How do you know where your website ranks? Personalised search explained.

Have you ever noticed that your website, or that of a competitor, sometimes appears in a different place depending on where you are searching from? If so, you’re noticing the effect of personalised search – and if not, having read this article, you will start noticing it now!

Personalised search means that search engines are trying to present you with as relevant information as possible, which means that your own browsing habits can affect the search results that you see. For example, sites that you like and visit often will show up higher in your search results than if you had never visited those sites.

Continue Reading…

Local success story credits website and SEO for success

We came across this great story in the Belfast Telegraph the other week, which charts the fantastic success an engineering firm, Sphere, has had over the last six years. It’s an inspiring story for many reasons, but the quote that really caught our eye was this one from managing director Sean McNicholl:

“We have never cold called anyone, people come to us. The business has been driving us forward, we’ve really had to move fast to keep up with the pace of business and because we are such a niche market we have been very successful.”

“Our reputation is such that companies come to us and 50% of our business is repeat business. As well as that, we have done a lot of work with the website and search engine optimisation (SEO).”

You can read the full story here:

Ten SEO Tips – SEO Training Belfast

Here are the slides from a presentation we delivered the other day, hope you find them useful.

What is HTTPS and why is it important?

When we last spoke to the Google Search Quality team, one of the top five items they recommended was HTTPS / SSL for small business websites. Shopping sites, online bank sites, or any site where you need to login and either make payment or store sensitive information have long used SSL – but why are Google now recommending that all sites use it? In a nutshell, Google are trying to encourage a more secure online experience so they have announced that SSL is now be a ranking factor in their algorithm – so all business owners looking at SEO need to pay attention to this.

Continue Reading…

Why you shouldn’t focus on position 1

A question that we’re all familiar with is ‘can you get me to position 1 on Google for keyword x?’ The answer to this question has two parts – why we cannot do that and why it’s not in your interest to focus on that.

For the first part, nobody should promise to get you to to number 1 and Google themselves state very clearly that no one can guarantee a number 1 ranking on Google.  Google rankings also vary according to things like location.

Secondly, looking at getting to number 1 for a keyword is not of itself necessarily of great value – especially if that keyword is not going to lead to profitable business for you! What we look at for our prospective customers is what keywords are likely to drive better conversion, what great content can you write that will encourage sharing and lead people to contact you, and how can you make your website better and of more value to your visitors.

By focusing on choosing the right keywords, not the ones you think you can get to number 1 for, and the areas that always matter in SEO – high quality content, good site design, encouraging visitor interaction – your site can rank highly and bring in more business for you. And that’s more important than focusing on a specific keyword position.