Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Local SEO | Local Search Engine Optimisation

Being at the top of a Google search is every businessman’s dream and until recently, firms that once held the top position, have found their listings dropping off of the prime positions, this came about when Google introduced changes to how local business would be listed in a search result.

What this now means is that, it has become more difficult for businesses to rank at the top of a local search unless they have realised that they now have to spend much more time and effort on local search engine optimization. Businesses that had previously enjoyed a prominent position on the old Google Map without a website, which was possible before, will now find it almost impossible to maintain a listing without a well developed and locally optimised website.

“Businesses will now have to have a visible and physical location if they want to be listed in a local search, in the past businesses could hide their physical location and yet still be found locally through their websites, but now consumers searching for a business in a location will be able to determine if they contact that business or not based on their location” says Peter Bowen, SEO expert at First One On, “as Google exposes competitors in searches it is now revealing where those businesses are located – hopefully providing the consumer with more relevant localised information before making a purchase decision in the long run”.

The most important aspect of optimising for local search engine optimization is that the website now needs to have a separate, optimised page for every location where the firm conducts business. Ensuring that these pages are optimised for both the main keywords as well as for localised keywords now becomes paramount. For example, the title of the website page might be “seo firm in wells, somerset”. Each of the optimised local pages will match a different optimised Google Places page.
Google Places Optimisation

Each specific business location has to have its own page listed in Google Places that has been both verified and optimised. You should spend time ensuring that all the sections are filled out as fully as possible and are well optimised.
Place Name: Do not attempt to include all of your keywords in the name as you would do in the website page title. Google sees these types of names as spammy, and will filter the results to exclude these listings. This section should include the name of the business and the location. Only include keywords when they make absolute sense in the name.

Contact information: Should be exactly the same as how it appears on the corresponding page on your website. This increases the credibility of both the website and the places page.


Monday, 26 September 2011

Less is More with Email Marketing

Email marketing if it is done right will work really well - however - blasting out hundreds or thousands of emails to unqualified end users will get you nothing...

Yes email marketing is like any other marketing programme – it is a numbers game, the more you send, the more chances that more people will open your email - but there is a LOT MORE to email marketing than just blasting out numbers!

A quality list of end users or subscribers who have agreed to receive your email and have opted-in will get you results. The opted-in process works like this – a potential subscriber completes a signup form on your website or through an email invitation and submits it to you, then an email is sent back to that person asking them to validate or give you permission to send them email. Now you have an end user who is qualified as a valuable lead and is expecting to receive an email communication from you in the future. Now your chances of those qualified leads reacting to your email is going to be a lot more positive.

An email sent to a qualified list is most certainly going to get a much higher “open rate” from subscribers who open the email and become exposed to your marketing message.

The next task is to get the subscriber to react to your marketing message and the key is to get them to "click through" on your offer or “call to action” and land on your website page and ultimately to "BUY" into your offer.

The content of the email must contain quality content that describes your value proposition or presents an issue and asks a relevant question where the response, the click through to your website, will generate the opportunity to sell your stuff.

Ensure that the content is to the point and does not require the recipient to read through long paragraphs of text to get to the point you are trying to make. The content should be short and succinct, capturing the recipient’s interest and motivating them to react to your message in appositive way.

Email marketing is very much a process that does work if it is done right.

Contact SEO Evangelist Peter Bowen at 0117 230 1880 - he is an SEO and marketing communications expert who delivers strategies that work and get results.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Building Less Links is Key to Success

Backlinks - links from other websites that point or have a link to your website add to the value of a website in terms of search engine optimisation and there was a time when the more backlinks a website had the better - in fact webmasters would build hundreds even thousands and tens of thousands of backlinks or inbound links from other websites in the belief that more was better - wrong!

We do know that quality is better than quantity and this is very true when it comes to building value to a website and getting Google to see the value in a webpage because it has high quality content and a few very specific high quality backlinks.

It makes so much more sense to have a clean well constructed highly unique and original webpages that have really relevant content with highly optimised keywords, keyterms and long-tail phrases that have themselves been linked internally and externally to other relevant content.  

It makes so much more sense to have less high quality relevant inbound and outbound links - just one link from a high PR (Page Rank) page has more value than 100 or 1000 links from PR 0 or even non-indexed pages.

One very important point here is that just because a page appears to be indexed by Google it does not mean that it can be found in a search - has Google cross referenced and catalogued the page so it is searchable?

It is easy to test if a page is indexed by Google by putting site:www.yourdomain.com into a search and let Google return a list of all of the pages that are indexed in it's catalogue - but and it's a very big 'but' - is the webpage searchable in a Google search? Can you find the page?

An easy test is to select a string of content words from the page that you want to test and then paste that string into a search in "string" and see what the result is - Google will try and match that string to the same string in it's index. Don't be surprised if two things happen:

1. No search results are displayed - this means that the webpage content has not been crawled and indexed by Google

2. More than one occurrence or result appears in the results page, which means that your content is not original or others have copied your unique content and used it on their own pages.

The moral of this story is: building less low quality links and more high quality relevant links is the key to the success of a webpage being found "first one on" Google.

Monday, 1 August 2011

How to improve conversion rates – People visit websites to get information or buy a product or service

So you are getting a lot of visitors to your website every month and analyzing your stats you can see that your keywords are working and your bounce rate appears to be low – all good things, but you don’t seem to be getting many of those visitors to contact or call your firm – what is needed here is a better ‘call to action’ to improve the conversion rate of visitors into leads says Peter Bowen of First One On a leading SEO company in the UK.


Measuring what works is vital to understanding the behavior of the consumer in your location, and yes, consumers in different regions react to different mechanisms – so what works here may not work there.

We often see “read more” on a webpage – referring to additional text about the subject matter being discussed but this doesn’t add any value – a better solution is to word it with a call to action like “click here to start your claim now”. What you are trying to do here is to get the visitor to take the next step toward your final website goal, and by doing this, you improve your overall conversion rate, which in this case is to get someone to register or call you to start a claim.

The eventual aim of the webpage then is to get more interested visitors or qualified leads who will eventually phone or contact you - but it is the visitor who is in control. Peter Bowen, Search Engine Optimisation expert says "if you don’t give your visitors a reason or method to communicate with you, then they won’t", and "they won't come back either".

Using a pro-active mechanism for instance enables you to ask for a name, email address and telephone number from your visitor so that he/she can then get useful information from you in the form of a free report or an answer to a question – by doing this you will accomplish two very important tasks; first, you qualify the visitor as someone who is interested in your services, and second, you get permission to contact him/her again. You need to build into your website a powerful reason for your visitors to give you permission to email or talk to them rather than expect someone to pick up the phone. People visit a website to get information or buy a product or service, so give them the means to get it.

Finally and most important of all is trust. You cannot sell anything if your audience doesn’t trust you. You can help them to trust you by prominently displaying your privacy policy, reference to the satisfied customers that have already bought from you, that you make it very easy to find contact information such as a name and address as well as support via email. You could educate via your website with articles and ‘how to sections’ or newsletters and instill trust over time. In short, your prospect must trust you to part with his or her money.


Peter Bowen is a seasoned SEO Marketing specialist who has been involved with the internet since 1994 when he won the Entrepreneur of the Year award for developing an online internet shopping website. He has developed software for learning and now concentrates his efforts on helping others to understand and market their products and services through effective search marketing strategies. Search Engine Optimisation expert First One On helps clients through the maze of SEO to get top search engine rankings.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

SEO + Social Media = More Business

Connect to the power of social media networks and drive new business to your website and convert more visitors into customers.

First One On delivers much more than SEO services alone, now combined with the power of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Blogs to drive new visitors to your website.

First One On delivers SEO + Social Media = More Business

If you need more business then you need First One On.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Build My Rank Review Has No Value

Build My Rank (BMR) is just like all the other so called rank and link building tools and other worthless article tools out there – they just do not work.

Sure with BMR you MUST create an original unique article to get it published and that's where the value ENDS. The sites that eventually publish your article are not relevant to your article or what your website is about and are supposed to be high PR sites but the pages that your articles end up on are pages with PR=0 – OK so they may pass some link juice if they get crawled.

7 months later and our search engine optimisation team at First One On are still waiting for our articles on WORTHLESS websites to pass any link juice – hey wait a minute – they have not been crawled yet and they are not showing up in any link reporting, so they cannot possibly be of any value!

YES, there is value in creating original and unique article content, NOT SPUN rubbish, and YES there is value in having highly relevant content on RELEVANT websites with links back to your relevant content – BUT – in the case of BMR – there is NO VALUE whatsoever.

And the recurring offer that is about to expire is just another marketing scam to get you to buy into another worthless tool that only lines the pockets of those promoting and defending it as a valuable link building resource.

Our advice is stay away from BMR unless you like spending your hard earned cash on worthless SEO tools.

OK so on a positive note, the lesson learned here with BMR is, yes there is value in creating unique original article content and yes if you can find a website that is very relevant to what you do and you can get your link on to that website then there is a very good chance that your article will provide Value to your website – but please don’t waste your money with ~ BMR.

If you want high quality links that are honest and true – you will have to go out and find a few relevant to your website and get your high quality articles published – it is better to have a few articles on high PR sites than loads of useless sites with PR=0.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Search Engine Optimisation Overkill

By Peter Bowen, Director, First One On

Struggling to get to the top of search engines' results knows no limits that some SEO - search engine optimisation firms will go to and yet only too often we hear about websites that have been temporarily or permanently removed from Google’s index because of erroneous SEO practices or the use of ‘black hat’ or dishonest SEO optimisation techniques. Search engines will not tolerate tricks and cheats that some so called SEO practitioners include in their arsenal. And even if search engines do not discover these underhanded attempts right away, your competitors might report you.

Keyword Density or Keyword Stuffing?

Sometimes SEO practitioners go too far in their desire to push their clients' websites to top positions and resort to irrational practices, like keyword stuffing – placing too many keywords into the content text on a webpage. Keyword stuffing is considered as a questionable practice because you are diluting the value and quality of the keyword. Bearing in mind that the recommended keyword density is from 2 to 5% of the content on the page, that is repeating the keyword twice in the first 100 words, anything more than this, say 10% density will begin to look very much like keyword stuffing and it is very likely that it will get noticed by search engines and could face penalties.

"Generally, keyword density in the meta title of the page, the main H1 headings, and the first few paragraphs really has more value", says Peter Bowen, SEO Expert at First One On. Needless to say, that you should be especially careful not to stuff these areas. Generally words that are in bold and/or italic are considered important by search engines but if any occurrence of the target keywords is in bold and italic, this also looks unnatural and in the best case it will not push your page up the rankings.

Doorway Pages and Hidden Text

Another common keyword trick is the use of doorway pages. Before Google introduced the PageRank algorithm, doorways were a common practice and there were times when they were not considered an illegal optimisation. A doorway page is a page that is made especially for the search engines and that has no meaning for humans but is used to get high positions in search engines and to trick users to come to the website.

Very similar to doorway pages was a scam called hidden text. This is text, which is invisible to humans (e.g. the text colour is the same as the page background) but is included in the HTML source of the page, trying to fool search engines that the particular page is keyword-rich. Needless to say, both doorway pages and hidden text can hardly be qualified as optimisation techniques.

Search Engine Optimisation expert Peter Bowen at First One On is considered by many to be a master craftsman when it comes to SEO techniques, and his expertise is sought after far and wide throughout Europe and North America.