Top 5: National parks for intrepid travellers

Top 5: National parks for intrepid travellers

Kruger Park, South Africa One of the largest game reserves in Africa – the Kruger is the size of Wales […]

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A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations.

Solo travel for women: Insider’s guide and tips

Solo travel for women: Insider’s guide and tips

Foodie escapes Bangkok, Thailand With the chance to eat freshly made pad thai, tom young gang or Thai green curry […]

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A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations.

Where to go in October 2018

Where to go in October 2018

Best for families: Lima, Peru Peru is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world, and […]

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A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations.

Search Engine optimisations for businesses

SEO, There's No Magic

SEO: the reality is a well thought through content strategy

There’s no point believing that SEO is some kind of magical set of techniques that will instantly propel your website to top Google positions. That trick vanished long ago.

SEO today is made up of a set of solid good practices and a solid digital marketing strategy.

Getting found on the web today is increasingly about how extensive your ‘web footprint’ is and how well you engage your audience around the subject you profess to be expert in, whether that is a service or a product, and the trust you develop. Where you show up when somebody searches using a keyword related to your business, or who is talking about you publicly on a blog or social media venue. Being found is largely about how well you exploit these media and optimise for them.

Search Engine Optimisation is probably something as a website owner you get fed up hearing or being bugged about. Despite numerous rumors about SEO being dead, we’d like to say that it definitely isn’t dead, just evolving like everything else. Today a more holistic approach is required, encompassed by Digital Marketing.

What is definitely dead are the old practices of keyword stuffing, content spinning, and buying inbound links from nefarious sources. SEO requires a much more considered and professional approach focused on quality content and legitimate link building.

Optimising page code, ensuring it  is technically correct and fast is now a matter of ‘best practices’ and not really something left to the SEO Agency, although they will certainly check this and correct if necessary. It is something that should just be done at the outset by your developer.

SEO today though is far more that just what happens on the page technically and way beyond simple on-page key word considerations. Keeping up with Google’s search algorithm changes is a full time job for SEO’s. Assessing the impact of changes, identifying content requirements and inbound-link opportunities are tasks that can quickly burden a business owner, even for a large company.


What We Do To Help You Get Found

Much of our strategy focuses on identifying the content your audience wants to read or solves their particular set of issues. In particular, areas of importance are:

  •  A search strategy for you based on your markets and customer’s searching habits.
  •  Restructuring page content to best suit the search strategy optimisation requirements and overall usability
  •  Taking care of all the technical issues on your pages and your web host
  •  Using best practices to optimize your page code, menus, internal links, meta tags, etc.
  •  Identifying Google friendly linking opportunities through article marketing and blogs relevant to your industry
  •  Developing a search marketing campaign for you
  •  Developing the site content for you based on your core input
  • Reporting back to you on a regular basis with information that means something to your business

How You’re Found Matters

How does anybody find something on the web today? They either ask somebody for a recommendation through a social site or search for it using a search engine like Google or Bing. Don’t forget YouTube though – it’s the second largest search engine.

Most companies trying to generate traffic from the search engines are no stranger to the concept of keyword searches. The act of showing up in a high position for a term related specifically to your business. Traditionally this has required optimising your web site for those same keywords.

Search engines got wise to over optimisation and no longer rely on keyword density as the main determinant of a sites potential search results position.  A page absolutely has to speak to its intended audience in unambiguous terms, limiting its subject to a specific theme or topic.

Search engines are more interested in authority and trust – way harder to spoof. That requires external sources of verification and social proof – other sites that are already trusted by the search engine, linking to your site. You need to appeal to them first and to do that you need to give them a reason. That comes down to great content.

Don’t think for a minute you don’t need to continue to optimise your site – you do, it’s just that it’s now taken for granted, you have to do this as a part of good web site practice. No extra marks for that one, not many at least.

Local Search Optimisation

Local search is something that most people use, often without thinking about the results they are getting back. Google has constantly adjusted it’s algorithm to differentiate search results based on the searchers location. Local Search Marketing is an essential key consideration when optimizing your website. Indeed, local search and mobile search are handled by different search algorithms and need to be specific campaign elements.

Businesses have a huge opportunity to influence the local communities they work in and in so doing create a level of buzz associated with them. This reflected in how people talk about your business in forums, review sites, Twitter, blogs and such. Mentions about your company or its products don’t necessarily require a link back, Google still picks up on these and they count, as does the level of traffic your site generates locally.

Check List for Top Search Result Positions

  • Great content, consistently delivered, creates engagement
  • Well optimized pages and site hierarchy
  •  Optimise for your geographic location
  •  Well thought out and written expert content
  •  Links from higher authority sites
  •  Engage the community and your target audience through social outlets
  •  Article Marketing – write articles about your subject and get them published on relevant sites.
  •  Patience and lots of it.

Do these 8 things and keep doing them and you will see a difference.

Search Marketing

It takes time to progress up the ‘organic’ search results, Google has seen to that. However, in the mean time you can supplement this activity with search marketing, or PPC as it is also known.

PPC campaigns get you visible immediately, even on page one of Google’s search results pages for terms directly relevant to your product or service. It costs though. How much depends on the competitiveness of the search term you want to be found for.

Search marketing using PPC can really deliver solid results depending on how well you manage the campaign.

Call Occam today on: 0330 111 4281

Or email us at

Alternatively, use the form here

Top 5 craziest beer festivals in the world

Top 5 craziest beer festivals in the world

Craft beer has taken the world by storm and its immense popularity means almost every city has a beer event […]

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A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations.

Digital Marketing Consultants in London

Digital Marketing - Marketing As It Always Has been, An Investment

Look at digital marketing for what it really is - marketing

“Marketing your company professionally online is not a short term strategy if your end game is brand value and recognition in your market. It takes an investment mindset to be successful. Anything else in today’s online world is destined to melt away.”

Cool digital marketingThe title statement of this article has always provoked a mixed reaction in the companies I have worked for and with. Particularly where I say it should be considered an investment and not a cost. More though in the companies I have worked for and more often it’s not received well by the financial peeps, sending financial controllers scurrying for their calculators and gesticulating wildly at time sheets and billable hour numbers.

Of course, without our lovable accountants and controllers the more creative among us would probable lead us in to bankruptcy. We need a balance, so credit where credit’s due. Pun intended. But I digress.

Build your digital brand

To put the title in to perspective, consider the average small business’s view of today’s internet marketing landscape. From a traditional marketing standpoint, most are very familiar with investing time and money to establish their brand and presence; be that on the high street or in the minds of their industry’s prospects. Businesses have always valued building their brand awareness and industry reputation. Although it ‘costs’ money to do that, it was considered an investment in developing ‘brand equity.’

Doing that digitally, in an online world, provokes quite a different reaction, even now. Reactions more often center on problems understanding the value and impact of particular digital marketing strategies, such as social media and search engine optimisation, in developing that same brand equity.

While I could and probably will devote an entire article to the role of social media in this process, I’d like to focus on search engine optimisation, as this area has seem some dramatic changes over the last year or so. These changes are forcing the ‘practice’ to be viewed in a different light. From my perspective as a marketeer this is great news and here’s why.

A digital Marketing BazaarThe world of SEO has similarities to a grand bazaar: It’s a place chocked full of traders offering all manner of products designed to delight you in different ways, many of them are of questionable benefit and origin. For the savvy ‘tourist’ though, there are a few bargains to be had, provided you know where and how to look.

Similarly with SEO there have been countless schemes purporting to guarantee number one positions in search engines or to create an avalanche of traffic to your website. In a bazaar, you just know what you are looking at probably isn’t quite what’s being touted. With SEO though, most people just don’t have a clue how to determine what’s being promised is real or not. The old adage ‘If sounds to good to be true, it probably is and should be avoided,’ holds true.

Google Algorithm ChangesA Bad Day At The Google Zoo

Changes in Google’s the past few years, including the menagerie comprised of Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird and more recently major introductions such as Rankbrain, has put a spotlight on the activities of some ‘ bazaar like’ SEO companies, as their clients suffered badly, seeing ranking drop dramatically or disappear altogether. Affected companies who have sought my input don’t appear to have had any real SEO done on their sites at all, even more fundamental, technical SEO. Of course, the client paid handsomely for the service.

One company that came to our attention, a well known lighting company, had their ecommerce store rebuilt. After five months of supposed SEO work at a cost of £1000 per month, their return was a 75% ‘drop’ in traffic – potentially a terminal outcome for this business. Closer examination of the SEO company’s work, incidentally the same company that built the site, showed little sign of any significant SEO and certainly no regard for the lessons those older also changes taught us. It just goes to show that the people who build your site aren’t necessarily the right people to do your SEO.

Why did this happen?

Simple really. Some businesses fell for the idea that SEO could provide a quick magic route to top search engine rankings and pursued equally short term strategies. For some, it really worked and for continued, for some time to enjoy what seemed as ‘ill gotten gains.’ There time however, came! For many, it resulted in being forced in to ‘recovery mode,’ as they tried to uncover what the SEO company did to incur the penalty causing their losses in Google’s search results.

Enticed by the promise of ‘quick fixes’ and ‘quick returns,’ companies have been lured in to the shadier parts of the ‘bazaar.’

What’s the solution?

Reappraise SEO for what it actually is; part of a longer term investment in marketing. SEO today isn’t just about title, meta tags, on page technicalities and inbound links. Don’t get me wrong, some of that is still incredibly important, but rather than a specific feature of an SEO strategy, they should be considered as a standard part of any competent website. The value and acquisition of links has changed dramatically too, but are still important, with the focus on quality rather than quantity.

Simply paying somebody to create some poor quality content, spin it out to loads of other sites and point thousands of worthless links to them, isn’t going to work going forward. Doing things this way was relatively easy, because costs were quite clear – commoditized even, hence the attraction – like tourists to a bazaar.

Google looks at hundreds of different aspects of your ‘entire’ presence online. This means what is on your website is just part of what they consider, although an important part. Google looks at how you engage your market. This may be through social media or what people are saying about you online in public forums and review sites. Above all, Google is looking to see quality and trust permeating throughout your online presence. This all relies on having great content.

SEO today is a much wider and broader discipline, covering both inbound and outbound marketing thinking; and just like more traditional marketing, it requires an ‘investment’ mentality. Consider SEO as one part of a more ‘holistic’ digital marketing strategy designed to actively develop your brand online – your Digital Brand.

Search engine optimisation means ‘optimising your web assets’ so search engines ‘want’ to show what you offer. Note the choice of wording. Search engines like Google have a choice in what they show, their search algorithms are very sophisticated and getting smarter by the day.

If a piece of content on your site is well received it may very well have been picked up by others, rated, reviewed even and probably linked to – naturally. This is what Google is looking for – Authenticity through Shared Trust.

When a competent SEO company presents a strategy to you, it should read more like a marketing plan and less like a one page action list that provides no real insight in to how they are actually going to implement it. Your SEO strategy should read more like a marketing plan because it is a marketing plan, just very focused on digital assets.

And that’s where we come in.

Most companies understand that if they are in it for the long term marketing their brand has to be treated more as an investment rather than a cost. Digital marketing is no different. This is especially true because SEO should be viewed as an incremental long term strategy. It always has been, it’s just that the industry has been hijacked by cowboy practitioners promising quick results to the detriment of long term search results stability and viability.

So, invest in quality digital marketing from people who actually give a damn about your business – you know it makes sense!

Call Occam today on: 0330 111 4281

Or email us at

Alternatively, use the form here

personal branding

Personal Digital Branding

How much consideration do you give to your own Digital Brand?

Regardless of how we may feel about it, if we interact online, no matter in how small a way, we leave a digital footprint that could identify us and be used for some others purpose. So intentional or not, your personal brand is already under development.

What is your personal brand? Your personal brand represents the total experience somebody has when they interact or engage with you and what you represent. For many, their digital interactions are extensive involving many venues and media types. In short, personal brands should be considered holistic in nature.

Everyday life is becoming more digitized. There is an inevitability here; take charge of your digital footprint before somebody else does. Of course, we’re not talking about your digital footprint being used to target you for consumer marketing purposes, that’s something we are all going to have to learn to live with. We’re referring to ensuring your digital footprint identifies you, your personal brand, in a positive way to potential clients or as a recognized personality in your industry and is cultivated and developed accordingly.

Most of us are already aware to some degree of how this information is being used right now; through legitimate or semi legitimate marketing and identity theft or fraud. That’s the bad news. The good news is, those that know how, can take back a high degree of control.

Unfortunately, social media has rather lessened the original intent of a personal brand, cheapened and commoditised it. Many people have fallen into the simple belief that social media is the answer to a great online personal brand. While social media certainly plays a part, it is just one piece of the strategy. In delivering quick results raising your personal profile, it distracts from the overall journey of personal brand development which is a much larger task than just social media alone. Put another way: Social media can, for some people, represent a station on the brand journey where they step off for tea and forget to get back on the train again.

Occam Digital’s Personal Brand Development

As Personal Brand Consultants we take a holistic view of personal brand development; here’s why.

As the world of digital media rapidly develops an inescapable conclusion arises: there’s a fundamental interconnectedness of all things, digital and traditional – a ‘holism.’

Each time we engage online, we generate a ‘digital ripple.’ Often the ripple is limited and dies away. Other times though, as it propagates, it becomes a digital tsunami taking your identity and reputation with it; typified when something that is posted online goes ‘viral.’

The holism exists because the ripples extend over a wide range of media, and time. What may have started as a simple email or Facebook post could end up as national news, highlighting the intertwined and seamlessness of today’s hybrid online and offline worlds.

personal digital brandingMore often though, ripples are small and their impact limited save perhaps for time. Time is not just a great healer, it’s often a great amplifier too. That can work for you or against you. If your objective then, is to become renowned for a specific skill or experience base, ‘developing your personal brand is as much about the path you take getting there as it is about arriving. ‘

Ensuring the ripples your create online carry the information you want and help reinforce your positioning within your industry or peer group, is a central part of your personal brand strategy. Conversely, other people and companies can create ripples that relate to you and your personal brand.

As they impact your brand, just like ripples on a pond, they can either be constructive or destructive. In the right hands and with the right strategy and response, potentially negative ripples can be mitigated or cancelled out through the way they are handled or the information used to counter the original source of the ripple. Equally, constructive ripples can be amplified to many times their original size, generating a mass of positive news and attention for your personal brand.

The world of today’s digital personal brand then is all about leaving the right footprints in the digital sand and the kind of ripples you make when dropping your information pebbles in the digital pond.

Child’s play?

Trips and tips for single travellers

Trips and tips for single travellers

The concept of solo travelling among Europeans has grown in popularity as the benefits are clear – you have the […]

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A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations.

10 things to see and do in Baku

10 things to see and do in Baku

If you need to look up where Baku is, you are not alone. Sandwiched between Iran to the south and […]

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A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations.

The 22 Instagram-worthy cities around the world

The 22 Instagram-worthy cities around the world

1. Amsterdam, the Netherlands Take a cruise on a canal, visit a museum, enjoy a freshly made stroopwafel, partake in […]

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A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations.