about the author

James has been working in graphic arts industry since 1999 and has been a part of the Nettl family since 2000. He prides himself on creating stunning design work and unique marketing advice and loves exceeding his clients expectations.

SEO in York

When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation there’s a lot to think about.

Google uses over 200 (known) elements in its algorithms and these are changing all the time. Scarily, in 2018 alone they made over 3000 developments. That’s almost nine changes every day times a day. At Nettl of York we highly recommend ensuring that your website is continuously updated as the search landscape is changing all the the time. Its a constant on-going process.


But what is ‘off-site’ maintenance?

This is where your business website is linked to other sites and platforms. Business directory listings and citations need to be kept on top of. Ensuring that any broken backlinks are resolved. Third-party review sites such as Google Review help to keep you relevant. It’s almost a full time job just to keep up.

So we’ve put together what we think are the three most effective Search Engine Optimisation practices that we advise you do regularly. The ‘regular’ part is the key. Ongoing maintenance, the consistent tweaking, will give your website a better chance of getting to the top of Google. And good news –  the list below of SEO ‘good habits’ features activities that just about anybody can action. You don’t need to be a website developer or IT geek – it can be done yourself!

So where is your website at?

If  more people can find you then more people can choose your product or service. Its a number’s game. Complete and consistent data everywhere that you appear will definitely lead to more calls and potential clicks through to your website. By putting the work in to your business listings this will mean a gain in two different ways. Individual sprint and relay.

Firstly being listed in places where customers may find you is obviously a positive thing. And secondly, search engines live to see consistency in any information related to your business. So you’re promoting confidence to both your audience and website crawlers alike. Bingo!

Company listings are critical because:
90% of local searches happen online in search engines
• 76% of those searches will result in some kind of action within 24 hours

So it’s key to be listed on all relevant directories and platforms.
Not just the obvious ones like Google and Yahoo but also applications for GPS, voice search tools in your car and the like. Voice searching has become increasingly popular. Studies show that 52% of people currently use voice search tools whilst driving. So you need to be in the right place at the right time. Let’s not forget about the end user experience. Does your listing show the wrong opening hours?

Nobody wants to turn up at your premiers only to find that you’re closed. Potentially you could receive negative online reviews from people who haven’t even used your service or bought your product!

So its all about quality and quantity. But quality probably is the most important. Accurate information helps to improve your rankings. By getting noticed by more people, you can hep to get more website clicks and therefore more clients.

How an I do to improve my web listings?

Create a data spreadsheet and factor in everything these business directories are likely  to want to know:

  • Name, Address, Phone Number
  • Website URL
  • Email address
  • Social Media Accounts
  • Opening Hours
  • Business Category
  • Service Areas
  • Company Description
  • Delivery Options
  • Payment Options
  • Accessibility
  • Photos

Everything needs to match in all directories. Identically. Even down to the CaPitaLis’ation.

Then, we advise that you keep on top of your directory listings by occasionally searching where your business and website appears online.

Keel on adding new citations and listing. Constantly auditing your information to to ensure its all kept updated. This is really useful on Google, where third-party suggestions can be change your listing without your input.

What about customer reviews?

Your business reputation online is critical. Your audience form opinions about your business from the reviews that they read. Statistics suggest that 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product or engaging in a service and its these votes of confidence that really can affect the where a new customer wants to choose you to do business with.

A 1-star increase in your rating on a review site can lead to an increase in sales by 5-10%. Also I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that higher reviews will lead to better search rankings. This is really important when it comes to local search with Google.

Search engines will be looking at:
• The number of reviews
• The star rating awarded
• The general message of the comments
• Any keywords in the comments
• If you reply to these comments
• The overal sentiment of your replies
• Any keywords in the replies

How to achieve more reviews

The key is to ask. Message your existing clients and see if they’d be happy to leave your a positive review. Create print outs, posters or signs requesting customers for a review. Its really easy to create a link to share and email. Have a look at some of our customer reviews.

Channel the sentiment

Why do some people leave a negative review? At Nettl of York we think its usually not what actually happened, but how the problem was dealt by the staff or business owner. When something goes wrong you usually get the opportunity to put it right. And this is where ‘review channeling’ can play a part. Ask clients if their experience was good or bad. If they say ‘good’ then you can easily send the feedback towards a review site.
But if the select ‘bad’ then maybe this needs to be dealt by a a specific customer service agent in the hope that someone can help to make things right for the customer. Basically trying not to let bad experiences become public online.

Respond to reviews

It makes a lot of goof sense to regularly reply to customer reviews. It helps to show your customers you care about their opinion. Especially if the review was a negative one. Of course, potential customers will see your reviews but they will also read your response too so its a double whammy. And its also known that a well-crafted response will help the rating increase by the original author.

Marketing insights

A positive sentiment can give a lot of insight into your company. Why not scour reviews for insightful nuggets you can implement in your business.
What positive things are customers saying and how can you implement this type of language in your marketing content.

What are the negative issues and use this feedback to balance the business experience you provide. The real goal here is to not only read and respond to your customer reviews but you it can be helpful to check out your competitors too. Staying on top of this will give you a head start when it comes where you’re positioned within your industry market. What do you do well and in what areas could you do better?

What can I do to improve my online reputation and improve reviews?

  • Be active and ask your customers for reviews
  • Place your responses in the right directories
  • Stay on top of your reviews in all directories
  • Ensure you reply to all your reviews
  • Have a look at the review of some your competitors
  • Use the data you gain to make improvements within your business

Will all of this work though?

So you’ve got all the content for your website. But how do you know if you website is in good shape? Having a a solid pln of technical SEO is the key for of any search engine optimisation effort. SEO assists all search engines make sense of site’s content. Plus it ensures your website users have the best experience possible when on your site.

88% of website users are unlikely to return to your website if they’ve have a bad user experience.

By performing continous monitoring and maintenance activitiy this will keep your website visable and relevant. Correcting any onsite errors and offsite probelms. Update your indexes and submit a sitemap. Fix any page errors, bugs, and backlinks that don’t work anymore. It really is a full-time job!

Then theres the staple of any SEO activity –  keyword analysis. What relevant, positive keywords and key phrases do you want your website to show up for in search engines. Think about it – how can your target find you if they don’t know what you provide it How are performing now? How does this activity compare to your competition? You need to stay one step ahead of this data to keep your competiton at bay. By getting it right, you’ll drive more peopleto your website, increase traffic and therefore hopefully a super slick experience for your customers.

By making your site technically and structurally easy to navigate for search engines to crawl will help certainly help to improve your online visability.

Herer at Nettl of York we can provide you with a FREE Website Audit to see how your current website is performing and then offer advice on how to make improvments.

So, in summary

Enure your website is fully indexed and submit a sitemap to the popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Make sure these search engines can to effectively crawl your whole website.

Fix any issues
Get rid of any technical SEO issues. Fix any bugs or errors that you may find. Go through your website’s internal links to ensure they’re not broken.

Keep your website safe with an SSL certificate, update software and plugins, and have secure passwords.

Check any backlinks from other sites that link back to your website and request that they’re updated by the site owner.

Check what keywords you currently rank for and make comparisons with your competition.

Compare the cost of paid advertising to see if that could be a suitable alternative to get more sales such as per per click campaigns or social media advertising.

Get help
Ask us for a free website audit and then if you feel that your website could do with a boost then check out our Search Engine Optimisation packages.

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