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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves making your website search engine friendly.

Optimised sites with clear titles, links, meta tag descriptions for pictures, etc, are easier for search engines to index. This is one of many ways to push your website up the ranks of search engines, resulting in increased website traffic.

Good organic rankings =
Reputation & trust =
Searcher’s perception of your success.

Keyword research
is the most important starting point for SEO. You’ll want your site to be visible for all keywords relevant to your business. Know the keywords you want, and use them, but don’t overuse them – too much repetition of keywords could make a search engine suspicious that your content is ‘spam’.

Monitoring which keywords people are typing into Google can alert you to what customers are really looking for, indicating any shift in demand or market conditions. Without the right keywords, people searching using those words will not find you on their search engine result page.

The more specific and focused keywords are, the more likely the searcher is to visit your business’ website. Large companies with big budgets will often take the top spots for the most common general keywords in their industry. Don’t compete. Small and medium sized businesses are far better off finding keywords and keyword combinations that are not dominated by big firms and ranking highly for those first. Also choose which Keywords you don’t want associated with your site, including ones that are close but not relevant.

Analytics
show how many people are visiting a site, which pages they are looking and how long they are looking at them for, as well as which page they are on when they click off the site. Find any pages that have a high ‘bounce rate’ and improve or remove them.

Detailed reporting

will determine the keywords which are driving revenue and allow you to see exactly where your money is going and what effect it is having, recording progress over months and years. Track how visitors are getting to your site, how long they are spending there, and how many are going on to make an enquiry.
Pay per click
keyword advertising will increase traffic. Set a budget and specific target locations (countries, cities, local areas, etc). Listing the exact location of your business in Google Maps will help attract local customers.

Spend on web and mobile advertising is estimated to surpass that of TV in 2018

Thanks to the various search engines’ latest algorithm changes, it is not only the number of links your site has that is important in how high it ranks, it is also the quality of those links. A high number of good quality links is the best way to achieve a high search ranking.

Low quality links are those that point to low-content ‘link sites’ that are considered to be ‘spam’ by Google. These websites are trying to cheat the system by selling links, and are are just there to artificially inflate the number of backlinks the paying site has, without adding any benefit for people searching. Low quality ‘link sites’ can link to other sites without the owners’ knowledge. A ‘link site’ will usually point to major reputable sites as well as those of its customers in order to improve its own ranking, piggybacking on the success of others. In these circumstances, it becomes necessary to find out which sites are linking to yours and remove the damaging links – this is called link development. Regular monitoring is required to ensure that no ‘bad’ links appear.

 

As people now use the Internet as a social platform, knowing your target audience and using the right tone for your relevant demographic when marketing on appropriate social networks will reinforce brand identity and help revenue generation.

Facebook offers opportunities for page creation & promotion, text & image ads, and participation marketing. Twitter is a means of receiving fast paced feedback and encourages interaction. It can affect brand reputation and public image, as well as be a marketing tool. YouTube is the UK’s most visited site, and clever content including sponsored videos and brand related content as well as pre-video ads can reach a big audience. Also consider LinkedIn, Flickr, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, etc. All networks require creative thinking, and an adherence to best practice guidelines.

 

Put content first. Effective web content must be engaging, well researched, and packed with information that will add value for readers and potential customers. With social media, create content that is designed to be shared, rather than typical ads.

Update regularly. People want fresh content – pictures and text. This is often done in the form of a Blog. Unique written content is a must. Content copied from elsewhere will damage your credibility in the eyes of Google and others. Authoritative, informative content is more likely to be shared and linked to, raising awareness of your brand and building respect and trust. Providing customers and clients with the latest news and information will increase your prestige in the industry and lets the search engine robots know that your site is good quality.

In summary, SEO is a critical part of successful marketing due to the ubiquity of online search. How many times have you heard the phrase ‘Just Google it’? Here’s some of the do’s and don’t of good quality SEO.

Do
Make your website easy for search engines to index.
Regularly update with engaging, unique content.
Define the keywords you would like to rank for.
Link to, and be linked from, other respected sites.
Play to the strengths of social media platforms.

Don’t
Compete with big companies for common keywords.
Have low quality links either to or from your site.
Overuse keywords.