Case Study PPI Company SEO

Case Study PPI Company SEO

Just as I was launching Peak District SEO, I was doing some work as a freelancer for another agency. I needed the money whilst my business was getting started.

The Goals

A prominent PPI company needed SEO to raise their visibility with the impending deadline for new PPI claims coming up.  The niche was extremely competitive and the owner was keen to compete with other key players.

SEO Process

The campaign had been managed by a number of other freelancers before it came to me, they’d had mixed success.

When I was handed the project, I made some basic changes to the process of optimisations which had a positive effect.  I simply introduced a focus of a basic checklist, concentrating on SEO basics, such as copy length, image naming conventions, canonical URLs and formulaic Meta data.

ppi claims seo
The image above shows a 30-day snippet during my work period. When competitive terms such as these get into the top 5 positions on the SERP it can be difficult to maintain upward movement.

In addition to pulling up the page 1 rankings, I also managed to significantly increase the average ranking position of all the keywords tracked.

ppi seo average rankingsThe overall visibility of the site was increased by almost 100% in inside 3 months.  In fact, by the 4th month, the client had overtaken all their other competitors.overall visibility


Disclaimer

*I do not claim that all the improvements were exclusively a result of my work alone.

The SEO work was part of a retained package and work by copywriters and PR people whose work definitely assisted the growth.  My SEO strategy simply was the missing ingredient needed to deliver growth.

Grow Your Visibility Like This

Is your business in need of a visibility boost?  Organic SEO is a great way to grow the visibility of your business online. If you’re serious about dominating your niche at affordable rates, get in touch with us today.

eCommerce SEO Case Study – Fashion Retailer

We were approached by a small fashion retailer whose website was not performing well and had low visibility in searches. Case studies like these aim to show that with the right steps, growth can follow quickly.

In month One,  we targeted the technical SEO issues that were holding the site back.  In month 2 work began on fixing on-site issues focusing on brand products with margin.  After a short period, less than 2 months.  Their statistics are already headed in the right direction.

Average ranking position
Traffic Increased after we began work
We believe that Traffic increases can be a vanity metric.  There’s no point increasing traffic without ensuring that the traffic brings qualified leads or sales.  Sales monitoring was slightly trickier as the ecommerce tracking hadn’t been configured until we came on board.

increase your traffic

Increasing visibility for ecommerce websites
Whilst the figures are still pretty low at this time, the growth in this site is a testament to the strides that can be taken in a short space of time when optimisation recommendations are followed through and implemented.

Visibility Trend

Focus on Organic SEO before wasting money on paid campaigns.

Organic SEO provides the foundation to a strong, stable website that will convert traffic when you embark on paid sales campaigns. We believe Customers should only leverage paid sales campaigns once their website is fit for purpose. this will save money in the long run.

It’s great to drive traffic to product pages and make sales, but if you can rank those pages organically, you’ll save budget to market products that don’t yet rank.

If you have an ecommerce website and want to increase its visibility, drive traffic, and rank for more search terms, get in touch.

Why Derbyshire Needs SEO

Derbyshire Needs SEO

Why Derbyshire Needs SEO: Phil Gregory – Peak District SEO

Over the last year and a half, I have audited many more websites than I initially expected.  I know from a few conversations with colleagues that there is more SEO work out there than most people initially think.  In fact, there is so much out there it’s actually unbelievable. It’s ridiculously unquantifiable.

Derbyshire business websites need SEO because, as a very rural county, tech isn’t the biggest industry, in fact, there is still a shortage of experienced web service providers.

Something that seems obvious to me is, that there are some great Web design companies and web developers out there.  However,  the nature of web work is so siloed that most web design companies are at best skimping on SEO,  at worst, ignoring it completely.

Why Web designers/developers don’t do SEO

The reason web designers/developers don’t do SEO is the same reason I don’t do web design.  It’s best to focus on your core service.

I can code a little bit, HTML I can do, javascript, ASP, PHP I can read, and edit to a basic level,  I’m pretty good on Photoshop too, but I’m not awesome!

When I set this business up I knew from previous work I’ve done over the years that the best results come from focusing on what you do best, rather than delivering patchy results on something you have a limited grasp of. Therefore I stick to SEO, and bring in graphic design and web development experts when they are required.

Why Hire An SEO Company?

Why hire an SEO company,  I hear you cry. Why not just find a company who offers a full service?  Well, you can, if you can find one that offers the full service within your budget.

One issue you’ll face is making sure that whoever is doing the SEO has enough experience,  and can show actual results.  Otherwise, you’ll be paying a premium for someone in a Web design company to do SEO for you.  And you’ve come full circle.

The budget seems to be the constraining factor for most small to medium-sized businesses though.   There is a school of thought within the SEO and design company that small companies who don’t have a big budget, should be left to fend for themselves. That’s not something I subscribe to.

I focus on serving small to medium-sized businesses. Why, because I want to help regional businesses to grow with a helping hand.

Experts are Good
Sure it can be a pain to hire separate people to work on your project.  However, Isn’t it best to take your time and choose the right person for each task?

  • Choose good designers/developers
  • Choose a good copywriter
  • Choose a good SEO / PPC

Get these people in a room together and get them working together. My extensive network of professionals regularly works together on projects to deliver great marketing results.

When each one of these people is hired by you, they are not just going through the motions of their 9-5 job, they are working for their own livelihood and their own reputation.

They will all want to do a good job and deliver a quality piece of work because they all have a long-term investment in the project.

Why Derbyshire Needs SEO

Derbyshire needs SEO because the East Midlands is rising in prosperity, and with prosperity comes investment.  As more and more towns in Derbyshire get better broadband, the business possibilities increase.

Cities such as Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, Stoke and Leicester all have a need for web professionals and seo services.

Companies who, up until a few years ago were investing heavily in print advertising are switching to the web because they know each one of their customers has a computer in their pocket (mobile phone). Can you afford not to be targeting these customers?

Of course, I have a vested interest to say this, but I’d strongly urge any company who sells online or who seeks high volume leads to be looking closely at their website.  Is it delivering what you’d hoped?

As your competitors get online, now is the time to forge ahead, or risk being left in their wake.

Speak to me about SEO services and how I can help your online business generate more leads and sales.

Need Proof?

 

Case Study – WordPress Website Refresh

Case Study - WordPress

Tree Surgeons Website – WordPress Refresh

Hands-on Tree Care approached us for a website refresh. Their original site was looking dated and was not bringing in enough leads each month.

A new  WordPress theme was built from the ground up, to ensure that the website was mobile friendly.  We knew from google analytics data that more and more people were searching for the company using tablets and mobile phones.

On page SEO work was deployed on the revamped the WordPress website as well as a Google Adwords campaign.

The site is now mobile friendly, it loads faster, and has improved contact details and calls to action which is generating 3x more enquiries than before.

Testimonial

“Phil has had such an impact on the growth and development of our small business.  Phil provides one to one tailored support specific to your industry and is always available, offering ongoing support and advice, thank you for all your hard work Phil.”

Do you need a WordPress rebuild? Or just some fixes and a tune up?  If so get in touch for a free quote.

Get in Touch


Case Study – eCommerce SEO & Adwords

Case Study – eCommerce SEO & Adwords

A well-known Watersports supplier came to us after experiencing a dramatic drop off in traffic and rankings.  When the owners came to us, they were desperate for a turnaround.

After conducting a Website review we discovered the site needed a lot of technical SEO and on-site work. We offered the company terms and began work. Within just a few months the overall picture was very different.  Since then we have grown their revenue year on year.

Example of one month ecommerce stats showing year on year growth.

revenue increase

If you have an ecommerce website and need growth like this, get in touch for a free quote.

Questions To An SEO Company After A Year In Business – Peak District SEO

1 year as an seo company

The time has arrived, Peak District SEO Just hit its one year anniversary. It’s been a wild ride with both highs and lows as one might expect for a start-up SEO company.

I promised the followers of Peak District SEO that I would answer their questions via a blog and social media video.

This article will try to answersome questions about SEO and also about our first year in business.

I used social media to call for questions from people who follow our accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Questions to an SEO Company…

 

Will Asks:
“What does Google’s latest core algorithm change mean for sites and their content?”

Well, to answer that question well I think I actually need more time.  The latest Google algorithm updates the speed update and it’s not been out long enough to form any serious conclusions.

Google is planning to move the entire ranking factors from desktop computers to a mobile-first system. This makes good sense given that more and more people are using mobile devices to search for what they are looking for on Google.

In January 2018, Google announced they would be rolling out the speed update. Google informed us was only going to affect the slowest load being websites on the mobile-first search results.

Towards the end of July, we saw evidence that the speed updates have been deployed, With Webmasters and SCO professionals reporting some changes in the SERP.

Personally, I do not believe the update will cause major problems for the majority of active and well-maintained websites. I think the biggest impact is going to be on sites that have not had any attention for some time.

It is going to be more likely that those sites will not have been built with mobile devices in mind. Therefore the likelihood that they will display poorly on mobile devices is much higher.

If sites are not optimised for mobile they are likely to be ranked lower by Google.

The good news is the majority of my clients have fully mobile friendly website so I’m not expecting to encounter a huge amount of problems. To recap, Websites that can expect major issues are likely to be older sites that are hand built or built on bespoke CMS That do not focus on delivering content to mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

-Stephen Asks:

“In the last few years, I’ve noticed the rise in the use of the verb ‘Shop’ in place of ‘Browse’ or ‘Buy’. Do you think this is for SEO reasons when someone’s looking for a shop that sells a particular item or is language evolving to use this word more?”

I think that this is just an Americanism. The same way that we can now refer to the shopping process of any e-commerce website as the cart.

We do not use the term “shopping cart” in the UK, we call it a basket or a trolley. But in the online world, we say “add to cart”, This is just a cultural crossover.   In many e-commerce platforms heavily developed using US English.  Those in the IT industry tend to use a more ubiquitous version of English rather than one more particular to one region of the world.

So when we see the term “Shop Shirts today” I simply believe this is an extension of this US English. I’d do not expected to carry over into everyday language.

My personal preference would be that people didn’t use the term “shop”. There may be some SEO value to using the word “shop” because shoppers might use the query “local shirts shop” or “men’s clothes shop”.

Additionally, there may be some psychology being deployed in the sense that “shop shirts today”  sounds more like a suggestion than an order like “buy shirts today”.

At any rate, this is either a fad that will go away, or we will see more and more of these “universal English” terms creeping into our daily online language.

– Shantelle Asks:
“Do you feel that you faced extra challenges due to your ethnicity, and are there any ways/wisdom that you could impart to other prospective black/ethnic minority entrepreneurs?”

This is a really interesting question, and probably warrants a more detailed answer than I can give here.  I  try to take as many steps is possible to remove the possibility where natural biases might get in the way connecting with potential customers.

Anyone who is searching for SEO services is actually looking for someone to help them overcome website problems. I  try to position my business as having the solutions such problems.

By presenting a clear idea outline of technical SEO issues faced by potential customers and then offering a clear path to the solution, with affordability and support built in demonstrates why businesses should hire me.

I find this resonates well with leads encouraging them to focus on the project goals rather than people or  any perceived differences.

 

  • – Rose Asks:
    “What do you feel was your biggest win/best moment of success in your first year?”

Without a doubt, the biggest win of the year is just staying in business.  Milestones are a good way to gauge whether or not your service is effective.

Another big win is landing larger clients. When you first start out, you tend to attract smaller clients to only pay very small fees.   When you do get that larger client feels like you’ve arrived.   I always temper this relation with the knowledge that once you have landed a client that is just the beginning of the relationship.   You have to keep them.

Whilst larger clients pay more, they are often more demanding and expect more detail and attention. Losing large clients can be a major blow to your cash flow and reputation.

Whenever I land a bigger client, I always review my systems and policies to ensure that they will be well served.  That way they’ll be leaving positive reviews and testimonials to help me bring in similar clients.

-Keith Asks: “What were the things that motivated you this year?”

Funnily enough Keith, I always tell people to ignore the naysayers but I don’t always take my own advice.  In some ways, their words do stick with you.  You have to use other people’s negativity to drive you on!

When people tell me I can’t or won’t achieve something. I just love making them eat their words.  A couple of things someone said to me early on were

“You have the wrong approach”

and  “in your first year, you’ll be lucky to make 10 grand”

These two statements have propelled me forwards during the tough times.

I simply wasn’t prepared to let those people be proved right.  I knew they were wrong at the time and by completing a year in business validates that. I’m under no illusions that it’s all plain sailing from here. The work starts all over again to achieve even more in the second year.

Thanks to all who supported Peak District SEO

I’d like to thank all the people who helped and supported me and showed a little belief, you’ll never truly know what that means to me.

Thanks for reading this article, and please share it on social media if you enjoyed it.  Watch this space for more updates.

 

Google Rankings Dropped? Learn How to Fight Back

Google Rankings Dropped

Google Rankings Dropped? Learn How to Fight Back: Phil Gregory – Peak District SEO.

If you own a website the chances are at one time or another you’ll have seen your web rankings dropped for certain keywords or key phrases. Don’t panic, this can happen for a number of reasons. You may have had a penalty – or it may be competitors have simply overtaken you. Here’s how to fight back and ensure that your listings rise back up the SERPS.

One of the many questions we get asked on a regular basis is:

“What Can I Do If My Google Rankings Dropped”?

Google Rankings Dropped
The answer to this question is many pronged.

Firstly….

Did You Make Major Changes To Your Website?

If you made major changes to your website and then noticed that your rankings dropped. You need to evaluate those changes, to see what may have caused the drop.

Perhaps the new version of the site has poor page load speed, or perhaps the navigation has changed completely?  If you changed the URLs, have you implemented a set of redirects to send traffic to the correct pages?

Be sure to check Google Search console Google Search Console to find out the things that are not in your favour. Simply go to Crawl section, Crawl Errors. the reports will give you an indication of what is the reason behind any sudden SEO ranking drop after making changes to your site.

add redirects

Monitor The Competition

If you are trying to rank on page 1, it’s fair to expect that your competitors also have the same objective. When your rankings go up, someone elses’ are dropping. So it’s unlikely, in the never-ending contest, that you will have everything your own way.

You can experience a sudden drop in SEO traffic if some of your web pages have gone down in SERPs for specific keywords. It’s highly likely that your nearest competitors have an active SEO campaign trying to outmanoeuvre you.

monitor the competition

Loss of Quality Backlinks

Sites gain authority in the eyes of Search engines when they acquire high-quality links from other sites.  Search engines see such backlinks as an endorsement of quality content. Needless to say that the loss of such backlinks can hurt your current search engine rankings which and lead to sudden SEO traffic drops.

Your SEO agency will monitor your backlink profile by using specialist tools Yto monitor your backlinks.  When they find lost backlinks they can take steps to try to get it back,  in order to bring your position in SERPs back.

Search Engine Penalties

Violating the Googles policies engine policies when optimising your website, can cause a big penalty to make your site disappear from the rankings.

Which will definitely bring with it a huge traffic drop.  Check Google search console to see if you have been penalised by an algorithm change or with a Manual Action which is a penalty applied by the Google staff for violating their best practice.

Manual actions are actually reasonably easy to reverse, so long as you take the appropriate action and fix the issue.  the longer they remain in place the more it will hurt your website though.algorithm updates

Action Site Audit issues To Improve Your Web Rankings

It’s really prudent to get a full website audit.  If you cannot do this in-house, hire an SEO agency or SEO freelancer to do it for you. The results of the SEO audit should reveal the general health of your website. When you look at the report that the SEO agency has produced it should highlight any urgent work will need to be carried out to help make your site rank higher.

Most of the problems the report will highlight are likely to be such factors as website speed, The use of CSS and JavaScript on the page, The use of Words and images on the page. As well as basic SEO like making sure all your pages have proper titles, proper meta descriptions, making sure that the titles and meta descriptions are the right lengths, Making sure that you use the proper headers throughout the page and a number of other factors.

Whilst these factors do not necessarily guarantee that your website will rank well in the search results, what they will do is ensure that your website is in the best health that it can be. You want your website to be truly competitive but for it to be competitive it has to be in good health. You can’t ignore errors and keep letting them build up. That can be a recipe for disaster.

The next thing to do is to check to see if Google and the other search engines have rolled out any large algorithm changes. If you discover that there has been an algorithm change trying to find out as much about that change as possible. It might be the case that your site has become affected because of poor quality content. Every now and then Google reviews its rules on the standard of content. Or it might simply be that Google considers your backlinks to be spammy (low quality).  If this is the case, then you will need to take action. But it can be hard to understand where to start to get this fixed, Again this is where you would speak to an SEO agency to get advice and get pointed in the right direction.

Review Your Content To Get better Rankings

It’s important to remember that in 2018 there are more and more companies trying to compete for attention from users than at any other time. Therefore to guarantee first-page places you have to be on top of your game.
You have to be working hard, You have to be aware of what your competitors are doing. You have to be planning your strategy so that your content beats theirs and is providing more value to your potential customers.

Sitemaps
It’s prudent to review all content on your site. The easiest way to do this is to take a look at your sitemap. Are there redundant pages? If so let’s get rid of them. Perhaps some pages can be merged?

The sitemap will show all the pages on your website. If you haven’t got a sitemap yet, You should talk to us, we can get one set up for you.

Running a review of the sitemap gives us an indication of all the pages on the site. When you couple the sitemap with the information that comes out of Google Analytics, we can tell which pages are popular and which ones are not engaging your customers your customers.

If your customers are not engaging with your content, this is a good indication that you are not serving them with the information they are looking for. This can lead to a high bounce rate and search engines will see this as a negative signal, which can harm your web rankings.

Build a Content Calendar To Earn Rankings For New Terms

When you work with Peak District SEO We will help you build a content calendar. Building a content calendar helps you to get organised in terms of writing new content for your website. This will enable you to publish the content that your customers are looking for.

the most honest way to Improve your search rankings is to ensure that you are providing useful information for your customers. This will be seen by search engines as engaging content and it is more likely to generate social signals and backlinks.

Without new content, your website will experience drop after drop down the search engine results pages.Schedule content

Google Seach Console & Analytics To Get Answers

Google Search Console provides information about user queries on Google and that your site shows up for. It’s really important that you understand what sort of queries your site is actually showing up for. You can easily connect your Google Analytics to your Search Console and pull the search query information through for analysis.

Don’t forget that as well as yourself, Your competitors will also be employing this technique. Everyone is competing for the attention of the customer.

Avoiding a ranking drop is not truly possible, because we don’t have any control over the rules Google sets or on what level of work and investment your competitors make. This is why you can’t afford to “set and forget”. This is why you need to use an ongoing Organic SEO expert

How Good Content Helps Reduce Ranking Drops

It is not enough to just write the basic information about the product or service that you sell. Instead, your time would be better spent working to a more comprehensive strategy. Think about how you can make your site the best in its niche.

  • Keyword Reviews
    Think of all the keywords that relate to your product,  then look again at that list of keywords to see how can you expand it. How might someone ask the questions differently?  Think of synonyms try to use all of these ideas in the page content?  Your SEO professional can take your keyword list and identify which words are going to be the most profitable for you to work with.  Using these words and phrases in your copy will make your pages and articles more relevant to user searches on Google & Bing.
  • Adding Value
    Pages should have good images, not only should they illustrate your pages, they should be well optimised too. See our Images checklist for more info.
  • Create Downloadable Resources.
    Creating downloadable files such as whitepapers, or how to sheets and infographics give your customers a reason to stay on site and come back for more.
  • Link to Relevant Websites
    Link to useful and relevant sites that will help your customers gain knowledge, and see your accreditations. It’s good to link to relevant sites.
  • Regular Ranking Checks
    Check the rankings regularly.  If the general trend of your standings is going up you know you’re doing the right thing. Some keywords will have climbed and some rankings dropped.
  • Don’t obsess about every keyword position
    A word of caution, don’t be fooled,  rankings can be a vanity metric.  Try not to fly into a panic or a rage when you notice that some keyword rankings dropped a couple of places.

I have seen sites with many, many numbers one rankings and yet they still were not getting the best enquiries that they could be.  You really want qualified traffic, not just tyre kickers.  So ranking #1 for every term may not always serve your business as well as ranking for just a few words that attract your perfect customer.

In Conclusion

Monitoring your site is the best way to ensure that your rankings do not drop dramatically.  If your team are not skilled SEOs you need to hire an SEO company to do this on your behalf.

Do not obsess over rankings, instead focus on giving customers what they actually need, this will lead to a higher conversion rate and more revenue for your business.

Need Help Recovering Rankings? If so get in touch for a free quote.

Get Your Website Found


Have you read these?

Case Study – WordPress Website Rebuild

Wordpress rebuild

Outdoor Activities Website – WordPress Rebuild

An outdoor activities company approached Peak District SEO for some advice, having slipped down the search rankings, despite being in business over 20 years. Their existing website was looking rather tired having been built several years ago.

The existing WordPress theme that had been used was no longer ‘WordPress approved’. The theme was causing issues with security and plugin conflicts.

After some initial technical SEO work to fix basic issues we revamped the WordPress website to bring it more in line with the sites of their direct competitors. Images were updated, the logo and blog were both refreshed.

The site is now mobile friendly, it loads faster, and has improved contact details and calls to action which is generating more enquiries.

Do you need a WordPress rebuild? Or just some WordPress seo fixes and a tune up?  If so get in touch for a free quote.

In Conversation with Kaye Booth of SocialMyna

KayeBooth – MD of  SocialMyna – Social Media Training & Management & Consultancy.

Kaye Booth - social media trainingKaye Booth is a Derbyshire businesswoman who left her old job to set up her own social media training and management company.

We’ve been following the progress of her company SocialMyna, for a few years, and decided she’d be a great subject for an interview on the Peak District SEO blog.
Interview below.

Kaye, can you tell us a little about how you came to launch SocialMyna,  and what motivated you to do that?

A number of factors led me to launch SocialMyna back in 2011, a run of unsatisfying employed roles and a long-held desire to be self-employed with a successful business.

I began by working from home, like many startups, it was a case of utilising the back bedroom.  I did that for about 18 months and at the time I didn’t really enjoy it.  The set up wasn’t quite right and there we too many distractions.

I took up a then shared office in the Belper Business Centre. We shared with a web design company and after a year we moved to our own offices had for 3 years. Now we have modernised again coming full circle.  Today I work from home again, it’s more flexible and I have the experience of setting up a proper working environment at home, where we can easily travel out to clients to deliver training.

How old were you at the time of launch and do you think there were any benefits/pitfalls of doing it when you did?

Asking a woman her age, how very dare you! (joking)  I was 47 years young. For me it was the perfect time to launch my business, I feel that the
life experience gained up to that time served me well. The hardest part was the self-doubt that new business owners feel about whether they are professional enough.  Also as the boss of your own company you have to learn to work smarter, and not be a  “busy fool”, The work you do has to add real value to the business, as opposed to just marking time for the sake of revenue generation.

Did you seek any financing to launch the business?

I had no financial backing and this was actually important to me personally as I wanted to be successful and independent.  I had saved up enough money to give myself a buffer whilst getting started.  Initially, I didn’t need a huge outlay, but as any business owner will tell you, it was hard at first.

Was it difficult to launch a Social media business, given that many businesses in Derbyshire are rural? 

No not at all, it did take time to gain trust and build our community but the nature of social media means that I could approach anyone, anywhere.

Most of our work comes in via referral, which shows that we are doing a good job.  Luckily that meant that we don’t have to spend huge sums of money on advertising as our good reputation brings in the work. Transparency is key for building trust and retaining customers.  If you can demonstrate that your services are value for money, then your customers will stay and happily recommend you.

Tell us about your first client, (they can remain anonymous) and how did you land them…any other details?

Hard to remember, but our first contract client if I can recount their story is actually still a managed profile client today.

They enquired about social media training via LinkedIn and after an email response plus an impromptu cold call,  simply because I was in the area they signed SocialMyna up to deliver a group training session for their MD and Sales Team.

Within a month of the training, they decided that to have a dedicated social media team who were remote was the way forward and we took over their content creation and delivery with immediate effect.

What do you love about your work? Why…what motivates you, do you have any exciting plans for the future? 

I love the flexibility that my work gives me, and since growing my team of ‘Chicks’  with their support,  I am able to choose how, when and where I work.

Motivation comes in many forms, client satisfaction and word of mouth recommendation make me strive to deliver a service which exceeds expectations. A supportive team motivates me to encourage their personal growth and the future looks very bright as we continue to evolve and grow as a company.

How has social media training changed since you started working in the industry and what are the big challenges that you face in 2018?

The spotlight is really on social media compared to when we set up SocialMyna back in 2011, with high profile press representation it’s important that we encourage clients to represent their businesses in a positive light.

Educating our clients about social media promotion is an important part of our daily work, platforms change and evolve so quickly these days that we need to keep an eye on these changes so that we can be at the forefront of all the new social media innovations.

What do you think is the best innovation in your sector, how has it helped or hindered your business?

The pace of change online is hard to keep up with.  Platforms are constantly changing and evolving and our team has to keep up with that.  We have regular online meetings to share knowledge and keep each other in the loop with regard to platform changes and new features on the various social channels.

How has collaboration with other digitals helped your business to grow?

When collaborated with the web designer form, through online networking, this gave me the confidence to know that we could offer e more complete and supported service and add that extra layer of support if needed. These days we regularly work with videographers and photographers, and SEO’s of course.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone starting a digital services company in 2018, what would it be?

Just to be honest and transparent, represent your business in a true light and be ready to evolve and grow to ensure that you are recognised as a responsible and trustworthy business.  The killer things to watch for is that you stay humble, take it slowly and assess as you go.  It’s too easy to get carried away with growth whilst forgetting to nurture your existing customers.

Related Links
SocialMyna Website
SocialMyna Facebook
SocialMyna Twitter
SocialMyna Insta

It’s easy to link to this article

Just copy and paste the code below into your own website.

<a href="https://peakdistrictseo.co.uk/kaye-booth-socialmyna">Kay Booth- Social Myna Interview</a>

Have you read these?

3 Ways to Use Onsite Search Data to Boost Conversion Rates

on site search

Onsite Search Improves Conversion Rates: – Phil Gregory

Implementing on-site search on your website will literally be the gift that keeps on giving.   Looking at site search data one of the easiest ways to gauge what your customers/visitors are actually looking for on your website.  this will allow you to better react and make key marketing decisions that will help your customers and your bottom line.

Correctly implemented and configured, web CMS platforms and Google Analytics can record customer searches.  These days website platforms such as WordPress and Magento have some kind of internal Site search tracking built in. If your platform doesn’t, then there are usually lot’s of extensions or plugins that will add or enhance the ability to monitor what users search for.

Why Internal Site Search Data Is Important

Learning what people search for will give you key insight into:

  • What your customers want.
  • What content customers find it hard to find
  • What your customers describe the product they seek.
  • How many people use search, and why.
  • Searcher types

Let’s split the searchers into 3 core searcher types and therefore different ways to deal with improving the customer journey for each

Default Tendency- AKA Lazy Search Monkeys


Some customers just use search as their first option. They often perform broad term searches such as ‘dresses’ or  ‘men’s shoes’ etc.

There is a good chance that they are searching for something which is probably already well signposted via the main website navigation. They just choose to search.

The Well Informed Shopper

Most people don’t even notice product codes. However, Anyone who works in retail or ecommerce knows that product codes are a fantastic way to identify EXACTLY the product you seek.

Many websites have product codes, MPNs (Manufacturer Part number), barcodes or a unique code which the user might come to the site with. Especially with popular products, the EAN (International / European Article Number) is a great way to get fast product price comparisons across channels and find the best deal.

Novice Searcher & Frustrated Users

These people are the ones where your business is most at risk of losing the conversion. If users can’t find what they are looking for via the navigation, they often turn to search.

We’ve all done it right? You know what you want, you can’t find an obvious place in the navigation, the navigation is poor, the website is cluttered and you can’t be bothered to try and seek it out.

NB: These customers offer a golden opportunity. Check their searches and improve your website based on their searches.

Default Tendency Searches

Customers who use search as their first action when visiting a site can be annoying for you, because they are ignoring and bypassing your site layout, and asking a question without looking. Are you prepared for this?

Actions to take
Look at the list of search terms, where a search term is broad, make sure that you redirect that term to hit a relevant category landing page. This way users will arrive at a more relevant page, helping them to narrow their search.

Product Code Searches

Some customers, particularly tradespeople, may search by product codes. Other users may have simply researched the product and are seeking just that, they may search in this way because they are single-minded and efficient types.

Actions to take
Try to segment these users after checkout. Later you could email them, ask them to complete a questionnaire and offer a discount on upcoming purchases for completing it. This will help you to learn more about why they search this way.

Novice & Frustrated Searchers

If people can’t find what they are looking for quickly, there could be an issue with your navigation menus. Ask yourself:

  • Is the navigation clear and simple?
  • Are the products in the correct categories?

We often see products that are not even in a category, or they have been placed in the wrong category by accident.

Actions to take
It’s worth checking the search terms for exact products and making sure that matching products are located in the correct category.

Make sure that your navigation is simple to follow.  Less is more. You want your navigation to be clear and obvious. Try to avoid duplication in your menu/nav bar as this leads to customer confusion, and worse, Google confusion.

In conclusion
Our research shows that taking action on the issues mentioned above have shown an uplift in conversions from 50 to 100%.

It’s easy to ignore internal search data, Many companies don’t even track it. Yet it really does offer you some low hanging fruit in terms of understanding user behaviour data.

Want to know more?

Email us or fill out the form on the right >>

ecommerce seo expert

ecommerce seo experts

Is your business looking for an ecommerce seo expert?

If so then why not talk to us?  Peak District SEO have plenty of experience of working on Multi-Million Pound eCommerce Websites.

Regardless of what platform your ecommerce website runs on, we can help. The majority of our experience lies with Magento, Shopify, Opencart and WooCommerce but we have worked an almost all the major ecommerce platforms and evaluate all work thoroughly before sending out quotes.

If you want to know more about what might be holding your ecommerce website back, get in touch.

Let us Check Your Site For Errors.

Get in Touch


How is Ecommerce SEO Different To Normal SEO?

Well truthfully, it isn’t.

Ecommerce SEO still requires a mix of technical SEO, On page, off page SEO, some social media and maybe some paid marketing. Most of all it requires a whole heap of patience and hard work.  The main aim is getting you more leads and sales. Visitor numbers matter but we want them to convert into customers.

“It’s no good paying for a couple of months work and expecting your sales to skyrocket. “

It’s no good paying for a couple of months work and expecting your sales to skyrocket.  I mean, that could happen, but it’s likely to take a lot more work than that.

ecommerce SEO takes time because usually ecommerce sites have a lot more pages than the average brochure website.  There are informational pages, Category pages and product pages, lots and lots of product pages.

Hire an affordable ecommerce seo expert

Price is always relative, but we have fixed rates. We don’t adjust the price up if we think you have money in the bank. We always offer a choice of work packages based on the amount of work that needs doing.

Nevertheless, you’ll find that Peak District SEO offer affordable rates for SEO and PPC that will allow your ecommerce business to grow year on year.

Some Common eCommerce SEO Mistakes

Titles and Descriptions
The majority of companies with ecommerce websites will come unstuck at some point.

“We’ve seen businesses start doing their ecommerce merchandising with the best of intentions, fifty products in and they are completely bored”

We’ve seen businesses start doing their ecommerce merchandising with the best of intentions, fifty products in and they are completely bored.  Then they start copy/pasting the same titles and descriptions on every product, you know, “just to save time”, when in fact, they are creating a nightmare for themselves further down the line.

We’ve seen sites with thousands of products that all have the same title and description, just because ‘some bright spark’ decided a plugin that offered a ‘one-click fix’ was the answer to all their problems.  Ignore ‘one click fixes’, ignore claims of ‘automated solutions’, humans understand user intention, humans, understand data, humans write passionate engaging content.

Good titles and descriptions have to be thought about, and they have to be written by hand.

Fix Your Image Size Mistakes

Images make a website right?  How many times have you heard that? Well to some degree, it’s true, but they can also BREAK a website.  All too often we see ecommerce sites with terrible, terrible images.

Your images shouldn’t be too small or too large. They should always be named and labelled well.

Blurry images tend to be a hangover from the days when we all had to over-optimise images because we all had terribly slow internet.  Whilst the UK isn’t known for its lightning internet speeds, it’s certainly good enough to handle decent quality product images on ecommerce websites, so you don’t need to OVER compress images.

*You should still compress your images. Try to remember though that your product images don’t need to have huge physical dimensions.  They just need to be clear and properly illustrate the product.  If your images are too big they just slow the site down and make your pages load too slowly.

Name your images properly and give them an ‘alt tag’ that reflects the product.

Then you’re going to have decent images. Even then, don’t rest on your laurels, keep an eye on the product, has it changed?  Watch what your nearest competitor is doing.  Are they presenting the products in a more engaging way than you?  If so, you need to respond.

Create SEO Friendly URLs

It’s important to create easy to type and easy to remember URLs. Not just for customers but for search engines too.

URLs or web addresses, as many people know them, reflect the location of pages and content within your website. Having simple web addresses will help your site. The longer the URL the harder it is to remember it, the easier it is to make a mistake if typing it.

URLS reflect the structure of your website. It’s really important to plan the website before building it. We can always tell the sites that haven’t been well planned because their URL structures are poorly put together.

Here are some examples and variations of poor URLS

1) mygreatsite.com/products/shirts/greyshirts/mens/large/flanellet-greyshirt123
2) mygreatsite.com/Products/Shirts/Mens/Large/Grey/greyshirt123
3) mygreatsite.com/products/shirts/mens/calvin_klein/grey/grey_shirt_123

Example 1:
mygreatsite.com/products/shirts/greyshirts/mens large/flanellet-greyshirt123

This URL is just too long. Whilst it does reflect where the shirt is located and what the product is, it could be presented better. We don’t need the colour, or size in the URL and the product name could be more appealing.

Example 2:
mygreatsite.com/Products/Shirts/Mens/Large/Grey/greyshirt123

This URL uses capital letters. It’s not the end of the world, but it can lead to mistakes when you are sharing the links, or if people are typing the links by hand. If someone uses lowercase instead of uppercase, the link will break and the user will see a 404. Keep URL all lowercase.

Example 3: mygreatsite.com/products/shirts/mens/calvin_klein/grey/grey_shirt_123

This URL uses underscores. Again, not the end of the world but when the URL is displayed as a link and the link is underlined (depends on the site stylesheet) you can’t see the underscore.  Also when a search engine reads URLs with hyphens, it ignores them, so it will only see “calvinklein”, which may confuse it. So keep it simple and use hyphens to denote gaps between words.

We see many of these issues when looking at older ecommerce sites.  In 2018 there are plugins and extensions that help your website URLs to be better optimised and present better more user and search engine friendly URLs.

Search engine and user-friendly URL example.
mygreatsite.com/ck-flanelette-grey-fleck

How hard could it be?  Details like the colour and size can be chosen via filters on category pages or options on the product pages.

Of course, we’ve hardly scratched the surface, but there are literally hundreds of things you can do to improve your eCommerce site, here are a few more.  Alternatively, you could speak directly to us about getting your site appraised. It’s completely free and should help you to make some clear decisions about how to get started.

Got More Questions About Ecommerce SEO?


Case Study – eCommerce SEO

Case Study – Magento eCommerce SEO

A well known construction materials supplier came to us with the goal of increasing revenue and sales.

In the first three months of an Organic eCommerce SEO campaign, we helped grow their revenue 107.73% and push their conversion rate up to 3.01%. We also doubled their number of transactions.

ecommerce SEO growth
If you want to see your ecommerce store grow in a similar way. Get in touch today.

See another case study

Building an Email Campaign for LinkedIn

Email Campaign for LinkedIn

Building an Email Campaign for LinkedIn – James Gorski

Email campaigns on LinkedIn are officially known as LinkedIn Sponsored InMail. This article will show you how to build a successful InMail campaign. In doing so, you will learn how to build a framework, develop your content, launch your campaign, and understand some best practices as well as things to avoid when developing your InMail campaign.

The Framework Of Your Email Campaign for LinkedIn

Building the framework of your campaign on LinkedIn is very easy, because LinkedIn shows you a string of prompts that will guide you in building out this framework. In order to access these prompts your first point to access the Campaign Manager on LinkedIn.

From here, you’re going to select the Sponsored InMail option. Continue following these prompts to set up your campaign account. Then, designate a sender for the campaign. You can choose for the sender to be yourself or someone else on your team.

Develop The Content Of Your Campaign

When creating the content for your email, make sure that the content is personal. This can be achieved easily by using %FIRSTNAME% %LAST NAME%. Using this special command will allow you to create a personalized greeting that will feature the recipient’s name.

It is best for the body of your email to have less than 500 characters because data shows that emails of this size have a significantly higher click-through-rate. You may also want to include hyperlinks within your email because this makes your email more interactive, which will increase the chances of engagement.

The body of your email should announce any offers, coupons, giveaways, terms and conditions, etc. Also, make sure to include visual elements within your email. Sponsored InMail is already set up to include a banner image of 300 x 250 pixels. If you don’t include this banner image, an ad from another brand will appear in this space.

Prepare to Launch Your Campaign

Before launching your campaign, you will want to test your campaign within your own InMail mailbox. Once you have approved your campaign through this test, you will choose a target audience using the Campaign Manager. A standard audience size that is considered to be sufficient is usually around 100,000 people.

Lastly, you will want to select a budget using the Campaign Manager. When doing so, Campaign Manager allows you to place a bid. You may want to consider researching best practices for bidding on Campaign Manager to ensure the most cost-efficient results. Once you have set your budget, you will be able to select when you want to launch your campaign. You may choose to select to have it launched right away, or at a later time.

Sponsored InMail Best Practices

Although using InMail email marketing may seem basic, there are various best practices that you can implement in order to ensure the best results for your campaign. First, make sure that your campaign is mobile optimized.

Next, make sure that you choose a sender who is relevant to the content of your email. For instance, if you’re sending an email about technology it’s ideal to have a relevant staff member as the sender, or another person in charge of technology at your company.

Don’t forget to focus on personalization, because a personalized email typically leads to higher conversion rates.

Lastly, while it may seem time-consuming to create a customized visual for the banner image, it’s worth the time to do this. This is because the banner image will help to create brand exposure in a visual way.

Things to Avoid When Creating Your Campaign

  • Don’t be too formal, a conversational tone is best.
  • Don’t be too lengthy.
  • Don’t select someone unqualified as the sender.
  • Don’t have a busy banner image. Instead, select an image that compliments your text.
  • Don’t ignore the mobile aspect of your email marketing experience. The majority of recipients will likely be opening your ad on their smartphones or tablets.
  • Don’t present your content in a way that is spammy.

Want to know more about Social Media Campaigns? Talk to us >>

Artificial Intelligence for SEO

Artificial Intelligence is the new buzzword in the news over the last few years.  But how can we use Artificial Intelligence for SEO?

It has become a game changer in SEO and Digital marketing.  Artificial Intelligence research is constantly moving forward to enhance the response rate used by digital marketers.  Before looking a little deeper into the topic, let us first know what SEO is and why is it so important?

What SEO is & How it Can Benefit From AI?

SEO is essentially a set of techniques used by digital marketers to enhance the quantity of traffic on the website and thereby increasing leads and sales. SEO, when done correctly should, over time, improve the ranking of the website.

Artificial Intelligence
Search engines like Google work on an algorithm that has a constant watch on the entire content of web servers.  Google monitors this content by reviewing sites using software bots known as Google crawlers or ‘Googlebot’.  These crawlers rank the websites according to Googles predefined parameters.

So, being more visible to web crawlers and obtaining good rankings is really important.   Some things should be kept in mind before carrying out SEO.

Focus on growing your organic traffic. Organic traffic is traffic that is obtained without paid ads. Organic SEO is a long-term strategy that will save you money.

Now, let’s discuss the applications of artificial intelligence in Search Engine Optimisation

Understand Meanings Behind Keywords

Billion of searches are going on around the world, each and every second.  People want the most relevant results regardless of how they search.  For example, people search queries such as:

“Which hotel has the best view of the Wye Valley, Wales?”

Search engines have become intelligent enough to understand the intent of the search and provide results with the list of hotels.

Artificial intelligence Predicting user behaviour

Artificial intelligence helps predict user behaviour. This has become possible by collecting huge amounts of data.  As soon as a user opens the browser and start searching the search data get stored in databases. In this way, user behaviour can be predicted by their past searches, profession, age, gender etc.

By predicting user behaviour, A business can focus on their target customers.  All businesses are looking to gain more targeted customers, as targeted customers are more likely to buy something or sign up for a service.

The more engaged customers are, the longer they stay on site, and the more likely they are to make a purchase, sign up for a service or leave reviews. all of this data creates ranking signals which improve rankings in the SERPS.

How A.I Provides Insight From Consumer Reviews

Reviews from the customers have larger relevance in SEO than you might think. This is because reviews are written by real people in normal language.

For example, a customer might write: – “this is the best restaurant in the city”.
So, if someone in that same city searches for” best restaurants nearby”, the chances are, a positive review like that can help the restaurant get listed in the local search results.  The power behind these local results is  Artificial Intelligence.  By helping to interpret the meaning of what people are searching for, it assists local business websites that match the queries.  Of course, it’s more complex than that, but you get the idea?

Chatbots To Improve SEO

Customers have thousands of queries about your product or services. To answer all the queries in an effective way, artificial intelligence has come up with some solutions. Chatbots. You heard it right.

One of the most common applications of Artificial Intelligence is chatbots. Chatbots help in answering the queries of customers in an effective way. Chatbots behave in a friendly helpful manner by engaging with people.  This, in turn, helps improve your conversion rate. This site has a chatbot (chat box) and most marketing websites and ecommerce websites will be deploying some sort of chat box on their site.

During working hours the chat boxes send a message to the website owners/staff that a customer needs help, it’s the digital equivalent of the bell on the shop counter. Out of hours the chatbots, depending on how sophisticated they are can either take a message or even refer customers to specific parts of the website to help customers with their queries.

Don’t miss the chatbot boat

According to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025

computing giants Oracle published a survey of chief marketing officers, chief strategy officers, senior marketers, and senior sales executives from France, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the UK, 80% of the respondents said they already used chatbots or planned to use them by 2020.

Forty-two per cent of participants were really embracing automation technologies, 48% are already using automation technologies, and 40% are planning to implement automation by 2020.

Companies were wary of the use of chatbots are now feeling the pressure to integrate them into their service offering.

Improve Shopping Experiences Using Customer Data

We all know how tedious it can be to shop online.  There are millions of products that are available on various shopping sites.  The Artificial Intelligence in search engines and now ecommerce websites such as Amazon can gather a user’s previous data, analyse it and show recommendations based on the previous searches.

More and more companies are developing A.I that delivers recommendations.  Sites which implement such software have seen a boost in their sales. Sites Personalisation software is driving in-site recommendations.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, we can say that using artificial Intelligence for SEO has helped Search marketers to a huge extent already In the future, it’s going to become necessary for digital marketers to learn more about Artificial Intelligence, and how to harness its data gathering power.

The Website Images Checklist

website images

Website Images are an integral part of your content, whether you are an eCommerce business or a brochure site selling services the images are a key component of your sales Funnel.  When done correctly, images will aid your website when done correctly.

To make sure you are getting the most from your website images we have built a simple checklist.

Are Your Existing Website Images High Quality?

Website images are like websites themselves, they date. After a few years, they can begin to look tired, images from the early 2000’s are often too small and pixelated for today’s high-resolution screens. Photos of staff members and premises can go out of date, as fashions change and your staff members come and go.

Review your images, do it honestly, ask some team members and friends to review the images too. Get detailed feedback on the images on your website.

1) Take new photos yourself
If you are a great amateur photographer this could be the way to go.  It would be a good investment to buy a decent SLR camera, Some lights and a green screen or a lightbox. Again, be honest, if you can’t take photos, and you can’t use photoshop, forget it, Options 2 & 3 will serve you better.

2) Pay for Stock images
There are loads of good Stock image companies out there. My advice would be to pay for a premium service such as Shutterstock. The level of photos available is far superior to most others out there. However, if you are struggling for cash, then try a free Stock image account like Pixaby or Pexels.

3) Hire a Professional
To get exactly what you want, hiring a professional is by far the way to go. They will translate your vision into reality whilst providing their artistic interpretation. the photos will be of high quality and you will own the rights to them ( if you negotiate that).

Hire a professional product photographer to come into your business and photograph your products or if you only offer services,  you should hire a good wedding photographer to come to your business and shoot your team in situ. These photographs will make a huge difference to the way users perceive your website.

Does Your Website Images Depict Your Goods & Services?

Working in this industry I see many websites that fail to utilise images well. It’s your job as the website owner/merchandiser to SELL your business and convince users that your products and services are the best.

Try to show your customers the benefits of owning such products, so blurry, dark, or poorly presented images won’t help you to sell.

Would the product benefit from any extra images?
If you are selling a product, the more detailed images you can provide the better impression of the product you will present to the customer.

Selling cars? Provide lots of feature images.  Selling software? provide screenshots of the different functions. It’s not rocket science. A good example is the Apple App store or Amazon. I’d never buy products that don’t at least try to sell the product. Most customers need to be convinced of how good the product is before they buy.

Are Your Images Compressed ?

Whether your images are coming from a digital camera or from photoshop or similar apps, they need to be compressed so that they load quickly.

Even in today’s world of super-fast broadband (jokes if you live in the UK) uncompressed images can still slow a website down significantly.

To avoid this compress your images. Image compression software squeezes images and removes and unnecessary data from the files. Good image compression software is included in Photoshop, using the save for web feature. A quick Google search will help you find alternatives if you don’t use Photoshop.

WordPress users can turn to a range of image compression plugins.  My favourite two are WP-Smush and Shortpixel.

Try to avoid scaling your images.
Blurry product images with a small physical size have been stretched to fill more space on a page.  It’s better to create clear, high-resolution images, and then create smaller versions to use on category and product pages, rather than to try to scale an image up or down.

Scaling a small image up reduces the sharpness of an image.
Scaling a large image down reduces the way it looks on the page. It will still have its large file size, which can slow down the loading time of your web page.

If you think the images need replacing, don’t hold off.  When it comes to replacing the images on your website, you have three choices.

Are Your Images Named Properly?

This is a great tip. So many websites and I literally mean about 98% of all websites I ever see, do not name their images correctly.  It’s such a simple tip that can help with:

  • Your organisation of files, both on your server and local machines
  • Helps search engines categorise the images better
  • improving  your SEO

Never just use the names from your digital camera. eg: DSC12674546sd
instead, try something like Eg. blue-salomon-trail-shoes.jpg

Do your images have alt tags?
Alt attributes within <img> tags are used by search engines to understand the contents of your images. If you neglect alt attributes, you may miss the chance to get a better placement in search results because alt attributes allow you to rank in image search results. Not using alt attributes also negatively affects the experience of visually impaired users and those who have disabled images in their browsers.

  • Always use hyphens to replace spaces or underscores
  • Always use lowercase not uppercase letters
  • Use Alpha-Numerics (and hyphens) where possible

Image Formats and Physical File Sizes

Ideally, use PNG formatting or JPG.
PNG files are good for logos, buttons and banners. use JPG/JPEG for photographs.  GIFS (Jiffs) are good fun but shouldn’t be used for product images.

Files size is the number of bytes (information) contained in an image. Physical size refers to its dimensions, eg: with and height. Depending on the aspect ratio you have decided upon for products, we recommend somewhere between 1000 and 1500 pixels in dimensions for image uploads. This should cover any zoom requirements.

If all of that wasn’t enough, here’s a quick audio podcast we made too.

Writing Good Titles & Meta Descriptions

titles in browser tabs

Writing Good Titles & Meta Descriptions: Peak District SEO

Titles and Descriptions are metadata. We often get asked about the best way to write titles and meta descriptions for web pages. Metadata helps users and search engines understand what a website is about.

Page Titles

Titles are VERY important for SEO. The title is the name of the page, category page or a product page.  When browsing the web you can see the title of the page on the Tab that you have open.

The image below shows how the three main web browsers display plage titles on the tab of a browser.

titles in browser tabs
titles in browser tabs – Chrome, Safari and Firefox

When displayed on a browser tab the title tag seems almost inconsequential.
Perhaps this is why it is so often overlooked?

However, the title is actually far more useful when we see how it’s used in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).

Here’s an example

title tag displayed in SERP
title tag displayed in SERP

As you can see, the title tag for Debenhams helps describe the website and what it sells.  Titles, often called Meta Titles present you the website owner with a great opportunity to uniquely title each and every page on your site.
This information can help influence whether web users click the listing or choose another one.

We often see websites with many pages that do not have titles at all.  When a web page doesn’t have a title, it appears in the SERP as UNTITLED DOCUMENT

Here’s an example

untitled document
These pages all need titles

If your website has pages without a title, these pages lose an opportunity to convey your message or advertise your products and services.

How Long Should Title Tags Be?

Title tags should be no longer than 70 characters long or 600 pixels wide.  *Google increased the allowed length of both titles and meta-descriptions in 2017.

The pixels measurement should not be ignored as that relates to mobile devices. In 2018 Google is switching over to the mobile first index, meaning that it will show mobile-friendly results first.

“The mobile-first index is Google’s attempt at looking at the web and indexing and ranking the web from a mobile-first perspective. This means that if you have a mobile-friendly version of your website, instead of indexing the desktop version, Google will first index that website’s mobile version.T
SearchEngineLand Feb21st 2018

Meta Descriptions

Meta Descriptions are also very important but are NOT a ranking factor.
We use meta descriptions to give users a further indication of what a web page is about. The same sorts of rules apply to an information page, a category page or a product page.

How Long Should Meta Descriptions Be?

The recommended length of meta descriptions changes over time.  In 2018  the recommended length is 320 characters. This is a considerable increase from the previous limit of 155 characters.

Writing A Good Meta Descriptions

To write a good meta description you should mention what the page is about and who is writing it.  In addition, you can mention any special features or interest points.  The more compelling your meta description is, the more likely someone will click it.  Provide as much information as possible in as fewer words as possible.  The final part of a good Meta Description should use a call to action.

meta description

Useful Links
Big Leap – Metadata

The Ultimate Beginners Guide to SEO Jargon

SEO Jargon Buster

The Ultimate Beginners Guide to SEO Jargon: By Phil Gregory. Director, Peak District SEO

So you have a website, and you’ve heard that you need SEO, But what even is SEO?

A few weeks back This post appeared as a guest post over on Social Myna The Their MD, Kaye Booth, asked me to write a blog post that could explain all that tricky SEO terminology that you have been struggling to get your head around.  Let’s start with some basic terms.

SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. That’s the process of improving a website so that it shows up higher in the search results. For example, if a person searches on Google or Bing, a well-optimised page will appear closer to the top of the listings.

SERP
Serps, this stands for Search Engine Results Page. So if you hear web professionals referring to your position in the SERP, they are talking about where your website appears in the rankings.

Rankings
The term ranking essentially means where a website appears in the SERP. A website that appears at the top of the list of results is considered to have the #1 Organic ranking.

Organic SEO
Organic SEO is when your SEO agency works on your site with the goal of improving your rankings without using paid search methods

Paid Search
Paid search, is when you pay a fee to advertise your business. the most common types of paid search are Google Adwords, Bing Ads, or Facebook Ads. There are other types of online advertising.

PPC
Pay Per Click. A term applied to online advertising such as Google Adwords where you only pay when someone clicks your ad.

Local SEO
Local SEO is the process of ensuring that your site ranks well in your local area. The first step to doing this is to use Google My Business (GMB). This is free to set up. You can also add your listing to regional directories of which there are literally hundreds. Take advice before starting this though, if done incorrectly, it can cause issues with local SEO.

Traffic
Web traffic is the flow of visitors that come to your website. It consists of two parts, Sessions and Visitors. Sessions are the number of individual visits, Visitors are people or bots who visit your site.

Direct Traffic
Direct traffic is officially described as visits that come directly to your site. For example, a user knows your brand and types your URL into the browser. Or they have your address bookmarked (in favourites) and they click a link from there.

* However, recent evidence suggests that traffic that cannot be exactly identified is attributed to being direct traffic by search engines.

Referral Traffic
Referral traffic comes to your site from other websites. For example Facebook, Twitter or any sites that link to yours.

SEO Audit
Site Audit

A site audit is essentially a health check carried out by SEO professionals. There are many types of Audit, some better than others. You can pay for an audit, or there are free ones. Paid audits are usually necessary for websites experiencing major issues. Free SEO audits are given as an overview of existing problems, they are usually simple and non-exhaustive.

Website Architecture Jargon

HTML
(HyperText Markup Language) this is simply the code that powers your website. When browsing a webpage, right click and choose “view source”. You will see the HTML which is a set of directives that tell your browser how to display the content on the page.

URL
URL stands for (uniform resource locator). None the wiser? No, didn’t think so. Its a posh name for website address. Daniel Miessler has a more detailed explanation.

Head
The head is a section of your HTML code. It appears at the top of the code, and usually contains specific instructions for the browser. Called metadata. For example the code language of the page, the written language, title of the page, and a description. Links to external files like CSS (cascading style sheets), and javascript.

CSS or Stylesheets
Your style sheet is a text document that contains a set of instructions for web browsers on how to display the contents of a web page. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) files are often standalone, but CSS commands can also be embedded inside any individual page.

Javascript
A separate code language that enables extra capabilities on your website. Often used to power slideshows, or process forms and menu systems.

Body
The body is the main part of your HTML code and always appears below the HEAD section. It contains all the information on your page, such as text, images, links, etc.

Copy
“Copy” is just a fancy way of saying text. If you are told your site needs more copy, you need to write more words on your web pages.  If you don’t like writing copy, speak to us. Phil is a qualified Copywriter.

Terms Your SEO Team Will Mention

Now that we’ve covered the broad terms, let’s take a look at a longer list of words that your SEO company are likely to use when discussing issues they find on your website.

Authority
Authority is an indication defined by the search engines that your site is or isn’t trusted. The key types of SEO related Authority in 2018 are DA (Domain authority), TF – (Trust Flow) and CF (Citation Flow).

Pagerank
Page Rank is a metric used by Google to determine the authority of a website based on the number and quality of backlinks pointing at a website. Google used to have a browser toolbar which displayed your page rank score, but page rank is no longer a public metric. Google stopped updating it in 2013.

Domain Authority
DA is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages.

Trust Flow
TF is a score created by MAJESTIC predicting how trustworthy a page is based on how trustworthy sites tend to link to other trustworthy sites.

Citation Flow
is also a score created by Majestic, to predict how influential a URL might be based on how many sites link to it.

Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is when you have very similar content on more than one page. Try not to be tempted to copy content from other websites, unless you have permission even then you should cite the source.

Canonical URLs
If you have a product that has variations, for example, Men’s, Star Wars T-shirt. And that T-shirt is available in several sizes such as small, medium, large and extra large. It is a mistake to create a different product for each variation. It isn’t 4 different products, its one product with 4 variations.

SSL Certificate
SSL Certificates are files that digitally bind an encrypted code to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock icon in your browser’s’ address bar and creates an https version of your website’s pages.This allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.

Alt Attribute/Tags
Alt attributes are often (incorrectly) called alt tags. Whenever you have an image on your page, you have the option of adding alt attributes to it. Alts are basically just an opportunity to describe the image It’s the best practice to add these for accessibility. It’s also a great way to add relevant keywords.

Mobile Friendly
This term refers to how your website looks and works on a mobile phone or tablet device. If your site works well and looks good on these devices the chances are your site is mobile friendly.
If it doesn’t scale down and work well, you need to get your website redesigned.

301 / 302 Redirects
Redirects are directives given to the browser to send users who request an old web address to new web address without them realising. To ensure that users don’t land on a page that no longer exists, you need to add a 301 redirect.

For example, a user requests:

https://mysite.com/products/my-ace-product
but you have moved the page to
https://mysite.com/my-ace-product

The redirect catches the request and sends your visitor to the new page without issuing a 404 not found page.

404 error
A 404 is an error message displayed by a browser when a web address cannot be found. A few 404s don’t harm your site but too many can annoy your visitors and cost you leads and sales.

Analytics

Web Analytics
Analytics is a broad term for software that tracks visits to your website. You Must have some form of analytics installed to effectively monitor your site’s performance. The most popular web analytics is Google Analytics.

Search Console / Webmaster Tools
If you want to promote your website you should use a set of free Webmaster tools.
Google’s version is called Search Console and Bing’s is called Bing Webmaster tools.

These tools can gather information about queries to your site. Request that the site is crawled and indexed, highlight SEO shortcomings and more.

Google Tag Manager (GTM)
Tag manager is Google’s latest way to simplify the addition of tracking of code to websites.
Instead of adding lots of disparate pieces of code such as analytics, search console meta tag, bing webmaster tools meta tag, facebook pixel, twitter pixel, Pinterest meta tag. You can now just add the Google Tag manager container code to your site. GTM does the rest.

Crawl
A Crawl is when SEO companies use software to check the content and performance level of your website. The software is called a ‘spider’ or bot.

Spiders / Bots
A bot is a computer program that visits websites and gathers the code behind them, to help other companies create a database of information eg: Google, Bing or SEO Software companies.

Crawl Budget
This is nothing to do with money. Search engine bots have to crawl the entire web, it’s a massive job. In simple terms, Crawl budget is how many of your pages a bot will /can crawl.
Ideally, the simpler, and most logical sites are the best crawled. Sites with thousands of pages, duplications, faceted navigation may see that not all their pages are being crawled and indexed.

For more details on this see Google Webmasters Explanation on Crawl Budget.

Index
An index is a database of Web pages and their content.

If your SEO team say they will Index the page/site they mean they will crawl the site/page in order to add it to a search engine index. Indexed Pages are simply pages on a site which have been indexed.

Sitemap
There are two kinds of sitemaps.

HTML Sitemap
This is just a normal webpage on your site that contains a link to all the pages included on your site. It is easy to read for both human visitors and bots.

XML Sitemap
Your XML Sitemap is built for web crawlers, or search engine bots. It provides an up to date list of all the pages on your site so that the crawlers can visit every link (or as many as they can) and add them to the search engine listings.

Robots.txt. Robots File
The robots file is a text file that lives on your server, it tells bots which pages to index and which pages to ignore.

Blog
A Blog is a piece of software that can stand alone or as a wider part of a website that serves a set of news articles. Alternatively, it can work as a knowledge base about your specific products or service.

Blog Posts
Individual articles that reside within the structure of the blog.

Plugins
Small pieces of software that are added to your existing blog to enhance or extend its capabilities

That’s quite enough jargon for one read, but there’s more, lot’s more.  If you found this article useful, please don’t forget to share on Social Media.

Need to Know more about SEO?

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In Conversation With: Stephen Boot of Sitello Web Hosting

Stephen Boot - Sitello web hostingI have known Stephen Boot for a long time now, he’s a quiet unassuming man who always has a cheeky smile on his face, almost as though he knows what you’re about to say next.

When I was working for Stoke on Trent Council in the early naughties Stephen was working as a web developer in Stafford. I had some small websites that I’d built and I needed hosting, I was fed up with the inflexible bigger companies, The way that you treat people is remembered for a long time. I chose Stephen to help me because he’d been so kind and informative whenever I’d visited their offices to deliver SEO training.

When I found out Stephen was setting up his own Web development company, I wanted to be supportive and help where I could. At that time, whenever anyone asked me about a reliable web hosting company, I’d refer them to Stephen.  Over the years I’ve referred lots of small businesses to Sitello, and they have always worked really hard to do whatever the clients needed.

So I thought Stephen would be a great person to talk to regarding how to put together and maintain an online business.

Stephen, you’ve been in business for a while now,how long as it been?

SB: Sitello was launched at the end of 2010. It was marketed as a hosting company primarily, but at the beginning, the main income was from web design and development.  I was 27 when I started the business. I had already worked in a web development company for almost 6 years, going from part-time tester to senior engineer, so I had the necessary experience and confidence to provide and support these types of services. I had built up a small amount of money and decided to go self-employed.

At this time, social media was still growing, so a lot of people still had and wanted their own website hosting. Nowadays, many small businesses simply create a Facebook page and think that’s all they need to do, so digital agencies need to be creative in showing what benefits can be had to having their own website.

PG: Yes, I encounter that a lot too, particularly with small businesses, who don’t have the technical know-how or confidence to manage a proper website.  I agree that digitals need to work harder to dissuade companies from placing ‘all their eggs in one basket’,  so to speak.

It must have been pretty scary launching a business in digital at that time, did you get any financial backing?

SB: I started the business out of my own pocket, with a very small amount of money. The main expenses were business insurance, hosting platform fees and accounting fees. Web hosting has very tight profit margins, so I still needed to rely on income from web design and development to pay the bills.

PG: Wasn’t it difficult to launch a web hosting business though, I’d have thought that the market was already saturated?

SB: With various web hosting reseller packages around, it’s very easy to set up your own web hosting brand. Most digital agencies have their own reseller accounts to offer customers who don’t want the hassle of finding a provider themselves, but few companies market it as their primary product.

PG: This was something that I looked into myself, when I used to design websites, certainly a great source of rolling income, but I certainly didn’t feel that I know enough about servers and such-like to ensure that my clients websites would be safe from hackers, I just didn’t want that kind of responsibility.

SB:  To do this, you need to prove you have a reliable and flexible platform – something which is very difficult to find. Luckily, I had the experience to know who was the best in the industry at the time, which helped me provide products that impressed a lot of my customers.

PG:  So what about your early clients, most startups struggle with the first few,  how did you land them?

SB:  My initial clients were small businesses I had supported from my previous employment. Other clients were friends from university and others through word-of-mouth.  At this point, I had literally done zero marketing, other than mentioning what I was doing in conversations. Being self-employed meant that I spent most of my time on web development projects, so I never really spent any time on marketing.

PG:  Sitello has been up and running now for 8 years, You must still enjoy your work.  What in particular motivates you?

SB:  There’s nothing that makes me feel more fulfilled than a customer who really values the advice or services I have provided to them.

When a customer comes to me – the experience is more than just filling in a form on a website and setting up payments. I truly try to go the extra mile to make sure that a customer gets the most out of their hosting package.

PG:  That’s certainly been my experience working with you. I can’t remember one time when I was irritated or disappointed by the outcome or customer service. I’m not just saying that either, such good service is really hard to find these days.

I’m keen to understand how has web hosting has changed since you started working in the industry.  I mean, what are the primary challenges that you face today compared to when you started?

SB: My very first personal website was created in 1997 and was hosted for free with a small web hosting company that is still going to this day. It was pretty clunky, but all I needed it to do is serve static HTML pages.

Domains were fairly expensive back then, so a lot of people had URLs such as http://webhost.net/~username/index.htm, which were not very memorable and were very bad for SEO.  A lot of ISPs bundled free web space with their dial-up internet, but most people would not bother using it nowadays.

The first hosting reseller I used at my previous employer was a fairly large company. They are still one of the most popular web hosting platforms in the UK. However, after hosting many different customers’ websites with them, I came to find that they were impersonal, had lots of downtime with little support, and their offering was pretty inflexible.

I knew the technology should work in theory but felt frustrated that they were letting our customers down.

By the time we’d had enough of them, some more platform providers had begun to offer their own reseller packages. This meant that we had more options open to us to migrate away from the legacy platform we were lumbered with.

Most reseller packages were only suited to a particular type of website technology. Some didn’t provide Windows hosting, which a lot of our customers at the time needed. In the end, we found a provider that had great reviews and were getting a lot of publicity. We decided to change to them, and this was to be the platform that Sitello would host customer’s websites on for the next 7 years.

Eventually, the provider was sold off to a conglomerate of other large hosting companies, and their support, price and range of products were a factor that was ultimately letting me and my customers down. In 2018 I decided to migrate all my customers to a new platform, where the owners had put their heart and soul into it. With minimal disruption, I managed to move all Sitello customers over to the new platform in 30 days or less. This meant that Sitello now uses one of the most advanced hosting platforms in the world, and can offer customers what most modern websites need – free SSL certificates, low-cost domains, hosting, and no degradation in service when demand increases.

 

PG: What do you think is the best innovation in your sector, how has it helped your business to grow?

SB: ‘Elastic Scalable Cloud Hosting’ may be a mouthful, but it means there are now whole data centres full of servers “on tap”, ready and waiting to serve web pages as fast as Google when demand increases, no matter how small your website.
Imagine a small business who puts out a local TV advert who has standard web hosting. The server would normally grind to a halt when even 10-20 people visit their website at the same time. With elastic scalable cloud hosting, this is not a problem. The website would respond as if you are the only person viewing it, and the web host doesn’t have to deal with an unhappy client when their website becomes unresponsive.

PG: So it sounds as though things are going great for you right now, tell our readers about how collaboration with other digitals helped your business to grow?

SB: It’s great to build up a network of like-minded business owners, where you can refer clients to get the best service for their budget. Peak District SEO has referred a fair few clients to Sitello over the years, which wouldn’t have known about me otherwise.

PG: Do you have any exciting plans for the future?

SB:  After recently changing my hosting platform partner, I plan to expand the product range and simplify the process of finding the ideal web hosting package.

PG: One piece of advice you’d offer to anyone starting a digital services company in 2018

SB: When choosing cloud services and applications, look for companies with the best reviews for support and technical expertise, no matter what the cost. No technology is perfect, but when you have great support, you’ll be thankful when the worst happens.

How Using Pinterest Can Benefit Your Business

Pinterest for business

How Using Pinterest Can Benefit Your Business: Phil Gregory – Peak District SEO

What Is Pinterest?

For those who haven’t encountered Pinterest, it’s basically, an online pinboard for collecting photos and images (sometimes video).  Pinterest has been an extremely popular social media platform for people of all ages and is especially popular with women.

Pinterest users browse other users boards, liking, commenting, and repinning each other’s collections.

Users can create as many boards of pins as they like, which is great for organising images and building collections.

One example of a Pinterest board might be if you like collecting pictures of Trees, you can create a board and label it Trees.”  If you also like collecting vinyl records, you could create another board and call it “Vinyl.”

Pinterest Boards
Pinterest Boards let users curate collections that are almost limitless

How Popular is Pinterest?

It literally has a massive following.  In terms of having the most active monthly users, Pinterest is listed as the 6th most popular Social media platform.  This is a decline in its initial popularity as Youtube continues to grow and Instagram benefits from Facebook‘s ownership.  Regardless It still has a cool 2 million monthly users, and that is not to be sniffed at.

Imagine all the ways your business could benefit from having all those people see your products.

Why Use Pinterest For Business?

Online businesses get started on Pinterest because they see their website visitors, using Pinterest.

Many people use Pinterest to plan their lives, their goals and to provide inspiration.  In addition, many people use it to create boards that make a statement about the things they love, such as brands, music, films, holiday destinations and more.  Any marketer will tell you this information is highly useful for building a profile of your website visitors.

Businesses know that images of their brands and products are appearing on the Pinterest network.  Widespread sharing of images can help spread brand awareness, drive traffic to the website, build inbound links and generate hype. What wouldn’t business be interested in harnessing some of that?

What Percentage of Pinners Actually Buy?

According to Smallbiz Trends, a massive 87% of pinners have actually bought something they say in a Pinterest collection. And what’s even better for retailers is that 55% of users say they have actually purchased items through Pinterest.

Tram Nguyen, of Pinterest, discusses how to use the Pin It button and make your website more pinnable. Stating that businesses are looking for a way to reach out to users to encourage even more brand engagement.

For example, a company who sells blinds and curtains could create collections of interior design ideas that match the products that they sell. By building boards about colour or painted walls, companies can assist their customers by helping them plan room design.   If your company has taken the time to create a great set of lifestyle shots, then there is no reason why you cannot mix these shots of your products in with the inspirational ideas.

Another example might be a company who sells work clothes. By creating boards that help customers create a stylish look at work, the company can establish themselves as a company with good ideas, and more importantly a company who can be trusted.

 Pinterest is great for  eCommerce sites too

Shopify has partnered with Pinterest to ensure that images pinned from online stores are automatically saved as rich pins. Rich pins have five types: movie, place, article, recipe and product pins. Rich pins provide more information than a standard pin.

Statistics released by Shopify in 2017 showed that:

  • Pinterest was the second biggest social source of traffic to Shopify stores.
  • Traffic from Pinterest had the 3rd highest basket price on average.
  • 50% of sales and visits happen after 3.5 months.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about how you can use Social Media to improve the visibility of your brand and to help drive leads and sales then do please get it touch. You can speak to a dedicated social media manager who will either organise training dates for you or help you plan and manage your social media accounts.

If you liked this article, please feel free to share it on social media using the buttons below. Alternatively,  you can link to the article on your website.

SEO in Buxton Taught Me These 10 things!

SEO in Buxton taught me these 10 things

SEO in Buxton Taught Me These 10 things!: Phil Gregory 2018

After working for Stoke on Trent City Council for 10 years as an IT Trainer and Technologist, I got the chance to come home and work in Derbyshire. It was 2012 and I’d landed a job working as an SEO in Buxton.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that there aren’t any companies offering SEO in Buxton, but like any other rural town, the advent of high-speed broadband means that rural workers are no longer forced to commute into Sheffield or Manchester. Today there is an ever-growing number of creative agencies in Buxton and around the Peak District.

During my time working in Buxton, five years flew by in the blink of an eye, and in that time, I moved house twice, got through 3 cars, emptied and sold my late Aunts house. We gained and lost a few pets, not to mention a few pounds in weight.

The job was focussed on e-commerce SEO in Buxton.  I learned a lot about myself and about working with other people.  Here’s my list of some of the key things I’ve learned and am now mindful of in my own business.

1) Rural Towns Need Better Broadband

We’ve all heard that broadband speeds in rural areas could be better. It’s definitely true in the Peak District and surrounding areas.   The terrain is challenging for sure.  There are many small hamlets such as Weston, Smalldale,  King Sterndale and Biggin, but there seems to be a lack of real will to create a comprehensive plan to connect rural towns and villages to the 21st century.

Most homes in Buxton now have access to ADSL and Fibre is available, in some places. However, I’ve had many conversations with local business owners who say that their internet connections simply aren’t up to the job.

The Peak District and outlying towns like Buxton and Matlock may be rural but they still have a healthy population.  These larger towns and villages like Tideswell, Bakewell and Baslow have thriving businesses who want to expand their online operations, and yet in many cases are still being prevented from moving forward due to poor access to the Internet.

To be fair, there are some moves being made. Derbyshire County Council has the Digital Derbyshire initiative in place, and fibre is being added to more and more areas.

Seo Companies like Peak District SEO, Web agencies like Tor Studio and Social Media Management companies like Social Myna are flourishing as more and more firms take their business online.  The change of pace could be faster though.  We need every house and business connected to the fibre by 2030 as a minimum goal.

2) SEO in Buxton & Towns Like it is Essential

Rural Derbyshire towns like Buxton, New Mills, Glossop, Bakewell,  Matlock, Wirksworth and Ashbourne are all expanding. With that expansion comes new people with new ideas.  People moving out of the cities into rural areas bring with them new, fresh ideas, not to mention investment and job creation.

Most new businesses created today have some kind of web presence.   However, to be competitive in 2018, you cannot just have a web page, stick it up on the web and leave it.  Nor is it sufficient to just have a Facebook page.

It’s never been more important to have your own corner of the web, branded with your own logo and colours, where you have total editorial control of how you promote your business.  Yet without the help of web professionals many business websites flounder.

In the past, their best option has been to turn to the city agencies, only to recoil at the prices quoted.  I get many SEO enquiries from small businesses who share this vision but simply cannot stomach the exorbitant prices charged by big city agencies.peak district seo - digital marketing services at affordable prices

That’s why I set up Peak District SEO.  I saw that local small to medium-sized businesses really needed assistance with all topics website related.

3) There’s a Lot of Hype About SEO Prices

Let’s get something straight, SEO is expensive. Any professional service that you pay for comes with a healthy price tag. However, just because a company may be more expensive than another, doesn’t automatically make them better.

The same applies to companies whose prices are ridiculously cheap. It pays to do a little research on the companies before hiring. Make sure they can show you examples of their successes.

Whilst doing SEO in Buxton, I researched a number of so-called “leading Magento agencies” and found that the prices being charged for Website builds, SEO, PPC etc were just phenomenal.  These companies were trading off their brand name and the name of the product.   When we came to review the work of some of these companies, we were often shocked at its poor quality.

We all have costs to meet and all know the value of our work.

In the 1st century BC, Publilius Syrus wrote:

“Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it”.

That said, there are limits. I’m against charging companies more money just because they have a higher turnover. Nor do I believe in charging high prices just because I want to align myself with the “leading lights” of the industry. No, Peak District SEO always charge a fair price for work carried out.

I like to think of myself as a tradesman of the digital age. I don’t saw wood or build walls, I build links, and renovate websites. Furthermore, It’s my aim to align with the businesses I work with, not ones in Seatle, Rome or Monaco.

When you book work with Peak District SEO, you’ll get a fair deal, plain speaking and consistent growth. There’s no hype, no daft unattainable projections, just solid graft and a marketing colleague working for your success.

4) Derbyshire Businesses Need SEO & I.T Training

I’m not talking about those seminars held in big draughty halls where a presenter talks for an hour about digital marketing and how you should choose their company.   I’m talking about one to one support that businesses need.

Over the years I have talked to many company directors about their hopes to grow their online business. These directors have all have a difference in technical know-how as to what they want, what they need and how to implement their plans.

One common theme is that companies are, in the main,  not aware of all the many technical solutions that are available to aid productivity and collaboration.

Ten years of training teachers and educators across the country has taught me that even the brightest minds need support, and training from time to time.

IT-training
I organised Apple Mac Training for School Technicians in Stoke on Trent.

Peak District SEO have the policy of being available to deliver whatever support and training clients need.  I want clients to understand the differences between browsers, and email clients, and want them to know what types of software will help them do their jobs better.

5) Workmates Are Like Family. You Can’t Choose Them

When you work in one place for a number of years, your workmates become like family. You get to know them in a way that you never imagined that you would. You can’t choose your workmates, so try to look for their best qualities, even if there are some people you don’t seem to have much in common with.

Developers and SEOs are always locking horns regarding what makes a perfect website.  I can think of numerous times that Devs have helped me with problems that are out of the realm of an SEO’s technical knowledge. Stuff like server issues and DNS issues.

I also remember times when my seo knowledge has helped the design/dev team with little on-page SEO tips saving time by building features into sites from the get-go.

Just like in a family, there extroverts and introverts. There will be times of laughter and sometimes tears, occasionally anger, and definitely plenty of frustration.   When you’re feeling such frustrations, it’s good to remember that each member of the team is there because of the skills they can bring to the company as a whole. So don’t sweat the small stuff.

6) Someone  Know’s More Than You – Learn From Them

In 2012, I definitely thought that I knew it all when it came to SEO.

After being in post for 6 months I realised that I still had plenty to learn.  My boss had a real in-depth knowledge of software applications, introducing me to a myriad of plugins and extensions that could automate processes that I’d been doing by hand.  Initially, I was sceptical of such methods, but today I’m certainly grateful for that knowledge and still use a lot of it today.

Learning new things is great but it can be a bit scary at times. In an agency environment, you can feel intimidated and scrutinised, especially when the project timer is running.  My boss wasn’t scared of trying new things and would sit coding javascript to mine data. Or use regular expressions and APIs to talk to 3rd party software.  Initially, all that scared the hell out of me.

Now that I work for myself, I now know that such timidity has to go out of the window. A certain level of innovation and a fair dose of motivation is necessary.  My old boss was doing what he had to do to keep all the projects moving.  To add extra value to what we were delivering, he had to explore all possibilities. That is certainly a valuable lesson.

7) Learn to Let Go –  Don’t Try To Be A Control Freak

I think this lesson was one of the hardest to learn. Accepting that there is only so much you can do to make a project succeed.  Projects are rarely run in entirety by one person alone.

It can take a team of people to ease the burden and take up the slack sometimes. Whether that means you work tightly with developers and designers, or whether a project manager is delegating work to you, it can pay dividends to accept that you are only responsible for ‘your part’ of the project and that ‘your part’ is only part of the whole.

Even clients have to do their bit, by providing the relevant information, copy, business sector insight etc.  If clients aren’t fully invested in the project as a whole and aren’t keen to contribute and engage, projects can become heavy weather.  Don’t get stressed out if things aren’t moving as fast as you’d like, talk to the Manager or the PM, if they are happy then you can relax.

8) Get Qualified – Personal Growth is Essential

I talked earlier about the team and how every member of it is an essential piece of the jigsaw that makes up a well-run project.  That’s very true but what about when the individuals within the team, are not happy or fulfilled.

You have enough knowledge to know how to structure the tasks into manageable chunks but it can become a case of rinse and repeat, especially when working on eCommerce SEO. If you are tasked with on-page  SEO of 20,000 products, from a company that has a huge budget, and who rarely call or engage with you, it’s easy to become disillusioned.

I’d advise any SEO specialist who finds themselves in such a situation to seek out qualifications. Do your Google Exams, Bing Exams, Chartered Institute of Marketing, or copywriting.  Do something that makes you feel good about your skills, something that refreshes your skill set and revives your passion for this wonderful job.  If you don’t take such action, you can fall behind, then it can be a slippery slope.

It’s easy to get complacent when you have a 9-5 paid job. The bills are covered, you don’t have to pay for your desk, your computer, the lighting, heating water or ground rent. You turn up to work complete your tasks and go home. It’s certainly easy for someone in their late 30’s to early 40s to fall into such a pattern.   You can soon start to question your own worth, and feel negative about the work that you are doing.

Try to stay fresh with your subject knowledge. If you feel stale in what you are doing, the chances are, others around you will have noticed that staleness. Especially your team leader or boss.  If you value your job and want to save it from spiralling out of control, speak to management and get help to improve what you bring to the table. Do it now, before it’s too late.

9) Online Growth in Rural Areas Is The Future

There are many more villages and small towns in the U.K than there are cities. Throughout history, people have flocked to the cities for work, because that was where the new ideas were to found. In the 21st century, the Internet should level the playing field significantly. Businesses don’t need to be based in the City to reach a larger market because their audience can be reached online.

Similarly, workers will no longer need to commute because their work can be done from a home office, back bedroom or even the kitchen table. More and more people are working from home and more and more people are starting their own businesses.

TUC figures from 2016 show that 1.5 million people were now working from home.  As computer technology, mobile phone signals and broadband speeds improve. This figure is only going to rise as s people become more independent, and self-reliant, more opportunities arise.

The Office for National Statistics reported that in 2016 there were Five Million self-employed people.  I expect to see an explosion in new businesses in the coming decade as fewer people are restricted by the working constraints of the 20th century.

10) Self Determination is an Option

I began this article talking about getting an opportunity to work as an SEO in Buxton, and some of the things that 5 years in post taught me. I’d like to end by saying that long periods in one job sometimes show you that actually, a change is what you need.

After 10 years in Education, and then 5 years in an agency, I had a yearning to try my hand at running my own business.  I needed to be able to make decisions and stand by my decisions instead of deferring to someone else.

My instinct was telling me that there were business opportunities available that I wanted to tackle, but such opportunities weren’t always aligned with the goals of my employer. As frustrating as that may seem,  you have to respect their wishes because they are paying your wages. If you can’t handle being subordinate, it might be time to strike out on your own.

Even if you realise that you need a change, being brave enough to make that change is hard.

If there was one piece of advice I’d give to my younger self, it would be to take a leap of faith. Set up your company whilst you are young. Preferably, do it before you have a mortgage and kids, that way, if you fail, you have less to lose.   That said, for the first time in years, I’m no longer scared of failure, it’s just not an option.

In its first year, Peak District SEO is doing well. Leads keep coming in and they are becoming clients. I personally feel like I have learned more in the last 6 months than I’ve learned in the last 15 years.  I should have done this years ago!

Rural Business, Need SEO? Get in Touch