Frequently Asked Questions

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Search for answers to our most frequently asked questions below.
SEO is search engine optimisation – a way of ensuring that customers who are interested in your website see it listed when they type a relevant term into a search engine like Google. Having a prominent listing on a search engine will mean more customers discover your website.
Think of a search engine like a huge encyclopedia with an index. When deciding what results to show for a term, the search engine looks at three factors: Crawlability, authority and relevance. Crawlability looks at the technical side of how your website is built. Authority is about how reputable your website is and looks at factors such as how many visitors to your website you have every week or month. Relevancy means how easy it is for Google to categorise your website, ensuring that only people who are interested in what you have to sell are shown your website. SEO is all about helping the search engine understand exactly what your business does and which products you offer, so that you start appearing for the most relevant search terms.
One of the key things that Google looks at to determine the authority of your site is which other websites link to yours. This is very much a matter of quality over quantity; one link from The Times is worth a lot more than 50 or more links from newly-established blogs with hardly any readers.
We’ve all seen those deals on freelance websites offering 50 backlinks to your website for a fiver. Google however takes a very dim view on link-buying, and if you’re caught doing this, you can expect your website to slide rapidly down the rankings. If you have bought backlinks in the past and are suffering as a consequence, then the only option is to remove the links and put in a request to Google to ask them to re-analyse your website.
The best way of boosting your website up the rankings is to focus on the content you offer. Also, think about getting relevant, recognised bloggers to link to your content through their own blogs.
SEO always starts by thinking about what your customers might be typing into the search engine when they are looking for your business. If, for example, you sell cakes and biscuits, use headings and contents in your website which make it easy for Google to understand what your business is about. If you wish to take a deeper look at keywords, then there are a range of keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush and Ahrefs which will help you with this. Make sure that you are using your identified keywords in your title tags, headers tags and alternate text.
Go to the Google website and type in “site:[]”. If your website pops up, then Google knows you exist. If it doesn’t then you have to let Google know. Go to the Google search console tool, verify your site and submit your sitemap.
It’s not compulsory. But an estimated 50% of your website traffic comes through search engines, so many businesses believe it’s worth investing in SEO. It’s like many other business decisions – you might be able to do your company VAT return yourself, but pay an accountant because you know their expertise is money well spent. Very small companies who have a tiny marketing budget are probably better off managing their SEO inhouse. Beware too of the SEO “experts” who promise the earth for a suspiciously cheap price. Chances are their techniques are less than ethical and could do more harm than good.
If your marketing budget is bigger, and you think you need professional help with your SEO, then take a bit of time to evaluate different companies and consultants before making a decision on what would work best for your business.
The best thing to do us to ask an expert on SEO to ask their opinion, as every business will be different. However, you can always make a start by using the Moz toolbar to look at the authority ranking of your website. If your authority rating is 40 or under, then that’s where you should focus effort, perhaps by trying to get links from other reputable websites. If on the other hand your authority rating is 70 or over, then look instead at the relevancy side of SEO for your website. If you’re in the middle of the ratings for both aspects, then compare your domain authority rating to five of your main competitors. If you’re rating higher than them for authority, concentrate on relevance. If you’re rating lower, then try to boost your authority score above theirs.
AdWords is a Google package which allows website owners and advertisers to bid on keywords to have their adverts displayed. It’s a form of pay-per-click advertising, which can help to get you noticed. Popular keywords attract higher bids than niche keywords
When a user types in as search term which you have identified as being related to your business, your advert will be displayed. AdWords can help generate new leads for your business at a quicker speed than other SEO tactics. It’s also a cost-effective choice for most organisations.
Ad trafficking means placing an ad in a way which produces the best result for the advertiser. Ad trafficking consultants or organisations work with clients to put together a campaign which gets them in front of as many potential customers as possible.
Ad Rank looks at how many clicks you are getting on your adverts. Ad ranking depends on the cost per click (CPC), the expected result and the quality score. Ad Rank looks at a range of factors such as location, device, search term and time. If you achieve a good ad rank, your advert will be displayed on the relevant channel at an appropriate time. If your ad ranks poorly, then it may not appear at all
Ad groups help the search engine to classify your advert, and allows you control over who gets to see your advert. You can plan accordingly to ensure the best result for your campaign.
Getting people to visit your website is just part of the battle – conversion rate describes the number of people who perform a required action when they get to your website, whether that be signing up for emails, or buying something. Performing a website audit is a good way of finding “pain points”, or places on your website which are putting users off. Some of the tried and tested ways of improving conversion rates are using relevant images, getting users to test your website, and making sure the checkout page runs smoothly.
Cost per click is based on the quality score, which is based on both the relevance of the content in your website, and the quality of your keywords. The most important page to get right is the landing page.
Limits for AdWords are set in characters, not words. You can have two headlines of up to 30 characters each, with a description line. In total, you must not exceed 80 characters, including spaces.
Click Through Rate, or CTR, is a way of evaluating the effectiveness of your advertising. It shows how many people click on adverts which are shown to them. CTR is calculated by dividing the number or of clicks by the impressions.
Conversion tracking is a Google Ads tool which tells you what a user does after they click on one of your adverts. It’s a way of tracking how your campaign is doing, and can provide valuable data to help you make further improvements on your website by optimising keywords, targeting different keywords or tweaking what you are bidding on a keyword.
Keywords, which can be single words or phrases, help users find websites. A keyword helps users find relevant products and services, and businesses use them to help attract customers to their sites. Keywords can be split into three broad categories: long, short and medium tail. There are other ways of classifying keywords too, but they all determine how web pages optimise and appear in search engine rankings.
Google places some restrictions on alterations you can make to your account. You can change your time zone just once, but once you have chosen your billing currency, this can’t be amended.
Frequency capping is a limit set on how often one individual user sees a specific piece of advertising.
As well as the basic AdWords information you can install extensions to help your adverts perform even better. You might choose to add in a seller rating, or automated call facility.
Placement refers to where on the Google network your advert will be displayed. Managed placement gives you more control over where your adverts will appear, and automatic placement leaves things up to the Google algorithm.
CPC is the most popular way of spending advertising budget online. However, one alternative to consider is CPM, or cost per thousand impressions. Advertisers are charged on a rate for displaying one thousand adverts, and this can be very cost effective.
As with other auctions, the advertiser sets the maximum amount they are prepared to spend. Google then looks at the amount of the bid, the quality of the ad, and how many people they would expect to clock on it. These factors determine where the advert will appear.
There are lots of ways to do this. One thing to look at is how relevant the page is, and to make sure than it’s not difficult to navigate around or understand. Any landing page should incorporate a clear call to action.
Using negative keywords guarantees that adverts are filtered and only shown to a limited audience. This means you can more closely target your ads to the people who are most likely to buy or click through.
Only if you are the trademark owner, or have the explicit permission of the trademark owner. If you don’t have the right to use a trademark, in most cases the advert will be immediately removed from the Google search engine.
CTA is the most important part of AdWords and as such, needs very careful planning. Be very clear and avoid ambiguous language. Keeping your CTA simple and clear will help your performance in AdWords.
Click through rate is one of the best ways of assessing how well your PPC campaign is performing. This is calculated by dividing click throughs by the number of impressions. There is a range of tools you can use to help with this process, but some of the most commonly used are WordStream, Google Ads Editor, Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics and AdWords Performance Grader.
E-commerce can help to reduce a company’s overheads, allow you to offer more products, and increase your customer bases. From a customer’s point of view, it makes shopping a lot simpler, allowing them to easily select and buy products.
You’ll need your own website for your business. You will also need to install e-commerce software on your website to build your online shop. This can be done either by using a template, or getting an IT expert to create a bespoke solution. In addition you’ll need a “basket” which allows customers to add items, and some way of allowing the to pay securely.
It really depends on what you are planning to do with it. In general terms, as you increase the number of pages, the costs increase too. Some basic e-commerce software is free, or available at a nominal fee. Often the best way of getting started is to rent an e-commerce package, which including hosting will cost around £300 per year.
Smaller businesses can generally set up a system for packing and sending out post in house. However, this can soon become complex and time-consuming. Often, it’s worth considering whether paying a third-party fulfilment company is a better option.
Online payment systems are the best option, as these allow customers to make their payments online securely. Your bank may be able to help you in setting up a merchant account which accepts payment using credit or debit cards. You will also need a secure SSL digital certificate to reassure customers that paying through your site is safe. Another option is to use PayPal or similar portals, but these often come with expensive fees.
As long as you make sure your website can take payments online safely and securely, there is no reason to suspect that e-commerce is any more risky than a traditional bricks and mortar shop.
If you’re setting up a new shop for an existing business, start by letting all of your existing customers know what you’re doing. Ensure that your new website is listed with all the commonly used search engines. Promote your new online shop through your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter feeds. You might also think about pay-per-click advertising, which will display a link to your store when a prospective customer types in a relevant search term.
If you are in a marketplace where your product changes regularly, you add new lines or adjust prices, then make sure you have a simple to use content management system integrated into your website. Put time in the diary every day, or every week, to change and update your website.
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