The benefits of SEO to your business

Businesses and start ups face their own day to day challenges. Such as, limited time, SEO, shoestring budgets and staffing.

If one thing is clear, without online visibility and a robust SEO strategy your business may find itself facing additional difficulties. Including customers struggling to find and see your website or online ads.

We suggest you develop a strong brand and a successful online presence. Having a positive and proactive approach to your SEO will increase the amount of new customers engaging with your business. Leading to greater conversion rates. A few less things to worry about on a day to day basis!

Let’s look at some ideas on how you and your professional can help to build a winning SEO strategy that won’t bankrupt you. It’s important to mention that, a little creativity and dynamism and an acute understanding of the business- its objectives, goals, and target audience will go a long way.

Similarly, each business is different therefore, the approach you take with your SEO should reflect this. This is where your creativity should come into play.

Here are a few suggestions to consider with or without a pro:

Optimise your website

Your SEO optimised website will load faster, navigate more easily, and will display on different devices. This is paramount in a world where many people are researching, browsing and shopping on tablets and mobile phones.

Creating an online environment that is user friendly you will satisfy part of Google’s guidelines. This is because Google favours websites that offer its visitors positive experience which creates ease of use.

SEO has changed dramatically over the past decade. Therefore, it’s vital to recognise how much influence search engines like Google have on your website. Search engines can influence whether or not you have an online presence.

  • Create high quality and relevant content including blogs and articles
  • Provide appropriate and relevant on site information
  • Create an environment which is well structured and uncluttered to encourage longer visits
  • Solve your target audiences’ questions through your content… F&Q perhaps

Set up a Google My Business account

Google My Business is a free optimisation tool that will help to increase your local visibility. It will give you more control over how your business appears on searches and maps.

  • Build an account and fill out each section with relevant and appropriate information.
  • Use high quality images and videos.
  • Encourage clients to provide reviews and feedback to build credibility, trustworthiness and sales. You can reply to your customers comments, which is a great way of demonstrating how your business engages with its customers.
  • Provide office details, directions, contact numbers and operating hours.
  • Provide information about your business attributes for instance – free parking, access to wifi, wheelchair access.

Don’t fall behind stay updated

Google have implemented some huge algorithm updates over the past few years which have effected some well established websites. Similarly, they also roll out several updates on a monthly basis. The updates might not be ground breaking, but, unless you are aware of these, over time your website could become difficult to update. This why having a pro on your side will help to avoid falling behind.

  • Your website requires constant monitoring to stay up to date.
  • Be on the ball – understand major algorithm changes and how these will effect your website and its’ ranking.

Therefore, your business needs to have a long term SEO strategy in order to gain noticeable changes. It’s about ‘playing the long game’!


It’s really important to understand the needs of your business and how search engines influence and impact your website’s visibility. Being aware of other businesses like your own, being aware of what they are doing and how they are doing, it will help to develop and maintain a strong SEO strategy.

The more time and commitment you apply to your SEO the greater your results will be now and for the future.

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Will blogging really help my website and online visibility

Are you a small business with limited time on your hands, or do you feel like paying someone to create and publish blog content is like burning cash? The good news is, blogging does help your website and online visibility, so it’s worth a go.

You might be open to the idea of blogging, but are not sure whether the time you spend, will provide you with a return. And, other burning question, what on earth do you write about? … writers block anyone?


Is blogging worth the effort…

If you feel like you can relate to any of these then you are in the correct place. So, should you be asking one of your staff members to do blogging – the answer is yes. If you are a one-man band should you stay up till midnight writing or creating blog content instead of all the other jobs you’re balancing? Well, this really is up to you, but we can confirm that blogging does have huge benefits to your online visibility. So it might be worthwhile reaching for that mug of coffee!

We advise that your website has a place where you can add blog content regularly. If, you do not have a website, then you should, definitely, speak to your web design company and ask them to incorporate a place for your writing.

Free or not?

It’s well known that there are several free sites that provide great blogging spaces. You can upgrade on these sites and have a ‘’ domain name instead of one that is tagged with the likes of ‘WordPress’. The issue here is not the clarity of domain name, but is more to do with your blog content being associated with your website. If you are trying to draw as many people as possible to your website, then the best place for them to land is on your website and not on a random blogging site. Makes sense right?


Long tail search queries

In most cases you or your web designer will have developed your site around keywords and specific search terms. But, its well known that we don’t always search for robotic terms like ‘decorator london’. We might instead, search for ‘experiences decorators who know how to deal with damp in London’. The more conversational search is called long-tail search queries.

The best way for google to find your website, in response to these search queries, is through blogging. For example, the decorator may have written a blog on ‘the best ways to manage damp issues’ or ‘the best paint products in 2019’.

If these questions are searched, then the likelihood that your site will pop up is much greater. This is compared to only having information on your website and homepage. If you are struggling to think of content, it might be useful for you to consider the questions your customers have asked you in the past and write about them. Create blogs around the answers to their questions.

In summary the more content that you produce – the less likely your website will appear stagnant and the more likely you will rank better.

Humanise yourself and show off your expertise

In an ever growing and rather over crowed market, especially online, it can be difficult to stand out. Everyone is claiming to be and do wonderful things for you, and it can hard to identify whether companies really know their onions, or whether they are substandard. Through blogging you can reach out to you potential customers and speak to them- humanising yourself. But, also you can demonstrate your expertise and knowledge, which is another positive to consider.

So, you are helping search engine users find you with your blogging, and you are showing them your human side as well as sharing your expertise. The next reason for really considering blogging is, Google. Yep, you heard me right. Google have a lot of authority when it comes to its users using the search engine. Google rewards you with greater ranking and visibility when you publish new and fresh material.


We think, it is fair to say, that blogging has few negative sides, apart from perhaps the time, creativity and money it may require you to invest. But blogging cannot be ignored as being a new age nonsense. It is one of the best ways to increase online visibility and help with your SEO.  All we would suggest is that it is something that you do at least a few times a month, preferable weekly. Momentum is an important factor in blogging. Creating content once a year isn’t going to have much impact and may in fact make your website appear dormant. Refreshing and publishing regularly is quite a commitment but will provide you with a real return.

If you have any questions, we would love to chat.

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What is Google Possum and is it impacting on your business?

This time we are taking a look at Google’s Possum update which was released in September 2016. It has since changed the landscape of Google’s local finder results and ranking.

The purpose of the Possum update has been to create greater diversity among local results and to reduce spam from ranking. This update has impacted on 64% of the 1,307 businesses investigated by As suggested by Moz, this could have been part of Possum of an alternative update. Thankfully there are a few ways of identifying whether the Possum update has influenced your business listings.

Is your business listed?

One of the main characteristics of Possum appear when business listings have disappeared. In actual fact Google has filtered them. One quick way to identify if this has happened to your business is to do a search of your business industry, such as florist or pharmacy followed by the location. If your business isn’t showing up on the 3-pack listing simply zoom in. Hopefully Google will look at the location with more detail of local businesses and identify your businesses presence.

Let’s understand this a little bit more, Google isn’t removing, giving penalties or preventing a business from ranking. It is in fact working like a filter by picking what it believes to be better quality results. It believes that you won’t want to see results that are too similar, hence the focus on diversity.

How has Possum influenced your business?

Searcher’s location

Factors to take on board is the way a user’s location influences what results are received. The results will vary if two users search the same query but one is in London and the other in Paris. This could be another reason why you can not see your business being listed.

Shared business addresses

If you have a business in an office block or business park where your address is the same as other businesses, even with a different business name, address (room, office or suite number in this case) and different phone number (NAP) Google is likely to filter most of the businesses out simply because they are at the same address. Unfortunately, for many businesses having the addition of a block, room or suite number hasn’t had any significant impact on improving address diversity. Specialist practitioners have noticed that genuine businesses have been caught up in the negative down falls of this update by being filtered out of query responses.

Registered locations

Prior to the update, businesses which were registered in a city because its included in the address. But these businesses were technically outside of the city’s borders have been suffering with ranking. Since Possum was implemented Joy Hawkins, an SEO practitioner, has noticed that some of these businesses rankings have rocketed in position. tells us, “it has long been observed in the Local SEO industry that companies beyond city borders have little chance of earning local rankings for queries originating in those cities”.

Working with Possum to make improvements:

The Possum update seems to be harder to work with or escape compared to some of Google’s other updates like Panda and Hummingbird. However, its key to remember that Google, all in all, wants to deliver quality and relevant responses to our queries. Improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and demonstrate to Google that you are the best answer to search queries. This is likely to support your online presence.

Say hello…

We are happy to help and guide on the you issues covered in this article, so feel free to get in touch.

What is the Google Pigeon Algorithm Update?

Pigeon was released in August 2013 and has been called ‘challenging’ in the area of local search ranking. Let’s look at what this means for businesses.

The Pigeon update implemented by Google has made its mark with Google maps search and the web search. The update seeks greater accuracy and relevancy but has impacted on some local searches. Resulting in some businesses experiencing fluctuations in internet leads. Additionally, it has updated its distance and location parameters.

Pigeon has changed its parameters

Pigeon aimed to connect local search algorithm more closely with the web algorithm and to make improvements on the ranking through looking more closely at parameters. Experts believe that the parameters were narrowed. This created a landscape of businesses being excluded from search results. During the early stages of Pigeon many businesses found themselves outside of the parameters. However, over the years Google has made further improvements to the way it analyses the distance between a business and the searcher.

By creating content that associates with the local area where you are doing business you will improve business presence. Producing images, articles and other forms of media will support your cause and give you a greater chance of ranking.

7 pack to 3 pack listing

It’s been reported throughout other algorithm articles that this roll out caused many challenges following the implementation of this update. One change being the old 7 pack style being replaced with the 3 pack listings. This has also affected the visibility of some businesses. Leaving many business owners wondering how they can improve their chances of being noticed and successfully competing for leads. Being ranked in the pack is usually influenced by a business’ organic ranking. Therefore, consider how you can build on and improve organic ranking through optimised and quality content, as well as links to reputable websites.

Additionally, work on getting some great reviews which will help with ranking as well as trustworthiness. Furthermore, fix any issues you have on your website making it fast and usable. These practical steps will give Google good signals about your site thus, in time improving your ranking. advises us that, “Local SEO focuses on the citations, NAP consistency, and reviews. But let’s not forget about domain authority and good old-fashioned content and links.”

Read our blog on the Possum update to understand in more depth how Google filters its local search results.


Dealing with spammy businesses

Another initial issue was the increase of spam businesses finding their way into the listings and removing legitimate business. Currently, Google still relies on people reporting the violations and spammy business in order to make changes. Reporting online violations to Google to make room for genuine hard-working businesses is an important process. Reporting violations should to be done in a careful manner. Follow Googles guidelines and don’t report legitimate business which might be your competition.

Feel free to get in contact to discuss any issues or guidance required.


A Must Read: The Breakdown of Google’s Algorithm Panda

Okay, so we’ve looked at the Hummingbird update, now it’s time for Google’s algorithm to karate chop his way through the door and explain himself!

Who or what is Panda?

Panda looks at tackling online issues such as plagiarism, keyword stuffing, spamming, thin content and duplication. The Panda Algorithm was named after a Google engineer named Navneet Panda (by who played a major role in the algorithm breakthrough. Initially, Panda acted like a filter with the aim to down score websites that were using black hat techniques. In 2016, Panda was integrated into the core algorithm, mainly because Google no longer expected to implement further updates to Panda’s functioning.

Why was the Panda algorithm implemented?

Some people may believe all they need is a website and some questionable and not so honest creativity to draw in customers. Businesses trying to function online will often have an interest in
ranking as highly as possible on search engines like Google. But, it’s the way we do this that matters to Google. Some individuals may have used techniques like keyword stuffing or plagiarism to build an online presence. However, since Panda has been on the scene website users like this, will find it difficult to function as now, these poor practices will influence their ranking.

Practices we need to avoid include, content farming which is all about writing, duplicating or plagiarizing short articles that explore many subjects, so Google believes that a website has the answers to a user’s queries thus sending us to a site that doesn’t have quality or useful content. This in turn leads neatly into the crack down on a lack of trustworthiness.

Websites that don’t have terms and conditions or privacy policies will be down scored by Panda. Make sure that your advert to content ratio is sensible and balanced is advised by Google. Other practices that Panda doesn’t like are:

  • Mentions of deals or sales in titles but when you have accessed the website there is no mention of either.
  • Website that have been reported or blocked by users will be down scored by Panda.
  • Panda has a big issue with poor quality content that is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • The algorithm will pick up on high bounce rates, visitors who don’t come back and low click through rates.
  • Panda really, really, really doesn’t like machine generated content software. This one is a big No.


What changes can be made to keep on the right side of Panda?

Whilst it is important for us to recognise the role Panda plays in quality controlling online content and practices there might be other reasons why you may have had a drop in organic traffic. It’s always good to take in the bigger picture and consider issues such as, the time or year, fluctuations in potential customers’ expenditure and an increase in like-minded business in your local area – your competition!

We have put together a few tips to keep on Panda’s good side and out of his little black book. Make sure you evaluate old content like articles, blogs and website information and quality control your future content ensuring it doesn’t have spelling mistakes. It’s worth it– you will be rewarded by Panda for producing high quality content.

Proactive Marketing Solutions suggest you try to get a HTTPS secure encryption to show Google that you are trustworthy. You can use tools like a plagiarism checker, such as Copyscape and spelling and Grammar software like Grammerly to support you in producing quality content.

What’s the point?

As we’ve suggested, Panda can impact on your ranking, which might make it harder for organic traffic to find you if you use poor practices and black hat techniques. Your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plan should be built on approaches that are deemed, by Google, as being positive and honest, such as a getting a secure encrypted website and producing quality content.

Google reward websites that give users a great on-site experience, add value and sites that are easy to navigate. Surely these are principles that you would want to work with? After all, my guess if Google would probably win the ranking war.

For additional support with ranking and SEO contact us today for expert guidance and support.