Category: SEO

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.

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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.

Google updates for mobile search – very important!

On April 21st, Google is rolling out an update that will improve mobile search results. In effect, this will also penalise those website that are not optimised for mobile devices. For full details of the announcement read this Google page: Google mobile advice page

To ensure your site is still appearing in Google’s mobile search results after April 21st, run your site through the testing tool. If your website passes, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about and your site will still show up in mobile searches.

If your website doesn’t pass the analysis, then the tool will recommend improvements that you need to make. You can use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.

For more advice on this and to find out how we can help you avoid being penalised in Google mobile search results, please fill out our contact form.

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Social and mobile signals are increasingly important

No real surprise here, but in 2015 we are seeing much more importance given to social signals and mobile devices when looking at search engine rankings.

If you are to maximise your results for boosting your search engine rankings, you need to have a credible social media presence and cerate content for it regularly. So for Facebook, Google+ and others, it’s vital that you have good content and up to date information. If you produce content for Facebook that is liked 2,000 times, it won’t on its own have a big impact on your search results. But if somebody at a publishing house picks up that post and adds it to their website, then you’ve got a quality trusted link that absolutely will help improve your rankings.

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Five important points about local SEO

This article from Entrepreneur highlights the importance of five key factors when looking at local SEO.

In it, Neil describes 5 main points and although some of the sites he references are for US only, the points themselves are all equally valid for the UK, Ireland and European markets.

The five key things to look at are:

  1. Accuracy and consistency in online listings
  2. Valuable information in directory listings
  3. Building full-fledged social-media accounts
  4. Getting good reviews
  5. Honing in on hyperlocal SEO

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SEO – to DIY or to outsource?

There is a lot of search engine optimisation work that you could do yourself, given the time to learn what’s required – but should you? Which option is best for you? That depends on your business. If you’re short of time then we recommend that you outsource your SEO work – and if you do have the time to learn some SEO techniques then there are still elements that we feel are best carried out by specialists.

So what are the pros and cons of each option?
Doing Your Own SEO work

  • Cheaper – as long as you have the time
  • You’ll know exactly what is happening on your website
  • You can troubleshoot problems yourself


  • It will take a lot of time
  • There’s a lot to learn
  • It’s easy to make a mistake that could negatively affect your ranking
  • Google’s search algorithms change frequently and you need to be on top of them

Many companies choose to outsource their SEO work, because it can easily suck up valuable time that detracts you from running your business.

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