Plug in SEO blog

Jude’s review of Plug in SEO

Jude at Fancy Dress Party Ideas got in touch as she was really happy with Plug in SEO and wanted to send through a review. Here it is:

Sleep well at night!

Missing ALT tags

Plug in SEO is a great free app that assures me I’m on the right lines in terms of on-page optimisation.  Our site Fancy Dress Party Ideas contains over 1,000 images, so I was worried that I’d have missed a couple, leaving them without tags.  Plug in SEO told me which ones were missing alt text in an instant (it was only a couple actually!) so that was really easy to fix.

Slow site speed

The speed of my site was also flagged as an issue, one which I had not been aware of at all.  I realised another app I had previously installed was slowing the site down massively, which I know can have negative effects in terms of direct user experience and search results (Google actually factors website speed into its SERPs, I found out).  So, again, Plug in SEO saved me there!  A quick uninstall of an app that I wasn’t even using made a huge difference to the page load time – from about 12 seconds down to a very impressive 4.

Good value

Of all the apps that I’ve installed, this one is the most efficient, effective and, of course, worth the price!  I have used the Live Chat feature on a couple of occasions, and both times the expert has been really helpful and allowed my limited knowledge of coding to be enough to fix the problems I was experiencing on my site.  They talk you through it step-by-step, so it becomes very simple.

Overall, a massive thumbs up for Plug in SEO from me!

It's great to hear from customers that we've been able to help out with Plug in SEO.

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Tales of Search Engine Optimisation

A collection of famous fairytales with modern instances.

More than twelve illustrations, including seven coloured plates.


Three Little SEOs

The Webmaster's New Feature

The Scraper And The Creator

The Web Analyst Who Cried Broken

You may obtain this publication without charge here.



Doubling traffic, just a week after starting with Plug in SEO

"On my own I was getting 15 - 20 hits a day. Now some days I am doubling my traffic."

It's always good to hear a success story, large or small, so we were delighted to hear this from Jessica at Deep Relief Massage Therapy in Massachusetts, just a week of following Plug in SEO's advice.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to driving more traffic - well, actually that's not true: you can spend a lot of money on advertising and you'll see traffic quickly.  But if you're running a small, local business like Jessica's, you want to see results without spending a lot of money.  If you spend a few minutes every day on writing content and building links, you'll make a difference.  And as Jessica says, "I know some things may take a couple of weeks to take effect."  Be patient and stick at it, and use Plug in SEO's advice to concentrate your efforts on what's going to be most effective.

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The art of keywords

If you're operating a small website, it's a real challenge to compete on search with your big company competitors. Perhaps the most common mistake we see is websites trying to target a really broad search phrase (like cars or flowers). The broader a word or phrase, the more competitive it's likely to be, and a site with a few hundred or thousand visitors every month is never going to get into Google's front page for a highly sought-after keyword.  So you need to pick keywords and phrases carefully for success.

Plug in SEO will automatically suggest keyword terms for you to focus on, based on various factors including the search volume, but it needs to be "seeded" with some terms to get started with - think of this as pointing us in the right direction.  The better your initial search terms, the better Plug in SEO's recommendations will be, at least to start with.

Get narrow

Don't worry too much about all the people you're missing out on who are searching on those broad, competitive terms. Reports vary, but somewhere between 68% and 90% of users click on the first page of results, so you're much better off focusing on narrow terms where you can rank well, than broad terms that are dominated by big players.  You will get far more business by appearing on the first page for a term that 100 people search for today, than to rank on page 10 for a search term that 1,000 (or even 10,000) people search for.

If you really want to dig into the detail, you can use the Google keyword tool to understand how many people are searching for different terms - this is called the Search Volume, and it's one of the factors Plug in SEO takes into account when making recommendations.

Niche capabilities and specialities

Pick keywords that highlight what's special about your particular business.  Think carefully about what distinguishes you from your competitors.

  • How would you describe your company, or its products or services?  Add adjectives (fresh, tasty, cheap, wholesome, quick, reliable, spicy) to the nouns (cheese, haggis, car rental, dog food) to make them more specific.
  • Do you have products or services that target specific events in the calendar?  Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mothers' Day....
  • How would your customer or the product end-user describe themselves?  Student, senior, girls, boys...
  • What might people want to learn about your products?  History, making of, recipes, size...
  • Are there alternative names for your products?  Milk drinks, milkshakes, milk shakes. How about protein drinks too?

So for example, if the thing that's special about you is that you make haggis in a whole range of sizes, you might choose keywords like individual haggis, family haggis, giant haggis. And since it's so good for Halloween, and you know your customers tend to be families celebrating together, why not put specifically target family haggis on Halloween (and variants like Halloween family haggis). You'd probably want to design a specific page focussing just on that particular occasion, so that users find information that's directly relevant to exactly what they searched for.

Location and locality

Google's local business search results help small businesses with a physical location

If you serve a particular locality, pick keywords that include the name(s) of the towns and areas you work in.  For example, Florist is much harder to rank well on than Guildford Florist or Surrey Florist.  The chances are, if your customers are looking for a convenient local business, they'll enter the city, country or state name as part of their search term.

This isn't strictly about keywords, but while we're thinking about the SEO benefits of having a physical location, like a shop, make sure the address is listed on your website, so that you can be picked up for Google's local business search results.   Why not also list your business (with links) on sites like Yelp or Foursquare?

Use your keywords in your content

So you've picked some niche keywords that you'll focus on - now what?  Targeting a particular keyword is not as simple as typing it into Plug in SEO, sitting back and waiting for visitors!  You do actually have to include those keywords on your website.  Unfortunately, content doesn't write itself so you (or someone in your team, or an outside contractor) need to put some effort in.

Review your website and look for places where you could use the more specific keyword term in place of a broad term.  Where your copy says We sell our haggis at the Easton Farmers' Market, how about We sell our tasty, organic haggis at the Easton Farmers' Market. But don't sacrifice natural, easy to read text - your site still needs to appeal to human visitors.

Keep building up your content, making sure it includes the keywords you picked.  Creating frequent content makes a huge difference. Plug in SEO makes suggestions about writing blog posts or creating content containing your keywords.

For more guidance and resources on picking keywords, check out our Paint By Numbers Guide to Choosing Keywords.


Survey results: Plug in SEO really does give valuable advice

Our recent survey has just closed - thanks so much to all of you who took the time to complete it and give us your feedback.

We'll be picking the winner of the Amazon vouchers out of a virtual hat very soon, and crunching all the numbers, but I couldn't resist sharing a couple of really exciting outcomes with you all straight away.

87% said yes, you would recommend Plug in SEO

93% agree that Plug in SEO gives you valuable advice

So pleased that we're able to help!  And we'll work on the other insights you have shared with us to make Plug in SEO even more useful.  Thank you again!

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