What Is Domain Authority? SEO Services Cardiff

What Is Domain Authority? (DA)

The Domain Authority score isn’t new in the world of search engine optimisation, however the term domain authority and it’s significance is often misunderstood.

Here is a detailed guide about “domain authority” (including how to check your domains authority score!).

Domain Authority is one of the big factors that define how well your website will rank in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) .

In the “old days”, websites were weighed based totally on its web page-rank. Now, domain and page authority play a huge function in the domain authority.

What is domain authority?

Domain authority is a metric which was created by Moz to rate the score, or rating of a website on a scale of 1 to 100 (a 100-point logarithmic scale). The better the domain authority of a website, the higher its rating in search engines like google and yahoo.

Domain Authority is a great competitive metric measure against other sites. If you compare your website’s Domain Authority score with your competitor’s site, the site with the higher Domain Authority score is likely to rank higher in search engine searches.

Domain Authority contains many metrics including number of links pointing to your website, the number of linking root domains – the number of other sites linking to your site.

Domain Authority measures the authority of the complete domain. Page Authority (PA) is the measure of an individual page rather than the whole domain.

How Do I Check The Authority Of My Domain?

There are a number of Domain Authority checkers online, which can be used to check your website’s Domain Authority. The best is the official Moz open site explorer, simply type in your domain name or sub-domain address and you can view your Domain Authority Score. If you are using the Chrome or Firefox you can use the MozBar extension to check the domain authority and page authority of any website.

Factors which affect Domain Authority

  • The websites that you link to:  Always link to high quality websites and never link to spam or illegal sites. So if you receive emails asking to “exchange links” do so with caution!
  • Domain registration information: Many people have commentated that your domain registration information could play a significant role in deciding the trust factor for your domain. So for example if you have 5 websites with similar domain registration info and a significant portion of those are seen as spammy websites, it might make it hard for you to earn trust for your one or two quality websites.
  • The Age Of Your Domain: This is huge, and you can’t do much about it! Try not to change your domain name often, stick with your original domain name.

How to improve Domain Authority

Improving your domain authority goes hand in hand with improving your Search Engine Rankings. consider Domain Authority as a way of calculating how well a website performs in a google search, the better the domain authority of your site, the more difficult it is for your competitors to outrank it.

Getting More High Quality Incoming Links To Your Website

So when you are working on link building for your website you should attempt to gain links from websites with a good domain authority. Take a look at my Blogger Outreach Service for gaining high quality natural incoming links.

Diversify your link profile

Instead of going out and getting lots of links from one or two sites I would focus on getting high quality links from a diverse source of sites.

Through active link building you should aim to get incoming links from a variety of sources. Needless to say, links should be relevant and should be of high-quality.

Days To Expiry Of Your Domain

Although this is only a small factor but renewing your domain long term is well worth it.

If your domain is set to expire in the next year or so, I would recommend that you renew it for the next 3-4 years. It does not cost much and it is well worth it in the long run.

Internal Linking

Internal linking is the easiest SEO wins! Make sure every page on your website is linked to 2-3 others page on your site. One big win is every time you publish a new blog post or add a new page go back to some old blog posts and link to the new page / post. This can help give valuable link juice to your new page / post.

Be Sure To Remove Toxic Or Bad Links

Use Tools such as SEMrush to find toxic backlinks and use the Google Disavow tool (Google Search Console) to ignore any toxic links. I usually do this once a month for my clients.

Onsite SEO

Your website itself needs to be Search Engine Optimised. How easy can Google Or BING crawl your website? There are some basic things you can look at to improve on site SEO:

  • Noindex your archive pages, especially on WordPress sites. (Noindex your tags, categories, pagination and author archive pages)
  • Make sure you have submitted an XML Sitemap to the two major search engines, Google and Bing.
  • Make sure that all of your Meta titles and Meta descriptions  on each and every page are formatted correctly and contain your keywords.
  • Maintain proper heading hierarchy on your pages and blog posts.

Your Website should be quick to load

One of Google’s ranking factors is page load speed. This is one area where I find time and again that people are prepared to ignore. use sites like PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Tools  to check the load time of your site.

If your site is not loading within 3 seconds, you should start working on speed optimisation of your site.

  • Use a reliable web host – I have worked with many client who are only want to pay peanuts for their web hosting and are paying the price for it. Paying £2.99 or around $3.50 a month for hosting will land you with a host that will put you on a server with hundreds of other sites. The highest I have seen is over 5,000 websites hosted on one server! Contact me for advice on hosting services.
  • Compress and optimise your images before uploading them.
  • If you are using WordPress use a caching plugin such as Super Cache, WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache.
  • Use a CDN to serve your content. You can use free CDN from Cloudflare

Have a question? Please add your comments below or contact me for a free consultation.

6 biggest technical SEO mistakes reducing traffic to my website

What are the 6 biggest technical SEO mistakes reducing traffic to my website?

If you build a house without good foundations, what will happen to it? It will fall down, of course! So why would you have a website which doesn’t have those strong foundations for being found by search engines? Here we look at the 6 biggest technical SEO mistakes reducing traffic to your website.

Your website’s technical SEO is the foundation for everything. Make it strong, and you have a functional, stable website. Make it weak, and your main marketing tool isn’t doing its job. It’s not getting you found and generating leads.

So, here are six basic technical SEO mistakes which are reducing the traffic to your website and which need to be fixed right now:

  1. Failure to have a mobile-friendly website

This is one of the deadliest mistakes a business can make, so don’t ignore it.

The majority of views of web pages are now from mobile devices such as smartphones. Research by Statista in April 2018 showed that 51.2% of views were from phones.

In response, Google has begun mobile-first indexing, giving a higher priority to mobile versions of content.

So, how can you make your website mobile friendly?

Write shorter content (between 700 and 1,000 words is sufficient), make the web design responsive, use AMPs (accelerated mobile pages), don’t use flash videos, limit intrusive adverts (interstitials), and get your calls to action, buttons, and typography optimised for mobile screens.

  1. Failure to optimise your meta tags

Search engines use meta tags to catregorise the content of web pages. A meta tag is a snippet of information which tells search engines what your web page is about and it appears in the page code, rather than on the page itself.

Optimising the tags helps improve your ranking in searches. You have to use the most relevant keyword for the meta tag (meta keywords attributes), use a keyword in the start of a title (title tag), use important keywords and phrases in your descriptions (meta description attributes), and tell the search engines what you want them to do with your page (meta robot attributes), which could be to index and follow it, or not to index and don’t follow it.

  1. Ignoring a slow website speed

Simpsons GIF

People who surf the web just don’t have the attention span for slow-loading web pages.

The loading time will have a major effect on the bounce rate from your site, the number of visitors who get to one page and just bounce back off. A poor bounce rate hits your site’s ranking in searches.

Here’s what research by Google shows:

  • Load time of 1-3 seconds – bounce probability goes up 32%
  • Load time of 1-5 seconds – bounce probability increases by 90%
  • Load time of 1-6 seconds – bounce probability up by 106%
  • Load time of 1-10 seconds – bounce probability up 123%

It’s vital that you optimise the speed of your site as it’s now a factor in ranking your site.

What can you do? Optimise your CSS and your image sizes, keep script below the fold, enable compression and caching of browsers.

  1. Failure to make the right redirects

If you’ve directed URLs to your website or you’ve recently migrated from HTTP to HTTPS, make sure these redirects have been completed properly.

Faults with redirects hit your traffic and seriously compromise the SEO of your website.

  1. Failure to carry out regular link analysis

When it comes to link-building, it’s all about the quality. Poor quality links can do your SEO far more harm than good because Google is wise to detecting anyone manipulating links to improve their SEO.

Take a look at the Google guidelines for links and make sure you avoid selling or buying links, keyword-rich guest posting on a large scale, and including your site in links from poor quality bookmark and directory sites.

Don’t be afraid to disavow any bad links. Make this a key part of your strategy for technical SEO.

  1. Failure to use canonical tags

What is a canonical tag? It’s a way to tell search engines that a specific copy of content which is on the web in different locations is the master copy.

This is helpful if you have similar content on pages with different URLs, telling search engines to treat them as one, if you syndicate your content among other websites, or if you need to deal with duplicate URLs.

The tags encourage search engines not to spend their time on any duplicate pages.

This is especially important for your home page.

If you need technical SEO advice, please book a free consultation today to see what we can do for you.

 

So, having learned about the big 6 technical SEO mistakes, how will you ensure you get good traffic to your website and great leads for your business?

Choose The Right Domain Name. Web Design Bristol

What’s in a domain name? How to make the right choice for your business

When you’re setting up a new business, there’s so much to think about.

One of the key decisions will be the domain name you choose for your website.

Get it right, and it could be a driver for your SEO and your brand.

Get it wrong, and it could hold you back for years.

Here are our top 7 tips to help you get it right first time:

  1. Think brand, not generic keywords, numbers, and hyphens – Generics like this are harder to remember than a name which sounds like a brand. If you go down the generic route, you could well see a downward pressure on your SEO and getting awareness of your brand will become a tough battle. Pick a memorable name instead. What does your business stand for? What are its values? What sort of name will reflect that?
  2. Keep it short – Shorter names are easier to remember and they aren’t shortened so much on social media on in search engine results. There’s often a weighing up of benefits, though – shorter may not be better if shortening it makes your brand lose its identity. Avoid strings of initials, for example.
  3. It must be easy to say – Avoid names where there could be confusion on spelling if you don’t pronounce it properly. That could be meat and drink for your competitors. Do you want to be spelling it out every day for the next few years?
  4. Choose .com and .co.uk where you can – They are still the most trusted top level domains for businesses. Others include .biz, .net, and .wales. Some potential clients will be looking to see where you are in the world, and will make purchasing decisions based on that. A .co.uk is by far the better choice for UK based business.  Not only does this help with those customers based in the UK but you will user perform better in UK based Google searches especially if you website is hosted in the UK as well. If you can buy up both, do that to avoid your competitors horning in on your business.
  5. Make it different to existing domains or trademarks – Avoid potential legal issues where you can and consult a trademark lawyer to get the best advice. You don’t want to have to face a costly law suit in the future. If your customers are confusing you with another brand, that’s a problem too. What if that brand’s values are opposite to your own? What if their customer service is poor?
  6. Think laterally – If your preferred domain is taken, what about using ‘the’ ahead of it? A dentist could also use ‘smilesat…’ ahead of a domain, a flooring company could use ‘carpetsat…’ ahead of its favourite domain. You could also use ‘shopat….’.
  7. Checkout useful sites – Some check whether domains are taken while others sell useful domain names. Try http://www.domainsbot.com/, http://www.panabee.com/, https://www.brandbucket.com/, or http://www.domainhole.com/.

If you’re looking for advice on the best domain name for your business, get in touch! We have experience in advising a wide range of businesses on their domains, websites, and digital marketing. You can contact us here: https://www.fortewebsolutions.co.uk/contact/

SEO Services Bristol

Make a New Year resolution: boost your SEO

If you’re thinking about New Year resolutions, why not make 2017 the year you do something to boost your website’s SEO?

Your business bottom line will thank you for it.

Why SEO is important

It’s all about being found easily by search engines.

Your website needs to be found by search engine ‘crawlers’ – pieces of code which are tasked with finding fresh content on the internet.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps those crawlers see content in the way we humans see it. Its techniques help to translate human attributes into items crawlers can understand.

To rank on the front page of Google for your chosen keywords helps you maximise your chances of your website’s links being clicked by potential customers.

There are two important methods to boost your SEO – organic and paid for advertising.

Organic SEO

Creating good SEO for your website by organic means is an excellent longer term strategy.

Don’t expect results for three to six months.

Here are some excellent ways to boost your organic SEO:

  1. Build backlinks to your site from other sites – from respected sources, customers, and social media.
  2. Write blogs regularly – search engines are looking for fresh content. Blogs are a great way of providing it while educating your potential customers. Share them widely on social media.
  3. Help crawlers see your site – use a tool like SEO Quake to look at each page on it and make the improvements it suggests. It will suggest items like ridding your site of duplicate pages and using structured data – a piece of code which you or your designer can create – to direct crawlers to your site more effectively.
  4. Use the alt tags on images on your site and blogs to reinforce your keywords and get found more easily online.
  5. Post regularly on social media – the more you do, the better the rate of clicks through to your site. You increase the number of visitors.
  6. Use techniques to help keep people on your pages – use video, images, and compelling content to ensure people stay on your pages and visit more than one on your site. That will help you reduce your ‘bounce rate’ – the number of visitors who go to one page and bounce straight back off.

Paid Search (PPC)

Bing adverts and Google Adwords are popular methods of improving the SEO of your site.

Google Adwords is a quick and effective way of ensuring your business is on page one of the Google search results, provided you have the budget to compete for your chosen keywords. Google is the most-used search engine and a great place to start paid SEO campaigns.

To get the best return on your investment, always ask an expert to set up a campaign for you. They will be able to advise you of the best keywords and get you the best click-through rate.

Could we help you manage your SEO or run your Pay Per Click campaigns? We’re experts in pay per click advertising and organic SEO techniques. Drop us an email using our contact form or give us a call on 02 921 286870.

Boost your SEO – Become a thought leader.

Boost your SEO – Become a thought leader. We’re all looking for something which gives us an edge over our competitors.

For professionals like solicitors, dentists, opticians, chiropractors, creatives, consultants, business coaches and HR practitioners, regular expert blogging sets you apart from others in your field.

It allows you to become a thought leader.

Thought leaders are respected, popular, and enhance their brands.

They become the ‘go to’ people in their industries.

They can also use this position to drive people to their websites and boost their SEO.

So why should you become a thought leader?

  1. Visibility – Being a thought leader means you become highly visible to potential clients. It gives you an advantage over others in your field who are not positioning themselves in the same way. These days, the internet means people have a world of choice when it comes to the professionals they choose. You need to establish your unique selling point – and now that’s often your personality, relationships with customers, and visibility.
  2. Respect – Increasing your customers’ respect for you allows you to travel further along the ‘know, like, trust’ line. It’s a key part of establishing trust. Your potential customers will ask themselves two key questions: “Can this person do what they say they can do?” and “Can I trust them?” Being a thought leader allows you to highlight your skills, up-to-date knowledge, and contacts.
  3. Reciprocity – If you write helpful blogs which answer your clients’ pain points, they will remember that. They will develop the feeling that they should also help someone who has helped them. What goes around, comes around. A feeling of reciprocity increases the likelihood they will engage your services in the future.
  4. SEO – Once you’ve become a thought leader and established a pool of interested readers, you have a captive audience for your new posts. That increases the number of people who visit your website and your blog, and the number who link to it. In turn, that boosts your SEO and helps your page ranking. Then, people find you more easily via web searches. Well done! You’re in a virtuous circle.

How can you do it?

Establish your personal brand

What are your values? How does what you offer differ from other professionals in your industry? What sort of clients do you want to attract?

Once you are clear about the answers to these questions, you can start re-positioning yourself.

Restructure all of your social media profiles to stress your qualifications and experience, and write them with your ideal clients in mind.  How do you answer their problems?

LinkedIn is a perfect platform to start your transformation.

Establish your blog

There’s a simple rule in writing: show, don’t tell. We can all tell clients how great we are, it’s far better to show them.

Write regular posts which achieve this – use case studies and testimonials which show how you’ve given excellent service. Get other people to tell potential clients about your skills and strengths.

If you can, write once a week, and build up a portfolio of 30 posts.

Share them widely on social media – share them more than once on all of your platforms.

Engage with industry influencers

Take part in group discussions on LinkedIn, for example, comment intelligently on their articles, share their social media posts. Hopefully, that feeling of reciprocity will soon kick in and they’ll start doing the same for you.

Get published and drive change

Start writing guest posts for well-respected blogs or publications in your sector. That could be for trade blogs, trade publications, or media outlets.

Be seen to be discussing cutting-edge ideas and new trends.

There’s an important rule throughout the process: be consistent. If you start off blogging four times a month, stick to that. If you post on social media three times a day, don’t skip days.

Be aware that this isn’t a quick fix. It’s a process which will take months – but the results will be worth the effort.

We’re expert in boosting SEO for solicitors, dentists, opticians, and business coaches. Ask us for our advice on your digital marketing. Call 02921 286870 or contact us today.

Don’t get busted for the top 7 SEO crimes

Call the SEO police! Some people are committing search marketing crimes which are holding back the rankings of their websites.

Here are our top seven SEO offences – make sure you don’t fall foul of them:

  1. Stale content.

Google and other search engines love fresh content – and so do your followers on social media. Simple re-sharing the same content over and over again won’t help your SEO at all. In fact, not creating good, fresh content for your blog or website will see your website fall in search rankings. If you want to be on the front page of Google, good quality, regular, fresh content is a must to help drive traffic to your website. Don’t be tempted to ‘lift’ content from other sources – Google hates that. Its algorithms pick that up quickly. Use a tool like Copyscape to ensure your content is between 80% and 100% original.

  1. Stuffing keywords.

We’ve all seen websites and blogs which were just lists of dentists in Wales, dentists in South Wales, dentists in Cardiff, and dentists in Roath. It’s a real turn-off for readers. Thankfully, most people have now cottoned onto the fact this sort of content is penalised by search engines. They’re looking for good quality content, and keyword stuffing smacks of low-quality, filler content. Your blogs and website content should flow organically and make page viewers convert to customers.

  1. Ignoring mobile.

The tipping point for mobile internet use came last year – now, more people access the web from mobile devices than from laptops or desktop computers. You now ignore it at your peril. You need a mobile-friendly website, either a separate site or a responsive site which is easily accessible from both mobile and desktop devices. If you don’t, you’ll turn off a large number of potential visitors to your site – who are, of course, potential customers.

  1. Trying to monetise your site too early.

They call it the sales ‘funnel’ for a reason. It should have a wide top and gradually draw your prospects into their decision-making process when it comes to making a purchase. Pitch your sale too near the top of that funnel, and you’ll lose people. For example, putting out tweets or Facebook posts which simply say ‘buy my stuff’ will turn people off. Putting out social media posts which are helpful, and which direct people to your website, get them to move to the next stage of your sales funnel without turning them off.

  1. Buying backlinks.

This is a minefield. Search engines tend to frown on bought links – links from other websites into your own site. They particularly frown on ‘link farms’, websites set up specifically to include links purchased by other people. Those farms often earn those who buy links on them penalties – hitting the SEO the links were bought to help improve. Instead, search engines want people to develop links organically and the crawlers look for good quality sites referring to your website. A link from a government, professional body, or trade association website is an excellent backlink for you.

  1. Failing to disavow dodgy links.

Google has decided that some websites are too ‘spammy’ for its algorithms and will penalise links from them to your website. Generally, those sites are ‘link farms’ or something similar. Once you have a link on such a site, even if you haven’t bought it, your SEO will start to be affected. You could ask that site to take down the link. If they refuse or ignore your request, what you have to do is go through the search engine’s process to ‘disavow’ the link. See Google’s tools for webmasters here for how to do it: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en.

Once you notify Google you’re doing so, that should stop your SEO being hit by the link. It’s worth keeping a note of all of the backlinks into your site. You can use a backlink checker tool like https://monitorbacklinks.com/seo-tools/free-backlink-checker.

 

Need help with your SEO? We’re the experts for SEO Advice in Cardiff! Contact Us Today to arrange a no-obligation chat about what you need.

Making Your Site Search Engine Friendly

So you have a new website – What next? Part 2- Making Your Site Search Engine Friendly

In part 1 of this blog post – So you have a new website – What next?, we looked at the issues involved in trying to attract visitors to your new website. Here, in part 2 of the series, we look at how we can make your website more friendly to search engines.

Driving traffic via search engines

The Important ‘Text Blocks’

There are five key elements in any webpage when it comes to the way search engines spider content. They are:

  • URL
  • Title
  • Keywords
  • Description
  • Body Text

All of the above should be relevant to the page you are creating or editing. Relevancy is the key phrase here; Google and all major search engines will look to see how relevant a page is, simply because they want users to stay with them. If you searched for Cardiff on Google and Google returned pages relating to London, you would soon switch search engines. In a nutshell, the search engines want to deliver relevant content to their loyal users.

You should decide upon a few ‘killer’ or ‘long-tail’ keywords that your page is targeting and ensure that these killer keywords appear in all five ‘text blocks’.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords have at least two and sometimes up to five words in the phrase. These keywords are highly specific and draw less traffic to the site, but the traffic they do bring are more likely to achieve a goal on the site. For example, using the keyword car tyres is very broad and could result in lots of traffic. The keywords car tyres south wales or ford focus car tyres will bring less traffic, but those people who searched on these terms will be far higher quality visitors to your page. This is because visitors use long-tail keywords to narrow down their search. To successfully use long-tail keywords, you need to know what long-tail keywords actually get hits, so research is the key here.

Your Trophy Keywords

Using the right keywords on your page can mean the difference between being listed on the all important first page search results or being under your competitors, way down in the search rankings. You should not ‘keyword stuff’. Being too broad with your meta keywords should be avoided and having more than 12 keywords would be seen as keyword stuffing. Another  common way of keyword stuffing is by repeating the chosen keyword(s) too many times in your content. The major search engines are clever enough to know if a snippet of text is readable to a readable or not!

As an example, if we wanted to optimise our page for the phrase Web Design Company in South Wales, the first thing we need to is carry out a bit of keyword research. You will want to know what keywords people have used in search engines to land on the page and what keywords competitors are using to attract traffic to their pages. The popular keywords that people have searched to find Forte’s own Web Design South Wales Page is:  web design south wales, web design cardiff so we will use the keywords web design south wales, and web design cardiff as our ‘trophy keywords’.

[content_box title=”Constructing your URL” color=blue]

The URL is the link that people use to get to your page, we should construct the URL to contain the trophy keywords where possible, so ideally we would construct our URL as show below:

https://www.fortewebsolutions.co.uk/web-design-south-wales/web-design-cardiff

[/content_box]

[content_box title=”Meta Keywords” color=blue]

Again the Meta Keywords should contain your trophy keywords that are contained in your title and URL. In addition to this, the Keyword section also gives you more scope to add extra keywords that cannot be fitted in the URL or the Title. At this point you should be carrying out keyword research, finding out exactly what search terms potential customers are using to find your website. This doesn’t just mean going back through old website analytics data and finding how people came across the page; you may want to carry out some market research to find out what keywords you have not thought of yourself. Who knows – you may find a niche keyword that none of your competitors have optimised for. I would include the following in the Meta Keywords for the example we are using here:

web design south wales, web design cardiff, web-design south wales, web-design cardiff, web design newport, web design wales

Each keyword or long-tailed keyword is separated by a comma as above.

[/content_box]

[content_box title=”The Page Title” color=blue]

The title length should be around 65 characters long*including white spaces and should always be keyword rich. That is, use the trophy keyword that you have decided on. In this example, this is an ideal Title:

Web Design South Wales | Cardiff | Merthyr Tydfil | Pontypridd

* Google shows 69 Characters (Including Spaces) for Page Title whilst Bing shows 65 Characters (Including Spaces) for a Page Title Tag

[/content_box]
[content_box title=”The Meta Description” color=blue]

The Meta Description should ideally be around 155 characters including white space. The Meta Description is often shown in the search engine results, as shown below in this search for Web Design South Wales using our very own result.

Image from Google Search for Web Design South Wales

Not only is the Meta Description used in the search engine results, it is also checked by the search engines for relevancy, hence why keywords should always be included in the Meta Description.

[/content_box]

[content_box title=”The Body Copy” color=blue]

The body should also be littered with your keywords but there are also a few more rules to follow when writing your body copy. You can see where you pick up ‘points’ in your quest to get to the top of the search engines from the list below!

  1. Keyword in the h1 tag
  2. Keyword in the first 100 words in the html on the page
  3. Keyword in the <b> or <strong> tags on the page
  4. Keyword in other h tags
  5. Keyword in image alt text
  6. Keyword repeating in the html text on a page
  7. Keyword in image names on the page eg keyword.jpg
  8. Keyword in the list items <li> on the page
  9. Keyword in the <i> or <em> tags on the page
  10. Keyword in the internal link anchor text on the page
  11. Keyword in the external link anchor text on a page

The above is a rough average score that the major search engines give.  This should not be taken as gospel, but can certainly be seen as best practice to follow the above.

From the list above, we can see that it is vital to get our No1 keyword(s) into the first h1 title tag.  Next we should be looking to get our keywords into the first 100 words of the body copy. Remember though that the body copy must be readable – all the search engines will know if you are keyword stuffing! You should also try to make sure that the keywords inside your body copy are in a bold font. Other keywords should also then be included in other heading tags in the page eg h2. h3. etc.

Our next blog in this series will look at building links to your page from other pages, and the effect this will have on your search engine ranking.  Sign up to our newsletter on the right of this page to be notified of
[/content_box]

Part 1 of this blog post – So you have a new website – What next?

So you have a new website – What next?

This blog is the first in our series of blogs that focus on driving more people to your website

So you have a new website. Now you can sit back and watch your customers come to you… well, not quite. You now have a great shop window, but any potential customers do not know about the existence of your shop!

Think of your new website as a physical shop. It’s brand new, looks better than many of the big High Street shops, but you have one major problem. The big stores are on the High Street, whilst being a brand new store; your shop has no reputation and sits in a small backstreet several blocks off the busy main area.

This means you have no passing custom, and with no reputation, people will not walk away from the High Street to find your store.

So how does this translate to your new website?

Well first of all, you may have a new domain name that has been registered in the past few weeks. Google and other search engines don’t give a lot of weight to new domains. This is because in the past, spammers would setup up new domains, hijack search results and sell such items as illegal pharmaceutical products before disappearing.

So your new website has no reputation (unless you have bought an established domain name), which is something that over time you will start to build up… but how do you go about building up this reputation and start getting traffic to your website

Start promoting your site.

Your new website, like a physical shop or business location needs to be promoted in order to make people aware of your existence.  As far as your domain reputation on Google and other search engines are concerned, this will take anything from 6-18 months to achieve, but by undertaking some basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques, you can start to push your business to all parts of the web.  And best of all, this needn’t cost you a penny.

Basic SEO

Natural Search:

This is the ‘white’ section on Google that appears under the sponsored links at the top.  This does not cost any money, but takes quite some time to reach the top of the listings.  Nevertheless, this is an extremely important activity to partake in.

Make your site Search Engine Friendly

All search engines want your content to be relevant to what people have searched for. So with this in mind, if you have a page selling car tyres for example, make sure that your page has plenty of direct references to car tyres.

Let us go back to the high street shop analogy. You put a flyer up on the High Street promoting your tyres, now someone sees this flyer and finds your store in the back streets of a big city. They have come all this way only to find that you only sell car tyres when in fact they were after bike tyres.

In the online world if your page was set up in a similar manner, Google would not rank your site very highly, as they want to deliver accurate search results to its users.

In the second part of this blog series, we will go into more detail on how to make your site friendly to search engines, but as a starting guide, make sure your website provider has included relevant keyword(s) when designing your site (don’t worry – this may seem a little too technical now, but we will explain in more detail later on in this blog series).   Each page on your website will have the following components: Page title, Page URL, Page Meta Description and Page Body Copy.  See how we use relevant keywords in this example for a Web Design Company in South Wales:
[content_box title=”Components of a Search Engine-Friendly Web Page” color=blue]
Page Title: Web Design South Wales

Page URL: www.fortewebsolutions.co.uk/web-design-south-wales/

Page Meta Keywords: web design south Wales, professional web design south Wales, south Wales web design

Page Meta Description: Professional Web Design in South Wales from Forte Web Solutions. Looking for Web Design in South Wales? Contact Forte Web Solutions

Page Body Copy: If you are looking for Professional Web Design in South Wales, look no further than Forte Web Solutions. Forte Web Solutions have been offering professional Web Design in South Wales for…
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Link Building

Link building is the name of the process of increasing the number of incoming links to your website (in a nutshell, adding your website link to other relevant websites, in the form of directory listings, blogs, comments etc).  It is an extremely important activity in building up your site’s reputation hence improving your search engine position.  Without this, you will run the risk of remaining as that imaginary store, stuck in the back streets of a town.  If you don’t let people know you exist then they will never find you.

Below are a few places you should consider adding your site to.  We will delve further into the world of link building in a later part of this blog series.

Google Places

The very first thing you need to do is create a Google account so you can add yourself to Google Places. You may even find that your company is already listed.  If this is the case then you will need to claim your company listing.

Bing Local Search

Bing is Microsoft’s search engine, which is quickly gaining in popularity – so you will want to get your company’s website listed here. Here in the UK, you have to go through a site called my118information. Again, like Google Places, check that your business isn’t already listed. You will get a phone call from a company representative in order to verify your listing, so be ready and wary of the sales phone call that follows.

Yahoo Local

You can add your listing to Yahoo! Local via a company called Infoserve in the UK. If you’re in the States, you can use your Yahoo account and navigate to Yahoo! Local Listings.

Other relevant websites to your industry

It is a good idea to search for relevant websites to your industry such as directories, free advertising sites (e.g. Gumtree and AdTrader), review websites and blogs (and anything else you can find).  You can usually register on such websites, participate in blogs and discussions, or place adverts, and include a link to your website when doing so.  As a regular activity, this can be invaluable in your link building strategy.  What’s more, if you have a large workforce – then you should strongly encourage employees to also participate in this link building activity.

So how do you compete against the businesses who are already in the ‘High Street’?

As the process of gaining a good reputation is often rather lengthy, one thing that many companies consider whilst they are slowly climbing the natural listings is investing in a paid search listing. A paid search listing, also known as a sponsored listing, usually appears at the top and the right hand side of search results.

If your website is new, or if you don’t have the big money to spend on SEO agencies to improve your natural listings, then paying for a sponsored listing is often a very cost-effective method of attracting customers, and putting you firmly in the ‘High Street’ of a search engine.

Such advertising is known as ‘Pay-Per-Click’ advertising, or ‘PPC’ for short.  The reason for this is that you only pay the search engine when somebody clicks on your listing.

PPC campaigns work on the basis of keyword bidding, whereby you ‘bid’ on a specific search term(s) related to your website/ business. Going back to our fictional tyre shop languishing in the back streets, with a PPC campaign you can bid on keywords to put your shop right in the centre of the High Street, up there with the big players.

The amount you pay depends on a number of factors, such as the number of people bidding on the keyword, the quality of your advert and the quality of the page that users land on when they click your advert.

We will cover PPC advertising in greater depth in a later part of this series. We have lots of experience of running highly successful PPC campaigns for small businesses in South Wales, so please contact Forte Web Solutions for free advice or to discuss how we can maximise your return on investment.  You can find out more on our PPC advertising page.

[content_box title=”Recently attended a Google event?” color=blue]If you are in the South Wales area and have recently attended a ‘Get Welsh Business Online’ event with the Google Juice Bar, then please feel free to get in touch with us for some additional free advice on getting customers to your new website.

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Part 2 of this article – Making Your Site Search Engine Friendly

 

Bounce Rate and how to improve it

The Bounce Rate has always concerned webmasters but what exactly is the Bounce Rate? According to Google the Bounce Rate is:

Read more

Difference between bounce rate & exit rate


I have been asked on a number of occasions what the difference is between bounce rate & exit rate, especially now that Google Analytics is so widespread. Indeed many people I have spoken to believe both exit rate and Bounce Rate mean exits from your page / site. Well that is true to a certain extent the difference being that the exit rate differers slightly in that the exiting visitor may have visited other pages on your site before leaving.

Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors that visit a page on your website and don’t visit any other pages. For example someone may come in to a page via a search engine and then go to another site without visiting any of your other pages :-(

The Exit Rate on the other hand is the percentage of people who have left the page but would have previously visited other pages. The figure is worked out by the percentage of visitors that leave your website from a page based on the number of visits to that page.

If your Bounce Rate is high and the average time spent on the page is very low then perhaps it is time to worry. Users are more than likely scanning the page and haven’t found what they are looking for.