Phil Kelsey

pkelsey

Phil Kelsey is the Managing Director of Spiral Media, a Lincoln-based website and online marketing consultancy. Phil and his creative team create online strategies for their clients by combining their design, development and online marketing skills, which involves search engine optimisation to increase traffic and conversions.


To help your website and content become more popular you need to start making a name for yourself throughout the web to encourage clicks back to your website.

It’s wrong for businesses to rely solely on one channel to drive traffic, such as SEO, because there are too many influences that are out of your control.

So if you haven’t already, then now is the time to spread the load and build strength in a range of different online channels, which in the long run will help contribute to a consistent flow or regular referral traffic.

1. Become known within top industry forums

Start acting like an expert by answering people’s questions.

If you have some content on your website that will provide further help, like a step-by-step, then add a “nofollow” link to it.

If you consistently contribute to forums and discussion groups then in the long run, you will notice a consistent flow of referral traffic from your past replies.

2. Contribute to leading industry sites

Carefully find leading information websites within your industry and start building a relationship with them, before making contact to see if you could become an expert writer.

With one of Google’s recent announcements in mind, the site you write for and the content you provide must be of the highest quality and not used elsewhere on the web.

To make sure you’re going to be ok, here are a few checks to run;

  • There should be a manual approval process for your articles
  • The website should have a strong following of like minded individuals, which can usually be proven by their social networks and activity within the comments of their articles
  • The website should be active and posting high end and exclusive content every single day, written mainly by their in house team and writers

To back this up, you may find this article useful from one of the top consultants of a world leading internet marketing service provider.

Over time you’ll find that some of these articles you write brings a consistent flow of referral traffic.

3. Let a few people write for you?

Letting a few industry expert writers contribute alongside your own articles is fine, so long as you check everything they write and make sure that it’s high end and not used else were in the web.

The traffic opportunities come from three main areas;

  1. Your social network channels when you share the titles
  2. The writers’ social network channels as they will share this with their community too
  3. Natural search engine traffic because the more quality articles you have published, the more long tail search terms you can be relevant for

But please be careful; stay disciplined with your writing guidelines and moderation process. Make sure you moderate each article your handful of writers creates before it goes live.

To conclude:

The result of engaging in methods like the above will mean that you have a wide range of channels bringing you traffic each month, rather than just relying on SEO.

So take a much broader approach to your online marketing, work hard to get your brand out there and make sure your site and content is interesting to your target audience.

Phil Kelsey is the Managing Director of Spiral Media, a Lincoln-based website and online marketing consultancy. Phil and his creative team create online strategies for their clients by combining their design, development and online marketing skills, which involves search engine optimisation to increase traffic and conversions.

At some point in your website life, you may need to put your website through a re-build, taking your content from one platform to another. Or, you may have decided to update some web addresses within your site as an attempt to better optimise your content for a range of keywords you’re targeting.

If you’ve recently had a rebuild

If you’ve had a re-build, it’s extremely important to check that that all your current pages and content have being brought across as well as checking to see if the pages’ web addresses have changed somewhat.

If not, then you will possibly log into Google Analytics one day and see something similar to this;

drop-analytics

If you’ve recently amended some URLs

If you have (or someone else has) recently gone through your site and amended page URLs to improve your onsite SEO, then it’s important you check that your platform automatically redirects anyone trying to access the old URL.

If your website is an essential part of your business, then you can imagine the potential impact of losing traffic, whether be 50 visits or 5,000 visitors.

How to check that it’s been done

There are a couple of tests that you can use for this, in fact I actually use both ways because it’s very important it is done correctly:

Using Webmaster Tools

Each search engine has their own Webmaster Tools, you’re probably more familiar with the Google one. Taking Google as an example;

  1. Log into your Webmaster tools account just before you go live and head over to the “Crawl” then “Crawl Errors” section.
  2. If you’re happy to, remove any crawl errors that are there currently by marking them all as fixed.
  3. Then, launch your website and keep checking Webmaster tools every couple of days.
  4. If Google has encountered any issues while trying to reach pages, then this is the place they will tell you.

Using Screaming Frog SEO Spider

This will give you instant results and transparency, if used correctly of course.  The free version lets you crawl up to 500 URLs but the paid version is only around £100 per year and gives your unlimited access.

  1. Before going live, crawl the old website and export the internal HTML data in a .csv format. This will give you a list of all the URLs that the spider has been able to crawl.
  2. Launch your website then head back over to the Spider, import the site map within “Mode > List” and start a new crawl
  3. In the column labelled “Response Code”, look for the 404 responses.  These page addresses are the ones that do not exist on your current site and have no redirect in place.

With both checks, if you see any pages that are definitely on your new site, chances are the URL format has changed and you’ll just need to pop a 301 Redirect in.

Hope this helps; if you have any questions then feel free to comment below or get is touch on Twitter @SpiralMediaLtd.

Phil Kelsey is the Managing Director of Spiral Media, a Lincoln-based website and online marketing consultancy. Phil and his creative team create online strategies for their clients by combining their design, development and online marketing skills, which involves search engine optimisation to increase traffic and conversions.

During 2013, Google continued to make strong steps in the fight against spam and taking shortcuts with content in order to maintain their commitment to delivering the best results.

They’re continually becoming more in tune with the type of information the reader wants, as well as what they expect from websites.

Moving forward, business websites (whether brochure or e-commerce style) must be aware of the changes and thus adequately serve the need of the end-user and the search engine.

The constant fight against spam

Google’s Penguin and Panda developments continue to broaden the search engine’s definition of what constitutes as ‘spam’. They look deeper and more critically at your content as well as the quality and natural behaviour of links coming into pages.

The Hummingbird update was, in part, Google’s response to the increasing shift towards mobile and tablet use. Google now has better recognition and understanding of conversational search types (e.g. voice activated) so they can provide a more accurate set of results.

To do:

  1. Are you including all the detail necessary within your content, or are you holding back to a specific word count or lack of time?
  2. Content is crucial to your online success; so you be creative with much more insightful and engaging information.

Stop getting caught up on rankings for keywords

Keywords and rankings can quite easily be a distraction from what really matters, the content. Focussing on short and popular keywords gets in the way of creating extremely insightful content and end-user driven pages.

In short, if you want to be positioned well for “[industry] in Lincoln” then make sure you have the best website in regards to content, usability and popularity.

To do:

  1. On a Monday, write down the 5 most common questions you get asked within your business and start writing; don’t hold back! Just make sure you regularly make reference to the question so it can be matched to the user driven searches.
  2. Use something like Google Analytics to get an understanding of user behaviour on how they navigate through your website. Once they have read your articles, are they subscribing to newsletters, going to your social accounts or making an enquiry?

So stop focussing on keywords, and start focussing on the user.

To help you get started, I’ve published an article about how to create a content strategy that you might find useful.

Make mobile users your priority

Since the introduction of the Hummingbird update, the need to service and take the mobile user into consideration has never been greater.

With features like Siri, users make searches using their voice. When people use their voice, their questions tend to be longer, detailed and more specific.  This means that your content should cover all angles and should contain structured data.

From a usability point of view, mobile users want their information fast, make their purchases quickly and not have to pinch and zoom to read the text.  If you’re not giving the users what they expect, they will go elsewhere.

With the mobile search market already extremely large and growing quickly, if your website isn’t friendly for the mobile user, then you are way behind what is happening now.

To do:

  1. If you haven’t already, make 2014 the year you address the usability for the mobile user, i.e. having a mobile option of your website through responsive design or other means.

These days, success in search engines is a lot more complex. If you adopt a more strategic user-driven search strategy now before your competitors, then you are opening up a huge opportunity for yourself.

Terrible content is being replaced with intelligent content, which is everything that the search engines always wanted to put forward.

Phil Kelsey is the Managing Director of Spiral Media, a Lincoln-based website and online marketing consultancy. Phil and his creative team create online strategies for their clients by combining their design, development and online marketing skills, which involves search engine optimisation to increase traffic and conversions.

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