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Marcus Miller
Works at www.BowlerHat.co.uk
Attended University of Birmingham
Lives in Birmingham, UK
243 followers|46,996 views
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If you are in the hotel or hospitality business then online reviews are an important factor in your online marketing. Reviews can help drive visibility but more importantly they help customers choose you (or not) over the competition. 

This post takes a look at the importance of reviews for hotels and provides some simple strategies to take control of what people are saying about your business in search. 
Reviews are everywhere and online reputation is everything. This post provides a guide to managing your reviews and reputation for hotels.
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Have you ever checked what the Google street view looks like for your business? Google has a nasty habit of getting this wrong and in our case they were showing a boarded up building rather than our swanky office - not cool. 

This article details how to fix the street view image for your business whether you have claimed the listing or not. 
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Would also add MapMaker to the list of possible fixes. When all else fails I've had some pretty good luck with that (so far!)
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Running out of ideas for you Local SEO campaign? The Local Search Ranking factors study from David Mihm (now of Moz.com (formerly SEOMoz)) is now out and should provide you with some ideas. 

You may have done the obvious but we have 180 positive factors for foundational ranking and then competitive placement so I am sure there area a couple (maybe about 175) of areas you have not really dug into. 

There is also 30 negative factors that you can also take a look at as a problem resolved is also another positive step in the right direction. 

We are deep, deep, deep in Local SEO at Bowler Hat so would love to hear your thoughts on this so give me a shout with any questions - we will cover the best questions we get in an upcoming blog post.
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Whilst working on a site this week that had suffered with some URL based duplicate content issues I found hundreds of mod rewrite rules that had been hacked together over time. 

Well, I managed to replace over 100 rules that took weeks to implement with one simple rule that took care of all of the issues. 

Hopefully, this may save someone some pain out there! 
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Folks will always want hard metrics for SEO and in many cases people will obsess over the secret ingredients that Google is looking for that will help their site grab more visibility in search. This approach is beyond flawed & in many cases paralyses good companies who could just be doing some good, honest Internet Marketing. 

This post takes a look at a common question regarding blog post length and what is best and tries to provide an answer that goes beyond the simple > 350 words or > 1000 & < 3000 words kind of generic guidance we see banded around from SERP analysis. 
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My business is called Bowler Hat - www.bowlerhat.co.uk. We are an Internet Marketing / SEO company. We just had someone turn up at the office wanting to buy a Bowler Hat. Brilliant. 
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Ha, the guy was foreign as it goes, not sure he understood. :)
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Marcus Miller

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SEO is a hell of a game and most folks are not really sure what is fair game and what is manipulation that will get you in trouble. This new resource pulls all of the SEO guidelines into one location so you no longer have any excuse to not gen up on what you can and can't do. 

Forewarned is forearmed folks. 
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If you want to work with a real website professional in Birmingham you can do a lot worse that Darren Langley. Bowler Hat stamp of approval! 
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There are so many 'list of citations' articles out there for Local SEO that I wanted to address something that I don't really see mentioned and that is how important it is to audit and correct existing citations. In many cases just adding new citations can hinder rather than help and the first job should be to audit and correct what is out there. 

I like the idea of sending a clear and strong NAP signal and any inconsistencies add interference to that signal.  
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I wrote a blog post last week considering the continued importance of links in the SEO mix post Penguin and the War on Spam. I generally concluded that whilst many types of links that worked when they should not have done no longer work that good, honest, relevant links from socially active and well read sites work better than ever. 

Well, the first insight into the (SEO)Moz ranking factors post is out and they pretty much confirm that links and even anchor text is still well correlated with good page level results: http://moz.com/blog/ranking-factors-2013

So, as you were people. Links are still a factor, there are lots of other important factors as well now but they should still be a part of the mix in competitive areas and online businesses targeting national markets. 
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Interesting update for Google maps for Android rolling out shortly (and following on IOS devices soon after). 

Big changes seem to be easier way's to navigate and find local places to eat, drink and visit along with tighter integration of reviews and offers. 

In fact you will actually be able to see offers from local businesses when browsing the map so if local was not important enough for local restaurants and eateries it is even more so now. 

They have also retired latitude and integrated the satellite navigation into the application with updates on traffic and alternative routes. 

Looks amazing, I am not seeing it on Play store here in the UK yet but will report back when I have had a tinker. 
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After a meeting this week where a new client was being sold something that was way overpriced and completely wrong for their requirements I got to thinking about what it is to buy SEO for a new business or small business. 

Fact is, if you a small or local business and are new to this then buying SEO is a minefield. You are likely to be mis-sold or buy something that simply is totally wrong for your objectives. Worst case, you could end up with something that damages your website and visibility in search. 

This article is an attempt to provide some general advice for small businesses on what is likely to be right or wrong to help you do well in search and start by looking at the easy wins. 
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In his circles
129 people
Have him in circles
243 people
Alistair Norman's profile photo
Mark Walters's profile photo
Oli Gardner's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Search engine optimisation and Internet marketing.
Employment
  • www.BowlerHat.co.uk
    SEO & Head Honcho, 2006 - present
  • Oxygen8 Communications
    Web & IVR Developer, 2002 - 2006
  • Mobile Fun
    SEO & Website Developer, 2000 - 2002
  • www.VinyltoDigital.co.uk
    SEO & Website Developer, 1998 - 2000
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Birmingham, UK
Previously
BIRMINGHAM UK
Story
Tagline
The Dude abides
Introduction
Family man working in the website design,  development and marketing industry for 12 years or so. Currently focused on SEO and inbound marketing for websites - more details: http://www.bowlerhat.co.uk
Bragging rights
1 wife, 3 kids, working in website design, Internet Marketing and SEO for 10 years+
Education
  • University of Birmingham
    Computer Science, 1998 - 2001
Basic Information
Gender
Male
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Friends, Networking
Relationship
Married
Other names
The Dude, el Duderino, His Dudeness, Duder
Marcus Miller's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Web Design in Birmingham by Award-Winning Web Designer Darren Langley
www.darrenlangley.com

Providing web design in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, West Midlands. Also offering bespoke web development, logo design and SEO in Birmingha

Impetus Plus
market.android.com

Citius. Altius. Fortius. Impetus. Impetus Plus is a licensing app that unlocks more features on Impetus Interval Timer. *** Plus will not

7 lessons I learned while being banned in Google for 12 hours | SEER Int...
www.seerinteractive.com

I am feeling it, so pardon typo's First, we all have beliefs, but some instances test those, today I was tested. SEER Interactive not rankin

Emma's page
www.justgiving.com

Emma Miller is fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre

The Skinny on Fruit | Everyday Paleo
everydaypaleo.com

*Note from Sarah: Jason Seib is back with another informative article! Be sure to visit Jason over at his Facebook page and at Everyday Pale

Chartered Accountants Birmingham, Redditch. Tax Planning, Payroll
www.stanleyyule.com

Stanley Yule Chartered Accountants Birmingham, Kings Norton, Redditch, Northfield. Accountant services include Tax Planning, Payroll Service

Link Building Should Be Your Last SEO Task |
www.bowlerhat.co.uk

SEO is not all about link building and whilst you want links there are good, bad and ugly ways to go about getting them.

Corporate Treasure Hunts for Team Building | UK Wide
www.fradleycroft-events.co.uk

Corporate Treasure Hunts, Specialist Bespoke Corporate Events, Team Building Treasure Hunt on Foot and by Car, London, Midlands and UK

- family holidays
www.childfriendly.co.uk

Calling all mums in city. Join the secret mummy deals club on Childfriendly.co.uk to enjoy this offer!

Homemade fermentation jar for use making kimch, saurkraut &amp; kombucha
www.primod.co.uk

Easy &amp; cheap way to make your own fermentation jars for making kimch, saurkraut , kombucha and any other fermented foods.

MS Diet | Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis
www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org

The evidence is extremely convincing. Dietary fats play a major part in the development and progression of MS, Multiple Sclerosis. Manipulat

Commercial Carpet &amp; Tiles - JHS Carpets | Supplier &amp; Manufacturer
www.jhscarpets.com

Supplier of Contract Carpets and Carpet tiles to the Education, Healthcare, Corporate, Leisure, Housing and Retail markets. Next day deliver

Post workout meal 26-05-2012 |
www.primod.co.uk

This weeks post workout meal was a completely new recipe for me so it was a bit of a risk to cook and document it for the blog at the first

VHS to DVD Service | UK Company
www.vinyltodigital.co.uk

Would you like to transfer VHS tapes to DVD? Convert the video and edit on your computer? The tapes wont last forever - Get in touch, we can

R-Type
market.android.com

CLASSIC ARCADE SHOOTER R-TYPE IS BACK! Let's go back in the 80's with this classic old-school shoot'em up! One of the biggest arcade game wi

Keyword Research - SEO Basics #2 |
www.bowlerhat.co.uk

In part 1 of our SEO Basics series we had a quick look at how your customers search and the mindset you have to get into before attempting a

How Much Does SEO Cost? |
www.bowlerhat.co.uk

How much does SEO cost? Heck of a question and not one with an easy answer. This article explains what you need to know to get a price for y

Is Your SEO an Expert? |
www.bowlerhat.co.uk

What makes an expert and is your SEO consultant one? A look at what it takes to attain expert status and how that applies to SEO.

Never Done SEO? Now is a Great Time to Start |
www.bowlerhat.co.uk

Google has been working to undo search manipulation &amp; reward only the best sites making now a great time to get started with SEO.

Anchor Text Ratios for SEO &amp; Link Building |
www.bowlerhat.co.uk

Guidelines on how to identify toxic links &amp; 10 golden rules on creating a safe, stable anchor text profile to avoid Google penalties &amp; over

We booked an expensive package for the London marathon which included a coach to the start line. Despite booking several months in advance and several requests for the time of the coach that information was only made available upon arrival. The coach time was 6am for a 30 minute journey for a race that starts at 10am with breakfast at 5.30am. Unacceptable and the deliberately withheld information for what is a stressful even though at the best of times means I will personally never trust holiday Inn again. And the room was small and disappointing. Rubbish.
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