Essential SEO Quick Check List

be_newsletter_coverThis is an article from our most recent Smart Talk. If you’d like a copy grab one here.

Print this off, grab yourself a coffee and get all of these done at the weekend. Easy peasy, you can start ranking next week!

Page Titles
Make sure your page titles are unique, don’t repeat words and are relevant to your business.

Bad titles:
Roof tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles
Tiles, ceramic tiles, square tiles, red tiles, blue tiles, plastic tiles, wall treatments, concrete render, wall render

Google titles:
Wall, floor and roof tiles
Specialist car valeting in Birmingham

Don’t put your company name on the end of every URL unless you separate it from the rest of the text with some kind of delimiter.
This is bad: Wall, floor and roof tiles Shiny Tile Company Ltd This is good: Wall, floor and roof tiles : Shiny Tile Company Ltd
Although really, there’s no need to have your company name at the end anyway, and certainly never put it at the beginning.

Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions have no effect on ranking, but they are displayed in search results, so go through each page and make sure the descriptions are consise and enticing.
They should be like an ‘elevator pitch’ and explain what the page is about in two short sentences.

Meta Keywords
If your page has lots of meta keywords stuffed in there, get rid of them. If you do want keywords in your page, then only have a maximum of maybe fifteen, but seriously, don’t bother with them.
If in doubt, take them out, they’re not used for ranking at all.

Pretty URLs
If your page web addresses look like this: Then you need to take action.
They should look like this:
The URL should describe the page you’re on because it aids with navigation and is also a big help to Google.

Sitemaps are like the index to your website, they tell people and search engines where every single page is.
Get your XML sitemap done and submit it to Google Search Console. Then, get an HTML sitemap generated.
The HTML one is actually preferred by Google, so do that one first. Get one created here:

Image descriptions and ‘alt’ text
Make sure the ‘alt’ tag of your images is descriptive and only two or three words long.
DO NOT stuff a ton of keywords in there expecting to rank, you won’t. In fact, you’re more likely to end up being knocked out of the search results completely.

Print vs Email Marketing

Direct mail or email?

Which is the better way to reach your customers and get them to buy from you? This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get asked and this article discusses pros and cons of both.

Using opt-in e-mail can be a great way to generate leads and sales, but so can regular snail mail. Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of both direct mail and email to help you choose the right way to contact prospects and build your business. Continue reading

Why a Unique Selling Point (USP)?

USPWe’re currently going through a review of all of our current marketing as we’ve started to work with a new coach who is putting us through our paces.

One of the key areas we’re looking at is our Unique Selling Point (USP). A unique selling point is just that – it’s what makes you unique and helps your customers by saving them time when they are considering buying a product or service. It makes the decision easy for them. Continue reading

The four ingredients for direct mail success

Direct mail has long been an effective, relatively cost efficient way to reach buyers. But many small businesses simply fail to see its value. Maybe that’s an honest mistake. After all, you can tell from all of the direct mail you receive, and then promptly discard, that most of it’s pure junk.

The watchword of reaching buyers today isn’t as simple as some business owners believe. The solution isn’t Facebook. It isn’t Twitter. It’s not print advertising or blogging. No the solution to reaching and influencing a maximum number of qualified buyers is in multi-channel marketing.

And direct mail is a channel that should have a greater role in many businesses’ overall marketing strategy, especially businesses with a local customer base. Continue reading