Local listings do help marketing

As the struggle to get your business noticed continues, have you thought about local listings?

Basically, if your business has a physical presence, you must get it listed in all the major local directories. Quality directories are still important. Google just changed the name AGAIN. The new name is “Google My Business”. (Old names were Google Places, Google Plus Local, Google Local.) Google has the lion’s share of searches so this is your priority.

Listings in Google

Make sure you use exactly the same name, address, and phone number on every local listing. You can also upgrade your listings with images, videos, mentions of cities and counties you serve, categories that apply, coupons and deals.

Beyond Google there are many more local listing opportunities like Thompson local, Free Index . These are valuable links you can easily get that will help your business site or blog rank better. Even if you are an online only business, if you have a physical location to use do not pass up these listings!

Internet facts for marketing

According to a recent Nielsen consumer survey:

  1. 86.3% of people indicated the Internet is now vital to their lifestyle
  2. 74% of people determine who to do business with locally using online computerised search engines such as Google and Yahoo
  3. 50% use Internet yellow pages to find new and existing products and services
  4. 65% still use printed yellow pages

The Internet is now the most popular way your existing and potential new customers use to find you. The survey also found:

  1. 67% prefer online yellow pages to traditional printed books
  2. 84% say using the Internet is a much faster way to find local businesses
  3. 63% say the business listings on the Internet are more current
  4. 86% had already used the Internet to find a local business
  5. 78% use the Internet more today than they did last year (Internet usage is still growing)
  6. 52% use the printed yellow pages LESS than they did two years ago
  7. Of those who indicated Internet use is vital, 90% had used the Internet to search for local businesses
  8. 80% of Internet users research their purchases online and 70% then buy within 20 minutes from home

Did you know that your existing clients and neighbours are using online directories instead of the yellow pages telephone book to look up phone numbers and find new businesses?

Get your business listed locally and reap the rewards!

What’s a page title or meta description…


To help with all he jargon, the below 5 points defines the five
key parts of a Web site that should help in the search results process.

Page Title – The page title text is located between the open and close tags
within the tags. If the title does not exist or is less than eight characters,
the URL is used in place of the title. The page title is the first line of text
that people see when viewing the search results paragraph and is formatted with
a link to the Web site. Each Web page should have a different page title.100 characters is the suggested length.

Meta Description – The meta description tag describes the content of the Web
page. The meta description tag is located within within the tags and formatted
as follows:

Each Web page should have a different meta description tag. – Maximum length is
150 characters.

Body Text – The body text contains the first 300 characters found on the website.
Active Search Results stores the first 1,000 characters of the website and uses
the first 1,000 characters in its indices to provide search results.

Meta Keywords – The meta keywords tag provides to the search engine words to
index the site. Web searchers will type in words to search on and the closer
those words are to the meta keywords on the Web page, the higher the ranking
will be for that Web page. – Maximum length is 100 characters.

Page URL – The Web site’s URL is displayed as the last line of the search
results paragraph to make it clear where the title link points to.

Hope this helps….

tags within the

tags. If the title does not exist or is less than eight characters, the URL is used in place of the title. The page title is the first line of text that people see when viewing the search results paragraph and is formatted with a link to the Web site. Each Web page should have a different page title. – Maximum length is 100 characters.

Meta Description – The meta description tag describes the content of the Web page. The meta description tag is located within within the

tags and formatted as follows:

Each Web page should have a different meta description tag. – Maximum length is 150 characters.

Body Text – The body text contains the first 300 characters found on the website. Active Search Results stores the first 1,000 characters of the website and uses the first 1,000 characters in its indices to provide search results.

Meta Keywords – The meta keywords tag provides to the search engine words to index the site. Web searchers will type in words to search on and the closer those words are to the meta keywords on the Web page, the higher the ranking will be for that Web page. – Maximum length is 100 characters.

Page URL – The Web site’s URL is displayed as the last line of the search results paragraph to make it clear where the title link points to.

SEO is not just a box ticked

When it comes to getting the best from your website, a lot of emphasis should be placed on how it performs in search and, just as you’d expect to scope out a website design and development project, so too must you scope out a search engine optimization effort.

In Bath Marketing Consultancy’s opinion, SEO shouldn’t be something that is just asked for as a generalist service from marketing companies. It is an essential part of online marketing and, if organisations are prepared to spend money on their websites, they should also be spending money on ensuring that the site is found.

So, questions that I would normally ask clients and/or prospects are –

  • Who’s going to write the content?
  • Who is responsible for PR efforts?
  • Who is handling social marketing?
  • Who’s doing link building?
  • Who’s restructuring the website, as necessary?

Yes, the foundations can be done during the actual website build, but ongoing SEO is the key to success. Work with a specialist, agree a budget, allocate who is doing what and then work together to achieve your goals.

Search Engine Optimization – what not to do.

Play with a straight bat.
Following on from my previous article about what to do for SEO, please find Bath Marketing Consultancy’s list of don’ts –
1. Avoid cloaking – Cloaking is when you give your visitors one page and then give search engines another page. Google and its friends want to see and index what your visitors see. Getting caught cloaking can have dire consequences on your site ranking.
2. Avoid keyword stuffing/spamming – This is stuffing your webpage with keywords that are only intended at tricking the search engines. Google is wise to this so, to get the best outcome, just write your text, with keywords in mind, towards your audience.
3. Avoid using flash or javascript for your navigation methods – Search engines usually can’t read these, or read them well enough to be dependable. Always use standard html links to be sure your site is easily walk able by search engine spiders.
4. Don’t submit your webpage url too often, if at all – You can submit your url directly to search engines, though search engines prefer to find your website via a backlink or incoming link. Resubmitting weekly or monthly can heavily damage your ranking with the search engines.
5. Avoid the “quickly get submitted to thousands of search engines” deals – While many of these do what they say, keep in mind that 98-99% of all search engines are powered by Google, Yahoo, or MSN. Just keep these 3 in mind and you’re covered.
6. Don’t forget backlinks – Link popularity plays very large into how your site is ranking by search engines, and is always a key element of SEO. Miss the backlinks part, and your SEO will suffer quite a bit.
7. Avoid excessive graphics and flash presentations – This is not to alter how the search engine looks at your site (directly), but at how your visitors view your site. There are many ways to make an effective website without overloading your visitors, and if a website takes more than 5 seconds to load, you will likely lose your visitor before they even get to visit your website.
To me SEO is about ticking the right boxes and making things relevant and easy for Google. Yes, there are tricks of the trade, but playing with a straight bat and making your site relevant, trustworthy and, above all, trustworthy will really help in effective SEO.

Search Engine Optimization; what you do

I wanted to put together a list of do’s and don’ts for you to read and, while I was writing my list, I came across a similar article from a chap called Kuldeep Singh that I have encoporated into Bath Marketing Consultancy’s list. 

1. Original content – Search engines love websites with original (and relevant) content, which will also naturally draw incoming links and visitors as well. “Original” content can be anything from product reviews to your own articles and/or news and Blogs. 

2. Add more content regularly – How often a website is updated can have a big impact on your search engine ranking. Most search engines prefer fresh content.

3. Research your keywords – You need to research which keywords you want to target before you even start making your website. These are the keywords that you will be targeting in backlinks when possible and your main page will revolve around these keywords. You can conduct your research using Google and the other search engines and then write your website content accordingly.

4. Create a sitemap – Sitemaps are a definitely plus (and can be created for free) as they help search engines walk your website as you have mapped everything out. It can also greatly help visitors find what they are looking for on your website. Be sure to link to your sitemap from your main page.

5. Use HTML – While this may sound obvious, there are sites out there created entirely in flash or javascript which is a definite no no for SEO. While some search engines can read part of javascript, by not using regular html link between pages, your site may not even get seen by search engines.

6. W3C compliant – Making your web pages complies with the World Wide Web Consortium’s standards is always a good idea. It is impossible to know exactly how the search engine spiders read a web page, so it is impossible to know how it will handle non-standard code. You can bet, though, that it has been tested to handle html code that follows the standard.

7. Webpage title tag – Be sure to put your target keywords in your title tag – the writing at the very top of your page.

8. Build backlinks at a normal pace – NEVER use one of those link farm programs where every member automatically shows links to all the other members. Search engines will see you one day literally showing thousands of backlinks instantly and this could get you penalized or banned which has actually happened to a client of mine before he came to Bath Marketing Consultancy.

If you are a regular reader of The Marketing Expert you will know that I have written many articles on SEO and how to get the best from your website, but, I think it is worth pointing out that I practice what i preach

Keep Sight of the Bigger Picture in SEO

Having a website that ranks in the top 5 or 10 search positions for competitive search terms can be very lucrative especially as a single marketing initiative. As such, there are numerous highly successful organisations who market this one thing: rank pages in the top 10 for various competitive search terms. Yet for most companies, the huge effort that it can take to achieve a top position is not worthwhile unless there are secondary marketing goals.


Secondary goals may be to actually sell your goods/services, or get people to register on you site etc.  A very important distinction that you should always keep in mind is that some search terms may be highly converting (get the users to do what the webmaster wants them to do) and some search terms that seem like they should convert, do not.

So…..sometimes a customer “sign up” following a specific term might be the best way of converting a browser to a customer as you will then have the email address to run dedicated emarketing. 
Get your SEO ducks in a row!

Either way, my suggestion is to make sure that your site will actually be capable of ranking in a top10 position for some searches; maybe look at regional terms initially (feel free to do a search for marketing company bath and see who dominates the first page of Google – me!), but………..be warned, there are many things you can do to influence where your website appears so be sure to tick as many of the SEO boxes as possible and do not expect to be there within weeks of going live. 


Videos for even better SEO

Traditional search engine optimization has mostly been centered on actual written content.  Yet more and more the content on the Web is in video form rather than written in text.  What some people do is make videos and maintain their own channel on YouTube that mirrors their on-site content strategy. That way they can embed the video into their blog with their written text and this can result in a better browser experience and more engagement sites’ brand.

Use your phone if need be!
From a blog, browsers can usually click on the video channel and then see other related videos in your channel, leading them to spend more time viewing content from your brand or site. This longer engagement of the user with your site can often lead directly to higher levels of conversion.

There is also a strong argument that having a mixture of text, photos and videos on your page makes the page appear more “interesting” in the eyes of search engines which see it as you offering more content to your users, and rank you higher since they perceive that as potentially being a higher quality page.