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.

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.

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.

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.

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