Embrace digital marketing & get more customers online

According to the Irish Times, 63% of Irish small and medium size enterprises now have an online presence.  This is the first step for business acquiring customers online.  However, what many small businesses have found, is that creating a website is by no means a guarantee of success online. So many times, over the last 15 years or so, businesses owners have come to us exasperated that they have got no customers from their website despite spending thousands on getting a website developed and published on the Internet.  I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to explain to people it is not the case, (akin to the Field of the Dreams) that if you build it they will come.  I often give the analogy that, instead, it is like building a shop on the moon.  It might be the sleekest shop, selling the best brands at the cheapest prices, but if people are not aware of its existence people will never visit your shop and never, ever buy from you. So what are your options as a small business owner?  How do you get people to find out about your website and get them to become your customers?  Thankfully there are several options.  Some are no-brainers and can give you a jump on your competition.  Others require an investment in time and/or money.  Below we look at a few of these: Build your website to best practise Your website needs to be functional.  It needs to make sense.  When a prospective customer arrives on the site the path you want them to take and actions you want them...

69 AdWords Tips To Save Your Time & Make You More Money!

It’s a ballsy claim, but one I can stand over.  Implementation of the below will without doubt improve your AdWords campaigns and all things being equal will deliver real results.  Lets go. Define your Goals for AdWords and what it is you want to achieve. Use the keyword planner to find keywords. Use other sources to find great keywords like your customers, your staff and your competitors. Look at traffic estimates for keywords in the locations you want to target. Find trends in keywords search volumes by looking at larger areas. If your products or service are seasonal make your adverts seasonal. Include a call to action or unique selling proposition in your ads. Reinforce your CTA or USP on your landing page. Have a clear connect between the keyword someone searches with, the advert that search triggers and the landing page they arrive on. Make the offering in the advert clear and make it standout. If you have a special offer include it. Use call-out extensions and grab an extra line of ad copy real estate. Don’t forget to include your phone number in your ads so people can click and call from their mobile and see your number without clicking your advert on any device. Have only a few keywords in each ad group that are high related to each other. Assign each ad group a primary keyword based on the words you most want to get traffic from. Name your campaigns and ad groups with a logic that makes sense.  Don’t confuse yourself. Use AdWords Editor for all major work, but me mindful that it can’t do...
Referrer Spam and Your Analytics

Referrer Spam and Your Analytics

For over a year now your Google Analytics data has been corrupted by rogue traffic sources that you have probably not been aware of. What this means is that the overall traffic that you have seen rising on your site may not actually be from legitimate sources and your website has not actually being growing the way you actually thought.   What is Referrer Spam? Referrer spam is a technique used with the aim of improving search engine rankings by taking advantage of unsuspecting webmasters publicly accessible logs with the aim of creating backlinks. These backlinks are created by the spam websites bots firstly crawling and identifying websites with the weakness, then sending multiple requests containing a fake referrer header – of which contains the spam websites url. With these requests now registered on the websites logs, everywhere these links are listed a HTML link will point back to the spam website – which will be crawled by the search engines. How to Identify & Block Spam Referrers Check out our simple guide below on how to identify spam referrer websites and filter them out of your Analytics to restore your tracking to real customers only. The first thing to do is to work out which websites are sending spam traffic. There are a number of main culprits to blame, semalt.com being the main one, however each website can have a number of sites sending this traffic. The first place to look is the referrer traffic section within your analytics account, this can be seen by selecting Acquisition->All Traffic->Referrals (see above). This screen shows all the referrer traffic sent...

The Mobile Friendly algorithm is coming, what you need to know & two tools to help you.

So Google’s much discussed Mobile Friendly algorithm is apparently just around the corner. It’s actual impact is yet to be known, but we are getting little titbits of information out of Google and we are beginning to understand more of what the likely repercussions might or might not be. The first point to note is a website’s desktop performance, rather than its mobile performance will impact how a site is ranked for mobile search queries. In other words, for now at least, a fast or slow mobile site should not effect your mobile rankings, but a fast or slow desktop site will effect them. As mobile devices are becoming the device of choice in Internet search, it is more than likely that performance of a website on a mobile is going to become a major factor on how well a website ranks in the future.  Perhaps down the line a little further it will be the combination of how websites perform and how good the user experience is preserved across all devices, that will dictate how these factors impact overall all-device rankings. For now however, we are told desktop signals are what Google will continue to use.  So we must keep that in mind, whilst we consider carefully about future proofing websites for what is coming down the pipe.  A top tip here, use your common sense.  A website that looks great and performs great on a mobile is likely to have an advantage on ranking on mobile searches compared to one that doesn’t, perhaps not now, but almost certainly in the future.  Always consider the human not the search engine....

Death, Taxes & The Google Algorithm Mobile Usability Update.

There are only three things in life we can be certain off – that’s Death, Taxes & Google algorithm updates! There is growing evidence that Google recently released a new algorithm update relating to mobile usability. Reports across the web are beginning to surface relating to websites with mobile usability issues seeing ranking drops and consequent traffic declines. This is not a surprise. Google’s modus operandi has always been to give its users the best search experience. So with the explosion in mobile devices accessing the internet in recent years, Google were always going to turn their attention to mobile website usability or in other words, how website’s performed on mobile devices. In recent weeks, Google had been sending out warnings to Webmasters (through Webmaster Tools) advising them if their site had mobile usability issues. They have also encouraged users to visit their “test your site is mobile friendly page” and provided suggested fixes for sites that don’t make the grade. The are no doubt a lot of small business owners shaking their heads in disbelief. Their new website, only months old, that was beginning to see big gains in rankings and traffic is suddenly hit (or the expectation is going to be hit) by this new mobile usability update. So if you find yourself in the situation of having a website that does not look good or perform well on mobile you need to consider what you are going to do?  Google’s suggestions range from tweaks, to theme updates, to websites depending on the situation you are in. We would suggest your first action should be, is to...