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Louis Blythe

SEO VS AdWords A Beginners Guide To SEO and SEM

SEO Vs Adwords

As you may know, Search engine optimization is critical to your overall digital marketing strategy and associated business success.

What is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation?

Search engine optimization which suggests the application of numerous digital marketing techniques designed to drive your site and it’s associated pages to the top of Google’s search results page, which increases the quantity of traffic that gets organically directed there.

What Is AdWords (SEM)?

SEM or AdWords as it is commonly known is Google cost per click (CPC) marketing which uses Googles ever growing search engine as a network which shows advertisements above the search results page and charges you each time someone clicks on one among them.

With regards to Search engine optimization vs AdWords, there are pros and cons of both.

For starters, Search engine optimization is generally more affordable as it is something you may do yourself, or that you could pay for somebody else to do for an ongoing monthly fee or a one-time project fee.

The greatest benefit of SEO is that it is evergreen and has an ongoing benefit to the website it is completed on.

When you stop putting effort into Search engine optimization, you will find that your site remains steeped in Google search results page traffic for quite a long time. Often the largest change in quality SEO work comes about due to in the changes in the search engines algorithm’s or when some new competition comes along and trumps your site or its pages with better technical SEO or a complete answer to a user’s questions.

With regards to Return on investment then, Search engine optimization is possibly the better deal since you may keep receiving advantages years later following a one-time investment.

That said, as you just pay for AdWords and start to get clicks you will likely see a solid return on investment. You could work for many years on Search engine optimization and find that you never get to the top since the competition is just too good and has a higher page and domain authority or a complete content strategy and is really helping users and their queries.

The difficulty with a once of SEO campaign is that it only takes an algorithm update from Google to start to negatively impact your website and the search queries it is currently getting.

For some time, people were pronouncing the demise of SEO as a service and even an industry, however, there has been a very strong resurgence and search engine optimization is going strong.

Often the most important part of any good digital marketing strategy is thinking about what individuals are more inclined to click.

Ultimately, it’s all going to come down to your business model and the nature of your business and the niche it operates in. Some products or services may sell better through AdWords, others may sell better through organic search.

Here is my recommendation on the best solution for the SEO Vs AdWords debate.

Use Both SEO & AdWords

At least to start with that will give you the best indication of the type of digital marketing that will help your business.

Utilising both AdWords and Search engine optimization synergistically can offer huge wins for your business. As opposed to deciding to use one or the other, think alternatively about how you may combine them for maximum results.

In case you’ve done your Search engine optimization and paid for and AdWords campaign, then this will mean that you now maintain two positions on the results pages for the same item.

Obviously, this greatly increases your likelihood of being clicked. This will also allow you to utilize your AdWords campaigns to be able to test which keywords are most beneficial for you before investing plenty of effort and time into your SEO. This way you could avoid doing Search engine optimization for a term that’ll not lead to any sales.

How does your business utilise SEO and SEM? Tell us about it in the comments below.

How To Make Money Online Boost Website Sales & Conversions

Person Working At A Laptop Making Money Online

Hi, guys. Louis here. Today I want to talk to you about how to increase website sales on your e-commerce website or app and it might not be the way you think. Some of the stuff we’re going to cover today include smart and measurable goals that will help you create actionable insights and be able to perform real-time audits on your website to make sure your sales increase and you can be measured over time.

First things first, I should say that many of the opinions, ideas, and hacks that will be sharing in this post will be personal opinion based on our experience, not necessarily granular marketing activity that can be tracked. We are talking broad strokes here but we will be covering the nitty gritty implementation in future posts so don’t forget to subscribe. A lot of it is sort of soft and intangible, but that’s the sort of stuff that we often find resonates best with some of our clients and customers.

So let’s jump straight in. First up, it’s always good to have a bit of a checklist with things that you’re trying to achieve. Obviously, there’re lots of sales checklists out there in the marketplace and everyone’s going to have their own different style of the checklist. We find that it is really useful to create, to give you a bit of a guide as you’re going through trying to manage and make sure your website application or social page is to the best of its standard.

Some of the things that we find work really well, number one, is buyer personas or profiles of ideal customers. This helps you basically set out your ideal customer to make sure that you can get in their mindset and start thinking about how they would think as they navigate through your website. This affects things like user flow, navigation elements, star attributes, image treatments, and color palettes. It even affects things such as tone of voice and the way you would craft content to sell to that particular person.

Number two is driving relevant traffic or creating relevant messages for those particular personas. So I previously touched on it in the first point there, but really nailing down how you are going to speak to that particular audience and that particular persona at any stage in the sales cycle basically.

Next up would be number three and that’s elements of good design. One of the big things we are seeing at the moment across a lot of our customers is a large reliance on good design. It’s having a really big and significant impact across the search marketing community because gone are the days where you can build a whole bunch of dodgy backlinks to a particular website, post, or page and get results. Now you really need to make pages that resonate with the user and really capture the user’s attention and convert them into a sales funnel down a path of conversion. Good design sort of permeates in everything you do, from really well-styled image treatments, consistent brand guidelines, to really helpful support tools that really just make it seamless for a user to navigate through.

Number four, compelling value propositions. One of the big things we tackle with our clients and ourselves a fair bit is making sure that we have consistent and compelling propositions for our users. If you’ve got a page, say, about skin cancer and it’s not giving the user a really valued proposition at the end of each section or the end of each post, it really helps to spell out to the user what the value of that particular piece of content is and the value of basically…what action you want them to take at the end of the day.

Next up, we have understanding buying paths or purchase paths. Basically, people navigate differently on different types of applications. If you’re navigating on Google or some other type of search engine, you’re navigating with intent. And you are looking potentially to research something or to purchase something. Whereas what we seem to find with a lot of different customers, clients, and in our own research, is that a lot of social networks drive impulse buying and really are there to increase brand awareness. Obviously, the social signals that affect that come into play when people decide they want to buy something because they see someone else having it.

Next up, we have the ability to reduce friction. This is a really important one for me. From everything from the basics, like site speed and mobile-responsive websites to really, really seamless forms. I know forms aren’t the sexiest thing in the world when it comes to websites and building great web applications, but making sure people can enter these details really quickly and easily with things like single sign-on.

Or just limiting the amount of fields that you display to a user so you decrease form drop-off and making sure validation is really simple and obvious for your user. Giving really descriptive introduction texts, mobile pop-ups, icons, and icon tooltips, to make sure users can navigate through your…not only your forms, but your pages and your subsections really, really easily.

Next up is clarity, clarity of messaging. One thing we often run into is clients that are trying to present too many options to their users. This muddies the message, muddies the water and prevents customers from being able to make clear and concise decisions about what their next step is and often results in bounces or page drop-off. Having that succinct message but that really clear line of messaging so that people understand the next step of them as a user. They’re not just there to read and acquire information, which you’re hopefully already providing them. They also should be prompted for an action. That might be signing up for a newsletter, or sharing a post, or purchasing a product.

Next up goes hand-in-hand with the previous point, clarity. Noise and distractions. So reducing unnecessary pop-outs, share icons, back to top tooltips, overlays, ads basically. Keeping the distracting elements on a page to a user down to a minimum. Not to say that they hide every element on the page, but making sure that any user can easily navigate through your page without too much distraction and execute tasks in a really quick and easy manner.

Engaging visitors are the next one. We often use the word or the term “excite and delight.” Making sure your users are highly engaged. Whether they’re new or returning, making sure they get some serious substance out of any web page that you’re delivering to them. That can be a post, a page, or a product. But making sure they are really reaping the reward. Gone are the days where you could write 2,000 pages or 2,000 words even and hold the user’s attention. Now you really need to give them something that’s immersive and engaging that they can participate in and feel a part of.

Urgency is the next one. Making sure your users feel a sense of urgency. Maybe they want to save your article for later because it’s so good, they have to read it but they just don’t have time. Then you want to give them a “too long didn’t read” snippet to make sure they get the most valuable points of your piece of the content straight away. Maybe there is a stock limit or a time limit on a product so they feel the need to acquire it or purchase it straight away. Potentially making content perishable to feel like it’s only going to be around for a little while and they should get the most out of it in a fairly short period of time.

And lastly following standards. This can go pretty deep. There are the technical SEO standards that should be adhered to. There’re usability standards that should be adhered to. And there’s a number of different guidelines out there which we’ve linked to below for you to review. And also just adhering to sort of general privacy standards, having terms and conditions, privacy policy, cookie information on your website, and making sure that you are at least adhering to some sort of web standard to make sure you’re servicing the user as best as possible.

Need help getting your site sorted? Get in contact.

Using Twenty Sixteen WordPress Default Theme

Twenty Sixteen WordPress Default Theme

This post is about why I have decided to start using the Twenty Sixteen WordPress Default Theme as my site’s presentation layer.

There are a lot of WordPress Themes out there in the marketplace and you really can get lost in all the design, styles and builds. Over the years, I have had literally hundreds of skins on this site, you can view all the iterations on Archive.org. That has lead to a couple of things happening.

Firstly a negative many returning visitors get lost as there is no consistency across the site leading to confusion and despair.

Secondly changing and fiddling with all these different WordPress frameworks and themes has taught me about the ecosystem and it has taught me much of what I know about the internet.

Third, it has introduced me to an amazing community of great WordPress developers and designers that are extremely passionate about their craft.

I have created a Twitter list of these awesome WordPress legends if you would like to follow them as well. They will do nothing but motivate you to make great things with WordPress. Oh and they like talking about coffee, a lot.

Why I Choose WordPress

This probably deserves its own post and when time permits I will most definitely be creating one but for now here are some fairly common reasons I use WordPress:

  • Open Source Platform
  • Super Easy To Learn & Use
  • It’s Extensible (Themes & Plugins)
  • SEO Out Of The Box
  • Easy To Manage
  • Safe & Secure
  • Any Media Type
  • Versatile (Blogs, Sites, CMS, Apps, Membership Sites, Stores)

Why I Choose To Use Twenty Sixteen WordPress Default Theme

The main reason I have settled in the default theme of Twenty Sixten is equal parts simplicity and minimalism. Picking up and running with the default Twenty Sixteen theme allows me to focus on what matters the most right now (in my head) the content.

While I am obsessed with design like much of the WorPress community I want to focus on writing and documenting my own creative process before anything else.

While there are some seriously mixed reviews on Twitter I actually like the simplicity of the theme. I also really like that fact that it follows some standard layout features common to many WordPress themes. I believe this will ultimately help users navigate the site and find that elusive content that has been hiding from any semblance of an audience for years.

Moving Beyond The Default WordPress Theme

I have set myself a goal for the coming months to set about creating my own WordPress theme. I will be documenting this process here from ideation to creative, development to testing and finally to submission to the WordPress theme store.

It is an ambitious project for me and I am excited to start learning more about the process of theme creation.

My plan is to follow this epic tutorial from ThemeShaper that uses the starter theme called Underscores  built and maintained by Automattic.

Also available here on GitHub.

Over to you. If you have advice for me about theme development and the common pitfalls I would love any and all advice available just drop me a note in the comments section below.

 

 

Google Map Plugins for WordPress

Google Maps WordPress Plugin

Looking for the perfect Goole Map Plugins for WordPress?

Often when you are setting up a new instance of WordPress for a client one of the requirements will be to provide relevant contact information and a map of the location. Rightly so, showing proper location information with a contextual map is extremely important to both visitors and search engines alike.

Enter….

Google Map Plugins for WordPress

While there are literally hundreds of versions of Google Map embeds out there in the WordPress ecosystem what I will focus on in this post is the best free and premium examples of Google Map WordPress  plugins.

As an implementor of WordPress, I spend a lot of time configuring WordPress installations to ensure they are optimised for bot the user and search engines. As a little bonus, I have included a few tips and best practices I think are important when properly implementing Google Maps Plugins.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Google Maps WordPress Plugin

This is a really important step because as mentioned above there are literally hundreds of solutions out there in the marketplace that could potentially be considered as a viable solution for your site or your clients site.

Please ensure you follow the standard process when selecting an appropriate plugin keeping in mind you will want to make sure the developer of the plugin is reputable within the plugin directory and they have solid ratings. If you are diligent it also helps to make sure there is an upgrade path in place for the plugin so that you know there will be improvements made if there is a change in the Google Maps API or WordPress core.

I find it handy to follow the Google Maps API Twitter account so that I am updated of any changes that may affect client sites.

Choosing Your Google Maps WordPress Plugin

Now the fun part, after doing your due diligence you should have a pretty good idea of the developers that are capable of giving you the granular control and plugin performance and the sustainability that you need. If you are finding the search a bit too daunting, I have listed some of my favourite Google Maps WordPress Plugins below. Please note that these are not in order yet and are just a place for you to start from.

If you think I am missing any please ensure you drop me a line in the comments section below.

 

 

Blue Warrior Website Review

Blue Warrior Website Review

Today I review the Blue Warrior website which is a pro law enforcement apparel company run on Shopify using the Brooklyn Theme.

 

Hi guys, Louis here today we are going to dive in and have a bit of a review of the BLUE WARRIOR NATION. This one has been sourced through the Shopify form for reviewing my site. Apologies if there’s a bit of background noise today, the next door neighbors are doing some tiling, so let’s jump in and have a look.

First things first, ultimately first impressions, look it’s sort of clean and simple enough, solid logo which is great. I don’t know if I love the height of the logo in comparison to the nav, it seems to take over a bit of the screen real estate.

I’d love to see something that’s a bit more in line, so maybe minimizing it or potentially keeping out this shield to the left of the text there. In terms of the logo, I mean it’s got a purple and a red tied together two fonts, or three fonts different weights so it’s I mean it’s okay, but it is a bit distracting for the eye.

It appears that the theme being used is the Brooklyn theme from Shopify, which is I mean great. I do know that the theme has the ability to have large visually compelling header images, so when we dive a bit further down the page, maybe that’s something to consider, just off the bat, when you land on the page, yeah you’ve got some introduction here about how you are pro-law enforcement which is fine.

But there’s no sort of compelling visual, or nothing selling me the benefit of buying or wearing that product, or having that product, so potentially large header image carousel would be great. Here we’ve got some segmentation for different categories, so men’s clothing, women’s clothing, coffee mugs, phone cases, fine art prints.

So here it starts to get a bit disjointed, in terms how easily this stuff is presented. You sort have this j query masonry type grid layout happening, which is part of the theme. They do come with gray boxes around them, so I think this are featured collections.

You have featured collections, which I’m assuming is what you’re able to print with that particular service that’s allowing you to print these different things. Further down here we’ve got featured products. Sure prices are pretty low. I’m guessing the price products the product’s quite cheap because it’s potentially a white label printing service.

A few model shots, range of different products so I mean immediately looking at this, I’m guessing that your focus is graphic design, or you have done graphic design in the past, or commissioned a graphic design out to create these interesting pieces of artwork, and then you’ve put those on stock product shots, it would seem.

So they’re fun, I mean they’re not completely compelling. Dive down here you’ve got sign up to newsletter which is always great. The footer is a bit light on; I’d love to see some more links in there that would take me to things like our process, our story, why we exist, privacy, terms and conditions, shipping. You might be able to stick a set of links in here for the things like help and support. Potentially information around purchasing a product, and then we’ve got two different social networks, Facebook and Pinterest.

A bit of credibility in terms of payment options, which is great, but let’s go ahead and dive in here, let’s start with men’s clothing, have a look what we can see, so pretty generic and vanilla. I’m not sure if you could have a category image which would also be great, and then once again we’ve got that sort of standard layout which is fine, of all the different products, fair amount of product.

I’d love to see some more lifestyle product shots, so he’s may have purchased this hoodie and it’s great and I love it, but give me something contextual and maybe we’ve got some further down here in the product imagery shots, no. Something contextual about people using and experiencing that product out there in the real world which would be really cool to see. So here is an individual product page, male pullover blue line skull $44, ranging in different sizes, that’s great.

Let’s go large, great it’s good that they link, let’s add it to the cart. Some share icons down here, there we go. Kicks out my cart which is part of the Brooklyn theme, and check out, so look maybe at thoughts it’s all there in terms of the product which is think is great.

I think some things that you need to think about are contextualized style imagery, and some more copy on the side that gives people some more basically information that they can read, about who you are and what you do.

Bear with me. Okay so we’re on the new section here, jumped in have a look at the first post, and okay so this is like the default post that they give you, so I would delete this because it’s no benefit to anyone. I’d love to see like five articles about why you started this store, how you started this store, what benefit it brings to the people that purchase product.

I’d love to see some case studies or interviews with some people in law enforcement that you could leverage, and say why is this exist, is it a charity, do we get money back, how does that work. Some video content would be really great and compelling as well.

And we’ve got a little check box up here that says you’ve got product in the cart. We are always at clothing company dedicated to showing support for law enforcement. These courageous men and women risk their lives every day, and they deserve to know that we support and believe in them.

A portion of the money we make is donated to support the families of fallen officers, fantastic. I think you can build that story out a little bit more, I’d love to see some video of that actual story and yeah, so I think you’re off to a good start.

If we were to check out some of the sort of more SEO based metrics, alexa site plugin here. I mean it’s still pretty new, so there’s no information on that just yet. We can check with the [inaudible 00:06:49] cram extension, see what sort of domain authority you’ve generated if any.

So page authority is one. Don’t be fooled by the 63 here, that’s because it’s a subdomain of the shopify, so once you’ve got your own url set up, you’ll be able to see what sort of domain authority you’ve got there. If we fire up similar web chrome extension here.

You’re safe probably too new to have any data yet, but once you build out some more pages, get some on pages your going, and create editorial content worth linking to then people, this information will start to populate a little bit more.

And once again the sites to new to have any page rank. It’s obviously deprecated now, so you won’t be able to see that anyway. Yeah, so that’s the review. Hopefully it was beneficial, if you’ve got any other questions; feel free to get in contact. Cheers.

Below I have provided some screenshots and you can visit the site here:

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