What Should You Negotiate With An SEO Service Provider?

The common perception is that the only option that is available when looking for an SEO service provider is to agree with a specific package. This is definitely not the case. In fact, because of the huge competition that appears on the market, prices can be negotiated. In fact, you can negotiate many different things with the SEO service provider. We will give you examples that can be taken into account with the main goal being for you to receive the best possible deal.

What Is Included In The Package

What many do not know is that the SEO companies will naturally include many services that are not necessarily needed for some clients. For instance, you can often see some content writing that is included. In the event that this is connected with creating new pages for ranking purposes, it can be ok. However, when that content is offered for your site and you do not really need it (like with blog posts), you can save cash on the package by simply removing that from the contract.

Take a look at all the services that are offered by the SEO provider. When you notice that there is something that is not needed, start a conversation. When there is no valuable reason why that service is necessary (like with article directory submissions), eliminate it.

Long Term Price Discounts

In some situations you can be able to negotiate a much better price tag in the event that you sign a contract for a longer period of time. However, in this case you want to be sure that the SEO agency is experienced and can deliver the results that you are looking for.

This type of negotiation is recommended in the event that you have already been working with the company for a longer time, normally around 1 year. If this is the case, you can be sure that you would receive great services and you can go for really long contracts that would cover all your sites.

Reports Offered

This is not related to how much you are about to pay. This is something that is necessary in order to be sure that the SEO service offered will actually get the work done for you. You are interested in getting results when you have someone perform search engine optimization work for your online properties. This is quite obvious but few clients actually talk about this.

What is ideal is to receive weekly ranking reports. These are valuable as you can see exactly what work is done and at the same time you manage to be 100% sure that rankings actually increase. In many situations the agencies offer monthly reports. This is not perfect since the work that is done every single day counts a lot. SEO is all about consistency.

Negotiating reports is basically something that is similar to all that is offered. Make sure that you discuss the services offered for you so that you can easily receive something that is of a really high quality.





Why Keep Your Content Fresh

The content on your website is the single most important factor that stands between success and failure. A person visiting your website wants clear, concise information on the subject they wish to ready about, and so too does a search engine. Search engines try to be intelligent and work like a real visitor to your site, so you should always try to write your content for your visitors, not search engines – of course, the odd keyword drop here and there is fine, as long as it doesn’t take away from the quality of your article, or indeed make the article read like spam.

Google loves fresh content – the old saying “Content Is King” has always been true in the world of SEO Companies and rankings, and that isn’t about to change any time soon.

The more fresh content you put on your website (fresh, authorative and accurate content) the more often Google will re-crawl your site, index your new pages, and consider re-ranking your website.

Being re-crawled is only one way fresh content can improve your rankings. A good quality, well written article is likely to be shared, commented on, and more importantly for ranking purposes, linked to by other people.

The more relevant, quality inbound links your have, the better chance it has of climbing the rankings.

Adding content to your website should never be done as a “just because” exercise, you should only add content which adds something to your website, be it a guide, an article, or even an image which is relevant to your sector. Also remember, the more content and large authorative articles you have on your website, the more you can implement keywords – a high keyword ratio is bad, but if you have plenty of content then your ratio should remain low.

The more content you publish on any given subject increases your chance to be seen as an authority on the subject, gaining authority gains trust, and gaining trust can gain rankings, so write those excellent high quality information packed articles and aim to be the main authority for your subject.

Keeping content fresh, as you can see, is great for search engines, but it also engages your visitors and keeps them coming back – we all have websites to gain visitors, but return visitors are valuable too, so don’t turn your back on those who have visited in the past, refresh your content and keep them coming back.

What are your favourite subjects to write about? Do you have any tips or tricks to keep your content fresh? Let us know in the comments below.


Do The Position Of Outbound Links Matter?

When building a link to your website or article, such as through a guest blog post, or press release, or if a website is reviewing your product and linking back to your website, did you know that the position of the link on the page can actually have an effect on how the link is seen by search engines?

Gone are the days of simply filling a website’s footer with links to pass link juice through, Search engines now work intelligently and try to read the page like, and act like an actual human visitor.

As a visitor to a website, ask yourself how likely you are to click a link in each possible position;

The header

If you’ve just loaded up a website, and there is a link in the header, it is one of the first things you will see, so that’s good, right? Well not always – Chances are, you loaded the website to read an article or find some information, so immediately leaving the website via a link in the header won’t be high on your list of priorities – search engines try to use this reasoning too, and therefore may see a header link as less “quality” than some others.

Ok so the header isn’t the best place, what about the footer? You’ve visited the website and read the article to the end, often the footer doesn’t show up on the page unless you scroll further, due to sidebar content or related posts information or similar, are you likely to read the information you were looking for, and then carry on scrolling to look at the footer of a website, and click a link you find? We’d tend to say no, and we feel that search engines agree when applying weight to a links quality.

So the header isn’t great, the footer is arguably the worst of all, what about the sidebar? The sidebar is marginally better than the other 2, it’s generally in the same fold as the main content which is being read, and may be something you click on once you’ve found out the infortmation you were looking for.

Finally, the best place, in our opinion, and perhaps the opinion of most search engines is within the main content itself – that said, the link should be relevant to the content, and the content should be well written and authoritive on the subject it is addressing, there is no point in having a website giving information to motor mechanics with a link to a website talking about flower arranging.

So if you’re writing an article for your website and wish to link to someone elses website, or you’re writing a press release to be released on another website, by far the best place for your link is within a clear, well written, accurate article.

Have you had success with links in other places on a website? Let us know what you find is best in the comments below.


Dominating A Niche Market

We hear the term “niche market” and “dominating your niche” regularly, but what exactly does this entail, and is it even possible?

We spoke to one of the marketing team from Swegway Ireland, David who has recently began marketing a new website in the smart scooters niche, and what he told us was surprising.

“We have a strong background in consumer electronics, and are lucky enough to have a strong relationship with a team who runs one of Ireland’s top digital marketing agencies, so when we identified this as a strong product, we jumped straight into some market and viability research” said David from Swegway Ireland.

So the guys identified a potential market through research, but we wanted to know more, such as how they know a product is worth marketing, and how they knew it was a viable niche to enter.

David was happy to oblige “Basically, when picking a new product, part of it is gut feeling – we felt it would be a big product this Christmas, and potentially over the coming year too. We began with our gut instinct, but in order to put time and money into bringing this to market, we had to back this up with statistics and tangible proof.”

David went on to say “We begin by doing research into the current competition, we check into search volumes for keywords and phrases we think will perform best, and then search for these phrases and check out the competition. We quickly realised that whilst the keywords we chose were getting a high volume of searches, the actual competition for these keywords was low, and this gave us the confidence to proceed.”

So we’ve learned that choosing a niche to enter is mostly research based, but also down to gut instinct – we believe that if you’re passionate about a niche, and the research adds up, then you’ll have better success than entering a niche that does not interest you, or a niche which you’re interested in but has poor search volume or exceptionally high competition.

Once you’ve identified a niche that will work for you, what’s next? We asked David what the next steps were in bringing Swegway Ireland to the market.

“Once we realised how good this niche was, we were excited – I mean actual excitement, it’s not often you find a niche which isn’t overcrowded with competition, and has a huge target market, who are already actively looking for the product, but then we began to worry, if nobody else is doing it, are we missing something? As this is a physical product we wished to sell, rather than a digital item, or affiliate scheme, we instantly thought price may be a barrier, luckily for us we have a good relationship with many manufacturers due to our history in consumer electronics, so we instantly got on the phone to our main supplier and they gave us the information we needed – price was good, niche was great, time to move forward”

David really gave us something to think about here – no matter how good the niche appears to be, you may get caught up in the excitement, in this case, price could have been a limiting factor, luckily it wasn’t, so what’s next?

David continued, “Now that we know the niche is viable and the price is right, we began to build our website, we have guys in-house who do this for us, but depending on how complex (or not) your product is, you can easily do this yourself using something like WordPress, or pay someone to do it for you – it needn’t break the bank. We quickly got our website online and populated the products, then moved onto social media – we got our Facebook and Twitter accounts up and running in unison with our new website, then we let our SEO guys loose. Local SEO was important to us, we wanted to sell Swegways in Ireland (at least primarily – we’ll ship worldwide!) so we focused on Ireland as our key market. Both on-page and off-site SEO are needed to be successful, so we employed both methods, and the results were pretty astounding. Within a few days we began to rank pretty well for our main key words, and our social media following began to increase.”

So a good website, good search engine optimisation, and a social media presence are all important – as well as identifying and targeting your specific market. We had a look at the website and Facebook account of Swegway Ireland and we were pretty impressed – the brand itself looks great, we were amazed this had been achieved in such a short turnaround time.

We know it looks great, and from doing a few cursory searches in Google, we also know it’s ranking pretty good – but is it working? We asked David if he felt the project had been a success thus far.

“Yes. I feel it has.” Said David. “Within a week of launching, we have a good interaction over social media, we’re getting the visitors, and more importantly, we’re getting sales. Actually, the demand has taken us all by surprise, we were fairly sure we’d have some interest within the first couple of weeks, but we’ve actually got orders coming in regularly, and we’re working hard to keep up with demand! We’re guaranteeing delivery before Christmas so get your Swegway today!” he continued.

So as you can see, it is certainly possible to enter a niche fairly quickly, and be succesful – dominate it? We’re not sure dominate is the right word, but perhaps Swegway will prove us wrong in the coming weeks and months, they certainly seem to be well on the way to domination!

We’d like to thank SwegwayIreland, and in particular David from swegwayireland.ie for his time (and the cheeky plug at the end of the interview!) and wish them all the success with their new venture.

What niches have you identified lately, do you have any success stories, or have you fallen at a hurdle and would like to share? Let us know in the comments so we can give our thoughts! Next time we’ll be speaking to the Managing Director of Ireland’s fastest growing paving company on how they scaled tremendously from startup mode to nationwide in under a year.


Panda 4.2 Still Not Fully Released

Gary Illyes of Google has stated that the 4.2 revision of Panda, one of Google’s search ranking algorithms which was initially launched back in July, is still in the process of being
rolled out, this isn’t shocking news, as Google have always said it would be an ongoing thing, taking several months at least.

So it’s still rolling out, but what exactly is the Panda update, and how are these changes likely to affect us?

Firstly, unlike previous Panda updates which were rolled out in a matter of hours, or days at most, the latest update is going to be an ongoing, rolling update which means the changes may
never truely be complete – it will be a never ending learning cycle.

The latest Google Panda update will have different effects on a page by page basis, rather than a site-wide change to search rankings. This means some pages on your website may jump up in
rankings whilst others may lose positions, whether or not pages will do a dance and then settle, or jump straight to their new positions is yet to be seen.

As with all changes to Googles search algorithms, this is one to watch, those of you who suffered penalties in the past from previous Panda updates have had time to make changes and redeem
yourself, so 4.2 may work in your favour, likewise, people who have been unaffected by past updates may be shocked this time around.

Have you seen the current changes have a good or bad effect on your website’s rankings? Will this change your current search engine optimisation methods? Let us know in the comments so we can compare notes!


Digital Marketing to promote your business?

Digital Marketing is certainly important in this day and age, but how exactly can it help a business.

Digital Marketing can help any business, and the importance of marketing online as a whole is becoming more and more prevelant.

We’ve been taking a look at how local businesses use digital marketing to promote their products and website, and in the process, we stumbled across DroidStar Electronics.

First up in our investigations was to look at their website over at droidstar.com – the site itself had all of the ingredients of a good online store, with call to actions, and clear concise information available straight from the homepage.

We then browsed through the website and felt that the order process was very simple, we could go from initial visit to checking out in no more than a few clicks. Great, we thought, they have a nice looking, user friendly website. But that’s not what interested us, everything we could see suggested that DroidStar have established themselves as the number one place to buy an Android TV box in Ireland, so it was time to dig deeper – anyone can put a website online, but a website alone does not make a successful business.

Back to browsing we went and what we found was some very active social media accounts under the DroidStar and indeed their Android TV Box brand “Starbox”. We know that social media accounts are a fantastic way to interact with current and prospective clients, and it looks like DroidStar has got this one right.

Googling the company name brings up the information of their website, aswell as their shop address and opening times, so customers can find out all of the information they need straight away – remember, the less action a client has to take to find your product, and purchase it, the better – so this is certainly a great step from the guys who handle the marketing side of things.

So let’s recap on what we observed – an easy to use, modern website with no barriers getting in the way of purchase. An excellent social media presence, allowing interaction with customers, old and new. Great local information to ensure customers can find the bricks and mortar store – many people do their research online before going out to purchase in-store, so Droidstar have all events covered.

We also observed some excellent search engine optimisation, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

Have you observed a particularly well marketed online business or website? Leave us a comment and we’ll take a look, we may even feature it in a future article!