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5 Things All Business Should Know About Online Marketing

It is not really possible to exaggerate just how quickly the world of online marketing evolves. It was not too long ago that having a website was an optional extra for most businesses. However,  not only must your business now have a website, if it is not optimised for viewing via a mobile device, you could now find yourself being penalised by Google! Things really are changing quickly!

99.9% of business owners are in their chosen market sector to make an impact. Forward progress & making money, rather than treading water and staying still is the order of the day and maximising your online exposure offers a great way of doing this.

No-one expects you to understand the ins and outs of this complex marketing method but to help you along the way, we have highlighted 5 of the most important things to understand about promoting your business via the internet

No. 1 – Putting All of Your Eggs in the PPC Basket Is a Bad Idea

A conversation with Google would quickly have you signing up for an Adwords PPC account and although a few years ago, Pay Per Click marketing offered a highly effective solution, today, however, PPC has less of an impact.

Running a short term PPC campaign can still prove to be very effective, however, it is absolutely crucial that you understand that the moment you stop adding money to your account is the moment your PPC advert disappears.

Pay Per Clicks are just as they sound, you are not paying for each enquiry or order you receive, you are literally paying each time someone clicks on your link.

Searching for a long term marketing strategy, such as organic SEO, is a far more cost effective method of approaching online marketing.

No. 2 – Effective Online Marketing Is Not Free!SEO Horley

Whoever said that ‘the best things in life are free’ was obviously not a business owner! The truth is that an effective online marketing campaign is likely to cost you a certain amount of money. You should though always view any online marketing costs as an investment rather than an expense.

Effective online marketing costs money. If you want to do things correctly, you will have to hire the services of a professional to write quality content, publish quality content, handle your social media accounts and cover all other aspects of online marketing, all of which will not come for free.

The thing to focus on though is that if you are prepared to spend the time and money required to market your business in the right way, your online marketing efforts can have a powerful ROI.

No. 3 – Never Underestimate The Power of Good Content

There is absolutely no getting away from the fact that they internet is content. The World Wide Web is made up of literally millions of articles, blogs, Blogging For Businessesinfographics, websites, tweets, status updates, videos and photographs to name just a few.

To stand out from the crowd, your website or online marketing venture needs to be founded on high quality, unique and informative content.

This can be broken down into one simple sentence ’Online marketing IS content marketing’.

No. 4 – Mobile Optimisation is a Must!

The most recent shake-up of the online word relates to Google’s ‘mobilegeddon’ update. Google’s latest algorithm change ensured a polite request to make websites ‘mobile friendly’ was replaced with an ‘or else’ ultimatum.

Essentially, if your website is not mobile friendly, it is highly likely to be penalised by Google during mobile searches.

There is no need to be concerned about this change though, mobile friendly websites are no longer just for huge companies with limitless funds, our expert team can quickly and easily convert your website to ensure that you fall in line.

For more on this, please check out our recent blog ‘Is Your Website Mobile Friendly? Find Out Why It Needs To BeIs Mobile Optimisation The Future of SEO

No. 5 – Visitor Numbers Rather Than Rankings Can Make All The Difference

We certainly don’t believe that web rankings are irrelevant but it is far too easy for people to become consumed by achieving high rankings for certain terms.

Achieving excellent rankings is an output that many SEO firms can easily sell because they look good! However, it is an increase in relevant visitors which is often the most important SEO factor.

With so many different methods of driving visitors to your website, social media, articles and online directories to name just a few, there are a variety of methods of not just driving visitors to your website but driving the ‘right’ visitors to your website.

Without an increasing number of the right visitors, you are highly unlikely to generate leads or sales–the outcome you need and this is why you should place your trust in SEO firms with a focus on delivering outcomes, rather than outputs.

If you would like any more information, please contact the Footprint team on Tel. No. 01883 372488 and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

By | June 17th, 2015|SEO|Comments Off on 5 Things All Business Should Know About Online Marketing

How Long Does It Take SEO To Work?

One of our most commonly heard questions relating to SEO goes something along the lines of ‘how quickly can I hit Google’s first page for my important terms?’

Whilst we would love nothing more than to provide a simple answer, the world of SEO is rarely that straightforward and answering this question is always more complicated than we would like it to be.

A Changing Landscape

As people continue to become more proficient at using the internet, search engine optimisation is becoming increasingly driven by natural language Could Twitter Soon Be Taking On New Importance For SEO?search, i.e. people entering searches that are based on normal questions.

Why Is This Happening?

This change in the way people conduct their internet searches has taken place because of the movement towards tools such as Siri and Google Now to voice their searches, rather than manually typing them into a search engine.

This in turn has led to the addition of more detail to their typed searches and as a result, they are generating more accurate results at the first time of asking.

The good news is that by tapping into this shift of searching emphasis, the opportunity to increase conversion rates is excellent due to the fact that the results being generated are becoming increasingly relevant.

Don’t Focus Too Hard on Rankings

There can be no escaping the fact that to a certain degree, search rankings are still important, however, they are not statistics which should receive tooGoogle-Maps much focus.

Achieving excellent rankings is an output that many SEO firms can easily sell because they look good! However, it is an increase in relevant visitors which is often the most important SEO factor.

Without an increasing number of visitors, you are highly unlikely to generate leads or sales–the outcome you need and this is why you should place your trust in SEO firms with a focus on delivering outcomes, rather than outputs.

But How Long Does It Take For SEO To Start Working?

We could tell you that it takes a week but that wouldn’t be true. We could tell you that it takes a month and that wouldn’t be true either. The truth is that it depends on a variety of factors and there is no set timescale to hit your SEO goals.

Obviously, we will do all that we can to ensure that results start to take a positive turn at the earliest possible stage but there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy to effective SEO.

Some of the many factors which we must take into account, include how long your website has been live, how much (good) SEO work has been completed previously, what shape the website is in, is the content fresh and interesting, does it have a good link profile to name just a few.

Please Note – For more information relating to some of the many factors relating to SEO please see the Search Engine Land infographic* below.

SEO Periodic Table

A Helpful Guideline

We understand that no-one wants to hear ‘how long is a piece of string?’ when asking about SEO timescales though and as such, our experience tells us that there is every chance it will take between 4 to 6 months to start seeing results.

What is important to note though is that when done correctly, SEO results grow over time. This means that no matter how good the results may be after 6 months, there is every chance that your website will be generating significantly better results after another 6 months.

Don’t Stop Too Soon

SEO should always be viewed as an investment rather than an expenditure, however, many companies do not come in with that mindset.

We have experience with companies who start the right way but look for the exit door at 2 or 3 months because they ‘just weren’t getting the results we needed to justify the cost.’

This tells us that, unfortunately, they entered into the SEO campaign with unrealistic expectations and as a general rule, if you are not in a position where you can budget for 6 to 12 months of SEO, you may be better exploring other opportunities with your marketing budget.

This is not to say that there is no chance of achieving fast results for you and one thing that we can guarantee is that our entire service is geared towards achieving the best possible results at the earliest possible stage.

An Accurate View

To ensure that you enter an SEO agreement with the most accurate view, we recommend looking at SEO as an effective long term marketing tactic, and not as a method to generate quick sales.

However, if you make the proper investment, and plan on being in it for the long haul, SEO is a marketing tactic with the potential for one of the best ROIs out there.

*Infographic courtesy of Search Engine Land

If you would like any more information, please contact the Footprint team on Tel. No. 01883 372488 and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

By | May 4th, 2015|SEO, SEO Results|Comments Off on How Long Does It Take SEO To Work?

Be Wary of SEO Companies ‘Guaranteeing’ Results

We understand just how tricky choosing the right SEO firm can be. Unless you are fortunate enough to receive a personal recommendation from someone you trust, taking a leap of faith with any company offering SEO services ranging anywhere from £100s to £1000s per month, is likely to be a nerve-racking experience at the best of times.

Even if you opt for a company which ranks well on Google themselves, how do you know that they will be able to repeat this with your business? How can you be sure that Be Wary of SEO Companies ‘Guaranteeing’ Resultsthey are doing the work that they promised and are not just ripping you off? Perhaps you have had a bad experience in the past and this now causes added anxiety as you begin go through the hiring process again.

As a company that prides itself on our reputation, we would love to be able to guarantee SEO results for our clients. We believe that our clients deserve a guarantee and it would certainly make marketing a little easier! However, we know that these guarantees are simply not possible and we therefore do not offer them.

Looking For Assurance

It is only natural for people to look for some type of assurance before signing up with any company offering products or services. However, because all SEO companies are aware of the general nervousness of many new clients (especially those who are facing a step into the unknown in regards to SEO), in an effort to separate themselves from the pack, some SEO ‘experts’ take it upon themselves to offer a range of services that GUARANTEE results.

Hands up if you have received spam e-mails from companies doing just this? We know that we have!

Surely there is nothing wrong with this though. The Post Office guarantee delivery dates on some of their post, your local garage may guarantee that you will get your car back in a full working order by a particular date, so what is wrong with an SEO company guaranteeing to get you exceptional rankings? The problem lies here – there are no SEO companies that work for Google and therefore they have no way of controlling their algorithm and therefore ‘guaranteeing results’.

Why Can’t SEO Guarantees Be Trusted?

A recent article on the Forbes website titled ‘Why the best SEO firms don’t offer guaranteed results’ took a detailed look into why it is not possible to give any of the promises any credibility at all.

The research highlighted 5 reasons which stood out-

  • No. 1 – SEO & Guarantees Have an Abominable History – It is a proven fact that many scams offer guarantees. It therefore stands to reason that you should always be on your guard with any company offering a guaranteed service.
  • No. 2 – Search Engine Rankings are Inherently Unstable – Rankings for a particular keyword frequently vary from one moment to another, from one computer to another and from one location to another. Therefore guaranteeing results is not really possible.
  • No. 3 – Rankings are a Poor Metric for Overall Performance – There are a number of factors which decide the success of an SEO campaign. We will explore this is in a later blog.
  • No . 4 – Guaranteeing Something Which Cannot Be Controlled is Impossible – Whereas some market sectors, such as those mentioned above work in a field in which they can guarantee results, the sheer number of factors and variables involved in SEO ensures that guarantees are impossible.
  • No. 5 – Last and most importantly, Google specifically warns against this practice! – Google’s official statement reads: “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google”

The Risks of Trusting a Guarantee

The only way that an SEO company will have any chance of guaranteeing results is by guaranteeing that Google’s algorithm will continue to react in a particular way. If however, Google engineers cannot guarantee that the algorithm will act a particular way in the future (there have been a number of instances where Google representatives have said they saw no issue with a certain tactic only to red flag it later), how can anyone else possibly be in a position to offer this guarantee?

Despite all of the evidence suggesting that the sensible option is to look elsewhere, some people are still prepared to put their trust in someone offering a guarantee of results, particularly if the services available are relatively cheap. After all if you try these for a few months and they don’t work, what have you actually lost? Unfortunately, the truth is that you may have lost a great deal.

Companies that cut corners in an effort to achieve fast results which may initially seem to fulfil the ‘guarantee’ criteria are putting your website at risk.

When someone chooses a low quality SEO firm there are a variety of bad things that may be lurking around the corner, including but not limited to:

  • Losing your investment
  • Losing your time
  • Losing your rankings
  • Possibly even earning a penalty from Google which will take a significant amount of time and money to resolve

How To Hire The Right SEO Firm

When shopping for SEO services, it is absolutely essential that you do your homework. Whilst personal recommendations from people who have good experiences with a particular company will go a long way in the decision making process, the following article highlights some great questions to factor into your decision making process – http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2013/09/23/4-tips-for-hiring-the-right-seo-firm/

Taking the time to explore case studies, speaking to references, and perhaps most importantly of all – gaining a little SEO knowledge of your own, you can take significant steps towards making the best decision for your business.

What Makes Us Different?

Despite veering well away from guaranteeing SEO results, we do not shy away from making our clients a guarantee and this is one that we can and will deliver on month after month.

We guarantee that you will receive a service that delivers to the best of our knowledge, to the best of our ability and most importantly of all, will retain the best interests of your business at heart at all times.

Whilst due to the very nature of SEO, some of the work will be done ‘behind the scenes’ of your website, we work tirelessly to ensure that at the end of each month, much of the work that we do provides tangible results (blogs and citations for example) to ensure that you feel comfortable in the knowledge that you have something to show for your money.

We pride ourselves on being viewed by our clients as an open-book and as such, if you have any questions regarding any of our services, please just give us a call on Tel. No. 01883 372488 and we’ll be happy to run through your options with you.

By | February 6th, 2015|SEO, SEO Results|Comments Off on Be Wary of SEO Companies ‘Guaranteeing’ Results

Can You Afford Not To Be On Google?

There are still a huge number of companies who have no on-line presence whatsoever. Regardless of whether your customer focus is based locally or much further afield, with statistics such as those below, the questions has definitely moved from ‘can you afford to be on Google?’ to ‘can you afford NOT to be on Google?’

Can You Afford Not To Be On Google

Contact Us

For further information relating to our complete range of services, simply call us on Tel. No. o1883 372488, e-mail us at info@footprint.co.uk or visit our Facebook page.

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By | August 5th, 2014|SEO|Comments Off on Can You Afford Not To Be On Google?