Recent Posts

  • Getting started with Social Networks

    Posted June 4, 2013 By in SEO Hints and Tips With | No Comments

    It seems to us, that almost every week, a new social network appears on the scene. They almost always claim to be the best, better, more SEO friendly than the last and easier to integrate. Whilst some of the claims may be true, many fall by the wayside, as they don’t have the two things that the established sites have – users and traffic.

    For any social network (unless its a really niche network) users and traffic are essential. This makes it easier to market to the masses, whilst being able to hold a conversation with potential and current customers. That’s the whole idea of social networks, talking to people. If your your talking, and no one is listening, its time wasting. Imagine your personal Facebook profile, if you posted to it every day, with informative updates for your friends and no one answered, would you continue to do so? The answer is probably no, as you would see it as a waste of time. But if your friends old and new commented, and interacted with you, that is what encourages you to keep going. The same applies in business, you need people to interact with you, and if they aren’t, then something is wrong, and needs to be looked at.

    Alot of the time, when we talk to people about social networks, their main issue’s are:

    • Lack of followers / fans etc
    • Lack of interaction from their current followers / fans
    • Not knowing what to post, and when to post it

    When we then investigate, we find a Facebook page that was last posted to a year ago, and a twitter account that has been left to languish, due to lack of posting and knowledge on how to use the site.

    Not every social network site, fits every business. Although we can say that 99% of the time, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page are pretty much essential. Yes there are others, but the main ones are Facebook and Twitter for the vast majority of people.

    So, when we have our page and account, what do we do? The best way I can think to describe it, is like this:

    Imagine your at a networking event, with other business owners. You’ve never been there before, and unsure what to do. So we have the following options and outcomes.
    – Stand in the corner, and hope people come talk to you. Maybe one of two will, but most will just walk past you.
    – You walk up to everyone individually and say ‘Hi, I’m Bob and I sell windows, buy from me today and get a 10% discount’. Some people will ignore you, others will say their not in the market for windows, some may say I’ll remember you for next time (maybe they will, maybe they won’t).
    – Introduce you self along the lines of ‘Hi, I’m Bob, I’m in window sales, what do you do?’. Guaranteed, 99% of the time, the person will respond with what they do. You then answer, them a start a conversation. You then talk a bit more, and just before the end of the conversation, you say ‘if in the market for new windows, let me know, and I can sort you out a 10% discount’. The other person then goes away, knowing who Bob is, and what type of person he is. They also now know that Bob who they had a conversation with can give them a 10% discount on windows.

    The same scenarios apply to social networks. Stand in the corner (create accounts and then do nothing with them) and very few people will come and talk to you.
    Introduce yourself and just talk about your products and offers and nothing else, may interest some people, but not everyone.
    Strike up a conversation and get people interested, and they will remember you. It doesn’t have to be all business, there are many other things you can talk about. Us Brits love talking about the weather. Taken a funny / interesting pic that you would post on your personal account, could this also be posted on your business page? Bob the window sales man could have found a site talking about the benefits of the windows he installs, so why not share it? Don’t be afraid to share links to other sites (unless they are your direct competition). Or, if you found a blog article with funny or interesting pictures to cheer up a gloomy Monday morning, share this.

    The movie ‘Field Of Dreams’ said – If you build it they will come. This doesn’t apply to social networks, it should be more – If you use it wisely, they will come.

  • Renting a domain – Is it for you?

    Posted May 10, 2013 By in Photographers SEO With | Comments Off on Renting a domain – Is it for you?

    Recently, we have added a number of domains to our Domains For Sale page, and we included an option of renting a domain. This has lead to us having a few questions asked about the merits and advantages, together with the dis-advantages of using a domain in this way. All the questions were perfectly valid, and we’ll run over a few of the issues in this post, and explain in greater depth, what happens when you rent a domain.

    Domains For Rent

    Renting a domain is a bit like renting a car. You don’t own it, but have the right to use it for a set period of time. You don’t have to worry about the maintenance, the renewals, or the technical bits, as this is all taken care of for you. But you do get the exclusive right to us it, as you please (but keeping it legal).

    When a domain is renting out, we change the Nameservers so as they point to your hosting. This is a simple process, and something that we handle for you. You are then free to add your website to the domain, and begin trading online. For the whole of the rental period, you are the exclusive user of that domain, and we do not continue marketing the domain. At the end of the rental agreement, you can choose to renew, or cancel your subscription.

    Advantages of renting a domain:

    The only renewal you need to worry about, is that of the subscription. Failing to renew, will mean the domain will no longer point to any site you have made.

    Try before you buy. If you like the look of the domain, but don’t know if it would suit your business, or if your business is a start up and your unsure of the future, renting can be a great advantage. If during the rental period you decide its great for you, then you have the option to purchase, at a reduced price.

    All the technical aspects of owning a domain are managed for you.

    Options of choosing between a 6 month or 1 year subscription, with an exclusive offer of renewal or purchase. Purchase before the end of your agreement, and any remaining balance on your rental would be deducted form the final purchase price.

    Disadvantages of renting a domain:

    You don’t own the domain, and are tied by the subscription agreement.

    We understand that renting a domain is not for everyone, but for some people it is a great option to get started with a website. Our list of domains available to rent or purchase is always changing, so be sure to check back often and see what is new.

    Fell free to contact us with any questions, or comments, and we will answer as quick as we can.

  • Making Google Analytics More Accurate

    Posted February 20, 2013 By in SEO Hints and Tips With | Comments Off on Making Google Analytics More Accurate

    If you have Google analytics installed on your site, you’ll know how useful it is for finding out about your visitors and their activity. You can see unique visitors, clicks, bounce rate, time spent on site etc. Like the vast majority of Google products, its not 100% accurate, and its quite easy to hide your browsing from and analytics software.

    There is also another issue with the time spent on site. This has become more important since the Panda/Penguin updates, and unfortunately, for the small website owner, it is weighted in the favour of bigger, corporate websites. This is due to it only counting the user time spent on site for the first minute (or so), before classing the user as inactive. So if a user comes onto your site, and spends 3 minutes reading an article, before clicking the back button, the whole 3 minutes isn’t counted towards the ‘Average Time Spent On Site’. The same goes if someone comes to your site, then clicks a link and reads. The whole time isn’t counted.

    But don’t fear, there is a solution! By adding the code below to your footer file, before the last /body tag, it will inform Google ever 10 seconds that the person is still active on your site, up to 10 minutes. This way, all the time that someone spends reading your site is counted as well. So if a user coming to your site, and spends more time reading, than clicking, this code helps to improve you time spent on site stats.

    <script type=”text/javascript”>
    (function (tos) {
    window.setInterval(function () {
    tos = (function (t) {
    return t[0] == 50 ? (parseInt(t[1]) + 1) + ‘:00’ : (t[1] || ‘0’) + ‘:’ + (parseInt(t[0]) + 10);
    window.pageTracker ? pageTracker._trackEvent(‘Time’, ‘Log’, tos) : _gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Time’, ‘Log’, tos]);
    }, 10000);

    This is a perfectly legitimate way of doing this, and is using Google’s own code for doing so. It is a white hat method (that’s good). It may not be the total solution for all. For example, if you site has a low average time spent on site, because people are clicking off it quickly anyway, then it won’t help you at all. However, if you have a blog/site that targets long tail keywords, where people land on posts and read what you have written, then it will be a great help for you.

    After the first full day that it has been installed, you should start seeing results in your Google Analytics account. If you use Google real time, you will see instant results, as people leave their tabs open, viewing your website. In real time, live visitors time online is extended to 10 minutes with this code, rather than the standard 5.

    Please note: For this code to work, you already need to have Google Analytics installed, and this code is used in addition to the standard GA code.

    Wordpress user need to put this in the footer.php of their theme, before the closing < /body> tag. All other platforms, it goes in the footer.

    Many Thanks to our friends at SEO Forum UK for this info.


  • Monthly SEO Package

    Posted February 18, 2013 By in Photographers SEO With | Comments Off on Monthly SEO Package

    There are many advantages to signing up for an ongoing monthly SEO package, as opposed to buying links here and there at different times. There are also big benefits in using the same company to provide this service.

    Running your own website, or websites as well as trying to run a business, can be a tricky process. Trying to build a better search engine position for yourself, as well as improving traffic to your site is never an easy task. Having to juggle running the business and do everything else, there comes a point where asking for outside help is a real benefit, both in time saved, and extra business gained.

    Selecting to choose a monthly plan, will mean that you will know what you are getting for your money, and what effort is required to complete the tasks. You will also know what links will be built, on what platforms, and over time be able to measure the performance of these links.

    Some people choose one company to complete their link building, others switch and change each month, when the results they return aren’t happen as quick as they would like, or as productive as they want them to be.  This can be down to a number of reasons, but mainly it is down to the search engines not indexing the links.

    But sticking with the same company has real benefits. For all of our monthly plans, we keep comprehensive records of where links have been placed for a company, and make sure that we don’t ‘double submit’ the same website to a site more than what it should be. For example, we can make blog comments on different posts on the same site a number of times, but, we would only submit a site to a directory once.

    We offer 3 great choices for our monthly SEO Company plans. These cover all types of websites, and we give the client the opportunity to review each month, and change, amend or cancel  the plans. We can even take the hassle out of writing articles, and do this for you (if required).

    Starting form just £50 a month, our link building packages will build quality links for you, over the period of a month. We don’t squeeze everything into 2 days, we spread it out so the search engines see a steady improvement in the number of links that are being built to your site. We don’t publicly say all the kinds of links that are built each month, but we do offer alot more than is on our graphs, and each month customers are presented with a report detailing where links have been built.

    Don’t think all you get is links with a monthly plan, as we offer alot more for you. We provide detailed keyword analysis, together with in-depth ranking reports for the month, and offer suggestions for any improvements that may be required with on-page seo and social networks.

    For more details,  feel free to contact us.

  • Black Hat SEO – What Not To Do

    Posted November 12, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | 1 Comment

    While there are many legitimate skills in SEO, there are also those that can work but if you get caught using them the results can be disastrous. When the internet became popular many techniques were employed to get websites to the top of the search results, because at that point the search engines used a much simpler algorithm. As these tricks were used to exploit the simpler algorithms, they were also used by the search engines to make the algorithms more advanced. Let’s look at a few tricks.

    Cloaking and Redirects

    Cloaking and redirects are methods whereby you show one page to the search engine but a different one to the visitor. A redirect merely brings visitors to one page and then sends them to another page by refreshing the page with one on their site. This could mean you have a page that is optimised for the search engines, but it redirects to a page that is full of adverts and shady deals for the user to click on.

    Cloaking involves fooling a search engine’s indexer into thinking that it is something else and getting the indexer to send false information back to its database.

    Other Black Hat SEO Techniques

    Other techniques involve overloading metatags with keywords or even hiding keywords in plain site on the webpage. A variation on this technique is to shrink the keywords so that they are too small to be seen by the naked eye. This may involve having a white background  and ‘Keyword stuffing’ your page with text that is also white. This can be seen by the search engines, but not by the human eye on your site.

    Using unrelated keywords is another trick especially when combined with the above mentioned tricks. By using unrelated keywords in this manner you can drive traffic to your site from multiple sources. If your target keywords are low traffic ones, but you know that ‘car insurance’ is a high traffic one, then getting traffic form car insurance may be good, but not if your site isn’t about car insurance.

    Using an overly optimised landing page can also work. This is not the same thing as a legitimate landing page. In this case you use any and all methods to overly optimise a single and use that to lead people to your site. This would involve using all of the above methods for this one page.

    The ultimate penalty for using the unscrupulous methods is banishment from the search engines themselves. Be careful when you employ these dark methods for fear of this punishment. Being penalised is one thing but to not even be on a search engine in the first place is your worst case scenario.

  • What do the search engines look for on a website?

    Posted November 10, 2012 By in SEO Hints and Tips With | Comments Off on What do the search engines look for on a website?

    Its a common question, and not one that is easy to answer, but what do the search engines look for on a website? The answer is lots, but we can never be exactly sure. Alot of the answers that can be read are based on experience, and knowledge that changing one, can help to push your website up through the rankings.

    None of the items listed below is the single most important one, it is a combination of them all, that helps your website to rank well. The search engines give some a bit more importance than others, but at the end of the day, they all come together to determine where you should rank.

    So, lets take a look, and list the criteria.


    The domain, like is the first step. We know the following applies:
    TLD (like .com,, .us etc)
    EMD (Exact Match Domain)

    On your website:

    There are many things on your website that can influence the search engines.

    Crawability (how easy is it for the search engine bots to crawl)
    Platform used (WordPress, HTML, etc)
    Internal Links – Number on a page, Anchor Text
    External Links – Number on a page, Anchor Text
    Usage of Meta Tags – Are they present and being used?
    Usage of Meta Tags – Duplication, are any duplicated?
    Usage of Meta Tags – Length, Are any to long, or to short?
    H1, H2, H3 tags
    Content Quality
    Content Readability
    Content Relevance
    Content Duplication
    Content Length
    Page status code
    Redirections that may be in place
    Code compliance
    Loading speed

    Off your website:

    This applies to anything, concerning your website, that isn’t on your website.

    Inbound Links – Number of
    Inbound Links – Page rank of page
    Inbound Links – Anchor Text
    Inbound Links – Relevance
    Inbound Links – Velocity of build
    Inbound Links – Diversity of platforms (Is it natural looking, or is it all from one platform ie forum profiles?)
    Inbound Link Destination – Front page, internal page etc. Is there a good, natural mix?
    Inbound Link – IP address (if all the inbound links come form teh same IP address, it dosen’t look natural).
    Social Media
    Search engine impression / Click through rate

    If you have any Google accounts (Analytics, webmasters etc) and it has access to the following data, this would also be used:

    Page Views per visit
    Average Time on site
    New visitors
    Bounce Rate

    That is just a small amount of information provided by Minneapolis SEO company, to get us started. If you know of any more, then please do comment below. But remember, we are only looking for the factors that influence the search engines, not their importance in doing so.

    The next time someone asks you ‘What do search engines look for on a website‘ you’ll be able to tell them.


  • Search Engine Optimisation Strategies

    Posted November 9, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | 2 Comments

    As the Internet becomes even more pervasive, the importance of search engine optimisation for your website continues to grow. You can make the most of your Internet marketing efforts by following the same steps that top ranking sites do for improving their rankings. You may think that top ranking sites have to spend lots of money to get there. The truth is that some of these sites do spend mega bucks to stay top. But many sites who come out on top, follow some basic search engine optimisation guidelines. These guidelines are easy to follow and often cost little or nothing to put into practice.

    Search Engine Optimisation Strategy

    Sometimes, getting the best optimisation advice for your website, can leave you in the wilderness.

    6 SEO Tips

    1. Manually register your site with DMOZ, also known as the Open Directory Project. The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors and feeds other web directories. Getting into DMOZ gives you one link back to your website. DMOZ feeding other directories increases the number of links back to your site.

    2. Manually submit your site to Google. If you’d like to wait, Google will eventually find your website and return it in search result listings related to your site name and keywords. However, this may take some time. For faster inclusion, visit Google and sign up for the Google webmasters tools. You will then be able to claim your site, and submit a sitemap, so the Google search bots know all the pages on your website.

    3. Make sure you are using keywords with a high KEI. This measure takes into consideration both the popularity and competitiveness of your keywords. By focusing on keywords with a higher KEI, you can optimize your chance for search engines to select your site for keywords at little or no expense.

    4. Engage in a link building campaign. The more links you have to your site, especially if they have a high Google Page Rank, will signal Google and other search engines that your site is important. A great way to do this is through article submission or affiliate programs.

    5. Make your site easily to crawl. Search engine do not like dynamic pages. Although this is changing with the advent of Google Site Maps, it is still important to ensure that all search engines can easily traverse your website. Make sure to use HTML coding and avoid dynamically created pages.

    6. Be patient. Once you follow these suggestions, allow search engines time to re-index your site. In the Internet age, we’re looking for instant results. However, it does take some time for all of your search engine optimisation techniques to take hold.

    Putting the SEO into practice

    By implementing the suggestions we’ve discussed in this article, your search engine optimisation efforts can generate positive returns. As the world of search engines continue to evolve, it’s important to learn about the latest techniques and requirements for improving search engine results. If you do, you’ll find yourself at the top of the rankings!

    If all else fails, and you get really stuck on any keywords and just cannot move forward anymore, don’t hesitate to bring in professional help. Search engines update their algorhythms that frequent, it can be hard for someone running a business and managing their website to keep up to date with what is happening.

  • Using Advanced Web Ranking Tool

    Posted November 8, 2012 By in SEO Hints and Tips With | No Comments

    There are many bits of complete SEO software out there that will help you to keep track of how well your website in the search engines for certain keywords. We have tried and tested many of them, and found many flaws that just don’t justify the expense. That was until we were refereed onto Advanced Web Ranking by a fellow SEO consultant. We thought that being told ‘It’s the Mutts Nutts’ was a bit over the top, as many of these software’s come with glowing reviews, well at least that was until we started using it.

    Just for clarity, we will state that we have been using this software for 7 days, have it tracking 12 websites, and each website has at least 10 target keywords. We set the software to update every day, and did not use any proxies, just our normal internet connection.

    Install Advanced Web Ranking.

    The installation is a simple process. It is just a case of download the files from the website (, and install onto your system. The software comes with a range of sample data, that enables to view what you may see with your sites.

    Once installed adding new sites is a simple few clicks and your done process. You enter your website address, name and keywords, and the software does the rest. Unlike many other software’s, Advanced Web Ranking doesn’t want to know when your granny was born, or your inside leg measurement, it just needs the important data.

    Features Of Advanced Web Rankings.

    This programme is very feature rich, but not resource hungry on your computer. All the features are listed on the left hand side of the programme, and changing between them is a simple click of the mouse. Let’s run through them all:

    Rankings: This feature allows you to keep track of where your website stands for many keywords within the many search engines. You choose what search engines to use, be that,, Bing, Yahoo and many more. The rankings are displayed on an easy to understand graph, and changing the data that appears is a simple few click process. Having to ability to track against competitors, over time, choosing one search engine, displaying more or less keywords, makes this programme easy to use, and see what you need to see.

    View your website rankings with an easy to understand graph

    The website rankings graph

    Good Point – We have tested many programmes just on our normal internet connection (no proxy) and it normally gets through one or two websites before Google kicks our ip address for over use and we have to wait a few hours to try again. Having 12 websites in this programme, our ip has never been restricted by google :-).

    Analytics: Integration with your Google Analytics account allows you to view all your analytics data within the programme. When you set it up at first, it can download the prior 6mths worth of data for you as well.

    Links: How many links does your website have, and how many do your competitors have? There are many websites that offer this service, and it can all get a bit ocnfussing. With Advanced Web Ranking, you can choose to view the data from different sources.

    Social: Many people are now saying that social is incredible important. But how do you keep track of it? Well, in this programme you can see how many Facebook Shares, Twitter Shares and Google +1’s your getting on your site. The funky graph lets you see how things have changed over time, and you can view your competitors stats as well!

    Research: There are many features in the research area. Keyword research uses your Google Analytics login to get the data from the Google Adwords Tool. Keyword difficulty lets you know how hard it would be to rank page one for a keyword. There are many other tools as well.

    The one that most intrigued us, is the website auditor one. However, we only got it to work on a couple of occasions, and really struggled to get it to select our website that we were currently working on. This is an area we feel the developers could work on a bit more.

    Reports: Quite possible the best, and most comprehensive reports system we have seen. And that’s not over stating it. The reports are clear, concise, and great for showing clients how their sites are doing. The ability to now upload to cloud, or your own ftp hosting, for clients and colleagues to download and view makes sharing the data really easy.

    All in, Advanced Web Ranking is a quick, Stable and above all useful programme, that anyone who has a website would enjoy using. Its features are vast (we’ve only scratched the surface with this review), and the data it spews out is easy to read, understand and interpret.

    We at Badges Patches would give this programme 8 out of 10. It would have been 9, if it was easier to understand how to get your website into the website auditor, like it is with the many other features.

  • Why Photographers should avoid the SEO Uncle Bob’s

    Posted October 24, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | 1 Comment

    The term ‘Uncle Bob’ is used alot among photographers to describe that person who turns up at the wedding, thinking they know it, with a posh camera, taking pictures and generally getting in the pro photographers way. It describes the person who thinks they know it all, but really knows nothing, and is little more than a pain in the arse to all concerned.

    There are people like this in all walks of life, and across most industries (although hopefully not to many for nuclear physics). There are also many in the SEO world, who like to pass off their free advise, and get a bit of an ego rub from ‘helping’ people. Unfortunately, alot of the time, the information they pass on is out dated, incorrect, or no use, and they are unable to provide no evidence for the claims they make.

    Whilst you may think its helpful to get advice from someone like this, if you need real help (just like if a couple want real wedding photographers) you need to hire the professionals who work in this industry, day in, day out, year after year.

    Recently, I sat in a webinar, that was supposed to help a group of photographers improve their SEO, and was being run by one such Uncle Bob. The advise that was offered was of little of no help to the people asking, and some of the comments made were just crazy. The person running the course had got their website to the front page of Google for search terms that are searched about 20 times a month, hardly an achievement, and nothing like some of the keywords we handle here.

    The advice was very poor, and focused a huge amount on on site SEO, which as anyone who works in the industry knows, accounts for about 20 to 30 % of what the total SEO package should be. When comments were made about off site SEO and link building, it was obvious that the webinar leader had no idea what they were going on about, and accused many SEO consultancy companies of using ‘Link Farms’ to build links to their clients sites. Obviously the power had gone to their head, by getting a website to page one of Google.

    A lesser person with SEO knowledge would of immediately launched a negative SEO campaign onto the webinars leaders site. And to be honest, it won’t take alot to get it knocked off the front page of Google. But I didn’t. Instead I walked away, hanging my head at how someone who can moan about Uncle Bobs within the photography industry, turns around and does the same thing to the people who work in the SEO industry.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of people like this, and it will always happen. Taking poor advice like this will never get your website to the first page of Google for keywords that will really drive traffic to your website. Its the highly competitive keywords, that get searched alot, that drive the traffic to your site. What is the point in ranking for a keyword that gets searched 20 times a month, when a similar keyword, with a bit more competition, and a bit harder to rank for, gets 20 searches a day.

    Its the SEO Professionals who can help you to get to the first page of Google for those keywords that are searched, and that will drive the traffic to your site. We know what we are doing, and we know how to implement complex on page and off page SEO strategies. We also keep up with the latest changes, and generally we are talking the search engine changes before the newsletter companies have published their articles. We know what works and what doesn’t  We don’t make wild claims, such as ‘you shouldn’t build links to quickly’, as we know what the link velocity rate should be (Did you know that for some sites you can build and index links quicker than other sites?).

    So the next time you see Uncle Bob at a wedding, just remember you not the only one affected.

  • Exact Match Domains

    Posted October 2, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | 1 Comment

    It has long been seen that having an exact match domain name, is a good thing. For example, if your a wedding photographer, then having weddingphotographer.something, would help you rank better for the search term ‘Wedding Photographer’. That used be the case, until Google rolled out its new EMD (Exact Match Domain) update.

    With this new update, less importance is being placed onto what the domain is. Been happening for a while you may say, and that is true. Just look at sites like Moonpig (what has ‘Moonpig’ got to do with greetings cards?). It is possible to rank a website, for keywords of your choosing, no matter what the domain name is. But now the domain name will play alot less importance in the factors used to rank a website.

    Although this update is slowly being rolled out across the board, and is starting mainly on sites that are in highly competitive niches, eventually it will affect all sites.

    So, the big question now is how can you overcome this, and make sure that your JoeBloggsPhotography still ranks well for Joe Bloggs Photography. It comes back to the same three things that have been around for a while now. Content, Social and more content.

    The big search engines no longer seem to be concerned with what your domain is (unless is contains expletives, or implies that you run a porn site), it is about the user experience. That is why the content on your site is so important. Having unique, interesting and up to date content is a big help. This means that people find what they are looking for when they visit your site.

    Next is social. This is coming more and more to the forefront, and many more people are now using mobile devices to view sites, and find out what’s been happening. That is what drove us here at Badges Patches to implement out new Facebook page integration. We’ve had Twitter integration for a while, but the new Facebook integration allows you to comment on blog posts, direct from Facebook.

    So don’t get hung up on choosing a relevant domain name for your business any more. Just look at us, Badges Patches, has nothing to do with SEO, but yet we still rank well for it.

  • Page 1 of 3123»