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 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.

Monday, 21 February 2011

SEO Secrets to Make Your Website More Visible

By Peter Bowen, Director, First One On

No more smoke and mirrors please - if they say its guaranteed to get you to the top of Google it probably isn’t because there are no guarantees, and there's no such thing as 'free' - if it is free it has no value.

If you are serious about SEO - search engine optimisation and want to dominate your competitors by being at the top for highly competitive search terms when there are millions of other webpages all wanting top spot?, then read on.

Improving a website’s position in a search result is a gradual process that takes time – lots of time and patience, and it is possible for a small business to greatly improve its chances of landing on the first page of relevant search results using legitimate, "white-hat" SEO practices and honest search engine optimisation.

At First One On we highly recommend kick-starting a firm’s SEO by running a small pay-per-click (PPC) keyword ad campaign with Google AdWords linked to a highly relevant content rich landing page on the clients website – coupled with an explicit call to action, such as an invitation to call for a free phone consultation. PPC ads can begin delivering targeted traffic to your website within minutes or hours, versus the months that organic SEO efforts can take.

Here are six top SEO tips for boosting your website's search engine status

1. Determine Goals, Priorities, and Measurements
Before starting an SEO campaign, develop measurable goals and priorities, and plan to revise them periodically. Some questions to ask: What are your current business needs? Which of your products or services are most important to promote now? What do you want visitors to your website to do, buy, or learn?

Next, decide how to measure success. If you haven't already done so, add Google Analytics to each page of your website. Google Analytics reveals which keywords visitors used to find your site, and much, much more. There are other web traffic analysis tools out there, but Google Analytics includes all of the features that most small businesses need.

2. Research Keywords
Often, a business doesn't describe its products using the same keywords that its clients use. That's why it's important to talk to employees, partners, current and potential clients, and your sales staff to determine which words are most frequently used when people seek out your firm and its products or services. Use those phrases to develop an initial list of SEO keyword candidates.

Several keyword-research tools are available to help you choose the best terms for SEO. Google AdWords Keyword Tool helps you gauge how frequently keywords are searched in a local area, and how competitive a keyword is. The tool is designed to help marketers choose keywords for Google PPC ads, but it's useful for organic keyword research, too. You'll also get lots of keyword variations that you might not have thought of.

When choosing keywords, some site managers take into account the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI), a mathematical equation that comes up with a score based on the number of times a keyword has been searched and the number of Web pages containing the keyword. The higher the KEI score, the better your chances are for "winning" that keyword.

3. Use Keywords Carefully

Using keywords effectively can make your site more discoverable. But overusing or abusing them can cause search engines to ignore you so be careful not to overstuff content with keywords – make sure the text content is meaningful and relevant to the search keyword term.

Optimise one page for each keyword (and its synonyms) that you were able to identify in the keyword research. When the entire context of a page is about a particular subject, search engines are more likely to see that page as relevant to the keyword being optimised.

Use keywords in the page's HTML title tag. Search engines place great importance on title tags when determining a page's relevancy to a query. Don't exceed 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation.

Add keywords to the page's HTML h1 and h2 headings, and use the keywords several times in the body copy--the earlier, the better.

Create a keyword-rich link (anchor text) elsewhere on your site to each page you're optimising.

Add keywords to your site's URLs whenever possible, as opposed to using generic URLs such as

Add keywords to each page's HTML meta description. Search engines often (but not always) display that description underneath each link shown in search results. But don't bother with HTML keyword meta tags: Google ignores keyword meta tags in page search ranking.

Don't try and be ‘smart’ . "Black-hat" tricks--such as presenting one page to search engines that's nothing but keywords, and another page to users--can get you kicked out of Google's index.

4. Create One Way Links
Editorial endorsements of your product or service from someone else, such as a high-profile blogger, can be pure SEO gold--especially when that endorsement includes a keyword-rich link to a relevant page on your site.
Bloggers and other people with content rich websites frequently post links to other great content. Make sure your pages have provocative, newsworthy, or extremely useful content--otherwise known as "linkbait." Spread the word about a new blog post, page, or article via social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Write an informative unbiased press release about your new product or service. Include a keyword-rich link to a relevant page on your site, and post the release on public relations sites such as,, and (Some PR services are free, while others charge.) With luck, your press release will get picked up by the media, and people will write online articles about you with links to your site.

Contact influential reporters, bloggers, and others in the media directly. You'll increase your chances of coverage and perhaps get links that your competitors lack. When other sites agree to link to yours, suggest the keyword that you'd like them to use in the link text.

Don’t participate in reciprocal linking – if a website asks you to exchange links, don’t be tempted, most have no value to you.

5. Make Sure Your Site Is Search Engine Friendly
Search engine "bots" primarily index text and follow links. Though they are getting more sophisticated, bots can't easily index nontext content, such as Flash animations.

JavaScript content, such as site menus rendered in Ajax, can stop a search engine bot in its tracks. The bottom line: If your Website contains lots of Flash, Ajax, and other nontext material, you're making it difficult for the search engines to index your pages. And if search engines can't index that content, searchers won't be able to find it when they perform queries. If you're planning a new site, make sure its design is friendly to search engines from the beginning.

6. Duplicate Content
We cannot emphasize this point enough now that Google is changing its position on sites that have duplicated content.

Make sure that your site doesn't have duplicate content or subscribe to content that is the same on other sites like news feeds or article libraries - these have no SEO value whatsoever. Duplicate content can hurt your search engine ranking and Google will ignore pages with the same title and content.

Be careful about accepting or paying for ‘syndicated’ content – content that you subscribe to and is listed on your site. Google is getting serious about ignoring sites that have the same content, news stories, and libraries of articles that are the same on other sites.

So having a website that is loaded with news stories and articles that are not unique serve no purpose in helping your website achieve high rankings, Google will see that your website is bloated with duplicate content and ignore it.


SEO isn't something you do once. You may rank well for a keyword search on Monday, and twenty-third for that same keyword search two weeks later. So it's important to set aside time, ideally every week, to review your Google Analytics, fine-tune your keywords, and look for link opportunities.

Yes, SEO requires time – lots of time and patience. The potential rewards can be considerable and its safe to say that your competitors are doing it.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Social Media Power Tools

More than 75% of consumers today use some form of social media in their everyday lives - if you or your business are not one of those then you might be missing out on powerful ways to communicate and be seen and heard. Peter Bowen, SEO strategist at First One On says "it's quite easy to get involved with social media applications and here are four ways to get involved and start using social media power tools".

Start a Blog

Blogs are easy to create and easy to maintain - with tools like Wordpress or Google's Blogspot they offer free weblog publishing tools for sharing text, photos and video. These easy to use tools will enable you to quickly start creating high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience.

Start a Facebook page

Facebook is one of the most popular sites in the world (along with Google). To get started, simply create a Facebook page where you can post updates, link to your blog articles, and receive feedback from your friends, clients and customers. As you post relevant content and interact with them on your Facebook page, you begin to develop powerful relationships for building business.

Post videos on YouTube

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, a video must be worth 1,000 pictures and 1,000,000 words! Plus videos get priority in search engine results and allow you to show a little personality. Start with a company overview or a product demonstration and build your video library from there.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

FirstPost Helps Business Communicate with Social Media

If you are not using social media tools like Twitter, Blogs and YouTube to get your message out, or to tell people what you are doing, then you are missing out on some exciting ways of communicating to potential customers who might never know about your services or products. Take for example the old way of getting messages out to the news media using press releases, direct mail, or newsletters - social media has actually enhanced all aspects of marketing communications.

In addition to enhancing a business’s message, Twitter provides real time opportunities to communicate on a daily basis. Blogs help to reinforce the message and provide longer lasting details with valuable links to other content and even webpages of more relevant and detailed content. And let's not forget the impact of YouTube as a powerful media tool for visually helping to get the message across to the potential customer. YouTube is also becomming an active 'search' tool to find out almost anything like 'how to'...

Since there are many businesses still struggling to embrace Twitter, First One On now offers a service called FirstPost that helps business customers to distribute their messages through social media channels. A news item, product announcement, or service offer is promoted through four different channels including, an article that is posted on a blog, distribution through a network of news sites, a web page with anchor text links, and 3 related messages tweeted over a 24-hour period with links to the customers blog and web page.

FirstPost can be purchased as a onetime event or subscribed to on a monthly basis. The premium subscription includes video clips that are posted on YouTube and optimised with proprietary knowledge based solutions developed by First One On.

To learn more about FirstPost please contact First One On