Posts about: seo

Key Areas of SEO From A Web Designer

24 November 2015
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paul doyle

Coming from a web design background, the course has offered me a great insight into the world of search and social media marketing and how I can adapt the skills within my business and for my clients. I would highly recommend the course and I hope this blog helps you decide whether this it’s right for you.

SEO Key Areas

Having some knowledge of SEO marketing you would think, “Why is he on this course?” but after 9 weeks I’ve learnt that there’s much more than a few input of keywords needed to improve your marketing on and off you’re website. The key areas I found most helpful to develop my marketing strategy are as followed.

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What is SEO?

4 November 2015
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What is SEOSearch Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search seems to be defined by crises – first came the dreaded Google updates petting zoo, then we survived mobilegeddon, and we’re currently living under the reign of King Content. But what’s coming next? And how can we prepare for it?

In this post, Rob from Covéa Insurance shows us how we can forecast what’s coming next by looking back at what’s come before, and provides his top tips for future-proofing your site and its content.


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Can you teach an old dog new SEO tricks?

1 November 2015
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SEO tricks: Can you teach an old dog new SEO tricks?

It was face down on the physiotherapist’s couch that I had my SSMM epiphany.

It was about week 4 of the course and the physio was talking about his own website and trying to improve its ranking. He had recently done some training in New York learning a technique that was not widely available in the UK. He obviously had the makings of some great content and I suggested he get it on his website and have a think about optimising it for some of the more unusual keywords. We also talked about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tricks in general and the many different tools out there that he could use to improve his website and in particular its position on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

It was good to feel that I was starting to make sense of a world I had only stepped into a few weeks previously! Read more…..

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Search and Social Media: a Beginner’s view

31 October 2015
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I have been writing news pages for my company website for the last couple of years and dabbling in Social Media with no real firm plan in place. I knew that content was important for improving search engine results and was under the impression the work I had been putting in was good.

My posts read well and doubled up as press releases. It was only recently, when I was looking at our ranking on search engines, that I discovered we were no longer top of the page for what I would expect to be our key search terms.

So, the question was where do I start? 

My background is Estate Agency not marketing or web design. I like to think I am quite computer literate and I have a good understanding of social media but where my knowledge had gaps was Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I didn’t want to be reliant on the advice of website designers so I decided to research a Search and Social Media Marketing course.

Search and Social Media: homes4u SEO


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Finding Student Accommodation in Cape Town

7 May 2015
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The Room Link

Student Accommodation in Cape Town and other South African cities is scarce.  So, how does attending an Search and Social Media Marketing (SSMM) course in Salford lead to starting up a company to find  student accommodation in Cape Town?  And, more importantly, finding a solution to the student accommodation crisis in South Africa?  What is the best way to use search and social media when starting an internet business?

If TheRoomLink was conceived on the SSMM course, it was born on a late winter’s day in a cosy hotel bar in Ilkley.  We’d had a few ideas for internet businesses based around the sharing economy.  The idea we liked best was flexible renting.  The idea was simple.  Some people have spare space; they need income and other people need accommodation.


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Optimisation : using SEO to make an exhibition of yourself

6 May 2015
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I’ve always learnt quicker using analogy, picturing new concepts against familiar ones based on previous experience. So with this in mind, and based on a thirty year career in the events industry this is my attempt to explain Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and website optimisation against the backdrop of organising an exhibition stand at a trade show.

Whilst working at The Brighton Centre, I’ve seen exhibitors turn up at show with fabulous stands which twinkle and shine. Amazing graphics and multi-coloured carpet tiles; sound effects; scantily clan women pacing around clutching brochures; over enthusiastic sales men and women intimidating the casual passer-by.

I’ve also seen stands which look like they were designed on the back of a packet of fags.  Tired graphics; sales staff working hard on reaching the next level of Candy Crush on their phones; chipped and scruffy furniture; last year’s brochures with a sticky label slapped over the date.

So think about your stand (website) from the visitors (users) perspective and you will understand some basic SEO and website optimisation concepts.


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Get a Job in SEO – 4 Tips for Beginners

6 May 2015
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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is extremely important for any business and their website, yet SEO careers have no easy entry point nor clearly defined route on how to get a job in SEO.  I’m at a point in my SEO time-line where I need to implement some important tasks (my 4 ‘top tips’) in order to maximize my potential for employment within the SEO industry.

Get a Job in SEO Tips for Beginners

Get a Job in SEO Tips for Beginners

My story isn’t your typical one that begins with a foundation in web design. I came from a degree in Audio Technology, to starting a photography business, to now studying SEO, PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising) and Digital Marketing.


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The Death of SEO

4 December 2014
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That’s it. Shut the doors, disconnect the phone. Prevent the dog from barking with a rubber chicken.*

For SEO is dead and we don’t have jobs any longer. Damn.

At least that’s what some people will tell you, and as others ask whether this is indeed true, search engine optimisers, web developers and business owners must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff; fact from fiction. SEO; the very mention of these three letters is enough to turn some potential customers’ and digital industry sceptics’ stomaches. ‘But isn’t SEO dead and gone?’ you might have heard them ask, quickly qualified with ‘Anyway, it’s all some kind of dark art, isn’t it?’.

Having sat and thought about these two questions a great deal (likely when I should have been doing something more productive and sociable, such as watching Game of Thrones) I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer to both is ‘no’. Easy, right off to the pub.

Oh, you want proof…


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Why I chose the Search & Social Media Marketing Course

27 November 2014
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Hmmm… So, which course?  These were my initial thoughts.  Do I do a long distance course or do I stay close to home and come to the building.  By opting for the SSMM (Search and Social Media Marketing) at Media City, I now know, I made the perfect choice.

salford university media city

University of Salford Campus – Media City

It had all the aspects that I was hoping for and none of the ones I feared.  I didn’t want to just do ‘a course on seo and social media’… I wanted the course that would add value to my skillset.

When you leave University and/or Further/Higher Education, the question usually is… “What experience do you have?”… This is usually followed by an answer consisting of erms, buts and opportunity.  In other words, doing your best to prove you are willing to learn.

For probably only the second time in my life, I found myself on the other side of the argument.  As, somewhat fortuitously and serendipitously I found myself knowing a lot about SEO, social media and digital marketing, but didn’t have the academic or professional qualifications or accreditations to back up my experience or prove what I knew.  So it was important on my part that I showed evidence of Continued Professional Development (CPD).

I work in the charity and voluntary sector, so it is vital to spend the limited resources we have in the most productive, efficient and effective way possible.   This just happened to involve social media, website building, search engine optimisation and other aspects of digital marketing.  This is because, these activities can be done on a very limited budget; the challenge being, knowing what to do and having the time to invest.

So began my journey into the world of social media, website building and SEO.  It started off as a hobby with the website/organisation I founded called, Positive About MS ( and it’s social media following which now reaches out to about 10,000 supporters!  Subsequently I developed a website called, The Luggie Scooter (, which features on the first page of Google and in some cases features in the coveted Golden Triangle section of Google on page1!

So you can see SSMM was something I fell into and something I just happened to enjoy too, not realising at the time it would become Web 2.0.

However, all this experience didn’t give me what I needed, which was a way to quantify what I know and give me a recognised professional accreditation and/or qualification.

The Search and Social Media Marketing course

Right from the first week of the course I liked what I saw.  From the email communication prior to arrival, to the structure and general feel of the class.  It was just what I hoped it would be.  There was a structure to the whole course and it was clear what the course would give you.  I thought it would be more formal and not as comfortable, but I was pleasantly surprised.   I really liked the layout, atmosphere and the general way of teaching.

One of the reasons I opted for the course, was the opportunity of interaction with the course leader (Alex Fenton @AlexFenton) and the chance to ask questions in person.  This also exceeded my expectations.  You could speak in person, via social media, on private linkedin groups or by email.  It gave you further reassurance that you weren’t just going to be given course notes with a presentation.

Guest speakers

The format of giving you a presentation on the subject matter, followed by a talk and Q&A session from an industry professional worked really well and I got more than I expected from it.  We got the opportunity to hear from the likes of Phil Morgan (@PhilipMorgan) & Tom Mason (@totmac) from Delineo (@Delineo), Aisha Choudhry (@AishaZulu) from Fast Web Media (@FastWebMedia),  and the UK’s Number 1 best selling small biz marketing author; Dee Blick – pictured (@DeeBlick) of


dee blick pic

Dee Blick – Guest Speaker

I also felt the course was well pitched and did exactly what it said on the tin!  Initially I was apprehensive that parts maybe too basic or complex, however this was not the case and it was helpful that Alex Fenton would sometimes spend more time on certain subject areas than others, based on the group and what we needed.

It was never a case of times up and that’s it, you got a chance to review what we’ve already discussed and check your understanding.

One of the many revelations to me personally was the benefits and features of using Google Drive, something I was neither keen nor found necessary to use before I went on the course.  Google Drive allowed you to revisit slides and talks from previous weeks and made it very easy to review course notes.

I found it very refreshing and useful that information on the course and was freely shared by Alex, and that was what I had hoped for.  If there was something you were not sure on, there was always the opportunity to revisit it out of class time, with informal group sessions.

Overall, this course has filled in those missing gaps from my own learning’s and has also introduced me to industry terms and given me a chance to quantify what I already knew, by putting names and phrases to the processes I was practicing.

Furthermore it has opened up my eyes more to the idea of Web 2.0 and the importance of Digital Marketing.

Hopefully, this has helped you regarding your professional development course choice.  Feel free to share this post or share your views, I am @mrkazlaljee on twitter and you can use the hastag #ssmmUoS

More information & booking details for the Search & Social Media Marketing Course  &  Salford University location at Media City UK – Video

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Content marketing: Why your content isn’t being shared

29 September 2014
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Content marketing: Why your content isn’t being shared

We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is King,” but what does it actually mean? Most people make the mistake of thinking that content is merely written copy used to acquire backlinks and justify keyword placement, but in reality it’s much more than that. Images, videos, infographics – literally anything that’s published on the Internet – all comes under the content umbrella. We’re all publishers; and as publishers we want our work to be seen by as many people as possible, and that’s where sharing comes in.

Amassing shares on social media – aka “going viral” – can expose your content to a phenomenal amount of people; however, getting others to share your work for free is quite a challenge as you can’t just ask without doing any groundwork. It’s imperative that you understand what makes good content valuable to others and how to effectively make your approach.

As the owner of a premium search marketing agency – Distinctly – I’m constantly asked how to get content shared. The truth is, there is no guaranteed method. You can, however, significantly increase your chances by merely publishing content that’s in demand. Part of my job is to find out what others are looking for, and then devise a plan to maximise exposure; but whether or not people share it is down to two things, quality and luck.

You’re not helping anyone

So you’ve written an excellent informative article or blog post with decent images, a video and possibly even an infographic, but it’s still not getting shared. No doubt you’ve encountered this problem before. The first thing you have to ask yourself is, “Does this content actually help anyone?” If the answer is no, then you’ve already got your reason.

Good content isn’t about flawless grammar and clever wording; it’s about helping others and publishing something that’s unavailable elsewhere. Type in any keyword and you’ll probably find that 80% of the websites you visit are irrelevant, or simply rehashing the same information. If you fall into this category how will you ever expect to gain exposure? To succeed sometimes you have to just forget about promoting your business and develop content with the primary aim of helping people.

You’re failing to do any outreach

Publishing content is merely the first step. If nobody knows about that content how will you ever expect to receive shares and likes on social media? No matter how good your content is you need to tell people about it. It’s important to start the outreach before you publish the content. Contact bloggers and businesses you think it will appeal to and start trying to build relationships with them – comment on their social media pages, compliment their work, send them a friendly message, etc.

When we started working for graphic design agency The Pink Group, we began the outreach process weeks in advance, and by the time we published their content – the Social Media Cheat Sheet – we already had a collection of bloggers and businesses that were willing to share it. The result was over 12,000 social media shares in just a matter of weeks.

You’re not monitoring your activity

Monitoring your traffic and social media activity is crucial. Where is your traffic coming from? What pages of your website are people visiting? The more you know about how people are finding and using your content the better.

At Distinctly we use a tool named Share Tally to get a general overview of how well a piece of content is performing. Share Tally combines every share, tweet and like, etc., from across multiple social media platforms and gives you an overall figure. We’ve found this website to be very helpful when implementing new content marketing strategies as it allows us to measure spikes in sharing.

You’re not communicating with your audience

Interaction accounts for at least a third of the content marketing process. Social media is called “social” media for a reason, and many businesses tend to forget that it’s designed as a communication and networking tool. When somebody leaves a comment on your page, respond to them publicly; if they share your content, thank them for their support. Treat your audience with respect and they will become very loyal followers.

After we publish content our primary focus is on strengthening relationships. We often recommend that our clients spend a few minutes each morning simply taking part in the community that they’ve built. Personal communication will go a long way and people will be more inclined to share content when they know their efforts are appreciated by a person rather than a corporate entity.

Fundamentally, not every piece of content you publish will get shared and liked – it’s just the nature of the beast. But, the more quality content you publish the bigger your community of followers will become. Rinse and repeat the process and there’ll be no reason why you won’t succeed.

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