Guests of SHC

Getting the most out of SEO and Linkedin

Guests of SHC

Getting the most out of SEO and Linkedin

Over the years, SHC has developed close relationships with a number of associate businesses with specialist skills, which are able to extend our offering with specific expertise, adding value for our clients and enabling SHC to offer a broad range of services, all under a single management team.

These expert partners include photographers, designers, web developers, and video producers, but for the past year or so, we have been working successfully with a fascinating business called Sumwot – an ethical marketing company based in Reigate, which specialises in creating ideas and strategies to help clients to achieve their aims. This can include SEO, LinkedIn strategies/training, digital & offline marketing, and getting the best out of Google with business profiles.

We spoke to Sumwot founder Christopher Nicholas to find out why many businesses tend to neglect their SEO and Google profiles, and fail to get the best out of Linkedin.

SHC: How and when did Sumwot start?

Sumwot started about 12 years ago, as Christopher Nicholas marketing, focusing mainly on social media campaigns, and became known as Sumwot Social. As the landscape evolved, we began to realise that more could be achieved through Linkedin articles and training, and we became more involved in creating and managing websites for ethically driven businesses, enhancing search-engine optimisation (SEO) and developing new ideas for getting the word out there for our clients. So, we dropped the ‘social’ and became the business that we are today.

SHC: Why does Sumwot do what it does?

It’s all about ideas – always being creative and having the opportunity to come up with and do something new – doing things that haven’t been done before. Using film or animation and anything that will rapidly gain attention to get a message across. And then we get down to the detail and working to ensure that the various platforms deliver as much as possible. It’s also about measurement, so progress can be evaluated.

SHC: Companies invest thousands in their websites and think that’s the job done… what’s the reality?

There’s three parts to this: maintaining the site; driving traffic to it; and measuring the results. It’s all about adding value.

People overlook the fact that they often talk about themselves rather than talking about their customers. And they write content from a human perspective – which is fine – but a lot of the success people wish for is all to do with Google, and you can do a lot of things for Google to make it easier for you to be discovered.

Paying detailed attention to Google Business Profiles (which used to be called Google My Business) can be crucial, and don’t overlook the increasing power of AI and images. Microsoft Edge is the web browser that is currently leading the way in AI Chat as a form of web browser. If your team is out there with your logo on their uniforms, Google will soon pick that up and use it. So, don’t use stock imagery as you’ll gain little or no benefit – always use your own.

When companies launch a new website, they often think the job is done, but actually they should already be thinking about or working on the refresh. To be effective, every website needs to be fresh and new all the time – with new content, images, and a constant updating of important aspects such as citations and reviews.

SHC: How important is SEO?

SEO is becoming more apparent and more useful, but in different ways – and it is hugely important.

Using questions and reviews are both becoming huge. You ask a question – straight into
the Microsoft Edge AI Chat – as if you’re talking to a human being, but both the questions and the answers serve as a search engine. Reviews add credibility and can lead to recommendations, while also pushing you up the rankings, and they work so well because they are normally user generated.

SEO is hugely important, particularly for a business which works just in a local area, but it is changing so fast, particularly with the advent of AI, so it is something that no business can afford to ignore.

SHC: AI – threat or benefit?

Artificial Intelligence is just a tool – a very interesting one and potentially really useful – but I think even the people developing it can’t see and don’t have an end-game.

We need to recognise and understand how and where it is being used by search engines, and over time we need to learn how to use it to our advantage.

SHC: Linkedin business pages – would you agreed that everyone has them, but few know how to get the best from them?

People tend to be sceptical about the power of Linkedin until they physically get something out of it. There’s two parts to this, content delivery, and training.

One of the most important reasons to have a company page on Linkedin is that it’s another place for Google to find you. And fairly recently, Linkedin added the opportunity to have newsletters, which can be hugely beneficial.

Email isn’t always the way to go, and most people drown in their daily inbox, but Linkedin seems to cut through all that noise, because it is a trusted community. A newsletter gives rapid and easy access to your products or services, directly to your followers.

Training is important and we can help companies get the most out of the platform while also ensuring that their team members recognise its importance and make their own invaluable contribution.

SHC: What else?

Sometimes the old ways are best! Use your identification of followers and interested parties through Linkedin, and send them a physical letter – in the post! You’ll bypass the gatekeeper and gain a rapid response. You can also try handing out cards requesting reviews at your next trade show! So few people use traditional media any more – it’s a great way to stand out.

Would you like to chat with Sumwot?