO approaches to support these adjustments, you’ll reduce search rankings, as well as your web traffic, will go down. The rise in using mobile devices stated previously is one major alteration of visitor behaviour that directly influences the search rankings and customers to your site. Another alternation in visitor behaviour you need to watch out for is keyword phrase use. The key phrases used to find a specific product or service may well alter as time passes and if you are concentrating on keywords that aren’t used, you will not rank well for the new search phrases. Continual keyword research is an important facet of SEO maintenance.
Match Changes In End User Practices On Your Website
People will get to your website through numerous paths and they each make use of your website in a different way after they arrive. Web analytics data enables you to view the activity of one’s visitors on your website along with how they got to your website along with what set of keywords and phrases they employed to get there. This information can assist you to enhance your general SEO marketing. Knowing what most website visitors do on your website can help you strengthen precisely what is working on your website as well as understanding what is not working to create a much better user experience. If you notice that most end users get to your website via a social media platform like Facebook, then strengthening what’s presently working on your Facebook page may help attract substantially more traffic.
Website analytics can be challenging and time-consuming to review for many corporations however the information it provides is vital for good SEO marketing. Agencies that provide Search engine optimisation services can offer web analytics consulting and advise or make alterations within your SEO program based on the data.
Develop Authority In Your Market Over Time
One of the ultimate targets of Search Engine Optimisation marketing is to establish your business as a sector authority in your selected particular niche. This involves constant article marketing that’s relevant and timely for your target market because it takes time to build your authority. If you discontinue your SEO marketing techniques and strategies and do not develop fresh new content for your specific audience, you won’t be in a position to grow your company as an authority in your particular niche.
Preserve Your Online Reputation
There are some things on the web your company’s online presence and rankings in combination with user feedback and remarks regarding your business make up your online reputation. It is important to sustain an impressive online reputation since most users look to the internet first if they need services or products and your online reputation will have an enormous influence on the opinion that users get of your company. Maintaining a superb online reputation calls for constant activity to reply to feedback and reviews, both negative and positive, or you will get overloaded with poor reviews which will injure your online reputation and search engine rankings.
Just because you have attained your desired place in Google’s SERPs, this does not mean the work is over. Your Search Engine Optimisation marketing strategy ought to be constantly implemented and adjusted to stay high in the SERPs which will help boost your conversion rate and Return On Investment. Ceasing all Search Engine Optimisation activity when you finally ascend the search rankings will result in your search rankings and website visitors to tumble because you will have nothing new to give your target audience and no idea of how your focused audience behaves on your website to improve their experience. A Search Engine Optimisation agency has the skills to not only increase your rankings in Google’s SERPs, but additionally put into action a constant SEO marketing plan to keep good rankings.
The software is cloud-based, accurate and can find excellent keywords. The best part is the software is FREE!
It has additional features such as “Google Autocomplete” suggestions and “Questions” suggestions.
For each keyword it offers an easy to understand matrix of the search volume, the CPC if using AdWords, the competition on Adwords etc. However, its best feature is the ability to see, by keyword and location who currently ranks for the search term and a breakdown of the SEO on their website, making it easy to find a way of jumping ahead of the competition.
The low-cost paid subscription option allows you have an additional number of searches a day and to save previous searches for future reference. This option is suitable for SEO and Digital Marketing Agencies.
5 Easy to Follow Steps To Protect a WordPress Website from Hackers
If your website has already been hacked this information is too late for you and you may wish to speak with a specialist company, such as ourselves, for getting your website back in your control. This information is for those who want to protect a WordPress website from Hackers, before it has been hacked.
Why do Hackers do what they do?
There are two types of Hackers. “White Hat” and “Black Hat”. White hat hackers normally get access to your website and delete or amend posts in the blog. They leave you with access to your website. They would say they are highlighting to you that your website is insecure. They would also say that they are acting in a positive and helpful way. However, finding that a blog post on your website, that you may have spent hours writing, has been deleted does not feel like a positive action. Black hat hackers, like their white hat counterparts, gain access to the website and lock out users. Normally, a fee is negotiated to get your website back.
How can you secure your WordPress website from Hackers:
1. Creating WordPress Website Database
When using “softaculous” to install WordPress you can take some basic steps to start to protect the website from hacking attempts. Hackers scrape the internet for websites that are built on WordPress. One tell-tale sign they look for is the “name” of the database created when you install a WordPress website. By default, this uses a prefix of “wp_” and usually has a series of digits after it, for example, wp_123. This is a signature that hackers will search for. When running your WordPress installation change the “wp” to three random letters (don’t forget to add the underscore_ after the 3 letters).
2. Your Admin Account Login Details
I know, that you already know, that your login details should be unique and difficult to break. The trouble is that most of us know this, then don’t actually apply it. We assume hacking will happen to someone else and stick with our old favourite password. If you want to protect yourself from hacking – DON’T!
Use a random password generator to create your password. If you are worried that you will forget your password then use secure software such as Google Chrome password or LastPass to remember your passwords. LastPass is a free software that not only remembers your login details but will automatically log you into websites, which is a huge timesaver if you frequently log in to multiple websites. It has a secure password generator and if you have a number of websites you log in to frequently, it will analyse the security of all of your passwords and make recommendations.
To often passwords are “created” by the user that are easy to type, that they think are random, however, they form a pattern that is easy to trace.
Another tip to manually creating a password is to use three random words together.
Answer these 3 questions:
An item in view right now
The colour of the top you are wearing
The last thing you ate
For me my password today would be “PencilBlueBanana” – random and not as difficult to remember as you may think.
Here is a list of the top 25 passwords that were hacked in the last year. If you recognise any on the list as yours – change it NOW!
3. WordPress Security Plugins
There are a number of plugins that you can add to your website to help protect you against Hackers. There are a number of different routes hackers use to get to your website. They will try to crack your username and password, they will use out of date plugins to access the back-end of the website, they will try and access the website through comments.
Here are the best plugins for WordPress security (in our opinion):
Wordfence – cost free.protects against a number of hacking routes including trying to crack the username and password. It also has an informative panel in the dashboard showing the number of attempts to hack your website and the usernames that have been tried and failed.
WP Guard – cost £99 – our own plugin offered as part of our WP Security package. Protects against all known hacking routes to your website. Call for more details.
Cookies For Comments – cost free. Ensures that comments are only left from computers with a “real” IP address. Reduces the chances of ‘bots’ spamming the comments to find a hole in security.
4. Keep Your Themes and Plugins Updated
WordPress Developers work hard to keep their plugins and themes secure. However, to get the full benefit of their hard work you need to keep the plugins on your website up-to-date. This can be a 10-minute exercise each day. If you have more than one website this can become time-consuming and frustrating. There is a free service on wpremote.com that allows you to add all your WordPress websites and from this one website check all of the plugins and themes on all of your WP websites and at the press of a button update them all. Up to 50 websites can be monitored and updated in just a few minutes. WP Remote checks and can update the version of WordPress, the themes and plugins.
5. Keep Back-ups of Your Website
The hosting account where you keep your website can automatically create back-ups of your website on a regular basis. Daily, weekly or monthly. Back-ups can soon fill your hosting account and so set the frequency on how often you genuinely update your website. Remember, and set dates in your diary, to review the number of back-ups in your hosting. A back-up of your website forms part of your website and the next back-up will back-up the website and the back-up, effectively creating a back-up of the back-up! Regular reviews and deleting out of date back-ups will solve this storage sapping issue.
These 5 easy to follow steps will help keep your website secure and up-to-date.
If you don’t have time, or the inclination, to take these 5 steps then consider the “WordPress Protection” service we offer from as little as £99 a month.
If you have visited your website and found a post has been changed to a message stating “hacked by the White Hat Hacker” or a “Dr SILnt Hill” we can fix the problem.
Who are the white hack hacker and Dr SILent Hill?
We will never know who the White hat hacker is – however, he or she is trying to do you a favour.
Dr SILnt Hill is known. In fact he has a Facebook page and advertises that he has hacked your website to the whole hacking community.
What is a white hat hacker?
According to Techopedia “A white hat hacker is a computer security specialist who breaks into protected systems and networks to test and assess their security. White hat hackers use their skills to improve security by exposing vulnerabilities before malicious hackers (known as black hat hackers) can detect and exploit them. Although the methods used are similar, if not identical, to those employed by malicious hackers, white hat hackers have permission to employ them against the organization that has hired them.”
The hacker is bringing to your attention the fact that your website is vulnerable to malicious hacking. Hacking that could take down your website permanently.
The solution to the White Hat Hacker:
At SEO Company Bristol we have the expertise and software to block hacking attempts. We can also recover your website from existing hacks from “the white hat hacker” and “Dr SILnt Hill” and all known Hackers.
We add the highest state of the art anti-hacking software to your WordPress website. We also add monitoring software to alert us to any attempts to gain entry to your website. Our team work 24 hours around the clock to ensure someone is on duty to fight off any malicious attempts to gain access, hack or take down your website.
How much does this service cost?
Compared to losing your complete business website or the cost of the ransom a hacker may change to give you back access to your website our services are low cost. There is a small charge for removing the hack, and a small ongoing monthly fee for our 24-hour monitoring and protection service. Typically, for a normal website, this is £99 set-up and £99 a month.
Don’t lose your business website – get protected today. Call 0117 325 1099
White Hat Hacker & Dr SILnt Hill Frequently Asked Questions
Why was my website targetted? It may be little comfort, but the attack was not aimed at you. Hackers have software that is constantly scouring the internet for websites that have left a hole in their security. Yoru website was found by the software, and typically, a post is added to your website.
Why do hackers do this? White Hat Hackers would argue that they are highlighting the security flaws in your website and they are a positive force. However, finding a post on your website, that you may have taken hours to write or that was driving great traffic to your website, has been hacked NEVER feels like a positive.
Can I get my website back under my control following a hack? Yes, the hacker has identified a hole in the website security. Our service identifies that hole and close it.
Can I get my content back? Yes, in most cases we can restore the original content.
Could I be hacked again? Once we have closed the gap in your website security the website is unlikely to be hacked again – that is until a new gap is discovered.
How often could my website be hacked? We receive emails from the WordPress security authorities approximately every 12 hours – everyone is a potential gap in your website security that can be exploited by hackers.
How does your service overcome the hackers? We utilise the latest high-tech monitoring software to monitor for potential holes in your website’s security. We also deploy a number of plugins to your website to block the various ways that hackers will get into your website.
Are there any other benefits of your services? Keeping your business website up and running not enough? The software we use also stops spam comments getting posted to your website.
Why is your service so low-cost? We have 100’s of websites that we are responsible for their marketing and rankings. Having one of our SEO customers websites hacked is hugely negative to their rankings, business leads and digital marketing. We have a team in place to monitor and protect against hacking for our clients. The associated costs of the security service against hackers is split amongst a huge number of clients and is therefore relatively low cost.
How fast can you implement your services on my website? We offer a 24-hour service and can have your website protected within the hour.
To find out more about our anti-hacking services, available across the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, South Africa and Europe please telephone +44 117 325 1099.
What is today’s equivalent of Yellow Pages? SEO Company Bristol Explains
From almost the day it was launched in 1966, until the end of the “Noughties” the Yellow Pages was the tool that most business’s used to get leads for their business. With the decline in size, advertisers, and users many businesses may be looking for the modern day equivalent of the Yellow Pages for generating leads for their business. What is today’s equivalent of Yellow Pages?
How to Make Money From a Website in 3 Simple Steps
Is your business website a “profit generating machine”? Is your business website the best lead generator for your business? If you feel that you should be getting more from your website this article explains the 3 simple steps to get your website generating revenue and profit for your business.
3 Simple Steps To Make Money From a Website
Be Found – Your website must be found for the search terms or keywords that potential customers would use
Be Chosen – The website should have attractive text and calls to action in the description in the search engines
Convert – Convert the website visitor to a paying customer
Be Found – How To Get Your Website in Front of the Right People
Many businesses, website builders and (some) SEO experts don’t fully understand how to get the website to be found for the correct search terms / keywords.
Some businesses may not be going after the correct keywords at all.
Most create and set-up the website to rank for BIG keywords (often referred to as “Vanity Keywords”), rather than keywords specifically related to the services or products that are categorised as BUYERS keywords.
The Best Keywords for Your Website
Often a business owner or member of staff are too involved in the business or industry to fully appreciate that people looking for their product or services may use different terminology. Some may let pride get in the way of getting potential customers to their website!
Best Keywords for Your Website – Example 1
Someone has passed away and you have to make the final arrangements. What would you enter into search engines, like Google, to find the local company? A straw poll of people gave the following as the most popular answers “Funeral Director”and Funeral Directors”. Actually, the keyword that gets the most traffic in that industry is”Undertakers” – getting 6 times more traffic than funeral directors. Although this may not be the term you use – 6 times more people do use that term and it should be incorporated into your website. Should you forget about “funeral directors” as a keyword? Absolutely not! Use both and get the traffic from both terms.
Best Keywords for Your Website – Example 2
You are moving house and want a company to move your furniture. What would you search for? “removal company” or “removal companies”. Real-life example – I did this exercise with a removal company. At the time the number of searches in the UK per month were:
Removal Company 6,600 searches a month
Removal Companies 14,800 searches a month
Over twice as many people search for “removal companies” than the singular ” removal company”. Their website didn’t rank anywhere for the more popular term and they were losing potential customers.
The most used search term related to the industry was “Man With a Van” (18,100 searches a month) – “Ah” said the business owner “we are not a man in a van, we are a professional removing company”. I asked, “do you not do smaller removals?”. He said they did. “How do you do them?”, I asked – “we send a couple of blokes in a van”. Pride and semantics getting in the way of traffic and leads to the website.
Difference Between Vanity Keywords and Buyers Keywords
If you are a Solicitor based in Bristol who specialises in managing claims after an accident you may be tempted to rank for big keywords such as “Solicitors Bristol” or “Personal Injury Bristol”. Although these keywords would bring traffic to the website, it will not be targetted traffic. It may be people researching, people doing a price comparison, it could be people looking for a divorce solicitor or a physiotherapist who specialises in post-accident rehabilitation. These are the keywords though that you, your staff and competitors will be saying “Wow, look at that they are number 1 for solicitors Bristol”. These are also the keywords that most of your competition will be targeting = vanity keywords.
A simple search using free tools can highlight more specific keywords that someone who is looking for a solution, service or product will use = buyers keywords.
In the example of this Solicitor it could be (and I found 100’s of examples) “medical negligence claims”, “industrial deafness claim”, “mesothelioma lawyers” and “vibration white finger compensation” – the total estimated traffic to the website for the hundreds of related keywords was 8 times more than to the vanity keywords.
Would you rather be number 1 on Google for 100’s of laser targetted keywords or 1 vanity keyword?
Free Keyword Research Tools
There are a number of free tools on the market to research the actual terms people are using to find products and services for your industry. The best free tool for researching potential keywords is the Google Keyword Tool. If trying to rank in Google then it makes sense to use their data.
The keyword tool is part of their ‘Google Adwords” platform. Search “Google Keyword Tool” and you will find the actual tool in the menu labelled “Keyword Planner”
The next step is to add the keywords that you think may be used by people to find your products or services. Make sure you use the singular i.e Keyword and the plural i.e. Keywords. Also, try adding a few words before the term i.e. best, cheap, fast, 24 hour etc.
Next, add the location. We want to get a broad understanding of the search terms used, so use “United Kingdom” rather than your hometown giving us as much data as possible.
Lastly, add in negative keywords that you do not want data on. A good example is the word “jobs”. Unless you are in recruitment, you want to find the keywords potential customers are using, not job seekers.
Hit “Get Ideas”
The results will show the number of searches in the United Kingdom, per month, for each keyword. Regardless if they are the terms you would use – they are terms being entered into Google and you should incorporate them into your website.
Free Alternative To Google Keyword Planner or Keyword Tool
In September 2016 Google changed the way the results were displayed in the keyword tool. The changes were made to the keyword planner to stop “bots” using the tool for automated searches. If you have an account on Google Adwords that is paying for AdWords you still get the detailed information. If not you get very broad data, which is irrelevant.
There are a number of free alternatives to the Google keyword planner that still give accurate data, by keyword. Of all the software we have tried, this one is by far the best free alternative to the Google Keyword Tool. CLICK HERE FOR FREE KEYWORD PLANNER
Simply add the main keyword you would like to use and it finds all the relevant keywords for you. It also shows the difficulty rating of ranking for that keyword.
Be Chosen – How To Get Your Website in Chosen in the Search Results
Where to Add Keywords to Your Website For SEO
By now you have a number of keywords that you want to incorporate into your website. Getting your website chosen is a simple task of adding those keywords to the important places that Google will look for them.
1. Your Website or Page URL
Long gone are the days where if you wanted to be found as a “plumber in bristol” your URL or website address needed to be www.plumberbristol.co.uk – however, your URL should reflect the content of the page and the search term you want to rank for. Google accepts that companies want to build a brand and put their website on a domain that reflects the business, not the keywords. Even though your website will be a brand or company name the web page address should reflect the search term you want to be found for i.e. www.BrandedPlumbers.co.uk/plumber-bristol
2. Your Website or Page Title
When you are on the internet have you ever noticed the grey tab at the top of the page? This is usually where you find a little image that reflects the company branding. It is also where the “page title” for that page is listed. This is also the “Headline” in the search results.
Best practice is to again use the search terms that you want your page to be found for, and also to add your company name and if it fits in the 55 character limit, your telephone number. Make it obvious you are a local company and make it easy to contact you.
3. Your Website Headline
The headline of the page, often referred to as the “H1” (the code used to assign it in web building) is the most important message on the page to tell Google what your website or web page is about. I would be a rich man if I had just £1 for every website I have seen where the page headline is “Welcome to the website”. Really?! You are a plumber or solicitor and the most important keyword you want your website registered with is “welcome”?
Good practice is to make the headline either a question or an informative guide type question.
Question – consider the person searching on the internet for an “emergency plumber” and you land on a page that has a headline “Are you looking for an emergency plumber in Bristol?” – the headline states exactly what you have been doing. It also lets Google know the subject and location that are important in regard to this page.
4. Your Websites First Paragraph
The first paragraph should also contain the most important search term or a variation of it. For example, it could be “emergency plumber in Bristol” becomes “emergency plumbing services in the Bristol area”. If your headline was a question, then again, the good practice is to answer the question. “If you are looking for an emergency plumbing service in the Bristol area then….”
5. Your Website Images
An image or photograph in a web page can break up the text, demonstrate examples or products. When adding the image to your website you will be prompted to add an “alt tag” or “image description”. This can be used to again add the main search term or a variation of the keyword to the code of the web page.
6. Your Website Copy or Content
Google used to recommend a minimum of 300 words on a page. Some SEO tools still measure the SEO score based on this number. Google now recommends over 500 words as an indication that the web page has relevant content. To be ahead of the game, and your competition, we recommend at least 800 words on a page.
There is always a balance to be considered. Enough content to rank well versus a too wordy web page that may put off potential customers. Again, this is a matter of preference. Some people may want to read every last detail of the service or product. Others may just want to know the basic facts to make a decision.
A good practice can be to put the most relevant and basic facts at the top of the page, followed by a “call to action” or contact details. Add an image to break up the page and then add further content for the detailed orientated person – and Google.
7. Your Website Video
If a picture paints a thousand words then a video is millions and millions worth. Google knows this and sees a web page with a video as better content than one without and ranks it accordingly.
8. Your Website Search Results Description
Your website title (number 2 in this list) is the headline in the search results. The “page description” or “meta description” is two line of text, 156 characters, that summarises what the potential website visitor can expect from the web page. It should contain the search term and a reason to choose your web page from all of those listed. E.g. ” Looking for an emergency plumber in Bristol? Branded Plumbers offer fast and affordable call outs 24 hours a day”
Convert – How To Get Your Website Visitors To Become Paying Customers
By now you have a website set ready to rank really well in the search engines for “buying keywords”. Your content is relevant and has some conversion tools, such as a video. We now turn our attention to the best practice for converting website traffic and visitors into paying customers. Essentially this means making you the obvious choice for the potential customer and making it easy for them to contact you.
1. Website images
We stated in the last section about coding the images for SEO. The image itself should also reflect the subject matter of the page. Show the service or product in action. This allows the website, visitor to see, in less than a second, that the page is relevant to them.
2. Website buttons
Make it easy for the potential customer to make contact with you. Contact forms are great, but they are not a natural progression for the website visitor. Add an eye-catching button to the web page offering a fast paced solution i.e. “Request a quote right now” or “Call us now and we will be on our way”
3. Describe the problem
Include in your copy a description of the problem your potential customer could be experiencing. This builds empathy and highlights that you are an expert on the subject. The emergency plumber example could be “Has the heating stopped working and the house is unbearably cold? Perhaps you have been woken in the night by the sound of leaking water…”
4. Offer the solution
Whatever the problem offer a simple and straightforward solution that invites the person to make contact. “Whatever your out-of-hours plumbing emergency, Branded Plumbers can help. We have local Plumbers a few minutes from you. We offer a professional service and our call-out charge is only £50 and this includes the first hour of labour. Fast, friendly and affordable”
5. Local phone number
In most industries and businesses, the customers would prefer to use a local company. There are the exception that likes to use “national companies” in the belief they get a better service or have a better right of recourse in the event of any issues. Local phone numbers are an excellent way of showing yourself as a local company (even if you are not). Display them in the top-right of your web page (this is where people expect to find them)
6. Call To Actions
Whenever you offer a problem or solution on a web page this is where the visitor may decide to contact you. This is where you need to add a “call to action” this can be as simple as “call us now on…”
Calculators are an excellent way of getting traffic to your website and converting a website visitor. Calculators can be used to work out anything. How much concrete do I need – use our concrete calculator. When is the best time to try to get pregnant – use our fertility calculator? What size skip do I need – use our skip calculator. Not only does this supply really useful advice and information, it gives you an opportunity to “pitch” your services. The skip calculator could ask you to enter a few details and then display the best size skips for your needs. It could also add your price. E.g. “to clear an area of 2m x 2m requires a 6-yard skip – our prices for a 6-yard skip are just £34”
We discussed above that a video is seen as great content by Google, but humans like them as well. Adding a video to your website has numerous benefits in terms of the time people stay on your website, the interaction with your company and converting a website visitor into a paying customer. The video could be a demonstration of a product, a team member explaining a service or a customer testimonial.
Conversion Through Re-Targeting Website Visitors
Your website is ranking for the “buyer keywords”, your content is relevant and full of the tools required to convert a customer and the customer is going to buy from you – except, not just now. They don’t need your product or service until a few days time. They just want to check a few details before calling you. There are any number of reasons why they don’t call you at the time. Even the best websites only convert a small percentage of visitors at the time of their visit
They don’t need your product or service until a few days time. They just want to check a few details before calling you. There are any number of reasons why they don’t call you at the time. Even the best websites only convert a small percentage of visitors at the time of their visit
Re-targeting website visitors is one of the most cost-effective ways of getting conversions. Tailored adverts based on the services or products they viewed on your website are displayed to the website visitor over the next few days on major websites such as Facebook, news sites, google partner websites and many more. Reminding them of your products or services and drawing them back to your website to purchase. This works especially well at conversion if the adverts have a small discount offered in them.
Conversion Through Reviews
Common practice is to read reviews before making a purchasing decision. Reviews are the new global ‘word of mouth’. Think about the last time you bought something online – you read the reviews, didn’t you? Getting reviews is easy to achieve for a business if they sell products on Amazon or Ebay or if they are a business that could be included on TripAdvisor. For most businesses the process of gaining reviews is hard work. However, if you can get a number of good reviews for your business the payback in sales is worth the effort. There are companies (like ours) that offer simple solutions to easily get customers to leave reviews for your business and, more importantly, add them to your website and other prominent locations when people are researching your products or services.
Is your business website an active tool to bring custom and revenue in to your business? Is it the best sales tool your company has? Or was it something that was built because you thought you needed a website and infrequently thought about?
Never has there been a better time for online or “bricks and mortar” businesses to get more customers from the internet. Mobile phone and mobile device searches are higher than ever and search engines, like Google, are keen to promote local businesses in their search results. However, running a business in your field of expertise does not necessarily lend itself to being an expert in online marketing.
Your company website should be the best way for potential customers to find your services or products, choose you as the supplier and convert potential customers in to paying customers. Your website should be the best Salesperson in your organisation. Your website should be a “profit generating machine” for your organisation.
How to Make Your Website in to a Profit Generating Machine
There are 3 steps to ensuring your website generates revenue and profit.
The structure and layout of your website should be such that search engines, like Google, can easily understand what products or services you are offering and in which geographical locations. This involves adding “behind the scenes” data that Google can read to fully understand the messages your website is trying to convey and which geographical locations you would like custom from. This information should be unique and relevant on EVERY page and image on your website.
Keeping your content “fresh” by adding news articles or blog posts will also benefit your website being found in the search results. If you care about your website and keep it relevant and interesting, Google will care more about your website. This activity is the start of “Search Engine Optimisation” or SEO.
To get your website found instantly you can invest budget in to Google Adwords. This is a “pay per click” service or PPC, where you only pay when a potential customer clicks on your advert and visits your website. The budget needed to be successful at PPC varies from industry to industry, but be warned unless you REALLY know what you are doing or using a professional PPC management service, simple mistakes can be costly.
SEO Company Bristol’s PPC management service generally out performs “self-managed” campaigns by 30%.
Meaning for the same budget, you can get 30% more leads in to your business.
If your company is found in the search results or the paid adverts it should be structured in a way that will convert the customer. Each page of the website and each PPC advert should have text which directly relates to the search made.
If a search is made for “red shoes size 7 in Bristol” the page or product on your website should be structured to be found in the search engine results AND give reasons for the person to select your website.
For example, if a page on a Solicitors website is aimed at “Employment Law” and they would like customers from the Bristol area, the meta data (the two lines of text on the Google search results page) should say something like “Looking for employment law Solicitors in Bristol? Smith Solicitors offer a free initial consultation. Call today on 0117 123 456”. Keyword and location specific, with an enticing reason to call. This approach will bring potential customers, ready to buy, to your website.
Once the potential customer has found your website for the relevant search, believe it or not, the hard work is done.
Converting the customer is as simple as adding wording or a video to the page that empathises with the problems they may be experiencing, offer the simple solution to solve the problem and why they should choose you to provide that solution.
An example for a plumber could be – do you have radiators that have cold spots, or rooms that never quite get warm enough? Having to wear a jumper in the house? Worried that your central heating is not functioning at its full potential or it not running economically? You likely have radiators that need ‘bleeding’ or your central heating system needs a ‘power flush’. This is a simple task that can be done in an hour or so. Smith Plumbing can provide this service at an affordable rate. We do not charge a call out fee and offer a same day service.
The page confirms the issues the customer is experiencing or feeling, offers a simple solution that build trust and authority that you understand the issues, and provides genuine reasons why you are the company to call to resolve the issues.
Where the conversion rate of a website skyrockets is when ‘re-targeting’ is used.
Regardless if the visitors to your website found what they were looking for on the first page they landed or they viewed multiple pages – on average only 2% of website visitors will interact with your business in making contact or visiting a store. 98% will leave your website and you have likely lost them as a potential customer.
Re-targeting is the process of advertising to the 98% that visited your website and didn’t buy.
These are adverts on Google and Facebook that follow visitors to your website, around the internet as a constant reminder of your services or products. Highly cost effective and lucrative. If they have already bought from you – it re-enforces your authority. If they have not yet bought from you, it reminds them you are there when they are ready to buy. Have you ever been on the internet and thought “Wow, this company are advertising everywhere!” – they are not advertising everywhere, they are advertising to you wherever you go – they are re-targeting you. This is a tactic used by most large retailers in the UK including Marks & Spencer and John Lewis – it is equally effective for local businesses.
How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency to Work With?
To ensure your website is a profit generating machine you need to work with the correct digital marketing agency.
They should offer SEO, PPC, re-targeting, video creation and social media management to ensure a consistent message across all solutions and to tie all of your online presence together.
They should only work with one company, in one industry, in one location – otherwise they are competing with themselves and you can only get one company to the top of Google!
SEO Company Bristol offer all of these services. We have a very high success rate in driving more leads to businesses and ensuring the company website is a “profit generating machine”.
The Top 50 Most Searched Business Types on Car Sat Navs and How To Get Your Company Listed
Search engine optimisation for companies and their websites is much more than just tweaking the website and hoping for the best. Today, SEO and digital marketing needs to get a business found in EVERY place a potential customer may look when needing services or products. Our latest service includes listing businesses on in-car navigation or “sat navs” to ensure that customers can find your location(s), potential customers can find your products or services when local to you – and build your brand awareness by having your business on their sat nav whenever someone is near your location.
Get your business listed on the “Sat Navs” of all major vehicle manufacturers as well as Tom Tom and Garmin systems.
Top 50 Classifications Searched For On Sat Navs
If you are an ‘Airport’ or hospital the chances are that your premises are listed on the in-car maps already. Providers of data, such as ourselves, to the map builders pass on this information regularly to ensure the accuracy and relevancy of the mapping data, so it is fit for purpose.
If you have a cash point at your premises it may or may not be listed, however using a paid service like ours to get your premises listed would not deliver a good return on investment.
The opportunity lies in the other searches people make using their in-car navigation system or after market ‘sat nav’, such as a Tom Tom.
If you are a restaurant, hotel or car dealer – these are searches that people are making as they are actively seeking your products or services. That search will likely result in a sale. Having your business listed on ALL the major car manufacturers navigation systems means your business has a chance of getting that business and a good ‘return on investment’ against our low cost fees.
If you are a car maintenance garage, DIY store or electrical appliance retailer it is likely that the search is for a “distressed purchase” where cost of the solution, product or service is a minor factor compared to the convenience of your location – being listed will very likely result in a paying customer. Giving an exceptional ‘return on investment’ for our services.