Most WordPress themes suck. Here’s how to pick an SEO Friendly theme for your ecommerce website.

Many parts need to come together to make an ecommerce website get found by your customers. One of the biggest problems we see with ecommerce websites may shock you.

Quite often we find that the WordPress theme used to make your ecommerce store look nice is holding your business back.  

WordPress/Woocommerce themes can be found online for free or you can purchase them for less than $100. These themes look great and often they sell millions of times to other ecommerce store owners.

One of the main problems with using a theme is that they can suck for SEO. Even the best selling themes can be terrible for SEO. So here are some of the things you should look out for when picking a theme for your Woocommerce website.

When purchasing a theme check out its page speed first.

When you are ready to purchase a theme for your website check out its page speed with Google’s page speed insights.

increasing your page speed insights score

As you can see from our site above, no website is perfect and ours could certainly be improved upon. With that said, ours is a lot better than the most common Woocommerce themes on the market.

page speed insights low score

With all of the above said, page speed isn’t the worst problem that we come across when we audit potential clients websites. But if you do use a theme and haven’t had your website custom coded you are going to be at a disadvantage.

Ecommerce pre-built themes are full of bloat

bloated page

Ecommerce pre-built themes are made so the author can make the most amount of money out of their templates. To achieve this a theme often has code under the surface that you will never need.

Bloated code makes the file sizes of your HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript much larger than they need to be and as a result, your website is slower than it should be.

If you are going to use a theme for your ecommerce store then you should look for one that has been designed for a single purpose. It may not look as pretty as some of the best selling themes and you may be limited in flexibility but at least you won’t have 10 lines of code to set the title of a page.

Prebuilt ecommerce themes often rely on the developer’s plugins too which can once again bloat your code and slow down your website

If custom building your website isn’t within your companies budget, our advice would be to hire a developer to look over a few themes of your choice to see if any of them are SEO friendly.

Most ecommerce themes have terrible on-page SEO.

On-page SEO is the practice of optimising your page so that the search engines know exactly what that page is about. For your ecommerce website, this could be a product or category page.

Let’s roll with a category page in this example. If you had an ecommerce website that sold “luxury leather bags”, that page on your website should be optimised for the keywords related to those terms that you think you can rank for.

Google and the other search engines determine what a page is about by not only the content on that page but how the data is structured within that page.

In the above example, we would use an H1 tag with the keywords “Luxury Leather bags” and then use variations such as “Women’s luxury brown leather bags” or “Luxury tote bags” in the H2 and H3 tags on the page.

Here’s where tonnes of themes mess up.

We have seen developers create themes that the H1 title on the page is linked to the logo. So for every page of the website Google and the other search engines are seeing the same H1 title on every page. This is not good!

In other themes, we have seen the opposite where every title is an H1 and so on. This is equally as bad as it doesn’t tell the search engines what your page is about.  

Ignore the top 10 lists for ecommerce theme recommendations

Before writing this article, we researched what other websites were recommending for themes to use for ecommerce websites and we saw the same themes being recommended on each page.

We then realised that the themes being recommended were part of affiliate programs meaning that if you purchased any of the themes recommended then the website author would get a commission.

With that in mind, we knew that these theme recommendations weren’t based on which themes were better for SEO but which ones paid out the best commissions.

We would recommend that you ignore these lists and do your research. 

How to pick an SEO friendly theme for your ecommerce website

ecommerce product page seo

Now we know some of the problems you get with pre-built website themes here is a quick checklist so you know what you need to look out for when picking a theme for your ecommerce website.

  • Your theme should be fast. You can check the page speed of a theme on the Google page speed insights website. You can also use websites such as pingdom.com to measure the speed it takes your website to load.
  • Your website should have the right tags on page. If you aren’t technical hire a developer with SEO experience to help you. You can use a website such as Upwork.com to find a developer.
  • The theme shouldn’t rely on complex plugins to work. When buying a theme the theme developer will list what plugins are needed for the theme to work. The fewer plugins the better.
  • Your theme shouldn’t contain bloated code. Once again hire a developer to look through the code to see if there is any bloat in there. If there is move on to a new theme.

Why getting the right theme is important for your ecommerce website.

In the world of ecommerce, you could be competing with local stores down the road or household brands such as Amazon, Disney and so on. Your industry is going to be competitive so any advantage you can get is going to help you.  

When we provide ecommerce SEO services to our clients one of the first things we check is to see if the client’s website has any problems that could stop them from ranking. By selecting a theme that is SEO friendly it gives you a good foundation for your marketing strategy going forward.

If you would like to see what our SEO agency can do for your business please get in touch and we can provide you with a free video audit showing some of the things that can be done to improve your ecommerce stores online traffic and sales.

How to optimise your ecommerce product pages to rank higher and sell more

As an ecommerce SEO agency we work with many clients and we see the same mistakes being applied across their websites. One mistake that we often see is ecommerce websites not optimising their product pages.

Some websites simply neglect the product page, while others have too many products to spend time optimising them all. We understand this completely, but for ambitious brands who want to squeeze as many sales as possible out of their ecommerce website, this is the post for you.

Optimising your ecommerce product page will usually be an afterthought, but by doing so you are going to increase your search engine visibility and generate more sales for your business.

Here are some of our tips for optimising your ecommerce product pages.

Target long-tail keywords

The majority of website traffic for ecommerce websites is going to come through optimising the homepage and your ecommerce product pages. The keywords you will try to rank for on these pages will be high volume searches with high levels of competition.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are usually easier to rank for and when you optimise your ecommerce product pages you can often rank for them without too much effort.

Look at the following example:

The results for this page are very competitive and as you can expect the traffic generated is also high.

However, if we optimise the product page for a long-tail keyword such as “Adidas Adizero Adios pro running shoes” you can see brand new website ranking on the first page results.

While long-tail traffic won’t bring in anywhere near the volume from short-tail keywords it’s still important to optimise for them, not only from an SEO point of view but also from a conversion point too. Someone looking for running shoes is far less likely to buy than someone looking for Adidas Adizero Adios pro running shoes.

Optimise URL

Most ecommerce websites will have a friendly URL structure these days but we still see on the odd occasion a site that doesn’t have an optimised URL structure in place.

With some ecommerce websites having many products it can be tempting to let the ecommerce content management system generate URLs however taking that extra bit of time will help with your search rankings.

Compare these two URLs:

  • www.yourwebsite.co.uk/gymwear/product-id8867534/
  • www.yourwebsite.co.uk/gymwear/mens-compression-shorts/

The second URL is far more friendly and will help your search engine visibility on the search results page too.

Optimise your product page title

Although it is believed that click-through rate doesn’t improve your website’s ranking (source), getting more qualified clicks on your website is going to improve your conversion rate.

Optimising your page title is going to entice users to click on your website in the search results rather than a competitors.

To optimise your page title you could include:

  • Numbers within the title. 
  • Use brackets within your title. 
  • Use the current calendar year within your title.
  • Use sales or discounts in your title.

With your page title, it’s one of the first things a user sees when using a search engine to find a product you sell. Getting creative with your page titles will increase the clicks your website gets.

Optimise meta descriptions

Your product page meta descriptions are another area that you will want to focus on to improve the organic traffic to your ecommerce store. When writing a meta description for your product think of your potential customers and what they will want when searching for that particular product.

With your customer in mind, you will need to create something that reaches out to them. You should include your long-tail keywords in this description too. It’s been argued that the meta description isn’t a ranking factor, but including your keywords within here will lead them to be bolded which will increase your click-through rate.

Writing meta descriptions and titles can be difficult because there are limits to the length of them and they can get cut off. Recently Google has also been showing their own meta titles for pages so in the future you may not need to write them at all, but for the time being you are missing out if you aren’t optimising your meta titles and descriptions.

Write a unique product description

This is the big tip in this article. If you take nothing else away from this article be sure to remember and implement this tip.

Write your own product descriptions.

Once again we understand why ecommerce brands don’t write their own product descriptions and go with the stock manufacturers descriptions as it takes a lot of time to do so.

However, if you invest the time your product pages are now going to be different from your competitors and you are providing more value to your customers too. This is exactly what Google wants.

Writing your own product descriptions can be tedious and if you get it wrong it could also affect your conversion rates. If you don’t want to write your own product descriptions you could look to hire someone else to do this for you. You can check websites such as:

  • Freelancer
  • Upwork
  • Fiverr

Paying someone else to do this for you isn’t expensive and it will make a difference to your store’s online sales.

Optimise your product images

Optimising your product images not only improves the user’s experience but adding the right meta tags to your images can allow them to be found in image searches while it can also help disabled users understand your website better.

You can optimise the images on your product pages in the following ways:

  • Have an image gallery that shows the product from multiple directions.
  • Rename the image from images44234.jpg to your keyword such as AdidasMensRunningShoe.jpg
  • Optimise your alt tag on the image to help with website accessibility. Instead of adding your keyword to the alt tag or even worse leaving it empty, add descriptive text so that screen readers can understand the image too. An example of this could be “White men’s running shoes with the famous 3 stripes of Adidas in Black.”

The accessibility of your website may not be something you have considered but it can cost billions per year as most websites aren’t accessible and people with disabilities can’t access them.

Demonstrate the product

Most product pages consist of an image, a few hundred words of text and a buy now button. For some products, this may be enough, but if your ecommerce store sells high-end products or products that be complicated to use, then demonstrate them.

You can create a Youtube video and embed it into your product page showing your product being used. This doesn’t require too much effort and if you don’t have a professional production team you can still create useful videos on a budget.

Product demonstrations will not only help the user to see the product in action but it will also build trust with your brand and increase your online sales.

Use a third-party review plugin

Selling online is becoming more difficult because anyone can throw up a landing page and start sending traffic to it via paid ads very quickly. Unfortunately, users have been wrapped off by shady companies doing this and not sending the goods or they have drop shipped them from sites where their product inventory is in another country.

Your potential customers may have been burned in the past so buying from a new store is a risk to them. Show your customers they can trust you by showing reviews from third-party websites.

Reviews from past buyers will settle any nerves someone may have from shopping with you and it will increase your conversions as it provides your product with social proof.

Potential customers will land on your product page, see it has 100+ reviews and they will then have a fear of missing out and it will help to convert them into paying customers.

Structured data

I’ve read a few SEO tests where structured data has been shown to help improve the rankings of a page, and I’ve read a few others that have shown no difference. So adding structured data to your product page may not have a direct ranking factor.

But, it may help with your click-through rate.

Adding structured data to show the items price, how many reviews it has or if it’s in stock will give your listing more real estate on the search results page and will improve your click-through rate to that product page.

I recently read a post on structured data and the best plugins to implement them on your website, so if you are interested in that check out this article from Rich Snippets.

Bonus tip – Collect emails

This final tip isn’t going to help with your search rankings for your product page, but it will help with your overall sales.

Eventually, you are going to run out of stock for your top-selling products. Instead of losing all of these potential sales you can set up a method of collecting email addresses to alert the customer when that product will be back in stock.

If you aren’t collecting emails for your ecommerce store you are missing out on revenue. We recommend using Klaviyo if you haven’t collected emails in the past.

Optimising your ecommerce product pages.

Your product pages won’t bring in as much traffic as your homepage, your blogs or your category pages but they will bring in long-tail, high converting traffic if you optimise them correctly.

If you would like help marketing your ecommerce store, check out our ecommerce SEO services page.

Lead generation tips for self storage companies

Generating leads for your self storage business is very important especially when the competition is fierce. Even when your storage unit capacity is reaching full you should still be generating leads for your self storage business.

Long leases can suddenly be cut short and if you don’t have a lead generation system in place then you could be left scrambling to pay the bills and get your storage units filled.

Using multiple channels

With any business you should have multiple channels of building leads, if one of those channels stops working then at least you have other avenues to turn to.

Not only that, but different types of users will be found via different channels and if you want to fill your storage containers, taking an omnipresence marketing approach (being everywhere) will help.

Now we know you can’t be everywhere if you do the work yourself, so as a storage company you will more than likely have to outsource different parts of your marketing to marketing agencies.

In this post, we will look at some of the different ways you can generate leads for your business.

Buyer Personas

b2b buyer personas

You need to know who your customers are to sell to them. A recent survey carried out by the self storage association found that over 87% of self storage customers are over the age of 35. With 42% of these customers being between the age of 50 and 65. With that knowledge alone you can start to build a picture of where your users may hang out online.

For example, you probably know that 50 to 65-year-olds aren’t spending their time on Snapchat or Instagram.  Using a buyer persona is a great way of working out who your ideal customer is and how you can create a marketing message to reach them.  

How to get local storage clients.

In the SSA’s study they found out that 86% of storage clients would only travel 30 minutes or less to a storage container, so with this in mind your customers are local.

To reach local customers you have a variety of options including Leaflets, Networking, SEO, Social Media and PPC marketing.

Leaflets and flyers.

As a digital marketing agency you may find it strange that we would recommend such an old school approach to marketing, but using the buyer persona above we know that the majority of your customers will be older users.

Older users may have difficulty accessing the internet for a variety of reasons so you could be missing out on these customers. A good way to reach them would be through flyers and leaflets. There are many leaflet websites online that come with templates that can be easily filled out with your details and you could put out an ad in the local paper hiring someone to deliver these leaflets.

Search engine optimisation

seo for self storage

SEO for Self Storage companies is a great way of generating leads for your business. Self storage is a topic that the majority of people search for on their phones and if your business comes up in the local area and you are competitively priced there is a high chance that you can win that customer.

Organic SEO can send highly qualified traffic to your website and when you rank in the top positions you will generate many leads for your business, especially if you have more than one location as you can dominate every area if you have optimised your self storage gmb listing, optimised your website and invested in link building services.

SEO isn’t cheap, but if you do it right the leads generated will be worth the investment.

Networking

Networking doesn’t have to mean turning up to those terrible “business breakfasts” where everyone tries to sell the kitchen sink and more. No, it means talking to related businesses that aren’t competitors in the local area and asking them to refer customers to you and you can refer customers back to them.

As a self storage company, you could talk to estate agents, moving companies and mortgage advisors as we know from the SSA’s study that 32% of storage customers are involved in moving homes. You could then offer them a fee for every referral they send to you.

If you don’t want to pay a fee you could also offer to send clients their way too, but you would have to negotiate that with them.

Social media for self storage companies

Social media is often used by self storage companies as they post organic content often about the storage locations they have, but this probably isn’t going to generate enough business for the amount of effort that would be put into it.

Instead, what you can do is invest in paid social media ads as you can then target people in your local area and also specialise the marketing message to them.

If you were to use Facebook ads you could run a campaign and show it to users who were:

50 Years Old.

Worked in the NHS

Recently Divorced.

Moving Homes.

Live within 30 miles of your storage location.

Facebook is very powerful and in the example above you could run it with a 10% discount for NHS staff.

You can also use Facebook or Twitter to run something called retargeting ads which you can show to people who have visited your website but they haven’t gotten in touch with you.  

Retargeting is powerful because if someone has seen your website and took the time to consider you as a storage provider but hasn’t hired a storage unit yet, you can get out in front of them multiple times.

If a potential customer sees your marketing messages a few times there is a higher chance of them becoming a customer than them going to one of your competitors.  

Retargeting ads are also cheaper than running standard ads too and have a higher conversion rate.

Pay Per Click marketing for self storage companies

Pay per click ads are exactly as they sound. You set up adverts when someone searches for storage in your area and your ad shows to them. If the person then clicks on your advert you get charged a fee which you can set a budget for.

Pay per click ads can be run on all the major search engines such as Google, Bing and Duck Duck Go and they are a great way of getting clients right away.

The only problem with these types of ads is that you can also lose money very quickly if you don’t know what you are doing. They can also be expensive and your competitors can click on your ads to get you to waste money.

With that said if you need leads for your business quickly, PPC ads are a great choice. Just make sure to hire a PPC agency that knows what they are doing.

Conclusion

Using an omnichannel approach to generating leads is going to generate leads for your business quickly and it will make sure you are never reliant on one method of bringing leads into your storage business.

As a storage business owner or even head of marketing at a storage company, you won’t be able to handle all of the marketing channels on your own. If you need help with your marketing, whether it’s link building for your storage company or PPC marketing, you should outsource what you can’t do and do the rest.

How to get more reviews for your storage business and how you should respond to them.

Word of mouth has always been a factor when getting clients for your storage business, but over the last few years it’s also been a local ranking factor when it comes to your storage website showing up on Google’s search results page.

At Weeare we provide SEO for self storage companies and we see storage businesses miss out on free traffic all of the time by not optimising their GMB listing by not getting any reviews.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways you can get reviews for your self storage business and how you should react to them.  

Why get reviews at all?

gmb reviews for self storage companies

Getting reviews for your self storage business isn’t an easy task and many businesses find they don’t know how to ask for them. Reviews are powerful though and 88% of consumers trust reviews like they were personal recommendations from a friend.

Having reviews on your website and on places such as Google my business is going to not only increase your conversion rate but also increase your click-through rate. A click-through rate is the number of times your website comes up in the search results divided by the times your website is clicked on.

Not only do more reviews help generate more leads but they are also a local ranking factor to where your self storage website shows up when someone searches for storage in your local area. 

What do I need to get reviews?

gmb reviews

To get reviews for your business you can sign up to a third-party provider such as Trust Pilot, Yelp, Which and many more, from there you can connect these ratings to your website either through coding or simply linking out to them on your website.

Some of the third-party consumer review sites charge a fee so you may want to use a free service such as Google my business. Google my business is one of the best third-party review systems a business can use as it’s free and it’s also one of the first review sites to show up when someone Googles your business name.

To get reviews for your Google listing you will need to sign up for a free account and then confirm your address via post. This whole process only takes a few days and it’s easy to do. 

How to get more reviews

Now your storage listing is verified you can start getting reviews for your business. Getting reviews is tough as people only tend to leave reviews when they have bad experiences. However, by being creative we can get customers who have good experiences with your self storage company to leave reviews.

Getting customers to leave a review with Google is harder than it should be so hopefully in the future Google will figure out an easier way for someone to leave a review, but for now, we will have to persevere.

To get the link to your Google listing you will need to Google your business name on Google maps. When you find your business listing click on write a review.

You will then need to copy the website address that’s in the URL bar at the top of your page. For restaurant Gordon Ramsey in London you get the following:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Restaurant+Gordon+Ramsay/@51.5031853,

-0.1790761,12z/data=!4m11!1m2!2m1!1sgordon+ramsey!

3m7!1s0x48760512fae28d67:0xd2b6cd14c2669d9b!8m2!3d51.4855122!4d-0.1620425!9m1!1b1!15sCg1nb3Jkb24gcmFtc2V5Wh4KD

WdvcmRvbiByYW1zZXkiDWdvcmRvbiByYW1zZXmSARdoYXV0ZV9mcmVuY2hfcmVzdGF1cmFudA

Now you could send that to clients and ask them to review you but it looks spammy and could put people off from clicking the link. What you will need to do is clean up the link by using something called a URL shortener.

There are many out there, so Google “URL Shortener” and select one that works for you. If you are investing time into getting Google reviews for your business it may be worth investing in a paid URL shortener so you can have a brandable link.

You can enter the long URL into the shortener and get a brandable link back which could look like the following:

https://www.bitly.com/YourBusinessNameReviews

As you can see the above URL is much more manageable and looks legitimate. You can then send this website address to customers to review your business.

Adding a review link to your website

google reviews for storage companies

The footer of your storage website is a good place to link from so happy customers can leave reviews on your business. As you control the text on your website you can insert a link to your review page above and it doesn’t matter what if you choose to use a short link or the longer one as you can control the anchor text that shows on your website.

Having a link on your website won’t be enough to get many reviews though as you will need to ask customers to leave them.

Asking customers for reviews

10 Ways to get more customers with SEO

As we mentioned earlier in the article, people who have negative experiences are far more likely to leave reviews so we have to combat that and ask the customers who have had good experiences to leave them.

One way of asking for reviews is to get business cards made with your Google review short link printed on them. You can then hand these cards out to people who you know have had good experiences with your company and ask them to leave a review.  

You can also ask people in person who have had a positive experience with you to leave a review for you. This is similar to what the app development companies do when you have used an app for a certain period. Be sure only to ask when you know you have helped someone otherwise you could cause more frustration and get a negative review.

You can also ask customers to leave reviews through social media or email marketing, all you need to do is provide them with a short link and explain how it helps your business and that it takes only a few minutes to do.  

Past clients that have had good experiences with you are a great source of reviews but you can also ask vendors, partners and even employees for reviews as they can all attest to dealing with you regularly.

Responding to reviews

responsding to reviews

A positive review is good for your storage business so when someone leaves one be sure to thank them for their review and also thank them for being a customer. After all, there are many storage companies out there that they could have chosen so being appreciative goes a long way.

When replying to reviews there are some tricks you can use to help with your local ranking. For example, you can include some of your primary keywords in your reply which can influence the local ranking algorithm. 

An example of this is if a client leaves a positive review, you could reply along the lines of:

“Thank you Mrs Smith for firstly choosing us as your trusted and affordable storage provider in London, we appreciate the good review and if there is anything else we can help you with please let us know.

Your Name

Your Business Name.”

As you can see from the reply above, not only do we thank the client but we also include some keywords which customers may use to find us in the future. In this example:

  • Affordable storage
  • London.
  • Storage in London.

Anyone searching for storage in London, storage units in London or affordable storage in London could be shown this review as it is relevant to them.

When using your keywords in your reply be sure not to overdo it as you don’t want to come off as being inconsiderate or you don’t want to come off as a robot. Keep your reply as natural as possible.

Negative reviews

negative reviews

Any successful business is going to get negative reviews, so when you do get one don’t panic.

Sometimes a negative review can’t be helped as we all make mistakes. How you respond to a negative review though will affect how others will see your company.

If you find yourself getting negative reviews constantly you will need to fix the issue first as this will severely impact your business ranking and your sales.

If you do get a negative review when you often get 5-star reviews take a step back and try to deescalate the situation. Often business owners take offence to a negative review and go on the offence which often ends up in an online argument. Don’t do this, it doesn’t look good for your business.

Firstly apologise for the service the person may have experienced and also communicate that you are open to solving the problem. Even if there is nothing that can be done if you put this into a review response online it shows others that you are willing to help if something goes wrong.

Secondly don’t panic, a bad review can actually help your business. Too many positive reviews can actually look fake so a negative review here or there can improve the credibility of your other 5 star reviews.

Cut down on time taken to respond to reviews

Some storage businesses may get reviews without needing to ask for them and replying to all the reviews can take up time from a business. However, you should make the effort to reply to all of your reviews as this engagement can help your search engine rankings and can also improve your sales.

If you do find it hard to keep up with all of the reviews you should create a semi personalised template that you can use to thank someone for leaving a review. I would advise against using any templates for negative reviews though.

Conclusion

Getting reviews for your self storage businesses can be tough but knowing how to set up a third party system to handle reviews and then how to ask for them can help you. If you invest some of your time into asking past clients, vendors and even employees for reviews you will improve your search engine position, your click-through rate and eventually your profits.

How self storage companies can optimise their GMB listings to rent out more storage units.

All storage businesses are fighting for more online visibility and one great way of getting your website seen by more visitors is to set up and optimise a Google my business listing.

At Weeare, we provide SEO for self storage businesses and often we see storage companies missing out on free traffic by not having an optimised Google my business listing.

In this blog post, we will explain what a Google my business listing is, why your storage business is missing out if you don’t have one and how to optimise it so you can dominate your local search area.

Why Google my business?

gmb optimisation

With over 3.5 billion searches being carried out on Google every day, your business is missing out if it isn’t listed on the search engine with the highest market share.

For local searches such as “storage units near me” or “storage in london” the Google map pack delivers 26% of search clicks, being in the map pack can generate you leads every single day. Getting your business in this map pack though can be hard work and in this article, we will discuss some of the best optimisation tips to get your website to show there.

Registering an account

gmb for storage companies

The first step is to register a Google my business account. You can do that by going to Google.com/Business.

Next click on the manage button and Google will take you through the steps of setting up an account, this step is easy and there are many other guides out there that can show you how to do this if needed.

When you have set up your account you will need to verify it. It’s important to verify an account as you don’t want your business profile taken down or for potential customers to think you are a scam business.

You can verify your listing via post which takes a few days. If your verification postcard doesn’t come within a few days, get in touch with Google’s support team and they will be able to help.

With your listing confirmed you are now ready to optimise your listing so that potential customers can find you.

Fill out every section

It may seem obvious but many self storage business owners don’t fully complete their profile as they don’t see the benefit of doing so. However, the more information you can provide potential customers along with Google’s algorithm the higher the chance of being found on Google’s searches.

To complete your profile you will need to fill out the following:

Name 

Address

Phone Number

Website Address

Opening Hours

Special Opening Hours

Questions and answers

Business category

Products and services

All of the above are important and should be double-checked when you add them to your listing, if any of these are wrong now and you start marketing your website it can be a nightmare to fix.

Keep your NAP data consistent

nap consistent

NAP data are also known as your name, address and phone number should be consistent on your Google my business listing, on your website and anywhere else you post your website such as online directories.

To show up in the Google map pack these details need to be consistent everywhere. If you are a new business this shouldn’t be a problem, existing businesses however could have moved addresses and may have NAP data related to old addresses.  

This will stop you from ranking, I have seen it many times in the past where companies have the wrong NAP data and Google finds it hard to figure out if they should show a business for a relevant query.

If you do have inconsistent NAP data you should clear it up yourself or hire a company to do it for you.  

If your business looks like the following:

The Storage Brothers LTD

Unit 1 Wayne Street

London

SW3 49J

01234 5678

And you list your business as:

The Storage Brothers

Unit 1 Wayne ST

London

SW3 49J

01234 5678

To you and I, they are the same business but Google doesn’t like this, as you can see in the first line they have lost the LTD from the business name and also the street name is abbreviated to ST instead of street.

This may seem pedantic and I would agree, however, Google isn’t a human and even small changes like this can put them off. Bigger changes such as different phone numbers or full address changes will require you to change all of your details on your listing, website and other websites that your details are on.

Choose the right category

storage categories

Choosing the right category is also vital for optimising your business listing. Quite often a business owner will go to their listing and put in a category that they think describes their business best, but sometimes this is the wrong category.

The best way of finding out what category to use in your Google listing is to go to Google and search for something someone would use to find your business. For example, you may want to search “storage in London.” Look at the results that come up in the map pack and you can see their category listed.

In this example, the category would fall under “Self Storage Facility.” As a business owner however you could have selected the “luggage storage” category if you were in a rush, so it’s always important to check what is currently ranking and use the same category.

Add photos and location data

anchor text for storage companies

Adding photos to your business listing is not only going to make you look more like a legitimate business but it also helps with location data. When you take a photo your camera captures something called EXIF data which contains information on where the photo is taken.

If you run a storage business in London but all your EXIF data is telling Google that the photo was taken in Liverpool it’s going to cause some confusion. As a ranking factor, the effects may be small on this but it’s worth uploading photos to your profile anyway so if you can make sure the photos you upload are from the area you are looking to service.

You can edit and add metadata to your photos if you have Photoshop so if you do find you have images you can show off of your business it would be worth adding metadata to your images to help with your search engine rankings.

Get reviews and respond to them

Getting reviews for your business is difficult and often the only people who want to leave reviews are people who have had bad experiences with your business. To combat this you are going to need to ask your customers for reviews.

To get reviews for your Google my business listing you will firstly need to bring up Google maps, type your business name in and then click write a review. Before writing a review though, go to the URL address bar at the top of your web browser and copy that URL, you should have something that looks like the following:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Royal+Botanic+Gardens,+Kew/

@51.4787438,-0.297767,17z/data=!4m7!3m6!1s0x48760dc5605b3443:

0xd16f914f6291fb7e!8m2!3d51.4787438!4d-0.295573!9m1!1b1

The above is for the Kew garden centre in London, your code will look different. You could potentially send this link to past clients but it looks spammy and people may be hesitant to click on the link. What you will need to do is go to a URL shortener website and put the code in and get a shortcode back.

Google “URL Shortener” and use one that works for you. If you are going to invest time into getting reviews for your business you could invest in a paid URL shortener so you can create a brandable link.

Bitly.com is a URL shortening service that offers this but a free version is also fine. Your code above after being shortened and branded could now look something like:

www.bitly.com/KewGardenReviews

As you can see the link looks more friendly and if you were to print it on business cards and hand it out after a customer purchases from you then it would make it easier to type in on their computers.

You can ask past customers for reviews via email, social media marketing, and even in person, just make sure that the user had a positive experience with your business before asking for a review.

When a customer leaves a review make sure to thank them and try to include some of the keywords that you would like to rank for in your reply.  This is a great way of getting your keywords into your business listing and these keywords will show up in bold when someone searches for your product or service.

An example of this could look like the following:

“Thank you for leaving a review with us, Miss Jones.  We know you found it hard to find an affordable self storage container in London so we were more than happy to provide you with our services when you called.  Thanks once again.

Business Owner

Business Name.”

As you can see we have included the keywords affordable storage, self storage and London.  Someone searching for these services could now see the above review. 

When adding keywords to your reply it’s important to make the reply sincere and human.  You don’t want to spam your keywords in here as it wont read naturally and the customer won’t feel valued either.

Answer any questions

In your Google my business listing you can generate your questions and then answer them too. This could be your most asked questions and it saves you time from answering them constantly and it also allows potential customers to learn about your business before contacting you.

Questions could include:

  • Does the storage location have disabled access?
  • Does the storage facility have access 24/7?
  • Can you sign up online?
  • Do you need keys or a pin?
  • Is the storage location insured?

You probably know your most asked questions so put them here and answer them. It will help with cutting down on your customer service enquiries and it will also help you rank higher in the search results.

Track your listing

self storage rank tracking

Google changes their algorithm all of the time so tracking your local rankings is a must. If you don’t track your rankings you won’t know what is working and what isn’t and you will end up wasting your marketing budget.

Google my business allows you to release posts on their platform so you could test out if writing 1, 2 or 5 posts a week makes any difference to your rankings.  

You can also test the same effect by releasing content on your website, getting your website mentioned on other websites and even the categories you are listing your business in.

Without testing and tracking all of the optimisations in the world won’t mean much so track and test as often as you can. When making changes to your business listing only make small changes so you can see if your changes made a positive or negative effect.

Optimise your website for local searches

To rank in the map pack you will need to optimise both the GMB listing and your website. We have covered on-page optimisation for self storage companies in another post, so you should check that out too as you will need to build out local landing pages if you want your GMB listing to show up when someone from that area searches for storage.

Link building for storage companies

Link building for self storage companies is needed as it’s a competitive industry and by getting links from authoritative sources your website has a better chance of ranking in the organic listings as well as the map pack.

You can get links to your website by guest posting on other relevant websites such as DIY blogs, Family Blogs and anything else you can think of that would be related to storage. If you don’t want to build links yourself you could hire a company like ours that provide link building services.

Conclusion

Optimising your Google my business listing and actively adding posts to it is going to help your storage website show up to customers in your local area looking for self storage. If your website isn’t showing up you are losing out on these customers to your competitors.  

What anchor texts should your storage company use when building links?

Link building is going to play a massive part when it comes to SEO for self storage companies.  

Link building, in general, is tough and getting real, authoritative websites to link to your storage company is not going to be easy.

That’s why many storage companies tend to purchase link building services from an agency like us, but if you do fancy having a go at link building yourself we will take a look at what anchor texts you should be using when building links to your storage website.

What is anchor text?

Anchor text is the text used to connect one page to another. When you click on anchor text your web page reloads and a new page appears. The text used for this is very important as it gives Google context of what your web page is about.

When building links it’s important to build links with the right anchor texts, which we will discuss more later in this article. But for now, you should know that over optimising or under optimising your anchor text can get you in trouble with Google.

Different types of anchor text.

There are different types of anchor text and for you to know what you should be building to rank your self-storage company higher on the search results page, we will explain them.

Exact match anchor text.

If the keyword you are trying to rank for is “Storage in London” the exact match anchor text for that keyword would be “Storage in London”. So any pages on the internet linking to your website with that text would be considered an exact match anchor text.  

Exact match anchor texts are powerful as it gives Google context to what your page is about. So you may think that using this anchor text with every link will help you rank in position 1, and you would be right if the year was 2010.

Like everything good, marketers abused exact match anchor texts and Google had to update their algorithm to stop marketers from abusing using exact match anchors.

Partial match anchor text

As the name suggests, a partial match anchor text is a link that contains some of your head keyword while also including others. If we stick with the “storage in London” keyword an example of a partial match anchor could be something along the lines of: “the best student storage in London”.

Branded anchor text

Branded anchor text contains your business name. Branded anchor text could look something along the lines of “Super Storage Brothers”. As you can see there are no keywords here, just the business name.

Naked anchor text

A naked anchor text is often the result of building local citations on websites such as Yell.com. A naked anchor text could look something along the lines of: www.yourwebsite.com/storage-london/.

Random anchor text

Random anchor text such as “visit website”, “click here”, “50% of houses are too small” won’t contain your business name, address or keywords.

What anchor text should your storage business use?

While there are some SEO’s that say you should have 5% exact anchors, 15% random, 10% partial and so on, the truth is every search result is different.

This can be seen below for the search results “Storage London” and “Storage Newcastle”.

For Storage London, you can see that 5% of the top-ranking search includes the exact match anchor, and the most common anchor text is the branded anchor.

anchor text ratio for storage in london

While in Newcastle, the top-ranked result has no exact match anchor and the most common link here is a naked URL.

anchor text ratio for storage in newcastle

So the anchors you are going to need to build when link building is going to come down to what is already ranking on the first page for your search query.

The software you can use to find out what anchors you need to build.

If you want to know what anchor texts you should be building for your storage company you are going to need to invest in SEO software. There are tools out there that can run anchor text ratios for you but in our experience, you are better off doing it manually yourself.

To see what your competitors are doing you are going in terms of their anchor text ratios you are going to need some sort of backlink checker. Semrush or Ahrefs are the most commonly used.

We use both at Weeare as different data can be collected, but if you don’t want to purchase both as the costs can add up we would recommend Ahrefs over Semrush as we find their backlink data more helpful.

Both software will do a good job though so see which one you like best. Both have trials too.

If you have picked Ahrefs, we can run you through finding anchor text ratios very quickly below.

Firstly go to the keyword explorer and put in the keyword you want to rank for.

ahrefs keyword explorer

Next, scroll down to the SERP overview and look at the top results. Click on the first three results and investigate their anchor text ratios.

serps result for storage in london

To do this you will need to click on the arrow icon next to the page that ranks and then click on overview.

overview of serp result

Finally, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will be able to see the anchor texts that the pages are using to rank in the top 3 results. You should then base your anchor text ratios on these results.

The only problem with this is some sites will rank not because of the links pointing at their site, but the overall authority of the domain. If your anchor text ratios for the top 3 results are all over the place you may need to look at other results on the first page for an average.

complete anchor text breakdown of storage in london

Conclusion

Over optimising your anchor text when building links is a quick way of getting an SEO penalty from Google. Underoptimising your anchor texts can also cause you to waste your marketing budget, getting your anchor text right will save you money and help generate more business in the long run.

By using the methods above you can take a look at what Google expects and you then have a strategy when carrying out link building for your self storage company that is safe and effective.

On-Page Optimisation for Self Storage Companies

If you want people who are looking for storage in your local area to find your website, it needs to be optimised for the search, it needs to be technically sound and you need to have enough relevant links for Google to trust you.

In this post, we will cover on-page optimisation for self-storage companies so you will know exactly what to look out for to make your website search friendly so you can get more potential customers on to your website.

We will be looking at on-page optimisation and how you can use it to your benefit so you can rent out more storage containers.

But before we go any further, If your website isn’t at the same standard as your competitors you are going to find it difficult to place above them on the search engine results page. If you need help with any of the above, we offer SEO services for Self Storage companies and have increased the search rankings of storage companies even against some of the biggest names in the storage industry.

Now that is out of the way, let’s see how you can optimise your landing pages to get more potential customers onto your storage website.

What is on-page SEO?

On-page optimisation is when you take the content of a website and the code underneath and make it optimised so search engines such as Google know exactly what that page is about.

This sounds simple, but when you take into consideration that there are over 200 ranking signals that Google uses to rank a page even the smallest of mistakes can stop you from taking the top spots on the search results page.

Some parts of a web page may be under optimised without you even knowing, as some web developers have no idea of SEO so quite often they use code that isn’t optimised for search engines.

Some parts of a web page can also be over-optimised so once again this hurts your search rankings. 

How can on-page SEO help you rank higher?

seo results

Google these days is pretty smart, but it still needs help to find out what a web page is about. So if you are using the wrong headings, titles, descriptions and URL’s, Google isn’t going to know you have a storage location in London.

A competitor on the other hand who gets all of the above right makes it easier for Google to understand their data and therefore they have a better chance of ranking than you do.

Getting your on-page right will allow Google and the other search engines to know exactly what your website is about. Below we will take a look at the main places you will want to optimise to help Google understand what your website is about.

Optimising your title tag.

page title and seo title

Your title tag is one of the first things a user will see when they search for storage in your area. If someone is looking for storage in London, they may type in:

  • Self Storage London
  • London Storage
  • Self Storage in London
  • Storage in London
  • London Self Storage

So your title tag has to be optimised for those searches, but how do you optimise for all of these searches? Do you do something spammy like:

Self Storage in London – London Storage – Self Storage London – London Self storage

Thankfully not!

Google is smart enough to know that London Storage and Self Storage in London is the same thing, so when optimising your website you should optimise the page for your main keyword which you will have found in your Keyword research, if you don’t know how to do keyword research we will be releasing a guide on keyword research for self storage companies soon.

Your title tag should contain your main keyword and a benefit to entice people to click on your link. A benefit will make people want to click on your page even if it isn’t the top result which will lead to a higher click-through rate which is also a ranking factor that Google considers.

As you can see below for the search “self storage London” there are 3 different title tags that satisfy the query. The number 1 position also has the benefit of promising the cheapest storage in London.

self storage in london on page seo

Optimising your description.

Google has said that the description of a web page isn’t counted when deciding the ranking of a website, and quite often Google replace your description with one they think will get a better click-through rate.

But, with that said you should still optimise your meta description as the main keywords get bolded making you want to click on the listing more than the others.

example of an optimised meta description

Optimising your URL.

The URL of your website is something that users may type in to visit your page, but it’s also a place where you can use your keywords to help with your search engine ranking.

Some storage companies under optimise their URLs as they may have a permalink structure that looks like the following:

www.yourwebsite.com/pageid=15

Anyone looking at that link would have no idea what the page links to and Google won’t know either. To optimise your URL you need to keep it short and you need your main keyword in there.

A better example would look like this:

www.yourwebsite.com/self-storage-london/

The second example clearly shows the user what the page is about, Google can show this in the search results too.

an example of an optimised url which includes the main storage keyword within it

Keywords in your header tags.

Your header tags are a way for you to communicate to the search engines which parts of your content are more important. Header tags range from H1 to H6, with H1 being the most important.

Most websites don’t need to use anywhere near H6. Often you will use one H1 tag on your website for your main keyword, and then multiple H2 tags for your secondary or variations of keywords.

Safestore.co.uk is one of the top-ranked storage companies in London and when you look at their on-page optimisation you can see them put their heading tags to good use.

an example of an optimised h1 title tag with the main keyword within it.

As you can see they have their main keyword “Self Storage in London” in their H1 tag. Then variations of the term in H2 & H3 tags. This shows Google what the main head keyword for this page is and what variations this page should also show up for.

example of an optimised h2 tag
Variation 1
Another example of an optimised h2 tag.
Another variation.
example of an optimised h3 tag
A variation including business storage.

When using your heading tags a good rule of thumb is to see how many heading tags the competition is using and then try to stay close to those numbers. This is something we have experimented with and tends to get our clients the best results.

Internal linking will improve your search engine rankings

Link building for self storage companies especially in competitive locations is a must, but link building services can be expensive and take time, so if you want a quick win you should turn to your internal linking structure.

Internal links of a website can tell the search engines which of your pages are the most important. Pages with the most internal links will rank higher than those without any.  

Internal linking gives the search engine context about your website too. If you create clusters of topics it will give your website a better chance of ranking.

As a storage company, you should be blogging. Blogging allows you to create content that can give your website topical relevancy.  

Using the storage in London example, if you had one page that targetted that keyword and then no other pages on your website linked to it Google isn’t going to think it’s an important page to you. Through your blog, you can create content around storage and London and find places to link back from the blogs to your main sales page.

People moving to London may need to store furniture if their apartment is small so you could create content on maximising the space in your home when moving to London. You could talk about the best places to move into London, or the cheapest areas to move to in London. You may even want to talk about the best new restaurants that have opened up or attractions to visit.

The mistake that storage companies make when creating blog posts is that they only write about storage. You do need content on storage, so content on “5 advantages of using a storage unit” will help build topical relevance but it can’t be your only content because not many people are going to read topics that are clear sales pieces and it won’t help with your link building efforts either.

Avoid duplicate content

If you have multiple storage locations it’s easy to fall into the trap of building out multiple location pages and changing the wording slightly on each page.

Building pages out like this is quicker and doesn’t take much effort, but in doing so you are going to cause yourself problems with duplicate content. If a page is too similar to another Google won’t know which page to rank and as a result it may not rank any of them.

Each page on your website should be unique. This is difficult because storage in one location will be similar to storage in another, but you can make each location page unique when you take the effort to do so.

You can use information about where your storage units are located and how to get to them from landmarks in the location. This should give you a good start for unique content. You can also talk about the community in that location and any charities you may support.  

Many storage companies do support local charities so be sure to mention them here. Finally, you can use user-generated content such as reviews to include on your page too. You should only use the reviews for that particular location as this will then add to the uniqueness of that page.

Conclusion

On-page optimisation is very important for storage companies to get out in front of their competitors. Above are some of the main ways that you can improve the optimisation of your website. If you would like to outsource this to a search engine optimisation company such as ourselves please get in touch.

Link Building for Self Storage Companies

Link building is one of the most important search engine ranking factors when it comes to deciding where your website sits on the search engines. If you don’t have the right type of links or enough of them, outranking other storage companies can be very difficult.

SEO for self storage companies can be a very competitive industry, but if you build the right type of links you can outrank the major competitors in your space.

In this article, we will discuss link building for self storage companies, what you should look out for, the types of links to get and how you should be linking back to your website.  

At the end of the article, you will have a good idea of how to build links to your self storage website and if you don’t choose to build them yourself you can always hire a company like us that offer link building services to self storage companies.

1) Citation Links

The easiest links to get in our opinion are citation links, and even though they aren’t the most powerful links they are links that are both expected to be seen in the eyes of Google and they also help you to rank in the “map pack” which can drive more business to your storage company.

You can build citation links on websites such as Yell.com, Thompson Local, Yelp, Scoot.co.uk, Hotfrog.co.uk and many more.

A citation is a mention of your website online along with your business name, address, phone number and email address. Local citations are useful as they make the links to your website diverse so you can use more powerful links later on to focus on improving your website’s ranking.

Local citations aren’t hard to get, but they are time-consuming and most self storage business owners choose to outsource citation building to a local SEO company like us to save their time and sanity levels. Trust us, building citations is the equivalent of filling a storage container with the same items and taking them out then putting them back in multiple times.

Filling in your business citations involves a lot of repetition but it’s worth it if you want your customers to find your website online.

2) Guest Blogging

Long tail keyword research

Guest blogging is a great way of getting your website mentioned on other websites that talk about topics around the idea of storage. By getting links from relevant websites that have traffic, you are going to improve your search engine ranking.

Guest blogging is hard and many storage businesses will choose to outsource guest blogging services because there are a few things that you need to look out for when getting a link like this from another website.

Firstly you will need to see if a website talks about relevant topics. If you get a link from a website that mainly talks about sports then it isn’t going to benefit your business as much as a link coming from a site that talks about making more storage space in the home.

Relevance is key when it comes to building links to your self-storage website so make sure the sites you get guest blogs on talk about topics related to storage.

Secondly, a website that gets traffic and is authoritative in its space is a great place to get a link from. To do this you will need some SEO software that can provide you with the data you will need to build links. Ahrefs or Semrush are great choices.

There are no “set” numbers for deciding if you should get a link or not from a website so be sure to prioritise links based on the amount of traffic the overall site gets and the authority of the domain.

A site with a domain authority of 10 with 100 visitors a month, probably won’t be as good as getting a link from a site with a domain authority of 40 with 10,000 visitors a month.

The reason why I say probably above is that “domain authority” isn’t something that is used by Google, instead, it’s used by the SEO software companies as a measurement of how authoritative a website is. However, this number can be gamed so you should always look to see if the site in question has been artificially inflated.

When you have found a website that talks about topics related to storage and you can see they have traffic and authority it’s time to reach out to them. Kaiserthesage.com have some good outreach templates that you can try to build links to your storage website.

3) PR Link building

PR link building is not something we offer at Weeare, and we are by no means experts on the topic. But we have seen some storage companies get excellent PR and links from websites such as the BBC by being a little creative.

Have you sold any of your storage units to private clients who have built something special out of them such as a Pizza restaurant, a man cave or even a swimming pool?

If they have you could create content around the story on your website and then reach out to journalists who cover similar topics. For the pizza storage business, for example, you could reach out to food bloggers at the big publications letting them know about your story.

PR Link building for storage companies can work extremely well if you have the right type of story and pitch, so get creative and you can land links from some of the most authoritative websites in the world. Not only will a link like this send you referral traffic but it will also improve your search engine rankings drastically.

4) Suppliers

One method of link building that is often overlooked for storage companies is getting links from your existing suppliers.

Do you get all of your storage units from the same place? Do you install the same security measures at each storage location? If you do, you could email your point of contact at these businesses and ask them to write a case study on your business.

People love to talk about themselves so pitching an idea to companies like this often leads to solid links from relevant websites.

Conclusion.

Link building is a skill that takes years to master so if you don’t have success with it right away keep practising. You can find more tips on link building in our link building guide and if you want to outsource your link building to an SEO company that works with storage clients, talk to us.

Link Building – The Ultimate Guide

Link building is hard

It’s also one of the most important parts of an SEO campaign.

Without relevant links pointing at your website the chances of ranking for competitive keyword terms are slim to none.

To build links you have to master many skills including:

  • Content ideation.
  • Content creation.
  • Design.
  • Email outreach.
  • Negotiation.

It’s not easy.

If you’re having trouble acquiring links…

This guide will show you the best ways to build white hat links that improve your domain authority, increase keyword rankings and explode your website traffic.

These are the exact tactics our search engine optimisation consultants use for our clients

[cmtoc_table_of_contents]

Why build backlinks?

According to Andrey Lippattsev of Google, the top 3 ranking signals used to determine where a website places in the search engines are:

  • Content
  • Backlinks
  • Rankbrain (Google’s machine learning algorithm).

Thankfully you don’t have to be a Google engineer to see the importance of inbound links.

A few searches on ahrefs (more on this later) will show you the importance of links for search engine rankings.

link building

The above screenshot shows the top 10 searches for “black leather handbags”, it also shows the number of links from referring domains (other websites to that page).

This screenshot is a good example of how backlinks play a part in ranking a website. You may notice the pages with the most backlinks don’t rank number 1.

This is because website 1 is better optimised for the search query. Look at the URL and title of result 1.

It contains the word black.

on page optimisation

The domain with the most links (result 3 doesn’t contain the word black in title or URL).

search engine ranking page

Website 3, 5 and 8 don’t contain the word black anywhere in the listing, yet they show up for this query, they’re also the websites with the most links for this search.

To me, this shows that websites 3, 5 and 8 are not as optimised for the search query “black leather bags”, but the backlinks they have are enough to get them on the first page of Google.

If you’re still not convinced…

Brian Dean of Backlinko carried out a study where he looked at 1 million Google search results to determine what factors if any correlated with first page rankings.

Backlinks scored pretty high on the ranking factors.

You can see his study here.

How many links do I need to rank?

Convinced by the power of backlinks yet?

Great.

By this point, you may be asking:

“How many backlinks do I need to rank for my keyword?”

Well…

It depends.

According to Brian Dean of Backlinko, Google has at least 200 ranking factors they use to determine where a result should show in the search listings.

Backlinks feature very highly in ranking factors, but you still need a strong technical foundation for your website to rank. Before going on a backlink campaign, I highly recommend carrying out a website audit first.

With that said…

You can use some SEO tools to give you an indication of the time to rank but these tools should only be used as a guide.

With the keyword “Dentists in London“, ahrefs.com tells you that you need around 40 links to rank on the first page of Google for that term.

keyword difficulty

But if we take a closer look at the results you will see there are some high authority domains listed.

The NHS and Yelp have massive domain authorities that helps them rank here (Yelp has 1 referring domain).

referring domain count

The other results though are from smaller domains and have fewer links.

In this instance, I don’t think it would take anywhere near 40 links to replace result 8,9 or 10 as their domain authority is so low.

Looking at their backlink profile confirms this.

Most of the backlinks from websites 8, 9 and 10 are directory links.

A few authority backlinks and you would take their place in the search results.

As a rough guide, you should at least look to match the domains you are competing with in terms of quality links (ideally you will want better ones) and bring your domain authority up to a similar level.

All links are not equal

If links are one of the best ways to rank a website, how come sites with more links are being outranked by smaller sites with fewer links?

Good question.

Not all links are created equal.

Think of a link as a vote of confidence.

A link tells Google and the other search engines, “yeah, this website is good”. If the vote (link) comes from a trusted source the link is going to be worth more.

Think of it this way…

If you were entering a singing competition, whose opinion would carry more weight in terms of how well you can sing? Beyonce Knowles…

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrMX7T_lfF-/

Or the chuckle brothers?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrgeqfbAvAH/

Google works in the same way.

A link from an authoritative and relevant website is worth more to your website than a link from a lower quality and unrelated one.

But how is a website’s quality measured?

Domain rating, page rating & relevance (DR, UR)

Domain rating (DR), page rating (UR) and relevance, ok what?

domain authority metrics

DR and UR are scored from 0 – 100 (The higher the better!)

Both are made up metrics by ahrefs.com

These metrics are allocated to a website and its pages based on the inbound links pointing at it.

Why should you care about UR and DR?

Google has repeatedly denied they take a domains rating or URL rating into consideration when ranking a page or website.

seo myths and lies

Personally, I don’t believe them.

From my own experience…

A website with a high domain rating will rank quicker than a brand new website.

And this makes sense.

Domain rating is calculated on the number of links pointing at a website.

We know that one of Google’s top 3 ranking factors are links, so it’s not that much of a leap to put the two together.

But that’s not to say you can’t outrank a domain with a better rating.

I do it all the time.

My SEO agency Cardiff page for example outranks websites with much higher domain ratings.

domain authority
Domain Rating 28 vs 57, 49 and 91

A website with a better domain or page rating in my opinion has an advantage, but by building white hat backlinks and having good on page optimisation, you can outrank them.

If you want to do this…

Links from quality websites in your industry or a supporting industry are a must!

Read that again.

If you own a dental practice and you receive links from lifestyle or health websites they are more beneficial to you than if you were receiving links from a sports or marketing blog.

A link from another dental practice would be even better, but these links are hard to come by.

Unless you get creative.

Most of the time these websites would be your competitors.

But… there are ways around this.

A dental practice in the UK and a dental practice in the USA won’t be competing against each other.

Take advantage of this and reach out to them and ask to write a post on their blog which links back to something on your website.

Both parties are happy.

They get quality content on their website, and you get a highly relevant link back to your website.

The above is known as a guest post.

I will talk about guest posting and 16 other link building strategies in more detail later in this post.

There are a few more topics you need to know first…

What are do follow and no follow links and why should you care?

do follow and no follow backlinks
No follow links and do follow links

Do follow links are the default link type unless they have been modified.

If this makes no sense, let me explain in more detail.

If I were to link to Neil Patel’s website (NeilPatel.com) with a do follow link the search engine spiders would land on this page and crawl to Neil’s website passing along any “link juice” this site has (remember we talked about votes above)

If you’re used to seeing code, a do follow link looks like the following:

do follow links
A standard do follow backlink.

No follow links tell the search engine spiders not to follow the other page and not to pass any link juice to the website that is being linked to.

A no follow link looks like the following:

no follow links
Notice the rel=”nofollow”

When building links to your website it’s always good to have a variety of do follow and no follow links. This will make the link profile of your site look natural.

When putting the effort into building white hat links you will want them to be “do follow”.

The effort you will go through to build links is high.

If a webmaster gives you a no follow link, you can be cheeky and ask them to change it!

Sometimes sites like Forbes or Huffington post will give you a no follow link and wont change it. In this case don’t worry, those sites should send you enough referral traffic to make it worth your while.

To wrap it up:

Do follow = passes link juice, increases your domain authority.

No follow = no link juice, but can be ok for sending referral traffic.

Got it? Let’s move on!

How to avoid black hat link building and useless links.

In this day and age, I can’t think of many industries with as many scammers as the SEO industry.

spam links

There are great SEO consultants and agencies out there, but many SEOs are cowboys.

I’ve heard of companies paying for SEO services for a few months and they haven’t received any reports, no KPI’s have been set and no results have been seen.

Others build spammy backlinks that cause their clients to be penalised.

The above happens more than it should.

If you build white hat backlinks as described in this post…

And do the work you are being paid to do, you will be ahead of 90% of the “SEO experts” out there.

Rant over.

If you do decide to be an honest link builder and you should, it may seem easy to go to the dark side and build black hat links.

They’re easier to create and can get you results quicker.

But…

When Google catches on to your shortcuts, Good night sweet prince.

If you don’t want to risk your website or your clients (or don’t want to waste your time) try an avoid the following link types, or spending too much time on some of them.

Forum Links – Don’t spend to much time on these

forum links
Typical example of a forum backlink

Forum links aren’t black hat and probably won’t harm your website and can send relevant traffic to your website, but…

The reason why I say to ignore building these links is they simply don’t move your rankings enough for the effort you put into building them.

I don’t like building forum links because:

  • Forums are usually spammed if not maintained (putting your link in the same place as people selling pills or gambling websites)
  • Forum links pass little to no link juice
  • Forum admins usually end up deleting posts or removing your signature if its to “salesy

Your time is better spent elsewhere.

Footer Links – Don’t spam.

Also known as sitewide links.

Coming from a web development background I know all about footer/sitewide links. You have more than likely seen them too.

These usually look like:

  • Website designed by…
  • Website made by…
  • Theme created by…

When I build a website I like to let people know that I built it, it helps me get my name out there and brings me additional business from others looking to get a website made in the same niche.

But Google is not a fan of these links and can penalise you for it.

Not too long ago, this very site was ranking for a design related term on the first page around the 7th or 8th result.

I decided to run an experiment with sitewide links and changed the normal “web designed by Weeare.co.uk” to an “Exact Match Keyword” (for example web design in wales) and within a week…

The site was no longer 7th or 8th on the first page it was 63rd.

seo rankings drop

I expected this to happen, but I wanted to test it.

Test takeaways = listen to Google!

If you must use sitewide links (I still use them as it sends clients to me) either add a no follow tag or just add a branded anchor text, in my instance weeare or weeare.co.uk

Directories – Useful for local SEO

Directories are large databases of websites (usually businesses) split up into different categories.

Think Yell or Thomson local (UK).

Submitting to directories can help with geographical searches

Submitting to directories can help with geographical searches but the “link juice” they pass is very small.

Don’t expect to rank only with directory links.

That said, directories help with something called NAP.

nap seo
NAP for Local SEO

NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number and getting NAP citations is good for local SEO.

Google and the other search engines use this NAP data to decide what companies to show when someone uses a geographical search query like “barber shops near me”.

NAP citations are also important for spam reasons.

A spam website/fake business is far less likely to have NAP citations because they are not going to have an office location or phone number linked up.

My advice to you would be to not go overboard with building directory links. Just use moderated directories and you get the benefits above.

PBN – (Black Hat, Avoid!)

PBNs are one of the biggest link building strategies used in the last few years by grey/black hat SEOs.

But what exactly is a PBN?

A private blog network

PBNs or private blog networks are networks of sites built up for the sole purpose of linking back to a “money site” (yours or your client’s site)

The reason why PBNs are effective is the domains these links come from are from domains with authority (lots of links pointing at them), these domains for whatever reason have been left to expire by their original owners.

A new owner then comes in, builds a new site on top of that domain and links it back to the site they want to rank.

This is all done without having to earn links, as the previous owner has done it for you.

Sounds good right?

That is until Google nails you!

A site penalised for using PBNs

Recently I was contacted by another business who had hired an SEO marketing company whose primary tactic for ranking websites was using PBNs.

They had seen steady growth for justover a year, then…

They lost over 50% of their website traffic overnight and are now struggling to keep the lights on.

PBNs are risky, but there are other reasons I wouldn’t bother using them.

They’re expensive

To set up a private blog network you are going to need a lot of website domain names.

Typical domains sell for £10 to £2000 depending on the metrics and domain name.

600,000 backlinks at $2000

Look at the price on the domains above.

Let’s go back to the example we used earlier for the “dentists in London” keyword.

Although I don’t think it would take 40 websites to rank for this keyword lets just roll with it.

  • 40 domain names x $100 = $4000
  • Private Whois (to trick Google) 40 x $5 = $200
  • Hosting 40 x $12pm = $480pm
  • Content for website, 3-5 articles each at $50-$70 = $250 x 40 = $10,000

To rank for that one keyword, with a PBN you could be looking at a $15,000 investment upfront with a recurring fee of $480 a month for hosting.

For the term “dentist in London” it may be worth the investment as an extra 3 to 5 clients a month would likely cover it.

The above doesn’t take into account the amount of time you would have to invest either to build 40 websites.

It also doesn’t take into account the time it takes to find good domains to use.

backlinks

Remember the expired domain above with 600k backlinks?

Turns out it only has 200k and they’re all junk!

If you check that domain out on ahrefs you can see that the majority of those backlinks are from an Arabic website with images of dead people all over it.

How trustworthy will Google think your website is when its linked to from a site like that?

Not very, trust me.

Looking for non-spammy domains to link to your own website can take hours.

You’re better off putting that time into white hat link building, the results may take a little longer, but there’s no worrying if you are going to lose your website traffic overnight.

Paid Links – (Avoid!)

There’s a good chance you have seen these types of companies already if you have been looking at link building packages.

Companies that offer individual links on a one off fee basis.

paying for links, good or bad for seo
Links for sale – bad for SEO!

Right off the bat, paying for links is against Googles guidelines.

But the main problem I have with companies like these is they promise 100% manual outreach to real blogs and websites.

But that’s not usually what happens…

A link to your website usually turns up on some spammy site with no real traffic, or as we have discussed above also known as a PBN.

Authority Hacker did a great article on these types of companies: 5 popular link building services which explain this process in more detail.

Authority Hacker found most of their links ended up on spammy sites, PBNs and sites with no traffic or users. If you want to build links that aren’t spammy check out our very own link building service.

Blog Comments

Blog comments, in my opinion, should be used to drive relevant visitors to your site and not for SEO benefits.

The time taken to craft a well thought out blog comment that could drive traffic may not be worth it.

With that said, blog commenting does have its advantages.

To build links you need to build relationships. And what better way to build a relationship than to comment on a person’s website.

Take a look at the following screenshot:

Well thought out post

On Brian Dean’s SEO strategy post, a user by the name of Chintan left a well thought out comment and Brian responded.

Does this help Chintan’s SEO? No, but it got a reply.

If Chintan, kept posting well thought out comments on Backlinko, there’s a good chance that he would be remembered if he dropped Brian an email asking for a favour.

If I were to use blog comments in an SEO strategy I would use them for building relationships. Don’t use them for SEO purposes.

Automated link building tools

black hat seo tools

By now you should know that link building is hard.

Any tool that spams your website link anywhere isn’t worth your time.

Don’t use automated link building tools in 2019.

It’s the quickest way to get slapped by Google.

Web 2.0 – Don’t spam these

twitter web 2.0
Web 2.0, Set up your account, but don’t spam.

Web 2.0 is the process of building accounts on popular websites such as Youtube, Tumblr, Squido, Twitter, Facebook etc.

All big brand should have accounts on most of these websites, but where I see most SEO’s go wrong is by spamming their links all over them and relying fully on them for their SEO strategy.

This won’t work…

These links are not powerful enough to improve your search engine rankings.

Set up your accounts on the relevant websites, add your profile information and move on.

At best this shows that you’re a real business.

Link building strategies – That work

You have seen how to build bad links, now I’ll discuss how to build white hat backlinks that move the needle!

Get a cup of tea and we can dive into these link building strategies.

Link roundups

I will start with link roundups as these are one of the easiest links to score.

Link roundups are blog posts curated by other web masters in your industry rounding up the best posts of that month/week/day.

For link roundups to work you have to have something worth sharing.

A homepage or service page won’t work. Neither will a product page.

To be considered for a link roundup you will need to create a page that is not over salesy and informative.

An example of a link roundup can be seen on the snapagency blog

ecommerce link roundups

They have curated a blog post on the best articles on Ecommerce SEO.

These roundups can be found in nearly all industries.

If you can’t find one, look in a sister industry. Then pitch the owner of that website to consider your content for the next roundup.

In the example above if you managed to get your roundup included in this post you would be getting a highly relevant link from a DA60 website.

link roundups link building

If you wanted to buy a link like this from one of those link sellers mentioned above look how much it would cost: (Swap DA with DR)

backlinks for sale

or

backlinks

With the right content and a single email, you could land a DA60 link worth £360/$500+

Not bad at all.

How can I find link roundups?

All industries have link roundups, unfortunately, they are not always called link roundups, but with a bit of imagination, you should be able to find a few of them.

If I were looking for roundups suitable for this post, I may type the following into the search engines:

  • SEO “best blog posts”
  • SEO “best pieces of content”
  • SEO “best posts this week”
  • SEO “weekly roundup”
  • SEO “best posts this month”
  • SEO “roundup”
  • SEO “round up”
  • SEO “link roundup”

Replace the word SEO with your industry or topic.

Record all the websites you find in Google in an Excel or Google docs file and save.

You can go back to this later to check the metrics on each site to make sure its a website you want to get a link from.

recording roundup opportunities

At a later time, you will also fill in this excel sheet with the blog owners name and email address (more on this later)

This is done so when you reach out you have all the details needed.

Finding roundups on twitter

You can also get creative with hashtags on twitter to find roundups.

Use the search function and type the following:

  • SEO #roundup
  • SEO roundup
  • SEO link roundup
seo link roundup

Things to look out for

Not all roundups are actual roundups.

seo roundups

Some blogs create roundups and link to only blogs on their website. Don’t reach out to these people.

SEO hacker’s roundup for example, is a roundup off all the posts they wrote about that year.

While Lillach Bullock’s SEO roundup links to other websites, this is the type of website you wan’t to reach out to.

Getting the link – Roundup outreach template

With all of the “templates” in this post, they are just a rough guide.

Templates are a starting point. I don’t recomend using them as is, adjust them to your audience.

The software I use for outreach lets me use a template and then edit each email to personalise it to the end user.

With that said you will want to outreach for a roundup post with something like the following:

Subject: Your Roundup

Hey [Person Name],

I came across your blog and noticed you publish roundups on [Your Topic] and I think I got something your audience may like.

[Tell them about your post, keep it brief] It’s a 20,000 in-depth guide on how to build white hat backlinks that increase search rankings and website traffic.

If you’re interested you can see the post here: [link to your post]

Let me know what you think,

Thanks,

[Your Name]

This template does a few things.

Firstly it’s truthful. We’re not telling the person we love their website or we are a massive fan (unless we are, then tell them).

Keep it real.

Blogs get BS’d on the daily, by pretending to be their biggest fan you already put them on the defensive.

If you have never been to their website before don’t lie to them.

You should have done your research by this point so just tell them, the content is a good fit and your audience may like it.

Tell them a little bit about your post and ask them to let you know what they think about it.

This isn’t a pushy email, and the ones that reply letting you know what they think will usually give you a link in their next roundup.

Simple!

Resource pages

Resource page link building is quite similar to a roundup but not as time sensitive.

I’ve had links given to me from 4-year-old posts using this method, whereas getting a link from a weekly roundup in 2016 is going to be a hard sell if you wrote a post in 2019.

resource link building

The above screenshot from Ricochets Science is an example of a good resource page.

It’s a high-quality site, and the resources link to other websites.

Unlike:

Pen State Extension, where the links only go to internal pages.

resource link building

Finding resource pages

Once again nearly every industry will have resource pages. It can take time to find them but the following queries are a good start:

  • SEO “resource pages”
  • SEO “related sites”
  • SEO “helpful links”
  • SEO “best links”
  • SEO “useful links”
  • SEO intitle:resources
  • SEO intitle:links

Getting a resource page link

To outreach for a resource page link you can use something like this:

Subject: Your Resource Page

Hey [Person Name]

I just came across your resource page [page link],

Some great resources on there, thanks for putting them together, I really liked the [one of the resource pages linked to] for [x reason].

I did notice that you didn’t have a resource which talked about [your subject] and was wondering if you would like to read a post I just put together.

It’s a 5,000-word in-depth guide on [subject] and would love to get your thoughts on it.

Let me know if you want me to send it over.

Thanks

[Your Name]

This template is different from what I see many SEO’s do.

Firstly it’s a different point of view on a subject (It doesn’t have to be, but I‘ve found something different usually gets the webmaster to respond) If you don’t have something different change this line to:

I did notice you had a link on [subject] but I’ve put a more in-depth guide together.

Not everyone is going to respond, but the ones that do will usually link to you.

When the webmaster responds follow up with:

Hey [Person Name],

Great, here’s the link [link to your article].

Let me know your thoughts on it.

If you think it’s something your readers would like to know about i’d love it if you could add it to your resource page.

If not, thanks for taking the time to look at it.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

The above template thanks the person for getting back to you, shows them where your content lives, and it tells them you’d love a link back if they think it would be a good fit for the resource page.

Once again it’s not too pushy.

And because you’re asking for an opinion from people who read and write about the topic, they sometimes give you additional feedback that will improve the article.

link resource building email outreach

Great feedback and a good link.

Guest posts

Guest posts are a great way of building backlinks, getting your name out there and driving referral traffic back to your website.

Guest posts although time-consuming, allow you to tap directly into an established websites audience, build brand exposure and forge great relationships with others in your industry.

I must admit, I’ve only done a few guest posts for this blog, one on Millo.co can be seen below:

guest posting link building

As you can see I started this site off with the intention of going into web development, but over the years I’ve slowly transitioned into an SEO consultant.

The beauty of guest posting is it allows you to post on semi-relevant sites in your industry and you still get the link benefit.

Millo generally covers freelancing topics.

I pitched an idea of how to get more clients as a freelancer using SEO and they accepted.

Here’s how you can find guest posts in your industry:

Finding guest post opportunities

guest post link building

You will need to use some of the following search operators to find guest posting opportunities:

  • SEO “Become a Contributor”
  • SEO “Become an Author”
  • SEO “Guest Post Guidelines”
  • SEO “Contribute to our Site”
  • SEO “Submit Article”
  • SEO “Write for Us”
  • SEO inurl:guest-post-guidelines
  • SEO inurl:guest-posts
  • SEO intitle:”write for us”

If you’re finding it difficult to find guest posting opportunities in your industry think of a shoulder industry.

I don’t imagine there are many emergency plumbing blogs out there, so you could look at interior design blogs and DIY blogs.

Guest posting outreach template

If you have put a list of the blogs you would like to write for, I’d recommend contacting these blog owners in batches of 10.

In my experience guest posting has a high response rate and you don’t want to waste an opportunity because you have too many people wanting content from you.

I’d also recommend replying as quickly as possible to these blog owners when they reply to get the ball moving.

guest post email outreach

With that said here’s an outreach template for scoring guest posts.

Subject: Submit a guest post

Hey [Person Name],

I see that you accept guest posts on your website, and i’d like to throw my hat into the ring for consideration.

My Names [Your name] and I’m a [job title] and i’d love to write for your website.

You can see some of my most recent work below:

[Link to blog 1]

[Link to blog 2]

[Link to blog 3]

I have some ideas that I think would work well for your website, let me know if you want me to send them over.

P.S I’m more than happy to promote the finished post to my 3000 twitter followers and email list.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

Most guest post outreach emails start with some BS about how you are a massive fan of their blog and how it’s your life long ambition to write for them.

STOP!

No one believes this crap.

If you messaged me about printing off posts from this blog and putting it on your desk, not only am I going to ignore that email, but I’m also worried that you may try to wear my skin as a coat in the near future.

It comes across as creepy and puts you into the same category as the next image.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsTHMGpFHoF/

I’m not sure who writes these templates but in the real world, they just don’t sound real.

In your time on this planet can you count the number of times you have printed blog posts off and put them on your desk?

Me neither.

Once again, keep it real.

Just tell them that you’d like to write for their blog, and link to your best work which is in that industry.

You get bonus points if these blogs are on other sites, but if this is your first guest post, link to work on your own blog.

I really like the last two lines too.

Firstly you tell the blog owner that you have some good ideas, and if they like the quality of the work you have done in the past, they will ask you for them.

You can then do some research on what works well on that current owner’s site and pitch something similar.

If list type articles are on their blog, pitch them a “17 things you need to know about x” type article.

guest posting list style articles

If tutorials are posted often, pitch them a “how to do x” type article.

By asking the blog owner permission to see your ideas you are saving time on having to do the above for every blog you pitch.

And lastly, “I’m happy to share with my followers” line gives your email more value.

If you don’t have twitter followers or an email list. You can either take this out or offer to promote the post via paid ads on Facebook. (You don’t have to do this, but it does improve your success rate)

Not a writer? Do this.

I find writing difficult.

For this site, I write my own articles.

But for clients, I insist they have someone who can take care of content creation.

If you want to build a scalable link building company you will need someone else to handle the writing.

If a company hires you for link building but don’t have the capacity to write for you, I would suggest hiring a freelance writer from Upwork.

freelance writers for seo

The best thing about freelance websites like this is you can find writers in all different industries.

freelance writers

Good writers are hard to find.

You can expect to pay anything from $50 – $100 for an acceptable article.

You can get some writers for $10 a post, and some writers will charge you $1000+

Before finding a good writer you will go through some terrible ones.

When hiring writers you should do it in batches and give each of them a small task to carry out.

Fire the ones that are terrible and then use the better ones for your work.

Sponsored posts

Once you have done outreach for guest posting you are going to run into the following type of replies:

Bloggers know how valuable a link is and they have started to charge for them.

But remember…

Buying links is a big no-no from Google and sites buying links will get punished.

It’s completly up to you if you want to buy these links, as long as they are not marked sponsored posts and look native you shouldn’t have a problem.

I don’t buy links, I’m a firm believer that Google will catch these sites eventually.

If you are willing to risk it, by all means, use this tactic.

Just be careful and know that it could put your website in a spot of bother one day.

Some bloggers also disguise they are selling links by calling it something else like an editors fee. Check out the following email:

sponsored post link building

Link Reclamation

Over time your website will lose links.

backlink reclamation strategy

Having worked so hard for them in the first place, it’s important to keep an eye on your links and when you lose them try to find out why.

Maybe the page got deleted, maybe it’s moved or the site editor just removed your link.

If the site editor has removed your link you can try and reclaim it.

If the page is deleted there’s not much you can do about it.

Finding lost links

To find lost links and reclaim them you are going to need software like ahrefs or majestic.

I use ahrefs, easily my favourite SEO tool.

You can get a trial of ahrefs for $7, no excuses.

Sign in to your account and click on “site explorer”

ahrefs site explorer

Input the URL of the domain you want to find lost backlinks for, click the search icon and you will see the following:

ahrefs main screen

Click on the lost backlinks option and you will see a calendar which shows you the date you lost a backlink on and how many of them you lost.

losing backlinks ahrefs
Business Insider is losing up to 500 links a day. Wow.

Click on any of the days in which you have lost links and you can see what sites have unlinked you:

unlinked websites ahrefs

Now all you have to do is go through these links and see if the page still exists. If it does send an email over to the website editor.

Subject: Hey [Person Name], Can you help me out?

Hey [Person Name],

It’s [Your Name] from [Your website],

I was recently looking at all the websites that linked to me and saw that you used to link to me on this page [page with your link] but don’t anymore.

I was wondering would you mind putting the link back in, it would really help me and my business out.

I’m happy to re-share your article with my twitter followers.

If not, no worries at all.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

Usually, there’s a reason why your link was taken out, but sometimes it could be removed by accident and a little email is enough to get it back in.

Don’t be taken back if the website editor tells you no, after all, they may have their reasons.

Broken link building

This is probably my favourite of all link building types.

what is broken link building
Finding a dead page and reaching out to others who linked to that page

Broken link building is the process of finding a broken link in your industry and reaching out to everyone that has linked to this broken resource and ask them to link to your content instead.

If you find a page with 300+ linking domains you have found yourself a gold mine of an opportunity.

Broken link building is an amazing link building strategy to add to your arsenal but it takes so much time (but it’s worth it).

Finding Broken Links

For this link building strategy, I will once again be using ahrefs, but you can use other tools like screaming frog and scrapebox.

ahrefs for broken link building
ahrefs for broken link building

Log into ahrefs and go to site explorer (we did this already for the link reclamation tutorial).

Once in this section add in a popular website that’s in your industry.

site explorer for broken link building

You don’t want to think too small for this, small websites hardly ever have links pointing at their content.

You may also want to look outside of your industry to a shoulder industry.

For SEO you could try marketing sites or business websites.

When doing this work for clients you may receive some pushback on the content you have to create for a broken link building campaign as it may not be what they usually write about.

But don’t worry, most blogs are filled with “10 reasons why you must give your money to us” type posts that do nothing for the business.

Type in a domain in your industry on the site explorer and click search.

Next click on “best by links” in the lefthand side menu.

broken link building

On the next screen select the filter by HTTP code and select 404

This may take a while so be patient.

When the results are in you should have something that looks like this:

broken link building guide

Find a post which would be suitable for your industry and click on the referring domains for that post.

If you don’t find any suitable posts or there were no broken links repeat this process with a new website.

If a page has less than 100 referring domains I would move on and try to find a broken page with more referring domains. (Depending on your niche you will have to adjust these numbers. Some industries you may only have 10 links to go after)

Broken link building is a huge resource hog and I usually get a 7% to 10% link acquisition.

For 100 referring domains you may get 10 high-quality backlinks.

Once you have found a post, make sure the sites linking to it are good quality. Otherwise, it will be a waste of time trying to get links from them.

In the referring domains section, click the filter to only show do follow links.

broken link building 2019

You will then see the potential linkers you can get to your content:

Techcrunch, Vice and Avvo all link to a broken page

As you can see from above, TechCrunch DR 92, Vice DR 91 and Avvo DR 90 all link to this page.

If you could create something similar and reach out to these sites you could potentially get some great links.

But how do you create similar content?

Head over to archive.org and input the website address (the broken link) of the content you want to recreate.

executing a link building campaign

You will then see a calendar with dates circled. These circled dates are when archive.org crawled the site. Click on these dates until you see the original post content.

broken link building using archive.org

Sometimes you can’t get to see the original post, but more often than not you will be able to.

All you need to do then is use the original post as inspiration and create a better post. Either add more content, make it look better or add new research.

You can even send a copy of the original post to your writer and tell them to work their magic. Don’t copy the original! but make your post quite similar.

All you need to do now is reach out.

There are a few ways of reaching out for a broken link building campaign.

Brian Dean of Backlinko uses a permission-based approach where he reaches out and asks the site owner if they want to see the broken links he found on their site

When the site owner replies he then hits them up with a pitch telling them about his resource.

While numerous other SEO link builders use a more direct approach, like the following:

Subject: Problem with your website

Hey [Person Name],

I was just reading your post [post title] ([post url]) and saw that you were linking to a dead page, I think it’s been deleted.

The link is halfway down the page, with the title [link anchor] and links to [link url].

If your looking for something to replace this link with I just wrote a similar article which goes into a lot of detail on [subject].

If you’re interested you can see my post here: [link to your post]

If it’s not a good fit, no problem.

Also, I’m happy to share the original article with my twitter followers.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

Some people will ignore your email, some people will fix the link and not link to you and others will give you a link. See some examples below.

This reply made me laugh. They fixed the link but didn’t give a link to my client and were blunt too.

Nice and simple. DR60+ link.

Not only did I get a good link (below) for my client (DR40), but also a new social follower and the start of a relationship.

Broken link building takes up a fair bit of time, but if done right you can score high authoritative links in bulk.

Local bloggers

Local bloggers are great for local SEO clients.

Imagine you have a client in the restaurant business. You could do what every other SEO’r and their dog is doing and build local citations on Yell, Thomson local etc.

Or…

You could get local bloggers to write about the restaurant, its menu or you could even invite them down to the restaurant and review it.

Getting links from local blogs (even better if they’re food blogs) would boost your local rankings in no time at all.

When it comes to local blogs you can also pitch them on a guest post or you can offer to sponsor a post (grey hat).

Remember sponsoring a post can get you in trouble if Google finds out.

Finding Local Blogs

Finding local blogs is easy.

Enter your city name + bloggers.

local link building

Then select a few blogs that look active.

You can also run them through ahrefs to check their metrics.

Go to ahrefs, click on site explorer.

ahrefs site explorer
Enter your local blogger in here and click search

You should be looking at bloggers in the DR20+ range.

local blog link building

Above is a nice DR32 blog that could be worth a pitch.

link building for organic seo

Small DR and no traffic, not worth contacting.

blog link building

This one has a low DR 15, but has a nice amount of traffic.

It could be worth outreaching to this blog if they’re in a related niche as some of that traffic could become customers for you (or your clients).

Pitching local bloggers

With local bloggers, you can either ask them for a guest post which I covered earlier or you can use something like the following (grey hat)

Subject: Sponsoring Your Blog

Hey [Person Name]

My name is [Your Name] and I live/work here in [Your City].

The reason for this email, I’m looking to work with some local bloggers to help me get my business out there and I like the look of your site and was hoping we could work together.

Do you accept any sponsored posts on your blog?

I don’t need anything too obtrusive, a link from one of your old posts to my website would be great.

Let me know either way,

Thanks

[Your Name]

An agency that I subcontract for uses this exact pitch and it works like hell.

Most local bloggers are happy to link to you for a fee.

When they reply that they do accept sponsored posts for X amount…

Never accept the first amount.

Tell them that this is out of your budget but you’d be happy to pay [a price lower than they asked for].

Once again this is grey hat and Google will penalise you if you buy links.

The only reason I mention the above is it works so well and it’s near impossible to detect if you do it.

With that said, I don’t use this strategy for my site or my clients!

Infographics

Infographics can take a dull topic and give it new life.

Take a look at the following:

Infographic: What is Inbound Marketing?

Small bitesize information that keeps the user engaged. Great infographic from www.thewholebraingroup.com

Not only are infographics interesting but they can earn you hundreds of links without being penalised for duplicate content.

With that said, marketers have spammed infographics everywhere.

I have tried pitching infographics a few different ways.

The best success rate I have achieved is when pitching a blog that has posted infographics in the past as they are far more likely to accept them.

Designing an infographic

Not everyone can afford a £3000+ infographic for their marketing campaigns.

And if you suck at design like me, you’re going to need to look elsewhere for help.

Once again we can turn to a freelance website like Upwork or if you have a very small budget you can hire a designer on Fiver.com

infographic design services

Finding blogs that publish infographics

Not everyone likes infographics.

You can find blogs that have posted infographics in the past by using the following search queries:

  • intitle:infographic “SEO”
  • intitle:infographic SEO
  • inurl:infographic “SEO”
  • inurl:infographic SEO

Pitching an infographic

Once you have found a blog that posts infographics, you can reach out to them with something similar:

Subject: Infographic on your website

Hey [Person Name]

I noticed that you post infographics on your website about [subject].

I’ve had one recently made and I’m yet to publish it on my website.

It’s an infographic on [tell them about your infographic, keep this brief]

I’d love to get your thoughts on it and see if it would be something your audience would be interested in seeing.

If not, no worries.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Research link building

Here’s a tactic that I got from ahrefs.

In certain industries, original research can attract a thousands of links.

If you’re in the position to be able to create one of these studies you can reach out to other sites who have talked about similar studies which are now outdated.

You can use the handy content explorer on ahrefs for this:

research link building

The study above conducted in 2014 has generated over 396 referring domains. And in the space of 5 years, you can bet the data in this post is out of date.

If you wanted to you could research all of the points in this post, create a new post and reach out to these referring domains.

Subject: Outdated post

Hey [Person Name]

I just read your post on [post topic & URL] and I saw you were linking out to [old data study].

I can see why you linked to it, it’s a great resource, but it was written in 2014 and is a little out of date.

I’ve just recently published a new study on [topic] and I’m just reaching out to a few people in our industry to have a look at it.

If you’re interested you can see it here [your link]

No worries if you’re not, but I’d love to know what you think.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

HARO Link Building

help a reporter out link building

HARO or Help A Reporter Out is a service where reporters ask a question and you provide them with an in-depth answer.

If the reporter likes your answer and uses it you usually end up with a juicy link from an authoritative website.

Sounds simple.

But it’s highly competitive and you can write the most thorough answer and you still won’t get picked.

Which is a massive waste of time!

But…

When these links come off you could end up with links from inc.com, Forbes, BusinessInsider etc.

If you want to learn more about Haro link building check out this post

Stolen Images link building

One of the easiest ways to get a link back to your website is when someone steals something from you.

In this case, it’s when someone steals an image from your blog or website.

Now you could go and sue them or you could use this as an opportunity to build a relationship with the blogger and get a link.

I guess it all depends on if the stolen image causes you a financial loss. In most cases getting a link back is more than sufficient.

Finding stolen images

Firstly go to Google images.

stolen image link building

Next, find the image you want to search for and drag it onto the search bar.

stolen images link building

Google will then list out all of the websites that are using your image. Go through them and see if they have attributed the image to you.

If they haven’t, add them to a list to contact later.

stolen images link building technique

Reaching out to the image bandits

These people already owe you, so be firm but fair when reaching out.

Subject: My Image

Hi There, (You Don’t need to find their name for this one)

I noticed you are using my image on your website [Website url], I’m happy for you to use this image if you attribute it back to my website [your url].

Thanks for your time,

[Your Name]

Then give it a day or two and check back.

Either you have an image attribution or you don’t.

If the owner ignores you, follow up reiterating that you’re happy for them to use the image with attribution, but if they’re not happy to do that then they need to remove your image or you will be seeking legal action.

Usually, this is enough to either get a link or stop the person from stealing from you.

Scholarship link building

Scholarship link building I feel has been abused so much over the last few years.

But, it still works.

scholarship link building
A look at Oxford Universities scholarship page

Most SEO consultants seem to believe that links from universities and colleges are worth more than a link from normal sites. I disagree.

Schools generally have good domain ratings and are hard to get links from.

If they give more power or not, scholarship link building can return brilliant results.

But, it can be costly! (at least £1000)

What you need to do

To set up a scholarship link building campaign you are going to need to set up a page on your website explaining:

  • What the scholarship is.
  • Terms and conditions.
  • Deadlines.
  • Scholarship amount.
  • The requirements on how to enter.

Take a look at lloyds Scholars for a general idea.

scholarship link building, an overused tactic?

Your page doesn’t need to look this good, but it should cover the basics above.

When creating a scholarship page you should think of what you want to achieve from it (except for links).

If your business is in the marketing industry you could ask the entrants to put together a 500-word essay on what business they would start for £10,000 and how would they market it.

You can then take all these entries and use them for content on your blog.

You could also share some of these entries on social media to build brand exposure.

Finding scholarship pages

Once you have your scholarship page ready you are going to need to find universities/colleges that have a dedicated scholarship page.

scholarship link building

To find these pages use to following search queries:

  • scholarship inurl:ac.uk (For UK readers)
  • scholarship inurl:.edu (For USA readers)
scholarship link building usa.

Go through each page and see if they link to other smaller companies and have a similar budget to yours.

When you have recorded all of these link opportunities start reaching out.

Subject: Scholarship Opportunity

Good Morning [Person Name],

My name is [your name] and I’m contacting you about the scholarship opportunity I have here at [My company]

My scholarship programme is for £1000 and is open to everyone studying [Subject], it can be used for the cost of living, books or electronics.

You can see more information here: [your URL]

I hope that you can add us to your scholarship page on your website and let your students know about our offer as I would love to give back to the community.

Once again the application page is here [your url]

Thanks

[Your Name]

After the scholarship link is live you will start to receive submissions.

Make sure you store these applications and go through them judging them on the best content submitted.

When you do pick a winner for your scholarship, be sure to take photos, announce it on social media and even contact local news outlets to see if they would be interested in running a story on your scholarship.

With the right offer, I have seen clients build over 200 high domain authority links using this method.

Education discount link building

I love this link building tactic.

Education discounts are great for e-commerce SEO.

education link building
Get links to your discount page and share the equity to your product pages

You could use this for a local business but it’s going to be hard to convince a university in London to link to a website based in Scotland just because you are offering them a discount.

I could be wrong, but i’ve only used this for my e-commerce clients.

The strategy

First set up a simple page on your website with a discount code and make sure to have links to your products or category pages on there.

staff discounts link building
A current discount page on a university website.

You want to do this so you pass the link equity from this discount page to your products or services, making them rank better in the process.

Once you have all of the above set up we can move on to finding the universities/colleges.

Use the following search operators to find universities with discount pages:

  • discounts inurl:ac.uk
  • coupons inurl:.edu

Go through the list of schools that have these pages, make sure they accept similar websites to yours and pitch them:

Subject: Discount for members of staff

Hey [Person Name]

I notice that you have a discount section on your website for your staff.

My name is [your name] and I own [your company]. The reason why I’m emailing you is I’d like to offer your team a discount on my products too.

My company sells [your product]. If you think it’s something your staff would be interested in you can get the discount code and more details from here: [your discount url]

It would be great if you could add the above link to your discount page[their website url] so that everyone’s aware of the savings they could have.

Thanks for your time,

[your name]

Education discount link building results

Here are the type of replies you should see:

education link building

Nice and simple, DR 85 link, and a DR80 below.

Boom!

dr80 link

Link building with free tools

If you have a budget to build a tool for your industry there’s a good chance you could hit a gold mine of links.

Tools you could create:

  • Mortgage calculators
  • Life insurance calculator
  • Weight loss counter
  • Celebrity comparison tool

You don’t even have to make something new.

Find a tool that sucks and has backlinks, make a better one and reach out to those who linked to the old tool.

A pretty simple strategy for building links, but it works.

Look at these tools and the links they have attracted.

free tool link building

The mortgage calculator above has gathered 1330 backlinks from 203 referring domains. Total traffic value per month is a shocking $232k.

making tools to attract backlinks

Another calculator, this one 551 backlinks from 220 referring domains. Total traffic value per month of $100k.

backlinks from free tools

Yep, another mortgage calculator.

This one only has 66 backlinks from 57 domains but has an estimated traffic value per month of $12,000.

And it’s not only mortgage calculators that do well.

Look at this page, it compares your salary against Kim Kardashian’s.

Check it out if you want to be incredibly envious.

kim kardashian salary tool

Not only is this fun and ties into what the website sells, but it also attracted a nice amount of links.

backlink checker ahrefs

226 backlinks form 105 referring domains.

The traffic levels are low for this page, but it doesn’t matter as this page passes all of that link equity to their other pages and they rank for many high volume keywords.

Reaching out and building links

If you build a tool that is better than what exists, chances are you will be able to get a good amount of links to it.

Outreach with an email like this:

Subject: Question about [post name]

Hey [Person Name],

I just read your post on [post name] at [post url] and I saw you were linking to [competing tool].

I think it’s a great calculator and I can see why you linked to it but I find it [hard to use, slow etc].

So I decided to build my own, you can see it here [your url], I’d love to get your feedback on it, and feel free to link to it if you like it.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

“A little birdie told me” method

I believe a good link building campaign should build a diverse range of links that are do follow, no follow, contextual and everything else in between.

This method I like to call “a little birdie told me” does exactly that.

For this to work you can either use Buzzsumo or ahref’s content explorer. If you can’t already tell I’m a massive fan of ahrefs, so I will be using that.

ahrefs content explorer for the little birdie told me method

Load up content explorer, type in a keyword that is related to the posts on your website or your clients.

In this example, I will use link building.

ahrefs then pulls up the most shared content for your keyword.

In the “a little birdie told me” method we want to find the most shared posts on Twitter.

Click the sorted by filter and select twitter shares.

content explorer ahrefs

The top shared posts are now at the top.

Some of these are false positives though and are website homepages.

Ignore those and find content that is similar to the piece you want to promote.

finding content on ahrefs

For this post I will use the above as an example, it’s not an exact match to this link building guide but for the sake of it let’s pretend.

The article above has over 5.8k retweets. Perfect.

Click on the “Who tweeted” button.

You will be shown everyone who has shared this post with their audience.

Now here’s where you can adjust the “A little birdie told me” method to your needs.

If you’re in an obscure industry it’s very likely you won’t be able to find posts with over 5k shares.

But as we are in the marketing industry we can filter this down.

filtering results ahrefs

Select the date range you want to filter by.

I think anything within a year is fair game.

Click apply.

You should then be left with a list that is interested in sharing the type of content that you create.

finding twitter sharers

The next part is painstaking.

Create a new excel spreadsheet, with the following headers:

  • Old Content Link
  • Account Name
  • Email Address
  • New content

The old content is going to be the link to the old article they shared.

The new content is going to be your content piece that you want to share with them.

The account name is their twitter @ name.

And we are going to manually find their email address and record it here.

using twitter for link building

Go to each user profile and see if they have an email address listed. If they don’t they will usually leave a link to their website.

Once you’re on that user’s website check out their contact page, the website footer or the about me page for an email address.

If you find one record it, if not, don’t worry I will show you a method in the “tools to make your outreach easier” section in a little bit.

Repeat this method until you have a list of influencers that you can contact and hit them up with a pitch:

Subject: What do you think of this post?

Hey [Person Name],

I just came across your twitter account and saw you share content like [old post], I wanted to reach out to you to see if you’d be interested in reading a more up to date post on [subject]

I just finished a 15,000-word ultimate guide on link building and would love to get your thoughts on it.

You can see the post here: [Your URL]

If you think your followers would like to read it a share would really help me out.

But no pressure,

Thanks

[Your Name]

P.S I’d be happy to share one of your posts with my own followers and email list.

Unlinked branded mentions link building

This strategy won’t work for everyone.

Weeare.co.uk is my own personal business website, and although I rank for some good keywords in my industry i’m not a big brand.

People are not writing about me or this website.

But if you have a client or you’re a relatively well known brand, you can use this method to a great effect.

So what is this link building strategy?

People will write about you or your brand on their website but not link to you.

It’s your job to find these people and then reach out to them and ask them to link to you.

To do this, load up ahrefs, click content explorer and type in your brand name. I will use Moz for this example

unliked brand mentions

This shows over 250,000 branded mentions.

The only problem, we have no idea if these websites are linking to Moz.

Over in the righthand side first, click the one article per domain.

one article per domain ahrefs

This cuts the results down to 57k, better, but we still have work to do.

Next, click on the filter “highlight unlinked domains” and type in your domain name.

This will then highlight any domains that don’t link to you.

unlinked mentions link building strategy

Rather than going through each post individually searching for highlighted domains you can export the domain names to a spreadsheet ready for your outreach process.

exporting linking domains via ahrefs

Go through these websites and filter out any that don’t meet your standards.

You’re now ready to outreach.

Subject: Thank you for the shoutout

Hey [Person Name],

Just came across your article [article where you are mentioned] and wanted to say thank you for mentioning me.

I noticed that you didn’t link to my website and I was wondering if you would be able to, this would help me get my name out there.

I’m a small business owner like yourself and it really would help me out in growing my business.

If not no worries, I do appreciate the shout out in the first place.

P.S If there’s anything I can do to help your website please let me know.

Thanks

[Your Name]

The infamous skyscraper technique

I left the skyscraper technique to last as it’s one of the most known link building techniques.

If you haven’t heard of the skyscraper technique here’s what it is:

The skyscraper technique involves finding a piece of content in your industry that ranks well and then creating a better version of it.

You can create a better version of content by:

  • Making the content more in-depth.
  • Having a better user experience.
  • Creating content in a different medium.
  • Having updated statistics.

When you have your new piece of content you outreach to the others in your industry who linked to the old content piece and make them aware of the new content.

Finding content to skyscrape

This is by far the hardest part of this technique.

Finding content to make better is easy, but finding content that has a good amount of links is hard.

Once again, we will use ahrefs content explorer to find content with a good number of links that we can improve on.

Go to ahrefs, use content explorer and type in a seed keyword that you would like to rank for (but more importantly get some quality backlinks)

In this example, I have used the seed keyword “wedding planning”.

Which gives us over 200,000 articles.

Let’s narrow that down.

skyscraper link building

Use the referring filter to find articles with over 70 domains (adjust this for your industry)

In the wedding niche it’s easy to find content with a lot of referring domains. If you’re in the plumbing or legal niche this may be more difficult.

Next, scan the results and look for low-quality articles with good links.

skyscraper technique

The above article has over 104 referring domains and generates 29k visitors a month. The article has only 759 words and looking into the article the information is basic and reads like a massive wall of text.

To skyscraper this article I would add more content, flesh it out more and avoid huge walls of text.

I’d also break up the content with more images, headlines, quotes and lists.

Skyscraper link building outreach

With your new content piece ready, find all the linking domains above and reach out to them.

skyscraper technique link building

You can use something like the following:

Subject: Great Article

Hey [Person Name],

Just finished reading your article on [topic] ([url to article]), and noticed that you linked to the knots article “what to wear to a wedding” ([the url to the page]).

It’s a great article, it made me want to write my own version.

So I did.

I’ve made a more up to date and more in-depth version, you can see it here if you are interested: [your article url].

Feel free to reference it if you like, if not no worries.

Thanks,

[your name]

Skyscraper content takes a lot of time to make and outreach takes longer, but it’s a great way of building links.

Anyone looking to execute a link building strategy should look to see if they have the content already to outreach to other websites, if you don’t get a writer to help you to create one.

Link building outreach tools & tips

White hat link building is hard and time-consuming.

Here are the tools I use to make the process easier and quicker.

Voila Norbert

How do you find these websites email addresses when they’re not listed on the website?

Enter Voila Norbert

voila norbert for link building

Voila Norbert is easy to use.

Sign up for an account, enter the person’s name who you are trying to contact and the domain name.

Click “go ahead, Norbert.”

Wait a few seconds…

Norbert will then show you any matches it has found with the percentage of the address being found is correct.

I think it’s a great tool and it’s not too expensive either.

If you’re just starting out link building, you can sign up for a free plan which gives you 50 requests.

As you grow your SEO agency you can then upgrade to the paid plans. Which can be seen below.

tools to find email addresses

1,000 leads or the valet plan is more than enough for 5-10 SEO clients.

If Norbert can’t find an email address I use a second tool named Hunter.io

Hunter.io

Hunter.io is another excellent tool for finding email addresses.

I use both Norbert and Hunter when prospecting and don’t have a preference to which as they both do an excellent job.

email prospecting with hunter

With Hunter, sign up for an account and then enter the domain you want to find an email address for.

In the example above I entered my own domain name and within seconds it spits out my email address.

Perfect.

Hunter.io is once again priced competitively.

Their free price plan starts off with 100 requests. After that, you are going to need to upgrade your account. You can see Hunters pricing below.

hinter.io email prospecting tool price plans

Finding email addresses manually

In every link building campaign, you are going to come across sites that the above tools can’t find email addresses for.

When that happens you will need to manually find the email address.

This slows the entire process down, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

Firstly, go to the site you want a link from and look on their contact page.

I’ll use my site in this case, I don’t want to anger other webmasters by putting their emails here.

avoid contact form swith email outreach

As you can see, there’s no email listed here.

We could use the contact form, but you will usually be sending your message to a non-decision maker or a general email box, not good for our link acquisition rate!

Next, have a look for an about page.

Most webmasters or bloggers will have their email addresses on their about page (not me, I don’t have one).

My next step is to look at the website footer for terms and conditions or privacy page, usually this is found in the footer.

Sure enough…

finding email addresses manually

Email address found!

This won’t work all the time, but sometimes it does.

Finding email addresses on social media

Still can’t find that pesky email address?

Don’t worry it’s out there somewhere.

Probably on their social media channels.

Load up the person’s website and open all of their social media channels in a new window.

Now scroll through and look for that email address.

Within seconds you have the decision makers email address.

Instagram seems to be the best source for this technique, not sure why but every blogger seems to list their email address on it.

Email outreach software

If you want to do link building that scales you will need to use outreach software at some point.

Although you shouldn’t be sending the same robotic templates out to everyone, A template is a good place to start.

For best results, modify the template to each person you outreach to.

The software I use for sending emails is Mailshake

mailshake email outreach

Mailshake saves hours of time for every one of my clients.

I 100% recommend it if you’re looking to build white hat links in a scalable fashion.

Mailshake Pricing

Mailshake offers two pricing packages per user.

You are also going to need to pay for one user per client. 10 clients = 10 users, etc.

Mailshake tutorial

Mailshake is easy to use.

But if you need a little help use this tutorial below:

Canned Responses for Gmail

If you haven’t got the budget to pay for Mailshake, canned responses is a good alternative.

It takes more time to do, and the process is manual but it still works well.

Heres how to set up canned responses in Gmail.

First, log into your Gmail account, click the cog icon and then settings.

set up canned responses in gmail

Click the advanced tab.

canned responses tutorial

Enable canned responses.

enable canned responses in gmail

Make sure to save your new settings at the bottom of the page.

gmail canned

Next, create a new email. Copy the text from one of the templates above. Along with the subject line. If you have an email signature delete it for this part (it will pull through later).

You should see three dots next to the bin/trash icon.

Click the three dots and go to canned responses > new canned response.

setting up a new canned response

Save a name for this template.

If it was the email template for skyscraper name it skyscraper. If it’s an email for a guest post name it guest post and so on.

canned response template set up

To send an email all you have to do is now click those three dots, go to canned responses and under insert, click on the template you just created.

The final step is to replace the content in the brackets with your content.

How to link – Anchor text ratios

If we go back 10 years, Google used to heavily rely on anchor text in a link to determine what a page was about.

anchor text ratios

If you wanted to rank for the best web designer in London, you could have spammed various forums, blogs and websites with the same anchor text “web designer London” and more often than not you would rank.

But like everything black hat, Google caught on.

SEO’s now try to mix anchor text ratios so that their link building looks more natural.

But honestly…

White hat link building often leaves the anchor text out of your control, most of the time you only get to choose your own anchor text when you guest post.

The following anchor texts are a guide to what types of links can be built.

Exact match link

An exact match anchor as discussed above is the keyword you want to rank for in a link back to your website.

For example:

exact match anchor text

Out of all the link types, this is the one you don’t want to over optimise and use too much, otherwise, you could face a penalty from Google.

Natural link

In my experience, these are the most common link types gained when doing white hat link building.

A natural link means that your anchor contains none of the keywords you are trying to rank for.

An example can be seen below:

natural backlink profile

Title backlinks

Title links are usually acquired when you land link roundups or when someone references your post as further reading material.

Title backlinks use the title you created for your post.

For this post, a title backlink would look like the following:

title backlinks

Naked URL

A naked URL link type is an anchor that doesn’t contain any keywords but just a naked link, this can be seen below:

maked url anchor text

Keyword + Words

A keyword + other words anchor is the keyword you are trying to rank for plus additional words.

This is a great way of building links with your keywords in without it looking spammy.

If you are trying to rank for SEO London, for example, you would use something like the following:

seo agency

Best and agency are additional keywords surrounding your main keyword you want to rank for.

Branded backlinks

These should be your meat and potatoes of your backlink strategy.

For the American readers:

“These should be the foundation of your backlink strategy

There’s no doubt that Google favours big brands in the search.

Often these big brands have no links to their inner pages and the on-page SEO is ok at best.

So why do they rank?

Because they are a brand, and Google trusts big brands.

In my opinion, your ultimate goal should be to build a brand with your search engine marketing campaigns.

Rand Fishkin of Moz said something similar (Sorry Rand, couldn’t find your exact quote after I read it) to:

“Create a brand so good that branded search volume is higher than all non-branded search volume combined”

Rand Fishkin of Moz (Paraphrased)

To build branded anchor links use the name of your business:

branded anchor text backlinks

Branded + Keyword

Branded links with your keywords are another great way of linking to your website without looking spammy.

If I wanted to link to this article with a branded + keyword anchor I would use the following:

branded + keyword anchor text

Other anchor text types

There are many other ways people will link to your website including:

  • Via images.
  • With no text.
  • With random words from your article.
  • With statistics from your article.

and much more.

What I would say is don’t get too hung up on the above.

As long as your building links naturally you won’t have a problem with your anchor text ratios being too high.

Link building guide conclusion

Link building is hard.

Most small businesses won’t invest the amount of time or money to carry out these link building strategies either.

link building harder than a rubiks cube
Is link building harder than a Rubik’s cube? More than likely.

When you see other SEO agencies doing link building for less than £500/$500 a month you know they are not doing any of the white hat strategies listed above and they are using some shitty PBN service.

That’s a bad thing for their clients, but for you as a SEO consultant it means you’re ahead of the pack.

Competing against other SEO consultants and agencies charging $99 or (£99) a month for SEO will also be difficult.

Don’t let this put you off.

If you implement the above link building strategies for your clients and charge a fair price they will be over the moon with the results you get them.

But I won’t lie to you…

Sometimes you will fail.

failed link building strategy
10 hours work for 1 backlink. Ouch!

You may create a link building campaign and spend days on content and outreach and receive less than a handful of links.

Other times you will score 30+ links for similar content.

successful link building campaign
69 Referring domains, estimated traffic increase of 402.

Not all of the above strategies will work for every client, if one doesn’t work don’t get discouraged. Try another.

All of this is part of the link building game.

If this article has helped you, please feel free to give it a share by using the social sharing buttons on this post.

If you have any questions about link building or SEO drop me an email.

Thanks for reading.
Ricky.

Guaranteed SEO Services – Should you sign up to them?

We often talk to potential clients who tell us that they have been burned by SEO agencies in the past. These types of clients then ask if we offer any guarantees as an SEO service provider and often they are shocked when we tell them we don’t.

We know that choosing an SEO agency can be difficult, so seeing a company that offers guaranteed SEO services may seem like a good choice, but we don’t think that it is.  

In this article, we will go over some of the reasons in which we think you should stay away from guaranteed SEO services and what you should look out for instead.

What do guaranteed SEO services mean?

Firstly, when you see guaranteed SEO services what are these companies guaranteeing?  

A simple Google search has shown us that some companies are offering certain rankings within several months, while others are guaranteeing if you are on the 10th page of Google they will get you to the 6th.

Other companies are guaranteeing that if they don’t get you on the first page within 6 months then they will work for free until they do.  

The above sounds good right, but it isn’t realistic for any competitive term that will generate leads for your business.  

At Weeare we work with some amazing companies in the most competitive spaces in the world.

With some of our clients, it takes us months of hard work to move their main keywords. Some keywords have taken us 9+ months to improve their rankings because of how competitive they are. Other SEO’s have reported the same too, with some working on keywords for over 2 years.

Keyword Progress for the keyword “Keyword Research” by Ahrefs

Tim Suolo of Ahrefs did a study that found that 95% of pages created on the internet didn’t rank on the first page within a year.

So if a company can guarantee that you will rank within 6 months for a competitive term or they will work for free, how legit do you think that service is going to be?

The company offering guaranteed rankings probably has terms and conditions that stipulate they will rank you for some keywords on the page within 6 months, but they won’t be competitive ones.

let’s look at our industry of SEO for example.  

The Keyword SEO Agency London.

guaranteed seo services

The picture above shows the top 3 results and if you are not familiar with the tool Ahrefs, the screenshot shows the domain rating and the links to the page on the site.

The domain rating is a made-up metric by the ahrefs software which shows how strong a domain is based on the links pointing to a website.  

The top 3 results here have a domain rating of:

  • 57
  • 46  
  • 49

And while DR isn’t used by Google it’s a good indication of the strength of a website.

The second site SEOWorks for example has over 800 backlinks from authoritative websites. To beat them you would need good content on your website, good on-page SEO and around the same number of links.  

If we based ranking on backlinks alone you would need 133 backlinks a month for 6 months straight to hit the total. These aren’t standard backlinks such as citations either.

To those who are not familiar with link building, building 133 links a month without a huge team is going to be near impossible. It would also be very expensive.

Just to show you how unrealistic this is, using a third-party guest posting provider such as The Hoth, this would cost you close to $30,000 a month in links alone

The above is based on:

  • Average DR of 30.
  • 1000 words of content.
  • 133 Articles a month.

After 6 months of a super aggressive link building campaign you may still not be ranking either, so do you think there is any company in the world that is going to give you $30,000 worth of services for free until you do rank?

Choosing a company that guarantees SEO services in our opinion is going to end up in tears for everyone involved, but it’s not just us who don’t like ranking guarantees.

Google warns against SEO guarantees too.

Google in their documentation warns against using companies that offer guarantees. They do recommend using an SEO agency that can give you an estimate of the work involved and realistic time frames which any reputable SEO company will offer.

At Weeare we provide a free SEO audit for companies that want to work with us because we like to show them the work involved such as the content that needs to be created and the links that will need to be earned to give you a shot at competing with your competition.

We make these estimates based on the data we have available, but there is no way we can guarantee that we can rank anyone #1 within a certain period.

Google explicitly states that if any SEO company guarantees first result rankings you should walk away from them.

An SEO agency can’t control everything, so they can’t make guarantees.

Search engine algorithms change daily and over the years we have seen huge changes in what works to rank websites.  

Even though reputable SEO consultants keep up with these changes, none of us knows what Google has up their sleeves in 6 months so there is no way to guarantee what works now will work then.

Thankfully with many years of experience, we know that Google loves a well-optimised site, a technically sound website, good content and earned links.  

If you stick to the above your website will increase its organic visibility on the search engines but there is no way to put a figure on how much traffic or where you will rank in 6 months.

Things are often outside the control of the SEO agency too.  

At Weeare we do a lot of link building for our clients. This involves us creating content and then finding prospects and reaching out to them to get links.  

We take full control of this service, but often we don’t have control over the sites internal linking structure or have control over the technical side of their website which could be causing them problems when it comes to rankings. In these instances we always make recommendations but sometimes they get ignored and there is not much we can do about that.

Guaranteed SEO Services could be “black hat”

In the old cowboy movies, the bad guy would often wear a black hat, and although black hat SEO’s in the real world aren’t evil they do bend the rules to rank their websites.

Black hat SEO is something Google is strongly against so if you use black hat tactics on your website you could end up with a Google penalty which will harm your website’s visibility and in some cases, it could be removed entirely.

Black Hat SEO 100% works to rank websites, but once a website gets found out they always lose their rankings and can be de-indexed making that domain worthless and all the money spent you have lost too.

One of our clients used an agency that used black hat techniques and as a result, they dropped 92 positions on the search results for their main keywords. With our SEO services, they were able to get their rankings back but this took months of work and thousands of pounds spent to do so.

If an agency offers SEO guarantees they may have a system in place which is black hat, but it could also damage your website in the long term when Google finds out they are gaming the system.

SEO takes months and sometimes years to get the results your business needs so if a company is offering guaranteed results in a short period they could be using black hat methods.

Guaranteed keyword rankings may not help your business goals

SEO companies that guarantee search results will often have clauses in their contracts that allow them to choose obscure keywords that won’t help you reach your business goals.

An example of this could be the following:

An ecommerce store may want to rank for the terms “wooden bedroom furniture” which could potentially bring in thousands of customers a month.

meaningful search traffic

However, the guaranteed SEO company may choose obscure keywords such as “wooden bedroom furniture with metal legs and cotton upholstery”.

The above query would be very easy to rank for but your business wouldn’t get any benefit from it as no one is searching for it. When you hire an agency for ecommerce SEO services it’s important you don’t target vanity keywords but target keywords that increase your bottom line.

search guarantees

The above is an extreme example, but having worked in SEO agencies and marketing companies in the UK I have seen this happen first hand.

I’ve also seen other marketing companies offer first page rankings or your money back and the clause in the contract was for the business name to be on the first page. If your business doesn’t rank on the first page you are doing something wrong, and you don’t need an SEO agency to do that for you.

Isn’t a guarantee better than not having one?

If we were talking about replacing car parts then sure, but with SEO it’s different. Having a guarantee puts more pressure on an agency to produce results in a set time. Now there isn’t anything wrong with this, as we are in a performance-based industry, if we don’t prove our worth very quickly we know we are getting sacked.  

However, some agencies will see this pressure and start using techniques which are black hat to try and keep you on board as a paying customer for longer.  

These agencies could get your website penalised and after you sack them you are in a worse position than you started. Not only are your rankings poor but you often have spammy links pointing at your website which could cause you to be penalised.

Cleaning up bad links or removing Google penalties is costly and wastes your marketing budget.

If SEO guarantees are bad, what should I look out for?

If you are still reading this you will know we aren’t a fan of SEO guarantees.

So what exactly should you look out for when choosing an SEO agency?  

The above is a difficult question to answer and if I had no experience in SEO I would also find it hard to choose an agency or a freelancer.  

For example, a good way of choosing an SEO agency would be to see their past work and case studies.  

At Weeare however, we don’t like to give any of our client’s data away because we know in doing so their competitors can reverse engineer our work to claw some of their rankings back. 

When we perform our SEO audits for potential clients we do go over the results we have had for clients but don’t share any names. This is a business choice and it won’t work for everyone, but for us, we like to keep our methods and data as private as possible.

Secondly, I would do a little research before contacting any agencies to see what methods work in SEO in the current period to see if the agency uses any outdated methods.

SEO is forever changing so if a company is using blog comments and forum links to rank sites in 2021 then they probably don’t know what they are doing.  

At Weeare we usually work with companies that have their own marketing teams so they are generally clued up on the latest techniques in SEO so this makes it easier for us to explain what we would do to improve their organic traffic if we were to work with them.

One thing you may want to consider is working with an agency that has worked with others in your industry too. This can sometimes cut down on the time taken to get results but if an agency hasn’t worked with a similar company you shouldn’t automatically discount them.

We work with clients in new industries all of the time and what this often means is we have a learning curve of what your potential customers are looking for when they search for companies like yours.

As campaigns in new industries mature we often find that we can write better content and get more links for that client as time goes on.

Reviews from real companies and people

Reading past reviews is a good way of working out if a company gets the results they promise and how easy it is to work with that company.

Not all companies are going to be a good fit and we also like working with a certain type of client. If a company were to get in touch with us and wanted to have daily phone calls, skype sessions and chats on slack every 10 minutes that wouldn’t work for us as our company culture doesn’t work that way.

You may feel the same. Let’s be honest, no one wants to spend their day speaking to an SEO consultant about keyword fluctuations and the majority of our clients couldn’t care less about keyword density, meta descriptions, outreach and technical issues. All our clients want is more search visibility to increase their profits.

An SEO agency should be a valued partner so finding one that fits your culture is very important.

Does the SEO agency provide the services you need?

Another option you should consider is if the agency offers the services you need. At your company, you may need content creation services and link building. Some SEO agencies may not specialise in content creation and link building and may only offer penalty removals and technical SEO fixes.

The above is a bad example as most companies will have a general understanding of the services but you get my point. If you came to us for penalty removal services I would redirect you to another agency that specialises in that as it’s not something we offer our clients.  

If you wanted link building on the other hand that is something we could help with.

SEO has many disciplines including:

  • Technical SEO.
  • On-page optimisation.
  • Off-page link building.
  • User experience design.
  • Penalty removal.

You should consider the above when looking to hire an agency, and a good, honest agency will tell you if they can or can’t help.

Guaranteed SEO services – Final Verdict.

No SEO project is the same.  

We have worked with companies that we’re happy to increase the authority of their websites by getting mentioned on some of the biggest websites in the world.

We have also worked with companies that wanted to increase their search ranking position for one main keyword. 

We have also worked with companies that want to be found for every keyword that a potential customer would use to find their business.

Each SEO strategy for the above clients was different and there is no way we could guarantee certain results within a period. Of course, we gave conservative estimates based on data and past knowledge but we wouldn’t be irresponsible to guarantee results and we wouldn’t be able to work for free after 6 months if we didn’t hit targets.

If you are looking for guaranteed SEO services we aren’t the company for you.  

But if you do want an SEO service that can increase your visibility for keywords that will improve your bottom line get in touch for a free audit. We will take a look at your website and produce a video audit showing some of the things that could be done to increase your organic search traffic.

Best Coffee Shops in Cardiff for remote working

We love Cardiff as a city that’s why we chose to put our offices for our SEO agency there, but sometimes being stuck in the same environment can hinder your creativity and productivity. For this reason, we allow our staff to remote work as often as they would like. 

Our staff tend to all gravitate to coffee shops when remote working so today we will be looking at some of the best Coffee shops in Cardiff for remote working.  

Before we start, this isn’t a list for the best Coffee in Cardiff, so don’t be offended if you own a Coffee shop that isn’t listed here. This is a list of some of the places that we have worked out of over the last few years that we have found useful when remote working.  

If you own a coffee shop and think it would be suitable for remote workers and would like to add it to this list please drop us an email at hello@weeare.co.uk and we will see what we can do.

With all of the above said let’s take a look at some of our favourite coffee shops in Cardiff.

Barkers Teahouse

Barkers Teahouse is a great location to get a tea or a coffee to sip while getting stuck into your work. It’s a very chilled atmosphere and the decoration inside is also something that keeps the stress levels down, something which our programmers tell us is very important.

With big comfy chairs, it’s easy to sit, relax and be productive. The menu also has a nice selection of breakfasts, cakes and drinks and the staff are friendly too. Barkers Teahouse can get busy, so if you do want to work from there try and get there as early as possible.

Barkers Teahouse is located at:

 1-13 Castle Arcade, High St.

Cardiff CF10 1BU

Little Man Coffee Co

We always try to support independent businesses where we can and the Little Man Coffee shop is one of those businesses that we love. They are located in the centre of Cardiff just opposite the Admiral building.

The Little Man Coffee shop is favourite among freelancers, creatives and remote workers and even holds laptop days where you can go in a network with others. The guy that runs our social media from Perky Marketing tells me that it’s an excellent place to meet others and get your hustle on. We can’t attest to that, but we have heard good things about “Laptop Thursdays”.

The Little Man Coffee co is a quiet environment with friendly staff and if you want to work out of the office for a few hours we can recommend this place.

You can find the Little Man Coffee Co in Cardiff at:

Ivor House, Bridge St, Cardiff CF10 2EE

Uncommon Ground

Another independent coffee shop situated in the heart of Cardiff. The Uncommon Ground is a great place to remote work as the Wi-Fi is good, the staff are friendly and the environment is relaxing. The coffee is great too, I’m no expert on coffee so take this with a pinch of salt, but the coffee here is one of my favourites in Cardiff.

The cakes and paninis served here are good too.

You can find the uncommon ground coffee shop in Cardiff in the morgan quarter:

10-12 Royal Arcade, St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1AB

Corner Coffee

If you are looking for somewhere you can remote work from close to Mary Street in Cardiff the Corner Coffee shop could be suitable for you. Once again you can expect friendly staff, good coffee and a relaxing environment.

The only downside to the Corner Coffee shop is that it’s one of the smallest listed in this post so if you don’t get there early enough you may struggle to get a place where you can pull out the laptop and work from.

Corner Coffee does have outside space that you can work from if that’s your thing but it could be a little difficult in the summer with screen glare and all. If you can get in, it’s a great place to work from.

You can find the Corner Coffee shop at:

13 High St, Cardiff CF10 1AX

Coffee Shops in Cardiff Conclusion

Sometimes it’s just nice to get out and about and work with hustle around you. Even the nices of offices spaces can get to you after a while so taking a break from the office and seeing what your city has to offer you can have a huge mental impact.

If you have any other suggestions for good coffee shops in Cardiff suitable for working from please let us know by dropping us an email, we are always on the lookout for new locations. (Bonus points if they serve good cake!)

What is the difference between post title and SEO title?

We were recently asked “What is the difference between post title and SEO title?” by one of our clients and thought it wold be a good idea to put a post together because there maybe other small businesses out there running their own websites who may have the same question.

The question could also be “What’s the difference between an H1 heading and the SEO title?” which is the same thing.

What is an H1 Heading or Post title?

The markup to a webpage tells search engines such as Google the importance of the content on the web page and heading tags show this through their hierarchy.

An H1 heading is the most important, then an H2, H3 and so on. These heading tags give the search engines more information on the importance of the content on your website.

The H1 tag of a website is often the post title if your web developer has configured your website correctly.

For this post you can see what the H1 and page title is below:

What is the difference between post title and SEO title?

This title is what visitors on your website will see but it’s also what the search engines will use to discover what your page is about so it’s very important to get the keywords you want to rank for in here.

One of our clients recently removed their keywords from their H1 titles on one of their most popular pages and within a few days lost over 400 website visitors a month. We helped them fix this and now rankings and traffic have begun to recover, but it shows the importance of getting your H1/post titles right.

One thing that we should mention here is that on bad website themes the H1 title isn’t always the post title.

The post title could become an H2 title because of the way the theme is configured.

Shopify templates are terrible for this and we have found that by default the H1 tags on these themes are the logo. Which means that every page on your website has the same H1 tag which is the logo of your business. This is bad!

Google looks at this logo and often the alt text to decide what the page of your website is about and if it’s your business name it takes that as the pages title. Now this sounds confusing, so here’s an example.

Your business name is “SuperStorage”

The H1 of your website page for your London storage page is now “SuperStorage” where it should actually be something along the lines of “London Storage Facilities”.

h1 tag


Firstly if you are investing in Storage marketing you are going to be wasting your marketing budget because your on-page SEO isn’t optimised for the search queries your visitors would use to find you and your business. This in turn will require you to build more backlinks to your website than your competitors.

Secondly, every page on your website is going to suffer this problem, if you had a Cardiff location it would be difficult for the search engine to rank you higher than your competitors who are including their locations in their H1 titles which shows Google that word is important in the ranking of the page.

That should now make better sense.

But what is an SEO title, is it the same thing?

An SEO title is not the same as a page title.

Where the page title can be seen by the reader, the SEO title or the correct technical term would be meta title is something that the search engines use to show on their website when someone searches for your business.

Using the storage London example, you can see the SEO title is the first blue link (or purple link if you have clicked on that website before).

meta title vs page title

The SEO/meta title above is “Self storage units London | Lowest Price Guarantee* | No.1 …”

Where if you go on to their actual page you can see the H1 or page title is “Self Storage in London”

page titles explained

Depending on the content management system you use such as WordPress, you will edit the meta/SEO title in different ways. On some systems you may need to have a developer input it, but most of the time is should be accessible in the backend of your website.

At Weeare we use Yoast so we can edit page descriptions, titles, and URLs easily.

You can see the SEO title below:

seo title from yoast

As you can see the page title for this post and the SEO title is slightly different as the SEO title in our opinion shouldn’t be exactly the same as it can make your page over optimised.

Another reason to not keep them the same is this is the first thing a potential customer would see before visiting your website.

You should use the SEO title not only to tell the search engines what your page is about but also add a call to action there to make them want to click on your website instead of the other 9+ options on the first page.

Conclusion

So to sum this all up, page titles and SEO titles are not the same thing as page titles relate to the heading titles of a page while SEO titles refer to the page meta and what the search engines show to the visitor before clicking on a page.

Page titles and SEO titles can be exactly the same from a content point of view (read contain the same text) but in our opinion, they shouldn’t be as you should try to edit your SEO title to get a higher click-through rate (or more people clicking on your website) as this is a known ranking factor and if more people click on your website than the ones above it Google can raise your rankings.

What does a marketing consultant do?

A marketing consultant is an external advisor that can help a business strategise and implement the strategy to help the business grow.  With over 70 million blog posts being written every month on the WordPress platform it’s never been a better time to consult with someone who can push your business in the right direction.

Sometimes marketing consultants get a bad rap as your staff can feel demoralised because of the companies choose to hire external help. This shouldn’t be the case though because marketing consultants are usually hired to help with companies expand on what they have rather than replace the existing staff.

In this article, we will take a look at what a marketing consultant does and why you would consider hiring one for your business.

When should you hire a marketing consultant?

digital marketing consultant

You should hire a marketing consultant if you have no marketers on your staff and you’re looking to grow your business. Or you could be a larger company that has a marketing department that either needs a specialised skill or needs another pair of eyes to direct the company in the right direction.

As an SEO consultant we are often hired by clients to improve organic traffic and create a content marketing strategy and then implement it. We then make adjustments to this strategy as the campaign develops.

Having an SEO expert in-house could help your business grow but you would need to hire a technical SEO expert, an On-Page SEO expert, a link builder and a content marketer, all of which can become expensive. On the other hand, you can outsource all of the above to a marketing consultancy (like us) and get the job done without having to hire an entire team. 

A marketing consultant is also useful to provide your business with a fresh pair of eyes and unlike your staff members who could be frightened to speak out in fear of losing their jobs, a marketing consultant wouldn’t have any issues telling you where you are going wrong and what you can do to improve your business.

A marketing consultant also allows you to concentrate on everyday tasks of running the business while the consultant works in the background marketing your business.  

Most businesses hire us as their SEO agency because they know we have a good track record of increasing other companies organic traffic because of this they don’t have to worry about their website or their marketing which frees up more time for them to run their business.

What skills should a marketing consultant have?

website consultant

A marketing consultant should have a wide variety of skills ranging from technical skills to people management. A consultant should have an analytical brain so they can break down and reverse engineer your competitor’s marketing campaigns while using this knowledge to build a better campaign.

You will also find that many marketing consultants specialise in different areas or niches. Some consultants may simply work with real estate clients while other consultants such as ourselves only consult and implement organic SEO campaigns for local companies.

You may find some consultants that specialise in a wide range of digital marketing services such as social media, PPC, SEO and PR but in our experience, you would be better off hiring a specialist. All of the above skills are very difficult to master so finding a consultant that has mastered all of them is going to be next to impossible.

What does an internet marketing consultant do?

Typical responsibilities of an internet marketing consultant could be to identify ways of engaging with past and present customers, auditing your existing marketing collateral and implementing any changes as needed.  

Internet marketing consultants may also be responsible for running social media campaigns, pay per click advertising campaigns and improving the visibility of a website through organic SEO services.

A marketing consultant can help with tasks that you may not even have thought of, a seasoned consultant can act as a trusty advisor and help you with the right targetting for your business, your story and help you with telling that story.

As mentioned above there are many avenues that a marketing consultant can take so the roles can be very different depending on the skills of the consultant, but generally, they should have a specialised skill set that makes them valuable to your team.

What is a career in marketing consulting like?

what is a career in marketing consulting like

A career of a marketing consultant can differ depending on the role of the consultant. From personal experience, I can say that a career as a marketing consultant can be challenging but very rewarding. During my career, I have worked with some amazing companies and have produced amazing results for them which is a great reward in its self.

There have also been times when I’ve wanted to pull my hair out and scream at the top of my voice out of frustration. I suppose this is the same as any other job, but as a marketing consultant, there’s nothing better than changing a person’s business for the better.

One of our marketing clients was making less than £20,000 a year before hiring us to help them with their organic traffic, 2 years later that client is still with us and it’s common for them to hit £50,000 in a month.

Knowing that you have had a massive effect on a business and the people who own that business is an amazing thing and it’s what keeps our team motivated to succeed for our clients.

If you are considering a career as a marketing consultant, I would highly recommend going to work for someone else first so you can learn how your industry works before going out alone. You may also want to go to college/university to get a formal education in the subject as this may help when applying for jobs later on before going out on your own.

The staff here at Weeare all have bachelor degrees in development, marketing and design. Without these degrees, it would have been very difficult to get our foot in the door to work for others before creating this digital marketing agency.

Need to hire a marketing consultant?

If your business needs help with improving its organic website traffic, our organic SEO marketing consultants can help, all you need to do is get in touch with us, tell us who you are and what you do (along with your current website) and we can provide you with a free SEO audit.

How to calculate return on marketing investment (ROMI)

If you want to measure the overall effectiveness of a marketing campaign a return on marketing investment (ROMI) is the calculation you will want to run for your business.

ROMI is a subset of ROI (return on investment) and in its basic form, it looks at revenue increase compared to the investment that was made by the business to get there.

Years ago it was difficult to see where the increase in revenue was coming from but these days with tracking pixels it’s much easier to see the users journey through your website mainly the entry points (a landing page from an ad or SEO marketing) to the exit points (checkout or contact page). 

By following a users journey from discovery to sale it’s much easier to see the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.

How is ROMI used by marketers?

romi calculation example

Some of the businesses that we have talked to in the past have been running pay per click ads, social media campaigns, email marketing and organic SEO and have had no idea which of these was bringing in the most revenue for the company or which was wasting valuable resources.

Understanding where your revenue comes from and the marketing spend can allow a business to focus on the areas which can bring them more revenue while decreasing the spend in other areas which are ineffective.

When a business knows its ROMI it can then justify its marketing spend and distribute the marketing budgets across the areas which are going to be the most profitable for that business.

ROMI is also useful for benchmarking a campaign and then using that data to improve future campaigns.  

Calculating return on marketing investment (ROMI)

To calculate the return on marketing investment and see if your investment was profitable or you ended up wasting money you can use the following formula:

ROMI Calculation Example

ROMI = ((income from marketing – marketing expenditures)/ marketing expenditures) * 100

You can use the above formula to calculate the ROMI from a campaign. If you want to calculate the revenue you would also include the costs of the goods that you sell. For that calculation you can use the following formula:

ROMI = ((income from marketing – cost of goods – marketing expenditures) / marketing expenditures) * 100.

Depending on your situation you can use either to calculate your return on marketing investment.  

A real-life example could look something like this:

A monthly SEO marketing spend could cost £2000, which generates £50,000 in sales. Without factoring in the cost of goods using the ROMI formula it would look like this:

ROMI = ((50,000 – 2000) / 2000) * 100 = 2400%

In this instance for every £1 spent on marketing, you would get a return of £24.

Why is ROMI important to a business?

While some marketing agencies thrive on creating memorable campaigns it’s also important to be able to prove if a campaign was a success or not.  

When you can work out your ROMI it’s then much easier to make a decision to keep working on that campaign or to try another avenue. Using the example above for every £1 spent you should expect to earn £24 back, with this data you can then make educated decisions when considering the budget for future campaigns.

Without this data, money may be invested in the wrong area which will slow the growth of your business.

Challenges of using ROMI as a metric.

As you can see from above, calculating your ROMI has many advantages and can help your business decide where to spend its marketing budget, but there are challenges of using ROMI as a marketing success metric and one of which is marketing measurements are influenced by a wide range of factors which are outside of your control.

The weather, seasonality, natural disasters, viruses (Covid-19, I’m looking at you!), sporting events and so much more can have an impact on your sales and marketing. 

Marketers can also be narrow-minded when it comes to metrics and may only focus on the short term gains, in our example above you may have generated £50,000 in sales but there could be a high lifetime value associated with those sales. 

Let’s say in the example the company spent £50,000 and made £50,000 back, with costs this campaign would have been a loss on paper, however, if the lifetime value of these sales meant many repeat sales over multiple years this could be a very successful campaign.

The return on marketing investment doesn’t take this into consideration and it also fails to consider the brand awareness that this campaign would have achieved.

ROI vs ROMI vs ROAS

return on marketing investment

We have included this section within the post because we often hear them being interchanged with each other. ROI or Return On Investment is the general term used when talking about the money invested vs the money that was generated from the investment.  

ROAS or Return on Ad Spend is another marketing term that is interchangeable with ROMI and it’s generally used within PPC agencies or advertising agencies rather than SEO agencies.  

ROAS is calculated in the following manner:

ROAS = income from marketing / marketing investment

Conclusion

If you choose to market your product or service through PPC, SEO, Email, Cold Calling or Social media it’s important for a company to know how much costs are involved and how much revenue is generated through that channel.

When a business knows how to calculate return on marketing investment (ROMI) they can then work out which channels are bringing in the most profit. By using ROMI you are able to see if a campaign is worth continuing and can even use the campaign’s metrics as a benchmark in the future.  

Marketers should be conscious of any outside influences that could have a negative effect on the success of their campaigns. Natural disaster, viruses, diseases, sporting events and seasonal trends can all have an effect on a campaign one way or another.

At Weeare we provide organic SEO marketing services to our clients, if you would like to improve your websites organic reach please get in touch with us and we can provide you with a free website and marketing video audit.

B2B Buyer Personas – Are they useful for your business?

If your embarking on an inbound marketing campaign one of the first steps you will have to take is to know who you are marketing to. Otherwise, you end up targeting businesses that have no interests in your product.

For example, if we were to run an inbound marketing campaign for our link building services we would have to come up with a plan to find out who needs this service, how much they typically spend on advertising, their company size and much more.

When you start to build this picture this is known as a buyer persona.

Industry surveys are a great place to start with a buyer persona. For example, in the Self Storage industry, you can find surveys that outline the average age of a customer, their marital status, how far they are willing to travel to go to a storage location and much more. All of this could then be used in a storage companies lead generation process.

Creating buyer personas if you have never made one can be difficult and if you have no idea who you want to market to, we have put together a list of questions you can ask yourself to create a buyer persona for your product/service.

What industry does your ideal client work in?

As we are an SEO agency we primarily offer ecommerce SEO services to companies with 10+ staff and doing £50,000 to £100,000 in sales per month. For you, this could be landscapers, builders, doctors, dentists and so on. You should also take this a step further if they specialise in their area.   

Your ideal client could be in the cosmetic industry and specialises in porcelain veneers for 25-40-year-olds.

What is the size of their company?

Knowing the size of a company can help filter the right clients to your offer, for example at our company we know that our services, in general, are going to be too expensive for a 1 person sole trader so therefor we wouldn’t target sole traders with our marketing.

We also know that in our field of SEO things change very quickly so we have to make decisions at the same speed, and working with a company with 500+ employees would be very difficult to work with so we wouldn’t target them either.

What is the person’s job role?

Knowing the person’s job role who you are going to target will allow you to get your messaging right when creating the content for them or for when you reach out with outbound marketing.

If you sell a technical product you may want to target the CTO of a company while if you are selling a product that can help the sales team reduce costs and improve their performance you may want to target the sales manager.

Knowing the person’s job role will also help you when creating your content, if you are targeting lower-level staff you may need to create more in-depth content that handholds them a little while on the other hand if you’re targeting a higher level of staff you may not need to educate them as much on your product.

How is success measured?

For your marketing to be successful you are going to need to know how success is measured in that person’s eyes. The CTO of a company would be interested in your product if it helped them take advantage of new technology to improve their bottom line, they may not be interested in a service that helps retain employees.

At Weeare, success is measured in organic traffic gains for our clients, if a service was pitched towards us that could improve our client’s organic traffic we would be all ears, but if we were pitched on a new app design it wouldn’t make much sense to us and wouldn’t be a good fit.

What does their workday look like?

Knowing how often the person works, the time they work and where they work from can help when crafting a message or looking for places to advertise from.  

If you know your product is a good fit for C level executives who like to spend their weekends at golf clubs or health spas maybe you could buy advertising space on the electronic boards within health clubs.

What challenges do they face?

The success of a business depends on the problem it solves and how it goes about solving that problem.

For your product/service to work, you need to go into detail on what problems your potential customers face and what it makes them feel like.

When you understand the personas challenges and how it makes them feel you can then target your marketing and your product around that.

With us, we know that our clients generally have hired SEO agencies in the past who haven’t produced results for them and they had no idea what they had done for them. As a result of this, part of our marketing is to explain our entire process and how the customer is kept in the loop throughout with a project tracker where they can see the work that has been done and is in the process of being complete.

Without knowing this was important to our clients we wouldn’t have built this tracker.

What websites or blogs do they read?

Finding out what websites they visit or blogs they read can help with your marketing because you know where they hang out. A dentist may read other dental blogs and if you wrote a piece on that blog around a subject they cared about such as how to get more Invisalign clients you could have a client in the making.

What social channels do they use?

Social media marketing is a huge part of a business and knowing where your clients hang out could save you months of frustration. If you know your clients hang out on LinkedIn then it makes sense to focus your marketing efforts on building your LinkedIn profile rather than making Tik Tok videos or posting 4 times a day on Instagram.

Problems with Personas

We believe that buyer personas are of value, but they do have their problems too. We interviewed 50 of our clients and found that 84% (42) of them built their buyer personas from assumptions rather than data from speaking to past clients.

We would recommend using data rather than assumptions, but this can be a next to impossible task.

Conclusion

Buyer personas are a useful tool when marketing your business and while they are useful it’s important to realise that they are just a tool and common sense should still be used. 

People are different and your ideal buyer persona won’t match them 100%, so if your persona tells you they should act in one way but they don’t this is fine and you shouldn’t panic or cut off the sale.  

You can alter your buyer persona as your business grows too and overtime you will have a better understanding of who your ideal customer is.

SEO for Carpenters and Joiners

Are you a carpenter or a joiner with a website that could be doing more to generate more leads for your business?

Here at Weeare, we offer high quality, white hat SEO services for carpenters and joiners that helps generate more business through their existing websites.

As you know, carpentry and joinery is a competitive market, and small businesses like yourself are always looking to outdo one and other to land more jobs and contracts through any means necessary.

Some carpenters will look to advertise in trade magazines, newspapers or even on the radio, not only is this expensive but it’s also very hard to track and see what is working and what is not. SEO, on the other hand, allows you to track your investment quite easily.

What is SEO and how can it help my carpentry business?

seo for joiners

Great question.

More than likely someone has told you that you need seo for your carpentry website. But if you don’t understand what that means, don’t worry. I just about know the difference between a dovetail joint and a butt joint (I had to google it too).

SEO is a technique used by search engine optimisation consultants like ourselves to get your website or our own (this article, for example, has been seo’d for the keyword “seo for carpenters and joiners“) to show up on the first pages of the search engines in order to drive more sales for us, and we can do it for you too.

For example when someone types in:

Carpenters in “your town/city”

Your website would then show up and if the person searching that term lands on your website there is a good chance you can get them as a client.

SEO allows you to target the right kind of people that will become customers.

SEO is one of my favourite ways of generating new business as the people searching for your service are close to making a purchasing decision.

Unlike traditional marketing methods such as radio, tv, billboards, newspapers etc, SEO is an invasive way of marketing. You are not interrupting peoples day, instead if you hire the right marketing consultant you are showing up at the right time when someone wants to buy your service.

Why SEO marketing and not PPC?

seo company for carpentry company

PPC or pay per click marketing is another great way of advertising and in my opinion if your budget stretches far enough you could be doing both. But if you can only pick one, I would go with SEO, for the simple reason as soon as you stop spending with PPC marketing your leads dry up.

With SEO, if your campaign has been run successfully and in a white hat way (think good guys vs bad guys) then your website doesn’t automatically lose rank when you stop paying for seo services.

We have ex SEO clients that still rank for their keywords years after finishing their SEO services with us. If you’re asking why did they stop, simply they reached that first page and there was nothing else we could rank them for.

What can SEO do for my carpentry business?

carpentry marketing firm

“Carpentry London” for example gets 100 searches from people a month. “West London Carpentry” gets another 100. “Carpentry companies London” gets another 100 searches. “Carpentry services London” another 100, “bespoke carpentry London” gets 80 searches, and the list goes on.

With a little research, you could easily find enough keywords to get over 1000 searches a month for the services you provide and that’s on the low end. But for the sake of this article, let’s just say your website gets optimised for those 1000 website searches and only gets 20% of the overall clicks which is low. So now you have 200 people landing on your website every month. Out of those 200 people on average you can expect 4% of those to turn into customers.

Potentially that could be an extra 8 customers a month. Now depending on your average customer value that could be an extra £8000 or £120,000 per month.

As you can see, even if you have enough clients, you could start generating more higher ticket sales for your carpentry business.

Another advantage of SEO is it allows you to optimise your website for your most profitable services or the services you enjoy most of. For example if your most profitable service was custom staircases then you could create a page on your website and start SEO’ing it to make it rank better while leaving out services that don’t make you that much money.

How much does SEO for carpenters and joiners cost?

circular saw

Like carpenters and joiners, our prices are bespoke to each client and depend a lot on your competition too. If your competition is low then our monthly fees will reflect that as it will take us less time to improve your search engine positioning.

Carpenters in more competitive locations such as London, or carpenters who work nationally would need more work to improve their search rankings.

If you would like to learn more about our SEO consultancy services and would like a free quote and a consultation call please get in touch.

7 Reasons why we love our SiteGround hosting.

As a Web Design and SEO Agency we are always looking for ways to improve our website and our customers. Recently we switched our hosting to Siteground and loved it so much we have written a blog on it.

Website hosting is not the sexiest of topics, but it lays the foundations on what your website is built on.

We have hosted our websites (& clients) with an American company for over 10 years, but after receiving bad support on one of our client’s websites we decided to see what else was out there.

We narrowed our search down to Siteground, and after being retargeted multiple times on our social media accounts we decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

Switching to Siteground has been one of the best choices we have made this year, and here is why…

SiteGround hosting is really quick

Compared to our other hosting company our website now runs at a much quicker rate. Pages take a lot less time to load and sites like GTAMetrix, Pingdom and Google Page Speed insights have confirmed a positive change.

gta metrix page speed

Some great scores on GTMetrix
pingdom page speed test

Another great page speed score from pingdom, very impressed with the load time of just over a second.

google page speed test

Although the scores above are not perfect (Google Page Speed), they are a massive improvement on what we had before. This is great considering we still have to do some optimisations ourselves.

As search engine optimisation consultants, we are always looking for ways to improve our load speeds as we know how important it can be when it comes to ranking a website.

I wish I had some screenshots to show the results before switching the hosting, but I do remember someone on social media calling us out where we said a website should take less than 2 seconds to load and someone ran a test where ours took 4 (oops!)

Thankfully Siteground hosting has got our web page loading time to around 1 second (Whoop Whoop!) no more egg on our face.

Fast SSL Installations (& Free)

ssl certificates

The last hosting company we used would charge £40 per SSL certificate which is slightly more than most and for one client they took over 10 days to install it, as trusted marketing consultants this simply wasn’t good enough for our clients.

Thankfully Siteground was almost instant.

They do offer SSL certificates that are paid, but more most people their free SSL certificate is perfect.

This alone was probably worth the switch, especially since Google has been flagging websites as insecure in their chrome update since August.

From having to wait 10 days, fuss about with confirming the SSL certificate through admin emails to clicking one button and installing a security certificate almost instantly, this has helped us as an agency considerably and will save us quite a bit of time. Brilliant!

Staging Environments

wordpress staging

At Weeare we love building our clients sites on local machines then transferring them to a staging environment and finally when the clients happy we put the site live.

We think this is the best way to develop websites, but it takes a lot of time.

With Siteground we can set up a staging environment and then push the changes to the live website in 2 clicks. Not only does this save us time but it also allows us to work on the staging sites when carrying out future developments. No cowboy coding here.

Now you may think this is not a new thing, and other hosting companies offer this service and you would be right.

But…

Our other hosting provider which weren’t much cheaper than Siteground did not offer this service, so being able to do all of the above with a few clicks is new to us, so don’t ruin our parade and let us bask in the glory!

Other hosting providers which offered this staging environment set up were also more expensive than what we are paying now.

Site Migration

site migration
How we feel migrating websites

With your first website, Siteground offer a free transfer, after that you have to migrate websites on your own.

This I didn’t realise until after purchasing the hosting and was a little disappointed because quite frankly I hate migrating websites, and thought this service was for every website.

However…

I then discovered that Siteground have their own migration plugin and it is so simple to use.

Migrating a website in the past may have taken 30 minutes to do so (Don’t judge, I hate setting up and migrating sites).

With the Siteground migration plugin, it legit took me less than 5 minutes without having to deal with any of the technical issues that you can sometimes run into when setting up databases and all that nasty other stuff.

The migration plugin gets a massive thumbs up from us.

1 Click Repository set up

git setup

Setting up repositories are not hard, but they can be time-consuming. When you have multiple clients as we do, anything that can help us save time is a massive positive.

In one click we can set up a repo and be done with it.

Perfect.

Reasonably priced

With the discounts available on Siteground for first time customers it is pretty much the same price as any other hosting company, after the first year however it jumps up quite a bit, but with that said I think for what you get the introductory price is amazing and the full price after 12 months is more than fair.

You can get cheap hosting for a few quid a month, but as we said earlier in this article, hosting is the foundation of your website, it is not something you should look too cheap out on.

When looking at hosting we considered a few different companies and for the service we receive and the price we pay and will pay we are more than happy to recommend Siteground hosting.

Great Support

The whole reason we began looking for a hosting company a few months ago was that of the lack of support we received from our existing supplier.

One of our client’s websites that does sales in the region of £££ – ££££ a day website went down and the level of support we received to try and get the website back up and running was shocking. (The problem was a server issue and not something we had direct control over)

We were told “The website works fine for us” and “We can’t see a problem” which are not words you want to hear when your clients websites are down for the rest of the world.

Siteground is apparently known for their high levels of support, and we put this to the test almost immediately after getting our site up and running.

And sure enough, our support ticket was answered in detail within 10 minutes. Very helpful.

Conclusion

happy

As you can see we are very happy with our choice of switching hosting to Siteground. It’s important to note that we haven’t been paid to write this review or it doesn’t include any affiliate links to make us money like so many other companies do when they write hosting reviews.

Instead, this is an honest review that may help others out there who are looking for reliable, fast and secure website hosting with some great features.

If you know anyone who is looking for website hosting please give this blog a share, it would help us and them out.

Thank you!

Ricky

Web design for tradesmen

Running a service-based business (plumbing, carpentry, building, or electrician) and need a website, but you’re confused about the options out there and don’t want to be ripped off? then you’re in the right place.

Unlike our competitors, we understand that creating a high converting website for your business could add potentially another few hundred thousand to million on your bottom line each year(depending on your company size).

And just like there are cowboy builders, there are also cowboy coders. So we will highlight what we do when we create websites for tradesmen, and how it sets us apart from our competition.

Responsive website design for tradesmen

web design for tradesmen

Because all of our websites for tradesmen are built custom we take time to make sure that every piece of code that goes into your website needs to be there and if it doesn’t it’s not included. That way the website loads quicker and converts more of your website traffic into customers.

Having a fast loading website is very important, especially when most business is done on mobile phones these days. Being mobile responsive (a website that works on a phone) is very important if you want to generate more leads and sales.

One of our client’s website is visited 80% of the time by visitors on a mobile phone. 8/10 people browse their website and because it’s not a cheap theme like our competitors sell they are able to make 5x the revenue they were before hiring us. What would you do with 5x the amount of revenue?

A content management system that is easy to use

Being a tradesman most of your time is probably been spent on site (or a yacht if your an electrician), so the last thing you want to do is be distracted from your actual work to update a website that is a nightmare to use.

We make websites that are easy to use and update without having to know any coding or be any good with computers. Most of our clients hate computers, so if you do, don’t worry you are not alone.

If you want to update the galleries of your latest work then you can do that with ease. If you can work an email you can work a website designed by us. And if you ever get stuck our team of experts are only a phone call or email away.

Turning visitors into customers

web design for plumbers

When we design websites for business owners in the trades our ultimate goal is to generate more leads for you. Our website design process is centralised around lead generation.

In website design, there is something known as conversion rate optimisation or CRO for short, which basically means the testing of different elements on a website to see which convert at a better rate. So for example, with your future website you would test different headlines, buttons, button text, colours and much more to see what works better when turning website visitors into customers.

We have been building websites for over 10 years and optimising them for just as long. Do you think someone who charges £300 for a website knows any of this? nope, I don’t think so. And it’s very important too.

Let us say that from our testing we see that 5 out of 100 website visitors contact you for a quote and 2 out of those 5 become customers. We then test our designs to see which converts best for you.

With our new designs, we are getting 10 out of 100 to contact you and now you are getting 4 clients instead of 2. Without any additional website traffic, you have just doubled your website earnings.

If a customer is on average worth £5000, you have now gone from earning £10,000 to £20,000 without any additional website traffic. Now imagine we could increase your traffic too (we can, through SEO).

Search engine optimisation for tradesmen

web design for tradesmen

Know how you found this article on Google through searching? That was achieved by something called search engine optimisation or SEO for short.

We can do this for you, and we can increase your website traffic in the area in which you work in. So if a customer typed in “plumber in cardiff” or “Electrician in Cardiff” our search engine optimisation consultants could get your business right on the first page.

I’m sure you know how important it is to get on the front page of Google, doing so makes your business visible and will generate highly targeted leads to your website.

Our SEO services for tradesmen start off at £2000 per month and work great for services businesses like yourself when it comes to generating new business for your company.

SEO is the modern-day equivalent of TV and Radio ads, but unlike them, they are targeted to people who actually want what you are selling and if you hire the right marketing consultant they can put you in front of these buyers.

If you’re a tradesman and really want to take your business to the next level I highly recommend our SEO services in addition to our website design.

Web design for tradesmen: how much does it cost?

Now obviously our websites are more expensive than the people described above, but it’s not like we are going to charge you £30,000.

To build a lead generating machine for your business our website design and development services for tradesmen start off at £2500.

As a tradesman you may not know what you need exactly when it comes to website design, that’s fine. If you came to my house and started talking to me about anything on the tools I wouldn’t have the slightest, that is why we will explain everything in the plainest of terms, we won’t over complicate anything and we certainly won’t rip you off on what you do and don’t need.

Simply put, we will build you an awesome website that gets found online. We will make sure that this website works on mobile devices and we will make a website that you are proud to represent your business.

If you need a website for your trade business, get in touch. We love working with people who work in the trade as we love being able to increase our client’s bottom line through digital marketing services.

Tradesmen website templates – What about those?

Sure, as discussed above if you’re looking to have a website design for your business then you can get them done for cheaper than us. But we know that our website design services will pay for themselves. For example.

Our competitor – Website design cost £300, leads generated 0.

looking at the above, £300 looks cheap for a website and looks good value. However your potential customers won’t find it as it’s not going to be search engine optimised and as a result, you won’t make any money back from it. Effectively you just threw £300 away.

Our Website design cost £2500, traffic per month mid hundreds – low thousands (depending on location) – leads generated 10-50 (based on a new business)

let us say your product is good and your sales team are excellent, from the 10-50 generated new leads you may close 5. Your average sale could be worth £5000. 5 x £5000 = £25,000. Your website could have generated an extra £25,000 per week/month, but if you chose to go for a cheaper option you wouldn’t have even had these inquiries. Not so cheap now is it.

Tradesman website design – What’s included?

Ok, so what’s included in this £2,500 website design package? Well, you get the following and much more:

  • Website design based on generating leads
  • Website development (hand-coded for site speed)
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Content management system to keep your website organised
  • Mobile responsive website design
  • Professional domain name and email addresses.
  • & much more.

I hope you see the value in working with us, rather than someone who will make you a site and forget about your business as soon as you have completed your payment. If you would like a website designed for your trade business please get in touch, we would love to help improve your website traffic and lead generation process.

Website Design For Small Law Firms

Are you a small law firm looking for a new website? We can help.

We offer website design services to small law firms like yourself with the focus on generating more leads for your law firm. Whether you specialize in Family Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law or many of the other areas of law we can help your business be found online by potential clients.

Unlike other industries, legal website design can be quite different. Not only do you have to make it quite clear what area’s of law you specialize in but you also have to make the website look professional and it needs to be found online in a highly competitive industry. That is where we come in.

We can help design, develop and market your small law firm website.

website design for small law firms
website design for small law firms

Small law firm web design rules we stick to.

When it comes to designing your small law firm website we stick to a set of rules so that your website hits strict criteria before going live. We like to make sure that our websites look professional and are easy to use. Before we even start designing we will sit down and discuss how we can layout the site in terms of the content that you want the user to find and use before contacting you.

When we have your small law firms content we can then begin designing a custom website around your business. We always aim to make sure your website user can navigate to any part of your website within 3 clicks. This leads to less user frustration and more conversions (users into customers)

Your law firm website must also be search engine friendly, mobile responsive and ultra-fast, all of which will allow your website to be found and convert visitors into high paying customers.

At Weeare we offer small law firm website design from £2500 and it includes everything you need for your law practice to get up and running online including:

  • Responsive Website Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Mobile and Browser Testing
  • Search Engine Submission
  • CMS
  • Social Integration
  • + Much More

Our search engine optimisation consultants will also make sure the website is optimised on page, to help your website get found on the search engines.

law firm web design inspiration

website design for small law firms
Quinn Emanuel is a greatly designed law firm website, the layout screams professionalism, the colours work great and the information on their website is easy to find and digest. Overall a great looking and functioning legal website.


TSMP law is another great looking website. The website is very high end and the subtle animations focus the user on the content as it fades in keeping them engaged at all times. Once again a very nice looking legal website.

website design for small law firms
Vancouver Family Lawyers – Once again a great looking site, however, what I love is how they have used their website slider not only to tell a story but to make the website easier for the user to navigate to their different areas of the law. Sliders shouldn’t be used on most websites in my opinion however, in this case, it works well.

I love the websites designed for the law firms above, if you would like to see how we can help you with our website design services for small law firms or if you need any other marketing consultancy services get in touch.

Dental website design cost – How much does it really cost?

I’m sure you will agree it can be very difficult to choose someone to create a dental website for your business. Some may even say it’s as excruciating as toothache (I’ll stop the jokes here).

Or is it?

There are a few different options when it comes to having a dental website made for your business.

In this post, I will tell you exactly what you will need to know in order to get the best deal for your budget.

What does a dental website cost?

No one in life likes paying more than they have to for a service, I certainly don’t.

Web design however can be a difficult business to understand. You can get websites that cost nothing at all, and you can get websites that cost £100,000+

Another difficulty you face is that you would assume that the more expensive the web design the better the quality, but in a lot of cases you would be wrong.

But don’t worry, by the end of this blog you will have enough information to know what step to take next to get a new website for your dental business.

What is the average dental website design price?

dental web design cost

At the basic level, you can set up a dental website for less than £100. You could hire a freelancer from India and they will gladly put together a website that will look ok, and it will allow your visitors to find the information they need if they know the address of your website.

The problem with the above is that in my experience low paid developers don’t write very good code. Now I’m sure there are plenty of developers out there who would love to prove me wrong, but in my experience, you get what you pay for.

Low paid developers write low-quality code.  The code they write is quite sloppy and what that means to you is that the website will load slower than it should.

A slow website is not great for your customers and Google will penalise your website for being slow and can rank your competitors above you for this reason alone.

If you’re a legitimate practice and want to increase your business do not hire a low-paid developer.

Freelance website design for dentists

dental web design freelancer

If your budget is limited but you still want a good website for your dental business then a freelancer can be a good choice. Before starting Weeare I freelanced for many years picking up some vital skills along the way.

I personally know some very good freelance designers and developers.

The cost of a Freelance developer can range vastly. Some prices which I have seen over the years for freelance website designers would be:

–  £700 for a small site (Just starting out)
–  £1000 – £1500 (2-3 years experience)
– £2500+ (5+ years experience)

If you do think that your budget won’t stretch more than £2500 then a freelancer could be a great choice (but don’t make up your mind just yet) for your dental website, just make sure to check out their past work and customer testimonials so that you shouldn’t get any nasty surprises.

What do dental websites cost if they are made by a small agency?

dental website design uk

The next level up from a standalone freelancer is a small agency.

A small agency usually employs a few members of staff that work in many different areas such as design, development and marketing.

A small agency could be a good choice for your dental practice if you want to keep everything under one roof. For example, if you were going to hire a freelancer like above you may need to hire 2 freelancers, one to design and one to develop your website, and additionally, you may want to hire a third to help you market your website.

If the above sounds a bit of a hassle then that is where an agency comes in. A small agency such as Weeare (shameless plug) can help you stay organised by having a dedicated account manager, that person would then be your point of contact all throughout the service. This helps you focus on your business without having the worry of dealing with many different people.

Our search engine optimisation consultants will also make sure your website is optimised to be found on the search engines.

The typical cost of a dental website from a small design agency would be around £3000 – £7000.

Dental website design cost vs. Goals

dental website design price

Dental web design costs ultimately are going to be dependant on the level of service you require, the skills of your marketing consultants, and the goals that you want your new dental website to achieve.

Take two different dental practices for instance and compare their websites.

Dental practice number 1 is a dentist that has been around for 15 years and doesn’t have much room to grow any bigger. For dental practice number, one patient acquisition may not be its number one goal.

Dental practice number 1 may want to simply upsell to their current patients. For this, you would want your website to be designed in such a way which captures their current client’s details and then market to these people via email marketing.

The web design cost of dental practice number 1 would be around £3000 – £4000.

Dental practice number 2 however maybe a brand new practice. Their focus would be on acquiring new patients. The web design costs of dental practice number 2 would be much different.

Dental practice number 2 would need a website to be designed to acquire new patients and therefore the site would be designed in a different way. For example, they may want to incorporate a blog into their website for additional search engine traffic. The website would also have to be search engine friendly and you would also need to take out additional services such as search engine marketing and social media marketing.

Search engine marketing and social media marketing would be vital in the example above and rough costs of both services can start from £1500 a month and go all the way up to £3000+ depending on your competition.

Are you underpaying for your dental website?

Look at your competitor’s websites and if they come up before yours on the search engines then there is a good chance they have spent time and money getting their websites there.

To beat your competitors in the search results you are going to need to spend more than a few hundred pounds on a website.  If you don’t I wouldn’t expect to appear above these people on the search engines and I wouldn’t expect to take customers from them because they will show up before your business every time.

If you can not afford to spend a few thousand pounds on your website for your dental business then I would recommend saving that money until you can. The cost of a dental web design is well worth the investment if spent in the right place. Underpaying for your website design will probably leave you disappointed in the results.

Are you overpaying for your dental web design?

Unless you are a franchised dental business with many different locations and treatments then I wouldn’t justify in spending more than £10,000 initially on the web design.

If you are seeking dental marketing services then I also wouldn’t recommend spending more than a few thousand per month with an agency before you build a relationship with them. Start smaller and then increase your budget when you start getting results.

In my personal experience for a cost of £1500 – £2000 a month you should be the range that you should be looking to invest per month on marketing.

Our final advice on dental website design costs.

dental website design cost

Look at your competitor’s websites and decide if they look well made.  Then take into account how old the business is and how long their website been live.  If the website looks well made, the business has been around for years and so has the website, chances are they will take a bit of work to outrank in the search engine results page.

You should now have a better understanding of “what do dental websites cost”. If anything in this post has you confused or you would like to talk to us then drop us an email and we will help the best we can.

If you have a project in mind and would like to find out how to get a mobile responsive and search engine friendly website for your dental practice please feel free to contact us.

Web design Cardiff – How to pick the right agency for your business

Looking for web design in Cardiff? If you are, keep on reading.

Choosing a website design agency for your business is hard, isn’t it?

The term “Web Design Cardiff” brings up hundreds of search results alone.

How do you know what agency to work with? Do you go for someone who employs 100’s of staff? The cheapest quote? or something else?

In this blog post, we will look at everything we think you should know about choosing a web designer for your business.

If you just want to see what offers we have on, and the quality work we do you may just want to check out our portfolio.

Other Services we offer

Responsive web design in Cardiff

responsive website design cardiff

When looking for web design in Cardiff you are going to hear the term responsive web design thrown around a lot.

Responsive web design is an approach of designing and developing a website that works on all devices, such as:

  • Mobile phones
  • Tablets (iPads, Kindles)
  • Laptops
  • Desktop Computers
  • And More

Your new website must be mobile responsive if you want any form of return on investment. If your website isn’t mobile responsive then the search engines will punish your business by showing you lower in the rankings.  You may want to check out our post search engine marketing Cardiff for more info on our SEO services.

A website that isn’t mobile responsive is like hiring a builder to build a home for you and them not putting a roof on it, wiring in the electricity or putting a front door on your new house because it was a little bit cheaper for them not to do so.

You have to make sure that your new website will be mobile responsive to give your business a chance to be found on the search engines.

In the past we have seen a massive jump in the search engine rankings just by making our client’s websites mobile responsive, that could mean the difference between staying in business or shutting up shop.

Some of our competitors build websites that are not mobile responsive or they give you an option whether to pay extra for your new website to be mobile responsive. Make sure that your site is mobile responsive before handing over any money or signing any contracts, if it is not, walk away and talk to our team of expert consultants.

Cheap website design vs. a custom website design

cheap website design

Cheap website design may be an option for you if you have no budget and want to get a website up and running.

A cheap website more than likely won’t get found online, the massive drawback of having a cheap website design is that you will have to tell potential customers your website address and tell them to visit it.

By doing the above however you are not using your website to its full potential, a good website should generate you leads, you shouldn’t have to keep telling people to visit yourwebsite.com.

Think of it, how many people could you possibly come into contact with every day?

If you have to tell people to visit your website, you are doing it wrong.

Take our website for example. Sure we have our web address on our business cards, but I can’t remember the last time I handed a business card out to someone and told them to visit our website.

Make no mistake, business cards are useful, but for us as a web and digital marketing company it makes more sense for our website to bring customers to us, rather than getting out in people’s faces and selling our services.

And your website should too!

There are a few problems with cheap websites, such as:

Low-quality web design code can harm your business

bad website design

Low-quality code can’t be seen by the average person.

To you, a bad website may not look great, but to us, as a web and marketing agency, a bad website starts with bad code. A website that contains bad code, can still look great.

We have seen websites that look beautiful, Only to look underneath to see some terrible code.

Bad code under a website is the equivalent of buying a Porsche and fitting it with a Vespa engine.

Websites with bad code will struggle with:

  • Search engine ranking
  • Website speed
  • User experience

Bad code can affect all of the above. Bad code can confuse the search engines with what your site is actually about.

Bad code can take up more resources than it needs to, therefore, it takes longer for the website to load (bad user experience), causing your users to click the dreaded back button.

Bad search engine optimisation – Do you want your customers to find you?

search engine optimisation cardiff

We have been contacted in the past by people looking to go into business and only have a budget of £300. For this, they want a website and all the marketing that they can get to reach the first page of Google.

Not happening.

Some business areas are so competitive that it could take years for your business to get to that first page.

What other industry do you know where someone is willing to work around the clock for a few years for £300?

Thankfully most industries, especially in Wales, are not that competitive for a new business to break into the search results. Our average time so far for our clients has been around 4-6 months.

If you’re paying a few hundred pounds for a website, how much search engine optimisation do you think you are going to get?

No time = low-quality control. Don’t skimp on testing.

website design testing

No website agency will make a website that is 100% free from errors. Us included.

What we have noticed is the cheaper website design agencies tend to have terrible quality control.

We always keep an eye on our competitors, in fact, we would guess that most of their website views are from us checking up on them, I joke. But you get the point.

When checking out some of the lower quality agencies we often see that their projects have missing links, broken images, pages that don’t exist, and so on.

Obviously, these agencies are not doing this on purpose but they are unable to spend the time necessary to make sure the quality of the website is up to scratch.

A typical website design project for us lasts 6 to 8 weeks. That’s design, development, and quality control.  If you are only paying a few hundred quid for a website then there is no way that the agency can spend the amount of time needed to make sure your new website will work as it should.

How can you compete online if your website is not search engine friendly?

If you’re a business in Cardiff and you need website design then there is a good chance that your industry is going to be competitive.

We know all about working in competitive industries. Web design in terms of the competition is up there with services such as finance and insurance.

Take the keywords web design Cardiff which is one of the main keywords that we are raking for with this article.  The keyword web design Cardiff has over 1.3 million competing websites (a lot of competition).

The keyword web design Cardiff in the Google advertising tool has a recommended bid of £5 to £10.  This means that every time someone searches for web design Cardiff and clicks on your add you would pay that amount of money per click.

At this time of writing, the keyword web design Cardiff gets around 1000 searches a month.  If you were to target each of these searches and pay the minimum amount of £5 then the keyword web design Cardiff would cost you £5000 every month.

SEO, on the other hand, will take longer to get results but when you are finally on that first page of the search results each click sent to your website is then technically free.

That is the power of SEO, and unless you are willing to pay £5000 a month for clicks I would highly suggest investing in SEO for your business.

If you hire a cheap web designer in Cardiff you are not getting any SEO at all, your website will also lack the various on-page SEO which will further negatively impact your search engine rankings.  If you want to compete you will need to spend the required money to do so, if you don’t your competitors will.

If you want your customers to do something your website design needs to reflect that

One of our questions we first ask our clients is “what do you want your website to do?” Some of the time our clients have replied that they don’t know, they just know that they need a website because someone they trust has told them they need one.

When a client knows that they need a website but they don’t know why we take them through various different options so they can best decide what they want their website to do for their business.  Once the client knows what they want the website to achieve we can then begin designing a website for them.

A cheap web design agency isn’t going to discuss a strategy with you and they’re not going to build a website around your business goals.

A cheap web design agency is going to use a template that they have used for all of their past clients, edit your information into it and then change the colours of the website to match yours and put it live.

When choosing website design for your business make sure you discuss what you want the website to achieve beforehand.

Are free website building tools any good?

free website design tools

Services such as Wix, Weebly, Sitey, and many other free website tools are getting better.

In fact, some of them produce websites that look great.

But…

As mentioned above they still contain bad code.

Another massive problem that all of these website building tools have is that you are the person building them.

Now you may have a great eye for detail, and you may have even read up on SEO best practices, but you would still be at a disadvantage over your competitors who have paid to have their websites professionally made and marketed.

Think of it this way, would I be able to read a few books or articles on your industry and then be better at it than someone who has been in the industry for 10 years? Of course not, especially if the industry was to do with anything manual.

In my personal experience, I have never witnessed a website that was built by one of these free website creating tools rank on the first page of the search engine results.  Do a random search right now, click on some websites and scroll to the bottom, see how many of them are made by websites like wix.  I bet you won’t find many or any at all.

If you would rather concentrate on what you do well and leave building a website to someone else I would highly recommend it, it will cost more, but at least it would be done right.

As Bobby Boucher’s mama says “Pre-built website themes are the devil”

web design themes

A lot of agencies use pre-built website themes these days. The reason being they are cheap to buy and it takes 90% of the development time away meaning more profit for the agency.

Website themes are a quick and easy way for an agency to get money out of you while not carrying out any work that will help your business.

Themes are cheap (< £50), take much longer to rank (more money needed to be spent rank them) and agencies that use themes generally aren’t very good at what they do.

Personally, I would not use a theme to represent my business. You shouldn’t either.

Why your new website should be based on a content management system.

wordpress website design in cardiff

A content management system is the back end of the site, which only you and your staff will see and get to use.

Some agencies develop their customer’s websites to be single page files, they do this so any updates that you need, will be done through the website code. This means you will have to pay them to make any small changes unless you want to learn to program that is.

A content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, when developed correctly allows you to be able to edit all of the content on your website with ease.

Some of our past customers have told us they didn’t think they would be able to edit their website because it would be too complicated. Usually, around an hour later we have shown them exactly how to do it they can’t believe how simple it all is.

Here at Weeare we develop custom websites on the CMS WordPress and we use custom fields through the site. These custom fields allow you to type text in on the back end and they automatically fill in on the front end, easy pips!

(If you would like a demo of how simple this is please get in touch)

Using custom fields means that we could save your business thousands in update costs alone.

Free website hosting to all of our customers

free website hosting for 1 year

All websites need hosting, website hosting is where your website files live.

Some agencies charge you extra and extortionate amounts per month for hosting, we don’t.

At Weeare we offer all of our new customers 1 year of free website hosting just to say thanks for choosing us, (unless you have a business generating between 30,000 to 100,000 views a month then there is a hosting fee).

You can however keep your existing hosting if you would like, that is no problem at all.

What we can offer to you.

website design in wales

If you have read through all of the above you now have a better idea of what to look out for when making the choice to hire a web designer in Cardiff.

We understand that choosing a web designer for your project can be difficult, but hopefully, you can see that we do some great work for our existing clients and we would love to work with you too.

Our website design & development packages start off at £2500 and include:

  • A custom mobile responsive website
  • On-page SEO
  • 1-year free hosting

Take a look at some of our web design work

If you would like to work with one of the best small web design agencies in Wales then we would love to talk to you, you can see some of the great work that we have carried out for our clients below.

Medical website design

medical website design

OIC is a medical company in the USA who produce orthopaedic implants. We worked with them creating a mobile responsive website which was much easier to use than their previous website. We also made sure that their brand new website was more search engine friendly than the previous website.

Restaurant website design

restaurant web design

La Bodega, a small family-run restaurant in Merthyr Tydfil hired us to re-design their existing website which wasn’t search engine friendly or mobile responsive. Because of this their existing website was sitting on the 5th page of Google.

We helped La bodega be the first independent restaurant that shows up in the search engine rankings.

La bodega’s new website also beats the major chain restaurants such as Frankie and Bennys, Nandos, Table Table, Pizza Time, and more. Our work has increased online bookings by 30%.

One of our social media marketing campaigns raised awareness for the restaurant when 30,000 people saw one of our posts which went viral in our small town of Merthyr Tydfil.

Recruitment website design

recruitment web design

Raw recruitment hired us to design and develop a brand new website for their recruitment agency. The website was built with custom functionality that would allow CV uploading, email address capturing, job posting, and the ability to blog.

E-commerce website design

eccomerce web design

One of our first e-commerce website design projects that we ever made. Merthyr chainsaw hired us to create a website for their garden equipment business.

With over 600+ products and hundreds of variations, Merthyr Chainsaw was a pretty big website, by creating a new website rather than using eBay we were able to make a website that helped cut the costs of transaction down by 5%.

Photography website design

photography web design

Reel photography came to us because their existing website looked bad and was so frustrating to use. We helped them create a new easy to use website that was mobile responsive and search friendly as standard.

Medical website design

aesthetic web design

Skinhance aesthetic training sells botox training and other aesthetic courses within the UK. The market that they are in is very competitive. Their competition had been around for years, so we knew it would be tough to outrank them on the search engines.

After a bit of work, we were able to do so. We outranked their competitors and put Skinhance as the number 1 spot for many of their keywords. Many of these keywords were targeted to Cardiff, Bristol, and Oxfordshire.

Personal training website design

personal training web design

TK-Fitness, a personal training company in Cardiff approached us to redo their existing website which once again wasn’t user or search engine friendly. TK-Fitness before hiring us couldn’t be found anywhere near the first page of the search engines.

2 weeks after going live TK-Fitness’ new website hit the first page of Google for search terms that get over 700+ people searching for it each month.  Because of this, TK-Fitness is getting more personal training sessions booked than ever before.

Round-Up

Wew, that was a long one.

Hopefully, we have covered enough for you to understand what to look out for when choosing a website design for your business.

Some key takeaways should be:

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
  • Make sure your website is search engine friendly
  • Make sure you have clear goals when designing your website
  • Make sure your new website is built on a CMS and will be easy to edit & update
  • Do not use a free website builder
  • Do not use website themes, custom is better 100% of the time

Next Steps

If you have any questions about our web design services or would like a quote please contact us.

5 SEO tactics to avoid in 2018

Getting your website to show in the search engines like Google to your customers is hard.

In fact, if you were to do it yourself I would be amazed.

I think the equivalent for me would be to fit a new boiler in my house while doing tricks on a unicycle.

Most small businesses set up a website and forget about it, which is unfortunate. But for you, that can be a great thing.

If your competitor has a badly optimized site, the good news is you should be able to leapfrog above them with ease. It doesn’t matter how many employees they have, how high the turnover they have or any other advantage you think they may have.

A badly optimised website can be outranked. Which can mean, more website visitors and customers for you.

Hiring an SEO agency in Cardiff can be difficult.

If you were to explain to me that I needed a three-way valve and a water control assey for my boiler then I would say ok, go ahead. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what they were, why I needed them, or how much they would cost.

SEO can be the same.

Some agencies will talk you into needing services you don’t need. So here, in this article, we will give you some tips on what SEO tactics you should avoid in 2018. When hiring search engine optimisation consultants you can then ask them if they do any of the following:

1) Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is an old technique that used to work 10 years ago, but like every trick in the book Google caught on very quickly.

Yet I still see agencies keyword stuff to this day. Keyword stuffing is as basic as it sounds. The SEO agency would put a certain key phrase in the code of your web page hundreds of times, that way the search engines would think the more times a keyword is used the more likely the page would be relevant to that keyword.

So if I wanted to show up for the keyword: SEO Cardiff, I would write SEO Cardiff into the code of the website 100’s of times. Don’t do this in 2018 or Google will slap you as hard as they can.

Keyword stuffing is a bad practice and should be avoided, if your existing agency is doing this you may want to talk to one of our digital marketing consultants.

2) Spam comments

Everyone hates spam, I know I do.

Every day I log into this website and see some spam comment trying to link back to their website.

There are a few reasons not to spam. One it’s annoying, two even if you do get a link back to your website it won’t be relevant and lastly, blog comments are usually filled by others doing the same thing, which reduces the quality of your links.

Don’t spam the comments section, you’re wasting your time and everyone else’s.

3) Blasting links/ buying links

Google doesn’t like people who buy links from others, they especially don’t like people who buy 100,000’s of links to point at their website.

Don’t spam your link everywhere like this or you will be punished. Don’t buy links either or once again Google will whoop your website back to the 4th page.

Build relevant links by writing a blog post for others and sharing it on social media, other website owners may also share that post and put it on their website and link back to you.

Relevant links can boost your website rankings, spam comments can’t.

4) Nonmobile friendly website

Is it still 2001? If it isn’t then your phone should work on mobile devices.

One of our clients has a website that is accessed 80% of the time by mobile users. Now imagine what would happen to that business if it didn’t cater to them. Well, 80% of the people on that website wouldn’t buy their products. Crazy, when you think about it.

I’ve seen others argue on other SEO blogs that having a website that isn’t mobile responsive actually doesn’t affect your website in the search engines. I’m calling BS right now! And I’ll tell you why.

Having to read a website on a mobile device that isn’t mobile-friendly will cause your visitors to leave your website in seconds. We have all been there, I’m not wasting my time zooming in and out looking for something on your website when I can click backward and go to your competitor’s site and use it with ease.

Google monitors how long a person stays on a site and when they leave quickly they assume the page that the user landed on wasn’t what they were looking for because they left very quickly.

The result is your website loses its rank. If you don’t have a mobile responsive website in 2018, talk to us about our web design services.

5) Anchor link abuse.

An anchor link is a link that points to another web page. For example, an anchor link could be “Web design Wales” or “Cardiff SEO” or even “Yoast SEO Tool

All of the above point to different website pages. If you are manually creating links throughout the internet and are pointing them back to your website but you are using the same anchor links all the time then you are abusing the link creation process.

Build links naturally and Google won’t punish your website, abuse them and they will.

Rounding all of this up.

Ok so to round all of this up, basically don’t hire a rubbish SEO agency that is using tactics that were popular when Britney Spears hit the scenes for the first time.

And if you are planning to market your own business yourself then just keep in mind all of the above. I honestly wouldn’t recommend it though as it takes years to learn SEO. Especially the technical aspects that need to be implemented when building your own website.

Hopefully the above will help you when deciding to hire an SEO agency. Just remember to make sure to ask questions, and even ask the SEO agency for past examples and typical time frames.

Just recently we had an inquiry for SEO Services, where the person had asked another SEO agency for a rough time frame. That agency had quoted 4x the amount of time that we had estimated. Which would result in you spending thousands of your hard-earned money when you wouldn’t need to.

SEO – What is SEO Marketing?

What does SEO stand for?

SEO can be complicated, because of that we thought it would be a good idea to ease you into the subject by explaining what SEO stands for.

SEO stands for search engine optimisation.

Search engine optimisation or SEO for short is what allows your website to be found online (it’s what our search engine consultants do!).

When I say found online I mean when a user goes to a website like Google or Bing and types in a query, a list of websites are then displayed which are related to the users query.  Below, is a query for the term “Web Design Wales

seo cardiff

This above screen is known as the search engine results page, or in SEO tech speak its known as the SERPS.

Per search page, you are roughly going to see 13 links to websites. Some of these links, usually 3 of them will be paid adverts, the other 10 will be what Google calls organic links. So to show up in the SERPS you can either pay per click or be found organically (SEO), that is where SEO comes in.

What is SEO marketing?

SEO marketing is something that people do to get found in these search result pages.

SEO marketing allows your website to show up higher in the search results than your competitors. The reason why you want to show up higher in the search results is that the higher your website shows, the more website traffic your website will receive.

And of course, the more website traffic you receive the higher the chance that those visitors are going to turn into customers.

SEO Potential – Can it make you money?

The potential for SEO can literally change your entire business.

Most businesses I meet have a website, but 99% of them don’t get any business from them. The main reason is that their SEO sucks so bad that their websites wouldn’t be found in a million years.

To work out the potential effects that SEO could have on your business let’s use some quick maths.

Let’s say an average customer is worth £1000 to you over their lifetime. Let’s also assume that your product gets searched for over 800 times a month, and your website gets half of this traffic through SEO techniques.

Now, let’s assume that your website converts at a low rate of only 5%. That would give you a potential of 20 new customers a month (400 / 5%). If each customer is worth £1000 then SEO has the potential to earn your business an extra £20,000 a month.

Now let’s say to earn that money you would have to invest in SEO services. Our SEO packages start at £2000 a month and can go up to £5,000.

What does a SEO do?

An SEO marketing consultant has many caps and has to multitask to do them all.

Firstly a SEO marketer has to do keyword research. Keyword research is when a marketer takes a look at all the potential keywords a user would type in to find your site.  Would a potential customer use the keyword plumber or plumber in location, this needs to be thought about before starting a campaign.

The SEO marketer will then rank these keywords in a position of earning potential and difficulty. A good SEO marketer will then give you advice on what keywords you should be target for your budget.

An SEO marketer would then optimise your existing website for those selected keywords.

Finally, the SEO marketer would build backlinks to your website so that Google knows you exist and can rank your website as it should.

SEO in business and how it can help you

SEO is vital to all businesses in my opinion.

There are other ways to drive traffic to your website without the need of SEO such as social media marketing, pay per click marketing, Facebook advertisements, Twitter ads and much more.

I believe that search engine marketing is much more profitable and should be at the forefront of any businesses marketing plan.

For Weeare we don’t run any paid ads, we rely on SEO to bring us clients and it works like clockwork. We know that we only need a certain amount of website visitors each month before we land a sale.

A well-optimised website can do that for your business too and I would highly recommend investing in SEO services if you are looking for an increase in website traffic and sales.

Useful SEO Tools for your business

As a small business owner, your time is limited, I know because I am a small business owner like yourself. For me, there is a handful of tools that all SEO marketers need. Here are some of my top SEO tools and what they do.

Google page speed insights:

Enter a URL (your website address) and it will tell you how well your website is optimised for speed on a desktop and mobile devices. In the real world, I’m not too sure how big an effect this has on SEO, but it’s from Google so I would recommend getting your site into the green.

The link for page speed insights is:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Google Analytics:

Google analytics is great. Not only does it track all the website visitors that land on your website but it also tells you the type of device they use, how long they stayed what pages they visited and so much more.

If you have a website and you want to learn more about the browsing habits of your users check out Google analytics below:

https://analytics.google.com

Opensite Explorer

Opensite explorer is a bit of software created by Moz. Moz are the go-to experts when it comes to anything new with search engines, I highly recommend checking them out if you want to learn more about SEO.

The opensite explorer tool by Moz tells you where websites get their links from. You could put your competitors URL in here and then reverse engineer and try to pick up similar links. This is a great way of ranking your own website.

Opensite explorer can be found here:

https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/

Google keyword planner

Remember at the beginning of this article where I said SEO marketers would find keywords and decide if they were going to be profitable or not, well here is how they do it.

The Google keyword planner allows you to enter a keyword, for example, “plumbers in Cardiff” or “SEO Agency in Cardiff” and it will then tell you how many people are searching for that keyword.

Give it a try at:

http://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner

What is an SEO Company/Agency

An SEO company/Agency such as ourselves is a company that specialise in search engine marketing and can help people like yourself earn more money from their websites.

SEO agencies do all of the above allowing you to concentrate on your own business. If you would like to hire an SEO agency, you can get a free SEO proposal here.

How to get more visitors to your website with SEO

You have a website, it’s sitting pretty in cyberspace but the sales or enquiries are small to nonexistent. What is happening? Your web developer didn’t explain that you needed to market your website?

With over 3.5 billion searches performed on Google every day you are missing out if your website isn’t optimised for them.

Search engine optimisation or SEO for short can turn your useless website into a fully functioning sales machine. Here are some top tips on what you can do to improve your search engine rankings and get more visitors to see your products and services, if you don’t want to do any of this yourself talk to our search engine optimisation consultants today.

1) Target the right keywords.

Keywords are what your potential customers type in to find your business. For your website to be found you need to target the right keywords.

In the past, we have seen clients target very high competition keywords. For example, a client who sells plumbing services in Cardiff should not target just the keyword “Plumbing”.

There are a few reasons for this. One it’s way too competitive. You will never rank for the keyword plumbing alone. No chance.

Secondly, it’s not targeted. Someone in Manchester could be looking for someone to fix a pipe in their bathroom. Would it make sense for you to target someone who lives 5 hours away just to fix one pipe?

Your keywords should be relevant and highly focused. A more suitable keyword for the above client could be “Plumbers in Cardiff” or if we want to get ultra-focused “corgi registered plumbers in Cardiff”.  Another example that we could use is our business.  A bad title would be “SEO Marketing” a good title could be “Affordable SEO Marketing in Cardiff”

2) Get other websites to link to you

No one will know your website exists if you don’t tell them about it. You can outreach to others in similar fields and offer them something relevant if they link back to you.

An example using the plumbing above could be contacting a bathroom company and asking them to link to your site if any of their clients need plumbing services, you could also link back to theirs so your clients could purchase the bathroom equipment from them.  Not only does this help other small businesses and you make great connections, but it also helps your website to become more trusted.

Another good example is to outreach to bloggers. A personal trainer for example who may sell their own supplements could outreach to health bloggers and offer them a sample of products for a review.

Within a review, the blogger will then link to your website a few times. Send samples out to 20+ bloggers and you could get back 30/50+ relevant links to your site. Increasing your trust in Google and also your website traffic.  If you need help reaching out to others our SEO consultants can help.

3) Submit a Google Sitemap

Creating a sitemap for your website is simple, head to a website like:

https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

Enter your website, download the file and then submit this to the Google Sitemap page:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home

Doing this will allow Google to find and index all of your pages on your website.

4) Create relevant content

Great up to date and relevant content means that Google will continue to check your website for new pages. The more content you create the more Google will visit your website and index your pages.

A good way of creating content is by blogging. Now, this may sound scary, but just put some content out there and monitor your increase in website traffic.

I’m not a writer, I’m a developer and I don’t enjoy writing new content for this site, but doing so allows me to get more traffic and better search engine rankings. It also informs my website visitors that I know what I’m talking about.

You could write about topics such as the top 10 general questions you are asked about your business, or you could explain how your product/service works. The most important part is to get creative and think of content that your visitors will read and share.

5) Post your content on social media

Other marketing consultants will argue that social media doesn’t directly affect SEO. Whatever the case, sharing your content on social media can lead to other websites linking back to yours. And like discussed above the more relevant the links pointing to your website the more Google is going to trust your site and increase its rankings.

Conclusion

The above tips are a great start to help you improve your website traffic and ultimately sales. However as a business owner there is only so much you can get done in a day, if you would like an SEO agency in Cardiff to help with the promotion of your website please get in touch.

7 website fails your business is making

Every business needs a website.

Big or small, new or old.

But just because you have a website, it doesn’t mean that it is effective in improving your sales.

There are many reasons why a website can be ineffective, so rather than making this a 10,000+ word article, here are the most common mistakes that we see on a daily basis.

1) Not mobile-friendly

Mobile phones are now used much more than desktop computers to browse the internet. Therefore it makes sense that your website should perform on mobile devices.

Unfortunately, there are still many business websites out there that don’t work well on mobile devices. Mobile responsiveness is also a huge part of search engine optimisation

This causes you to be penalised by the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo), decrease your conversion rates (see how to improve your conversion rates here), and causes your customers to become frustrated while using your website.

To make sure your website works well on mobile devices you will need to make sure that your website is mobile responsive.

To check if your website is mobile responsive try out the Google Mobile friendly test.

2) You use too much jargon

Here at Weeare, we pride ourselves on not being robots. We don’t use jargon to make ourselves sound smarter, we do quite the opposite. We constantly make an effort to get rid of jargon and explain in everyday terms. And so should you.

Unless you are dealing with industry experts your customers won’t know or understand the technical language.

When describing your products or your services keep the jargon to a minimum.

3) Hides essential information

With a lot of websites your customers simply want to know:

  • What you do
  • What time your open
  • Where you are located
  • How to contact you

So if you think the above applies to you then you need to make sure that all of that information is clearly available.

One of our customers, La Bodega restaurant didn’t have this information available on their old website.

When we used our web design services on their new site we made sure to make the information easily accessible to all customers. The result was a massive increase in online bookings.

Other important information your customers may want to find could include an about us page, your pricing and links to your social accounts.

All of the above helps your customer to trust your business more and increases the chance of them doing business with you.

4) No clear call to action

A call to action is something you want your website visitor to do.

Without a call to action, you are leaving the visitor to guess what you want them to do, often this means they end up leaving your website.

A call to action could be something as simple as “call us for a free quote” or “Send us a message”

Without a call to action, your potential customers won’t buy from you.

Hubspot has a great list of call to actions that you can use on your website. Check them out here.

5) Your website looks old.

An old website can cause your visitors to think you have gone out of business.

If your website looks like it was built in the 90’s you don’t set the customers mind at ease.

Generally speaking, your website should go through a redesign every 2-3 years, any longer and you are risking your site becoming out-dated visually and technologically.

If you think your website could be out-dated please get in touch with us and we can have a look to see if there is anything we can help you with.

6) Your website is too slow

Customers expect your website to load quickly (our search engine optimisation consultants can help with a slow website!).

If your website is slow, they will have no problem clicking the back button and going to one of your competitors. Ouch!

The easiest way to speed up your website is to have it built correctly in the first place.

Website themes that are often used by cheaper web design agencies are generally slow as they contain a lot of bad code inside of them.

Bad doesn’t refer to the code being malicious, in this case, it simply means there is a lot of code that doesn’t need to be in there in the first place.

Website themes contain this bad code because they simply need to cater to a wide range of uses.

As a business owner however you know that your business is unique, because of this a theme won’t cut it.

Using a theme is often cheaper, but the negatives outweigh the positives.

Speed up your site by having a custom website design carried out.

A custom website and a good web host is quite often more than enough to keep your visitors hanging around.

7) No content

In the past, I have worked with clients that have provided very little content.

I then explain to them that if they are going to generate any leads for their business they are going to have to provide content that people want to read and content that the search engines can find.

To add more content to your site you should consider adding more descriptions to your product pages and even your about page.

Having said the above, the best way of adding content to your website is through your blog.

Customers will often search for information on products or services, if you can provide them with the information that they are looking for through a blog post then there is a good chance they will end up doing business with you.

Conclusion

If you are making any of the above mistakes on your website it may be time to consult with an expert. Talk to us, we may be able to help you increase your online traffic and sales.  You may also be interested in our post SEO Cardiff

15 ways to improve your ecommerce websites conversion rate

At Weeare we don’t just make great looking websites.

Along with our affordable website design and development services, we offer search engine optimisation consultancy services with all of our websites to get potential leads/customers on to your site which will then provide you with a great ROI.  If you already have a website but want more traffic check out our SEO Agency Cardiff page.

Getting traffic to your website is brilliant and most web design agencies don’t even help with this, but we go one step further. We optimise your new website for conversions.

Here are some 15 tips that you can use on your website to improve it’s conversion rate.

1) Fewer fields to fill in

Asking for as little information as possible may seem counterproductive but when it comes to a user entering their information, less is more. Fewer fields in a signup form or inquiry form will improve conversions.

2) Lower the risk

No one likes taking risks when it comes to spending money. If you offer a product or service you will need to take away the risk. This can be done through no questions asked refunds, free return postage or even a trial of the product.

3) Test your call to actions

The words used on your call to action can make a massive difference when it comes to conversions. “Click here” could be turned into “Get more information”, “read more” could be turned into “Learn more about product x” etc. By testing, you are able to monitor and improve the conversion rate on your website without having to build more website traffic.

4) Build trust

When selling your service or product online you are an unknown quantity. People don’t trust the unknown, so you will need to put them at ease before they buy from you.

One way of building trust is by displaying reviews/testimonials on your website. You can use these on a testimonials page, a product page, landing pages, and much more. Reviews from places such as Google my business can be a huge trust builder with 88% of website visitors trusting online reviews like they were personal recomendations.

Get the website visitor to trust you and your conversions will improve.

5) Sell benefits not features

Your potential customers will need to know the product features, but that alone won’t sell them. Tell your potential customers about what problems your product or service will help them solve and once again you will improve your conversions.

6) Test, Test, Test

Test everything.

But more importantly, test your headline and sub-headlines.

A past company that I used to work for doing web development work used to change their headlines fortnightly and then monitor the impact that the headline had on sales.

A great way to test headlines is to write a few out and then go for what you think works best. Test it for a week or two then change it. Monitor the results and keep testing which headline works best.

You will be surprised at how much a headline can affect conversions.

7) Create landing pages

If you’re using PPC, social media or SEO to market separate services that you offer then you should be using landing pages.

Time and time again we see people making the massive mistake of spending thousands on the mentioned marketing methods above and then just directing that traffic to the home page. You are wasting thousands if you are doing this.

For every offer you have, make a separate landing page and send the traffic to that page.

This way you will convert at a much higher rate than before.

8) Show your subscribers off

Remember when we talked about testimonials a few sections ago?

Well showing the total number of subscribers that your company has the same effect. A company with a few hundred/ thousand subscribers looks like a much more trusted company than one that doesn’t have any subscribers.

This is known as social proof and it can impact your conversion rate.

9) Tell them what to do next

Your website visitors are not mind readers and need to be told what you want them to do next.

A great example of this can be seen on social media. If you put up a general status about your company and leave it at that there probably isn’t going to be much interaction with that post, unless you’re a giant company like Apple or Samsung.

If however, you put up a post asking your visitors to comment below on their favorite ice cream then chances are people will get involved and the status will have far more interaction.

The same technique can be used on your website. You could use calls to action like:

  • Tell us what you think in the comments below
  •  Share this article with a friend who would find it useful
  •  Follow us on Twitter for more information like this
  •  Subscribe to our newsletter and get new blog posts before anyone else
  •  Contact us today for a free quote

10) Use scarcity

If you sell a physical product or if you have a service that is running an offer tell your users about it and force them into action.

Show your stock levels “Only 2 items remaining” or “Only 2 days left to claim your £50 discount” will create urgency with your buyers.

11) Make sure your page is related to what they are looking for

This touches on the landing pages above. If a visitor expects to find one thing when they come from the search engine but finds another then they are clicking that back button very quickly.

Make sure your landing page is relevant to what the user is searching for.

12) Live help

Live help chat functionality is a great way to improve your conversions.

Your website visitor maybe 95% of the way to purchasing your product but could have a few questions. Live help will allow them to ask for any objections they may have before purchasing.

13) Use images of people

Studies have shown that the use of images with people in them on landing pages increases the rate of conversions.

Stock images can work but you would be better off using professionally taken photos of the people working within your business. Once again this builds more trust and credibility.

14) Price match guarantee

A price match guarantee can work for your business as it shows you are concerned with keeping your prices competitive. It may not work with your business model however but if you can offer it to your potential customers it will have a positive impact on conversions.

15) Contact information in plain sight

It should be common sense but websites can sometimes be so badly designed that the contact information for the business is nowhere to be seen.

Display your contact information in as many places as possible in an accessible location and you will improve your conversion rates.

Conclusion

Conversion optimisation is a huuuuuuuge field, but the above tips are more than enough for you to get started.

The most important advice that we can give you is to test everything. What works for you may not work for someone else in a different industry.

If your current website doesn’t convert like you would want it too or you don’t get enough traffic to your website, talk to us.

10 Ways to get more customers with SEO

SEO is the art of getting found online.

The whole point of SEO (search engine optimisation) is to optimise your website so that the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing know what your website is about.

SEO is the technique of getting your website found in these search engines, (our seo consultants can help you with this!).

All search engines have something called the search engine results page, Or SERPS for short. This is where a bunch of competing websites are listed in order of relevance to what the user is searching for.

seo services wales

The higher up in the SERPS the more traffic that your website will receive for that keyword. The lower your positioning the lower the amount of traffic that your website will receive.

SEO is the process of making sure that your website is visible when a user searches for something related to your company. When done correctly SEO can improve your website traffic and ultimately sales.

It is important however to realise that SEO is a slow process. It can take months to see an impact, but the end result is worth it.

An example of this can be seen with our own website. A search term that we have been trying to rank for has taken us 8 months to do so. That keyword gets over 400 searches a month, and each click on our site according to the Google keyword planner is worth £6 a click. Therefore that one keyword would cost us £6 x 400 = £2400 each month if we were to pay for advertising.

£2400 each month is a lot to pay out on advertising for some small businesses.

Our SEO services however wouldn’t have cost anywhere near this figure, so you can see the power of SEO and its potential ROI.

If you are a small business owner and you have a website but it doesn’t bring you any leads then your SEO could be the problem. If you would like to talk to us about our SEO services then contact us here.

Otherwise, if you fancy having a go of it yourself then here are 10 SEO tips that you can implement right now to get more traffic to your website.

1) Optimising your page title

seo in wales

Your page title plays a massive part in your SEO rankings. It also affects the click-through rate (people that click on your link on the search engines). It is really important to optimise your title you should include the main keyword that you want that page to rank for.

You should also aim to keep the title length under 60 characters long. If you go over it won’t be the end of the world and the sky won’t fall but it will be cut off and your click-through percentage will go down.

Some SEO experts also recommend having your main keyword at the beginning of the title as it has more power there. In testing this theory we have seen a small difference in ranking. If you can make your keyword fit, for example, “SEO Cardiff | affordable SEO in Cardiff” makes sense to the user.

Title tags to avoid would be along the lines of “MyCompanyName” or “Homepage” chances are your visitors don’t care about your business to search for you as they don’t know you exist.

“Homepage” on the other hand is a bad title because you are not telling your users or the search engines what your website is about. ( I see this all the time, it’s a must avoid)

2) heading tags should be optimised.

If your using a content management system like WordPress then this is an easy fix to add to your web pages or posts.

In WordPress, you can turn text into headings by highlighting the text and then clicking on the content editor and selecting heading 2. This will turn that into a heading two title which notes that this heading is important. H1 is the most important but there shouldn’t be more than 1 h1 heading on a page. So put your most important keyword in an H1 tag.

3) Heading structures – H1 to H6

seo wales

As mentioned above the heading tags are ordered by what is most important. H1 being the most, H6 being the least important.

When we develop websites we develop our sites to include the page title within the H1 tag. That means that the most important keyword is put inside the page URL and H1 tag by default.

If you are not using heading tags in your website or website posts go back and add them. You will be surprised how much they affect your keyword rankings.

4) Keyword density

seo wales

It is often said to write for people and not search engines.
I’m calling this bull right now.

You won’t get any readers if your post isn’t found by the search engines.

Keyword density is the number of times you mention the keyword in which you’re trying to rank for.

Many years ago, black hat SEO’s would do a technique called keyword stuffing where they would put tonnes of the keyword into a page and hide the text, this would then cause the main search engines to rank them highly. Thankfully the search engines caught on and this no longer helps rank websites.

Websites can actually be punished for having a high keyword density. Yoast did a great post on this and according to them a keyword density of over 4.5% is too high. They recommend anything from 0.5% to 2.5%

If you want to know what your keyword density of any post is I highly recommend downloading and installing the Yoast SEO tool.

5) Optimising images

seo in wales

Only something we have started doing recently is optimising our images for search terms. We have already seen a small increase in search rankings.

There are a few ways in which you can optimise your images.

The first is simple. Rename the image file to your keyword. Instead of img3001.jpg rename that image to dentists_in_cardiff.jpg

You can also optimise your images by giving it a title and alt tag. Make sure to include your keywords in both of these and it will help your visitors and search engines know what the page on your site is all about.

6) Optimising videos

Videos are a great way to keep your users on your website for longer.

The longer a visitor stays on your website the better as it shows that your website is relevant to the term the user was searching for.

You can however optimise your videos even further to give your site a boost in search rankings. A great way to do this is to add your keywords into the title tags and description.  Many businesses shy away from video marketing because they think it’s too expensive for them, however, the cost of video production has come down over the years and as a small business owner video content can be worth the investment.

7) Add more content

The more content we have on the website the more chance potential customers are going to find you.

More content also means that we have a chance of ranking for more search queries. Websites that don’t blog are missing out on traffic.

If you want to rank well in the search engines I highly recommend adding a blog to your website. You don’t have to blog every day either. Find a frequency you can stick to and keep at it.

8) Submit your sitemap to Google

google sitemap

By submitting your website sitemap to Google you are telling them what pages exist on your website.

By doing so the Google bot knows to include these pages in their search engine rankings.

Submitting your pages to Google probably won’t increase your search engine rankings, but it will allow pages that have been missed to rank. It doesn’t take long so I would recommend doing it.

9) Website speed

website speed

Your website speed can increase your search position. One way to increase your website speed right now is to leverage caching.

A good tool to use to cache your website is the W3Total cache. But be warned it doesn’t help on all websites and can even break your website.

Another way to improve your website speed is to optimise all of your site images so that they are not too big and take an eternity to load. If you wish to optimise your image sizes check out optimizilla.com

10) Build links

Link building is still the best way to increase your search engine rankings. Contact other websites who relate to you and ask them could you write a blog on their site and then get them to link back to you.

Relevant links from relevant businesses and websites can help you shoot up the search rankings page.

Non-relevant links on the other hand can damage your search rankings.

A great way to also get links is to find other blogs in your industry and comment on their posts, leaving a link back to your site in the process. But don’t be spammy, no one likes spam.

Our Conclusion

Above we gave you 10 SEO tips that you can implement right now to improve your search engine positioning. Our final piece of advice would be to have patience. SEO can take months of hard work to get positive results for your business.

If you don’t have time to carry out the above tips or want a helping hand please talk to us. We have helped many small businesses like yourselves get found online.

11 top reasons why you shouldn’t build your own website with a free website builder

Free website builders – Free, easy, instant.

We have all seen the adverts.

Free website builders are quite popular these days, but they simply don’t work for real businesses.

Bold claim, I know.

In this article I will give you 11 top reasons why you shouldn’t use a free website builder to represent your business.

1. Cost – Free website builders, are they really free?

free website builder

Free website builders advertise their services as 100% free. But they often have hidden terms and conditions.

Some free website builders start out free but then hit you with monthly charges when your trial period is up.

I think the main draw of a free website is exactly that. It’s for businesses who can’t afford to invest in professional services. But, if you’re eventually going to have to pay to continue using those services you would be better off paying a professional a one-time fee, rather than an ongoing fee for the lifetime of the website.

If you can’t afford a one-time payment, either look for a website design agency that offers to break down the costs or save up for it. If you cant afford to spend a few thousand on one of your most important sales tools then I urge you to save for it.

2. Customisation – Can I change that?

free website builder

One of the main problems of using a free website builder (and there are many) is that customisation is often non-existent. You get to pick out a selection of themes and then you add your text, your phone number, and images, and that’s it.

If you want a layout that is different from the template you are using, you are limited on what you can achieve.

A free website builder won’t allow you to edit the templates so you are stuck with a site that thousands of other business owners have used. How does that help your business stand out?

Being able to edit different pages of your website is one of the most important things you can do as a web designer. Different pages on your website will have different purposes. If you’re stuck with one theme, you won’t be able to edit it to fit your business purpose.

You may want to create landing pages, contact pages, galleries, and anything else you can think of. A free website building tool won’t give you the flexibility to do this.

3. Professionalism – Don’t look like a “real” business, bye-bye!

free website builder

A website made by a professional is going to look and perform better than what you could achieve. No doubt about it.

The same way a mechanic is going to be able to fix a car better than an everyday driver.

In my personal opinion, it doesn’t matter how advanced the free website tools get, a professional website developer will always be able to do more for your business than a free tool.

Take into consideration that small details on a website can have a huge difference in profits. For example, a website that I looked after many years ago used to test on a daily basis how different website elements would affect the conversion rates.

Conversions were measured in sales of a piece of software. The company used to test:

  • Changes in button colours
  • The text on headings
  • Different text on buttons
  •  Images of people / images of objects
  • And much more.

You may not believe it but some of the above changes had a massive impact on sales.

This takes me back to you building your own website. Maybe you have a good eye for detail and the site you build will pass for a professional-looking site, but without having this internet marketing experience how are you going to know if your website is performing as well as it should be.

In the above instance small changes would result in up to 30% more sales.

You should also take into consideration that these free website building tools are a nightmare to use. I know, I have tried them.

I always try to keep up to date by checking these tools out. And as a professional web developer, I can tell you that they are not easy to use and will cause you frustration.

4. Search engine optimisation – Will your customers even find you using a free website builder?

free website builder

In all of my years of web development I have never seen a free website outrank a site built by professionals.

The free websites just aren’t SEO friendly.

If your website doesn’t get found by the search engines then you are not getting any potential customers on your website.

Even if these free websites miraculously became super SEO friendly overnight, would you know which keywords to use to get potential customers to your website?

Search engine optimisation or SEO for short is an entire field in its self. Knowing what keywords to use can make or break a business. An example of that can be shown on our own website.  If you’re interested in learning more about our search engine optimisation consultancy services or hiring an SEO Agency, talk to us.

SEO Keywords

One of the keywords we have targeted in our search engine strategy has taken us over 8 months to rank for. This keyword therefor is very competitive which means other companies will also be looking to rank for it.

If in the beginning we only tried ranking for that keyword we would have gone bust. There is no way we could have taken 8 months of no customers and lived to tell the tale.

Therefore we targeted much easier keywords which would bring us a lower amount of traffic initially, but these were much easier to rank for and because of this, it brought custom our way very quickly.

Now let’s say you don’t have enough budget to target a keyword with a lot of competition, but you didn’t know because you are not in the SEO field.

With a free website, you may use that term within your website because it sounds like a great keyword to rank for, but because you don’t have the technical knowledge of SEO you are setting your business up for failure.

And that is why even most web development companies fail their clients because they don’t understand SEO.

To make this as simple as possible let me give you a made-up example.

Let’s say you have a business that sells wedding rings. You could target terms such as:

  • Wedding Rings
  • Gold Wedding Rings

Let’s say both of those keywords get searched for at least 10,000 times a month. If your website ranking for those keywords, great. You could have an extra 10,000 website visitors looking to buy wedding rings.

But…

Those keywords are being targeted by massive businesses that have a weekly marketing budget bigger than your yearly budget.

If you were to target those keywords by going up against this competition you would more than likely lose, or it would take you years to compete with them.

Long-tail keywords

On the other hand, you could have targeted keywords such as:

  • Platinum tiffany wedding bands
  • Silver Cartier wedding bands for women

Those keywords may only get 1000 searches a month, but they would be much easier to rank for and would likely result in better sales as they are more targeted.

Even better, you can fill your site with hundreds of keywords like these so instead of targeting just wedding rings that gets 10,000 searches you could target 50 keywords that get a minimum of 1000 searches each and get 50,000 visitors a month.

If you want your website to do anything for your business you must hire a web design agency that understands website design as well as Search engine optimisation.

I really can’t stress the importance of hiring an agency that understands both website design and SEO.

5. Mobile-Friendly – Does your website look good on mobiles?

free website builder

Free website templates are getting better, yet some of them still suck when it comes to being mobile-friendly.

At the last time of checking, I believe that 60% of people now browse the internet on their mobile phones and most of these users will click that dreaded back button if your website doesn’t look good on their device.

If you’re considering using a free website builder (I hope you aren’t) then you should check to see if it works on mobile devices. If it doesn’t, scrap what you are doing and look for a new one.

But the best solution would be to hire a web design agency that specialises in responsive web design.

Responsive website design is a method of creating a website that works on all devices such as:

  • Desktop computers
  • Mobiles phones
  • iPads
  • Kindles
  • Laptops

By being mobile responsive you are providing your potential customers with a better experience, which can lead to more sales.

You are also not getting penalised by the search engines like Google who show non-mobile-friendly websites lower down in the search engines.

6. No analytics or poor analytics

free website builder

You should always be looking for ways to improve your website.

Doing so will increase your profits.

On our website for example I always look for ways to make the user’s experience better. I always look for ways to improve the website’s navigation, and I sometimes get rid of or replace pages that don’t work well.

The only way I know what pages work or what pages need to be improved upon is by using in-built analytics.

These analytics show:

  • How long a visitor stays on the website
  • The number of pages a visitor views before leaving
  • Total number of visits the website has had that day
  • Search engine queries used to find the site
  • Which pages cause users to leave without going to another page

As you can see analytics are very important, but most free website builders don’t include them. That should be enough to stop you from even thinking of designing your own website.

A page you design could look great to you, but it could confuse the hell out of your visitors and could cause you to lose money.

Analytics allow you to constantly test and tweak pages to make them perform better.

7. Fast development, low quality

free website builder

Design your website in 30 minutes or less.

We have seen the advertisements, but really?

Our own personal site took around a month to design and build. That’s without us constantly testing to improve it.

Honestly, 30 minutes.

Come on.

free website builder

Your website is one of your most important sales tools and it is often the first point of contact that a potential customer will make with your business.

With that said, don’t you think you should spend more time on it than the amount of time it takes to order a takeaway and have it delivered?

A quality website that will bring you business for years to come deserves more than a few minutes spent on it. A good website can take weeks, months, or even years.

As a business owner, you are “told” to go to networking and trade events to gain more clients, but personally, that doesn’t suit any of our staff’s personalities. We just like to get on with our work.

Therefore we rely on our own website to bring customers to us, and it does. Like clockwork. If we had built it using a free website building tool I would have no doubt that it wouldn’t rank for any of our keywords and it wouldn’t look as good as it does.

Think of the number of people who are searching for the services you offer right now and then think of what it would do for your business if you were sitting at the top of the search engine and they were clicking on your site and giving you a call.

That is what a website can do for your business. A free website will never do that.

8. Advertisements – Killing your business one ad at a time.

free website builder

Not many things kill your credibility that ugly adverts on your website advertising the free website building tools.

You may have seen them:

“This site was created by somefreewebsite.com get yours today”

Yuck.

If I’m looking for a service provider and I come across that I’m clicking that back button. This is for many reasons.

This shows me that you don’t take your business seriously, that you can’t be trusted, and that you’re cheap.

Now all of the above is more than likely not true. But I don’t know you. And unless my initial feeling is good nothing more is going to happen, and I’m not going to hire you to carry out a service.

Online there is so much competition that if your potential customers feel like they cant trust you, they will have no problems clicking the back button and buying from your competition.

9. Experience – do you have it?

I have touched on experience in this article, so I’ll keep this brief.

By building a website yourself you are relying on your website design knowledge, which I’m guessing you don’t have a lot to call upon.

That is fine.

I don’t have a lot of experience in building houses, carrying out hip implant surgery, working in recruitment, or cooking food in a restaurant either. But my clients do, and the reason why they hire us is that we have experience in design, development and internet marketing.

A website built by us will outperform a free website any day of the week, it will also outperform a website built for you by our competition. Another big claim I know. But when every one of our clients has seen an increase in search engine rankings since hiring us, I think we have earned the right to be so confident.

10. Support – help me, please.

free website builder

Website design and marketing can be complicated. We however cut out all the jargon and make each part of the process as simple as possible.

Free website builders however don’t have this support.

If you get stuck, your website breaks or you don’t know how to add or delete something on your website then you are out of luck. The website building tools may have a forum where you can search for answers but you once again are wasting your time.

You don’t want to be building websites, if you did you would be in the web design industry rather than the industry you are in.

By hiring a professional you can be supported every step of the way.

We are only a phone call away if you have a problem or question, and we only have a small team so by working with us you will develop a relationship with us and not be passed around from one call center to another.

11. Performance – Float like a butterfly or slither like a slug

free website builder

Websites built by free website builders are usually stored on the same servers as thousands of other websites.

This makes them so slooooooooow.

Website speed is a major ranking factor when it comes to your position on Google. This year alone we are seeing more changes with Google introducing something called AMP, which they have introduced to speed up pages on mobile phones.

Website speed can also play a massive part in the number of sales or enquiries your website receives. A website that takes longer to load causes your visitors to leave, if your website is quick they are more likely to stay and buy.

Nobody likes a slow website. So don’t use a free website builder that takes an eternity to load, because no one will stick around for it.

Free website builders conclusion

To wrap this blog post up I’ll keep it brief.

Above I provided you with 11 top reasons why your business should not be represented by a free website and why you shouldn’t make your own website.

But the truth is, that was just scratching the surface.

There are plenty of other reasons why you should not build your own website, but if I were to list them all we would be here all night.

Hopefully, after reading this post you are now open to having your website built by a professional.

If you have a good service/product you would be surprised how quickly you can get a return on investment with a good website, especially when combined with our search engine optimisation packages.

Want to talk to us about having a custom-built website for your business? Get in touch here.

Dental Website Design – 8 Features your dental practice website design must include.

If you want more clients from online your dental website design must be excellent.

In this blog post I will give you dental website design tips and tricks so that you can generate more business for your dental practice.  And if you’re in the market for a redesign you should read this blog post before handing over any money.

1. Get more patients with a dental website that works on all devices

dental website design

For your dental practice to be found online you are going to need your website to work on all devices such as:

  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Tablets (iPads)
  • Smart Phones (iPhones)

A website that works on all of the above devices is going to increase your sites user-friendliness.

Why is your site being user friendly important I hear you ask?

Having a user friendly website has many advantages. Firstly, A website that doesn’t make your visitors want to pull their own teeth out is going to convert at a better rate than one that does.

A conversion in this example could be a phone call to your dental practice to schedule an appointment.

If your dental website isn’t user friendly then your visitors are going to leave, and even worse they are going to go to one of your competitors.

According to MicKinsey & Company “Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.”

Can you really afford to lose up to 61% of your customers, or can you afford to lose 40% of your customers to your competitors?

Secondly, your dental website design should be mobile responsive because the search engines punish websites that aren’t.  Mobile responsiveness is a huge part of search engine optimisation, so make sure your site is mobile friendly.

They punish non-mobile friendly websites by showing them lower in the search results.

Search engines can play a massive part in growing your practice.

A mobile-friendly website design for your dental practice will help with your search engine positioning.

At Weeare we have seen our clients jump up in the search results just by making their websites mobile-friendly, if you think your website could benefit from becoming mobile-friendly talk to our seo consultants today.

One of our clients a small restaurant owner had a website that wasn’t mobile-friendly. Because of this, online bookings were poor and they could only be found on either the 4th or 5th page of Google.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t browse the 4th or 5th page of Google.

When we redesigned their website to be mobile friendly they immediately jumped up to the 2nd page. Without doing anything else we improved their search engine rankings by writing good quality code and giving the users a great experience through a mobile-friendly website.

If you want your dental practice website design to bring in more patients then your website must be mobile responsive.

2. Your dental website design must build trust

dental website design uk

Other industries maybe able to get away with dated websites.

You cannot.

Medical websites in general have to look clean and professional. You are selling a service that has a high monetary value and because it’s of a personal nature your visitors will want to trust you before letting you work on their teeth.

There are a few different ways you can make your website visitors trust you.

Firstly, your website design in my opinion should be custom made. It should reflect your business and your core values.

A dental practice that uses pre-bought website themes on the other hand doesn’t inspire trust.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Imagine looking for a dentist and you bring up 5 different dental practices. 2 of these dentist practices however are using the same website theme. This would cause you to stop and become confused.

Are these two websites the same business? Why have they got different names but look the same? Can they be trusted?

At that point, you would likely close that website’s window down and go to a different dental practice.

You don’t want that.

You want your dental website design to calm your potential customer and tell them they are in the right place.

Another way your dental practice website design can inspire trust is by showing potential customers what past customers have said about your business and services.

A great way to show your dental practice is trustworthy is by having a page dedicated to testimonials. This is known as social proof.

Social proof is a force that influences the way in which people make decisions.

Marketers use social proof to influence users into making a decision based on the actions of others because they think it is the right thing to do. Think of it as “if others are doing it, it must be right”

And according to the search engine journal “Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.”

By adding testimonials to your website you are providing the social proof that many people need before deciding to buy a product or a service.

You can also link to any reviews you may have received on a third-party website like Yelp, Yellow pages, or Google Reviews.

3. What do you want out of your new dental website design?

dental website design price

What are your goals?

It’s all well and good having a new website for your dental practice, but if it doesn’t have a goal then you have just wasted your money.

Decide on what your goals should be early on.

Most dental practice owners will say that their goal is to get more clients. Which is great. Having a clear goal will help your dental marketing.

If you want your website to do something different, make sure that you tell your dental website designer first.

By having a clear goal your website designer can then make you a website to hit those goals.

For example, let’s say you want to attract visitors online to sign up for a free consultation which will eventually turn them into a registered client.

You would want everything on your website to point towards getting the visitors on that website to the free consultation page so they can book a consultation with you.

Having a clear goal will improve your website conversions. If you don’t know what your goal is then how do you expect your customers to know either?

4. Your Dental website design must be fast to improve conversions

web design for dentists

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the dental industry or the entertainment industry. A slow website will hurt your website conversions more than anything else.

Visitors will leave your website and go to your competitors if your website is slow.

There are a few different ways in which you can improve your dental websites speed, including:

  • Good website coding techniques
  • Image optimisation
  • Code Optimisation
  • Browser caching
  • Good website hosting

At Weeare we offer all of the above with our website design and development packages.  If your goal is to get more clients this year you may also want to check out our search engine optimisation agency cardiff post

5. Dental website design and marketing

There are many different ways you can market your dental practice online.

For this article, I will only look at what you can do on your dental website to bring in more customers.

A great way of bringing more clients to your dental practice is by adding a blog to your website.

Now you may think that blogging is for hobbyists or that you don’t have enough time to blog. So let me tell you a little about blogging and how it can help your dental practice not only get more customers but help you to become one of the leading practices in your city.

Blogging will not only bring you traffic but it will also help establish you as an industry leader. Being the go-to expert in your city will no doubt increase your revenue.

With so many marketing channels being in your face, blogging allows you to do the opposite. Blogging allows your dental practice to help others who are looking for services you provide.

Instead of posting leaflets around your city, or paying for expensive adverts in the paper that often doesn’t convert. Imagine being the go-to source when someone is looking for something to do with dental services.

By writing good quality blog posts you will not only help others, but you will also receive more links from other websites that will effectively be promoting your business for you.

Your blog posts should be of high quality and should pique the interest of your target audience. Topics off the top of my head could include the following:

  • Which type of braces should I have?
  • Are Invisalign braces suitable for a teenager?
  • Am I a candidate for porcelain veneers
  • 10 signs you need a new set of retainers
  • How do you keep your retainers clean
  • Do I have to wear a retainer after Invisalign?

One blog post a week could position yourself as an industry leader and could skyrocket your sales. Don’t believe me? That’s exactly what River Pools and Spas did.

River Pools and Spas started blogging in 2008 when the recession hit. The owner of River Pools, Marcus Sheridan noticed that every time he wrote a new blog more traffic was coming to his website.

Fast forward a few years and Marcus has grown River Pools and Spas into a company that produces over $5 million in revenue a year. Not too bad just from writing a few blogs.

If you want to increase your website traffic, then I highly recommend thinking of as many questions as you can about your business and answering them in depth. This will bring in more links to your website which will increase your search engine rankings. And it will generate more sales.

If you want to cut down on marketing costs, your dental website must include a blog!

6. Your dental website design must be easy to navigate

dental web design

Dental websites often have many pages to highlight the number of services that you offer.

However…

Having a website with many pages can cause it to look cluttered. It is very important that your website doesn’t look cluttered because it will overwhelm your potential clients.

Your dental website’s navigation should be clear and logical so your users can find the information they need within seconds.

Imagine being in pain with toothache, landing on your website, and not being able to find the information you need because your navigation contains hundreds of links.

Nightmare.

7. Setting appointments should be easy.

website development for dentists

One of the main goals of most dental website designs is to get more clients through the doors.

To achieve that goal you are going to need a website that allows your users to book in appointments with ease.

Your dental website design must have an online booking form that is simple to use and doesn’t require too much information.

I don’t know how many times I see a dental website that requires 10 different fields to be filled out before being able to talk to someone.

Your dental website design contact form should require the bare minimum. The fewer fields you use the higher the number of conversions you will receive.

Get the bare minimum first. When that person then comes into the consultation you can then get more information. By asking for too much right away you are scaring away your potential client before they have set a foot through your door.

8. Your dental website design must be compliant with the General Dental Council (GDC)

The GDC has many principles concerning ethical advertising and your dental practice website.

To make sure that your new website complies with the GDC you will want to make sure you take the following into consideration.

Firstly, you must make sure that all the dental professionals that are to be displayed on your website will show the professional qualification that they have along with the country they earned this qualification in.

Your dental staff will also have to display their General dental council registration number on the website. You should also be sure not to include any honorary qualifications or letters after your staff’s names.

Your website design will also have to include the following:

  • The name and geographic address at which the dental practice is located.
  • Whether the dental practice is NHS only, Private only or mixed.
  • The general dental council address and a link to their website
  • Details of your practices complaints procedure.
  • The last time the website was updated.

Your dental practice website design may also not mislead patients with statements that can’t be backed up with facts.

Conclusion

The above 8 features alone will help your website get off to a great start.

If you are looking for a new website for your dental practice then I recommended that you follow the above tips.

Dental marketing can be highly competitive but if you stick to the above tips you will already be a step ahead of the competition.

If you are looking for a website design for your dental practice then please do get in touch with us, we would love to find out more about your project.

5 Website Design Trends We Predict To See More Of In 2017

I like these types of posts because you can look back on them each year and see how well you predicted the design trends of that year.

This post will be split up into an infographic and a blog post which will go into each point in more detail.

web design trends 2017

Share this Image On Your Site

 1. Full width images

full width image web design

Full width images are great.

We have used them on two websites for our clients (La Bodega) and (OIC) this year.

The reason why we love full-screen images is that they stop visitors in their tracks and get them to take notice.

Unlike a slider, a full screen image makes the user curious and that curiosity leads them to read the content the image displays. A full screen image allows the user to understand your message very quickly.

Full-screen images combined with longer scrolling pages provide you with a unique opportunity to tell your story.

Another bonus of a full-screen image is that it doesn’t actually have to be an image. You could replace the image with a background video to add even more of a storytelling element to your website.

Full-width images however do have some disadvantages.

Full-width images are often large in file size and can take longer to load with visitors on slower Internet connections.

To get around this problem I would recommend using a service such as Optimizilla.com or tinypng.com which makes your image file size smaller while keeping the quality.

We run most of our images on this site through an image optimisation service, even the Infographic above as it minimises the file size allowing our website to load quicker.

If you use full-width images on your website just be sure to take into consideration that the larger images will take longer to load. If you are concerned about a slow loading website, talk to our search engine optimisation consultants today.

2. Split screen website design trend

One of the more interesting design trends to come out in 2016 is the split screen technique.

Split screens divide up certain sections of your website into vertical equal parts.

Split screen design is often used in instances where you want to showcase messages of equal importance. A split screen could work for a company that offers goods or services and divides those into logical categories.

A split screen element on a website funnels your visitors to exactly where you want them, this can increase your website conversion rate.

A great and fun example of a split screen website design can be seen below

web design trends 2017
Image courtesy of enginethemes.com

3. Stronger call to action

small business digital marketing

If you want your user to do something you will need to make your call to action stand out.

In 2016 we saw a lot of websites being bolder with their call to actions. We even used stronger call to action on our site, (we still do).

2017 however is going to take the call to action and make it even bolder.

We predict that a lot of companies are going to start using animation when it comes to the call to action buttons. This could be anything from button colours changing, to the button getting bigger and smaller or even the button moving.

I think subtle animations could improve website conversions using the techniques above, but they will have to be subtle. Anything more and you would be bordering on annoying which will have the opposite effect on conversions by causing people to leave your websites.

Remember the terrible flashing gifs on websites in the 90’s?

You don’t want to replicate that.

A lot of websites that we have seen this year have been using single column call to actions, us included. This year we have added a small animation to our call to action. Can you spot it?

If you go on any of the following pages:

And scroll to the bottom you will see our call to action. Our little animation with the robot is fun, but also it attracts the eye and so far our website conversions are up from when we didn’t have the animation in place.

As with everything it is important to test.

The trends mentioned above are what we predict we will see this year. Of course we could be completely wrong, we could also be right but that doesn’t mean all of the above elements will work on your site.

If you think they could improve your website goals then give them a test and let us know how you get on with them. But before you leave, keep reading to see the other big trends of 2017.

4. Mobile responsive website design trend

mobile responsive web design

More people now use their mobile phones to browse the Internet than desktop computers.

This trend has been happening for a while but I think 2016 was the year that saw the real shift in mobile responsive website design.

More and more business owners are going to see the advantages of having a website that works on mobile devices, because if they don’t they are going to see a massive drop in profits.

In 2017 we are going to see more websites built for mobile phones first. It’s already happening with the amp project.

According to their website, AMP aims to make mobile browsing much faster.

Companies such as Gizmondo, the Washington post, Wired and many more have already stated using AMP which is said to be 3x as quick as a regular web page.

Zooooooom!

Because AMP is being adopted by big companies already, there is no doubt in our mind that AMP pages are going to be favoured in the search results, therefor more website owners are going to have to adopt to this new technology to provide their users with better browsing experiences.

5. Death of the slider

web design trends 2017

A slider/carousel is something that we all have become used to when it comes to website design. But it looks like it is finally dying off.

Horaaay!

Sliders like advertisements are often ignored by visitors. Website visitors are so used to sliders that they have developed a blindness to them.

I could go on and on about sliders, but I have found a rather fun website that tells you exactly why you shouldn’t use a slider in your website design. Check it out below:

www.shouldiuseacarousel.com

Website Design Trends Conclusion

Above were our predictions that we think we will see a lot more of this year.

That said, you shouldn’t go overboard and use all of the above features in everyone of your designs (except for mobile responsive and no sliders!)

We hope you enjoyed the infographic and the content to go along with it, if you did please be sure to give this page a share.

You can use the infographic above on your own website, copy and paste the code below the infographic to do so.  If you want to generate more traffic to your website this year check out our SEO Experts Cardiff page

33 Small Business Digital Marketing Mistakes (& How to fix them)

Small business digital marketing is tough.

Finding your audience, getting them on your website, and making them purchase your product or service is even tougher.

We have looked at many small business digital marketing campaigns and have made a list of some of the mistakes they commonly make.

If you don’t want your digital marketing to kill your small business, avoid these 33 mistakes!

1. Does your website have a purpose?

small business digital marketing

One of the easiest ways to kill your small business is by having a website that serves no purpose.

We have had clients in the past tell us that they want a website, but when asked why and what they want to achieve they have told us that they don’t know.

If you don’t know what you want your website to achieve, how are your website visitors supposed to know what to do?

Our tip is to choose a goal for your website and then build your marketing around that.

If more sales is a goal…

Take your website visitors to your products quickly and make sure you provide enough content for the visitor to be able to buy.

Want more enquires?

Make sure your website has a call to action in the right place. Your contact details should also never be more than a click away.

Your website is one of your business’s most important sales tools.

To give your small business a chance online you must figure out what you want your website to do and then work towards hitting those goals.

2. Do you actually know your audience?

small business digital marketing

You can’t sell to everyone.  If you could, marketing would be easy.

Your product won’t be right for everyone, even major companies like Apple who have sold over 1 billion iPhones only have a 20% market share.

Know your audience and solve their problems. By trying to appeal to everyone you won’t appeal to anyone.

A great way of getting to know your audience is by using “buyer personas”.

A buyer personal according to Hubspot is:

A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

When you create a buyer persona you can then use that information to help with all future marketing materials.

If you have never used buyer personas before check out this great article on Hubspot.  Alternatively, you can watch the short video below.

3. Is your homepage as good as it could be?

Most of your website visitors will only visit your homepage before going back to the search results.

If you start your content on your homepage with sentences like

“Hi my name is Ricky…” or “I am a web developer… I like chocolate cake, and i ran my first 5k this year at a time of…”

your visitors are going to leave because no one cares.

Your visitors are looking for one thing, be that one thing they are searching for.

Don’t tell them about your cats, your interest in cooking, or that you know a guy who knows a guy who plays for Wales in rugby.

Provide useful information on your homepage, not weak content, otherwise, that visitor and the potential customer is gone forever.

4. Do you provide your potential customers with relevant content?

We touched on it above, get rid of non-relevant content.

Your potential customers don’t care that your manager has bought you a packet of biscuits for a meeting.

Do you really think your customers care if you share it online?  They see it every day, and it bores them.

Time and time again I see businesses tweet about how they love their jobs because a team member has brought a cake into the office. Yawn…

5. Does your customer service suck, can you improve it?

small business marketing

If anything kills your business quicker than poor customer service I am yet to see it.

If you’re in business, your customer service should be amazing.

Yet most customer service sucks.

In fact, we are so used to bad customer service that when someone treats us as they should we remember it.

A little story, when I first launched Weeare I was looking for office space to set up my business. 1 full year ago, I sent off various emails and left many voice messages to estate agents for office space.

I was practically begging to hand over my money.

Yet, these estate agents hardly ever got back to me.

Lazy customer service or bad service simply won’t do and will kill your profits quickly.

Aim to respond to your customers as fast as you can. If you use social media for your business then most people expect a reply back within 30 minutes.  If you can’t reply that quickly you may want to hire someone to manage your social media marketing for you.  Check out perky marketing, if you are looking for someone to run your social media campaigns.

6. Do you check your content 3 times before publishing?

As a marketing agency, we put out a lot of content every week. We have to proofread constantly, but even we sometimes put out content with mistakes.

It happens.

Proofread as much as you can and get rid of any errors you find.

By doing so you will build more trust with your visitors, helping them to see you as a professional which could eventually lead them to become a customer.

7. Do your marketing materials look high end or cheap?

Marketing materials such as blog posts or tweets have a far higher engagement rate if they include images.

Images in blog posts also keep the users engaged, break up the content, and improve readability. (Look at this post, images everywhere)

Low-quality images make your business look unprofessional and will put off potential customers.

For high-quality images that don’t cost the world check out the following

Pixabay (free images)
Shutterstock
Photodune

The stock sites above provide good quality imagery for only a couple of pound a time, Pixabay is free!

8. Are you a wimp?

small business digital marketing

Now I ask the above with the best intentions, So don’t punch me yet!

Stop being a wimp.

If you have a product or service that does a job, make sure you tell your customers.

Don’t pussyfoot. Don’t tell them “I think I can do this”, “I maybe can do that”.

Tell your visitors what you can do.

“I can improve your business search engine rankings in 4-6 weeks” is better than “I think I can help your business rank higher in the search engines possibly in a few weeks”

9. Stop being lazy, update your website!

Many business owners think you can build a website and forget about it.

You cant.

I wish you could. It would make our lives so much easier.

Websites can bring in traffic on a consistent basis. But you must keep your high-ranking pages updated and relevant otherwise you will slip down in the search rankings.

To make sure your website traffic doesn’t stagnate you should always be adding new content, improving the existing content, and deleting content that gets no traffic.

By updating your website you are increasing your digital footprint by building a bigger web to catch potential customers in.

To monitor what pages on your site work and don’t install google analytics, I have included a short video tutorial below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBvJaUSbAUA

10. Do you promote your content or leave it to sit and rot?

Once you have written content you think your users will love, get it out into their faces.  Over 500 hours of video is uploaded to Youtube every minute so you need to promote your content if you want it to be found.  The same happens with blog content with over 8 million blog posts being written every day.

Share your content on social media.

Run paid advertising on those posts. Or even reach out to others who may be interested in promoting your content for you.

Brian Dean from Backlinko has a great post on how to reach out to others to get more traffic to your website with something called the skyscraper technique

If you would like help with your marketing campaigns talk to our seo consultants.

11. No one likes being sold to, especially when they’re looking for funny cat videos on Facebook.

social media marketing for small business

Don’t be one of those guys/girls.

Most people don’t use social media to buy, they use it to connect with their friends and family, follow celebrities, and share funny memes.

If a potential customer follows your brand then they don’t constantly want to be sold to.

Constantly selling to your potential customers on social media will result in them unfollowing you. Don’t be that person.

Instead, share content you think your potential customers would enjoy. Talk to them, get involved in industry conversations, and even run polls to see how you can improve your business.

Social media is a valuable tool and if you’re using it only to spam people then you are using it wrong.

12. You have unrealistic expectations

You can’t set and forget your digital marketing.

Whether this is your website, your social media, or your offline marketing methods.

Keep all of your content fresh, update it as much as humanly possible. If you’re finding it hard, look into tools that can automate certain parts of your marketing for you.

Companies such as:

• Hootsuite
• Buffer

Offer social media tools that you can set up in advance to post your content.

For example, you could spend a few hours on a Sunday morning queuing up your social media posts for that week.

Content management systems like WordPress (which we build or websites on) have in built features that allow you to queue up your blog posts in the same way.

This allows you to plan your marketing months ahead. Letting you to get on with running your business.

13. 1990 called they want their website back.

digital marketing for small business

If your website looks like it was built in 1990, then I won’t buy from you.

Neither will your customers.

An old website doesn’t look trustworthy and neither does your business.

Your website should be redesigned every 2-3 years to keep up with the latest website trends and technologies. In more competitive industries that figure could change to more like 1-2 years.

At Weeare we have redesigned our website twice in the last year, already we have seen an increase in traffic, conversions, and sales. Woot Woo!

14. The money is in the list (it’s true!)

email marketing for small business

Not using email marketing is a massive mistake.

Spend 10 minutes on a digital marketing blog and you will find “the money is in the list” plastered everywhere.

But what does this mean?

Most tech-savvy businesses will collect potential customers’ details and then market to them in the future.

The above may sound shady but it’s not. We are not talking about spying on your users. Instead, you would be simply collecting a name and an email address for something your customer would find useful, such as:

  • Access to free training videos
  • A free white paper
  • Free Ebook Download
  • Money off voucher

Studies have shown it takes a person between 5 and 12 interactions with your brand before purchasing.

If your website has no way of getting in contact with your visitors after they leave for the first time then you are throwing away your profits and killing your business.

Collect your visitor’s email addresses and build trust with them and eventually turn these visitors into customers.

To get started with email marketing you could use any of the following companies:

• Mailchimp
• Aweber
• Constant contact

We have used both Mailchimp and Aweber. We prefer Aweber but, if you are just getting started Mailchimp has a free service that will allow you to have up to 500 users without having to pay a penny.

Have a look at the following short video that explains why email marketing is something you should be doing:

15. Forget about website traffic, concentrate on quality

Don’t concentrate on web traffic alone.

Doing so will kill your business.

A keyword that brings in 20 visitors a month could be worth more commercially than a keyword that brings in 1000’s.

An example of this can be shown with Weeare. One of the keywords that we target brings in only 100 searches a month. 100 searches are around 3 visitors a day. Nothing special.

However, that one keyword alone has brought in £15,000 worth of business.

Compare that to a site that I run when I was younger.

I used to run a movie review website when I was 17 years old. The site would get a few thousand visitors a day. Total ad revenue was anything from £2 to £15 a day.

Not all traffic is equal.

Concentrate on getting high-quality traffic that is likely to convert.  If you want more traffic to your business check out search engine optimisation cardiff

16. You’re not on social media, why?

social media marketing for small business

I get it. Social media can be a pain in the butt.

Not everyone likes using social media. If you are one of them you are going to have to suck it up.

Social media plays a massive part in digital marketing, it’s so big that it is used as a ranking signal by Google to determine where to show your website in their search results.

The bottom line, you must use social media.

17. Your website doesn’t generate leads (it sucks then!)

Your website should generate leads pretty much on autopilot.

If it doesn’t then something is wrong.

The Weeare website is our best tool for generating leads.

So good, that we don’t employ salespeople.

For your website to generate leads you will need to understand your target market. Create content that they want to see and then lead them to an action that you want them to take.

If your website doesn’t generate leads there could be a few problems in your funnel, which we will look at below.

18. Your website isn’t SEO friendly and doesn’t rank (ouch!)

seo marketing for small business

Last year I bought a new watch, a new car and even invisible braces for my younger sister.

All of those purchases started off with me doing research online. Your customers are doing the same for your product.

If your website doesn’t show up when your customers are searching for you then you are losing money. Your profits are going down the drain and even worse your customers are spending that money with your competition.

For your website to generate leads it must be found in the search engines.

Go to Google after you have finished this article and type in a query in which you think your users would use to find your services.

Don’t cheat either.

Your customers are not going to type in your business name.  As they probably don’t even know you exist yet.

Does your small business come up in the results? If it doesn’t your SEO is letting your business down.

19. Your visitors don’t know they are in the right place

small business website design

Once your visitors click on the search results they are transported to your website.

They need to be reassured they are in the right place.

If you don’t reassure them, they will click the back button and you will lose that potential customer forever.

I have seen it many times and pay per click advertisers are the worst for this. They advertise a service and when you click on that advertisement you are sent to a page that doesn’t contain any of the information you were looking for.

Don’t do that!

If you do, you are throwing your money away, and annoying your visitors.

Make each page on your website relevant to what your users are searching for. Only then will they stick around for a little while longer.

20. Poor quality content on your website kills your digital marketing

Finally, you get a visitor to your website but your content is terrible.

Your visitor races to the back button.

You have lost them once again.

If you want your small business digital marketing to work, you need your website to provide quality information that your visitors are looking for.

Quality content is engaging, looks good, and solves a problem.

If you don’t want your digital marketing to kill your small business you must produce good quality content.

21. Please, ask your website visitors to do something.

small business digital marketing

Maybe you’re lucky.

Maybe your website is SEO friendly, your content is great and you get good traffic.

If that is the case then the problem maybe you don’t have a call to action.

A call to action:

Is an action you want your visitors to take.

It’s pretty simple and it works.  By asking your users to do something a certain percentage of them will do it.  If you don’t ask them to do anything, they won’t.

By not having a call to action visitors will leave your website.

  • Want your website visitors to call you? tell them to!
  • Do you want your visitors to fill out a contact form? tell them to!
  • If you want your visitors to schedule a demo, tell them to!

I think you get the point.

Visitors need to be told what to do next. Or you need to make it easier for them to find the action you want them to take. Doing so will generate more leads for your small business.

22. Is your small business digital marketing still stuck in 2015?

web design for small business

Your website not responsive?

You’re 2 years out of date.

In 2015 Google rolled out something internet marketers nicknamed “mobilegeddon”

Businesses that had websites that didn’t work on mobile devices were shown lower in the search rankings than those who were.

But don’t panic.

Like Bruce Willis, We will ride into the meteor and save the day.

Our web design services are mobile responsive and search friendly as standard, talk to us if you need to redesign your website.

The only thing that we can’t promise, is that we will look as cool as Bruce did while Aerosmith rocks in the background.

23. Blogging is not just for hobbyists, but a necessity for B2B sales.

Blogging used to be for hobby sites.

It’s not anymore.

Blogging is so powerful that:

B2B marketers who do blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. (insideview)

Blogging is also useful to get more inbound links to your website which helps with SEO.

According to HubSpot, companies that blog have 97% more inbound backlinks.

If you don’t blog, you should. If you do blog, keep it up!

24. Your website is hard to navigate – Where am I?

Websites that are hard to navigate kill your profits.

Nothing is more frustrating to a potential customer than to land on your website and not be able to find what they need because your website is laid out in a confusing manner.

This also applies to your website’s navigation. We recommend only having 5-6 links to your most important content.

25. You don’t provide enough information

digital marketing for small business in wales

Digital marketing thrives on information.

Search engines love information. Your customers want information, so provide it.

Websites that do this well build entire pages to sell a single product. Take Apple and the iPhone 7 for example.

Everyone knows what an iPhone can do, but Apple still take the time to explain the features and benefits of the product.

Apple take the time to do this for a product that costs less than £1000.

I have seen businesses who are selling products for £10,000+ and they provide 3 lines of content.

Give your users the content they want and your profits will increase.

26. Over promising kills (not literally)

Don’t over-promise.

I have seen websites promise something in their search engine title and description tag only to arrive at the site and see something else.

This conflicting information is frustrating and will cause your users to leave.

Or it will make them angry when they do purchase and you let them down.

Be honest and provide the service that you say you will.

The customers who want to work with you will be glad and they will be more than happy to recommend you to someone if you carry out the work that you say you will.

27. You are not consistent with your small business digital marketing.

Being consistent is hard, I know.

But the more consistent you are with your business’s digital marketing the more you are going to benefit.

If you can only blog once a week so be it. Once a month, fine. But keep it consistent.

Being consistent will allow you to build a fan base, even if it’s a small one. It is much better to build a small loyal fan base than one that doesn’t care about you.

By being consistent with your marketing efforts you are letting your fans know when you are going to release content, and they will wait for it eagerly.

Being consistent is key to improving your digital marketing.

28. Give and take, not take, take, take.

social media marketing for small business in wales

Don’t be a social hoover.

You see them all the time on social media. Businesses that just want to sell and have no interest in anyone else.

Yes, I get it. Your time is precious and you’re busy. But how can you expect others to care about your services when you don’t give anything back.

You can’t build any relationships online by being a social hoover and sucking the life out of everyone. You have to give something back.

Interact with others, share content others write. Like some posts, start conversations, and be real!

PEOPLE BUY FROM PEOPLE, not faceless brands. Interact with your customers and build a following.

29. Your website is slower than a snail with broken legs (yes, we know)

small business digital marketing

A slow website is a killer.

There are a few different things that could cause your website to be slow. This could be anything from your web host, to a badly built website.

To improve your website speed there are a few things that you could do:

  • Purchase better website hosting
  • Make sure your website is coded correctly
  • Don’t install too many plugins
  • Optimise the images and code on your website

If your website is slow after all of the above, or you don’t know where to start get in touch and we will have a look.

30. Your website bounce rate is too high

In digital marketing, high is usually good.

Not with bounce rate.

Bounce rate measures the number of visitors who land on one page and then leave without clicking through to a new page.

If your bounce rate is too high then not enough of your visitors are getting the chance to see your information before leaving. A high bounce rate could be caused by:

  • Bad design
  • Bad content readability
  • Nonrelevant popups (visitors hate these)

To see what your current bounce rate is you will have to install Google analytics. (There’s a video at the top of the page showing you how)

When you have installed Google Analytics, Google will tell you the percentage of people who have bounced from your website, along with information such as how long they have spent on your website.

31. Your website uses too many plugins.

Remember the old iPhone adverts. “There’s an app for that”

The same is true with plugins.

And some small businesses go over the top in using them.

Make no mistake, plugins are what makes the WordPress CMS great. But going over the top and installing too many will slow your website down.

Our advice, only add the plugins you really need.

32. Your website is built on a theme

I hate website themes.

They ruin most small businesses’ websites.

Themes usually contain too much code that your website doesn’t need. The result is a slower website that is not as search-friendly as it could have been.

If your website is built on a theme then you are killing your small business.

We believe digital marketing is best built on strong foundations. The strongest being a good website.

One of the major flaws in using a pre-built theme is it can increase the time that it takes for search engines to rank your website. We have done experiments where a custom-built website was indexed in a few days where as a website built on a theme took longer than 6 weeks.

Using cheap themes on your business website will increase the time and money needed to be spent on SEO services, which is not good!

Cheap themes will eat into your business profits.

Avoid them if possible.

33. Your customers are not on Facebook/ Twitter/ Other

twitter marketing for small business

You can’t reach your customers on a social channel they don’t use.

If your customers are not on a social media channel then don’t waste time marketing on there.

It doesn’t matter if someone from another Business uses Facebook and it works for them. If your customers are not there, it wont work for your small business.

Buyer personas help when it comes to finding out where your customers hang out online.

Another bonus tip is not to spread yourself too thin. If your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Blogger, or any of the other social media networks you can either hire someone to do your social media for you or pick 3 networks and build a following before moving on to others.

Spreading yourself thin will create low-quality content and will burn you out.

How can you use this information for your small business?

Go back through all of the points and make sure your small business digital marketing doesn’t violate any of these rules.

Make the changes we suggest and then monitor the results through tools such as Google Analytics.

Small business digital marketing is changing all the time.

The only way to make sure your small business keeps up with the competition is to keep reading posts like this.

Should your small business use social media?

Should your business should use social media?

Short answer: Yes

Social media networks have become an incredible resource for businesses who are looking to promote their brands online. The platforms themselves are free to use, but also have paid advertising options, which give more options for brands that want to reach a wider audience.

But just because your business should be on social media, it doesn’t mean you should be on every network. It’s important that you choose and nurture the social platforms that work best for your business, so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.

In order to create a successful social strategy, you need to understand how each network works and the kind of audience that you can reach on each platform. Below we have listed the most popular social media channels which can help market your business online.

Facebook

social media for small business

Facebook is the biggest social media network on the web, with nearly 1.8 billion active users, this channel is a great medium for connecting people to your business.

Considering that Facebook has a wealth of options for any type of organisation, it’s a great starting point for your business, regardless of your industry. You can use Facebook to share photos, promotions, important company updates and more.

Additionally, the site can be more low-maintenance than other social networks. Whether you post several updates a day or only a few each week, it won’t make much of a difference in what your fans think of you.

Twitter

social media for small business

With Twitter, businesses can share short text updates (of 140 characters or less), along with videos, GIFS, images, links, polls and more.

Unlike Facebook, you can also easily interact with other users by mentioning their usernames in your posts, so Twitter is a great way to quickly connect with people all other users around the world.

The platform averages about 320 million active users worldwide and because of its reach, Twitter is not only a great way to market your business, but also an effective channel to use for handling customer service.

For example, if you maintain an active presence on Twitter, customers who are also active on the platform will engage with you to express concerns or share their praise. Great examples of companies that use Social Media for customer service include Arriva Trains Wales (@ArrivaTW) and Cardiff Bus (@CardiffBus)

Retweeting and interacting with other users content is incredibly simple. Hashtags help boost posts, and if a user with a lot of followers retweets you, your content has potential to even go viral. But with Twitter and other social networks, it’s important to remember to find balance. Don’t simply share your own links or media; instead, make sure you are also sharing a lot of interesting, relevant content from other users and from around the web, so your audience doesn’t think you care only about what your business is doing.

LinkedIn

linkedin for small business

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and also is considered the most important social platform for B2B opportunities.

The platform is great for generating leads and is different to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. The type of users LinkedIn attracts are professionals, meaning you’re likely to attract the right people to your business and generate more leads if you sell B2B.

We always think of LinkedIn as an extension of our online brand and understand the importance of it in showcasing our whole company, not just individuals. Online presence is a huge part of marketing and LinkedIn has a big role to play in that. This platform gives solid opportunity to engage with users whether that’s through messages or post interactions.

Look for more information on Social Media Marketing services for your business? Or Search engine optimisation (talk to our seo consultants) contact us today and we will help you with any queries you may have.

How a family run restaurant outranked the big guys & how you can too

Not being found online is most business’s idea of a nightmare, wouldn’t you agree?

La Bodega, unfortunately, found themselves in the same situation as many,  They had paid for a website previously, but it was now gathering dust rather than collecting bookings. We were hired to change that, and we did.  Through the combination of our website design and seo services we took them to page 1.

La Bodega’s old website was nothing to celebrate about. It was old, it didn’t work on mobile devices and online bookings were low. Search engine rankings for the business were also terrible and La bodega was nowhere to be seen on the first, second, third or fourth page of the search engine results for restaurants in Merthyr Tydfil.

La Bodega like many other businesses are sold websites that do nothing for their business and in our opinion, the main reason for this is not that people intentionally go out of their way to take a businesses money and run, but simply because they don’t really know what they are doing and don’t know what they are doing will cause harm.

Someone could easily build a free website or even build a website for their business for less than £50. These websites may look fine, but no one will ever find them.

For your customers and La Bodega’s to find them they needed to be on the first page of the search engines. To be on the first page a combination of events need to occur such as:

The website must be built to be search engine friendly.

Without going too technical a website needs to be programmed correctly with the correct tags and fields within it to let the search engines know what the website is about. Otherwise, you are making it difficult for the search engines to find your website.

This was true with La Bodega. These simple tags were not included within the website code, because of this Google and the other search engines had no idea that La Bodega was a restaurant in Merthyr Tydfil.

A lot of themes have the correct fields and tags within them, but sometimes the people who tend to buy these cheap themes have no idea on how to input the data correctly.

A lot of our competition still uses website themes and they have no idea on how to correctly optimise a website for the search engines. This is so frustrating for us as these websites over their lifetime will do nothing for their owners.  It takes money from you and makes us all look like thieves.

A website that uses a theme may look great, but if no one finds it then it is like opening a brand new shop, having the best possible interior only for the entrance to that shop to be hidden behind 4 brick walls.

Doesn’t work on mobile devices

The original La Bodega restaurant was strange in the fact that sometimes the mobile layout worked and then it didn’t. It was as if the website had a life of its own.

Since 2015 Google has been ranking websites based on their user experience. A website that would not work on a mobile device would cause a negative user experience (frustration) and would therefore be a negative when it comes to search engine rankings.

The new La Bodega restaurant now works on mobile devices and because of this, it has helped with the search engine rankings. If your website doesn’t work on mobile devices then you should really think of getting a new website. Being non-mobile-friendly in 2017 is a massive no-no.

No backlinks

Backlinks are still very important when it comes to search engine optimisation (if you need help with your marketing talk to our search engine optimisation consultants). For those who don’t know what backlinks are, they are links from other websites pointing back to yours.

The reason why backlinks are important is that they tell the search engines:

  • What your website is about
  • If your website can be trusted.

Initially, La Bodega only had a small number of backlinks, but we were able to reach out to others in the same industry and get some links to La Bodega which helped increase its search engine positioning.

We managed to get good trustworthy links from websites such as Wales online, just by reaching out to them and telling them about the new website.

If your website doesn’t have any backlinks there are a few ways of getting them. One of the best is to reach out to other businesses that are in a related field to yours.

For example, a painter and decorator may have a website that could link back to yours if you’re in a plumbing and electrical field, the way you can link back to yours is by asking them could you write a blog about something their audience may be interested in. This creates more content for their website which is good for them and the backlink pointing to your original website is good for you.

The more relevant the links and the more trusted the source the better.

Conclusion

By helping La Bodega improve its website by making it mobile-friendly, search engine friendly, building backlinks and developing the website from the ground up we were able to give it a good foundation when it came to marketing the website.

Within a few weeks, the change was drastic. La Bodega was no longer on the 5th+ page of Google, but was sitting on the front page for various search queries. This increased the website bookings and now the restaurant is much fuller than ever before.

If you have a website that is doing nothing for your business then you may want to check on some of the mentioned problems above. By fixing these you are giving your business a better chance of getting more customers online.

If you would like your business to rank higher in the search engines and to improve your online sales/inquiries/website traffic be sure to sign up to our newsletter below.

Merry Christmas 2016 & A Happy New Year!!!

Christmas is nearly here and before we leave the office to eat more than we should, we would just like to thank everyone who we have had the pleasure of working with this year. Our first year in business has been amazing and we couldn’t have done it without our clients, staff, friends and family so this is for you. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

 

The power of a responsive website in wales.

Whether you’re a huge business in Cardiff or a small business in the valleys a responsive website can help your business reach its goals. But what exactly is a responsive website?

Well right now you are reading this article on www.weeare.co.uk and depending on the device you are using to browse the website you will see it displayed in different ways. If you’re on a mobile phone you will see a different layout to someone who is browsing on a desktop or a tablet device.

At this point you maybe thinking but why do I care? Well to answer that you will need to understand that websites were originally built to be viewed on desktop computers. But in 2016 more and more people are using mobile phones to browse the internet. When browsing an old site on a mobile phone that isn’t responsive it looks broke.

That means if a visitor is landing on your website on their phone and you have an old site that isn’t mobile responsive then they are going to see a site that doesn’t display correctly.

There are many problems with having a website that doesn’t work on different devices, but the main problems would be:

• A non responsive website causes your users to become frustrated as navigating around your website is a nightmare.
• A non responsive website will be punished in the search engine rankings.

The last point is massive to all business owners. It doesn’t matter if you provide the best services, the best prices have the best customer testimonials, all of that counts for nothing. If your website isn’t mobile responsive then Google, Bing and the other search engines are pushing your website to the bottom of the pile while your competition is being pushed higher up the search results.

Being in a better position in the search engines means that your competitors websites are getting more visitors and turning those visitors into customers, while your old website is sitting on the 4th page of Google never to be seen.

What can you do about it?

If you don’t like being outranked and have your competition steal money from right under your nose then you will need to have your site redesigned and re developed.

If you’re looking for web design in wales we can help. You may also be interested in our SEO Cardiff service or our seo consultancy

What we have been working on August 2016: TK-Fitness

We recently designed and developed a new website for TK-Fitness, a personal trainer in Cardiff.

personal training web design

TK-Fitness is run by Toby who has over 15 years experience working in the health and fitness industry and helps others train for weight loss, muscular growth, increased fitness and stamina, core conditioning as well as health & life style wellbeing.

Before working with us TK-Fitness already had a website that was responsive, but we noticed that the site wasn’t built in a way which made it search engine friendly or wasn’t designed great for meeting his business goals.

Our expert consultants designed an exciting website that looks great on desktop, mobile and tablet devices. The website is also designed to increase online enquires. Over the next few weeks we will help TK-Fitness improve their search engine rankings which will eventually drive targeted traffic to the website to increase personal training session bookings.

If your looking for a personal trainer in Cardiff then I highly recommend checking out TK-Fitness.

If however you are looking for a way to add more brawn to your business then talk to us, we maybe able to help you with our SEO Cardiff Agency service.

Why Your Website is More Important Than Your Business Card

For most businessmen and women networking is one of the biggest sources of new business. Typically at networking events you will hand out business cards. Business cards are a great way for potential customers to get into contact with you, but they are limited.

Limited Information

Business cards can only hold a limited amount of information. Typically your name, job title, phone number and link to your website. That is it, nothing more will fit. Chances are if you attend a networking event you are going to pick up business cards with pretty much the same content printed on each. John Doe, Marketing Manager. Jayne Doe, head of sales etc.

Websites however offer a lot more information about you, your company, your services and because of this they are way more valuable than a simple piece of card.

Always open

A business card is a great way of getting someone to remember your contact details. Usually however business cards just end up in a draw locked away somewhere. Websites on the other hand keep your business open 24 hours a day.

They answer questions 24 hours a day, and they can even make sales 24 hours a day. In short your website is your most powerful sales tool.

Conclusion

A good designed website will allow your brand values to shine through, will provide all types of information about your company including:

• FAQs
• Contact Information
• Latest News
• Fresh Content

A website can do so much more than a business card, but yet less than half of small business owners don’t own one. If your small business doesn’t have a website then you are losing out financially.  Talk to us about our website design and search engine optimisation deals that we offer, if you want some advice you can talk to our seo consultants today.

What Your Welsh Business Misses by Not Having a Website

It is estimated that less than half of small businesses don’t have a website. When I heard this stat I thought I was having my leg pulled, but after researching more it is true. I couldn’t get over it.

Savvy business owners know that their website is their best selling sales tool bar none. A website works for their business 24/7, 365 days a year. Their website allows them to branch into locations further than any physical location could. But still in 2016 there are a lot of small businesses without a website.

There are a few reasons for this, some of which I have heard first hand, I have been told over the years that businesses don’t need websites because the owner doesn’t use the internet, and that businesses don’t need websites because they get 100% of their work from word of mouth. Both in my opinion are crazy.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, you should always be looking for a competitive edge, and in our opinion having a great website is a great way of getting ahead.  Add to the fact that there are thousands of people searching right now for what you sell, you would have to be crazy not to reach them.  If you do want to reach more clients check out our search engine optimisation cardiff post

Story Time

Let me tell you a short story about something that happened to me recently.

It was a Friday night, we had just closed the office for the weekend and my partner and I wanted to have a night in, order some takeaway and just have a chilled evening. The restaurant that we often go to sells the best onion bhajis I have ever tasted, so it was decided that we would order the takeaway from the restaurant that we had been to before.

I opened up my phone, searched for the restaurant online and couldn’t find it. I was desperate for those bhajis so I even trawled through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pages of Google, but I could not find it. The restaurant did not have a website.

Needless to say, we ended up ordering from another Indian who had a website, which displayed their menus and contact details. Their onion bhajis however were terrible, but that’s something for TripAdvisor.

By not having a website, I was unable to find the business and their menu and I’m sure there are many others in the same boat as me who order elsewhere. By not having a website they were losing out on a lot of business in the local area.

Why you should invest in a website

Other than losing money there are a few other reasons why you should invest in a website for your business.

1. Finding You

By having a website that is easy to find and easy to use, you are giving your customers the opportunity to contact you. If you don’t have a website then your potential customers will either go straight to your competitors or if your lucky they will spend time trying to find your website on a directory site like the yellow pages, but that’s if you’re very lucky.

If you need help with your digital marketing, talk to our SEO consultants.

2. You’re in business

A website shows that you are still in business. With so many businesses failing within the first year if your business ranks online and your customers are finding you then they will know you’re still in business.

If you don’t have a website then your customers will think you have gone bust and once again look elsewhere for the services that you are providing.

3. Reaching a bigger audience

If your lucky people within your local area will come to your business when they want your services, but your overall reach is very small. Your business is limited to the town in which it resides.

A website however can be global, or it can still be local but reach a bit further. A good example of this is our own business. At weeare we offer web design and marketing in Merthyr Tydfil, our physical location is in Merthyr. Our website however allows us to work in Cardiff, Pontypridd, Newport, Barry, Wrexham, and many other places.

If we didn’t have a website then our clients would all be local. Our website has allowed us to work with clients from around the UK, Australia, Canada, and the USA.

4. Inexpensive

Print, TV, and radio are expensive. We know we have priced them for our own business. Online marketing however is inexpensive. It’s also much more targeted. Facebook advertising for example can start off from a few pounds per day and generate good quality leads.

Email marketing is another avenue worth pursuing. Email marketing out of all marketing channels has the highest ROI. A website allows you to build your email marketing list very cheaply.

5. Testing and tweaking

No other marketing method allows you to test and tweak your message as quickly and easily as a website.

There have been various studies over the years on how small changes on a website can increase the rate in which visitors turn into customers. One such example can be seen in this article – which colours should I use for my website and why?

In the above article, a simple colour change of a button increased conversions on a website by 21%.

Imagine the cost difference between tweaking an advert meant for print, TV or radio compared to just changing the colour of the button on your website.

How Often Should I Redesign My Website?

When is a good time to redesign your Website? It’s a good question without a real concrete answer because there are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but in this article we will give you some of the biggest reasons why you would want to change your website.

If your website is already breaking any of these rules then there is a good chance that your website needs a redesign.

Existing Branding

The first reason to redesign your website is if it doesn’t conform to your businesses branding. Your business website should reflect your identity and your brand, if your business has adopted a new identity or is pursuing a new branding approach then your website will want to reflect these business changes.

We see it all the time, a company will use their business colours on a website and think that it reflects their brand, when the messages and imagery on the website couldn’t be further away from the image that they want to portray.

Your Competition

In a competitive market things are going to move quicker. In the web design and development market that we are in we have to make changes to our website all the time in order to compete. We have redesigned our website twice this year. In a competitive market you should be looking to redesign your website at least once every 12-18 months.

Less competitive markets can get away with 2-3 years per redesign, but having said that you will still need to make sure that your website is up to current standards. For example, the mobilegeddon roll out by Google meant that non-responsive websites would be penalised in the search engines.  If your website is getting penalised because it’s not responsive or your search engine optimisation isn’t very good then talk to our seo consultants, we can help.

A good rule of thumb is to check your competitors, if their sites are getting changed on the regular and look better than yours then you are probably going to need a redesign. If your competitors are old on the other hand you could still take this as an incentive to change your site up and become a leader in your industry through your website.

Current Standards

As we mentioned above if your website doesn’t meet current browsing standards then it would be time for a redesign. Websites that don’t work on mobile devices (mobile responsive) are punished in the search engines, which means your visitors will see your competitor’s websites before yours if theirs works on phones.

One of our clients had a website that didn’t work on phones or any other mobile device and they were hovering around the 5th page on Google before we met them.

After developing their website with the current standards and optimising their site through our SEO services they hit the very first page for many competitive keywords.

Why don’t people redesign their websites?

We see it all the time, very successful businesses who leave their websites rot online. They simply don’t keep their website updated because they see no value in having a website. This is understandable, if you have neglected your website then there is a good chance that your visitors don’t even find it online, if they do they probably don’t trust you to do business with you. An old website is off-putting, if your website is old it’s time for a redesign.

We have found that websites are neglected because businesses think of them as a one-time investment, but the truth is websites should be updated constantly, whether this is through new content or a new design.

If you have a business you should be budgeting for a new web design the same as your budget for office equipment, machinery, or transport. Your website is by far your most important sales tool, you wouldn’t let your companies top salesman wear a ripped suit, smell of body odor and have last weeks food stuck between their teeth, so don’t let your website look neglected.

Conclusion

To conclude and to keep it short you should aim to redesign your website:

• 12 – 18 months in a competitive market.
• 24 – 36 months in a noncompetitive market.
• When your competitors do.
• When technology changes.

Why Does My Business Need a Website?

If you’re asking yourself why does my business need a website? You have come to the right place. In this article we will look at the benefits of having a good website for your business.

Over the years we have spoken to many business owners, some have told us “we don’t need a website, all of our business comes from referrals” to “website? I don’t use the internet!”, looking back some of these responses bring a smile to our faces. But the bottom line is that if in 2016 you don’t have a website or you don’t have a website that is responsive then you are losing out on money.

A website if done right can be the best tool available for promoting your business. Your website works every hour of the day, every day of the year. It never goes on holiday and never needs time off for a doctors appointment. A website is your shop window to the world, what you choose to display is up to you.

The internet never closes unlike a traditional shop, so having a website allows your business to be open all of the time, even when your tucked away sleeping.

Websites are not just for global markets either. Having a good website can open your business up to new markets in the local area. Weeare for example is a web design agency in Merthyr, but we offer Web design services in Pontypridd, Cardiff, Newport, Neath and many other locations, even though our physical location is in Merthyr.

Being Legitimate

A well designed website can make your customers believe in your services and give you instant credibility, the opposite is also true. An old, out-dated website will make your potential customers not trust you and think that you don’t care about your business. A website can provide real value when going up against bigger competition, if your website is designed with your users in mind then it doesn’t matter how big your competition are you can still compete on an even playing field.

One of our customers, a small family run restaurant needed a new website designed and developed for their business. Their old site was tired and dated, it wasn’t search or user friendly and at the time of contact it was on the 4th page of Google. The restaurant owners spoke to us, we defined the goals for the website and set to creating a new website. What resulted was a better website that began to rank on the first page for their chosen keywords.

This family run restaurant was able to compete with huge companies such as:

• Nandos
• Frankie and Bennies
• Pizza Hut
• Table Table

In fact we didn’t just compete, we outranked them!

Costs

If your just starting out then having a website can be much cheaper than renting a physical space in the high street. Websites can also draw in visitors from further afield than a shop ever could.

Website design and development pricing can be confusing because so many agencies offer different levels of service. You can get a website from free to over £50,000. Online marketing in our opinion is much more affordable than traditional methods too.  Social media marketing and search engine marketing can start at a few hundred pounds to a few thousands a month, where as traditional marketing is more expensive and less effective.  if you need help with your marketing, talk to our search engine optimisation consultants.

Websites can also minimise the amount of money spent on sending out literature. We have spoken to many businesses over the years that spend thousands monthly on brochures that tell people about the services that they provide. A website allows you to cut down on printed material as your customers can now find out about your services online.

A website is also worth having if you get most of your business through networking, when you first meet someone at a networking event, one of the first things they will do is check your business card and check your website, If both look good, instant credibility.

Showcase your work

There is no better way to show off the work that you have done than to do so on your website. A website can show off recent work through a gallery, case study or even client testimonials. If you want customers to purchase a service through you then you can bet they will want to see past results and what others have said about your services.

Conclusion

If you want more business, a way to show off your work, an employee that works around the clock without taking a day off then you will want a website.

If you already have a website and simply want to generate more traffic check out our SEO Cardiff Service

5 Things Your Website is Missing

Starting from scratch or making changes to an old website? There are a few elements that you should take into consideration, many would say these are must-have elements.

1. Mobile Responsive website design

A responsive website isn’t so much an element but the whole site. A mobile website allows your customers to browse your website with ease and hopefully leads them to contact you or buy one of your products.

Your website should be mobile responsive not only for your users but for the search engines. Since Google rolled out their mobilegeddon algorithm change, they have been punishing non-responsive websites in the search engine results. That means websites that are mobile-friendly have been pushed up in the ranks compared to those that are not.  A responsive website is a huge part of Search Engine Optimisation

If you need help with your marketing, talk to our seo consultants today.

For more information on responsive web design check out this article – What is mobile responsive design?

2. Clear Calls to action

Your website should serve a purpose, if it doesn’t then there is little point in having one at all. A call to action is something that you want your users to do next. This could be anything from adding a product to their shopping cart, subscribing to your newsletter, or using the contact form to send you a message.

Make your calls to action stand out and you will see your conversion rates rise. For more information on making your calls to action stand out you may want to look at the following article – Which colours should I use for my website and why? It discusses how colour has a massive influence on conversions.

3. Email Marketing List

Several studies have shown that email marketing has the highest return on investment than any other marketing strategy. You can build an email marketing list through various methods, such as giving something away for free, providing a discount for signing up to your newsletter for more useful content every month.

If your website doesn’t have email marketing integrated then you are missing out, especially when you can get started for so cheap. I would recommend either Mailchimp or Aweber, both of which can be implemented with our web design service.

4. Social Media Marketing

By including links to your social media accounts on your website you are giving your social accounts the chance to build a following more easily.

Social media marketing allows you to get out in front of your potential clients in an instant. Being active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help improve your search engine rankings, build your brand’s identity, and give your company a voice and personality.

Social media can also allow you to keep potential clients in the loop with new or special offers.

5. Contact Information

Yes, providing your contact information is common sense, but some businesses make it either too hard to find or don’t include it at all.

Recently we were looking for a new office for weeare and we came across an agent’s website with a property that looked like it would work for our team. The only problem is that the estate agent’s website was so hard to navigate that finding the contact information was a chore. We eventually found the contact information, sent them an email and the email bounced.

The email that we sent to the estate agent did not reach the agent because the email address provided was wrong. This could have been a deal worth thousands per year, yet the contact information wasn’t clear, was hard to find, and was eventually wrong. Crazy stuff.

Conclusion

All of the above may seem common sense to some, and they should be, but when it comes to the web we often find businesses don’t take their websites as serious as they should, and because of that they often forget small details that would make a huge difference to their business.

For more info on how you can get more traffic and more sales to your business check out our latest page SEO agency Cardiff.

5 ways your website is driving customers away from your business

Your website is one of your most important sales tools, but so many businesses get their website wrong. Most websites talk too much about themselves and don’t provide the content that their customers are looking for.

We have put together a small list of 5 ways your website is driving customers away from your business, and by the end of this article you should know how to fix the problems that we mention.

Over complicated navigation

Your websites navigation shouldn’t cause users to overthink, everything they need should be within a maximum of 2 clicks, if it isn’t you are just asking to cause frustration for your customer, which is never a good thing.

The back button is one of the most used buttons on a website browser and your customers are much more likely to click the back button than scroll through a badly designed website.

Make your website navigation easy to use and navigate and you will improve the bounce rate on your website. The bounce rate by the way is a statistic that measures the amount of people who visit one page on your website and then leave. A high bounce rate is not a good thing.

Non Responsive website

Websites in this day and age should be responsive. If they are not you are providing your users with a terrible experience, which will cause them to leave your website and you are getting punished by search engines like Google because they know that unresponsive websites do not provide users with good experiences.

For more information on responsive websites and how they can impact your business check out this article – FAQ, What is responsive web design?

Web Page Speed

1,2. That’s all it takes for a user to leave your website. 2 Seconds. If your website is taking longer than 2 seconds to load then you are pushing your customers into the arms of your competitors. You can improve the speed of your website by doing the following:

• Don’t use website themes that contain code bloat.
• Make sure your code is optimised for performance.
• Optimise images for the web.
• Use a good hosting provider.

A slow website is one of the main reasons why your customers would be clicking the back button. Over the years we have worked with companies that have had some terribly slow websites and most of the time it has boiled down to bad code. One of our client’s old websites took 7 seconds to load. They were spending thousands a month on PPC marketing and most of their traffic was clicking back before even seeing the business’s offer.

If you have a slow website you are killing your marketing efforts, please reach out to our seo consultants today and they can help.

Don’t make people think

Causing your users to think will ensure that they will click the back button very quickly. This may sound silly, but with so much information bombarding your user, even the simplest of decisions can take time to perform.

The naming conventions on your website are very important. If you have a services section on your website but call it something like “facilities” then your customers may not know that they are the something. This will cause them to leave your site because they won’t know where the service section is located.

The average person visiting your website will be looking for services, so help them find them by not making them think.

Outdated Content

As a small business owner, I understand that most of us are constantly busy and we really don’t have the time to be blogging or updating our websites, but the truth is you have to. You have to make time for updating the content on your website because if you don’t you leave a bad taste in your user’s mouths.

An outdated website gives your potential customer a bad first impression. Imagine landing on a website and seeing that the last article they wrote was in 2012. This will lead them to think either:

• You don’t care about your business.
• You are out of business.

If you don’t update your content you are also missing out on the SEO benefits. Adding more content to your website can increase your search engine rankings, it can increase the number of social shares that your website has, and in general, can improve the number of inbound leads and sales.

Conclusion

If your website is guilty of any of the above sins, don’t worry all is not lost. It is never too late to improve your website whether that be from the design, content to page speed.

If your website needs to be redesigned then please talk to us, or if you think your website is ok and you just need more traffic check out our search engine optimisation cardiff page

5 Things We Need To Know Before Designing Your Website

Your website in our opinion is your most valuable sales tool, it works for your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. It never takes a week off to go on holidays, doesn’t need time off to sort out the kids and it will never phone in sick. So getting your website right is our main aim and to do so there are a few things we need to know before designing your site.

1. Website Goal

All websites should have a goal; if they don’t, they don’t offer any value for money. Before working with you, we will discuss your new website goals or purpose. If your thinking that you don’t know what your website goal would be, then here is a small list that could apply to you:

• Increase brand awareness
• Increase sales
• Increase online bookings
• Increase online sales
• Sell products online
• Build an email marketing list

All of the above goals would be a good place to start, we would be able to analyse what you are currently doing and then work out a strategy on how to reach your new goals.

2. Your budget

In our opinion, we are the best web design agency in Merthyr Tydfil and we will even challenge those bigger agencies in wales, we provide great value to our customers and have helped every one of them increase their search engine visibility since hiring us. For that reason, we are not cheap. Our custom work is built to solve your business needs and we need to know how much you are willing to invest early on.

By knowing your budget we can tell you what we can and can do for your business. We only work with businesses we know we can help. We wouldn’t take on a project if a budget was too low to hit your goals, because it wouldn’t be fair on you as you would not see any return on marketing investment.

Talk to our search engine optimisation consultants today if you need help with your marketing campaigns.

3. Your customers

We don’t build websites for your business; we build them for your customers. They are the ones that are going to be using the website. We will discuss in detail with you all about your customers, their needs, and their problems. By understanding who your customers are we can start thinking of designing a website for them.

You’re an expert on your business and your customers, so we would want you to tell us all about them and what they are looking for when they land on your website. This allows us to structure the content of the website to meet your user’s needs.

4. Your competitors

We are experts on design, development, and digital marketing but you’re an expert on your business and your competitors, you will know more about your industry than we ever will and because of this, we will ask you to draw on your experience and tell us what you think your competitors are doing right, what they are doing wrong and if there is anything they are doing right that we could use on your website.

By helping us understand your industry we are able to build a bigger picture that will ultimately allow us to create a website that works for your business and its customers.

5. Your marketing strategy

Are you going to market your new website yourself? Will you use an agency like us to do the marketing for you? Which type of marketing would you like to use? PPC, SEO, Social Media.

Building a new website is not a guarantee that your business will do any better online, you will still need to market your website. All of our websites are built to be search engine friendly, but in some industries that is not enough, and when that is the case we tend to use search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies to help you outrank your competitors.

To find out if we can help you generate more search traffic check out our page SEO cardiff

What’s Wrong With Using Website Design Templates?

Here at weeare we develop custom made websites for your business. We find out your goals, your customer needs and we even find out about your competitors, when we know all of the above we then set about designing a website to fit those needs and solve your business problems. We also create search engine friendly websites by optimising your website for the keywords your users would use to find your product or service.  For more info check out our Cardiff SEO page

We believe that custom website design and development is the only way to provide your business with an online solution. Other agencies in our area however don’t offer custom work and start their website development fees off from as little as £100. You maybe thinking great, I can save money and get a website for my business, but you would be wrong,  a website based on a theme is not good for your business.

What is a theme/template?

A theme/template is a design that has been created for your general industry. If you’re working in the restaurant industry then the theme would be built around restaurants.

Why your business shouldn’t use a theme

Themes are extremely popular, one of the best selling paid themes online has over a 245,000 downloads. The theme is hugely successful and the owners of the theme have made so much money from one product which is great for them, but not for you as a business owner. As the theme gets more successful, more and more businesses are using the same website template. This means 245,000 other businesses would have a similar looking website to your own.

How do you plan to stand out from the competition when there are 245,000 websites with the same look and feel to them? If you sell a product or service that is quite similar to your competitors then you will need to stand out in other ways, a good website is one way of doing so, but if you go down the route of using a website theme then you are diluting your chances of standing out.

Themes are rigid

Website themes are not very flexible and quite often the people selling them to businesses have no background in development, that means if you need a feature added to your website then your probably out of luck. Website design agencies that don’t create their own work quite often use page builders and drag and drop software to create your website. What that means to you is that your website is being built by someone who has no idea of:

• Website development best practices
Search engine optimisation techniques
• Accessibility best practises

All of the above are very important when deciding to have a website built for your business. Without them you are not going to be found online by your customers, you are going to create a user experience that doesn’t help your customer find what they need and in some circumstances you could even be discriminating against disabled users without even knowing about it.

Forget about all the above for a minute though, let’s pretend by some miracle a person with no design/development experience gets all of the above right (they won’t), what happens when you want to add something to the site that doesn’t come with the theme? Let’s say you have heard that email marketing is one of the most effective ways of gaining new business and you want to add a popup to your website to get users to sign up to your email list, the only problem is that your “web developer” doesn’t know how to implement this because the theme doesn’t come with a popup or an email system integration. What do you do? “upgrade to a better template”.

Easy to recognise

A website theme is not built for your business, your content or it’s users, so to make it work for your business you will need to fit the content that you want into the website template rather than designing around the content that you do have. This leads to generic looking websites that makes your customers think you are lazy and have no ambition.

Themes are not unique, your business is

At the beginning of this article we discussed a website theme that was built for restaurants, which on the surface may sound ok. A restaurant would typically want to display information about their business, information about where they are located, a way of contacting the business and a page for a menu. Now you would think a theme should cover that and it will, but think of all the different types of restaurants there are. Would a single theme work for the following restaurants:

• Indian
• Italian
• Chinese
• Argentinian
• Pub
• Thai
• British

Do you think that one template is going to be applicable to all of the above different cuisines? I don’t think so.

Your customers wont find you

Unless your customers type in your business name then they wont find you. Customers who type in your business name are also existing customers and are not really the people that you want to be targeting anyway. Website themes and page builders are bad for SEO. They contain bloated code (code that is not needed) that slows down your website. They contain this code because the developer of the theme want’s to make the theme work for as many different businesses as possible, which is good for them and not for you.

Take a look at the following screen shots, one is a template and one is custom code. Both screenshots highlight code that does the same job, the custom code is 10 lines long, where as the bloated code is over 100. In terms of website performance this one example wont make much difference, but that is just for one image. Imagine the difference when an entire site is built up of this bloated code.

Bloated Code Example

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 11.52.22

Custom Code Example

custom website design

To further illustrate this point we did an experiment where we set up two websites, one using a theme, one custom built. Within a month the custom theme was ranking for its desired keywords, the theme however couldn’t be found anywhere. Check out the article (is your web development agency killing your business).

Cheap does not equal value

The main selling point for choosing a website design agency that offers web design services from £99 is that they are cheap. A website theme could be set up in an afternoon, and be put live within 2 days. You get a site that looks half decent, but you can tell it is a cookie cutter site. The biggest problem you are going to face however is that your site wont be search engine friendly, so that you wont be found by your potential customers. Earlier in the article we discussed that developers who use website templates and theme builders typically don’t know about SEO best practices and if your website doesn’t get traffic then it’s a complete waste of £99.

If you want value then you are going to need to invest money. A website that is search friendly, user friendly and mobile responsive is going to be one of your most valuable sales tools, working for your business 24/7 365 days a year. We have helped many small businesses get more from their online marketing efforts. We offer web design in wales and all around the globe, with clients in the UK, America and Australia.

If you want a website that generates business, check out our SEO marketing services

How Web Designers Price Their Products and Services

Most of the customers that we work with always ask us how much is it going to cost. Which is a logical question, everyone want’s to make sure that the money they have is going to be spent in the best possible way.

The truth is the cost of website design and development ranges quite a lot. If you send off for 5 quotes you will receive 5 different prices back all with completely different price ranges.

Lets look at some of the factors that effect how web designers price their products and services.

Functionality

Functionality is one of the biggest factors that influence the price of a website design. Some functionality just takes longer to implement than others and because of this you should never assume that something that you are asking for is easy and should cost next to nothing. The same also holds true for the opposite, something that you may think costs a lot could take no time to implement.

You should also not assume that your site should be cheap because you only have a few pages. A single page design could have more functionality than a website that has 10+ pages.

Experience and Knowledge

Dave from down the pub could probably knock you up a website in a day or two, but chances are it wouldn’t be very good, it wouldn’t be found by your customers through the search engines, and if by some miracle that it was found online then it wouldn’t look that great and inspire confidence within your visitors.  If you need help with your marketing or design talk to our consultants today.

We have said it thousands of times, anyone can make a website, but not anyone can make a website that can generate more business.

Website designers who charge more usually have more expertise than those who are working at a bargain rate. If you choose a designer who is the cheapest option then chances are you are going to get a website that is built upon a theme that thousands of other companies are using.

How much should a website cost for my business?

To determine how much you should pay for a website for your business you should take into account how much business you could lose by having no website or having an old, ugly, or out-dated website that causes potential customers to perceive your brand as cheap or untrustworthy.

Whatever industry you work in there will be thousands of searches for the product or service that you are offering and depending on the value of the average customer that could mean thousands in potential earnings.

Let’s just work with some numbers here, let’s say a brand new website could earn you an extra 10 customers a month, and each customer spends on average £200 on your services. Over the course of one month, your new website could have earned you £2000, over a year £24,000. If a website cost £10,000 but earned you £24,000 back within a year would you see that as a great ROI.

What does your business actually need?

Your business needs a website that can be found by your customers, a website that doesn’t generate more leads for your business is a problem.

Secondly, your business needs a website that can work on all different devices including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers. Having a site that does all of the above stops the search engines from penalising your website and improves your potential customer’s experience online.

You should also take into account a great design, a logical organisation of content, it should be easy to use and update and it should generate more business through great search engine optimisation.

What you should spend.

Website design and development for businesses are difficult to price without knowing your individual needs because there are so many different factors involved. For a good website that works on all devices, is search friendly, and is built from the ground up you should expect to pay at least several thousand pounds.

Which Colours Should I Use for My Website and Why?

Colour has a big impact on our emotions, mood and behaviour. In this article we will take a look at what colours you should be using on your website and why they are important.

Colour Psychology

Colour psychology is the science behind how colours affect humans. Some experts will even dismiss colour psychology because of how hard it is to test, but don’t let that put you off because a 5 minute search around the internet will reveal that certain industries tend to stick to certain colours because of the positive consequences it has on their users.

If you are in the process of designing a new website or redesigning an old website then the colours that you use will effect your website conversion rate, which will ultimately effect the success of your entire project.

Using colour

Colour has every day uses, red for example is a sign of danger and without even reading the text we know that we should stop doing something. The colours on your website could be used in:

• Logo
• Navigation
• Graphics
• Buttons
• Backgrounds
• Headings

Colour on your website

Firstly you will need to understand your product/service and then your customers. Only then can you use colour to make sure that it is right for the purpose.

A website that sells kids toys will want to come across as being exciting and fun and wouldn’t want to use dark and muted colours. Toys r Us for example is a toy store that uses reds, yellows, orange and blue. Toys r Us uses vibrant colours to portray fun and excitement to their customers.

Max Factor on the other hand, stick to black and white, giving you less of the feeling of fun and more of being a premium brand.

Colours for women

If your website audience is primarily for women then you will want to avoid earthy tones. Women tend to dislike oranges, browns and greys where as they love blues, purples and greens.

Most people think that pink is most women’s favourite colour, but it isn’t. In a study carried out by kissmetric. They found that 35% of the women in their studies favourite colour was blue.

Colours for men

If your website is marketed towards men then you should more than likely stay away from purples, oranges and browns. You should stick to colours like blue, green and black.

Both men and women tend to love the colour blue and there is a good reason for that. Colour psychologists state that blue is a colour that people associate with trust, confidence and calmness. When we designed our own website (weeare.co.uk) we knew that blue would play a huge factor in our design because we knew that our audience would love it and see us as the trustworthy company that we are. But it is not just us that are using the colour blue to show that we are trustworthy.

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, blue.

PayPal a company that allows users from all around the world to send and receive money, blue.

Colours for call to actions

A call to action is something that you want your users to do, it could be to sign up, to get them to click on something or to send you an email. The colours used on a call to action can have a great affect on conversions.

Performable, a company now owned by Hubspot reported that changing their call to action button from green to red resulted in a 21% increase in conversions. But that’s not to say that green is a bad colour, because the opposite is true.

Green is a great colour for a call to action button as it stands out. Yellow can also be a good colour to use on a call to action as yellow is seen as an exciting colour. In the case of Performable, green wasn’t as effective as the colour red, so make sure to test colour on your website.

Do you have a cheap product?

If you have a website that sells cheap products or your service is one of the cheapest in the area then orange maybe a great colour to use on your website as people associate the colour orange with being cheap.

Expensive Product or Service?

Black gives off the feeling of elegance, classic and high value. For that reason there is no doubt why brands like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Tom Ford all use black throughout their website.

Conclusion

Colour can have a massive affect on your business if it is used in the right way for your audience. In terms of your business, where you go from here is up to you. If your business has a brand style that you feel may not represent the service or product that you offer then you may have to campaign to change your brands style guide.

If your product is high end, expensive and seen as luxurious but your logo and website is covered in oranges, yellows and reds then you may want to point your companies decision makers to this site. Alternatively if your product is cheap, fun and exciting but your brand is dark and luxurious then do the same.

Colour psychology is hard to test, but even so you should still do it. Test small sections of your website at a time, change a buttons colour and track the conversion rates. Keep tweaking until you find out what works best for your business and your target audience and lastly don’t go overboard with colours as too many can create confusion.

For more great tips and tricks on how to improve your web design be sure to sign up to our free newsletter below. If you need help with getting your website found check out our search engine optimisation page and if you need to chat to someone talk to our digital marketing consultants today.

Why do I need a web designer?

If you are asking yourself right now why do I need a web designer, it shows that your on the fence, you either want a website for your business and don’t know what’s the best option or you are unconvinced that spending a lot of money on a website design is suitable for your business.

Firstly, I would say don’t worry, you are not the first person to be asking why do I need a web designer, and you won’t be the last. With this article, we will look at exactly why you would need a web designer.

1. Your competition all have websites that look better than yours.

One of the main reasons why some people act on something in life is that someone they know has something and they want it. In terms of website design it could be your competition:

• Has a better-looking site
• Gets more business from online
• Makes more money than you
• Has a website that works on phones

If any of the above are true then you will need a website designer because chances are they have paid a good web development agency to carry out work for them, and if your business doesn’t have a good website you are getting left behind.

Your website is one of your most important sales tools, it works for your business 24/7 and if you have a website that looks old and untrustworthy then you could be losing thousands in revenue.

2. Improved conversions.

A good website designer should know what elements are needed on a website to convert more visitors into customers, if they do not then you are going to end up with a website that once again loses your business revenue.

If making the most out of what you have is very important to you then you should consider getting a website designer to help you design your website so that your customers will love it.

Businesses with lower budgets will often turn to someone they know from down the pub to design their websites and then will wonder why someone would pay £5000+ for a website, but the truth is Dave from the pub maybe a nice guy, but what does he know about SEO, Conversion Optimisation, UX, Responsive design and development and so on.

A cheap website may look like better value for money, but usually, they end up costing the business in the long run. One of our clients had a website that was badly designed and developed. After hiring us we gave them a new website, provided them with our SEO services and within the first year, the website alone had made the business a 4000% return on marketing investment (ROMI).

3. You need a website that works on all devices.

Designing and developing a website that works across all devices such as iPhones, iPads, desktop computers and laptops can be very difficult. In our experience we have never seen a website built by someone with no design or development experience work as it should.

If mobile traffic is important to your business (it should be) then you will need a website designer to help you build a site that works great on all mobile devices and all of the latest browsers.

4. You don’t want a slow website.

Slow websites can lose your business so much money. It is estimated that if a website takes longer than 2 seconds to load then the visitor will leave, possibly costing that business thousands in revenue.

Slow websites are caused by a number of things including:

• Bloated Code
• Non optimised code
• Non optimised imagery
• No browser caching

Without getting too technical and putting you to sleep quicker than a sleeping tablet ever will, the code within a website is very important. It is important to the user, to the search engines, and to the overall quality of the website. Bloated code is code that has too much code within it and is generally caused by bad developers using themes.  Bloated code can cause havoc with search engine optimisation, which can mean less traffic and sales.

You will need to hire a web designer who knows what they are doing if you want to avoid bloated code. Some agencies claim to create websites from the ground up but you know that is a lie when you check their code because it is bloated.

At Weeare we create all of our websites from scratch and keep the lines of code we write to a minimum, this allows us to create fast, search, and user friendly websites. If you like the sound of that then you’re going to love what I have to say next.

To generate more sales and traffic check out our SEO Cardiff Page.

Why isn’t anyone coming to my website?

Have you ever asked yourself why isn’t anyone coming to my website?  I bet you have, because you’re not the only one.  Right now there are thousands of people searching for the product or services that you offer, but they are not coming to your website for a wide variety of reasons.

In this blog post, we will look at the most common problems that business owners face when attracting more visitors to their websites, then we will look at how you can fix them.  If you’re in too much of a rush, you may just want to check out our search engine optimisation service

1. Your website content sucks.

Your website content is very important when it comes to ranking in the search engines. Search engines love unique content, they love interesting content and they love content that fulfills a need.

The search engines use many different processes to determine if your website content is relevant to the search terms the user has input. If a user clicks back out of your site very quickly then the search engines know that your website is not relevant to that search, and therefore over time, your ranking will go down.

Visitors can leave your website for a variety of reasons, the big ones being:

• Hard to find what they need
• Content not relevant
• Content hard to read
• Website design is out-dated
• Content stuffed with keywords

The last point in the list is something that you should take care in doing when creating your own content. Many years ago you could rank on the search engines by stuffing your articles with keywords that you wanted to rank for and to an extent this method is still used, but some businesses go over the top.

If you stuff your website content with keywords then your visitor is going to get annoyed and then leave your site, never to return. Instead of writing your content for the search engines, write your content for your visitors first. You can still sprinkle keywords here and there but don’t over do it!

2. Your SEO sucks.

Many of our competitors in the website design and development industry are very good and achieve great results for their clients, but some of them absolutely suck, I believe the right term would-be cowboys. Now a cowboy website builder usually buys a theme from a site online, changes a logo, adds your content and charges you anything from £99-£1500, they often talk a good talk, so be careful!

The site built by the cowboy in some cases may even look good and you wouldn’t be able to tell any different, but just like a swan, under the surface tells a different story. Your website could contain junk code and link to all different types of files that you don’t need. This slows your website down, and web page speed is a known factor that influences search engine rankings.

Cowboys usually don’t know anything about coding a website, and have no idea of search engine best practices. We have lost count of the amount of times we have came across a new website build that lacks even the basics of on page optimisation(SEO).

If your on page search engine optimisation hasn’t been done or doesn’t target the right visitors then your website is just going to sit out there in cyberspace collecting dust.

If you want to fix your seo, check out our page SEO Cardiff

3. You are not social.

Social media marketing is a great way of getting more clients and customers to your website. You can share great content with potential clients in an instant. Being social on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram can help people find your website without being at the mercy of the search engines.

4. Your website looks like it was built 15 years ago.

Would you drive around in an old van that was falling apart, was blowing black smoke out of the exhaust and white smoke from the engine all while having your logo plastered on the side of the same van? Hopefully the answer is no.

You wouldn’t want to represent your business as unprofessional and the same should hold true for your website.

Not only is an out-dated website bad for search engine optimisation but an old ugly website doesn’t give your visitors the confidence they will need to make a purchase through you. Your potential customer can get 10 quotes from 10 different companies in the next hour, if your website doesn’t look good then your business is not getting the sale.

5. Dave from the pub made your website

Dave, nice man, saved you a few quid on your old website, but what he more than likely did was put off potential customers, losing your business potentially thousands, but before you go an shout at Dave it wasn’t really his fault.

Everyone knows of a guy who knows of a guy who can make a website. We have heard it many times before, when we talk to potential customers we will often get one or two per year that say “why would I pay that? When … from … can make it for …” Rather than haggle over the price we try to explain that even though you could get a website for £99 would you rather a website that costs £99 and is never found by your customers or a site that costs £5000 that has a 3000% return on marketing investment (ROMI) for your business?

Good websites are not cheap, if that means you have to invest extra to get the website that your business deserves then you should consider it, you won’t regret it.

FAQ – What is responsive web design?

Here at Weeare we throw the word responsive web design around quite a lot, but sometimes we forget that not everyone is a web developer, for that we apologise.

To make your job easier in understanding everything that is the web we have decided to put some articles together to explain some of our most frequently asked questions, and one of those questions is: “what is responsive web design”. In this article we will look at exactly that.

So, What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design is an approach to web design where the developer (us) creates a web page or site that responds to the device that it is being used on. This could be anything from a desktop PC screen, a laptop, an iPad, or a smartphone.

Responsive web design has been around for many years now but I still to this day see websites that are not responsive.

So, What does responsive web design look like?

Well, you are looking at it, look at this website on a computer and look at it on your smartphone and you will see a different layout. Many years ago this would mean that you would need a mobile site and a desktop site which was more expensive and a real pain to update because all changes needed to be made twice. Responsive design has changed the need for two separate websites, you only need one site which saves you time and money.

So, Why does my website need to be responsive?

Apart from having to pay for two different sites or updating them both, responsive web design is also better for your users as a responsive design will respond and look great on whatever device that visitor is using, this will then allow them to find the content they were looking for without having to zoom in or out or scroll sideways, which is something that everyone hates.

Having a responsive website will also allow your website to show up higher in the search engines. Google actively punishes websites that are not responsive because they know that users hate them that much. If you have a website that is not responsive then you are frustrating your users and being punished by the search engines.  A responsive website is a big plus when it comes to search engine optimisation.  If your website doesn’t get enough visitors you may want to check out our SEO agency cardiff post

How to improve your restaurants ranking on TripAdvisor

Here at Weeare we believe that having a user-friendly and search engine-friendly website is one of the best ways to gain more customers to your restaurant, but we simply can’t ignore websites like TripAdvisor that millions of users run to when looking for a restaurant to dine in. We use it all the time, whether it’s here in the UK or somewhere abroad, TripAdvisor has a massive effect on diners and you should use it to your advantage.

In this article, we will look at what you can do to improve your restaurant’s TripAdvisor score and in turn get more customers to your restaurant.

TripAdvisor’s indexing algorithm can mean the difference between your restaurant being fully booked most evenings to only having a few visitors every now and again. The search results show how your restaurant competes with other local restaurants within a certain geographic area. Restaurants at the top of this list are going to be seen more by potential customers than those at the bottom.

The way TripAdvisor rank restaurants are based on the:

• Quality of the reviews.
• Quantity of the reviews.
• Recency of the reviews.

What TripAdvisor doesn’t tell you is the weight of importance of each ranking factor. This means that it’s difficult to know if a restaurant with more reviews will rank higher than one with only a few. To find out we decided to look into the rankings more closely and report the findings to you so you can learn how to improve your restaurants ranking on TripAdvisor.

Our Findings

A higher average score was the main factor in ranking all of the restaurants, which you would expect. You would expect a 5-star rating to rank higher than a 4-star rating. However, when restaurants start to have the same overall ranking this is where things start to get more complicated.

Let’s take the following example.

Restaurant 1 has a 4.5 overall rating, 75 reviews and 5 reviews within the last week.

Restaurant 2 has a 4.5 overall rating, 200 reviews and 4 reviews within the last week.

You would assume that restaurant 2 because of the sheer volume of reviews would rank higher, but that wasn’t the case. We found that equally ranked restaurants with more recent reviews were ranking on top of those restaurants with more reviews. This shows to us that TripAdvisor puts a high level of importance on restaurants with recent reviews and ranks them accordingly.

The recency of your reviews is very important when it comes to ranking your restaurant so you should put a huge emphasis on getting quality reviews every week.

What should you do to increase your restaurants ranking on TripAdvisor?

So what should you do? Firstly the number one ranking factor is your restaurant’s overall score. The only way to improve this is to provide your users with a better customer experience. If you have had bad reviews in the past look at them and see if there is a common theme, if there is you need to work on that area. Improving your customer’s experience should be at the top of your list, you are not going to please everyone but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying to.

If you’re struggling to get reviews then think of ways to incentivise your existing customers to leave reviews. You could offer them a small discount to leave a review, or maybe a free bottle of wine. The choice is yours, get creative. We have found that business cards asking your customers to leave a review and giving them one with the bill often works. If you would like some TripAdvisor business cards printed contact us, we can help.

By asking your customers to review your restaurant you are going to build a funnel of constant reviews, think back to the above example 1 extra review that week was enough for the business to claim the top spot from its competitor that had more total reviews.

Building your reviews up over time with quality feedback will help your business tremendously. Not only will your potential customers know that your restaurant serves quality food and gives good service but they will know that you listen to them. By encouraging your users to review your restaurant you can learn from them, you can see what you did well and what you can improve upon. This feedback is vital in helping your business and when you get to a point where 95% of your customers are happy you will reap the footfall from TripAdvisor.

For more great tips and tricks on how to improve your online presence check out the rest of the posts on our blog, and if you need help with search engine optimisation get in touch.

Why your restaurant website is losing you money

Restaurant websites are quite often one of the worst designed websites on the internet.

I cant remember how many times I have landed on a restaurant website simply looking for either the opening times, a contact number or the restaurants menu and not being able to find it.

I have also found that restaurant websites for some reason seem to be stuck in the past, auto playing music, website intro screens and PDF menu’s all leave a bad taste in your mouth.

These websites don’t leave a good impression of your business, so in this article I will give you some essential advice for when you are getting a website designed for your restaurant.

Visitors Needs

In any web design project the focus should be on your visitors needs. In the case of your restaurant visitors they will probably need to know the following:

• The restaurants location.
• The restaurants opening times.
• The restaurants contact information.
• The restaurants menu.

Your website user will also want to access this information on their phone as well as a desktop computer. When you know what your visitor needs then you can start designing a website that works for them.

Contact Information, location and opening times

One of the biggest problems with restaurant websites that I have found is a lot of them don’t have their contact information, location and opening times in an easy to find location. If your visitors cant find any of the information listed above then you will lose that customer.

Your visitors should be able to find all of the information listed above on every page that they land on. That way there can be no confusion on how to contact your business, where you are located or what times you are open.

Your Menu

Your menu that you have put careful consideration and planning into can also cause problems online. Most restaurant websites display their menu online in PDF form. You maybe thinking there is nothing wrong with this, but you would be wrong. Think back to your visitor, he or she just wants to see the items on the menu, how much your food costs and then they will make a decision whether:

• They like your food choices.
• The food is within their price range.

Your visitors want to browse, they don’t want to have to download a PDF to their computer or phone to then browse. Many visitors can also be cautious of PDF files because downloading them from an unknown source can lead to viruses being stored on their machine so you can see why some users may opt not to download your menu and skip your restaurant all together.

PDF files are easier for the web developer to attach to your site, it requires less development but overall it has a negative impact on your business. Don’t hire a lazy web developer, hire one that understands your business and its customers.

A better solution is to make the ‘Food Menu’ page on your website contain the actual items on your food menu and style the page appropriately to match. This allows the user to browse your menu, see your prices and make a decision without having to download a single file.

Mobile friendly website

All websites should be mobile friendly, but restaurant websites in particular are big offenders when it comes to not being mobile friendly.

If your website doesn’t work well on a mobile phone or a tablet then you are getting punished by the search engines. Your business listing will be further down the search list and your users will hate you!

A website that doesn’t work on a mobile phone will cause your users too much bother that they will abandon the reservation process completely.

In 2016 your website needs to work on a mobile phone, if it doesn’t you could be making up to 60% of your customers angry and frustrated, losing you and your business money.

If your website isn’t getting enough bookings you may have the above problems, another problem you may have is your SEO sucks.  If that is the case check out our SEO Cardiff post.

5 restaurant web design mistakes that are costing you money

Recently we created a new website for La Bodega a Spanish restaurant in Merthyr Tydfil that was celebrating its 25th year anniversary of being in business. As La Bodega was our very first restaurant web design we did a lot of research into what a restaurant website should and shouldn’t have.

Here are the top 5 web design mistakes for restaurants that we found in our research.

1. Auto playing music.

Thankfully not many sites had this but I was still shocked to see that some businesses think it’s a good idea to auto play music on a website in 2016. If listening to the A-team in a 1999 style ringtone wasn’t bad enough then imagine the horror when we couldn’t find an off switch.

Playing music on your website slows down your page speed and results in your potential customer having to wait around longer for your webpage to load. But by far the biggest problem that I believe music on a website is that it makes your business look unprofessional.

All websites need to make their respective businesses look professional, but a restaurant even more so. Foodies or potential restaurant customers will take a look at your website and make a decision based on your sites appearance and associate that with your food. Having a poor user experience will mean than your visitors will think that your restaurant serves low quality food.

2. loading / welcome screens

There is nothing wrong with welcoming your visitors to your website but having a separate page that your user needs to click through will cause more bother than the worth of it.

A rule of usability is that your user shouldn’t have to click more than they need to, to get somewhere. So imagine your hungry, your partner is shouting at you because you forgot to make a reservation at your favourite restaurant and you need to make a quick booking somewhere, but the website your trying to use doesn’t want to help you. The website loads, you see a welcome screen, you need to click through to another page, you click through, the page is loading, your partner is shouting, you give up. Beans on toast it is, and you and your partner wont be speaking for the next few hours. You don’t want that, and you don’t want your customers to experience it either.

Your website should be quick, easy to use and easy to find information, which brings us on to our next point.

3. Hard to find information

Quite recently I visited Venice in Italy and one thing that surprised me was the poor quality on every restaurants website. Trying to make a reservation when you don’t speak the language is one thing but trying to make a reservation when the restaurant doesn’t show a telephone number or email address is a whole new challenge.

If you own a restaurant then your website should be one of your most effective sales tools. Your contact information should be easily accessible on every page on the site, if it is not, your visitors may have problems contacting you making you lose out on customers.

4. PDF Menus

Most websites that we surveyed made you download a menu before being able to view it. Now there are a few problems with this, firstly users hate it.

Remember where we said above that you shouldn’t make your users click more than they need to? Well here is another case of it. If I click on a menu link I expect to see the menu, not have to click on another button on the page to download the menu.

Secondly some users are cautious about downloading PDF’s from unknown sources as they have been known to carry viruses.

If you want to get around this then you should have your menu page designed to allow your users to browse your menu without having to download anything.

5. Non Responsive

A website that doesn’t work on a mobile device in 2016 is behind the times. For a restaurant however it is like disobeying one of the 10 commandments.

A restaurant website that doesn’t work on your phone will make you want to pull your hair out.

Trying to navigate around a website that wasn’t built to work on a phone is a nightmare. Opening times, reservation forms, food menus are all hard and sometimes impossible to use. If your website for your restaurant is not mobile friendly then you are losing business.  Non responsive websites are also bad for search engine optimisation.

If you have a bad website, talk to our digital marketing consultants today.

Conclusion

Researching restaurant web design best practices was an interesting process that not only left us hungry but often frustrated. If you want to stop your potential customers from being frustrated then get in contact with us and we may be able to help your business become more profitable.

If you own a restaurant and your not getting enough bookings you may want to check out our search engine optimisation service

5 ways to attract customers to your small business

Being a small business owner is hard, I know I am one. Getting customers is even harder especially when starting out, but don’t fear the tips in this article should give you enough to think about to get going. So here are 5 ways to attract more customers to your small business.

1. Relationship building.

Everyone hates to be sold to, especially when the product being sold may not even help them. We have all had sales people contact us trying to sell us something that probably wont help our business in the slightest. As a web design agency I am constantly contacted by other developers over seas asking if I want a new website and of course the answer is no. These sales people are too lazy to even find out if I need the service so don’t be one of those people. Build a relationship and if your product or service can help then you can start selling, but until then don’t!

2. Understanding what makes you different.

Your USP or unique selling proposition is what makes you stand out from the crowd and shows your customers what you can do for them. Here at Weeare we make:

• Easy to use websites
Search engine optimised
• Mobile Responsive Websites

Now, are we the only web development agency to offer such a service in the whole world? Of course not, but locally can any other web development agency match our service? We don’t think so, and that is what makes us unique. Our service rivals that of huge agencies in the UK while being way more affordable.

3. Develop a customer profile.

You can’t service everyone. If you think you can then you won’t serve anyone. Think of who your ideal customer is. Are they:

• Male or female
• Young or old
• Single, married or divorced

By creating a customer profile you can then make a decision on how your marketing materials should be made so that it speaks specifically to them.

4. Reach out to your ideal customer.

Now that you have a customer profile think about where your ideal customer may hang out and try to reach them specifically.

5. Determine your marketing approach.

Some methods of marketing will work better than others depending on the business that you are in, but generally, the following are good ways to reach your potential customers:

• Create a search-friendly website
• Blog on your new website
• Email Marketing
• Pay Per Click Ads
• Direct Mail
Search engine optimisation

Conclusion

Some of the above tips may be common sense to many but sometimes we get so busy running a business that we don’t step back and look where the business is heading. The tips above when used correctly will help your business get more customers. If you need help attracting more business then check out our other blog articles, or if you would like to talk to us to see if there is something that we can help you with then contact us.

If your business needs more customers you may want to check out our latest post “SEO Agency In Cardiff

15 Reasons why your business should be blogging

Blogging is a great tool that your business should be using to engage with your potential and existing customers, but so many businesses don’t blog.

I must admit I also find it tough to blog because running a business leaves you with hardly any free time but I do I try to blog at least a few times per month.

If you’re curious about why you should be blogging for your business then keep on reading.

Here are 15 reasons why your business needs a blog.

1. Your blog allows you to share timely and relevant information with your customers and potential customers. Your blog is your direct communication channel. You maybe using social media to communicate with your customers, but not everyone uses Twitter or Facebook, but anyone can visit a blog.

2. Google loves businesses that blog, Google is in the content business and by blogging you are providing Google and the other search engines with valuable content and by doing so they will reward you with relevant visitors/customers.

3. If your current website doesn’t have a blog then you don’t need a new website, you could use an existing blog platform like WordPress or blogger. I would recommend your website and blog being on the same domain for you to get the best results out of SEO, but having a blog on a separate domain is better than not having one at all.

4. According to a survey carried out by HubSpot, 60% of businesses acquire more business by blogging than those who don’t.

5. Your blog gives your business a personality and helps you stand out from the crowd. Your blog will allow your potential customers to learn more about you.

6. If you want to position yourself as a market leader then you need to get your voice and your opinions out there, otherwise, no one will know about your expertise.

7. A blog allows your customers to interact with you and your business. Blogs are meant to encourage interaction, so if you do blog make sure to reply to all comments, this also applies to social media by the way.

8. Blogging can be fun, it takes you away from some parts of your business that you may not enjoy and can give you something to look forward to.

9. Blogging keeps you on your toes. Anyone who has blogged knows that it can be easy for a few weeks, but after a while, you will need to produce fresh content that your customers will enjoy and find useful, this can be hard!

10. With a good content strategy blogging can keep you focused. By sticking to a schedule you are giving your business the care it deserves online.

11. A blog builds confidence. A site without a blog may look empty and uncared for, a business that blogs however is seen as a reliable source for information in your industry.

12. Blogging makes you think more about your business than anything else. By blogging, you need to constantly think about who you are writing for and what are you trying to achieve. A blog without focus will attract no customers.  The personal trainer in Cardiff for example writes about personal training, fitness, diet, and health.  He knows that his clients like to read about these subjects.   He doesn’t write about what he got up to on the weekend, his favorite movies or anything nonrelated as his customers wouldn’t be interested in these subjects.

13. Blogging helps create a brand. A blog allows you to tell your companies story, why you are in business, and allows you to tell your customers how you can help them.

14. Blogs are cost-effective. Every post that you publish may not have an immediate effect on your business but you should think of a blog as a long-term strategy. Building a blog will allow your business to create content that could be shared all around the internet, allowing your business to reach places you thought were not possible. Our blog for example has allowed us not only to work with businesses in Penarth, Merthyr, and Bristol but also places around the globe like New York City.

15. Blogging creates free PR. Become a well-known blogger in your industry and you will be giving interviews before you know it.

Conclusion

Hopefully from the list above you can see that blogging is a great tool for your business. I completely understand why some businesses don’t blog because being a small business owner myself my time is eaten up by everything else. But the benefits your business could receive from blogging are worth the time and effort to do so.

Another advantage of blogging is that it helps create content that can be found in the search engines, if you want to know more about SEO check out our Cardiff SEO agency page.

Should your business website run on WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system that is used by over 60% of the websites live on the internet. Although WordPress started out as a simple blogging platform it has since matured into a fully functioning CMS that can allow your business to flourish.

You can use WordPress for fully functioning business websites, online stores and mobile applications, you can still also use it to blog. In fact, what you are reading right now is running on top of WordPress.

The main reason we mainly use WordPress to develop on is that it is user friendly and it’s very flexible.WordPress when developed correctly is also very search engine friendly.  If you would like to learn more about SEO check out our post: “SEO Cardiff

In this blog post we will look at why you should use WordPress for your business website.

It’s Free

Unlike some CMS WordPress is free, there are no hefty software licenses, you are free to download it, modify it and use for any type of website. Some content management systems charge a yearly fee just to use, this is before any work can start on your site.

It’s not uncommon for a CMS to cost £20,000+ a year just to use the software that your website runs on.

Easy to use

We have trained countless clients on their new website taking them from having no knowledge at all to being confident in using a new website within an hour. WordPress is easy to use, it is laid out well and unlike other CMS the learning curve is short.

WordPress is adaptable

All of our websites here at Weeare are custom made on top of the WordPress CMS, this allows them to be quick, easy to use and search engine friendly. By using WordPress we can expand on the core functionality of a website by using WordPress plugins. A WordPress plugin allows us to use other pre built software to add additional features to your site without charging you for the additional programming that a custom solution would cost.

For example, a restaurant booking system custom build could cost £10,000 to £100,000+ where as by using existing software the build time and costs can be cut down while not compromising on functionality.

Search friendly

If your website is designed and developed correctly then WordPress can be search friendly. Recently we took a look at how a custom built website on WordPress vs. a WordPress template compared in ranking in the search engines, you can take a look at the results here.

Even though both sites are built on WordPress one performs alot better as its been built with no junk code.

WordPress is secure

WordPress is developed to be as secure as possible, however there have been incidents where sites have been hacked. But that’s real life, all websites can be hacked.

If you are concerned about website security and you should be you will be glad to know that there are some great security plugins out there which can be added to your site to increase your websites protection. You can protect your site from brute force logins, you can ban certain IP addresses and you can limit where your site is accessed from.

Many Uses

As we mentioned in the beginning of this article WordPress has amazing flexibility, it can be used as:

• A blog
• A ecommerce store
• A gallery
• Portfolio site
• Business Website
• Rating Website
• Membership Site

Conclusion

WordPress is not the only CMS out there, you could consider other options such as Joomla, Drupal, Umbraco and many more. Each of the mentioned CMS have advantages and disadvantages, and is WordPress better or worse? I think the answer will come down to personal preference. Personally we like to develop on WordPress because it doesn’t have any license fees, its Open Source, user-friendly and flexible.

We have also seen how search engine friendly Woocommerce can be when customers have hired us for our ecommerce seo services.

If your thinking of getting a website made then WordPress in our opinion is a great option. If you want more advice then talk to us today, we would love to help.

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Learn the basics of SASS in 20 minutes or less

Syntactically awesome style sheets or SASS for short is a CSS pre-processor that allows developers to write code in one language before compiling it into another. SASS is an extension of CSS, which allows you to create your stylesheets faster and cleaner.

Here at Weeare we use SASS to cut down on our development time and keep our CSS more organised, so in this article we will be giving a tutorial on how to understand the basics of SASS in 20 minutes or less. Depending on the feedback of this tutorial we may publish more tutorials on this website.

SASS intro

We use the syntax form of SCSS here when developing SASS files, SCSS known as Sassy CSS needs to be compiled before your code will work, you have a few options when it comes to compilers. You can either:

• Compile files manually through the terminal
• Use Grunt
• Use a third-party desktop app such as CodeKit (paid) or Koala (free)

Check all of the above out and decide which one you would like to use, If you are a beginner and want an easy way of setting up and just messing around with SASS then I recommend one of the desktop apps. CodeKit and Koala are both easy to use and great tools.

I won’t take you through installing any of the above because the documentation on both websites is easy enough to follow. Once you are set up you are ready to begin learning the SASS language.

Variables in SASS

One of the greatest features of SASS in my opinion is the use of variables. If you are coming from another programming language you will welcome variables with open arms. SASS variables store a value that you will often repeat inside of your code. For example, you wanted to set colors for your website, rather than using the conventional method of writing #000 every time you wanted black to appear on the site you would first set a variable such as:

$main-color: #000;

From there on out if you wanted a black background, title, or font color you could use:

.main-div{
 background-color:$main-color;
}

h1{
 color:$main-color;
}

p{
 color:$main-color;
}

Now you may be thinking what is the point of this? Well, the thinking behind this is that it allows us to use the same values more quickly, you don’t have to remember crazy hex codes or font families you simply remember the variable name. Would you rather write $secondary-color or #98B52E throughout the site 100 times?

SASS variables save you time when writing out but also when you want to change values, imagine your client has decided that they now want to change the primary color to a darker shade, and rather than having to change the #98B52E color 100 times, you can simply change the value of $secondary-color once and the 100 values are changed instantly.

SASS Variable data types

You can use SASS variables to store a wide variety of data, this is shown below.

$main-font-text: ‘Open Sans’, sans-serif;
$primary-color: #000;
$header-font-size: 20px;

SASS Mixins

Mixins are a block of code that you create once and then can reuse throughout your project. If you are from a JavaScript background then you can think of mixins as a function. Like a function a mixin can take multiple parameters and can output some data, the data in this instance would be CSS.

One of the main purposes of SASS is to allow you to create well organised CSS and mixins are great for this as they allow you to write clean and DRY code, if your not familiar with DRY then you probably haven’t tried any Ruby on rails tutorials. DRY is a principle that stands for Do Not Repeat Yourself.

At Weeare we use mixins all of the time, one of our favorites can be seen below:

First, you define a mixin by using the @mixin then you give the mixing a name, and any arguments that you want to use.

@mixin transition($args){
 -webkit-transition: $args;
 -moz-transition: $args;
 -ms-transition: $args;
 transition: $args;
}

To use the mixin above in my code I would call it like below:

.someDiv{
 color: $primary-color;
 font-size:$primary-font-size;
 background: $main-bg;
 @include transition(all 0.3s ease-in-out)

&:hover{
 color: $secondary-color;
 font-size: $secondary-font-size;
 background: $secondary-bg;
 }
}

The above may look confusing but let me break it down. Firstly we create a div called ‘someDiv’ and give it a color, font size and background. We then call our created mixin and pass it three arguments:

• All – signifies we want to transition all of the properties of the div.
• 0.3s – this tells the transition mixin how long to carry out the transition.
• ease-in-out – tells the transition how to animate.

The &:hover code is what SASS uses when the element your inside of is hovered over. In this case when ‘someDiv’ is hovered over the color, font-size, and background will change. The mixin we created above is useful for any time you want to creat transitions without having to write out the browser prefixes every time.

SASS Extend

@extend allows an element to extend upon another, so rather than creating more elements that needed you can create one and extend it. For example, imaging you needed 4 different buttons on your website. In CSS you could do something like this:

.button1{
 text-align:center;
 display:inline-block;
 padding:10px 15px;
 color:#fff;
 background:#000;
 font-size:15px;
}

.button2{
 text-align:center;
 display:inline-block;
 padding:10px 15px;
 color:#000;
 background:#fff;
font-size:15px;
}

.button3{
 text-align:center;
 display:inline-block;
 padding:10px 15px;
 color:red;
 background:white;
 font-size:15px;
}

.button4{
 text-align:center;
 display:inline-block;
 padding:10px 15px;
 color:green;
 background:black;
 font-size:15px;
}

As you can see the above code repeats its self a lot, and we now know the DRY principle, so let’s use SASS to get rid of the repetition. First, create a button class that all the other classes can extend upon.

.button{
 text-align:center;
 display:inline-block;
 padding:10px 15px;
 font-size:$button-text;
}

.button2{
 @extend .button;
 background-color:black;
 color:white;
}

.button3{
 @extend .button;
 background-color:red;
 color:black;
}

.button4{
 @extend .button;
 background-color:orange;
 color:green;
}

The above code cuts the original code down considerably and now we are only creating other elements that are different rather than repeating ourselves. We are also making life easier for ourselves, imagine your client now wants you to make all your button text bigger, instead of changing the text size 4 times from the original code we would now only have to change this once.

You may think that so what, 4 times is nothing, but in the real world you could be working with CSS files 3000 lines long and having to look through that to change a few values is time-consuming.

Nesting Code

In my opinion, the best feature of SASS is being able to nest code. This is an absolute time saver and being able to nest code will keep your code DRY and clean. Take the following example in CSS:

.mainDiv{
 background:black;
}

.mainDiv ul{
 list-style:none;
}

.mainDiv ul li{
 display:inline;
}

.mainDiv ul li a{
 color:blue;
}

If you look at the above code you will notice the number of times we have repeated our self by typing out .mainDiv, in SASS we can get rid of this repetition by only typing out the different elements and nesting them:

.mainDiv{
 background:black;

     ul{
        list-style:none;
 
        li{
           display:inline;

           a{
             color:blue;
           }
        }
    }
}

The nesting does look more complicated and the brackets might put you off but if you indent your code correctly you will be able to see quite clearly where each element starts and ends. Using nesting in the code above has allowed us to only type out each element once, rather than 4 times. Nesting will save you tonnes of time, if SASS only allowed you to nest and nothing else I would use it for that alone.

SASS Functions

Earlier we talked about mixins as functions, but SASS has some in-built functions that you can use right out of the box. Ones that I use quite a lot are: darken, lighten and transparentize.

You can use the above like this:

.someDiv{
 background: darken($main-color, 10%);
 color: lighten($main-color, 5%);
}

For a full list of SASS functions you can check out:

http://sass-lang.com/documentation/Sass/Script/Functions.html

SASS conclusion

Before using SASS I thought of it as another fad, you know something that is all hype then will drift away into the darkness. But using SASS has allowed us to improve our workflow which means that we can pass along those savings to our customers. This is great for us as it allows us to make the same awesome websites more quickly without sacrificing on quality.

In this blog post, we have only scratched the service, there is so much more to SASS than we could fit into one post, but we wanted to give you a taster.

The reason we love sass here at Weeare is that it allows us to develop quicker, which leaves us more time to concentrate on services such as search engine optimisation.

If you need help with your digital marketing, talk to our seo experts.

Is your web development agency killing your business?

Being a web development agency means that we are in a highly competitive market. Being a development agency that focuses primarily on WordPress development increases our competition even more, but as we have blogged about on numerous occasions not all web development agencies are created equal. In this article we will look at how using “Wordpress templates” instead of having a custom built web layout can not only effect your search rankings, but damage them.

Lets start this article by saying a well designed and configured WordPress website can be brilliant for SEO. Googles own Matt Cutts has even gone on record to say that

“If you do everything on WordPress, you are pretty much covered. WordPress has virtually everything you would want your site to have as far as SEO goes…”

but the truth is that WordPress simply is a content management system which allows you to store your content. Ultimately the way your content is displayed will determine if your site is SEO friendly and not WordPress it’s self. Your websites theme/template will be responsible for displaying your content and if the template is not configured correctly then your business will not rank as well in the search engines.

WordPress as a CMS is used by over 74 million websites, and is the most popular choice for business websites compared to any other category of websites. With such a huge number of websites using WordPress there are a huge variety of themes to choose from. These templates are often used by web agencies because using them cuts the development time down considerably which ultimately means more profits, but to you as the customer it could be a huge sacrifice in performance in the search engines.

You may think that the free themes would be the ones most likely to be the offenders, but the truth is many WordPress themes are created with a zero understanding of SEO, this includes both free and premium themes. Even more shocking there are web development agencies that sell these themes as search engine friendly sites.

If you hire a web development agency that uses themes then you could be damaging your business. Top rankings in the search result pages could take longer or could not be possible at all. And if you pay for a monthly SEO service and your website is built on a theme that is not SEO friendly then you could be paying for extra months where a good quality site wouldn’t have needed. This means your business is paying more for better search results rankings that may not be achievable.

Rather than just talk about some theory, or what some other internet marketing site has said we would rather put our knowledge to the test and display the results for you. So no more theory, lets test the difference in a custom based website to a pre bought theme.

If you would like to have an agency help you with your search engine optimisation please feel free to get in touch.

The Experiment

I have been conducting this experiment for the last 4 weeks and even at this short time period there is a clear winner. For this experiment I have used 2 separate domains so for example:

http://www.website1.com

http://www.website2.com

For the purpose of this experiment I wont be sharing the domains or the keywords used because both sites are actual real sites that are used to generate business for us at Weeare. I will say however we have done everything possible to make the results of this experiment fair and all the results are 100% real.

The Keywords

I have chosen 2 different main keywords for both domains with equal amount of searches (400) along with a keyword competition score of 20 which is moderately low. Each keyword if they were to rank for their desired terms on the first page and in the first few results could mean an extra couple of hundred to low thousands in income each month.

Here is how the keywords look starting off, I have blurred the actual keywords so that this article doesn’t bring me any additional competition.

As you can see at day one both keywords have not been found or ranked by Google, Bing or Yahoo. The custom built website is shown with the blue line, while the website using a well-known WordPress theme that many agencies in wales use is in red.

image1

In the past from my own experience I have seen websites indexed within a few hours and with keywords that are not too competitive even rank on the first page, so I was curious to see how long it would take each site to rank for their targeted keywords.

2 Days later

Within two days the custom built website had been indexed on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Where as the site using a well know theme still hadn’t been found by any of them. This can be seen below.

image2

As you can see above, Google indexed the site at result 38 which depending on ads could mean the 3rd or 4th page, while Bing gave it result 35 and Yahoo 20.

2 Weeks later

I decided to let both sites sit for 2 weeks before doing further SEO work, mainly because I became busy with another project.

Week 3

On the start of the third week I began with the off page SEO. For each website I started building natural back links from trusted relevant websites, what’s important to note is that for each website I tried to get links that would have the same power or link juice so that the experiment would still be fair. I continued to do this slowly over the next 7 days before checking rankings again. After the 7 days were up I then checked the rankings and what I found was quite unexpected.

image3

Week 4

As you can see from the image above the custom built website has improved its rankings on each search engine while the website using the theme has still not been indexed a full 4 weeks after being made and optimised. This was shocking to me as on the one hand the custom website is rising up the searches slowly while the other still isn’t index. The search engines don’t even know that this page exists. Imagine if your customers didn’t know you existed!

At this point I thought that the website had been sandboxed or penalised, so I logged into the Google webmasters admin area and checked, but there was no penalisation and the site could be found in the searches but it just wasn’t ranking for the keyword chosen. Meanwhile the custom built website was increasing dramatically, and it was nearly ready to break into the first page on Bing.

Experiment conclusion

4 weeks is only a short period of time, but the results are already clear to see. The custom made website is ranking much quicker and much higher than the website using a pre built theme. Now you maybe thinking that I used a bad theme on purpose to skew the results, but the theme in question is a top selling theme with thousands of downloads. Now I cant mention the theme because I don’t want to be sued, so you will have to trust us that we are telling the truth.

The search results for the custom website are still not hitting the first page, but everyone who has experience in SEO knows that it takes a little time, but based on the current rankings and data I would predict that the keyword in this experiment will hit the first page within the next month and from past experience I would estimate a top 3 ranking the month later.

As for the pre bought theme, I couldn’t estimate when it will start to rank.

In the same time period I also set up some other pages with a range of keyword competition scores and within the 4 weeks the custom website is already ranking well for the keywords, this can be seen below.

last

From above you can see that in the same time period where a pre bought theme has been used and hasn’t been found by the search engines I have managed to:

  • Achieve 8 top 10 rankings in Google, Bing and Yahoo
  • Achieve 2 number 1 rankings in Google and Bing

Your business on themes

So how does all of this affect your business?

If your using a theme that isn’t search friendly. Isn’t mobile responsive, and has junk code which slows down your entire site then your business is suffering because of it. Your website is being punished, and even worse you could be spending money on SEO that you may not need to. Don’t let a bad website kill your business.

If you would like to talk to us to see if your website is killing your business then please do, we would love to help.

For more great tips and tricks on how to improve your online presence sign up to our newsletter below and get online marketing tips sent straight to your inbox before any one else gets to see them.

PPC vs SEO for Small Businesses

In this article, we will look at PPC vs SEO and give you enough information for you to make a decision on what would be best used for your business and why. So let’s begin.

PPC vs SEO – both PPC and SEO allow your website to be found on search engines. It is estimated that 81% of people will find your website through a search engine. For this reason alone it is important for your business to be on that front page and SEO and PPC are two different ways of achieving that.

SEO

SEO, Search engine optimisation, organic search, organic results, etc. Whatever you call it SEO is a technique to get your website on the front page of search engines.  If you’re interested in getting more traffic check out our post: SEO agency Cardiff

PPC

Pay per click, sponsored ads, purchased links, etc are another way of getting your website to the front of the search engines.

Pay per click link clicks as the name would suggest cost you every time a person clicks on one of your ads. For example, if we were to be bidding on the keyword web design wales then every time someone clicked on our ad we would pay a small fee to Google.

PPC vs SEO

PPC and SEO when done correctly can both get you to the first page of the search engines and both can be profitable to your business. Both methods however have advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of SEO

SEO will help your website increase in organic listings, and research has found that organic listings are 8.5 times more likely to be clicked on than paid advertising. This means that if your website were to rank for a keyword organically and you were bidding for that keyword through PPC then your organic listing would receive 8.5 times more clicks than the paid ad.

SEO also doesn’t cost you per click, with SEO services you are charged to get on to that first page of Google but every click you will receive is then essentially free.

Disadvantages of SEO

SEO takes time, a new site can even be sandboxed for 30 days, and then ranking a site from there can take longer. Changes to search engine algorithms can also adjust your site’s position on the search pages. That is why it is very important that if you hire an SEO company then hire one that doesn’t practice black hat (bad) techniques as your site could become penalised and it would lose its rankings.

Advantages of PPC

If SEO is slow then PPC is fast, PPC can get you onto the search engine front page within a day. You set your campaign, select a budget and when approved you can get traffic to your website right away.

PPC also converts better. Studies have shown that PPC ads convert 1.5 times more than organic search pages. This is because PPC allows you to send your visitors to a landing page that is highly targeted to that visitor.

Disadvantages of PPC

PPC is quick but it’s also costly, You can get on the front page of the search engines within a day, but to get the costs down and create a campaign that is making you a profit can take a while.

Every click that you receive from a PPC add costs you money. This could be anything from a couple of pence to a few pound per click.

PPC vs SEO conclusion

If I only had to choose between PPC vs SEO I would go for SEO as ranking high for a targeted keyword is going to be very valuable to your business. SEO is slower but once your website is ranking then each additional click is not going to cost you anything.

That is not to say you should ignore PPC because I think that both SEO and PPC have their place in business and ideally you should be considering both for your business.

If you would like to discuss getting more targeted leads to your business or would like to find out more about our SEO Services in wales then click here to talk to us today.

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Long tail keyword research for small businesses

What are long-tail keywords and how can they help your business?

In this article, we will look at how long-tail keywords can help your business online.

Long-tail keywords are keywords that are often 3 or 4 keywords long that are very specific to the service that you are selling. They are very targeted and can be very profitable for your small business.

Long-tail keywords also target customers who are late in the buying process, this means that they are keywords that consumers use just before making a buying decision.

If your looking for seo services for your business check out search engine optimisation cardiff

The Buying process

1. Consumer becomes aware of a product.
2. Consumer looks for more information on the product.
3. Consumer looks at alternatives for the product.
4. Consumer makes a decision to buy.
5. Consumer buys the product.

In the above buying process, long-tail keywords target users around step 4. At step 4 the user has decided to purchase the product and will then start to search for more targeted keywords, I.E long tail.

The consumer may have started at step 1 with the search “Web Design Wales”, they would have looked at the results, compared them and then by step 4 their searches would have become more targeted and they would have begun searching for “Restaurant website design in Cardiff

If you compare the searches:

• Storage
Self Storage Newport

You can see that the long tail search is more specific, and that person making the search knows what they want and at this point, they’re ready to purchase it.

The Good News

Long-tail keywords have a higher commercial intent and they are also easier to rank for. This may throw you slightly but it’s true, an example of this can be seen below.

Let’s say you sell hiking tours up the Brecon Beacons. You may consider targeting a generic phrase like travel. This may seem logical to you as the type of person looking to go on a hiking tour maybe a tourist. However, if you tried going after the world travel you would come up against the following companies:

• The Guardian
• Travel Republic
• Telegraph
• Travel Supermarket

Looking at the above companies it’s clear to see that it would be very difficult to knock these companies off their positions without a massive budget and a lot of time.

The keyword travel probably gets hundreds of thousands of searches, but the keyword travel isn’t targeted to your audience. People searching for travel could be looking for travel insurance, plane tickets, summer holidays and a wide range of other services.

You may be thinking ok, travel isn’t that good but what about hiking tours? Once again even though your offering hiking tours you are going to go up against huge companies with huge budgets, the keyword also once again isn’t that targeted, because people searching for hiking tours in France aren’t going to be interested in hiking tours in Brecon.

Taking the long tail approach you would want highly specific keyword searches relating to your product so for example:

Brecon Beacon mountain hiking tours
• Beginner hiking tours in the Brecon Beacons
• Guided hiking tours Brecon Beacons

Now being a web developer I know nothing about hiking or if the Brecon Beacons has hiking tours so please forgive me, but I think I’ve made my point. By being more specific with your keywords you are going to face less competition while targeting consumers later in the buying process.

Long-tail conclusion

Long-tail keywords generally have fewer searches a month, so it is worth taking into consideration that targeting long-tail keywords will mean that your website will have less traffic than other websites targeting broader keyword searches. Personally, we like to target both broad keywords and long-tail searches, we believe this gives us the best of both worlds.

Whatever method you decide to use there is no substitute for keyword research, you will have to determine which keywords have enough traffic to be profitable for your business. For us, 1 customer could be all we need to be profitable for that month, whereas it could take 20 people for your business to be in the green for that month.

We believe that every business should be looking for long-tail keywords that work for their business. If you would like to discuss how long-tail SEO could help your business, then talk to us today.

google places for business

What is Google Places for business?

Google places is a free business listing provided by Google, you can think of it as an old school directory which is far more targeted to people searching for your services. Google places for business allows your business to be found by potential customers in your local area. It also allows past clients to be able to review your services, which over time will help build trust in your business.

Google places for business has been around for a while now and you will have seen the results shown in the search results page.  Think of a Google place as some free traffic.

Google local shows businesses close to you that you are searching for, for example, if I were to search for web design Merthyr, website design Pontypridd or SEO Cardiff then businesses in that local area relating to the searches would be shown.

Why is Google places important to your business?

Google places for business is important to your business because the people searching for your services locally are usually far into the buying process, this means that they are looking for your services with a high intent to buy.

Google places is excellent for both small local businesses and big corporations such as McDonalds. Google local shows your customers the nearest location to them. Other main advantages of Google local include:

• Google Places is placed at the top of the search engines, if your business shows here then your listing is one of the first businesses that potential customers will see. A Google Place listing is like SEO, but it’s instant.
• Google Places for business on a mobile phone will show the nearest location along with an option to be able to call the business, or get directions to your business location.
• Past reviews give your business credibility, instantly building trust with your potential clients.
• Local users looking for services that you offer are more than likely going to purchase your services rather than another business further away.
• Ranking at the top of the search engines in Google Places is going to give your business/website more exposure and website traffic.

What to consider when submitting your Google Places listing.

Google places were introduced to make finding local services quickly and easily, therefor you should not try to influence the results in any way. You should make sure that the information you submit is accurate to your business. Failure to do so could mean that no one finds your business or you could be penalised for trying to game the system.

Google Places for Business – Setting Up

Google Places takes hardly any time at all to set up, and If you want to set up a free Google listing for your business then check out the link below.

https://www.google.com/business/

If you need more traffic to your business you may want to check out our search engine optimisation cardiff service, if you just want to chat talk to our consultants today

Increase website conversion rate

Most people think that more traffic equals more sales, and often they are correct.  But getting more traffic often means that you have to invest in SEO services.   In this article, we will show you how to earn more money by increasing your conversion rate.

Everyone owns a website, but most websites do not perform as well as they should. In this article, we will look at ways that you can increase website conversion rate. So let’s start.

Full-Screen Images to increase website conversion rate

Full-screen images act as an interruption, they stop the visitor and force them to take notice. You may have already seen a full-screen image on this website.

Full-screen images make visitors take notice of your message and because of this, they increase website conversion rate. Full-screen video can also be used to achieve the same effect.

Split Screen Layouts

Split-screen layouts allow the visitor to get where they want to quickly. A split-screen layout is good for a business that has more than one main service.  At WeeAre we mainly sell web design and SEO services, we did consider using a split-screen layout on our index page, however, we felt that in this instance a split-screen did not fit into our design.

A split-screen element on a website funnels your visitors to exactly where you want them, this can increase website conversion rate.

Make your call to action stand out

If you want your user to do something, then make that something stand out.

If your website is mostly black and white and you want your visitor to sign up for your email list then make your email list button a bright colour. The brighter colour on the button is going to make your offer stand out because of this the button is going to receive more clicks and more email sign-ups.

As well as making your call to action stand out you can always have it pinned to the screen. You could have your call to action always stuck to the screen via the header, sidebar, or even the footer.

On our website you can see that the header is always stuck to the top of the screen, this is more to do with us wanting the user to be able to navigate around the website as easily as possible, but we could replace the navigation button with a call to action if we wanted.

Having your call to action (CTA) always-on screen is going to make it easier for your visitors to be able to take the action you want at all times.

Single Column CTA

Another great way to increase conversions on your website is to have a single column CTA. We use a single column CTA on this website as we want our visitors to contact us if they want us to work on their projects.

A single column CTA will make people stop and take notice, this helps to convert your visitors into customers by making it easy for them to contact you or take the next step in the process.

For more great tips and tricks on how to improve your online presence sign up to our newsletter below and get online marketing tips sent straight to your inbox before anyone else gets to see them.

Small Business SEO

What is small business SEO?

Small business SEO is the optimisation of your business website in the search engines.

If that still went over your head then let me break that down even further.

Everytime a search is made in one of the search engines such as Google, Bing or any of the smaller search engines you will be presented with a page full of results. This page is known as the search engine results page or SERPS for short. This means the results you see on the first page will have been optimised for the search query. So for example.

Dog walkers merthyr tydfil” will show the website pages that have been optimised for the search query “Dog walkers merthyr tydfil”.

This technique is known as search engine optimisation or SEO for short. SEO is optimising your website for potential customers when they are searching for your product or information.

For a small business owner SEO can mean the difference between a constant flow of customers to having a website that does nothing for your business.

If you have a small business website that doesn’t bring in any customers then your SEO is not working, or maybe your site is not optimised at all and sadly if you don’t rank in the search engines then your website may as well not exist.

If the above is the case you may want to check out our SEO Cardiff service.

How will SEO benefit your small business?

Right now there are potential customers looking for what you are selling. There is someone, somewhere with their bank card in their hand waiting to hand over their money, but if your not at the top of the search engines then those customers are spending their money with your competitors.

When explaining what Search engine optimisation can do for our clients websites I first like to ask them; “how much is a single customer worth per month to your small business?” then I provide them with some data. So if you’re a dentist in Cardiff and your looking for extra customers then let me run some search numbers by you.

There are over 3020 searches a month for “Dentist Cardiff”

1990 searches for “Cardiff Dental”

150 searches a month for “Penarth Dentist”

The list could go on and on, from a quick 5 minute search you can see that there are thousands of searches each month for dental services in Cardiff, now if you’re a dentist with a website that isn’t optimised for any of those terms then you are throwing away money.

For smaller businesses in smaller areas of Wales there are still a lot of people searching for what you have to offer. For example there are over 80 people a month searching for legal advice online in Pontypridd.

60 people from Pontypridd a month are looking for a law firm.

There are 610 people a month looking for “Swansea builders”

Or 860 possible customers looking for “Builders in Cardiff”

I could search all day but there is honestly no point. Whatever industry you are in, big or small there will be someone online searching for your service. The job of SEO is to get you in front of those people so that they can choose to purchase from you and not your competitors.

To make this example easier, lets just say there are 200 customers a month searching for the product you sell, and lets say 1 customer is worth between £2000 – £5000. If your website were to get just one of those 200 searches a month then that could mean that your small business could be earning an extra £60,000 a year. That is the power of SEO.

Is small business SEO expensive?

Like everything, small business SEO costs money and the cost of small business SEO will be determined on the competition of the keywords you want to go after. Small business SEO can also take a few months to see a return on investment but the rewards can last for years and the ROI can be amazing.

At WeeAre we research what keywords we believe are achievable to rank for and depending on your budget we will choose words or phrases that you will want to rank for in the future. We tend to choose a wide variety of keywords so that you can rank for lower competition phrases which have lower amounts of traffic as well as phrases with higher competition and higher search volume. This results in getting traffic as soon as possible.

We bill for our SEO services on a monthly cycle. We feel this gives you the maximum flexibility so that you are not tied into any lengthy contracts. We want you to be happy with the service that we provide and not pressured into anything you don’t want. If you would like to discuss starting an SEO service today then contact us.

If your still not decided on if SEO is for your small business then keep on reading.

Why Small Business SEO is important

There are many ways to get customers to your business. Yellow Pages, Radio and Newspaper ads, flyers, online ads etc. But the problem with all of the above is that they cost money every time you want to use them. Yes SEO costs money, but when you get to that first page, every click that gets sent to your website doesn’t cost you a penny. Compare that to online ads which could cost £0.50 to £20+ a click depending on your niche/industry. Online ads or PPC are effective, but depending on your industry it could cost you a lot of money to compete with your competitors.

SEO on the other hand is like free traffic. Once you are on the first page then each and every lead sent to your website doesn’t cost you.

SEO without a doubt is the most cost effective way of bringing new customers to your business. SEO is also very targeted, people searching for the service you are offering want to spend their money, compare that to putting an ad in the local newspaper, how many of these people are interested in buying what you are selling?

If you run a search in your industry right now, for example “dog trainers in wales” and you see your competitors on the first page then you know that they are spending money on SEO each month and that is why they are outranking you and taking money right out of your pocket. SEO can’t be achieved by luck, it takes good quality research and planning to be executed correctly. So how exactly does SEO work, and what can you do to compete with your competitors?

How does SEO Work?

Search Engine Optimisation is broken down into two separate areas, both equally as important as the other. The first being on page optimisation.

On page optimisation is everything that is on your website, this could be the text, imagery and even the code that makes up your site. This is why it is very important that your website is built to be search engine friendly. If the search engines cant read the code on your website then it is going to struggle to know what your website is about, and because of this your website is going to find it hard to rank.

If you hire us to build your website then you will be thankful to know that all of our sites are built to be search engine friendly, they are also built to be mobile responsive as standard. Your website should be mobile responsive as this is also a ranking factor that the search engines take into consideration when deciding where to place your small business website.

Getting your on page optimisation is essential if you want to rank your small business website for any keywords or search terms. On page SEO tells the search engines what your site is about, the importance of certain keywords on the site and how to understand the keywords that you have chosen. If you help the search engines to understand your site then you are already in a good position to move forward to the second part of SEO.

The second part of SEO is off page optimisation. This is primarily made of links pointing to your website. This could be from other relevant blogs or social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and many more.

Off page optimisation done wrong can ruin your online presence. Get your off page optimisation wrong and not only will you not rank but you could face a penalty and have your website black listed from the search engines. Poor link building practices have ruined businesses time and time again, Don’t fall victim to a cheap SEO service which may do your business more harm than good.

We have been practising different SEO techniques for years and we follow good link building practises and because of this our clients rank and our sites don’t get penalised. We can create quality links to your website through a few different techniques, one of which is creating quality content that others want to link to.

If you would like to hire us to improve your rankings in the search engine then you can contact us here.

Other things to consider for your small business SEO.

This section can become a little technical at times so if you are reading it and you start to think I have no idea what I have just read then don’t worry. You don’t have to understand the next few paragraphs, I have included them so you can get a better understanding on what we do, but this section is optional.

The software that your website is built on can affect your SEO quite a bit. For example, we build all of our websites on top of a content management system called wordpress. You probably have heard of wordpress as it powers over 23% of the websites on the internet. Companies like NASA, CNN and Forbes all use wordpress and there is a good reason for this.

Out of the box wordpress is easy to use, and makes managing your on page optimisation easy. You can change the permalinks which is the link of a post after your domain. For example a site could be

Yoursite.com/post?=123

Or with wordpress

Yoursite.com/dog-groomers-in-wales

Which of the above do you think tells the search engines what your web page is about better?

WordPress Plugins for SEO

If your not a techie then you may also want to skip this section, but if your interested in learning a little about what plugins are and how they can assist you with your SEO for your business then keep on reading.

A plugin is an additional piece of software which can be added to your website. WordPress offers some great plugins that can assist your small business SEO attempts, one of which we use is a plugin called Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO allows you to create sitemaps which the search engines loves.  Yoast also helps with on page optimisation as it tells you the keyword density of your articles, where your keywords should be and much more.

SEO and your business credibility

Think back to a time where there were no search engines, just a big yellow book that ruled the business world. Yep, The Yellow Pages. If you were looking for a plumber in Wales would you go for the guy on the first plumber page or the 7th? Most people went for the first guy as that guy seemed more credible. The same applies to the search engine result pages. If your on the 2nd page then your customers don’t even know you exist. Get on the first page and your business suddenly becomes more trustworthy.

A good SEO campaign can build trust with your clients, your business is seen as more credible and if you sell a service or product this can only help the sales process.

SEO is good for business branding

SEO first and foremost is about getting traffic to your website and then converting those visitors into customers, but SEO can also help with branding.

Most searchers don’t search just once for a product or service they will search many times. Quite often the terms in which the user will type will change so one search could be “dog groomers wales”, the second time they search they could look for “dog grooming services in wales” and the third time “dog grooming in wales”. All three searches are slightly different, but if your website is showing for all three terms then you will instantly gain more credibility with that searcher and chances are they are going to click through to your business.

SEO and ROI

SEO doesn’t interrupt users when they are listening to their favourite song in the car in the mornings, it doesn’t interrupt users from finding out who killed who on their favourite TV show. Instead SEO allows you to market only to people who are looking for your product or service. These people want what you are selling, they just need to find you first. With SEO you don’t have to convince a potential customer that they need your product, you just have to convince them that you’re the right company to purchase from.

Small business SEO Summary

Phew, if you got this far then you should now have a better understanding of what small business SEO is and hopefully you now know what SEO can do for your business. If your still confused on small business SEO don’t worry you don’t need to know the difference between on page and off page optimisation. SEO can be a complicated subject, but even by getting the basics right you could get ahead of your competitors.

If you think you need your help with seo, check out our Cardiff SEO service that we offer.

5 Reasons why you should use social media for your small business

In this article we take a look at why you should use social media for your small business.  We look at 5 reasons why you should be using social media to boost your business online.

1. RETURN ON INVESTMENT

You constantly have an online presence with social media, you don’t pay for slots or domains. Your page makes you accessible to your customers at no cost to using social media. Many smart marketers utilise the traffic flowing through social media and many networks offer direct, targeted marketing which is nothing like we have seen from traditional marketing techniques.

This is a much more personal method of segmenting potential customers and enables an organisation to implement remarketing strategies with higher ROI’s as it’s easier to understand their respective markets with the vast information at their disposal through social media.

2. SEO

While social media offers your customers an additional channel to connect with you, social media can help influence how high your website ranks in search engines such as Google.

If you have interesting and compelling content to share, you can post this to social media and, if people are interested they can interact with these posts through ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ etc. This reaction causes what is known as social signals which allows search engines to take this into account when establishing what website ranks higher than the rest, having a sprawled foundation with traffic flowing from various places across the internet this would hold an organisation in higher stead than another organisation with an excellent website but no social presence.

For more info on SEO, check out our SEO Cardiff post.

3. FREE MARKET RESEARCH

Traditional market research consisted of questionnaires, or ‘tell us how we did’ on the bottom of receipts, but, NO MORE! When a business establishes a decent social media following with interactive followers, a business can see the daily changes in consumer attitudes to products, trends and behaviors. This will allow planning for the future and longevity of the organisation as changes in the market are much easier to spot at the early stages of, lets say production; imagine spending your entire winter attire budget on woolly hats when your social media feed is filled with people wanting the newest wigs which protect your hair (sounds crazy but it may happen!).

4. YOU CAN BE UNIQUE

How difficult is it to communicate your USP? (unique selling point), the answer is extremely if you don’t know how or if you don’t possess the tools required to accomplish such a feat.

If you view PaddyPower’s Twitter. They are a gambling website who has established relationships through speaking to their target market as if they were friends at the pub. They do this by posting content that relates directly to current affairs that their consumers are interested in and also put it across in their own personality where people feel as if it’s just one person behind PaddyPower’s Twitter account – this is the goal. PaddyPower’s competitors do not come close to this level of personal marketing and is the reason why many gambling companies are now starting to copy this method, if they are, then YOU should be also.

5. PROVIDING VALUE

If you can provide a truly valuable service to your target market then you will be able to position yourself as an expert in your industry. Whether that’s educational and entertaining blogs, posts, or tweets, if you are solving a problem or providing information, you’re adding value that customers will appreciate. This is often confused with monetary value through discount codes, BOGOF offers etc. Monetary value is the easiest method for businesses but begs the question – if your doing it, then so is your competition, so how valued will your customer feel and will your customer even remember you to spend that voucher? I doubt it.

Summary:

If you think of social media marketing as a tool for your business and not what teenage boys and girls use to keep up with the Kardashians then you will be giving your business the opportunity to thrive in the online world, which has a population many times more than the town/city you currently reside – more people = more business.

There are plenty of businesses and articles online that can help you get started but the most important thing to take away is that, you and your business should be yourselves and reflect your goals and values, this will attract the right customers to you and will be much more beneficial in the long run in terms of return on investment which you can then utilise for future marketing strategies.

For more great tips and tricks on how to improve your online presence check out our search engine optimisation page.

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