Quick Tip: Think Your Content Is Original? Think Again…

Original content is the basic, single most important ingredient of any SEO strategy. Even if you don’t master keywords or figure out your link strategy, the minimum requirement is that you come up with original content for search engines to index.

But there is more to original content than avoiding duplication and a Google search penalty. You can do better than that. You can master keywords, build a quality link profile and devise a content strategy that offers genuinely original content. And genuinely original content means getting creative and coming up with new ideas to give you an edge on your competition.

Redefine originality

Browse the web for any content services and you’ll see the promise of “original” content on just about every page you visit. Great stuff. Pay for 100% original content and you can be rest assured you won’t have the Google police knocking on your homepage door with a duplicate content penalty.

Which has left this concept around the web that any content that hasn’t been stolen and copied automatically counts as original. Change a bit of sentence structure, crack out the thesaurus and you have yourself some 100% original content. Hmm.

Originality is a concept

Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that. You can’t get original content by scouring the web for ideas and mashing them together into your own web pages. Sure you’ll have a regular stream of content that doesn’t ring any Google algorithm alarms, but why is anyone going to read your content when they can get the same information from another site that already has a bigger SEO presence?

If you want to get an edge on your rivals and make up some ground with the big guns in your industry you have to come up with original concepts for your content. And that mean variety, fresh ideas and compelling reads.

Duplicate free content is the bare minimum for keeping search engines and potential lawsuits at bay, but when it comes to dealing with the users you need to grow your online brand, it takes much more than the bare minimum. Be creative, not copy active.

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10 Free Tools To Make Your SEO Campaign More Manageable

When it comes to SEO tools you really can’t beat the premium packages from the likes of Moz, WordStream and HootSuite for social media. Advanced features and rich data make these platforms a worthy investment as you grow your online brand – but there is still a place for free tools in SEO.

It’s not always a question of budget either and today we have a list of free tools that has something to offer every SEO campaign. These resources make great additions to your paid toolkit or a gentle introduction into the world of search marketing.

The Google Toolkit

Google offers the ultimate collection of free SEO tools – from Analytics, to the AdWords Keyword, Webmaster Tools and so much more. Your SEO campaign starts here.



If you need an alternative keyword tool go give list of search terms a revamp then Ubersuggest can give you thousands of suggestions in flash – all from real queries.


Builtvisible offers up a collection of online resources and tools to help you get more form your online marketing efforts – including a Content Strategy Generator that syncs with your Google account.

Ontolo’s Remove Duplicate Items Tool

Ontolo has a suite of link building software designed to make SEO easier in the days of Google updates and this Remove Duplicate Item tool is one of its best.


Pingdom is a great alternative to the Google PageSpeed tool to help you asses and monitor the speed of your website and track down anything that keeps your visitors waiting.


Barracuda has ridden the storm of Google algorithm updates and come out the other side with this free tool that lets you see how Panda and co. have affected your search presence.

Free Moz Tools

We’ve already mentioned Moz as one of the premium names in SEO tools, but you’ll also find a number of free tools like Mozcast and the Social Authority API.


CircleCount gives you better insights into Google+ which allows you to assess your own ranking, track your published content and target the best people, pages and groups for your content strategy.


Buffer is a powerful social media optimisation tools that let’s you share content with your target audience at the most effective time, for greater visibility.


Remove’em is a backlink removal tool that helps you identify areas where you are at risk from overly optimised anchor text.

More to come

We have barely made a dent in the collection of free tools available to help you maintain your SEO campaign and we will be back with another list of tools very soon.

To talk to our expert team at HodgesNet about increasing your SEO rankings in Google use the form opposite or call us today on 01793 608777.


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What SEO Package Do I Need For My Business?

SEO is an ever moving target, so choosing an SEO package for your business can prove difficult. Recent changes in the search engine’s measurement and ranking factors means that SEO packages offered by your supplier, need to evolve to offer the best service possible – and the best results. First and foremost, the package you need has to be tailor-fitted to your business in order to reap the benefits within your industry by gaining the necessary traffic and sales that is obviously desired.

Make sure your SEO Package is unique and made to fit your business

Not only should your SEO package be tailor-fitted, it should also have a content led focus, as this is where the future of SEO lies. The overall strategy should have a varied mix of techniques and methods that gives you that spread of activity online from social signals, link building, blog authority, and other content driven elements. The right package should encompass the right keywords that have been thoroughly researched with stats to prove there is an opportunity to gain success in the search engines. In addition, natural links with popularity and authority are vital for your online presence and goals of bringing in fresh new traffic to your website. Furthermore, tweaking your website should be inclusive of any package in terms of on page alterations including title tags and other such necessary changes.

Different strategies are needed for different businesses, and obviously the budget of your business will be crucial to what level of SEO you can incorporate into you long term plan. SEO is an ever changing, so the agency your package has been chosen from, needs to have the capability to evolve and grow with such changes. Most businesses will have forms on their website for businesses to fill in, in terms of what level of SEO they require and how much cost it will incur. The package that you must choose in this current online space, is that of a strategy that is inclusive of social profile building, content creation through articles and press releases, specified content marketing including Infographics and guest blog posting, and a steady stream of link building. These mentioned elements are key to a successful online marketing strategy, and will dramatically improve your SEO and keep you ahead of your competitor

In conclusion, if your business needs SEO then why not have a look on the HodgesNet site at the SEO Packages and see how they shape up, and inevitably if they’re right for your business and fit within budgets etc… For more information, you can also call the team on 01793 608777 and a team member will be happy to talk the packages through with you and discuss how they can help you use the power of the internet for more profit!

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Unveiling the Secrets of SEO… or not as it seems!

From Managing Director, Ant Hodges

When I talk to a lot of people at networking events, or those that ask questions after presentations that I make, it seems everyone is interested in learning more about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the secret, dark art that seems to be reserved for those internet marketing geeks that lock themselves away in a dark room, working on things like linkbuilding until their website hits the top of page 1 of Google.

What I get asked questions, it’s all around, keyword density, the number of links, the length of blog posts, responsive design, social media mentions… the list goes on! People perceive that these are the secrets to success in SEO.

Do I answer them all? No.

For me, the reason that many business owners are asking these questions, is because they’ve heard someone say that they need to be writing a blog of at least 400 words every day, or that their website simply needs a whole bunch of links pointing to it and you can buy them from Fiverr – DONT! That is not a recommendation and neither is blogging every day.

The truth that I share, almost every day, is that there are no secrets and all the information about how you can help your website to climb the rankings of the search engines, is out there to read… from Google themselves! Just check out the information and tools available at http://ift.tt/oZ8H2S.

To be clear, there is no magic formula for the number of words you choose to write in your next blogs post. There is no possible way to give you the exact number of times you should mention your keyword on your webpage. There is no target for the number of links you should have coming to your website to gain page one rankings for your website.

Everything revolves around 2 things for SEO success.

  • Perfect On-Page Optimisation: taking into account the coding of your website, the text and media content that you add to it and the structure of the navigation/pages you publish online.
  • Third Party Links: the art of linkbulding has changed, but Google still use links as a measure of authority. You need to build a link profile from authority sites that are relevant to your site and your content.

My aim with the work we do with HodgesNet is to do ourselves out of a job. Getting the rankings for clients that drive traffic, consulting on how well that traffic is converting and then looking at how to help them maintain top rankings. Most of our clients develop an understanding of SEO, from the reports and our monthly SEO management calls, they can then see what we are doing and then start to take action for the work themselves.

We are open, transparent and follow the very latest updates from the SEO world, keep on top of the various zoological updates that come with Pandas, Penguins, Pigeons and Hummingbirds,  giving our clients the best in SEO services that they could want.

If we can help you, just ask. We’d be more than happy to chat.


Can we help you – Website Review and SEO Insights £45 inc. VAT

If you would like the HodgesNet team to take a look at your website, give our expert insight into how you could achieve more online and outline for you an SEO strategy to gain more traction online today, then enlist the services of HodgesNet with our Website Review and SEO Insights report.

  • Website SEO Review
  • Our Expert Insights
  • Plus a Telephone Consultation with our SEO Experts

Order your review today:

Enter your website address and the top 2 keywords that you want your website to be found for and we will have your review back to you within the next 5 working days.

(Your payment will be taken by credit/debit card securely through Stripe.com)


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Is Mobile Marketing The New Email Marketing?

Mobile marketing is the latest branch on the online marketing tree to really start seeing results on successful scale across all industries. With the majority of the population turning to smartphones, and with this looking certain to continue on a larger scale over the next few years, it is vital businesses use mobile marketing! The question that needs to be answered is one of; is email marketing dead now? The short answer is no. Email marketing still has a place to build lists and send out information on a less regular occurrence. However, with the age of tomorrow wanting everything to be instant, it is little wonder why mobile and text marketing is the logical progression.

Over 40% of consumers now check emails on their smartphones, which leads to an understanding of mobile targeted marketing being the way forward to stay ahead of your competitor, and inevitably get information to your audience at a speedier rate! Here are ten key points why mobile marketing will have the edge over the coming months and years:-

  • Immediacy – This is one of the main reasons, as mobile and texts can be so instant to a generation whom are rarely parted with their smartphone. With a staggering statistic such as 97% open their text messages within 5 seconds, it is little wonder why this is a method for success.
  • Distribution - You don’t need an envelope or a postage stamp to send information direct to your customers and targeted audience. The distribution is of real ease to a national or global scale,  or wherever your growing audience or potential clients are.
  • Response Rate - As stated earlier, the response rate for the majority is within 5 seconds which makes it beneficial to see how many of the texts are being taken seriously, and more importantly whether the targeted audience are going to act on the piece of the information received.
  • Personal - The fact that people see their mobile phone as a personal item can work in your favour, as many see emails as a work related platform. With the audience taking this viewpoint, you may be able to have a better chance of success of sales or even up selling.
  • Mobility - The mobility of the mobile speaks for itself. In this generation you can take your smartphone nearly anywhere and still have access to the internet, or have relevant signal to receive text messages.
  • Interactivity - Coupling with the immediacy of text marketing, the interaction side of things will have a greater chance of success. This will be because the ease of being on a mobile phone may lead the customer or client to engage and interact more. In addition, mainly because it’s not time consuming at all!
  • Quantifiable - Campaign results can be tracked through downloads, page visits, customer opt-ins, and a variety of other methods as well dependent upon the mobile marketing method being utilized.
  • Viral Potential - The ease with which mobile marketing messages can be shared increases the potential for your message to be shared with new audiences/potential customers at no cost to you.
  • Marketing Campaign Integration - Provides the ability to integrate new, innovative forms of advertising/promotion with existing strategies to enhance their interactivity and impact.

Text marketing doesn’t mean the end of email marketing, more of a helping hand! It is important to utilize as many marketing methods online as possible as this will increase the chances of your business having a bigger brand, presence, and online authority.

Combining email marketing, lead generation and other online marketing activities such as social media, with text message and mobile marketing can help you to generate more leads, sales and increase conversion of your marketing activities. To get started why not text “HODGESNET” and your email address to 60777, or call the team on 01793 608777 and we’ll be happy to get you set up or talk through any queries you may have.

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How Much Is Too Often For Email Marketing?

Email marketing is, and always will be, one of strongest and most efficient methods to stay in regular contact with customers. Although the pressing question remains; how much is too often? This question ultimately depends on your business and the database of subscribers you already have, and how acceptable they are to multiple campaigns and daily emails being sent to them. A study from ‘View from the inbox’ stated that 73% of email subscribers opt out of receiving future emails, giving the reason of too many emails being sent. This gives off a negative impression to your end receiver and may result in the perception of your business being quite ‘spammy’ – something that you definitely don’t want!

Make sure you don’t bombard your email database!

One of the tried and tested ways of finding out if you’re sending too many emails is to just ask. You know, that thing we used to do before finding stats and doing the research all over the web. Each industry is different so why not pose the question in your e-newsletter asking 1) How often would you like to hear from us? And 2) What information would you be interested in hearing about in the future? This will inevitably give you a much clearer understanding of what your customers want, and giving you as an organisation a positive appearance in caring for customers, and customer service.

In addition, sending emails daily can work in some weeks if you are promoting a specialist product or service that is at a discounted rate for a designated time period. This would be perceived as relevant and informative to the mail recipient and not at all spammy. As long as this method is kept up, you shouldn’t have any problems when moving back into a regular schedule of say…sending emails on a weekly basis. Furthermore, you know your customers, and you should have a clear indication when you could potentially be bombarding and putting off customers in your email list.

Many marketing techniques and methods should be used in an overall online marketing strategy for businesses, however email does have a place for its importance of contact with customers. The key elements to remember are that your emails when opened should always remain full of high quality, informative, relevant, and non spammy content. Appear natural and worthy of information, and your customers shouldn’t be contemplating whether or not you’re sending too many emails!

If you’re like most small business owners, you probably tend to throw yourself into marketing as and when you have the time. When there are so many tasks pressing for your attentions it can be difficult to do much more than be responsive in your marketing – for example, sending out the odd email newsletter when you get five minutes spare. However, that is not the most effective way to work; a much better approach is to spend time developing an email marketing strategy to ensure you send the right information to the right people at the right time. If you would like more information on email marketing services and campaigns feel free to call the HodgesNet team on 01793 608777.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Top 10 eCommerce Plugins For WordPress

WordPress offers business owners a powerful platform to publish content and grow their online presence – without the fuss. And thanks to a collection of easy-to-install eCommerce plugins, the world’s most popular CMS can turn your theme into a fully fledged online store.

The WordPress library has a wealth of plugins to choose from. Even essential plugins like SEO to shopping carts to help your clients sell their products and make your design projects all the more effective.

The problem for business owners is that they do not know what these plugins do, you could waste a lot of time installing plugins that are a) not the best for your site, b) not the most effective tool on the market and c) knocks out some coding in another area of your WordPress.

Yes, plugins can be something of a minefield, but if you don’t walk the walk your online profits will not go boom! So let’s take a look at ten WordPress plugins you do need for your online store that helps with your design, SEO and conversions.

WooCommerce Themes

WooCommerce is the definitive plugin for WordPress themes on a mission to sell. With oodles of customisable options and over two million users, this is the plugin for advanced eCommerce solutions.


Jigoshop takes a slightly simpler approach, developed by eCommerce specialists for big brands and smaller businesses alike – ideal for website owners who want things less complicated.

WP eCommerce

WP eCommerce is another diverse plugin that comes with a bundle of features, including SSL certificates and SEO settings. Not quite in the same league as WooCommerce, but a very good alternative.


MarketPress is an elegant eCommerce plugin that focuses on creating a smooth shopping experience for users, making the buying process easier.


Shopp is a popular eCommerce plugin that has been helping website owners sell their products since 2008 – and it gets better every year.


If your client needs a gentle mix of extensive features and an easy to use interface then eShop is an ideal eCommerce platform. Powerful, yet wonderfully simple.

iThemes Exchange

With just 15 thousand downloads iThemes Exchange is a bit of an unknown gem in WP plugins, but the 5-star reviews speak for themselves.

Cart66 Lite

Cart66 Lite will have your client’s online store running in no time at all, claiming to be the “easiest to use” eCommerce plugin for WordPress.

Easy Digital Downloads

If your clients deal in digital products they need an intuitive platform to sell files at the click of a button. Easy Digital Downloads makes this a breeze.

WooCommerce SEO

Even online stores need search engine optimisation and this SEO plugin for WooCommerce teams up with the definitive WP eCommerce platform to boost search ranking as well as sales.

With the grotesque number of pages and products to manage on a typical eCommerce site, it makes perfect sense to invest in plugins that help you handle the workload easily.

To talk to our expert team at HodgesNet about the benefits of WordPress, Website design or your marketing needs use our contact form or call our team today on 01793 608777.

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SEO Is Not Only About Content Marketing and Blogging

Despite all the hype being whipped up by many marketing consultants, shouting from the rooftops that blogging is now the only way to get found in the search engines now, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is about far more than simply posting new content to your website.

The activity from the giants of the search engine world over the past 3-4 years, not just the last 12-18 months as many are sharing, has all been about weeding out the practice of ‘black hat SEO’ and tactics to get fast rankings for websites. Black hat SEO was all about bending the rules to get almost instant results from the search engines and achieving instant top flight listings, above competitors.

Many website owners performing their own SEO, simply don’t realise that some of the activity they are currently engaged with, or the tools that they are using, are bending the rules around what the search engines want us to be doing. When the big updates rolled out over the past few years it cut out this type of activity:

  • Over optimisation of page content (Keyword Stuffing)
  • Poor linkbuilding strategies
  • Lack of real social proof (no social media activity)
  • Tricks to fool search engines that content they could see was different to content users would see

Essentially an SEO strategy that tries to fudge the system, wont work any more.

So what is SEO all about if it is not about ‘fudging’ the system?

Today’s SEO is about forgetting the thoughts of how the search engines can serve you, focussing instead on how you can serve the audience of the search engines. People are using search now more than ever and this is backed up by this year’s report from Forrester Research (below), that shows search is still, by far, the preferred method of Internet users for finding what they are looking for :


If this is the case, then you need to understand three things:

  1. What do users want from you?
  2. What are they are they actually searching for?
  3. What content can you produce to attract, convert and profit by making more sales?

As we started this post, do not get fooled into thinking that SEO is now a pure content strategy and simply follow the advice of the marketers that are leading you this way. Adding content, regularly, to your website (blogging) is simply only part of the story. You need to learn how to pull together the best SEO strategy for your website. Below are the three cornerstones that will help you put the foundations in that you will need, before you get into blogging and content creation.

The Three Cornerstones of an SEO Strategy for Today

  1. A well thought through Keyword Strategy for specific phrases and terms you want to be found for… and that people are actually using online.
  2. The best website you can, with perfect technically sound, on-page SEO – both for the actual coding and the content visible to the users.
  3. A rock solid content strategy for both off-site activity and all the fresh content you need for on-site content.

The team here at HodgesNet are committed to providing the very best in SEO consultancy and done for you Content Led SEO work. If we can help you, start your SEO journey by requesting your FREE SEO Website Audit by clicking here today.

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News Flash: Google Confirms Penguin 3.0 Rollout

More than a year after the last Penguin refresh, Google confirmed over the weekend that its most brutal algorithm has been updated. Significant changes were noticed in search rankings early Saturday morning and the search giant conformed on Sunday that the anticipated update had finally gone live.

It hardly comes as shock news to a web community that has been waiting for the update for over a year now. The gap between updates has increased ever since Penguin 1.0 was released, back in April 2012. Which is bad news for webmaster who get hit by the algorithm, because they have to wait until the next release to see any improvement.

Google’s iron-fist algorithm

Of all the Google algorithms Penguin is by far the most feared. Unlike Panda, which has a refresh period of a month, Penguin not only hits hard but it takes its time when it comes to a refresh. This is particularly brutal because website owners who have been hit by Penguin have to wait until the next release before they can hope to recover any of their page ranking.

So webmasters hit by Penguin 2.1 have had to wait for more than a year to see any improvements. This kind of long-term penalty can be fatal to a small business that relies on search traffic to survive. High-profile names have been hit by previous Penguin releases too, with fairly drastic results.

What to expect from Penguin 3.0

Penguin specifically targets websites that have built a spammy link profile to boost search ranking. It’s over two years now since the first Penguin release rolled out so none of this should come as a surprise to serious website owners.

At this stage, most of the websites hit by Penguin 3.0 will have been hit by earlier releases and failed to clean up their link profiles in time. That said, if you think your page ranking has been affected by Penguin 3.0, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a professional SEO agency and question them about their off-site activities…

To talk to our expert team at HodgesNet about SEO or your marketing needs use our contact form or call our team today on 01793 608777.

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LinkedIn Ads – Better than Google Adwords PPC?

Are you a big Google Adwords fan? Do you run Pay Per Click Campaigns in your business?

For many people Google Adwords proves to be a really profitable way of marketing or even just testing a market for products and services. For others, it can be an expensive way of marketing.

We have been looking closely at how a revamped PPC marketing tool has been working for ourselves and testing it before we could recommend clients take it up. Our results astonished us, with great reach and a much more highly targeted response.

LinkedIn PPC Advertising

With the innovation of many platforms like Facebook and now LinkedIn, offering highly targeted advertising opportunities bases on the profile of users, our tests within LinkedIn have proven to be a great way for business to business based companies, targeting users in a much better way.

Google Adwords offer a broad scope of targeting, with location, device and keywords being the main way to define your audience. With LinkedIn we can create ads specific to industry type, job description, skills, location… and much more!

With this highly targeted approach, you can get a new form of marketing out there to try and attract people towards your products and services, based on everything they list on their LinkedIn profile.

We can help you to get started with LinkedIn advertising and assist you in setting up your first campaigns for a one time fee of £199+VAT. Order today by calling 01793 608777.

We can also offer monthly management of your account, helping with:

  • Creative services for images and copy for adverts
  • Advert and ad-group creation
  • Management of targeting for your adverts
  • Advice on landing pages and conversion tactics
  • Monthly reporting and analysis

If you would like to speak to the HodgesNet team about managing your LinkedIn advertising, please contact us on 01793 608777 or use the contact form to the left.

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Calling All Speakers: Use Text Marketing To Get INSTANT Response From The Room

As a speaker at an event, or a coach to a designated audience, it is pivotal that you engage with audience and enhance their overall experience enabling them to leave with a wealth of information and having confidence in your ability and the value you possess. As a speaker it is important to gain a response from your room, and a times this may prove somewhat difficult. Furthermore, many use slides as a great way to accompany your voice as a visual for the audience to take in, and hopefully take notes. The addition of text marketing to these slides could potentially capture data of the majority of your audience leaving you free to follow up with them in the aftermath of the presentation.

Text Marketing can help interaction with your audience

Text marketing is perfect for speakers, seminar leaders, coaches, to name a few! This integral part of a greater online marketing strategy will contribute heavily to ongoing success, whilst widening and broadening your online footprint and overall presence. A clear and precise example of when to engage with your audience and potential customer is to include an interaction section within your presentation where you could ask all members to take out their mobile and follow the instructions on one of your designated slides. In addition, this could read text “MORE INFO” to 87762 (Or whatever your code and number may be).

During this interaction process you are likely to gain interest from the majority of your audience members, as everyone will have their mobile phone on their person, with only a probable few being unwilling to involve themselves in the process. The main aim of this process would be to capture the details of the audience members such as their name, phone number, and email address where you could send them further information as well as automated responses and confirmations. A few ways to entice people in would be by offering an incentive such as a free gift, advice, or information on products and services you may offer.

In conclusion, you can follow up your data capture by marketing your services as previously stated, as well as educating them further on your value, survey them on what they would like next, and finally upcoming events where you will be speaking at in the future. Therefore, if you are a public speaker make sure you use text marketing to get an instant response from the room! This is one part of your whole online marketing strategy where you can make situations beneficial for yourself and your business.

If you would like more information on Text Marketing and how it could improve and enhance the interaction with your audience then “Text HodgesNet and your email to 60777″ or call the team on 01793 608777.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Stop Fighting Over SEO & PPC

One of the classic debates in digital marketing is the SEO vs PPC argument – and like most stand-offs in this industry it’s meaningless hot air. SEO and PPC are two legitimate search strategies and if you really want to know the big secret – they’re actually best buddies.

Organic and paid search compliment each other perfectly so if you have the budget to implement both go for it. And even if your marketing funds are limited, you shouldn’t rule out the ROI potential of combining both search strategies.

SEO vs PPC: a non-existent rivalry.

First of all SEO and PPC are not rivals and we’re not talking about a simple one or the other choice. Both have their pros and cons of course, but if you implement them properly you’ll find they combine strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses.

SEO starts at the tip of the sales funnel with people who are simply looking for information. At best your optimised content eventually draws them along the buying process, but conversion rates are generally low and you have a long fight on your hands to rank well with search engines.

The main disadvantage to PPC is that you have to pay up front to make anything happen – but things tend to happen quickly if you get it right. You’re already on page one because that’s what you pay for and you target prospects who are already interested in buying – which means a higher conversion rate.

Paid & Organic: better together.

Not only do SEO and PPC complement each other as a team, they also give you double the data to run and test – which in turn give you more ammunition to better optimise your entire search strategy.

PPC in particular gives your SEO strategy a major boost once you perfect your keywords and ad copy, which you can use this info to create titles, meta descriptions and content that converts – without the lengthily testing process required by organic strategies.

To talk to our expert team at HodgesNet about either SEO, PPC or a combined strategy use the form opposite or call us today on 01793 608777.

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How To Increase Your Return from PPC Advertising In 3 Simple Steps

If you use Pay Per Click marketing to drive traffic to your site and you find that it is becoming more expensive? It is probably because you are making some of the most common mistakes that we often see when we take on new PPC management for clients.

  • Poorly crafted copy
  • No call to action
  • No landing page

If your PPC campaign is just hemorrhaging cash and you are thinking about dropping it, test these three simple steps to see if your return on your investment in this marketing channel can be increased. We have seen many clients generate more leads and more sales through the implementation of just these tried and tested simple steps – and so can you.

1 – Craft that title and add a question mark?

The first line of any PPC advert that you create is the most important – This is the headline of the advert. There are two simple things to remember when thinking about headlines.

a) Include your targeted keyword – when your ad displays in Google or Bing, if your keyword is included in the title of your advert, the system automatically formats the text as BOLD, helping to make your ad be seen better.
b) Add a question mark at the end of your title – adding a question mark will trigger a physiological desire to click your advert advert out of sheer curiosity for the answer to the question.

2 – Be clear on one benefit and one feature

Adverts that simple tell us all about the features of a product and no benefit, simple don;t work. People want to know what it is that they will get when they engage with you, buy your product or simply click your advert. It is still important to add a feature, but remember you don’t room to write an essay so don’t try and ram it full of content. Keep things short and sweet. Use the first line of the advert body to describe a benefit and the second line to describe a feature.

3 – Use landing pages to really deliver on your promise

If you are driving traffic using PPC to your homepage, STOP! On the whole, people respond and click adverts when they are ready to buy. Why would you send them to a generic page where they have to go hunting for promise you gave in your advert. Take them to one of two pages:

a) A product page or an offer page related directly to your advert, even using the same headline in the title of the page, then show them how easy it is to buy that product – by adding a ‘Buy Now’ button.
b) A lead capture page where you are going to give them a free download, access to a webinar or any other product or service, just for entering their details.

Better PPC Campaigns

Learning how to polish your PPC advertising campaigns will help you active a greater return on investment from them. Don’t run with lackluster copy, uninspiring headlines and please stop if you are not driving traffic to landing pages or direct to product pages.

To learn more about our PPC management services, call the team on 01793 608777 or visit our PPC Management page for all the information you’ll need.

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The State of Web Video for Business

From the conversations that we have had of late, with clients and other businesses at networking events, there is nothing more confusing that the state of web video for business.

In the US alone, some of the stats reported by BusinessInsider.com state that:

  • 164 million people watch online video monthly
  • YouTube has 3 times more views than any other online video site

What does this mean about using web video for business?

It means we all need to engage with it as much as we can.

Reaching a worldwide audience with web video can boost your profits and sales. Recording videos that go up on YouTube is a vital part of your marketing. You can do one of two things to get your business video online:

  • Employ a video company to shoot, edit and get your video online
  • Learn how to shoot video yourself and save money

We are not against using a professional video company to help you produce high quality video if you have the budget – we have some very good friends who can help you with this if you would like their input (call us on 01793 60877 and we’ll send you their details).

Here at HodgesNet, we are advocates of learning how to do what you can do yourself for yourself. And Coaches, Trainers and Self-employed people often find it difficult to justify the high budgets needed to pay video companies and most of the time can use their own equipment to do it all.

Here is a quick video that show’s the set up that we have at HodgesNet that Ant uses to record all of his video’s and the set up a number of clients use to come and record their own too.

Watch the video on YouTube here

Getting your own kit gives us all the tools you need to shoot our own videos for YouTube. To learn more about using web video for business, check out our web video for business training. We can help you plan and create videos that really convert and sell. If you would like to chat to a member of the team, call us on 01793 608777.

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6 Tips to use LinkedIn Company Pages Better

Did you know that with LinkedIn Company pages, you can set up a profile for your business on LinkedIn and increase your exposure online even further.

Similar to Facebook pages, LinkedIn company page now give you the ability for your organisation to update status, share products and services and gain recommendations and reviews.

You can set up a LinkedIn company page for your business by clicking here, but first, take a look at our tips for building a better LinkedIn company page.

Start with the Summary

When crafting your company summary, try to write something that goes beyond the basics. No-one wants to read war and peace about your company history and the fact that you set up 40+ years ago. Think about the needs, problems and desires that you can fix and satisfy for your customers. Position your summary as a piece of content that when someone reads it they can immediately say “Yes this company can help me” or “I know someone with just those issues, I need to share this page with them” – this is putting your customers first and this is just what they want to feel.

Your Cover Image

Design a cover image that is going to be attractive and welcoming. Something that will set your brand in the best light. A team shot, your logo, your product, a tagline, stock imagery from your brand library… whatever you choose, this image will act as a masthead for your page so choose it wisely. Your image needs to 646 x 220 px in size. And remember, poor quality images will not help your brand image!

Define and list your Main Products and Services

The products and services tab on your LinkedIn company page is not an option – you can’t leave this blank. It is like having a shop without any products on display. Complete it to publish descriptions and images of your products and services. You can even add links that will send people to pages of your website that potential customers can either purchase or get request more information about your products and services. Like the summary and all good marketing, forget features here. Focus the benefits that your customer will gain by taking your services up or from buying your products.

Get a following for your company page

Colleagues, networking buddies, connections, clients, employees, friends, even family… send them all a link to your LinkedIn company page and get them to follow by hitting the yellow button on the top left of your page. When you update your page’s status, all your followers will get the updates. Make them sharable, engaging or though provoking, enough to get them to hit like, comment or reply to you and their whole network will see this.

Ask Clients and Customers to leave Reviews and Recommendations

As one of Robert (Bob) Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence, social proof one of the most important aspect of marketing communications today. It is the “safety in number” mentality that helps people see that others are buying, getting results/value and that the decision to buy is made easier than if there is no social proof.  Ask your customers to visit your LinkedIn company page and leave a review for you about your products and services – send them a link to the product page specifically. These reviews will be more than worth their weight in gold. Don’t sit there and wait around for customers to come over and casually leave a review, go out of your way and ask them for one. But make it easy by sending them a link, lead them to the page you want the review on.

Update your Content Regularly

Like your website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter account, an out of date and abandoned company page without fresh content screams at prospective customers – and not in a good way. As part of your content marketing strategy, you should be updating your LinkedIn page with useful content that will help your audience. Make the content shareable, engaging, likable and then it will be shared wider. Don’t neglect your page after you have it set up.

If you would like some assistance from the HodgesNet team to help improve your LinkedIn page and capitalise on this avenue of online marketing, call us on 01793 608777 or use the form on this page to request a call back.

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OptimizePress 2.0 Release

The HodgesNet team got very excited this morning… we opened our emails to see that a new web based tool has been released. OptimizePress 2.0.

After almost a day of playing with it we’re still finding new features and awesome opportunities to leverage the power that it now puts into our hands.

So what is OptimizePress 2.0?

Simply put, it is a full featured, web based add on to WordPress that allows you to create:

  • Sales Pages
  • Converting Landing Pages
  • Membership Portals
  • Complete Launch Funnels
  • Authority Blog Sites

…And the best part, it integrates with almost EVERYTHING! Shopping carts, CRM’s email autoresponders… the lot!

The new version has been built from the ground up so even existing owners should take note.

What we’re doing with OptimisePress 2.0…

As online marketing geeks – we see many product launches every day but this one is a bit special. We are already looking to help clients move over to this and are playing with some special things to let you know of very soon.

If you are looking to create membership sites, drive sales up with better landing page design for your marketing or just want to check it out, watch the videos over on the OptimizePress website.

After purchase, if we can help with integrating this into your site, strategies for getting the most out of the system or you need any further advice, call the team on 01793 608777 or use our contact form to get in touch so we can chat about getting it all hooked up on your WordPress site for you.

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Quick Wins with Perfect On-Page D.I.Y SEO

Getting your on-page SEO sorted for your website and all your content coded 100% correctly, can generate quick wins for both enquiries and higher search rankings.

Google’s own Matt Cutts suggested with the roll out of the Penguin updates that content should be created on your site that is “shareable” by the masses. But if they simply share content or a site that is coded badly, this could not give you the best results. Nailing down all the elements that you need on your page to make sure that you have the best chance of this “sharing” being seen by the likes of Google as awesome content, comes with having all the other things in line that they are looking for in terms of on-page content.

Our 14 On-Page SEO Tips

Below is a copy of a presentation that our MD, Ant Hodges, shared on a webinar recently with people from around the world jumping on. “It is all about getting your foundations in correctly first.” said Ant. “Otherwise when the search engines that visit your site wont understand what your page is all about. Get these these elements all in place and get above your competition.”

For more information on how you can get your SEO strategy planned and executed correctly for your business or website, book in an SEO telephone consultation with a member of the HodgesNet team by clicking here or download our best practice guide and request a FREE SEO audit by using the form above.

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Dealing with Duplicate Content on Your Website

We are finding that many people in recent times have been ill advised over the whole issue of duplicate content and struggle to websites ranked, indexed and found when they have reams of duplicate content all over their site.

The reality is that duplicate content wont get you a penalty in Google, but it will not get your website indexed or ranked by them either.

What Google looks for is the first original piece of the duplicate content and will rank/index this content only. The other content that is the same and essentially a duplicate of it, will just be ignored.

Gone are the days where you could duplicate a page and change things like the titles and some of the text to be relevant to a different location or service. These pages wont get any ranking authority in Google.

If the duplicate content is seen as spammy content (eg, where you have been keyword stuffing), you could run into problems.

How do you fix an issue of duplicate content?

First you need to see where on your site you have duplicate content issues. Requesting a free website audit from the HodgesNet team by downloading our SEO best practice guide (use the form to the right and enter your name, email and web address) will highlight where on your site you have duplicate content.

In reality though, there is no one-click-fix for this – you simply need to get writing.

If you have a service that is relevant for multiple industries, multiple locations or you have very similar products or services, every page of your site must have unique content, specific and relevant to the reason you have created this page.

Small amounts of text such as terms and conditions, calls to action and similar will be ignored if they are not part of the main content on the page, bit you should always aim to have unique content on every page of your site.

How long will it take to recover from issues of duplicate content?

Sometimes adding fresh unique content to a page and optimising it well can get quick results and you will find that pages could get indexed and ranked fairly quickly. Other times it could take weeks, if not months, for the pages to gain authority based on the historic nature of having duplicate content on your site. There is no ethical way to force Google’s hand on this one, but operating an ethical linkbuilding campaign to drive referral traffic and piggyback of other people’s authority will help. This is a manual process now and you should avoid using any linkbuilding tools to do this. Google is closing the door on automated SEO techniques and the value of some of the tools out there is little to none!

If you would like to chat to a member of the HodgesNet team about your SEO, please call us on 01793 608777 or use the form above to download our guide “Your SEO Ain’t Workin’” and request your free website audit – this will highlight duplicate content issues on your site so you can at least see where these issues are.

Here is a recent video from Google’s 0wn Matt Cutts on the subject of duplicate content:

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4 Content-Led SEO Strategies for 2015

People often regard Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as a dark art and the industry is often clouded in smokes and mirrors, with regards to how to do it and how to get real results. Let’s put the record straight today.

As we come to the end of another year where the industry has been rocked with many algorithm updates that would seem more at home in a zoo, namely Pigeon, Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin and many others, the search engines are on a mission to provide their users with the best quality content rather than allow people to force content up the rankings.

Saying this, there is still a way forward with proper search engine optimisation – it’s not dying, it’s not dead and if you do it right in 2015 you will see great results from your efforts.

Content-Led Search Engine Optimisation is the ideal way to think about SEO today

What I mean by this is forget everything you know about search engine optimisation from the e-book is that you downloaded 5 years ago, from that PLR article site you downloaded that link building strategy from, forget the cheap $5 jobs that you can buy on outsourced websites where people will build you link pyramids, and the way in which a lot of people are still saying that black hat and back door strategies to Google work to get you quick results.

Putting it bluntly, if you don’t follow a content-led SEO strategy, your websites will suffer in 2015.

You can achieve great results in the search engines by applying the right techniques they want you to be using in creating, publishing and distributing content that will be seen as valuable to your audience. Focusing your efforts on the content of your website as well as the content of your website that references your business will give you the greatest return.

Here are my 4 Search Engine Optimisation Strategies for 2015

1 – Start with on great Keyword Research and Competitor Research

Understanding what your audiences are typing into the search engines, what they’re looking for in terms of content and the volume of which those searches happen will give you an indication on what type of content you need to be focussing your attention on creating. Tools such as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, which can be found inside the Google AdWords toolkit, is the best place to start. This will show you the volume of traffic that is potentially out there and available for you to snatch up – if you create content that is compelling enough to get your website ranked.

Combining this research with that of using a tool such as the Open Site Explorer from Moz.com will then give you an indication on how the top ranking websites for the keywords you are wanting to be found for, are getting ranked themselevs. Mirror their work or better it and you’ll get ranked higher in the search engines – maybe higher than your competitors.

2 – Focus on Your On-Page and Off-Page SEO

As said, search engine optimisation is fuelled by content. Fresh, regular and unique content on your website is needed to show the search engines that your site is worth ranking. If you are not providing great content, why would they rank you?

Adding content onto other relevant and niche websites, that in turn would point back to your site is then a sure way fire of making your link building ethical, human and not automated – the secret to linkbuilding in 2015.

Start by researching all the authority properties you can that are relevant to what you do and places that you can can reach out to publish content.

3 – Review Your Current Website.

The search engines are becoming more user savvy. They want to provide their users with not only the best quality content but also websites that display them in the best way. I’m talking about websites that are catering for mobile devices, with responsive or mobile friendly design. I’m talking about websites that contain rich media such as audio and video.

Websites that produce really great content, arranged and formatted in the best possible way using headers, typography and images in the best possible way. Does your website measure up? Not sure, will request your free search engine optimisation review from Hodges net by clicking here.

4 – Measure the Right Results

Whatever type of marketing you do, you need to measure the effectiveness of it in terms of results that you want. Not measuring marketing is simply light just throwing mud at the wall and hoping that something sticks. But when you throw mud at the wall, you can see how much mud actually sticks because it’s in front of you. Without measuring rankings within the search engines or traffic to your website, you don’t know how well a content lead search engine optimisation strategy is working for your business. Saying this, rankings have almost become irrelevant in terms to success factors for our clients.

If you are using and off-page and on-page, content-led SEO strategy, it’s about traffic and conversion. Higher rankings will give you more traffic, but so too will links on reputable, busy, authoritative sites. This 3rd party links are almost acting as recommendations to visitors to those sites and we are seeing a conversion rates much higher in proportion, from 3rd party websites than organic traffic.

Rankings and traffic are just pure vanity. They are numbers, they mean nothing.

The leads and sales conversion on your website is what truly matters when you’re measuring the success of any digital or online marketing. Measuring all four of these things should be key, but ensure that your prime focus is on lead generation and sales volume on your website. With tools such as Google Analytics and integration into e-commerce tracking, you will be able to see where your sales are coming from in terms of lead source (organic search, pay per click, social media etc). 2015 is going to be about you understanding your numbers to be able to really succeed in your digital marketing.

Content-led search engine optimisation will lead the way and will always be completely white hat. This is because your focus is on providing the best content for your end user. This is what the search engines can see, rank and present back to their users, providing them with the best online experience that they can.

The search engines are in the content syndication business. They want to provide the best quality content, the most relevant content and the most authoritative content to their users. Think about how you can make your content the best, the most relevant and the most authoritative in your niche or industry.

Discover more about how HodgesNet could help you with a complete done-for-you content led SEO strategy for 2015 by calling 01793 608777 today. We are able to research, write and publish content, both on and off your website, that will do the job of getting your website maximum exposure in the search engines an outside of it.

Start today by requesting your free SEO website review that we can complete and have back to you within 5 working days, all to help you make an informed decision on how best to move forward with search engine optimisation in the year ahead.

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Now is the time for a new look SEO package

With the ever changing landscape of SEO becoming more and more important to your business following recent Google algorithm updates, it is imperative that your SEO strategy ticks all the boxes needed for that of a successful campaign. An SEO package should be tailor fitted to your business, meeting all requirements to get the best out of what you’re offering and point it towards a target audience of which you can gain sales, and inevitably profit simply by using the power of the internet.

Time to change your outlook on SEO and achieve better results

As those in the ‘SEO Circle’ know only too well, the way forward for any online marketing plan is to centre on content. Content marketing is an integral part of a competent SEO package, and this element will be picked up by Google and the other search engines in a quest for user friendly quality content accessible on your particular website.

A new look package should include the key elements from previous strategies with less emphasis on link building for link building sake. The key point to address is authority wins over any quick win, so therefore syndicating your content and that content being shared throughout social media platforms will almost act as a new form of link building. A typical package moving forward should consist of:-

  • An initial website review to address any initial on-page SEO issues
  • Full report and expert SEO advice and work to get your on on-page content perfect for ongoing SEO work.
  • Ongoing off-page SEO (including one way link building, article submissions, PR submissions and manual link requests from third party authority sites)
  • Social profile building (including social bookmarking and building of web 2.0 properties) together with social syndication of content.
  • Ongoing content creation for unique blogging/articles – published on and off your website, used in PR submissions and for promoting your content to other authority sites.
  • Ongoing on-page SEO work to ensure your site performs at its best

By ensuring you follow such guidelines and produce high quality unique content that is aimed at your audience and users instead of the search engines will result in a higher placing within search engines, as they will see the site as one of high value. Engaging with potential customers and users on a regular basis is the way forward. The social media boom of the last decade points everything in the future to this main part of our modern society. In addition, the best way to reach people is by being social, having a platform on as many different authority sites as possible, and by offering information that is useful and informative. In conclusion, your SEO package needs a face lift and with the new look you should gain better results!

If you would like any information on SEO packages, and are thinking about changing or updating your strategy, then feel free to contact the HodgesNet team on 01793 608777. We will be happy to discuss the options with you and help you use the power of the internet for more profit.

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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