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How to make sure your brand gets into the first page of Google

10 tips for your Search Engine Optimisation strategy

You decided that your business needs a website. But a website without visitors is not very helpful. Here’s a list of things you need to keep in mind when building your online presence:

 

1.Google is about providing the best results and not about showing your business

That’s probably the most important thing to keep in mind when you start building your online presence. Your spot is not reserved on Google. Not even for your branded name. Google wants to give its users the best results. So, chances are you’re not going to show on Google at all, if you use on your website the same information that you already added into different web directories. If you want to rank better in Google, your website needs to contain what people are looking. If you plan putting effort in your Search Engine Optimisation campaign, stop. You need to put effort in making your potential clients happy, by having the useful information on your website. That’s the only good way to start your SEO.

 

1.1 Your website should have content to help your potential clients, not to praise you

As mentioned earlier, in order for Google to like you, you need to have valuable quality content on your website. If you are an electrician in Dublin, don’t just fill a page with your contact details and one or two images of you or your equipment. Help them instead. What are people asking you when you call to fix their problems. What are their main problems and how could they avoid those issues? You definitely know better than me what’s the pain in your industry.

 

1.2 Don’t be lazy, but ask for help when you can’t handle it!

Chances are you were not born to become a writer. And even if it’s easy for you to talk about your work, when you start writing down your thoughts, everything becomes more difficult. You would prefer to go back to your work, instead of writing about it. Don’t give up. Try it a few more times. Try using bullet points, maybe it will make your writing easier. If it’s still not working, remember there are always people who can help. You could team up with a marketer, a social media consultant – they would be more than happy to help with your content writing. You would only have to spend a few minutes a day/week to explain them what your work is about.

 

1.3 Time is money – that’s not just an expression, is pure math.

Probably you will try to write the articles yourself because you think this way you would save money. If you feel comfortable writing articles, then you’re good. Go for it, and help your potential clients find you. But if you struggle for hours, just think of how much time you wasted: Let’s say, you spent one hour a day to write, but the final result was not good enough to be published on your website. How much do you charge per hour? 25 Euro? 50 Euro? If it’s the last number, then you just lost 50 x 5 hours = 250 Euro trying to write an article. You know… an article for your website should not cost you that much. It’s time to find help.

 

2. Backlinks should be one way other people recommend you

Do you know your friend has a website? Your last client? Your stock providers? Ask them to write something about you, to mention you and your work, and to put a link from that story to your website.

Don’t just ask them to put links on the footer of your website or on the right/left sidebar. Those are not links that tell stories and are useless.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time in getting those links back to your website. Get one a month, and that should be good enough. In one year, you should have 12 websites that recommend you through links to your website, and that should boost your website in Google.

 

3. Use a .ie domain.

If your target is local, then use a local level domain. If you plan to expand in United States, buy and use a .com. But if you plan to grow local, then a .ie will help you. I won’t go into too much detail here, but just so you know, if we have two websites, with the same content, same number of backlinks (recommendations), but one with .com and the other one with .ie, the .ie one would rank better than the .com in Ireland. Same with other countries. If you plan to sell in UK, then buy a .co.uk or a .uk domain.

 

4. Use Google Business listing

google-businessOnce your website is ready and online, register your business with Google My Business – https://www.google.com/business/

Remember step 1, when I told you that your spot in Google is not reserved? Google my business is your reservation ticket. Just make sure you fill all the details correctly. Again, not a bad idea to contact a marketing consultant to help you with that. Or ask your website developer, he might be comfortable in using Google My Business. Once your business is verified (you will receive a card by post with a code from Google), your branded name should be on top of Google, at least in your town.

Time for some more technical stuff. When you build or review your website with your developer, keep the following things in mind:

 

5. Title and Headings

Google title: That’s your website’s Meta – title – Should contain your branded name and your business. Something like “Jason & Sons – Emergency Plumbing Repairs Castlebar”meta-title

 

5.1 Pay attention to your headings – That’s your best PR

H1 – heading 1 should be the title. Talk to your developer about it. You don’t want your H1 to be your logo (an image), you want your H1 to be text, and should be something similar to the meta-title, but more user friendly. Something like “We are Jason Electrical Ltd. – 24 Hour Mayo Electricians – Emergency Electrical Services in Castlebar”. Also, you should have at least 2-3 intertitles (heading 2) in your main web-pages.

6. Extra layer of security for your visitors

May not be one of your top priorities, but it well worth it: Add an SSL (Security) certificate to your website – That could cost you an extra few Euros, but will help you rank better in Google. Even if your website is not an e-commerce one, will still help.

 

7. Make sure your website is fast

Load your website from your computer at home. Is it fast enough? Try it again from your machine at work – still too slow? It means that not only the internet is slow, but maybe there’s a problem with your website as well. In most cases, there’s a simple fix: check the size of your images. Maybe you took photos with your phone, and they are full HD –too big for a website. Phones now take photos that are ready for print, but you don’t need the same resolution for web. Just make sure you optimise your photos before uploading them to your website. optimizilla.com, kraken.io/web-interface and tinypng.com are just some examples of website where you can optimise your images.

 

8. Make sure your website is mobile ready

That’s a no brainer. Most people are now using their phones and tablets to read articles, find services, or even to watch short movies with dogs and kittens. If you want them to find and contact you, then your website should be mobile ready.

 

9. Google tools

google-search-consoleCreate a Google Search Console (previously Webmaster tools) account. Link it to your Google Analytics account (have I mentioned you have to have a Google Analytics account?). Visit your Search Console at least once a week. Check for any errors. With this tool, you can even check to see how Google visualises your website.

 

10. Codes and errors.

Technical stuff can be weird at times. For example, error codes: There’s a 200-server error code. This error means that… everything is good!!?? Really, 200 means there’s nothing to worry about. On the other side, there’s the 404 error. This means the page you were looking for doesn’t exist. And this can be frustrating to users. Do you remember when you added that new page, with a new service on your website, but after a couple of months you decided to take it off, because that service is not worth providing it? Have you deleted the menu links to that page as well? Or when you deleted a page with some photos. Or maybe you have changed the title of a page, to make it more appealing to Google, and the Content Management System that you’re using (probably WordPress, Joomla or Drupal) automatically changed the url of that page? But the links from the menu are still pointing to the old url? Make sure you update all the menus and links. (Make sure you use a 301 redirect to make your 404 a 200. Too confusing? Use your developer’s phone number instead, and ask him to fix it).

 

Conclusions

Is not that difficult to make your website found by people in your area. My best advice is to forget about Search Engine Optimisation all together. Stop trying to optimise your website for Google. And start optimising it for people.

If you have a website with plenty of unique quality information, then people will come to you. Put your effort in helping your potential clients, and make sure they have a great experience on your website. Their experience is the only reason I mentioned the technical stuff: You want to keep your users happy, and they don’t want to wait too much for the page to load or to get a “Page doesn’t exist” message. Keep them happy, and the results will come. Good luck!

Change is Good

When running a new business it is important to embrace change. Not change for change sake but change for good, to move your business forward and open up new markets for you.

 

Lot’s of businesses have to adapt to changing market trends and test new things to see if they work. It is often the same with your website. people want to see that your website has changing content. This can seem daunting to the novice website builder. The easiest way to manage change on a site is to start a blog within your site.

 

A blog can have little stories or details about things that are upcoming in your business, organisation or club. The changing content brings people back to your site to visit and see what you have posted.

 

If you don’t have changing products this might be the best way to go. It also works the same way with social media, sometimes businesses don’t update there social media with news or promotions, they leave it and there is no engagement with customers.

 

So think about your site, and what information you want on it. Remember change of content drives traffic to it. Your website is a living thing, it lives on the the content you place upon it. If you look after it, it will bring dividends to you.

 

If you want help with content remember that we offer Social Media Content Management services as part of our Elite Social service.

 

Content is King

It is important when working on you website, that you think carefully about the message you want to convey, It is often the way that the idea itself is exciting and interesting but the detail sometimes can be a bit thin. So it is often a good idea, to imagine the pages, and imagine what you want them to say. Get some paper and scribble down some ideas, Don’t try and do it straight from the keyboard to the screen. This can lead to you stalling and maybe not finishing what you started.

 

Here are the 5 top things to look for when building your Own.ie site:

 

1) Navigation  – How to do you want your site to flow, think about it as if you were visiting your page as a customer.

 

2) Content – Write your content for your customers. Have sections that can be added to. Keep it relevant

 

3) Stale Sites – Don’t let you site get out of date. Stale sites, are sites that don’t have any new content, old information.

 

4) Pictures or videos –  Pictures and Video are now the norm to make your site engaging. A site with no imagery can overwhelm your visitor, and seem that there is too much content.

 

5) Social Media – It is important that you engage your social media so that it can be a direct link between your site, you and your customer.

 

So when your ready to sit down and start planning your site, think of these 5 things.

 

If you need any help or support, you can get directly in touch via the support link or via the live chat.

 

Inspiration can strike at any time!

Inspiration can strike at any time! Business ideas can come to people at the strangest times. Maybe just before you go to sleep or when you see an opportunity to create a product or service that doesn’t exist. Once you have made the decision to do something about it you will probably think about setting up a website.

Instead of choosing a web designer, you could use a service like us, here at own.ie. You do not need any coding or design skills to launch a new site. Each site design is done by choosing a template and dragging and dropping items onto your page. You can add photos, logos and text like a word document. In fact our service allows you to try the idea out quickly and easily with our Free option.

If you think you are ready to launch then why not choose the Elite or Elite Social packages. Which offer domains and Social Media management. This allows you to try services, get your social media set up and test your market. The Elite Social service provides something unique in the Irish marketplace, a dedicated Social media account manager that can work with you to get the exposure you need to launch your new business.

So if you have had a great idea for a new business and are dying to test the market, own.ie is a great place to start. Take a look at our packages page or if you have a question, simply click on the Live Chat or send us a message we would be happy to assist you.

Time to get social

Own.ie has been helping Irish businesses get online for nearly two years. Our easy to use templates allow anyone to build a website in minutes without any technical knowledge and have it hosted via our servers. This winning formula has helped hundreds to establish and launch websites across Ireland and beyond.

But times are changing and we know that having a website is only one aspect of your online identity, Social media now plays a role in helping you connect with your clients and customers.New figures show 64% of people on social media sites in Ireland use Facebook. The Ipsos-MRBI survey shows 29% use Twitter  This is why we have developed a social media management service to help establish,and manage your social media platforms with you. Our Irish based team are specialists in working with organisations to use social media to enhance their profile online.

Whether you have existing Facebook, Twitter or Google + accounts or want to establish new ones to go side by side your new website, our dedicated team will walk you through the basics of setting up and linking your new website with your social media pages.

We have added a free 30 day trial to our Elite package, so you can see the benefits of a dedicated Social Media Manager. Or why not jump in and let us help establish your social media identity with our new Elite Social service, with monthly posting. analytics and campaign management with your dedicated account manager, you can hit the ground running.

Want to know more about getting Social, simply click on the live chat button or visit https://own.ie/prices/ to check out the packages and prices.

How to Use Twitter for Your Business

When you create your profile on Twitter you’re a bit lost. No one is following you, and there are not too many chances to get good followers from the start.

You are invited to follow some well-known people and brands when you start a new profile, but they will definitely not follow you back. First thing you have to keep in mind when you start using Twitter is what you want. If you want to promote your business, then you first have to think of your target audience. For example, our target audience are lads aged between 18 and 27. What are they interested in? Let’s say football, girls and gadgets. Read more

Why is WordPress the best website builder

WordPress it’s one of the most powerful Content Management Systems (CMS) ever. And the most important part about it? It’s so easy to use!

I remember how a few years ago WordPress was just a CMS for blogs. Not too many things to do with it. Indeed, was the beginning of blogging. When you were saying to someone “I have a blog” it was like one of your biggest achievements ever. “Wow”, was the first reaction. You were an important person, and also a pioneer. Now everyone can have a blog. But WordPress evolved so much that is now the easiest solution to create your own website. And not just a blog, but anything else, from a social network to an online shop or a brochure site for your business. It’s that easy to have your business online now.

Read more

Why it’s a good idea to have your own .ie domain name and website

Have your own .ie website

There are a lot of website builders out there, and I don’t say that own.ie it’s the best website builder. But I am sure it’s a great tool for all small business owners. Now, what’s great with own.ie is that you can have your own .ie website.

 

Why is good to have a .ie domain?

.ie is Ireland’s country code top-level domain – is the Internet top-level domain used in Ireland. With other words, it’s a web address that says clear that your website is Irish. Anyone can have a .com or .net and say they’s from Ireland, but they can, actually, be from anywhere else. And you can get a .com domain in like 10 minutes.

To get a .ie domain is not that simple. You need to prove that you are connected to Ireland. You need to be a resident or have a business in Ireland.

Having a .ie domain tells everyone that your business is Irish and it is for Irish people, or, how I like to say, is geo-targeting Ireland.

 

You can get a cheap .ie domain name with own.ie

With own.ie you have two options:

1. FREE Actually that’s how you start anyway: with a subdomain, something like yourbrand.own.ie. It’s the easiest way to start with a .ie website. You can keep this address as long as you want. And it’s available for free with our website builder.

2. If you choose the Premium or E-commerce package, you can have your own .ie domain name. We can assist you to buy one with as low as €15.95+tax per domain.

The average price for an .ie domain name is 30 Euro, and if you want to buy the domain directly from IEDR the price is €62.00. But we do our best to keep all the prices as low as possible.

Once we’ve bought the domain name for you, the website that was on a subdomain (like yourbrand.ie) will become available on yourdomainname.ie – you won’t lose anything from your website (text, images, videos). Actually, the website will look exactly the same, only that you will have it on your own Irish domain name.

 A .ie domain is good for SEO

I’ve said that having an Irish domain name is good; because you can show everyone that you’re Irish or very connected to Ireland.

Google IrelandBut having a .ie domain is also important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you and your competitor are selling shoes (for example) and he has the domainname.com and you have the domainname.ie, you have all the chances to get on top of your competitor on Search Engine Results Page. Google.ie will show your domain first.

 

Don’t wait any longer. Grab your own.ie domain and start building your website.

We’ve tried to make everything as easy as possible for you to build your website. Still, if you need help, you can contact us at any time, and we will be glad to assist you on building your business online.

 

Premium designs?

You will see that some of the themes from your dashboard are not available for a free subscription. For the moment, all our themes are free, just that the blocked themes require more steps to set up. And for all the other steps, you need to have the extended dashboard. We wanted to keep everything as simple as possible, that’s why all of the themes that need extra setup are available only for those who want to use the extended dashboard, available for premium subscription. With a premium subscription you will have access to more specialised add-ons, to create online shops, booking systems, charity events, etc. We hope to launch the premium add-ons in a few weeks. We’ll keep you posted!