Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

SEO and the impact on your brand

August 31, 2014

Jeff Bezoz, Amazon - Branding quote

A Simple test ….do a Google search using the keywords that describe what your organisation does and see how your website performs.

Crisis PR in Ireland’ , ‘PR firms in Dublin‘ …. Do your own search for your relevant keywords and see what happens. Include your location in the search, which is what most people normally do when they are searching.

From a business point of view it makes clear sense that if someone is looking for what your organisation is offering that they find you easily online. The very best way is for your website to perform for these ‘key‘ searches organically or naturally. If this is not the case your website is more than likely not properly optimised.

If you have done all you can to optimise your website and it is still not performing well enough then it makes sense to implement a Google Adwords campaign to ensure your website is appearing for ‘key’ searches in a prominent position.

While your website performance is essential for business is this the only reason your site should perform well for searches?

I feel another big reason your website should perform well is that it is an integral part of your overall brand. This might seem like an unusual reason at first as we normally thing of ‘descriptors‘ when we discuss someone’s brand attributes.

Jeff Bezoz of Amazon described a brand as ‘what other people say about you when you are not in the room‘. While it might be up to others to describe you this can clearly be shaped by how you portray your organisation through your actions, behaviours, products, services and all the visual cues or representations of your brand.

Your website plays a key role in this, not just in how it appears but also where it appears when searched for.

It’s difficult to appear as a ‘leader in the sector‘ if a random Google search for the services and products you provide has you appearing well below your competitors or possibly so far back on the search results you are not found at all.

If this is the case you need to optimise your website, which is mostly a very straight forward but methodical process and if necessary support this with Google Adwords pay per click advertising.

The opposite is also the case and with a well optimised site it is possible to take on the big guys who normally dominate in your sector.

Where you appear is just as important as how you appear!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion provide online consultancy and website optimisation services from our offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland

13 Tips About Blogging & making some noise!

August 23, 2012
Blogging Tips by Greg Canty, Fuzion PR

What’s it to be?

Blogging is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and get your message out there and I find more and more we are encouraging our clients to jump in and let the world hear what they have to say ….make some noise!

Once your blog post is written it makes great raw material to feed your social media activity or even to pitch to the media if it is in relation to some issue that is quite topical. Interested readers (hopefully some of these are potential customers) can subscribe to your blog and will then get automatic updates whenever you post something new.

This all sounds fabulous and it really is once you are up and running but the tough part is starting!

Often I find a client will put a week’s thought, deliberation and work into a single blog post and the monumental effort will ensure that it will be their first and last – writing isn’t easy, it is a skill that needs to be practised the same as anything else and I guess it comes easier to some than to others.

What I can promise is that once you are up and running it will get easier and easier, but you have to allow yourself  a learning curve and you will soon discover a style that you are comfortable with.

Get it right and not only will you enjoy it, but it will help to bring you and your business visibility, which should help to bring you business.

Blooging Tips by Greg Canty, Fuzion PR

Power blog!

I have put together a few tips about blogging that might help you along the way!

  1. Keep the blog post as short as possible (just enough to make your point)
  2. Try to write in the “first person” if possible
  3. Avoid using technical/industry jargon (unless it is for a very technical audience)
  4. Keep it topical (where possible try making your point using some issue that is current)
  5. If the blog post is taking more than half an hour to write then you are probably thinking about it too much!
  6. Always try to include a relevant visual – people love pictures!
  7. Blog as frequently as possible (at least once a week is a good target)
  8. Mix your topics and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through
  9. Keep a note book (your smart phone might help) to jot down ideas for blog posts – they will come to you at the strangest of times, believe me!
  10. Optimise your keywords – if you want your blog post to be found try to work the important keywords (the ones that a typical user might use if they were searching on the topic) into the blog heading, the first paragraph and your keyword tags. Make sure you categorise and tag your blog post once it is done.
  11. Include hyperlinks (simply the web addresses of other relevant content) – links to your website, links to the writers LinkedIn Account, links to other resources on the web.
  12. Blogging is just the start – make sure you push it out through your social media channels to get value for all of your hard work
  13. Unlucky for some but not for you – Go on …..www.wordpress.com , what are you waiting for?

Looking forward to reading what you have to say

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Getting your business found online with Google Adwords

July 31, 2012
Website Marketing

Looking for traffic to your website

I heard a really funny story from a client of ours who was dealing with an elderly couple.

The gentleman asked one of his salesman a question about one of their products. His wife told him not to be bothering the salesman as he was too busy – “When we go home we can Doogle it” she said.

The salesman bit his lip as he tried not to burst out laughing but it does show you how we all use Doogle.. sorry Google to find what we are looking for these days.

We use Google Adwords campaigns for many of our clients and I even lecture for the Digital Marketing Institute on the topic of Pay Per Click advertising, of which Google is the main player.

I call Google Adwords “Sniper Marketing” – when executed properly you are able to target anyone online who is looking for exactly the products and services that you are offering.

If your website is not being found online when one of your possible prospects does a search then you are simply “not in the game”.

With a combination of a well optimised website, supported by a Google Adwords campaign you can ensure that you don’t miss any of that important online traffic.

Easy?

The big problem as I see it, is that a Google Adwords campaign is too easy to set up yourself!

With a few clicks you can run adverts on keywords you start bidding on, and before you know it your credit bill is creaking.. often without a lot of success.

I was that soldier until I found a guide to Google Adwords many years ago written by a guy called Perry Marshall. After downloading this guide I quickly realised what I needed to do in order to create value for money campaigns. With Perry’s advice I learned how to create effective campaigns at the lowest possible cost.

Operating successful Google Adwords campaigns requires skill, knowledge, hard work and practice and Perry’s guide set me on the right road.

Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords

Ask Perry Marshall!

Recently I came across an updated version (3rd Edition) of “The Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords” and this time Perry Marshall has enlisted the help of Byran Todd, another experienced marketing consultant and adwords specialist.

Google and the online world in general has moved on and this guide brought me nicely up to date with some of Google’s new features and opportunities. The basics are explained in a really practical and interesting manner – study these and put them into practice on your campaigns as you work through the guide. The guide also offers other resources for deeper analysis and insights.

The guide touches on other areas such as web optimisation, social media and a benefit I did not expect was a lesson in marketing! Follow the advice and you will learn even more about your customers and the magic words that will have them making enquiries and placing orders.

I’ve already applied the learnings to both our own and client campaigns and I can see the improvements.

If you are are contemplating a Google Adwords campaign or you are already running one I can guarantee you that this guide will save you money and help you achieve better traffic and results.

Thanks Perry and Bryan for the refresher course – you have made me a better “G” man!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Web Marketing Services for clients including the management of Google Adwords campaigns .

Sniper Marketing

February 21, 2011

Online Marketing

Should your be more specific?

If you throw enough mud at a wall then eventually some will stick! – you have often heard that expression and when it comes to advertising and in particular at a time when most people are carefully watching their budgets. It can cause problems when it comes to justifying spend in this area.

Influenced by this very argument and also because it often makes total sense, where appropriate we encourage most of our clients to allocate some of their advertising budgets to on-line Pay Per Click advertising, or sniper marketing as we like to call it.

With some of the recent and new on-line tools it is now much easier to target your exact target audience for your product or service, just like a “sniper” would. Why advertise to everyone just to get the attention of a narrow more exact target audience?

With a combination of Google Advertising, Facebook Advertising, and even LinkedIn advertising it is possible to target your customers very specifically.

Most of these initiatives operate on a pay-per-click basis so you only pay for results, even though you can also achieve some visibility for free with those who do not click on your adverts. Just to replay that in simple terms – You only pay when someone has clicked on your advert and come to your website or facebook page. You do not pay every time your advert is shown.

To briefly explain how each of the platforms work:

Google Adwords – here you select (or bid on) keywords that when searched by a user will activate your advert. You can limit your adverts to a specific area or location. You can actually go further and specify which page on your website the user will land on when they click on your advert. Let them find exactly what they want as quickly as possible.

Facebook Advertising – This is quite different to how Google works. Here you target demographics – you can specify types of people in different areas and even with declared special interests. With adverts here you have a choice of bringing bring them to your website or your Facebook business page (this can be very effective in building followers on your page).

LinkedIn Advertising – Advertising here operates more like Facebook with the exception that the environment is much more corporate. You can target types of people, making choices about location, company size and even levels of seniority.

With all of the above options you can control your campaigns by setting daily budgets and also by limiting how much each click will cost. Google reporting in particular can provide you with very valuable information about your customers. (they are all relatively easy to set up but I would strongly advise seeking professional help setting up these campaigns as you can easily make expensive mistakes – they never refuse your money!)

To support this activity you might also consider email marketing – use an on-line email newsletter service (there are many good value options such as MailChimp and Constant Contact and for more sophisticated requirements you could try Newsweaver) to your database of contacts, reminding those who you have already developed a connection with of you and your services.

This sniper approach to marketing can work for all types of businesses as diverse as:

The Ballroom Dance teacher who can target engaged women in Cork with his adverts for dance lessons to get them ready for their first dance at their wedding (there are 1,210 of within a 20 km radius of Cork City!) – Facebook is perfect for this.

The Tax Consultant who wants to target senior executives in Ireland for specialist tax advice – this can be done by advertising on LinkedIn.

We find that on-line campaigns can work very effectively as part of an overall campaign for clients to achieve their objectives.

Could this be something that would form part of your Marketing Plan in 2011?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

Whoah – Major changes to Facebook “pages”

February 15, 2011
Facebook changes to business pages

Changes to Facebook - confused?

Just when we were getting used to Facebook they go and change it all again!

This round of changes are quite significant and represent a major change in how they are thinking including (I think?) trying to incorporate things that are possible on Twitter (a business following a business) and a facility whereby businesses can align to each other.

I’ll do my best to explain some of the changes .. here goes

Look and Feel

The look and feel of Business Pages has changed on Facebook with some of the buttons/tabs switching position. The profile pic (if you were utilising its full capability) will now be reduced – from 200 pixels wide and 600 long to 180 x 540 – a call to your graphic designer may be required.

Similar to the new personal profile pages the new business page will also display photos of your most recent “experiences” on the top of the page.

You now have the ability (and choice) to display the “admins” for the page (below the profile pic).

Users switching to Pages

This is a major change and one I suspect is being influenced by twitter to an extent. Now a user can “switch” their profile to their page (or page of your choice if you are admin for a few pages) and then behave more like an individual – however in this mode the user does not have the full functionality as if you would with a personal profile but you can now:

  • Like other pages (you cannot be friends with individuals)
  • Like and Comment on other pages as “the business”

In this way you will start to see a community of businesses “liking” each other – something which you can do easily on twitter in a very uncomplicated way.

Facebook changes

Recommended pages appears to the right of your page

To enhance this feature Facebook recommends pages for your business page to like (as opposed to friends) based on similar people “likes” and interests on your business page and theirs (you will have to read that sentence a few times to grasp the point I suspect!!).

One of the effects of this is that updates on business pages you choose to like will come into your news feed (using Facebook as a business “page” user), which in a way can bring you specific information about pages only. This feature enables you to engage with the latest and important news from other business Pages you like.

Information about Business “Page” updates

Facebook has introduced a facility whereby you can get alerts for activity on your page. If you have a large volume of activity this will drive you nuts, however it will help to make sure you don’t miss any important activity of your business pages.

Relevancy – The “everyone” filter

The “Everyone” filter on the Wall by selection provides a new way for people to see the most interesting posts first.

Enhanced Moderations

Facebook have provided more facilities for moderating content on your page automatically including posts by users above a certain age and you also have the ability to block posts using certain selected  “keywords”.

More changes

The changes being implemented are still a little “buggy” so expect a few glitches and a few more things to change slightly – no throwing the computer out the window guys … it’s not worth it!!

All in all you can see that Facebook is trying to enhance the “business” aspects of the platform, which provides opportunities for anyone in business who is clever enough to fully utilise them.

Sorry about the heavy post ..

Fuzion provide a full Social Media Consultancy service.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

The Irish Bank Robber and Facebook

August 22, 2010

When the renowned Irish American bank robber, Willie Sutton was arrested having been caught after one of his many bank heists he famously gave the following response to journalists who asked him why he kept robbing banks, “Because, that’s where the money was!”

Willie Sutton, The Famous Bank Robber

Willie Sutton, also known as “Slick Willie” and “Willie the Actor” (he was a master of disguises) was born in Brooklyn in 1901 and lived till 1980. He managed to rob 100 banks in his 79 year career, spending much of this in prison after many captures. Toward the end of his life he ended up fronting an advertising campaign for a bank who were introducing card ID’s with the person’s picture on it.

Besides being a notorious bank robber his quote earned him everlasting fame as his surname is now often quoted to refer to any situation where something is clearly “obvious”. In medical circles in particular his name comes up as “Suttons Law” to describe a situation where a diagnosis is exactly that and accountants even use it when talking about Activity Based Costing, “The Willie Sutton Rule”!

In the business of Marketing & PR we often get resistance when we recommend to clients that they should be engaging pro-actively with users on Facebook. We get the arguments about not liking computers, not having enough time, that all users are youngsters and generally not knowing how to use Facebook and not seeing the relevance to them.

Worldwide users have reached 550 Million with the figure in Ireland just over 1.4 million. Of these over 700,000 are over the age of 30. Many of these are your customers!

On average people are using Facebook about 25 minutes per day. Facebook has individual users as well as many businesses who have their own “business pages” and are interacting and influencing Facebook users on a daily basis. Starbucks, the famous American chain of coffee stores have over 12 million people signed up as fans.

The next time we talk about the relevance of Facebook with a client we might just quote the famous bank robber, Willie .. after all it’s very obvious!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

Bill Gates and his last dollar

July 4, 2010

 

Bill Gates

“If I was down to my last dollar I would spend it on PR” was the famous quote that Bill Gates made and one that many of us in the PR industry use when we are trying to draw attention to the importance of our services.

Ironically many of us are nearly down to our last dollars, or Euros and you might question does this piece of advice really hold water, how applicable is it and is this really what Bill Gates meant when he made the comment?  Was he ever down to his last dollar? – I wonder..

Does he really suggest that when a business is really tight that it spends its income in such a way?

When the recession kicked in how did you react in your business? What overheads got the chop? I’m suspecting that Marketing & PR budgets were given the scissors treatment – was this the right thing to do? How did this affect your business and the attitude of those working there?

Positive Attitude, Positive Activity and Positive Spend

Not knowing Bill I can only guess but this is my interpretation of what he meant ..

PR is as much an attitude, a process, a set of beliefs, a way of behaving positively as much as it is about Press Releases and actually employing a PR resource.

PR or Public Relations is all about Managing your Reputation– protecting, maintaining, building and managing your reputation. Even if you are down to your last dollar you need to keep investing or doing this.

There is nothing more valuable as a good reputation and this is about a lot more than employing PR companies or about issuing press releases. Your reputation is every single aspect of how your business relates to the outside world, your customers, your prospects, the general public and the media. This applies equally to a self employed candlestick maker as it does to a large multinational.

Ok, how about 16 Tips for improving and managing your Reputation (PR) for €1

1.    Answer the phones politely and helpfully
2.    Return missed calls promptly
3.    Return email enquiries quickly
4.    Deliver a good service to customers
5.    Handle complaints fairly and efficiently
6.    Deliver products and services on time
7.    Ensure your billing is correct
8.    Be polite, fair and efficient with your suppliers and staff
9.    Keep customers and prospects up to date with new products, features and services
10.    Treat your suppliers fairly
11.    Treat your customers with respect (even if they are experiencing difficulty and are under financial pressure)
12.    Ensure that all correspondence is well laid out, with correct English, is easily understood, professional and properly reflects your business
13.    Ensure your premises and vehicles are kept neat and tidy
14.    Ensure the attire of your staff is in keeping with the standards of your business
15.    Ensure your staff always talk up your company and do not air grievances outside of the four walls with external people – make a pact to sort things out internally
16.    Talk up the achievements of your company and the staff working there – their talents, skills and achievements

This is not an exhaustive list – have a think about it and add another 5/10/20 points to improve your reputation even more. Even better get your team to help you with this task.

Ok, all of this is good for your business reputation, it didn’t require the intervention of third party consultants and oh yeah, it didn’t really cost a shilling – you still have your €1 left!

So far we have looked at some housekeeping reputation issues.

Positive Attitude

As we mentioned PR is in essence a positive attitude – first and foremost you need to declare war on this recession and ensure that you and everyone in your business understands the importance of your reputation and a Positive Attitude towards your business. You will thrive in this environment and if you are alert you will not only survive but you will be in a position to seize on unique opportunities that may arise.

Back to the job of spending our last €1..

Communicate that you are going to invest in positive activity for your business – You have been in Retreat mode and now you want to invest funds in forward mode – you want to “Storm” this recession. Your staff must understand that every €1 is vital, that you want maximum return from it and challenge them to achieve this. Show and positively display the faith that you have in the business and communicate that you and your team are adopting “attack” mode!

This positive mind shift is essential for the business.

Where do we spend our €1?

–    Refresh your Website – review and refresh the text, besides being new and positive it helps your Search Engine ranking
–    Optimise your Website (do a Google search on this and you will learn find how to do it for free)
–    Update the News items on the website – announce new customers, products or services
–    Set up a Facebook business page, it’s free – take the time and build a following for your business online. Ask customers to sign up, email them, ring them, tell them..
–    Start using the other social media sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn to build your contacts and spread awareness for your business, products and service. If you’re not sure how to do this – Google it .. there are plenty of articles and tips available online
–    Prepare Press Releases about your company or services . Do you have anything interesting or new happening in the business? – let the press know.
–    Advertising: maybe you have an advertising campaign running with the local papers or a trade publication – negotiate that you get some free editorial to support these adverts (keep it interesting, they won’t print boring stuff!)

All of this is positive – have you ever noticed that you like being around positive people? In business we are no different and we like dealing with positive, successful businesses. Behave like one of them.

Build your reputation, shout it from the rooftops and make this a clearly understood activity in your business.

Big problem… we still haven’t spent that €1

Print a few posters and put them around your business “We are Storming the Recession”

If you have more than €1 to spend feel free to give Fuzion a call and we will help you achieve the maximum from your Marketing & PR budget.

Bill, thanks for the PR thumbs up ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

How do I find New Customers Easily?

January 24, 2010

I deliberately changed the heading I originally had for this article as I felt many of you may just switch off and not bother reading any further!

While that may not be a fair thing to do it is actually not too bad as the title I have chosen for the article is actually very accurate. However the title I had originally chosen was “Social Media is a form of free advertising – Use it!”

Already as I had feared many of you could be saying – I can’t even use a computer so I’m not even going to read this!

Please bear with me and read on. It’s easier than you think and this is a unique opportunity for your business. Many people are already using the different forms of Social Media and are successfully spreading the word about their business and winning new customers in the process.

Consider the different Social Media tools as forms of free advertising, free publicity and a free way to spread the word about your store or your brand. How can you ignore it?

You owe it to yourself to at least understand how it all works, how it could work for you and your business and then decide whether it is something you need to learn or something you need someone to do for you. Most importantly understand how some of your competitors are using these tools and the advantages they are gaining in the process.

Facebook

Facebook for Business

A small piece of information that might help to hold your interest – There are over 1,110,000 registered users of Facebook in Ireland, all over 18. You might assume that most of these are quite young? Nearly 500,000 of these users are 30 and over. My guess is a lot of your customers are busy using Facebook!

Some of you will already have discovered the power of the different social media for your business but for most it is a fabulous awareness opportunity just waiting to be discovered.

Let’s start with the basics – What exactly is Social Media?

They are the tools available on the web for socialising with other people online. There are many such tools and all totally free you will be glad to hear. The most popular and most useful of these are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

You don’t need to have a website to use any of these tools, just an email address. If you have a website they can be used to bring more traffic to it.

I will try my best to explain each of these in the most simplest of terms:

Facebook (www.facebook.com) is a powerful free resource for communicating with individuals and groups. At the heart of it you sign yourself up as an individual, build up a network of friends sharing messages, pictures and even video. You can also become a fan of business pages, which could include your favourite shops, charities etc. You can also set up a business page for your own business and encourage your customers to sign up as fans – through this you can add news about new products, show visuals of new collections, announce sales and even invite your fans to an event such as a sale.

I strongly recommend Facebook for any business in the hospitality or retail sector. We encourage all of our clients in these sectors to set up their presence on Facebook and to use it proactively. For example Starbucks have over 5.5million fans worldwide on their Facebook page, that’s a lot of coffee drinkers!

Twitter Logo

Twitter for business

Twitter (www.twitter.com) is a totally different beast. Basically you can set up an account or identity for yourself or your business and you then choose to follow others or let them follow you. You can then publish short messages referred to as ‘tweets’, which can be seen by the people following you and vice versa. For me quite honestly I am not totally sold on Twitter but I do see the sense in deliberately following businesses or journalists that may be of relevance to you and learn what they are writing about.

LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) is quite different to the others as it is a business to business form of online networking. On LinkedIn you set up your profile and from here you can invite others to connect with you. With LinkedIn you can normally see quite detailed information about where people are working and the position they hold. LinkedIn comes to life through the ‘Groups’ facility. You can join groups on LinkedIn such as your local Chamber, trade Groups or different interest groups. You can also set up a group yourself and invite others to join. For example I set up a group called Spend Ireland, which encourages people to spend their money in Ireland. These groups can be excellent for discussing topics and finding out information. Another feature of LinkedIn is the ability to register personal recommendations for your contacts and vice versa and you can also request introductions through your connections.

You can spend a lot of precious time on each of these so are they worth it?

Must – My own view is that you absolutely must be using Facebook proactively for your business as a store or as a brand. Make sure you complete your profile and regularly keep it fresh with news, updates, offers, visuals and comments. Let your customers know that you have a Facebook page and encourage them to sign up. A vital point to remember is that it is a form of ‘Social Media’ – try not to be too formal, you will only turn people off. Learn as much as you can by joining other peoples pages and watch how they are communicating news and offers. If you feel you do not have the time arrange for someone to do this for you.

LinkedIn Logo

LinkedIn for business

Maybe – I would try LinkedIn and Twitter once I was up and running on Facebook.

One final tip for you – If you have a website make it easy for people to share it with their contacts on the different social media by adding an ‘Add This’ sharing button to your website. Check out www.addthis.com to learn how. If you have a website and are also using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn direct them to these pages by adding buttons to the site.

I know that all of this can seem complicated and can be a little daunting but I promise you will get there one step at a time at you will win new customers for you business. What are you waiting for?

Greg Canty is a partner in Fuzion Communications, providing Marketing Consultancy, PR and Graphic Design and Web Optimisation services.

Click Your Way to Success

August 11, 2009

Do terms such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Web Marketing make your eyes gloss over and bring on a wave of sudden tiredness?I totally understand how you feel but I can promise you that getting this area right will definitely lead to more business for you. In a tough economic climate this is one of those areas that you can improve easily and it won’t break the bank.

The good news is that it is not that complicated!

Just think of SEO or Web Marketing as “making it easier for potential customers to find your business online”

The Importance of Web Marketing
It goes without saying that being found on the net easily could be the difference between doing business and not doing business.Your website is in effect your ‘on-line brochure’ and it is vital that it is easily found by potential clients who may be looking for your services or products. Over 50% of all product and service searches are instigated by searches on the web. While this figure may vary from industry to industry it is constantly increasing.

Whether someone is searching for a Tax Consultant in Dublin, a Maternity Clothing Store in Limerick or even a PR Company that provides web optimisation services!, it is vital that you are found online if you provide any of these services. Can you afford not to be visible?

For the sake of argument, quickly do a Google search on one of your key services and see how your website performs – if I do a search for ‘PR in Cork’ it is important for my business that Fuzion appear in a prominent position. There are a number of areas to consider as part of your ‘being found easier on the web’ campaign:

Your Website = Your “On-Line Brochure”

It goes without saying that your website should present your business properly and much of this will be down to the ‘look and feel’ of the website in exactly the same way as a professionally designed brochure would create a good impression.
Just like the old saying ‘paper doesn’t refuse ink’, exactly the same applies for websites.

Google and other search engines, while very sophisticated in many ways are actually quite simple. If they are returning the results of a search query they are attempting to match the words that you have searched on with the index or catalogue of words and websites that they have on their giant database.

In doing this the search engines follow certain criteria but the bottom line is that they are trying to find the best match for the query. Words are the key to every search – it makes sense that if I search for ‘Tax Consultant in Dublin’ the search engine will return a website that has these words featured prominently on the site but critically used correctly. They are clever enough to know that a website with Tax Consultant in Dublin written 100 times is trying to cheat the system!

So, words are important but they must be used in the right way.

When planning your website decide on your key services & products and then make sure that the site is optimised specifically for each of these. I would advise a separate page for each key service, which should then in turn be optimised properly. Yawn, I can feel it coming on..

Optimise – this means ensuring that the content includes the important keywords, that the headings on each paragraph carry the keywords and the first introductory paragraph carries the keywords. Search engines can’t read pictures, except for the labels embedded on them – be careful with too many pictures.

If my company specialises in PR then Google expects to find the words ‘PR’ in prominent places on some pages of my website. Besides the content you see on each page there are a few things in the background that the search engines place huge importance on.

The title of each web page, the description for each page and the keywords for each page are really important. These are programmed into the background but it is important that they include the words that are important to you: ‘PR in Cork and Dublin’ should feature on my PR Services page.

How do you know if this is being done for your website?

The title of each web page appears in the line at the very top of the web browser. When you look at any page of your website click a button on the browser called ‘View’ and then ‘Page Source’ which shows you the code that runs behind the scenes. Check to see the content that appears after meta “description” and meta “keywords” and ensure that these include the keywords that are important for this page.

Outside of this your website should be easy to navigate, should be updated regularly (a Content Management System will enable you do this easily yourself), should carry links to relevant sites and make sure it is easy for someone to make contact with you.

Off-line activities

Another good and quite obvious tip to encourage awareness for your website is to use your web address prominently on all advertising, uniforms, packaging and on company vehicles.

This is an area that’s very basic but is often overlooked.

Paid Search (Pay per Click)

If you have done all you can in terms of optimising your website naturally and you are still not achieving a position on web searches then I would suggest trying Google Adwords.

This is very effective in drawing very specific traffic to your website. Google will display ‘paid results’ alongside organic\normal results. These are the websites that appear at the very top of the page and on the right of the page.

In simple terms if you want your website to be displayed when someone searches on a particular keyword, you can ‘bid’ on that keyword. This is often referred to as ‘pay per click’ as you are only charged when someone clicks through to your website from your advert.

Until your organic or natural position improves, it is a great way of achieving a good position with relevant search queries and if your advertisement delivers exactly what a user is looking for then they will be inclined to click onto your site. It is advised that these campaigns are set up very carefully to ensure your budget is not wasted.

Summary
Being found on line is critical for every business. If your website cannot be found easily than this is great news! This can only mean more business when you sort it out, which is hopefully now easier than you originally thought.

After all that a strong coffee is required!