Google Analytics Blog

4 Steps to Utilising Google Analytics Location Services

The key part of any business is understanding your target customer. Sounds simple right? Well, if it was that easy, every company would be incredibly successful. However, fear not! Google analytics is here to help!


SEO in general is a great way to optimise your business and increase conversion rate but often, SEO implementation is a huge mine field for business users. Here are four simple steps to use google analytics to understand your customer base better:



Step 1: Location Based Data

Google analytics offers international country-based location search as well as pinpoint city data which you as a business owner can utilise to your advantage.

On your homepage, simply go down to ‘Audience’ on the navigation bar on the left of the screen then click ‘Geo’ then ‘Location’.

Google Analytics Navigation Bar

Once here, you can see an overview of your worldwide international reach.


Google Analytics Location View



This is a major tool to understand if your business has enough search to warrant an international expansion or international delivery for ecommerce sights. It can also just be fun to see that people in Greece are looking at your quintessential British tearooms on a Wednesday afternoon.


For more specific, pinpointed view, search by region (as seen at the bottom of the graphic above). From here you can make informed decisions about local promotions, where your product or service is already popular or needs a further push to gain traction.

Step 2: Change your focus


Do your phone cases sell a huge amount in Liverpool but none in London? Use this information to try and pinpoint how you can reach the people you want to reach. For example, could you do a design with a London landmark on it? Are you going to hand out flyers in the town 20 minutes down the road because they bring in half the traffic as the town the other way? Could your photography business form partnerships with wedding venues in areas that have low search in order to boost your conversion rate?

Step 3: Build pages for the locations you want to optimise for. If you use a web developer discuss with them a plan going forward.




Don’t be too ambitious or you’ll be lost in the haystack. For example, don’t make a location page for London, make one for Camden or Enfield, wherever your search data suggests needs targeting.


Google Analytics Location View

Step 3: Fill your new pages with keywords.

Use keyword tracking tools such as or to see what locations get search for your product. With this information, you can optimise your page to increase your traffic. Are you a car dealer in Grays but there is a lot of search for a car dealership in Basildon? Make a Basildon page. Fill it with keywords based around your services in Basildon and traffic will increase!


SEMRUSH Keyword Magic Tool




Step 4: See the results!

Once your new pages are implemented and live give Google time to update your results. Over the next few weeks or months, you should see increased traffic to your site (even if it’s just more eager fans of your tearooms from Egypt this time). If you’re happy with the increase in volume, start the process again. Target a new town or city, if you’re feeling ambitions start laying the groundwork to make your business international!


Need more help? See our Free SEO Audit to get a professional bespoke strategy today.

Competitor Analysis article

The Ultimate Guide To SEO Competitor Analysis

The Ultimate Guide To SEO Competitor Analysis & How To Utilise The Data.


SEO competitor analysis is all about finding gaps in your strategy by taking inspiration at what your competition is going. Your competitors from a brand perspective might not always be your main competitors when is comes to SEO.


I would suggest looking at the following areas of your competitor’s SEO strategy.


  • Keyword
  • Content
  • Links


What is SEO Competitor Analysis?


SEO competition analysis involved understanding the content, link, and keywords your competitors have included. This will enable you to understand how they’ve created their current organic visibility. By researching this data, it will empower you not to only ensure you fill any gaps in your content, links & keywords but also inspire you to take your strategy to the next level.


In terms, performing an SEO competitor analysis allows you to:


  • Learn what works and what does not in your industry.
  • Find competitors’ weaknesses.
  • Find competitors’ strengths.
  • Understand what SEO tasks you need to prioritise.
  • Understand how difficult outperforming competitors in the SERPs is likely to be.


As I go through the article, I am going to use my brand as an example.


The tools I am going to be using are.


-SEM Rush


-Majestic SEO


You can get a free trial for both these tools if you want to follow the guide for your brand.


Who are your main SEO competitors?

The first thing you need to do is identify your SEO competitors. You can do this in a few different ways.


  1. If you have not got any tools at your disposal, a simple google search of your main service will be enough.


competitor analysis google search


The focus keyword for my site is ‘SEO consultant Essex’ – although I service clients national I optimise the site locally as I tend to convert local clients at a higher rate, so these leads are more valuable.


  1. If using SEM rush, simply enter your domain into the ‘domain analytics’ section and you will get a lit of competitors with common keywords.


SEMRush domain analytics


It is really important to use tools to understand your competition. If you’re a local accountant, you might believe the 2 other local accountants within your area are your main competition. However, let’s say they both don’t have a website. Then they are no threat at all.


Now take your top 4 competitors and jot them down on word.


Analyse your competitors.


Now you’ve found the competitors from a search perspective, you want to analyse how you match up. Since my site has only been indexed for the last 6 months, I have got some work to do to catch up.


In SEM Rush you can add your competitors to the ‘domain analytics’ sections. This will give you information such as Authority score, SEM rush score, keywords, backlinks & referring domains.


I want to give you a bit more context about these metrics as they are significant in understanding the steps you need to take to improve your overall visibility.


Authority score is essential all the information SEM rush has about a domain. So, number of backlinks, referring domain & number of organic keywords the domain ranks for. The domain is then given a score out of 100.


SEM Rush rank is SEMrush rating of the domain's popularity based on organic traffic coming from Google's top 100 organic search results.


Organic Keywords refers to the number of keywords the domain ranks for in the top 100 positions of Google.


Backlinks are the number of links that point to your domain.


Referring Domains Is the number of domains that lead to your website. For example, you might have 30 backlinks from one website, this is still only one domain. I’ll go through the importance of this within the backlink gap analysis.


domain analysis comparison


As the above graph shows, in this case, I’m a few steps behind competitors who have been trading for over 10 years vs my 6 months, however, I’m going to show you how I made incremental gains and started generating converting traffic through my competitor analysis.


Keyword Gap Analysis


What is keyword gap analysis?


Keyword Gap analysis is the task of finding keywords that your competitor ranks for, that you do not. These are gaps in your strategy that you can take learnings from to improve your visibility.


How do we find these gaps?


Firstly, if using SEMrush simply click, ‘keyword gap’ this will automatically keep the competitors you used within the domain analytics section.


Once added you will get a table similar to the below, you have a few different options on how to view the data. You will able to see against the following;


Shared Keywords


Keywords that you and your competitor both rank for.


keyword gap 1


Missing Keywords.


Keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but you are not.


keyword gap 2


The next step is to export the data, this will give you further information such as the specific URL that your competition ranks for.


You can then start analysing specific reasons you’re not ranking for these terms but the competition is, they can be any of the following;


  • You do not have a page to optimise for the keyword.
  • The content you are providing the user is limited.
  • The page is not indexed or has technical issues.
  • The page has no authority from backlinks, whether there internal or external.


The below video is a great guide on how to use SEMrush for keyword gap analysis.

Backlink Gap Analysis


What is backlink gap analysis?


Backlink gap analysis is the process of identifying opportunities within competitor’s backlink profiles that you have missed in yours.


How to close the backlink gap


Again, we need to follow the same process as the keyword gap analysis. While on the SEMrush platform select ‘backlink gap’. Again, add the same competitors you found earlier in your research.


backlink gap 3


Once entered, you will be given a few different ways to view the data.


You can look at shared links each domain has as well links your competitor have that you don’t.


Export the data and look at each specific domain and how your competitor was able to generate a link. It could be any of the following and more.


  • Was it a directory listing?
  • A Comment link?
  • An infographic
  • A guest blog article
  • PR coverage


Use this data to understand quick wins, places in which you can generate links within a short period of time. As well as links that might take more content/research to achieve.


The below video is a great source for further understanding of how to use SEMrush for backlink gap analysis.


Whether you are looking to stay ahead of the competition, or bridge the gap, make sure you follow the above steps being guided by the data when making a decision.


Let me know how you get on in the comments below!

Analytis conversion article

9 Simple Ways to Increase Conversion Rate On Your Site

Although CRO aka conversion rate optimisation is a completely different discipline to SEO, it’s becoming increasingly important for digital marketing professionals such as myself to have an understanding of both and how they work together.


99% of the time it is within a consultant’s interest to increase the conversion rate across a site they are looking to increase traffic to. I pride myself in being ROI driven in my approach, below I’m going to take you through some simple and effective way you can increase the conversion rate of your website and maximise your results from digital marketing.


A conversion will be different to each business, an eCommerce business might see a conversion as a sale of a product. A service-based business such as I may see a conversion as an enquiry or phone call. Whereas a new website might see a conversion as a database sign up or increased amount of time on site.


  1. Have an enquiry form in relevant places


As obvious as it sounds, time and time again I see companies linking to their contact page rather than providing users with relevant enquiry forms. If you have different pages for different services that you offer, provide unique enquiry forms for each or at least a stand form across each.

This will remove the step of being directed to a contact page, the attention span of a user means decreasing the steps to a conversion is vital.


  1. Ensure your phone number is visible


Not only is it important to understand what a conversion is too you, but you should also understand what the most valuable conversion is to your business. What type of enquiry converts best for you?


For example, in the travel industry a phone lead is twice as likely to convert as a web enquiry.


If you see similar trends within your business, then ensure your phone number is visible as possible.


You might want to look at investing in phone tracking which will help you to understand what media & keywords generate phone calls.



  1. Implement live chat or instant messaging widget


This is something I’ve tested on my site & found it to increase the engagement of users. Whether it’s an enquiry or a question regarding your service and simple widgets such as the WhatsApp or messenger will give users another method to connect with you.


  1. Offer something free (freemium)


Another way to increase conversion across your website is to offer some sort of free version of your product or service to entice users initially.


For example, I offer a free SEO audit to users on my website, this gives them a taste of the service and insight I would provide it working with them on a monthly basis.


If you offer some sort of monthly tool, you could offer a free 7-day trial.



  1. Schedule a callback


Going back to my previous point regarding understand your most valuable conversion. If for example, you find it to be a phone call, then optimise your website accordingly.


I find phone calls to be a great way of qualifying a lead, because of this I advertise my calendar where users can book a free call & strategy session. I use a call Calendly for this.



  1. Simplify your enquiry form


As well as ensuring you have enough enquiry forms on the website, make it as simple as possible for users to enter their details.


Step by step forms tend to have a great conversion rate compared to the standard long format. As a note, make sure you test any changes you make to see the effect. Results will differ from business to business.



  1. Promote Reviews



Product reviews have the potential to increase conversion rates across eCommerce sites by 190% according to a study from the good.

Whether you’re an online store or a service-based business, reviews are a no brainer and a great way to show off to your customers.



  1. Offer Flexible Payment Options



My final tip is to look at how you can be flexible with your customers. This for example can be from how you accept payment for products or services. Credit key have a great article about how you use this to impact traffic & conversion.




As we enter an uncertain period due to external factors, it’s important we look at maximising our conversion & UX across our website as efficiently as possible. Get in touch if you need any further advice!


local seo article image

Local SEO Checklist For 2020 – How To Rank Better Locally in 10 Actionable Steps

I get asked time and time again by small business owners, how do I get ranked in my area on Google? It is a valid question as there is not one thing that will get you ranking, it is a range of ranking factors. I this post I am going to take you through a checklist of actionable points you can take and implement today to boost your local rankings.


Why Is Local SEO Important?


Before we get started, I wanted to show you why local SEO can be so important and powerful for your business & it’s growth.

At an event a couple of years ago, Google announced that 46% of searches have local intent!

Search that includes ‘near me’ continues to rise.


Growth of local search SEO 


This shows it is more vital than ever for your local business to be as visible on google as possible.

1.    Create & Optimise Your Google My Business Listing.


You have probably seen me mention this in a few of my articles already, I cannot stress enough how important this is. It is a free tool by Google. You essentially add information about your local business, so you are easier to find on the local pack and from a brand search.


 Michael Ryan SEO Google My Business



For example, Google ‘Michael Ryan SEO’ you will see my GMB information on the right. It is important to include information such as opening hours, any products or special offers & your address if you serve people are your business address. You can also ask users to leave a review here to build your profile for prospects.


2.      Make Sure Your NAP Is consistent.


NAP stands for Name Address & Phone number. You need to make sure this is consistent across the internet, so you don’t confuse your customers & Google. You want to make sure this information is aligned across the following


  • Your website
  • Social Profiles
  • Local Directories
  • Google My Business page


3.      Use Google Maps on your Website.


If you are a business who wants customers to come to their business premises in some way or another, then it is wise to have your Google maps location on your website.


It is very easy to add, you can either collab with your developer or most CMS will have a simple widget to get this added.


It is best to include this on your contact us or about me page. It also helps Google understand you are a local business with a physical address, which will help with search.


4.      Localise your Title tags & Meta Descriptions. 


A lot of local business owners I speak to have an amazing website, but they do not tell Google what’s on their pages. Without this, you will not rank.


Title tags, H1’s & your URL structure are vital in Google ranking you on the SERPS.


More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to drive home the fact you reside in a local area. For example, you might own a bakery in London.


Your homepage title might be ‘Traditional London Bakery | My Bakery’


Most CMS platforms such as WordPress, Shopify & Wix will have options for you to change this.


5.      Use Schema Mark Up.


Schema/ Structured Data Mark Up is still super important for ranking locally. Local Schema is essentially a piece of code that wraps around your local information to help search engines understand is & visualise it for users.


You can either work with your developer to get this implemented, or again your CMS platform will most likely have a plugin.


If you have an eCommerce website you can also use product schema on your products. This will help search engines visualise information about your products such a price, availability & Images.


6.      Get Citations Through Relevant Directories.


A citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local business.


Citations can occur on local business directories, on websites and apps, and on social platforms.


Citations will help Internet users to discover local businesses and can also impact local search engine rankings.


7.      Acquire Relevant Links – Locally if possible.


Although you can still generate great ranking without links, you will not maximise your organic visibility without generating relevant links.


If you are predominantly focused on local search, then look to acquire local links.


There is a range of ways you can do this, directories, networking, and events.


If you need some more info on how to do this, read this article search engine watch covered about Greg Gifford’s Brighton SEO talk


8.      Leverage your location in your content.


Some of you might have a few different locations you are looking to target. If you do not have a physical address there then you won’t be able to create a Google My Business Page, so what you want to do is create a location page on your website.


Here you want to leverage all the content you have around this area. For example, testimonials from clients within this area or images of work you have carried out here.


It is also important to internally link to your services page from here.


9.      Remember to ask for a review


You would be surprised at the level of research people will do before making an investment or purchasing a product. According to a bright local report, 82% of people will read reviews before purchasing from a local business.


Do not be scared to ask for a review if you believe you have added value to your client. If you sell products, ask for internal reviews and ask the ones that are great to then review on Google also.


Some companies offer an incentive such as a discount code for this.


10. Think Mobile


One of the most important areas of SEO has been ensuring your mobile site is fully optimised for SEO. Google changed to mobile indexing first so your mobile site will have as much effect on your rankings as your desktop site.


It is becoming an important ranking factor as Googles algorithm matures.


Not only this, mobile users now outweigh desktop users. Their share of search has increased from 16% in 2013 to 53% in 2020 due to the rise of smartphones.



If you follow these 10 tips, you will be well on you are to ensuring you generate further local enquiries through organic search. To get a head start, try my free SEO audit tool that will give you further areas you can work on.



Author: Michael Ryan is a Freelance SEO Consultant based in Essex.

Featured Image sourced from Tecmark 



backlink audit

The Ultimate Backlink Audit Check List

A backlink audit is essential if you are to looking to ensure your SEO campaign is both effective and safe. Gone are the days of comment linking, paying for links & hidden links, these tactics will most likely get your site penalised in the long run.


This is one of the main reasons I advise those who are looking to gain visibility not to invest in super cheap SEO services. This is the exact tactics they will use. I am going to take you through how to complete a backlink audit and what changes you can make to add value to your overall website health.


The majority of businesses might not even have a backlink strategy and a lot of companies I know don’t even know about the negative links pointing to their site and the potential damage it can do to their business. I would advise all business owners who rely on their website to generate revenue, make sure you do this or invest in an SEO who will review this for you.


What is a backlink audit?


Before jumping into what you need to do, we need to understand why a backlink audit is needed. A link audit is essentially looking at your current backlink profile and evaluating the following.


  1. How good are these links for your website?
  2. Is this link natural?
  3. Is the link relevant to your brand?
  4. Is the content relevant?
  5. Is the source an authoritative website?


Link audit can take a very long time as the best way to achieve the best results is manually looking at each link. If you have got a site with thousands of links, this would take several hours. So, I’ll take you through some of the tools I use to complete a backlink audit.


Step 1: Finding Your Backlinks


The first step is finding your backlinks. Google Search Console is a great tool for this, and it’s free. Every webmaster should have this set up.


Search console 1


On the left-hand side, you will see the links section.


In the link section you see information around both internal links & external links as well as an insight into the most common anchor text for your links.


Search console will also give you a view of what websites link to you the most.


search console 2


Step 2: Analyse your backlinks


Once you can visualise your backlink and where they are coming from, you can start to analyse them against the criteria I mentioned at the beginning of the article.


Again there are a few we can do this.


  1. Check them manually


In most cases this is not going to be viable. The time it would take you to check all links manually would be far too long. However, if you have only had your site running a short amount of time with a limited amount of links. This might be ok for you. It is definitely the best way of checking a link as relevance can be hard for a tool to understand.


  1. Use a backlink audit tool


There are a few different tools you can use for this, they vary in the language they use but essentially you want a view of the following


  • Amount of backlinks
  • Number of referring domains
  • Quality of site (Domain authority/citation flow)


3.    Best tools for backlink audits


There are 2 tools that I think give the best overview in your backlink profile, both also have great features for those looking for opportunities to build links.




Majestic is a tool that specliases in backlinks rather than being an all-in-one SEO tool. You’re not going to find any info or tools on keyword research or search volume ext. It’s essentially a huge link index. You crawl a site using the search bar, and you see specifics on the domains backlink profile.



Majestic 001


Once you enter your domain, this instance you’re going to want to view links across your domain like below.


majestic seo 3


You could crawl a specific URL in which you want to view backlinks for but we’re focusing on the whole site’s backlink profile here.


Majestic 4


The crawl will initially provide you with the following information.


  • Number of external backlinks


This is the total number of backlinks you have coming for all domains.


  • Referring domains


This looks at the exact number of domains that link to you, rather than the total number of links. For example, you could have 50 referring domain but those 50 domain links to you 2000 times, so the number of external backlinks would be 2000. I would advise keeping this as close to a 1:1 ratio as you can as in most cases it is natural to only links once rather than constantly getting links from the same source.


  • Referring IP


Amount of referring IP addresses are linking to you – again you want these to mostly be unique, rather than from the same IP address.


  • Referring Subnet


This is short for referring C-subnet – basically are the websites you are getting links from in the same network? Again, we don’t want this to be the case.


My site is new so the amount of data is quite low.


Majestic 6


The next step is to utilise the backlinks tab. This will help you drill down the links that don’t look as natural. Here you should be looking at:


  • The source of the link – is it a website that is relevant to what you do as a business.
  • The content on the page linking to you – again, is it relevant to you as a business?
  • Trust flow & citation flow – the higher the better, however, newer sites may have a lower score here but still be super relevant.
  • Anchor text & target link – is the page linking the most relevant page on your website with natural anchor text?

SEM Rush Backlink Audit


SEM Rush does the manual checking for you by giving a toxic score against links you have pointing to your domain. This is extremely handy if you have a large backlink profile as it can essentially act as a filter enabling you to review the links that come up as toxic.


SEM Rush 1


Some after manually checking might be ok to keep but it definitely speeds up the process.


SEM Rush Toxic Score


Another great feature that SEM Rush has is the fact you can link it with your Google search console account as per below. It’s relatively easy to sync and you just need to give them permission by adding their email as a user. This will help them generate further data needed for SEM rush to effectively audit your site.


SEM RUSH search console


4.      Fix & Plan Ahead


The last step is to fix any issues you see & plan ahead by creating a plan of how you’re going to add value to your back-link profile.


You should be looking at fixing dead links or links that do not go to the correct URL. Don’t be scared to email the webmaster and ask them to change the anchor or the URL the links pointing to.


Disavow links that are not natural and could be causing harm to your site.


In terms of planning ahead, look at your competitor's backlink profile for inspiration on where there are getting their links and how.




I hope this was an easy enough guide to follow. Completing a backlink audit can be a daunting task and might be at the bottom of your list, however, it’s vital to ensure your backlink profile is natural as it can undo good work you’ve already done.


Author: Michael Ryan SEO limited is an SEO agency in Essex that role focus is to boost ROI for his clients.

How Digital PR can supercharge your SEO efforts in 2020


In the world of SEO, we're so often busy talking about the new buzzword within the industry, whether it's domain authority, ROAS or link juice. Over the past couple of years, one that really caught my attention was digital PR. Essentially using PR as a means to create effective content marketing campaigns that get natural & authoritative links. Or creating insightful and inspiring content in turn, resulting in links. However, you like it I guess.

In this post, I?m going to show you how I used digital PR to supercharge a client SEO efforts & also provide a guide to how best to do this yourself.

1. Why?


Firstly, you need to understand why you're doing this? What are you're goals?? PR provides several beneficial results, so it?s important you layout your KPI?s for this campaign so you?re able to track the success of the campaign. They could be any of the following and more.

  • Backlinks

  • Data (e.g for email marketing)

  • Traffic

  • Brand Awareness

  • Increased Social Following

  • Reputation management

  • Leads


What we did? we decided our main KPI was generating natural links to the homepage of our site to increase authority across the site. As an FYI, this was for a travel company specialising in travel to Florida.

2. Idea Generation


All successful digital PR campaigns start with a brainstorming session. Within these sessions there are no wrong idea's, this is the part where you should let all your creativity flow. Make sure you remember why you're doing this and what your KPI?s are. You should be creating ideas around maximising success against this metric. Here are some great tips on brainstorming.


What we did? After many a spider diagram, we decided to go with a campaign which we named the 'Theme park tester'. The idea was simple, we wanted to recruit someone who could spend 3 weeks travelling around the various theme parks in Orlando creating insightful content for our customers. This was a genuine role we had planned but considering the employee would be tasked with testing rides & trying all the snacks Orlando has to offer, we believed it had legs.

3. Ideas & How To Track


After creating a job spec & a specific page for potential candidates to apply, we saw the following results.

  • 339 pieces of coverage

  • 316 of these pieces were linked

  • Of those, 51 are unique followed links

  • 9 No follow linked pieces

  • The average domain authority across those placements was 67

  • 59766 applications for the role

  • We even got TV coverage in US News:


Aside from links, we wanted to understand what other value we got from the campaign, so I decided to keep a report in changes to the following.

  • Domain Authority : This increased from 42 to 53.


  • Citation Flow & Trust Flow ? CG increased by 31% & trust flow 17%.


  • Overall Site Links: The campaign helped us increase overall site links by 78%.


  • Organic Visibility?


Below shows how the above has affected our visibility across all the keywords that we track, from the campaign go-live date we?ve seen a 42.24% increase in visibility.


  • Keyword Changes


Below was the movement of our highest volume keywords that we track.



The below graph also shows the impact on impressions & clicks form our largest volume keyword (Source: Search Console)



Social Following


We also saw some great increases across our social following within this time period.

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram?

Data Gathered


We?ve gathered over 35,000 email addresses from the campaign.


Brand Awareness


We had 14,359 users come through a brand term on the 10th of Jan!


When carrying out a campaign such as this, it?s vital to track absolutely everything you can to understand the full effect a PR campaign can have, especially one which aligns with your SEO strategy.

4. Final Note


My last tip to maximise your SEO strategy through Digital PR, has nothing to do with PR.


Make sure your on-site strategy is nailed, and that you have completed a thorough website audit beforehand. This is vital is to ensure the links that you generate have the biggest impact they possibly can to your keyword visibility.


I offer a free SEO audit, take advantage of this if you're looking to maximise your results this year.


Please let me know any questions you have in the comments below.