Taking a business online? 6 steps you must do before you build a website

Taking a business online? 6 steps you must do before you build a website

Are you taking a business online? Here’s 6 steps you must do before you build a website. Failure to follow these steps could result in your website attracting no traffic, or worse, the wrong type of traffic that eats up your time with time wasters.

1. Audience Analysis

Look at who your current customers are. Whether as an individual client/group or as a business. Look at the clients who are you preferred clients first; preferred in terms of easiest to manage and provide a good margin (not the clients who take 80% of your time for only 20% of your revenue).

Client/customer – Things you look for are: age, sex, ethnic background, their values (i.e. vegan, spiritual, religious), location (Town, City, Country), job title, how did they find you, what media do they read, where do they train (CPD points, professional), what are their pain points/issues, how much do they earn and any other criteria you feel could be relevant.

Business – you can still add the above criteria, but you would also look at: number of employees, turnover, industry vertical, decision makers by job title, company Key Performance Indicator’s (KPIs), industry media, industry training, are they innovators, what’s their brand mission and vision

Where do you find this audience analysis information? Much will be what we consider Marketing Intelligence, you just happen to know but have never considered it before. However, this should be as data driven as possible so here’s some places you can go to find the information:

2. Target Audience Analysis

Very similar to the above Audience Analysis but there is often a disconnect between your ‘current’ clients and you ‘desired’ clients. Your Target Audience are therefore the clients you want to have. For example; you may be attracting clients or business that just can’t afford your services and you need to acknowledge these differences so you can adjust your messaging and media

3. Persona Generation

Once you have completed the Audience and Target Audience Analysis you can then generate personas. Typically, you would have 2-6 personas. A persona is a ‘type’ of person/business.

To create a persona, you will need to group your already defined audience (from your audience analysis) into persona types. Group them by what they have in common. It is not always the statistical data that you would group by (i.e. mothers aged 30-40 years old) but often by the reasons they came to you over others (i.e. you offer 24/7 IT support so they don’t have to ‘worry about it’ not working).

Here’s some basic examples:

Andy Athlete

Andy Athlete

 Andy Athlete (persona 1)

  • Competes in competition
  • Highly focused on a training & nutrition regime
  • Trains 5 times a week
  • Typically aged 25-50
  • Predominantly male
  • Focuses on recovery, endurance & strength products
Blood Pressure Brian

Blood Pressure Brian

Brian Blood Pressure (persona 2)

          • Told by Dr to do some exercise
          • Tries to go exercise x3 a week
          • Suffers from High Blood pressure / Cholesterol / Overweight
          • Typically aged 40+. Male or Female
          • Focuses on fat loss products
          • Buys vitamins & minerals to help their immune system/health

4. Target Keyword Analysis for websites

Now you know who you are targeting you can determine how they will go about finding you online. What words will they type into search engines like Google to find your business? There are various ways you can ascertain strong keywords, here’s a few:

Market Intelligence – again your own industry knowledge will enable you to draft a list of keywords

Ask your clients/businesses – ask them how they would go about finding you and your services

Competitor’s marketing – Run an analysis on your competitors Google Adwords campaign to see what is working for them in driving traffic to their website

Competitors website – Run an analysis on your competitor’s websites to see how they get their organic search traffic

5. Target Keywords Refinement

Now you know your keywords, you can start to determine which are the primary keywords. Which keywords are likely to send you the highest amount of traffic and more importantly the right type/quality of traffic. Creating a list of primary, secondary and tertiary keywords will enable you to prioritise your website content when you create your sitemap.

6. Create a Website Site Map

A sitemap is quite literally that, a map of your website and how your visitor will find things. We do these using an excel sheet, but in the image below you can see an image of a live sitemap.

The Primary Keywords tend to make up the Top navigation bar. The secondary keywords tend to make up the top navigation sub-categories and the tertiary keywords tend to make up the blog content (and will support primary and secondary keywords). It’s not always this way as every business and website is different.

Create a Website Site Map

Create a Website Site Map


Get three quotes for a Website

Now you are in a position to request quotes for building a website. Web developers will base a price on a few things: Number of pages, number of ‘designed’ pages and any other more bespoke requests. Ideally you will create a brief, which encompasses the above information as well as key information such as your company’s core values and vision. We can help you create this to ensure you get the best out of your website build.

Get three quotes and let the other agencies know you’re getting three quotes. This will ensure you get sensible pricing and offers transparency. More importantly, be weary of the agency that doesn’t give you any detail and promises the earth. A good website will attract traffic if you go through the above 6 steps but even then, you will need to do some marketing. You won’t be the only person in your field turning to online.


Also, make sure you choose a good Content Management System/platform (CMS) for your website. If you’re considering an e-commerce website you may also find this article helpful.

If you would like to learn more about the above blog why not get in touch, we would be delighted to hear from you.


How much does a website cost image?

How much does a Website cost? Brochure Site

How much does a Website cost?

Before we tell you how much a website costs we’re going to start with what a brochure website is first, just to add some clarity. A brochure website (loosely speaking) is a website that acts as a brochure and does not have a checkout. The reason for the definition is just to add some clarity on what we’re going to talk about later in this article.

….and before we get to the actual bit about the what a website should cost, we also need to clarify the standard you should look for. This is not to frustrate you (I know you just want to know the £ and you can just scroll down this page) but to guide you on what you can expect from a decent functioning website. It is important, because you don’t want to be plagued with issues later down the line or tied to an agency for eternity.

With this there’s some criteria you need to bear in mind…

Key Website Criteria you must not forget


  1. Do you need a website?

Obvious question perhaps, but do you actually need a website? There are platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, which mean you do not need to go to the expense if you’re only a small business. For example, We would argue a one-person cleaning business, or a community coffee shop does not need a website. Set up Google business to run along you Facebook or/and Instagram page and your good to go.

Top Tip – For Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) make sure you include the town if you’re a local business. i.e. watford-cleaners. You might be surprised how high you appear in the Google search results


  1. Is the Content Management System (CMS) important?

Oh yes, very important indeed. A Wix or Squarespace website will perform poorly in the search results compared to a WordPress or Magento website. Albeit a super easy CMS to set up. A Wix or Squarespace website is suitable for businesses that are not concerned about Search Engines and just need a very ‘basic presence’ online. If you’re serious about growing your business you will need to make sure you get the right CMS.

Top Tip – You can have the most beautifully designed website, but if no one can find it then what real use is it. Make sure you future proof your business’ web presence.


  1. Which CMS do I go for?

If you’re a brochure website, then WordPress is the default go to CMS and for very good reasons. There’s plenty of support from forums and plenty of web developers. It is free to use the open source platform and easy enough to set up if you have some patience. It is also a reasonably cost-effective solution.

Top Tip – whenever you get a quote for a website build ensure you ask what the agency/designer’s hourly rate is. You don’t want to get stung on high fees later


  1. What else is important when building a Website?

    • Content, Content, Content – you need to have great content and plenty of it. This is what Google crawls to see if your website is relevant. Make sure you don’t skimp on content
    • HTTPS – You must be secure, or search engines will punish you. So, ensure you are HTTPS secure. The ‘S’ stands for secure and gives your site a padlock. It also helps with your GDPR compliance as does a Cookie Policy
    • Google Set Ups – Setting up Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Maps and Google Business are all free and will really boost your online presence
    • What action do you want your visitor to take? – Make sure you are driving your visitors to take an action and make it super easy for them. i.e. to call you, sign up for your newsletter, contact you by email
    • Testimonials – enhances your trust factor and conversion rate
    • Ownership – Make sure you own the website and have complete control over it. WordPress and most CMS make this easy. However, over engineered bespoke coded website’s that are not open source (such as WordPress) make you reliant on the developer. So, you need to think this solution through carefully

    This is obviously not an endless list, but will give you a good sense of areas you should consider.


    How much does a website cost?

    All our website quotes on the button below are based on a Bespoke WordPress Websites. This type of website future proofs you and offers you added security. The main cost to any website build is the number of pages you want, and the number of pages that need ‘designing’.

    CLICK HERE to view the How much does a Brochure website cost? PDF


    We also offer Content, SEO and Blogger training service as well. This is vital for your site to perform well in search engines like Google. Hence why the service is so popular.

Are You Google Fit For Business?

Are You Google Fit For Business?

Are You Google Fit For Business? I am sure everyone reading this article who is responsible for their website and where it appears in Search Engine’s has asked themselves this very question. How do you know you have set up everything correctly for Google?Can Google to crawl your website and rank it favourably?

Relton Associates has devised the ‘Are You Google Fit For Business?’ report that assesses Google’s Top 50 Key Ranking criteria. Letting you know whether you are Google Fit For Business. Every report is supported with a phone call  or face-to-face meeting. We take you through the report and explain what you need to do to become ‘Google Fit For Business’.

The report is easy to understand and uses a traffic light system on what needs addressing first. It is also delivered in a list format of tasks that need to be addressed. Naturally the report can be shared with your whole team, each member given the task to implement which they’re responsible for. Making your website search engine ready.

We have focused on Google as a search engine simply because in the UK it accounts for 85% of the total market share according to Statista. These stats are similar for the US as well. If you are interested in the UK search stats here they are: Bing takes 2nd place with 11%, Yahoo! 3rd spot with 3% followed by MSN (0.5%) and DuckDuckGo (0.3%). The other search engines algorithms work in similar ways, so if you are Fit For Google, you’ll highly be fit for the others (even with the Russian search engine Yandex).

Google’s Top 50 Key Search Criteria

Your report is broken down in to certain key areas Google focuses on and we have listed some of them below. The aim of the report is to inform you of where you need to carry out work to compete on search engines.

The good news for you is, out of the many reports we’ve done so far, there’s always room for improvement. This means your competitors are highly likely to be in the same situation.

By addressing the points raised from the Are You Google Fit For Business report, you will give yourself the advantage over your competitors. Here are 4 of the key areas we check, there are plenty more we check but we just wanted to give you a taste…


Warning message for non secure (HTTP) sites

Google Chrome will punish non-secure sites with warning messages after July 2018

  1. HTTPS versus HTTP – Is your site secure?

Online security is becoming extremely important and your website needs to be HTTPS. The additional ‘S’ on HTTP stands for Secure and is just one of the tests we carry out. Currently web browsers like Google Chrome reward sites for being secure in the Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs). This is going to become even more important come July 2018 when Google Chrome will punish non-secure sites with warning messages (see image).


  1. Website Speed

Your website speed is another key search criteria and crucial to your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts. Poor speed will result in poor SERP. We test your website in the same way Google tests your site: which includes 3G & 4G testing, mobile testing, desktop testing, when your visitors use WiFi and many more scenarios. Interestingly, Google does not use the best tools to test speed, there are better tools then Google’s, so we use those as well.


  1. Google Website Tools

By using Google’s website tools such as Google Analytics you’re sending the correct signals to Google by presenting yourself as a more bona fide company…not to mention the rich data benefits! Even having a Google Adwords account will boost your chances of being seen by Google as a bona fide company; because you upload bank details. Many will tell you this should not affect your SEO, but we have seen the differences having correctly set up all of Google’s tool kit can bring.

Equally important, is setting these tools up so you the business owner, has control. No one ever wants to be held ransom by an agency or face the challenges of claiming ownership through Google. This is an admin nightmare you don’t need. We check all the above is in place and set up in the correct manner.


  1. Content

We check a vast array of your content structure. Most importantly we give you very specific examples of what you need to update. We look at whether things like Page Titles are the correct length, are duplicated (definitely frowned upon by Google), and are again presented in the correct manner.


Are You Google Fit For Business Summary

Without being set up correctly you are in danger of any SEO work you do being a waste of time, money and resources. The Google Fit For Business Report enables you to either address the areas which need addressing. In the very rare event that you are Google Fit For Business the report gives you peace of mind. Either way, once addressed you can go all out with SEO in the knowledge it will have a positive effect on your business’ SERP in search engines. Get your easy to read Google Fit For Business Report now for just £595!

If you would like to watch the Are You Google Fit For Business? interview on Business Connections Live for more information click here.

Brighton SEO Review Campervan image

Brighton SEO Review – What’s all the fuss about?

We’ve always wondered what all the fuss was about when it comes to Brighton SEO, so this year we made a concerted effort to find out for ourselves…and it immediately became clear – Brighton SEO didn’t let us down. Brighton SEO is the UK’s leading annual Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) must attend trade show. Attendees come from around the World to be there and is regularly attended by the likes of Google, Bing and a plethora of SEO personalities.

Here’s the Brighton SEO Review…

Some of the reasons why it’s worth the trip down to Brighton SEO:

1. The number of Market Stalls set out versus the number of talks

As with many trade shows Brighton SEO had its fair share of market stalls for the SEO B2B community to sell their wears. However, the fundamental difference here is the ratio of stalls set out versus the number of talks available. To be exact, the ratio is 1:1 and that’s excluding the Keynote Speaker, Gary Illyes from Google.

2. The quality of the Brighton SEO talks

Many of the speakers were sponsors for the event so there’s always going to be an element of self-promotion (as is their right!). However, I would definitely say it was significantly less so at here. Some of the talks are as you would expect, but equally there were some talks which were extremely useful, and here’s why:

Brighton SEO On Stage

Brighton SEO On Stage

  • Sharing. Some were completely removed the ‘Mist & Mirrors some agencies like to portray to justify their worth’ and was therefore, in essence, just plain ‘useful & practical’ information which was easy to apply
  • Inspiring & motivational. Guiding the audience through what the future looks like in terms of: technology, what will be the expected standard from Search Engines and how to mould your CV for the best Digital Jobs
  • Vast. The breadth of talks was vast and still appropriate. Although we all had specific talks we wanted to attend we all agreed we would be happy in almost all of them as they were all relevant
  • Favourites. Our favourite talks were: [Search Engine] Ranking factors, [The] Future of Search, Onsite [quick SEO wins], Chatbots, Technical SEO and Gary Illyes Chat with Google

3. The VIBE of Brighton SEO

As soon as you arrive there’s an immediate buzz of energy and everyone is there to learn, engage and enjoy it. Brighton SEO know this and fuel it. Beers are offered early afternoon at the stalls, but that’s just the warm up. With a large number of activities set up at lunchtime and in the evening there’s a great VIBE from start to finish…and the VIBE means the coming together of SEO’s and natural networking. Again something most trade shows really struggle with.

Brighton SEO Entrance

The Entrance of Brighton SEO

4. Confidence Booster

Sometimes you need to sensor check whether you’re up to speed on your SEO, especially if you consider yourself to be an SEO Specialist. When leaving Brighton SEO this certainly felt the case: all our clients websites are HTTPS, Local Search is a key part of many of the strategies we deliver and Mobile friendly is standard (as it should be). Naturally you will always learn something new too.


Next Year?

Will we be going next year? We certainly plan to. It is popular though, and for a very good reasons. Free tickets are like gold dust as they go within the morning they become available. If you do a Brighton SEO course, you will be able to get a ticket, and the courses are good…so why not.

Hopefully see you down on the Brighton coast this time next year, the beers will be on someone, that’s for sure!

2020 and beyond…

Just an update from us at Relton Associates: the COVID-19 pandemic has effected a lot of trade shows. Brighton SEO though is not one to be concerned about; they have an impressive array of courses, some are even free to attend. As you would expect from a World leader. Check out Brighton SEO’s latest here... or if you would prefer more personal touch we offer SEO training from £240 so give us a call or use our contact us form or check out our Are You Google Fit For Business? SEO report

Brighton SEO & Relton Associates

Brighton SEO & Relton Associates


Top 10 areas tahat every Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) report should cover

10 areas every Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) report should cover

10 areas every Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) report should cover.

There are 10 areas every Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) report should cover. If you’re engaging with an agency or consultancy like Relton Associates the list below will act as a guide as to what you should expect. Everyone will have a different way of presenting information, but the list below can be used as a quick reference to ensure no crucial areas have been missed.

1. Executive Summary

For senior directors, business owners or chief digital/technical officers, or similar. They will not want to read through 20-50 pages of an SEO report, nor probably have the time. Hence the Executive Summary offering up a snapshot of what needs to be done and the main priorities.

2. Understanding

Confirming back to the client you have understood the brief is critical and stops you missing important areas, which are of particular interest to the client. The consultancy/agency should be sensor checking this from the very outset ensuring they’re on track. The client may have a particular interest in foreign search engines or Social Media.

3. A Plan/Methodology

An explanation of how the SEO report has been conducted and the methodology used. This adds credence to the report as it shows you have gone about the research in an appropriate manner and used the correct tools to draw the correct data required to make sound recommendations.

4. Content

On-page Content addresses the text and the structure of articles and will always make reference to keywords and keyphrases. Additionally, the report should highlight any areas of the website containing duplicate content and recommendations for how to eradicate this. Page titles and image size should be covered amongst many other areas.

Off-page Content addresses the structure of the on-page content and how it is supported behind the scenes. Particular reference will be paid to H tags and META data, it’s structure and how it holistically amplifies your on-page SEO.

5. Technical

Looks at how well your Google Accounts are set up and whether you are adhering to the relevant Search Engines ‘check lists’. It’s important to remember it’s not just about Google (although largely it is in the UK) but also Bing (USA), Yandex (Russia) and other search engines in other territories. Site speed, page load times and responsive design are among many other areas, which should be looked at.

6. Linking

A full SEO report will always assess how easy a website is for users and search engines to navigate. Therefore, it should include a review of the number of internal links within your site and highlight if there are any broken links. It will also look for the number and quality of backlinks coming to your site, which has always been an extremely strong external indicator to search engines of how relevant your content is to the outside World.

7. Recommendations

Each and every section should be followed with a recommendation. A way to address the issues you have and in simple terms that are easy to understand. If you are under performing in an area of SEO then the recommendation should clearly layout what you need to do to go and fix it.

8. KPI’s

If your going to work on SEO you need to measure the success you’re having. How else will you know how successful you are and whether the changes you are making are having a positive and desired effect. A set of KPI’s will support you in doing this

9. Additional Resources

This is one of the most important elements of a report as it provides the ‘tools’ to be able to assist in implementing the SEO recommendations you’ve been given. You can expect a list of priorities so you know which recommendations to tackle first. You can also expect checklists and examples where relevant

10. Appendices

And finally, often formed of reports that have been run across your site and a plethora of xlxs spreadsheets. It can also contain screenshots and reports run that were not relevant enough for the report itself.

If you would like to find out more about SEO reporting then why not Contact Us here. If you have found the above article useful or if you feel something could be added then please feel free to comment below too

OSCE at Work in Ukraine

SEO round table at the OSCE

SEO round table at the OSCE

Now there’s a couple of more acronyms for you. The Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) held their annual round table in Vienna on May 12th where I presented (via Webex) an insight in to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO Roundtable at the OSCE Webex Image

SEO Roundtable at the OSCE Webex Image

This was part of a contract won last month to conduct an SEO audit for the OSCE website, which I have to say I am looking forward to with utter enthusiasm. ‘I bet you say that about all your gigs’ I hear you say? Often I do, but that’s because I enjoy my work, but this digital SEO strategy piece genuinely excites me.

The OSCE is an organisation which is clearly forward thinking where many similar organisations are completely unaware of the ‘Power of SEO’. In particular, the power to influence and potentially change behaviours through informative online articles and content. Eastern Ukraine is currently experiencing unrest on a deadly scale and the digital space is laden with propaganda built to confuse an audience. The OCSE is in a prime position to set the record straight as a recognised official organisation and a ‘go to’ place for reliable and unbiased information.

SEO strategy is built around three main areas:

1. Website Architecture: This is how the website has been built and whether the Content Management System (CMS) itself is able to react to the SEO requirements every website need to be able to promote. The CMS needs to be able to be easily ‘read’ by search engines. It also needs to be user friendly for today: Site upload speeds and Mobile Responsive Designs are just two examples of priorities for Search Engines

2. Content is King: This has been consistent since SEO began. If the content is interesting then Search Engines want to serve this up to the public. Content includes images and video as well as the written word

3. Links: Particularly from Social and the ‘noise’ created by people talking about a subject through Social Media channels. Pretty much all links are valuable but links from Social noise have particular value as Search Engines see this as ‘trending and current’

The OSCE do a great job and helping them to project this online genuinely excites me. The SEO round table at the OSCE is just the first of many digital strategy pieces ahead.

You may also be interested in Social Media & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in Conflict

Social Media and SEO in Conflict

Social Media & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in Conflict

Social Media & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in Conflict

Relton Associates has been supporting NATO and the USMC to deliver Digital training to their various teams over the past year with great success.

First came NATO’s exercise ‘Trident Jaguar’ in spring of 2015 followed by exercise ARRCade Fusion in Latvia in the latter part of the year. Both exercises focused on Social Media monitoring, gathering information and influencing within the sphere of operations.

Using Social Media monitoring tools to identify various conversations, positive and negative, around specified keywords and topics. Here’s some of the reasons why NATO is looking to monitor topics on social media;

  • their adversary will use social media; to confuse the population, spread propaganda and to influence others…and it is crucial you know what is being discussed online, what they’re trying to achieve and gather information
  • to measure whether your intended message has ‘reached’ its Target Audience and whether it has been carried even further (sharing or re-tweets are good examples)
  • to ascertain what topics and conversations are trending and relevant to a population within your area of operations to determine if you want to join conversation or not

By monitoring social media: you are able to identify individuals & groups to influence, message or even just inform, because you have identified a ‘thirst or need for information’.

Early in 2016 Relton Associates has been working with McKenzie Intelligence Services and New Century in supplying training to elements of the Iraqi Military in Bagdad, on behalf of the USMC. In the battle to crush ISIS (Daesh) it is clear social media and influencing online perceptions is critical to the success of the Iraqi Military…an

Iraqi Flag at IGFC training for using Social Media and SEO in the Conflict

Iraqi Flag flying at IGFC – training in Social Media and SEO in the Conflict

d the Iraqi Military is embracing this with gusto.

Relton Associates also supported in training Iraqi Officer’s and troops in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Audience Analysis for Targeted messaging, how to use GoPro and other lessons relevant to winning the battle against ISIS (Daesh).

Social Media monitoring is regularly carried out by some of the biggest global brands. Christmas 2015 saw John Lewis use a social media monitoring agency to measure the success of their predominately twitter focused Christmas Advert. Companies are now using Social Media monitoring for various reasons.

Namely to manage Brand Reputation and to measure success of their various campaigns

If you would like to know more about Social Media monitoring why not drop us a line?

SEO and Social Media Case Study

SEO and Social Media Case Study

The purpose of this Blog is not to preach about how Google or Bing ranks results related to Social Media Activity per say, but to give you a simple case study on what has worked. James Arthur’s (X Factor winner 2012) official website originally held 9th Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP) within Google Search, naturally it should have ranked number 1 with ease. So we made some changes:

Improved the META data – Improved the META Title, added a META Description and a few keywords. Using keywords like; James Arthur Official Website in all the META information. This additional information specifically added with the visitor in mind, confirming they were in the right place, if it was James Arthur they were looking for (and of course search engines).

Content – We also added additional content, rich in copy and easy for search engines to crawl in the form of an ‘About’ [James Arthur] page.

We ‘tagged’ the pages content. Images and Internal links were tagged with similar keywords (as the META information] within relevant content. The internal links gave search engines another signal they’re in the right place and more to relevant ‘stuff’ to crawl.

SEO and Social Media case study

SEO and Social Media case study screenshots

Lastly, and what I believe was the most effective, was updating and refreshing the Facebook Social Media Feed to James Arthur’s website. At the time (2014) the connection between his Facebook page and his site was not updating, so we fixed it. Re-connecting the live feed confirmed the relevant and official Social Signals needed.

All of the above changes are simple, they’re all recommended by search engines like Google and all basic housekeeping for good SEO. Anyone within your business who has a basic understanding about the Content Management System they update will be able to implement them.

However, Google in particular seems to be working hard to make SEO less important, dominating search results with Paid Advertising…but that’s another post!