How does local SEO work? (Bristol)


Most businesses in Bristol now face a lot of competition. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re a plumber or sell electric guitars, quite simply put its vital that your business stands out.

And what better way to stand out from all the other businesses than to invest in SEO?

First things first, what is local SEO?

If your looking for a local business, let’s say a local accountant, well the businesses that appear on the first page of Google have most likely invested in SEO.

The reason is Google places businesses on the first page that have the strongest ranking signals, and are the most relevant for that term.

So, for instance, let’s say you were looking for a accountants that could help your business with its VAT.

So, when you search for “VAT accountants + city or town” well the businesses that appear will have normally invested in both onsite and offsite seo.

This is often an ongoing process of building backlinks, writing content marketing and optimising the website so it that appears higher for relevant business terms, such as VAT accountants.

Google My Business (map listings)

Has your business obtained its Google My Business account? No? Well you should have!

In order for an seo company to implement local seo, they will often need to set up a Google My Business account.

This often doesn’t take very long, however its most definitely worth spending more time writing a detailed Google My Business account.

The reason being is this is central to the success of your businesses local seo, as most businesses don’t just want their business to appear in the organic business results, they want also for their business to appear in the Google My Business results as well.


Why invest?

Well this ones rather easy to answer, most businesses invest as they recognise that a lot of people are buying products or locating services they need online.

So the question really is, can a business today afford not to invest?

Without investing in local seo you may well be handing a potentially massive advantage to your direct competitors.

Also with organic seo the longer your business puts off investing, the longer your competitors will have to strengthen their seo.

Which means that sometimes the longer your business leaves it, well the longer is it to catch up.


Who decides where is a business is ranked?

Google has a really clever algorithm, this algorithm calculates how strong your websites ranking signals are.

Now ranking signals can be anything from backlinks, through to a meta description. However, as most people know, some marketing agencies are better at implementing seo than some other businesses.

So the businesses that use the best quality white hat seo, and the businesses that have the strongest ranking signals, well these are the business that rank on the first page of Google.


Obtain business reviews

Here’s a top tip, ask your customers to leave you reviews on your Google My Business account.

Do not however write fake business reviews, as these will be detected by Google’s algorithm.

Instead if a customer states they are really happy with your product or the service your business has offered, why not ask them would they be willing to leave your business a review?

Is onsite SEO important when it comes to local seo?

Onsite SEO is massively important when it comes to implementing local seo. For example, a mistake so many businesses offer is to group all their services together.

So, let’s say for example you run say a plumbing business, well sometimes a plumbing business may state they offer emergency call-outs, boiler breakdown repair and offer to install complete central heating systems all on one page.

Instead most seo consultants would agree its far better to split each service that the business offers onto its own page.

Why you should only invest in white hat seo

Black hat seo is quite simply a total waste of time. Black hat seo just means that a website will incur a penalty.

A far better form of seo is white hat seo. If a business was to incur a penalty, say a Google Penguin penalty well this can mean that the businesses rankings drop.

Also, to rectify the problem the business may ask another seo agency to fix the problem, this can sometimes be costly.

What are business citations?

Business citations are just mentions of your businesses NAP details. NAP simply stands for name of the business, its address and the businesses phone number.

What are backlinks?

The backlinks that seo companies are often interested in building are called do-follow backlinks. Yet for the backlinks to be useful to your business they must be:

·        Relevant to your business

·        Built in a white hat way

·        Be high-quality

·        Do-follow if you want the link to pass “link juice”

·        Anchor text must be optimised in a white hat way.

Can we help?

If your business requires help with its seo, then why not call us?



How long does organic SEO take?


Most businesses want to appear on the first page of Google. After all, it can often mean that a business can generate more sales.

As more and more businesses move away from more traditional forms of advertising, more businesses are investing in SEO.

However, even though organic SEO has been around for a great deal of time, a lot of business owners still have unrealistic goals of what they would like to achieve.

For example, they only have a few hundreds of pounds per month to spend, but they want to rank on the first page up against large businesses.

So, businesses first and foremost need to be realistic. And you may now be thinking, well that sounds rather defeatist!

I am going to vote with my feet and choose an seo agency that’s more up-beat and tells me what I want to hear.

Well! This is often where so many businesses go wrong, as most businesses are only an e-mail away or a phone call from meeting an seo that will tell you can aim for world domination on a shoe-string budget.

Yet, what can happen if the seo work is rubbish, is the website incurs a penalty. It can mean the website becomes very difficult for customers to find on Google.

Also the recovery process, from something like a Google Penguin or Google Panda update can be a long one, and if you are obtaining expert advice to remedy the problems, well this can often be costly as well.

So, this doesn’t mean that all seo companies that offer cheap seo are bad, or that the most expensive agencies are the best, it simply boils down to this, it comes down to how good in terms of quality the SEO is, and whether the seo company is being clear and honest with you as a business.


So, how long does it take to get a business onto the first page of Google?

Here’s the thing, it all boils down to how competitive your business sector is. How strong are your competitors?

And this is where the business states well you should be telling us, and here’s the thing, each website is ranked according to how strong over 200 signals are.

So yes an seo agency could make a rough assessment in terms of how strong your competitors are, but that is all it would be a rough estimate.

So when a business simply states it can take up to six months, or 12 months, well this is often just something they have got used to saying, sometimes without really doing much research into how strong your competitors are.


So what’s the most honest approach to take?

Well that’s easy, but not one businesses often want to hear as they want set dates to hold an seo agency to.

The honest approach is to evaluate each competitor that’s on the first page, state why the seo consultant believes each website is strong. Be honest and say that business 1, 2 and 3 have good quality seo that looks to implemented over a very long timeframe, perhaps many years, and state that to overtake such competitors that the business will have to exceed these efforts, and be prepared that it can take a similar timeframe.

Yet, the seo agency should state ways they believe they can implement work which may shorten the timeframe and use white hat seo methods to try and implement better marketing strategies.

This is an honest approach, and guess what? The businesses that have been hit by penalties in the past, the ones that know of businesses that have been hit with penalties, well this longer more thought-out approach suddenly becomes more appealing than the agencies which state they will make your business an overnight success.


Why does a business have to pay each month?

This is something that a lot of businesses simply struggle to understand when first investing in SEO, that is why do they need to pay each month for SEO?

Well the simple fact is businesses will always have competitors that also want their business to be placed on the first page of Google.

So this often means that your competitors will also be working on their SEO, so the standard that has to be exceeded in order to get a business onto the first page becomes higher and higher.

Therefore if a business was to pause their seo investment, or even stop completely, well often its only a short amount of time before the competition quickly replace their business.


Why is it such a slow process?

Often many businesses when they hear how long it can take to get their business onto the first page will be deterred from investing in SEO.

As often if the seo is implemented correctly, well it can take a long time. So, often this is where some businesses are automatically attracted more to the businesses that state they can get their business onto the first page in a much shorter timeframe.

However, this is where the business must ensure white hat methods are being used, as if the business doesn’t use white hat seo methods, then the business could incur a penalty.

And, this is often why some businesses can promise much shorter timeframes to get a business onto the first page because they are not using white hat methods. And its only then later that the business realises that they may have been hit by a penalty, and its then that the business realises why the marketing agency was charging low prices, and over promising on what they could deliver.

As we earlier mentioned, penalties can take a long time to recover from, so this could mean your business could lose business, and in order to correct the penalty this can be costly sometimes, that’s if you pay an seo expert to correct the issues.

The client has to be realistic

So in reality, the client has to be realistic. The reason is if a business chooses the wrong seo business, well this can result in a penalty.

So our best advice would be to partner with a white hat seo that’s honest about how long it can take to get your business onto the first page of Google. Even if the timeframes sound longer than what some other companies are stating, you have to evaluate is this because they are implementing good quality seo, and if so surely that’s better than cheap seo that could mean your business incurs a penalty?


How we can help

If your business requires white hat seo, then why not give us a ring?

How do you build backlinks?


If you have ever invested in white hat seo, well you will know that quite often the SEO agency will need spend a lot of time building high-quality backlinks.

So, this means that when a business is looking at where their marketing agency is spending time, often a large chunk will be spent building links.

This means that most businesses recognise that link building is often an essential part of SEO, yet with that said, many business still do not know how to build backlinks.

This blog post explains what backlinks are, and also how to build backlinks as well.

So, why exactly are backlinks so important?

There are thought to be over 200 ranking signals that the search engines use to work out how important a website is.

This means that everything from meta descriptions, through to backlinks are calculated by an algorithm in order to work out where a business should be ranked.

Yet, with that said, not all ranking signals are worth the same, that’s to say some are more important than others.

So, for example backlinks are widely regarded as one of the most important ranking signals. Yet, on the other hand alt tags are less important.


Why does the quality of the backlinks matter?

So many businesses wrongly thought that the more backlinks they obtain the better, that’s to say they did not consider quality as important.

Yet when Google implemented the Google Penguin update many businesses were hit by a link penalty.

This meant that a lot of businesses that were hit by the penalty, saw their rankings decrease and sometimes the business would be removed altogether.

This is why its absolutely crucial that only quality backlinks are built.


So, what exactly are internal backlinks?

Internal backlinks are simply links that take you to another page within the same website. So for example lets say you are a dentist, and you run a dental practice.

Within the blog section of your website you may well be talking about teeth whitening, and you may therefore use a link to your teeth whitening page on your website.

This way when someone is reading your blog post, and they wish to read more about the teeth whitening services that you offer, they can click the anchor text and then follow the link.

What are external backlinks?

External backlinks are super important, and leading seo agencies spend a lot of time building high quality backlinks for their clients.

The reason that external backlinks are so important is, the websites that are on the first page of Google will normally have a lot of good quality backlinks.

This means in order to beat your competitors, normally your business will also need to build high-quality backlinks.

So, what exactly is a no-follow and a do-follow backlink?

Seo consultants will want to send what is known as “link juice” to a particular page on your website.

Link juice, if it comes from a high quality website can help to improve where your website ranks.

Yet, often many good quality backlinks will be needed.

No follow backlinks do not pass link juice, yet they are still important when it comes to the success of your businesses SEO. The reason for that is many leading seo companies believe that a good quality group of backlinks should consist of both no-follow and do-follow backlinks.

If your website was to just purely have do-follow backlinks well this may sometimes look artificial.


What does “anchor text” mean?

The anchor text is simply the text that you click on to follow a link, so for example, lets say you sell used cars. If you mention within a blog post a brand of car, and you want to offer readers to click the link and see what cars you have for sale, you may make the mention of the brand of car the anchor text.


So, how exactly should our business be building backlinks?

We think that the best way a business can obtain backlinks is to earn them. What we mean by this is we always strongly recommend that a business offers really useful information.

So lets say you run a business which sells wood burning stoves online, well you may wish to write blog posts which answer commonly asked questions that your customers have.

Such as, which wood burning stoves do you sell are the most efficient. Now, such a blog post may then be shared on social media, such as on Twitter.

Then once many people have read the article some may choose to link to the article. So for example an interior décor website may think that the article will interest their readers, so they link to the article.

This way your business is building backlinks, yet businesses are linking to your website without you having to ask them.

However, with that said, your seo agency or your business should be making sure that you have quality backlinks linking to your website. If the links are spam then you should discuss this with your SEO business.

5 super easy methods to improve your businesses on-site SEO


The internet is awash with rather dull SEO articles, that’s to say a lot of seo agencies churn-out such articles as though they are on a production line!

Some are just plain hard to follow, often that’s because of the excessive use of marketing jargon.

Some other articles on the other hand just provide a rather boring read!

But do not fear, as we know how to offer seo advice that’s both useful and engaging.

Now, before we continue dispensing advice on how to improve your businesses seo, we have to be straight with you, that is we have to say that organic seo is a slow process. It’s a long old road, one which doesn’t offer overnight success.

Yet, with that said you have to get the ball rolling somewhere right? So here’s seven methods that you can implement in order to improve your businesses onsite seo.

#1 Get the page layout spot on first

So many websites, regardless of how much you have forked-out on the websites design, are sometimes put together without so much of a thought for the businesses SEO.

The web design agency may have even spun the obligatory line that the websites “seo friendly”- but what does that even mean?

Well, a website designer may tell you that the website can be crawled and indexed by Google. Well, that’s the most basic of basic requirements.

So, it doesn’t mean the SEO is any good!

So, here’s the thing, think long and hard about this, which products or services are important to your business? And then think about whether they should have there own separate page?

Here’s why this is such an important consideration, say you run a law practice, and the web designers just set up a website that just has a homepage, about us page, a company blog and a contact us page.

This means that the seo company will find mighty hard promoting all the different areas of law that the business offers, if each area of law doesn’t have its own page on the website.

So, a simple page stating we offer employment law, property law and also family law, well that’s no good! Its no good because the seo company may suggest that each area of law will need its own page and this will make optimising each area of law easier.

And the reason for this is super simple to understand, its because each page will have its own:

·        Meta title and meta description

·        Alt tags

·        Product or service description

·        H1 to H6 tags

·        And the list could go on and on


#2 Blog, but don’t blog about a load of rubbish

So, most businesses understand that they need to keep their company website updated on a regular basis. This could be adding a blog post or a new news article to the website.

However, the quality of the blog posts that some businesses publish can vary on a gigantic scale.

That’s because some blog posts will be super useful, and actually help the business reach its SEO goals, then on the other hand you have rubbish blog posts, just written without care and these can actually damage a websites seo.

Here’s how they can damage the businesses seo, a rubbish blog post could result in sky-high bounce rate for that blog post. If a sky-high bounce rate occurs across the site, well many digital marketing agencies, ours included, believe this could be detrimental to a business’s rankings.

Also, if white hat methods are not followed, then the website may well be repeating the same words over and over, which could mean the website incurs a penalty.

So the blog posts must be quality. By quality we mean well written and have really useful information.

For example, if you run a family law practice, you may wish to add blog posts about how to start the divorce process.


#3 Meta titles and meta descriptions

In todays business world its important to stand out from the crowd. That’s exactly why your business invested in organic seo, right?

Well, that’s all well and good, yet even when your business is ranked on the first page of Google it still has to compete for attention.

That’s because say you looking for a new pair of headphones online, you will have adverts at the top (PPC) for headphones, then you may even have local business adverts and then all of the organic business listings.

So you have to standout, you have to grab the persons attention, and a great way of doing this is writing a compelling meta title and meta description.

For those that do not know, a meta title and meta description provide a sentence or two about what that business offers.

So if your retailing headphones you may write something like:

Meta title: Affordable headphones, we offer a wide selection of leading headphone brands

Meta description: Here at “       “  we are committed to offering you impartial advice when choosing headphones and audio equipment. Our prices are hard to beat, so why not check out our latest stock?

That’s a good example of a meta title and meta description, and these should be written for every page on your website. Also, you should write a meta title and meta description for every blog post as well.

#4 Alt tags

Do you run an ecommerce business? Do you sell loads of different products? Well, its important that your seo agency spends the time to correctly write your businesses alt tags.

Now for those that do not know, an alt tag is simply used to describe what’s in a picture.

But in terms of there SEO significance, well they are pretty important. For example, lets say you are searching for a certain brand of mobile phone, and you want to know what this new model looks like.

Well you guessed it, if your website has used the phones model number in the alt tags, well it stands a much better chance of people finding it. As otherwise what would it look like to Google’s algorithms?

Well you guessed it, like just another smart phone.

#5 Calls to action

Most websites offer enough information for someone to base a buying decision on. Yet, on the other hand the difference between those websites, and the ones that clinch the deal are sometimes the ones that have really good “calls to action”.

What are calls to action we hear you cry! Well, simply put they are used to request a visitor to your website to do something. Whether that’s to click on a button to sign-up to a newsletter, or fill in a form to request a call back.

Normally they are a button, that once clicked expands a contact form, and encourages the person to contact the business.

Or sometimes they could be just something as simple as a “buy it now” button.