Monday, 25 April 2011

Internet Marketing for Small Businesses

Internet presence is a powerful marketing and sales tool. Without Internet presence, your future business is likely to be less successful than it could otherwise be. There are different reasons for having a web site, from an on-line information brochure to the sole source of sales for your business.

Let's assume that you have a web site, the design looks good and the site functions as it should. If your web site is a promotional or sales tool for your company, your head of marketing needs Internet marketing experience or access to someone who does.

The main goal of Internet marketing is exposure. Google remains the primary Search Engine for web site owners wanting a page one 'organic results' position. Another way to appear on page one is with sponsored search results, pay-per-click Google-adwords.

The BPc manages these aspects for SME clients. The top requirement is a good position on Google's organic results: to be in the top 10 of 3 billion entries - we'll do our best!

There are many contributing factors to gaining a good ranking on Search Engines including longevity, optimised content and high value inbound links.

Optimisation.
Optimising content requires good writing skills coupled with SEO experience and some industry knowledge, much of which can be gained from researching successful competitor sites and from you, the client. Optimising code also requires a knowledge of html.

Inbound links to your website may be from listings (usually low value) or sites with good relative content (high value). An Internet Marketing specialist will target a number of ways to generate links from anchor-text keywords on popular sites. A link from a page that contains similar content to your site, from a word or phrase that is significant to your site content, is an anchor-text keyword.

The BPc will work within your budget to provide a kick-start, ad-hoc or regular Internet Marketing service.

Whilst much of the ranking process is automated, it is driven by human actions. If your site is interesting and therefore popular with human users, it will ultimately be recognised as such by Search Engines.

As an alternative or complementary tactic, PPC is a matter of the advertising budget being diverted from, say, local newspapers or market-sector magazines to Google or other Internet advertisers; The BPc will set up and manage your campaigns for a monthly fee.

For more information regarding our marketing, writing and design services, feel free to call or email us with your enquiry.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Quick SEO Tips for SMEs

If you genuinely want to grow your future business, good content is most important on your web site pages - not just loads of keywords but interesting, informative and concise paragraphs that will lead your visitors (and search engines) to more relevant detail as required.

Well-written content for your visitors results in good content for search engines; if you are writing it yourself, read it back the next day and if you find it interesting, it's a reasonable assumption that others will too. Keywords should happen naturally but you should have the main ones in the opening paragraph. Also, don't try to cram all the keywords onto the home page.

When linking between pages, use relevant keywords as the links rather than words like 'click here'.

Behind the visible page, ensure that your web designer has included the main keywords in the html title and description tags - but they shouldn't be too long - and each page should have its own unique title and description.

Images should be optimised for the web to facilitate faster screen loads; if a large download (e.g. pdf document) is available, add a note to say that it's large and may take a while.

A sitemap.xml file should be uploaded to your host root - this will enable Google to quickly find all your web site pages.

If you would like The BPc to optimise your web site or undertake website promotion, we'd be delighted to hear from you, email: seo@thebpc.org.uk

*new post added January 2012: comprehensive guide to basic SEO

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

An introduction to CMS - for SMEs who want to update their own web sites

CMS - Customer Management System - is sometimes a white elephant that seemed like a good idea at the time.


At The BPc, we offer to create websites in standard html or using an open-source CMS. Wordpress and Joomla are examples of open-source CMS which means that customers are not committed to a single supplier or host plus there is a choice of add-ons or plug-ins (often free) for additional features.

These systems are not intuitive! Because of this, there are companies that develop websites with a bespoke CMS that can be easier to learn and use. In addition to being at the mercy of the developer and/or host of a proprietory system, problems often arise later when unforeseen changes to the original web site specification or independent search engine optimisation becomes a requirement when perhaps those areas are not included in the CMS part of the website.

Our opinion is that Wordpress is the simplest to use and our clients have occasionally contributed to a Wordpress blog. Our experience across our client base is that fewer than half the people who wanted to update their own web site actually do so on a regular basis. Some of our clients recognise that, in reality, they are unlikely to have time to learn a new skill and update content therefore have no preference whether the website is based on html or Wordpress.

The BPc is paid a retainer by a number of clients to update content of web sites that were originally created by third-party developers to be managed in-house by the end-user client. These include Wordpress, Joomla (many!), I-ntarsia, Locallife and a couple of purely bespoke systems. In addition, Dreamweaver sites that became contorted during several edits have been tidied up and, in most cases, converted to standard html editing.

An advantage of contracting The BPc for updates is that optimisation and link building are included when time or budget allows, improving the web site's overall performance. In fact, most of our clients initially approached us for optimisation then the updates - to both CMS and html web sites - became part of the service.

Contact us by email or call the SEO desk direct 01462 618481