Where to Get your Logo Designed

Now that you’ve installed WordPress and chosen your WordPress theme, it’s time to get a brand spanking new logo designed for your brand.

In this short lesson, we’re going to explain where to get a logo designed, how much it costs and a few design tips for businesses.

Why does your Site Need a Logo?

Logos, like choosing a domain name, are very important for your business, because it’s one of the first things that a user sees when he/she lands on your site, and one of the things that they remember about your brand.

You should look to get a professional, custom designed logo made that matches the nuances and feel for your site. It needs to help distinguish you from your competition and carry your message.

For example, if you offer professional services, you want to convey professionalism and reliability. If you offer B2C services, your logo needs to stand out from the crowd. If you offer regulated financial services, you need a sleek, professional image.

Logos also help with branding and consistent. Consistency means everything from the header to the colors of your site and even the favicon (the small icon that displays in the corner tab of your browser) flows well together. Being able to re-use your logo or even character in the content of your site also helps provide greater value to users.

Where to Get a Logo Designed and How Much Will it Cost?

The internet is literally sprawling with graphic designers, logo designs and web designs, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a reliable logo designer for your site.

My personal recommendation is Microlancer.com, which provides professional logo designs from freelancers for$50-$150 (3-5 days turnaround including revisions). The advantage of using this site is that you can select from hundreds of freelance designers, see their customer ratings and view their previous work.

Another site that’s useful is 99Designs.co.uk. This is a logo design contest site that lets individual designers compete with one another for your work. You simply post a design brief and then from £199 you will receive 30 unique logo designs from 30 different designers. You simply choose the winning design and then he gets paid.

Although 99Designs.co.uk is quite expensive, the advantage of using them is that you receive far more design ideas and inspiration. £199 for 30 designs actually only works out to £6.50 ($10) per logo design.

Finally, if you’re looking to something cheaper than you can always use virtual work rooms such as Elance.com to find cheap logo designers for less than $75, as use design agencies (however be aware these will be far more expensive, possibly up to £500).

Do you Need a Custom Web Design?

In this lesson, we’re going to look at where and how to get a website theme designed, as well as how much it costs and whether it’s worth it.

1. Is it Necessary to get a Custom Website Designed?

I’d say in many cases no. If you have a small budget than there are already thousands of premium WP themes you can buy and install quickly on your site from $30-$50. These already look great and will do the job for 75% of people. In fact, when I start a new website I almost always buy a premium WP theme and then hire a designer/coder to modify it slightly, just to match the feel for my audience. Making a few custom changes to an existing theme is still much cheaper then getting a new theme designed and coded from scratch.

However, if your site offers a unique feature or product (e.g. jobs board, forum or tipster site) and you have a larger budget than it may be worth getting a custom website designed and developed.

This is especially true for product landing pages, where the design can make a huge difference to the conversion rate.  For example, you can read this case study by TheStudentRoom.co.uk on how they hired a conversion rate optimization expert to change the design and layout of the site’s homepage and the affect that this had on registrations.

2. What are the Advantages of a Custom Web Design?

Custom Web Design

Example of Custom Web Design

The advantages of getting a custom web design over a generic WP theme is that it will make your website look more unique, it will be far better tailored to your audience and you can use colors and items to match that your theme.

If you look at large sites such as Mashable.com, BBC News and Forbes.com then you can see they all have custom designed themes, which help their brand and user experience.

The downside to ordering a custom web design from my experience is not only the cost ($500-$1,000 plus paying to get it coded) but also having to pay to make design changes in the future.

For example, most website designs evolved over time – take a look at how TheStudentRoom.co.uk has changed its design over the years. If you get a custom web design then you’ll need to hire the same designer to make any additional changes to the site. Launched a new feature or tool? You’ll need to get that designed.

An example of a recent client I had was StudentMoneySaver.co.uk, one of the largest student deals sites in the UK. They paid for their first custom design around 2010, then launched a new website design in 2012, then launched a 3rd website design in 2013. All of these changes were made based on the growth, new features and user experience of the site.

3. eCommerce Stores


Custom eCommerce Design

eCommerce stores, more than any other type of site, require custom web designs. This is because if a site is set up to sell something then users need to be able to trust and feel good about purchasing from that site. It will also need a smooth conversion tunnel and checkout process.

Many ecommerce stores will also rely heavily on PPC and paid traffic too, which means the upfront cost of a custom web design can easily be offset by the increased conversion rate of the site.

4. How much should a Custom Web Design Cost?

The cost of web design usually depends on whether you hire a freelance web designer or agency, as well as the complexity of the design and how many pages you need designed.

In most cases, you should expect to pay £250-£750 for a website design (including the homepage and 2 inner pages). This price includes revisions and requested design changes. A typical web design should be completed in 1-2 weeks.

5. How much does it Cost to Code a Web Design?

Remember that if you pay for a custom web design then you also need to pay to get it coded to your website.

The cost of getting the design coded to WordPress or another CMS should be around £1,000-£5,000. This number depends on whether there are any complex items and features that need to be coded.

6. Where can you Order get a Custom Web Design?

If you can afford a larger budget of £5,000+ then I recommend using full service agency that can take care of the design and coding for you. This removes the hassle, gives you greater trust and flexibility, and overall leads to a more consistent outcome. You’ll also be able to go in and discuss your design requirements with a dedicated project manager or directory.

On the other hand, if you want to save money then you can always browse sites such as Microlancer.comElance.com and 99Designs.com. Don’t worry about using a freelance web designer – many of them are employed by agencies but simply moonlight on the side for extra work (hence the lower cost).

The most important part when choosing a web designer is to check their portfolio and see if you like the quality and style of their work. You also need to be very clear with the instructions you give to a freelance designer; unlike an agency you won’t have a project manager so you’ll have to do this part yourself.

Configuring WordPress on your New Site

Once you’ve installed WordPress on your domain, you’ll want to configure your settings to help with the SEO process. In this article, we’ll teach you how to configure your settings and set up your site for visitors.

1. Set up your Site Title and Tagline

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up your Site Title and Tagline. The Site Title acts as the homepage title and is what uses will see when they search for your site in Google. You can access these under Settings > General.

You want to add a site title that includes your website name and services. For example, if you run a dental centre in London than you might want something like “Mikes Dental Practice – London Dental Centre”.

2. Configure your Permalinks Settings

Next you’ll want to configure your permalinks settings. These set the URL parameters for your website pages and posts. You can find this under Settings > Permalinks.

You’ll want to select the Post name option, which will display your URL as yourwebsite.com/post-name. You want to choose this option because URLs that contain the keywords and name of the post help with SEO and improves the user experience.

3. Configure your Page Menu

The page menu is the menu that displays across the top of your website. It can be accessed under Appearance > Menus.

In order to configure your WordPress Menu, you need to add pages or links to the menu, order the items by dragging them across each other, and then click save.

Note that some WordPress themes have more than one menu position (e.g. main menu and sub-menu), so you need to make sure you edit the correct menu. In order to create drop-down menus, simply place one of the menu items underneath the previous one.

4. Edit the Appearance Settings, Widgets and Choose a Theme

The Appearance settings tab on the left-hand side menu of WordPress allows you to configure all of your sites appearance including widgets, theme and logo (widgets are the items displayed in the sidebar on your site). You can edit these settings until you’re happy with the appearance of your site.

In order to find a theme for your site, you can either read our lesson on choosing a WP theme or you can browse for themes on the following sites:

Note that if you’ve seen an existing theme on a WordPress site that you like the look of then you can also use this WP Theme Checker to find out which theme they’re using and then install it on your site.

5. Install Plugins on your Site

When you first install WordPress, you essentially have a basic installation of WordPress with the default theme that looks like a blog.

In order to customize your site you’ll need to install plugins on your site. Plugins are add-ons that can improve the functionality and features of your WordPress site.

For example, you can install plugins that add forums, contact forms, photo galleries, analytics, advanced text editor, ecommerce store, SEO plugins, etc. You name it, there’s probably already a plugin created for it.

The best way to search for plugins is either to search for plugins in the left-hand menu of your site under Plugins, or you can just Google them. For example, if you’re looking for a good SEO plugin then a quick Google for “SEO plugin” will return plenty of results and recommendations by bloggers.

In order to install a plugin, you can either search for plugins through your WordPress site or download a plugin to your desktop and then use the Plugin Uploader to install and activate it on your site. In the next article, we’ll provide a list or recommended plugins for your blog.

How to Install WordPress on a New Domain

In this lesson, we’ll provide a walkthrough for how to install WordPress on your domain or blog.

In this first section, we’ll show you how to install WordPress automatically through your hosting company; in the second section we’ll show how to install WordPress through your cPanel; and then in the second section we’ll teach you how to install WordPress manually through your FTP client.

How to Install WordPress through your Hosting

Many of the largest and well-known hosting companies such as Godaddy.com, and NameCheap.com provide simplified steps for new customers to install WordPress once they’ve purchased their domain and hosting.

1. Installing WordPress Automatically through Godaddy:

The following guide provides 5 simple steps for installing WordPress through Godaddy in under 5 minutes.

1. Under “My Account”, click on Manage Hosting and select the hosting account you wish to install WordPress on.

2. Click on the WordPress Icon towards the bottom of the page.

3. Fill in the details including what domain you want to install WordPress on, the directory (this is where the FTP files are stored, Godaddy will fill this in for you) and your login details (these are the admin login credentials that will be used to access the site).

4. Click Finish and Godaddy will install WordPress on your site within 15 minutes. You’ll receive an email notification once the WordPress set up is complete.

5. Once installed, you can now visit and log into your site to publish and edit content. In order to log into your site, you’ll need to go to http://www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin (replace “yourwebsite.com” with your actual domain).

Note that once you’ve installed WordPress on a new domain that you will see a post and page called “Hello World!” This is just an example post that comes with all new WordPress installations that can be deleted.

You can now go to our next lesson on customizing your WordPress site.

2. Installing WordPress through your cPanel (NameCheap)

A cPanel is a Unix-based web hosting control panel that is used by many hosting companies. It enables users to manage their entire hosting configurations including databases, FTP client, email lists, applications (including WordPress) and more. Try not to be put off by the appearance of the cPanel as it merely provides an interface to access the different hosting configurations on your site.

In order to install WordPress through your cPanel, you can use the following steps below in under 5 minutes.

1. Log into your cPanel. You’ll normally be given your cPanel login address and details through email when you set up your hosting account. If not, contact your hosting support.

2. Scroll down to the Software/Services section and click on Softaculour (this is a quick installation script that allows you to install different applications with ease).


3. Click on WordPress in the left-hand side menu.

4.  Click on Install in the top right of your screen.

4. Fill in the details on the screen including your Domain, Database Name (don’t worry about this for now) Site Settings (includes site name and description, both of these can be changed later), Admin Account (your login details) and language. Next press Install.

5. Installation should take a matter of seconds with your WordPress site up and running. You’ll be given a link to login in and edit your WordPress site or you can access your admin through YourWebsite.com/wp-admin

3. Manually Installing WordPress through your FTP Client

In this section, we’ll show you how you can manually upload the WordPress files to your hosting through an FTP client.

Note that this is quite an advanced step and not suitable for beginners at all. If your hosting doesn’t provide an automatic setup like above then you should contact a coder to do this for you.

You’ll first need to have an FTP client installed on your desktop/browser with your FTP login details at hand (an FTP client allows you connect to your server and to upload/edit files quickly).

  1. Download and unzip the WordPress files from WordPress.org here.
  2. Create a MySQL database through your hosting interface or through your cPanel (this is found under databases). Make sure you write down the Database Name, Username and Password.
  3. Upload the unzipped WordPress files into the /root directory of your server (this assumes you want to install wordpress on www.yourdomain.com/). If you want to install wordpress on a subdirectory (e.g. www.yourdomain.com/newwebsite) then upload it to the /root/newwebsite/ directory instead.
  4. Find the wp-config-sample.php file and rename it to wp-config. Then edit the database information to the ones you wrote down earlier. You’ll need to add the Host destination (usually ‘local host’), the DB name, DB username and DB password.
  5. Run the automatic WordPress script by visiting the website and following the protocol. Note that if you see the error “Database Connection Failed” in black letters on your screen then the information in the wp-config file above will be wrong.

Visit WordPress.org for more detailed instructions on how to install WordPress.

FTP Client

Example of an FTP client installing WordPress files

Why Choose WordPress as your CMS?

Whether you’re setting up a personal blog, corporate website or ecommerce store, the age of hand-coded websites built on static HTML and CSS is over.

Nowadays, you can install a Content Management System (CMS) within minutes to publish a sleek looking, fully functional website that takes care of all of your online needs. This includes news sites, photo galleries, video sites and ecommerce.

What is a CMS?

A Content Management System (CMS) is a computer program that allows publishing, editing and modifying content for a site. The CMS is essentially the “backend” of a website. It’s where you can edit content, publish articles and change the appearance or settings of your site. All major websites require a CMS where employees are able to change and organise the content of the site.

Wikipedia.com is an example of a “wiki” CMS that enables the public to add, edit and contribute content to the site.

Why Choose WordPress as your CMS?

WordPress (often abbreviated to WP) is by far the most popular CMS and the best choice for beginners. Its simplicity, easiness to install and the wealth of free plugins, add-ons and support make it a great choice for your site.

More than 20% of websites are powered by WordPress (more than 77 million) including well-known sites such as TechCrunch.com, CNN.com and TED.com.

1. Quick and Easy to Install

Once you’ve chosen your domain and hosting, you can install WordPress and have a site up and running within a matter of minutes. The biggest domain and hosting registrars such as Godaddy.com, NameCheap.com and BlueHost.com all provide one-click installation for WordPress, which shows how easy it is to install.

To see how easy it is to install wordpress, you can view our tutorial: how to install WordPress on your site.

2. User Friendly

WordPress has a user-friendly, simple interface that only takes 20-30 minutes to get used to. The interface is built for beginners. You don’t need to have knowledge of programming or using a CMS before in order to get to grips with it.

For instance, rudimentary tasks such as adding new pages, editing posts, installing new theme designs or changing the menu items can be done within just a few clicks. The following image shows the backend of WikiWeb.com, specifically this article being edited:

3. Free Open Source Software with Unlimited Support, Themes and Plugins

WordPress has almost unlimited plugins, features and support to help you build your perfect site.

For example, sites such as ThemeForest.net have thousands of free WP themes to choose, Elance.com has thousands of professional coders with experience working on WP, and the WordPress.org site has 10,000’s of free plugins you can install to make your site perform the way you want.

Examples of plugins that you can install on your site include the Woocommerce Plugin (allows you to build a fully functional ecommerce site on), Yoast SEO (the comprehensive solution to on-page SEO for your site), WASSUP (free analytics report tool) and more.

4. Flexibility – Suitable for News, Blogs, Reviews, Membership, Games and eCommerce Websites

Once you’ve installed WordPress, you can customize your site’s functionality and design to meet any of your business needs.

For example, you can install WP themes and plugins that turn your site into a corporate agency site, ecommerce store, membership site, education, news site or personal blog. You can even power comparison sites, forums and educational communities on the WordPress CMS.


5. SEO Friendly

WordPress is 100% SEO-friendly and has a number of really useful plugins to improve your SEO. This ranges from SEO friendly themes, Yoast SEO and breadcrumbs to plugins that help reduce your site loading speed and improve your internal link structure. For more information, read our article “best SEO plugins for wordpress”.

Choosing a Hosting Service – Shared Hosting or VPS?

Before you start a site you need to choose a suitable web host for your business. In this lesson, we’re going to explain what a web host is and how to choose one for your business.

What is a Web Host?

The web host is where your physical website will be hosted. Note that your web host and domain registrar may be at different places. When this happens, you simply point the domain (using the DNS) to your web host. This means that when users visit your domain they’ll see your site. For beginners, it’s probably easier to have your domain and website hosted at the same place.

If you can’t be bothered to read the rest of this article then we recommend purchasing your domain and hosting at Godaddy.com. Godaddy is the biggest hosting company in the world and offers very cheap prices (£2.99/month for hosting), excellent customer support and fast hosting.

Choosing a Hosting Service – Shared Hosting vs. VPS

When choosing a web host, you basically have 3 main options:

  1. Shared Hosting
  2. VPS (Virtual Private Server or Dedicated Hosting)
  3. Reseller Plan

If you’re just started a business or blog then you should go for a shared hosting plan. This is the normal and most affordable package that most people use. Don’t worry about having upgrade your hosting plan or go for “Silver” or “Gold” packages unless you have a huge site with 2,000+ visitors per day and your website speed has massively slowed down. Remember, you can always upgrade your hosting if it’s too slow or doesn’t meet your requirements.

Shared Hosting vs. VPS

Shared hosting is the cheapest and most popular option for businesses and individual bloggers. Shared hosting technically means that you’re sharing your CPU and RAM space with other sites operating on the same server. Think of it as sharing a storefront in a building with other stores.

In contrast, a VPS (Virtual Private Server) gives you your own dedicated server space. You don’t have to share it with anyone. The only real advantages of a VPS are that you have added security and you can configure your own system settings (e.g. MySQL and PHP) to meet your requirement. For most people, this is completely irrelevant.

The downside to a VPS is that they’re usually far more expensive (£20-£40 per month in comparison to £5/month for shared hosting) and you need a system administrator to set up everything for you. You also don’t receive any hosting support for a VPS since you have to control everything yourself. For example, you won’t receive automated backups or system restores unlike shared hosting.

A common misconception of a VPS is that your website will load faster than shared hosting. This is actually untrue. Shared hosting can be just as fast, if not faster than a VPS. This is because a VPS can still be sharing resources with other VPS’s on the same server. For example, you can have 20 Virtual Private Servers operating on the same server.

Finally, a reseller plan is great for web design agencies and webmasters who need to host multiple websites. A reseller plan allows you to create free hosting accounts for each your customers under your own master account.

What other Factors Should You Consider?

  1. Price

For most people, price is the most important factor when choosing hosting. Generally speaking most hosts will charge £3-£7 per month for regular shared hosting.

In fact, a lot of web and domain hosting companies charge very low rates in the first year to attract new customers, and then increase the rates the following year. This is because they know most people are too lazy to switch hosts; they’ll simply pay the higher renewal fees for the second year.

  1. Easy Site Building, cPanel and Quick Installation System

This is a really important step for beginners. Most big hosting names will provide automated installation scripts that allow you to install popular CMS’s such as WordPress or BBP Forums with one-click installation. This can save beginners a ton of time and effort.

Beginners will also find a cPanel useful since this allows you to edit website files without having to use an FTP client.

Example of a cPanel

  1. Do you need a Business Email Address?

Most business owners require their own private email address such as john@mybusiness.co.uk. Most hosts will include 2-5 free email addresses as part of your hosting but it’s important to check in case you need more.

  1. Customer Support

Customer support is incredibly important when choosing a web host. Think about it – if your website goes down unexpectedly or your files become corrupted then who do you go to? Ideally you want a web host with free-phone support who can quickly help solve any issues you have. Avoid hosts that don’t offer 24/7 support or take 2 days to reply to your email.

  1. Room to Grow and Scale

As your website grows you want to ensure that your host can accommodate higher bandwidth and server space. Fortunately, most hosting providers allow you to seamlessly upgrade your hosting in minutes without having to migrate your website files or database.

  1. Customer Reviews and Hosting Speed

Finally, the best option when researching hosts is to look at up to date customer reviews. Up to date reviews are important because some hosting providers might have had excellent reviews 3-5 years ago but because they failed to improve their server software their average hosting speed or customer support has gone downhill. This happens quite frequently with hosting companies. Users stick with a host for 2-3 years until the host becomes too slow and they have to change or upgrade to new hosting.

Choosing a Domain Name for Business

Choosing a Domain for your Business

Internet marketing campaigns start with your domain name; it’s what everyone will remember and what all of your marketing will be branded around. Therefore it’s really important that you spend time choosing a solid, suitable domain name for your business.

In this lesson, we’ll discuss the most important factors of choosing a domain name and what things to look out for.

Keeping it Simple

If you already run an offline business than the easiest solution is to register the .com or .co.uk version of your business name. For example, if your business is called “Johns Bike Shop” than you might want to register JohnsBikes.com or JohnsBikeShop.com.

The advantage of choosing a simple domain around your business name is that it’ll be easier for your customers to find you online. It will also add synergy for your offline and online business. For example, if your corporate name is ARG Media and you have the website  name ARGMedia.co.uk then it will look nicer on your business card. You can also use the same logo/style for your business name and website address.

If on the other hand you’re starting a new online business from scratch than you’ll have to spend more time researching and choosing a suitable name.

Where to Register your Domain?

From my personal experience the best places to register your domain are Godaddy.com (the largest domain registrar in the world) or NameCheap.com.

Both these sites provide excellent customer support with .com domain registrations from just £6.99 per year and .co.uk domain registrations from only £2.99 per year.

When registering a domain, feel free to skip the steps that ask if you want who.is guard protection or other add-ons such as email. This is irrelevant for most businesses and can be done at a later stage if needed.

Using Keywords in the Domain

Having at least one relevant keyword in your domain helps promote the relevance of your business and also helps a great deal in SEO.

For example, if you sell bikes and your site is called JohnsBikeShop.com than users searching for bikes in Google will be more likely to click on your site in the search results, since your name matches their query. Domains that contain your main keywords also help search engines  understand the nature of your site, which helps to promote your rankings for your keywords. It’s one reason why a site such as SheffieldDentist.co.uk ranks no.1 for “sheffield dentist” in Google.co.uk.

Short and Memorable

Shorter domains are more memorable and easier to type into your browser than longer domains with multiple words. For example, Bikes.com, CheapFlights.co.uk and Facebook.com are all instantly recognizable brands.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend having anymore than 2-3 words in the domain name. For example, if you’re develop a travel site than something like TravelNGo.com or GoTravel.com sounds better than TravelAbroadOnline.com or “CompareOnlineTravelDeals.com.

Like I said, shorter domains are more brandable and more easily recognizable, which helps with customer’s referrals and customers coming back to you. It’s also much easier to use shorter domains on advertising materials such as banners, logos and print design.

Choosing the Right Domain Extension

Choosing the right domain extension is equally as important as the brand name itself. The domain extension is the bit to the right of the brand (e.g.. .com, .co.uk, .org.uk, .de etc).

Your top priority is always to choose the no.1 business extension in your country. This is what users will be most familiar with, and it’ll help a lot when marketing your site online. For example, if your company is called Smithfields Ltd than Smithfields.co.uk will be far more recognisable and easier to market than Smithfields.org.uk or Smithfields.org.

What if the .com or .co.uk Extension is Already Taken?

If you run an international business than your priority is to choose the .com extension for your brand. If this is already taken, other Top-Level Domain Extensions (TLDs) such as .net, .co or .org may suffice. However, be warned that develop a site on a .net, .org or .co domain can lead to traffic loss to the site on the .com domain. For example, you can read how Overstock’s decision to rebrand from Overstock.com to O.co led to a 61% traffic loss to O.com.

Buying a Domain on the Aftermarket

Nowadays, you’ll find that most of the premium .com and .co.uk domains will already be taken, which means it’s unlikely you’ll be able to register and develop the first domain that you’ve thought of.

However, it’s possible that you can still acquire the domain from the owner if it’s not already in use. In order to see if a domain is available for sale, you can

  1. Search for it in Sedo.com (domain name aftermarket)
  2. Check the who.is for the contact details and email the owner directly to see if it’s for sale
  3. See if there’s a landing page set up on the domain when it loads in your browse to say that says it’s available for sale. 

Google Ranking Positions and CTR%

The following lesson provides information on Google’s average Click Through Rates for organic and paid search listings.

What is a Click Through Rate (CTR)?

When starting an SEO campaign, it’s important to understand the average Click Through Rate (CTR%) that different positions get in Google’s organic search results. This is in order to calculate the amount of traffic you’ll receive based on the keyword traffic and your rankings.

The CTR shows the total percentage of people clicking on your results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The CTR is calculated by as follows: (No. of clicks/No. of Impressions) x 100.

Therefore, if you had 5 clicks and 200 impressions, the CTR would be 2.5%.

Similar to PPC, learning the average CTR for different positions in the organic listing helps you understand where most of the traffic goes. As you’ll see in this article, it also stresses the importance of ranking 1st – 3rd or at least first page for your main key terms

Click Through Rates (CTR) based on Organic Rankings

According to a report from the online ad network Chitika.com in 2013, around 33% of searchers clicked on the first organic result in Google.com. This is followed by 18% CTR on the second result, 11% on the third result, 8% on the fourth result, 6% on thefifth result and so on.

The CTR for the first 15 results can be seen below:

Organic Position Rank and CTR% in Google.com:

  1. 32.5%
  2. 17.6`%
  3. 11.4%
  4. 8.1%
  5. 6.1%
  6. 4.4%
  7. 3.5%
  8. 3.1%
  9. 2.6%
  10. 10. 2.4%
  11. 11. 1.0%
  12. 12. 0.8%
  13. 13. 0.7%
  14. 14. 0.6%
  15. 15. 0.4%

Interestingly, a whopping 92% of visitors clicked on the 1st page of Google’s search results when performing a search (this data is limited to the US and Canada only).

This means that only 8% searchers bother to click pass the 1st page when performing a search result. This shows the strategic importance on getting on the first page of Google for your primary keywords.

Click Through Rates (CTR) based on Paid Results/Rankings:

In addition to organic results, Google also displays paid results for PPC advertisers at the top, side and bottom of their search results. In total, 55% of Google’s searches include paid results, therefore it’s equally important to understand the CTR for these ads.

According to a report from 2011, the ratio of users that clicked on organic results compared to paid results used to be 94%: 6%. However, as Google has introduced new ad formats and changes to how their results are presented, this ratio has drastically been reduced.

For example, a report by WordStream.com in 2012 showed that the number of clicks to Google’s paid results outnumbers the organic results by a factor of 2:1 for some commercial queries.

Paid Search Ranking and CTR%:

According to a recent report by SmartInsights.com in November 2013, the following shows the average CTR for ads on Google:

Top Ads:

  1. 7.11%
  2. 3.01%
  3. 2.19

Side Ads:

  1. 2.15%
  2. 1.61%
  3. 1.04%
  4. 0.89%
  5. 0.75%
  6. 0.55%

As you can see from these results, if you’re engaging in a PPC campaign then most of the paid traffic will be going to the top 3 results above the fold, however the 4th ad (top of the sidebar ads) also receives a good CTR%.

Conclusion on CTR in Google

1. Google is Increasing the CTR% of People who Click on Paid Ads

Although this data was accurate when the samples were taken, it should be pointed out that Google continues to change how their search results are displayed. For example, this article by SearchEngineWatch.com shows how Google introduced new ad formats with orange boxes in late 2013, which will inevitably have increase the CTR for ads.

You have to remember that the overall aim for Google is to increase the CTR of their paid ads, since this is where 97% of their total revenue comes from. Therefore Google will continue to introduce subtle changes that sway the click through rate of users from organic results towards paid ads.

2. CTR Varies between Different Industries

It should also be noted that the average CTR for your specific site will vary depending on the nature of the query (e.g. for brand searches the no.1 position receives a CTR of 80+%), the industry’s average click-through rates and the quality of your title tag and meta description.

For example, most people in the tech industry will avoid clicking on Adwords ads in the search results. In contrast, many mums and parents still fail to distinguish between organic and paid ads, which leads to a higher CTR% of paid ads for mums and the female market.

3. The Introduction of Universal Search, Videos and Shopping Units affects the CTR

Finally, the introduction of universal search in 2007 which includes videos, shopping results and other items in the search results will heavily effect the CTR of organic search listings. Likewise, the introduction of in-depth articles in August 2013 and the knowledge graph in May 2012 is another example of changes which will change how users engage with the search results.

How to Choose Domain and Hosting for SEO

In this lesson, we’ll explain the importance of choosing a suitable domain for SEO.

How Keyword Rich Domains affect SEO

If you’re launching a new business that will primarily be marketed through SEO or PPC, having the right keywords in your domain will provide a sizeable boost to your rankings and Click Through Rate (CTR%).

In SEO both Google and Bing give quite a lot of weight to the keywords in your domain nam (in fact, Bing massively favors exact-match domains for search queries). This is because search engines use the keywords in your domain to help understand the relevance and topical nature of the site. For instance, if your website has your main keywords in the domain name (e.g. SEOBook.com) than it gives search engines greater confidence in the relevance of your site: in this case, SEO.

Furthermore, running a site with keywords in your domain will also increase the likelihood of receiving backlinks with keyword-rich anchor text, which reinforces the SEO process.

In conclusion, while choosing a keyword domain isn’t necessarily the most important thing in SEO – after all, some of the world’s most successful sites operate on brand domains – choosing a keyword rich domain can help a lot when targeting smaller niches.

How a Keyword Rich Domain can Improve your CTR%

In both SEO and PPC, one of the ways that Google measures the quality and relevance of your website is by studying the Click Through Rate (CTR) of your site. This is the percentage of people that click on your site in the search engine results page (SERP).

Many studies have proven that exact-match and partial-match domains have a higher than average CTR% in search engines. This is because users see the keywords in the domain and assume it is a more relevant or authoritative result. This is especially true when the keywords in your domain are bolded in the results:

A higher CTR% score than your competition not only sends more traffic to your site but it also gives Google greater confidence that your site is the best result for the query. This will help promote your search engine rankings in the long-term.

In paid search campaigns, a higher CTR% also leads to a better ad score and lower cost-per-click (CPC), giving you a crucial advantage over your competition.

Types of Domains:

1. An exact-match domain (EMD) is a web domain that contains your keywords exactly. The following are examples of exact-match domains:

  • BuyGold.co.uk
  • InfographicDesigner.co.uk
  • SheffieldDentist.co.uk

Up until recently, exact-match domains gave you a massive boost in SEO and as such they were extremely valuable for webmasters. However, in October 2012 Google launched a new update, which reduced the impact of exact-match domains in the search results:

Thus, while EMDs are still valuable, they have less of an impact in SEO then they used to

2. A partial-match domain (PMD) is a domain that contains some or even a mixture of your keywords but that don’t match your keywords exactly. The following are examples of PMD domains:

  • FairBinaryOptions.com
  • IdealDentalCare.co.uk
  • PureInfographics.com

3. Brand domains or non-keyword domains are those that don’t include your main keywords and are brandable in nature. For example:

  • Amazon.com
  • Google.com
  • Tradimo.com

Is the Value Of Keyword Rich and EMDs Reducing in SEO?

According to a study by Moz.com, the prominence given to EMDs and PMDs in Google’s search results has been steadily declining. The charts below illustrate the reduced appearance of EMD/PMD domains throughout 2012.

While these charts clearly show that the value of EMDs and PMDs in SEO is declining, they are still widely regarded as important in the overall SEO ranking factors.

How Does your Domain Extension and Local Hosting Affect your SEO Rankings?

Google uses the domain extension of your site to understand the geo-target preferences of your site.

This means that if you’re business is UK-centric than you should use a UK domain extension such as .co.uk or .org.uk, which will help promote your site in the UK search results.

On the other hand, if your business is International than you should use a top-level domain (TLD) such as .com, .net, .co or .net, which broadly targets all countries and regions.

If your business was originally UK focused but then you expanded towards an International audience, you might be better off launch a new site or migrating the site to a TLD such as .com.

In contrast, if you have an international domain extension but want to target a smaller region than you can do this by simple editing the geo-targeting preferences in Webmaster Tools.

With regards to the location of your hosting, this isn’t something you need to worry about as Google has publicly stated that the location of your website hosting is irrelevant for SEO for most websites.

How to Set Up a Blog (Course)

Welcome to our WordPress installation and blogging course. In this course, we’ll teach you how to set up your very own website.

This course has been tailored to beginners who have never set up a site before. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to set up your own site or blog in less than a day!

Module 1: Setting up your Site

Module 2: Installing WordPress

  1. Choosing WordPress as your CMS
  2. How to Install WordPress
  3. Configuring WordPress on your New Site
  4. Choosing a WordPress Theme
  5. 10 Best WP Plugins for your Site

Module 3: Logo and Theme Design

Module 4: Content Creation, Blog and Outsourcing