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Keyword Research – Part 1

Keyword Reseach Tips From The Bristol SEO Partnership

 

 

 

 

How to choose what keywords to go after?

Getting the right sort of traffic to your website is in most cases is much more important than just getting loads of traffic to your website.  So when you are thinking about your inbound marketing techniques, such as SEO, content marketing or paid advertising working out who you are trying to attract should always be the first step.

In the case of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation understanding what your perfect customers may be typing into a search engine such as Google to find your services or product is a very important first step.

There will be a wide range of search terms to consider from a high volume generic search terms, which will tend to be highly competitive through to the low volume and niche.  You should not discount the low volume niche terms as these exact terms could be a lot closer to the sale.

For example if you sell golf clubs on-line there is a massive difference between the search terms “golf clubs” and “Ping G25 Irons”. The first search is so wide there will be a load of wasted traffic for those who want to play golf at a golf club and those who are quite early on in the golf club (the ones to play with) buying process.  However those individuals looking for “Ping G25 Irons” have researched the market and they are very close to buying, so would be great traffic to get to a golf club e-commerce site.

So how do you go about researching the market and finding the most appropriate and profitable keywords for your business?

Keyword research will help to understand your sector and the range of keywords available to you. But remember as we said in the intro search numbers are not the be all and end all.

So where to start,

Step 1: Produce  a list of terms that you think that your customers may use to find you, your services and products.

1.    Brainstorm with your colleagues. You understand your business inside out so worth really drilling down on all the general terms and more niche phrases that surround your product or services. These may be broad descriptors or exact terms such as product descriptions or codes. Use this in line with your business strategy to make sure you really focus on the areas that will really make a difference to your profits..

2.    Ask your clients. They will not be as close to your business but do require your services. What they would search for may be totally different that to the terms that you came up with in your internal brainstorm. And remember as well as asking inbound callers how they found you if they say a search engine ask them what they searched for.

3.    Look at your analytics. Google analytics is an invaluable tool for looking back at your historical search traffic to see what terms and words visitors used to your site used to find you.  If your analytics is set up well you can also see the outcome of these visitors, so you could see which of these search terms had a higher conversion or contact rate. If you have not got analytics set up, do it now…

4.     Analyse the competition: Look at the source code on your competitions website to see if they have added any meta keywords, these are the search terms that they think are important. Do not rely on this totally they may have just guessed. To access the source code right click on their homepage and select source code and look out for a string of search terms that will look something like this.

analyse the competition

 

 

Other useful clues to look at are the words that they have in their title tag and also the main headings on each page (H1 Tag). For more information on meta tags and on-page SEO down load our free guide here.

5.    Look at Google Auto Complete: You may have noticed when you do a Google search you get some dropdown suggestions. This will give you some insight into how Google works and what they think is relevant. See below example when I searched for bouncy castle. So type in what you think are your key search terms and see what other variants Google suggests.

google autocomplete

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.    Use the Google Analytics Keyword Tool: This tool was created for Adwords users but is available to anyone, if you have a Google account you can log in here https://adwords.google.co.uk/‎ if not set yourself up and have a play.  The keyword tool does 2 main things, suggests more keywords and terms to complement the ones you already have and also give the monthly search volumes for those terms.

Finding the best keywords should not be a one off process, you should always be looking for new terms in which to optimise existing pages, create new ones or to use ideas for articles or blog posts.

Our next blog will look at the Adwords keyword tool in more detail and also how to understand the competitive nature of your keywords.

For more information on the above or about inbound marketing in general, get in touch..

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

Pinterest and SEO

Pinterest and SEO _ Top Tips

Social authority and social sites are now emerging as factors that can influence you search engine rankings. Search engines are seeing social signals as positive indicators but the “by how much” and “for what type of activity” are still being worked out and refined by the search engines and the SEO world.

There has been a lot of debate about the role of Twitter, Google + and facebook and the SEO value of shares, likes, +1s, comments, quality of followers, comments and subsequent visits to your site. But one area less explored is the value that Pinterest, with it’s 11m users, plays and what’s important to make this platform work for your brand and rankings.

Owning you online niche over multiple platforms is great for exposure and also for the credibility of your brand. And owning it early when the value of social is at its infancy also really makes sense. Who knows how important it will be in a few years.

Pinterest as well as being a search engine in its own right is starting to get some traction with the mainstream search engines. It is very early days for pinterest and search engines are probably not picking up on likes and shares however some pins are being picked up in search results. There is no exposure within search results for more competitive phrases but some more niche terms are starting to appear. For example a great board on Pinterest looked at “framing composition” that age-old issue about to layout your pictures and artwork on a wall.  There are over 140 searches a month for this phrase in the UK.

When you search Google for “framing composition” you get:

Pinterest and SEO - Does it Matter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Pinterest board gets in at position 3 which will attract a high proportion of the search traffic.
Pinterest Board - The value for SEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this board owned by a picture framer, poster retailer or photographer? No just a lady who is just interested with no links to a website or any commercial interest. So is there an opportunity here for businesses? I think so.

So if you don’t have a pinterest account, get one if you do have another look at is to see how hard it is working for you.

Top Tips For Pinterest And SEO..

Your Profile:

  • Make sure your profile is complete, especially the “about us “section” where you need to use the keywords related to your business.
  • Check that the “Search Privacy” is set to off, this allows search engines to include your profile, boards and pins in their search results.
  • Location – If you are a local business be as specific as you can, include town or city and country eg Bristol, UK. This will help to attract and draw in local traffic.
  • Verify your website – you can upload a file to your server or add a metatag to verify ownership of your site. This increases the authority of your account and helps with SEO.
  • Connect you account to you other social sites including facebook and twitter.

Your Boards

  • Create a variety of different boards around the keywords that are important to your business or sector
  • Use the board description to focus on what the board is about and again use the appropriate keywords.
  • Make sure you add a category so your pin can be indexed to allow them to be found more easily,

Your pins

  • Target the long tail, as mentioned above it will be next to impossible to get rankings for high volume competitive keywords or phrases so go for the less popular more niche terms.
  • Use hash tags, to anchor your pins to a particular subject to make it more discoverable.
  • Use Images from your own Website –Its all well and good re-pinning other peoples pins or images from other websites but this will not get traffic to your site. Get great content with great images on your site and pin new content regularly.
  • Pin descriptions – Pinterest descriptions can be 500 characters long so it makes sense to try to use them all.  Make sure that it reads well and add your keywords sensitively as apposed to stuffing them in
  • Make Sure the Images You Pin Have Descriptive File Names & Alt Text – if you pin an image from your website makes sure that it has the appropriate  image file name and alt text. These tags are often picked up when someone pins you image so make sure they are keyword rich and make sense
  • Share unique content – as with all social media you will only get shares, comments or likes if you add some value, as spammy approach will never work.

Engaging and getting a following

It is unclear how much the number of followers you and your boards have and the levels of engagement you achieve has on SEO, but this must have some bearing and is bound to get more important in the future. Taking a steer from other social media platforms the more quality followers the more authority.

  • Target individuals or businesses to follow – You can use the search function on  pinterest to find keywords in pins, boards and pinners. You could search for locations (Bristol) , themes (My Wedding) or any keyword that is relevant. When you follow a board or a person they will get a notification that you have followed and if they are interested in what you do they will have  closer look at you and you business.
  • Comment, like, and re-pin other people’s images. If you are trying to target certain individuals or businesses sharing and liking their images will hopefully raise your profile with them get in their good books.

Back links

Links from Pinterest pins are ‘nofollow’ meaning that search engines will not use them to measure the authority of your site, however the traffic that is generated will raise visitor volumes which in turn is a metric that can raise your rankings

Other useful resources,

Optimising Pinterest for SEO can gain you engaged visitors and traffic , which in turn can improve those important rankings on search engines.

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

Local SEO – Is it really of any use for my business in Bristol?

Bristol SEO Local

 

At present, 9.1 million people search for the term “SEO” every month on Google to try and learn a bit more about what value it could add to their business.

Due to jargon and the technical terms used by the industry, it is inevitable that local business owners in Bristol (and anywhere really) look at SEO as a puzzle that they would love to solve but don’t know how to even begin. In addition, the mystery is further compounded by all web designers saying that they will do SEO as part of their maintenance service of a website. Therefore, a combination of ‘I am not really sure about what I am buying’ together with ‘my web designer is already doing that for me’ results in a lot of businesses not truly appreciating the true value of SEO to their business.

What can you do for yourself – well having a Google places account and updated WHOIS information carries great rewards from the search engines locally. Using Bing Maps and Yahoo Local  to get your business more visible locally is a quick win. Getting links from local businesses and promoting regular fresh content on the site is a great way to keep your site dynamic and ensure it is rewarded for the keywords relevant for your business.

But will any of this actually get you business – well, the answer is simple ——-

At present all generations use the internet to purchase goods and services from businesses they never knew about until the precise moment they typed in their requirements into Google, Bing or Yahoo – and you yourself are doing exactly the same thing most days – and so are your customers. If your business is local, supplies the service a potential customer is looking for and provides great value and service – be it a plumbing service, a builder, a solicitor, an accountant, a florist, etc – it is highly probable that you would have found a customer who did not find you by work of mouth.

The statistics for local seo are very supportive –

85% of consumers search for local businesses on line (1)

71% have purchased a product or service online (2)

24% – 28%  of all online searches have a local intent. (3)

So local search needs to be taken seriously, for more information get in touch

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

1. Local consumer review survey 2012 2. Pew Internet & American Life Project  3. Local Search Study

 

Google – Who Clicks Where?

When someone searches Google have you ever wondered who clicks where? You may be surprised…..

Google - Who Clicks Where?

 

 

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

Do Bristol Solicitors Need SEO?

SEO for bristol solicitors

 

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

Happy New Year – What are your SEO resolutions?

 

Bristol SEO - New Year's Resolution

 

Been neglecting your website? Need to rekindle the excitement that you felt when you first launched and went live?

If you need to spend some quality time with your website in 2013, we can help you get reacquainted.

We’ll take a good look at your site and put together a free report that looks at:

  1. The position your website appears on Google, Yahoo and Bing for your industries most common search terms
  2. How your website stacks up against your competition
  3. What a number one search position could mean to your business in pounds and pence
  4. What you could do tomorrow to get your website ranking higher on Google and other search engines
  5. Some longer term strategies for driving more traffic (and new clients) to your website.

We can also schedule in (if you need a bit more counselling) a free 30 minute telephone consultation to run you through the results.

Request your free report by emailing me at rob@bristolseopartnership.co.uk, call 0117 9730544 or fill in the contact form on our website.

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

The Power Of Your Personal Authority On-Line

How to Set Up the Rel=Author Tag for Google Plus

You may have recently noticed when you do a search on Google some of the results have a picture of the author of the article or blog post (this is known as a rich snippet). As Google continues to make sure that search results become even more relevant it is putting a value on individual authors as well as websites. So we are now seeing that authors whom blog on specialist subjects beginning to get more authority in search results.

rel=author bristol

If you regularly publish online content, you’ll have a natural desire to want it to rank higher in the search engines’ results listings and as such, it’s essential to learn how to set up Google Authorship’s Rel=Author tag, which enables you to tie your content to your Google Plus profile.

Before you’re able to set up Google Authorship, you’ll need a Google Plus profile that’s accessible to the public and access to the website on which your content is published. You’ll then need to log-in to your Google Plus profile and click on “Edit Profile”. Once there, click on the “Contributor To” section and enter the URL of the website on which your content is published. In doing so, you’ll inform Google that you’re the author of the content.

Next, you’ll be required to pay a visit to the author page of the website you write content for and link your work back to your Google Plus profile by using your name as the anchor text for your Google Plus profile URL. Your name must match the name you use on your Google Plus profile and you must ensure that the link contains the parameter “?rel=author”. In the absence of this parameter, Google won’t be able to verify that you’re the author of the content.

Your code should look like this:
<a href=“https://plus.google.com/YOURUNIQUEGOOGLEPLUSURL?rel=author”>YOURGOOGLEPLUSNAME</a>.

If your Google Plus URL ends in 0101010101010 and your name is Joe Blogs, you’ll have the code:
<a href=“https://plus.google.com/0101010101010?rel=author”>Joe Blogs</a>.

You may wish to include this code within a sentence such as
“Connect with me at <a href=“https://plus.google.com/0101010101010?rel=author”>Joe Blogs</a.”

You can then post this sentence to your author page.

Once you’ve added this code to your website, you’ll need to verify that it actually works. You can do this through the use of the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool. Here, you’ll be required to paste the URL of your post or page into the tool before clicking on the “Preview” button. You’ll receive notification that your efforts have been successful when Google returns a relevant search preview.

Makes sure that you are raising your personal authority as well as your websites, who knows how important this may be in the future.

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

Outsourcing Pay Per Click in Bristol – I can do it myself, why do I need an expert to help

PPC Bristol

 

 

 

 

 

The minefield that is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising presents challenges for small, medium and large businesses in Bristol. Anyone and everyone can set up an adwords account and have an advert up on Google for relevant keywords in 20-30 minutes.

 
There are numerous pitfalls that one needs to be aware of to ensure that not only is their pay-per-click getting them targeted traffic but also at the best price possible. Running our own on-line businesses at the Bristol SEO Partnership, we practice what we preach and we have learnt over the years that the difference between the pay-per-click cost of position 1 and position 2 is sometimes over 50%. Clever pricing and an over-inflated adwords keyword tool ensure that the pay-per-click bids tend to get people to over-spend chasing position 1.

 
As a new digital marketer or a first time advertiser on the search engines, we set up an adwords campaign (unsure which level of keyword search to use – broad, phrase or exact) and position our bids at either the projected costs of position 1 or just under. We design our adwords advert – struggling to understand how to improve the quality score, making our main keywords fit in the limited space, unsure about all the various options that are offered in the adwords back office. Once we have set our daily budget we put our adverts live and watch to see where they land on the page and how much traffic they capture.

 
Most of the time, they don’t get the first 2-3 positions and then we are encouraged to increase our bid. Until now, you have been doing all the work and there has been no need for any help or the need for an expert.

 
At this stage, without spending a lot of time (time you don’t have) on learning the various tricks for adwords, the only option is to increase the bid to capture the first spot. However, the other option is to allow an expert to help edit and alter your adwords campaign to make sure you catch the relevant online traffic for your business in and around Bristol whilst making sure that your spend gets less and less. Reducing your cost per click at the same time as increasing your click through rates whilst using all the adwords keyword data you get access too to devise an natural search position SEO strategy would place your business in the best possible position to maximise its customer potential online.

 

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

Linkedin – Are you letting your competition see your client list?

I had a conversation with a local Bristol estate agent recently about the benefits of Linkedin to engage and drive new business. He understood the upside but explained his reluctance to use Linkedin as he was constantly getting invites to connect from his competition, other estate agents. In theory he was happy to connect as they were business contacts and in some cases friends but he did not want them to see who else he was connected to. His concern was that his current connections tended to be his businesses clients that could act as a very nice prospect list for a competitor trying to develop their business. He was also concerned that his staff who where also on Linkedin could be also putting their best customers at risk.

This made perfect sense and I wondered how many other business owners where also publishing their client lists on-line, for their competition who they are also connected to plunder as required.

Luckily Linkedin has thought of this and introduced settings that can protect your contacts from prying eyes. This means that your connections only see mutual connections, those that they are also connected to.

So by all means connect to your competition but make sure you secure your connections. Once this estate agent understood this he immediately emailed his entire staff to change their settings and he is now seeing the true value of Linkedin without the sleepless nights..

To protect you connections follow the instructions below:

1. Log into Linkedin and from the Home Page hover over you name on the top right hand side and click on settings.

Linkedin Settings Tab

2. At the bottom of the settings page you will see a section called Privacy Controls click on “Select who can see your connections”

Linkedin Profile - Bristol SEO Partnership

3. A box will appear which gives you options to select who can see your connections. It box also explains that people will always be able to see your shared connections. Select “Only You” to protect your connections and save changes.

only you linkedin - Bristol SEO Partnership

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin

 

Top Tips for Google Places In Bristol

As local search becomes more and more important to local businesses trying to get a foothold on search engine results, Google Places (soon to become Google local) is becoming a key part of the mix.

Google places allow businesses to create their own listings that appear on the Google search results for those people in your local area. For example I live in Bristol and if I search for coffee shops I get the following results

Google Places For SEO Bristol

As you can see the first 3 natural results are a directory and then 2 Wikipedia entries and then it gets straight into the local Google Places results. This makes sense as Google understand that if I live in Bristol and search for coffee shops I probably am looking for some locally. It is also nice to notice that the independents on the whole are appearing and not the Starbucks of this world.

So lets delve a bit deeper. If you hover over the result you get more detail.

Google Places In Bristol

In this case the Boston Tea Party have done a good job of creating an attractive listing. Compare this to the listing of Spike Island, what a difference.

Bristol Google Places

Lets take a closer look at The Boston Tea Party entry:

Google Places in Bristol

Map – Have a listing for each location – The Boston Tea Party has a number of locations to it makes sense to add a listing for each one.

Great Images – Adding images makes a lot of difference allowing viewers a real insight into you business.  The Boston Tea Party  have some nice images and a link to Google Street View.  You could also add videos and use Google Business Places which is similar to Google Street View but inside your business.

Score and Review – This branch of the Boston Tea Party has 30 reviews and a score of 24. The score is determined by user reviews. Users can rate a business using a 0 – 3 scale. Google averages these scores and multiplies that averaged result by 10 to get the final score. Google also say they adjust some scores using other “inputs and signals” to ensure fairness, in short this is hoped to avoid businesses or the competition trying to fool the system with fake reviews or other shady tactics.

The Boston teas Party has a score of 24 and according to Google this means that it is “Very Good to Excellent” a score of 26 – 30 would move it into the “Extraordinary to Perfection….”

High scores help you get to the top of the Google Places results, so get those reviews…..

At a glance – Make sure you have the location and category term (eg Café) you initially registered you place for in this section, along with other related keyword.  Also put the category term and keywords in the business description.

Other Details – Make sure that you fill in as much of the detail as you can, including opening hours, address and contact details. Also use standard categories (you can pick up to 5) when you set up you account to describe your business.

Google places is a real opportunity for local businesses to make an impression on local search engines results. Make sure you have a Google Places entry and make sure it works as hard as possible.

 

Author: Robert Trapnell - Bristol SEO Partnership

Connect to Rob on , Twitter and Linkedin