#DMF10MinTip – create your canonical

Don’t worry – it took me quite some time to say this properly too!!

This is probably the quickest but most effective thing you can do for your overall website health.

A definition of Canonicalization from Matt Cutts at Google “It is the process of picking the best url when there are several choices, and usually refers to home pages”.

What does this mean in English?

There are several ways that you can write a website address:


Yes I know what you’re thinking – they’re all the same and go to the same place. For a person yes – but not to a search engine. Technically all of these url’s are different and could show totally different content on each url which gets search engines very confused and cross (and ultimately gives you lower rankings).

So what to do? Pick one format that you’d like to use – either www or non www and update the header section html on your website with the following code:

(you can see here I’ve chosen to go with the non www version)

The version you choose should be the one you think is most important. If you don’t mind then choose that gets the most visitors or has the most backlinks. But choose one and be consistent!

There is very divided advice in the industry about www vs non www and you can read more about it here.

Penguin 4.0 is alive

Penguin 4.0 is alive

Google has confirmed that the latest version of Penguin (which is 4.0) is now live and part of their core algorithm as of 23rd September 2016.

Penguin is the name given to part of the algorithm that deals with web spam – things like keyword stuffing and unnatural link schemes and was first launched in 2012.

What does this mean for a small business’s website? Well not much if you have high quality content that doesn’t repeat your target keywords lots and lots (like this screenshot from Google):

Penguin Keyword Stuffing






Or this example of totally unnatural links (see the links to loans in an article about getting fit):

Link spam example






While these are extreme examples think about your site – do you link out to any other websites that have absolutely nothing to do with your business area? Are there more than one or two links on each page?

If not you should be in pretty good shape to not be affected by Penguin 4.0.

If you’ve seen a dip in your SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) I’d love to hear from you!


10 min SEO tip: have an SEO NAP!

SEO NAP – It’s not about snoozing!

Apologies if the title of this post is a little misleading – I’m not suggesting to put your head down for 40 winks!!

There are only a few things you can do whilst sleeping and unfortunately SEO isn’t one of them.

In SEO terms NAP stands for name, address, phone number and it’s very important for your businesses search engine rankings, particularly local ones.

Most small businesses (especially those that run from home) don’t have NAP details on their website – they’re concerned about privacy and security (I best you’ve thought about disgruntled customers or pushy salespeople turning up unannounced at least once haven’t you!)

But why is this holding back your rankings?

Google and all other search engines want to be confident that the listings they show in their search results are relevant to the person’s query. So how can you have a good ranking for {jewellery shop bristol} for example if you don’t have SEO NAP details on your website? The short answer is you can’t.

All of your online sites (website, Google MyBusiness, Facebook page, Twitter etc) should feature your company name and full address. You don’t have to include your house name or number – but road or street, city, county and postcode should appear along with a fixed line phone number. I work from home – take a look at my contact details below.

So put aside 10 minutes this week and get your SEO NAP details published.

If you’d like help with this or any other aspect of digital marketing please get in touch

Backlinks – the good, bad and the ugly

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know I was at BrightonSEO on Friday – probably the UK’s biggest search marketing conference.

It was a great day – I picked up lots of tips, tricks and advice on SEO and can’t wait to start implementing them for my clients (although the 4 hour train journey each way wasn’t so great!).

In one of the seminars Q & A sessions someone asked “How can you tell an good link from a bad link” and that gave me the idea for this post.

All website owners should know that if another site links to yours (a backlink) it’s good for your SEO – right?

Well this isn’t strictly true.

A great backlink can do wonders for your SEO efforts, others are disastrous. Meet the good, the bad and the ugly of backlinks:

The good: a well written backlink from a website relevant to your business with the anchor text (the clickable bit) that matches your websites activity

The bad: a backlink from a relevant website that has the anchor text as your company name or “click here”

The ugly: a backlink from a website in a totally unrelated industry, or even worse, a spam or directory site no matter what the anchor text is

I know I’m using an age old saying here but in the world of backlinks quality over quantity really does matter.

All website owner should check their backlink profile on a regular basis and if there are any bad or uglies lurking around address them immediately!