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Conducting effective keyword research is the most important starting point for search engine optimisation (SEO). Making sure that your website is appearing on search engines when people search for your products/services is, obviously, what we are trying to achieve – but this is impossible unless we know exactly which words people are typing in. Finding this out is only the start of the process, however.

I do not rely solely on keyword generating software to conduct research. I believe real human beings use their knowledge and expertise to analyse the keywords that will give your business the best chance of appearing high in the rankings and attracting clicks from people who genuinely found you through a SERP (search engine result page).

The key to keyword research is monitoring which keywords people are typing into Google, as it will not only help to drive traffic to your website, it can also alert companies to what their customers are really looking for; indicating any shift in demand or market conditions, enabling them to provide the most sought after products and services in their sector.

In my experience, I have found that the more specific and focused keywords are, the more likely the searcher is to visit your business’ website. Another advantage to finding niche and specific keywords, is the fact that large companies with big budgets will often take the top spots for the most common general keywords for your industry – attempting to compete with them for these search terms is often futile. Small and medium sized businesses are far better off finding keywords that are not dominated by big firms and ranking highly for those first.

This is where my experience of working with small to mid-sized companies comes into its own: I have a track record of finding the less obvious, but still widely searched for, terms and phrases that not only drive traffic to your site, but also result in high quality inquiries that convert into sales.