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If you are here, then there’s a good chance you know what pay-per-click ads are and what they look like. If you don’t, simply head over to Google.co.uk and search for ‘red shoes’ – (or here’s a direct link if you’re feeling lazy). On that Google results page you will see a search result right at the top with the words ‘Ad’ next to it, and there may be some more to the right and below the regular search results. Those are pay-per-click advertisements.

Now that you know what they look like, let’s dive into how to write them properly.

Here’s an example of a perfect PPC ad for red shoes:

Red Shoes at Miss Temple


Buy red shoes online at Miss Temple

Free delivery! Top prices! Buy now!

That ad may seem incredibly short, but there’s a good reason for that – pay-per-click ads, on Google’s platform at least, are broken down as follows:

  • Headline: This should have a maximum length of 25 characters;
  • Display URL: This should have a maximum length of 35 characters;
  • Description line #1: This should have a maximum length of 35 characters;
  • Description line #2: This should have a maximum length of 35 characters.


This is the most important part of your ad. You only have 25 characters to play with, so it is essential that you get your keyword in there and a USP.

Display URL

This element should never be overlooked; a display URL with your keyword in the URL will improve click-through rates considerably.

Description line #1

This is your opportunity to sell your product, service or promotion. It should get to the point straight away and entice searchers to click your ad.

Description line #2

This can either follow on from the first description or accentuate a key selling point, such as free delivery, 30 days warranty or another perk.

It’s important to note that your descriptions can be longer than 35 characters – however Google will only show the first 35 characters in their search results.

Getting your PPC Ad Copy Right

Get noticed in the crowded search results by following these best practices:

  • Include only your most important promotions to keep things simple;
  • Include prices, sale offers and discounts;
  • Always have a call to action such as: Buy Now! Sign up now! Call today!
  • Always include the most important keywords you are bidding on in the headline;
  • Make sure your landing page copy matches your ad copy; it doesn’t have to be nigh on identical, but it should at least mention the same keywords.

Dark Peak = PPC & SEO in Stockport & Glossop



One of the questions we are often asked by business owners is how long it takes for SEO “to work”, as in, how long it will take for a paying customer to see progress.

Unfortunately, there’s no short answer to this. All SEO campaigns are different, and it would be unreasonable to expect different websites to respond similarly to SEO. However, while this may be the case, we can provide a general answer based on our experience.

Defining progress with SEO

There are two types of progress when it comes to search engine optimisation:

  1. Visibility progress in organic search (better and wider rankings), and;
  2. Getting more relevant visitors to a website and getting them to convert.

With regards to point 1, the truth of the matter is that you should start to see results within a few weeks or a few days, providing that the level of work put into your website has made it into something that Google wants to rank.

For example, if you simply changed the page title of a landing page and left it be, it’s unlikely Google would reward you. But if you improved the content on that page, made it load faster and pointed social signals and high quality links at it, they just might.

With regards to point 2, this really depends on how quickly Google catches up with all your on-page and off-page changes. It takes a while for Google to index all changes to a site, so you will likely see more relevant visitors find your website after a month or so.

Of course, getting those visitors to convent once they visit your website is another matter entirely. Good SEO strategy dictates that conversion rate optimisation (CRO) takes place, so that your website can make full use of its improved traffic levels. At Dark Peak Digital, we will always improve the action points of a website to improve conversions if this is required.

SEO is a long-term investment

Lastly, we would like to make the point that search engine optimisation should never be seen as a short term solution to customer acquisition. Certainly, organic search is a massive opportunity for all types of business, but it isn’t the easiest or quickest nut to crack. It takes time to build up an online reputation and one that’s worth Google’s time. Those of you who want short-term results should look to Google Adwords (pay-per-click).





We understand how incredibly stressful it can be to be targeted by negative SEO. Malicious backlinks can appear in their thousands overnight (oh, the joys of automated link building software) and they can not only harm rankings, but they can also cause customer attrition.

If you have been targeted by a negative SEO campaign, the good news is Google isn’t stupid so they aren’t going to remove you from their search results overnight. However, there is some cause for concern with the way Google handles negative SEO.

Google’s official response to negative SEO in the past was there is “almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index,” but this has changed to “Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index,” on their Support page, and Google states “In some circumstances, incoming links can affect Google’s opinion of a page or site,” on their Disavow backlinks page.

What this means is that Google isn’t ruling out the possibility of malicious backlinks from harming your website and of course this is not good news if you are being targeted.

So what can you do about malicious backlinks?

What to do about malicious backlinks

First of all, you should get a current and up to date list of all your backlinks from Google Webmaster Tools (visit this link to do this). If you do not have Google Webmaster Tools installed, you should integrate this on to your website as soon as possible.

With this list of backlinks to hand, you will be able to see any links that are questionable and you can compile a list of backlinks to disavow with Google. You can disavow individual backlinks or entire domains, the latter option being our preference. Disavow files should be created in a .txt format (use Notepad on Windows machines and Plain Text on Macs).

To help you create your disavow file, here’s Google’s support page on the topic. You should submit your disavow file at this link.

It is unclear how long it takes for Google to integrate a disavow file into a website’s portfolio. It may take days or it may take weeks. The important thing to remember is that your job is not done once you have submitted the file. You should continue to add new links and domain names as they become known to you. Unfortunately, this will take time. The easy solution is to outsource such a task to ourselves (contact us to find out more).

What happens if I do nothing?

There’s a chance the low quality and irrelevant backlinks pointing to your website will be taken into account by Google’s search engine algorithm. If this happens it is highly likely you will receive an automated or manual penalty. This will remove your website from Google’s search results and no doubt impact your business operations significantly.

Dark Peak Digital SEO for Glossop, Buxton & Stockport



One thing we have found – having optimised several hundred websites – is that most websites have a lot of something called ‘thin content’.

Thin content can be defined as any content that’s of a low quality or content with little or no added value. Of course, some niches will always have less detailed content than others, however the issue of thin content remains. E-commerce websites are particularly affected by thin content because commerce platforms are, generally speaking, poorly designed – they throw up a lot of duplicate pages and ‘pad out’ a website without adding any real substance.

Why is this important?

Thin content is an important consideration for online visibility. If you want to rank well in Google search, your content has to give Google’s users value. And if your content is not of a high enough quality, Google can apply a manual spam action to portions of your website.

Is my content ‘thin’?

We are often asked by business owners how they can establish if any of the content on their website is thin. Our answer to this question is simple – visit each landing page on your website and look at it objectively. Does it clearly and fully address the user’s search query?

If it does, then you have a good page. If it doesn’t, then it’s thin.

What should I do about thin content?

When it comes to addressing thin content, you have two options:

  1. Beef up the content so that it becomes valuable

We advocate making thin content more helpful and relevant ahead of deleting it. It’s relatively easy to beef up your content and make it more helpful and relevant. The thing to remember when beefing up your content is you want to add value; so simply adding more words to the page isn’t always enough, although it will help. We recommend embedding a video or two into your pages and including relevant images and infographics.

  1. Delete the thin content entirely

This step should be taken if the thin content is a duplicate or irrelevant, or if it has been ‘scraped’ from somewhere else. The way we approach this step is to delete the posts and pages on a website that have no purpose. We also remove these from the sitemap and ask Google to deindex them from within Google Webmaster Tools. This ensures that Google will no longer count them towards the website’s overall search engine visibility.

Any questions?

To find out more about thin content or for help with your website, leave a comment for us below and we will reply to you as soon as possible.



The problem with trying to get ahead and compete with industry rivals on-line is that everyone is targeting the same keywords. There are bound to be numerous other organisations with the same objectives as you, so standing out from the crowd is imperative.

Enter long tail keywords. These are longer, more specific words or phrases that are less common and have a fewer search volume, but will enable you to target specific customers and a niche market.

Even though Google says it answers more than one billion requests each day, 15 per cent of searches have never been seen before. Therefore, your long tail keywords can be original, unique and single out certain consumers. But how do you find them?

Google Suggest and Related Searches

The simplest ways are often the best. Just go to Google, start typing your primary keyword or ‘head’ in the search bar and see what comes up. These suggestions are what users are actually searching for and will undoubtedly provide you with some traffic.

While you’re there, check out some of the related searches. These can be found at the bottom of the page below results to your search term. However, be aware that these may be influenced by your geographical location.

Some of the searches are quite surprising and often humorous, but they’ll either give you long tail keyword ideas or inspire great content.

Keyword Research Tools

 Although Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool is a great resource and the best place to start, it can be a bit limiting. Thankfully, there are plenty of other research tools to find long tail keywords that work for your business.

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool can unearth some great suggestions and their Niche Finder is another valuable resource. You can also discover timely long tail keywords by using Google Trends and Twitter search to see what people are talking about.

Investigate Analytics and Search Query Reports

 Taking a closer look at your analytics will show what keyword phrases and long tail queries are attracting visitors. If lots of people are finding your site after searching for a particular phrase, but you don’t have any associated content, create some!

If you have an AdWords PPC campaign, use your Search Query Report to show what drove people to click your ads over other organic results.

For more help with long tail keywords and getting the most out of your online marketing campaigns, get in touch with dark peak digital today.



Domain names and web addresses form a crucial part of any company’s online identity. Although search engines are now the most common way to find products, goods or services, a poor domain name can still adversely affect the success of an organisation’s website.

But even if you don’t get too involved with domain names, it is still important to understand how building & hosting a website works.

At Dark Peak Digital in Glossop we tend to deal with online marketing campaigns that involve copywriting, search engine optimisation, social media management and mobile optimised sites.

But, certain things like domain names should be ultimately be your responsibility and here’s why…

Greater protection

Several companies will outsource web design or online marketing to a digital agency, which is understandable as they usually have a wealth of knowledge, adept staff and tailor-made solutions. This allows you to concentrate on other crucial areas of the business.

However, if the agency in question was to go out of business, what happens to your domain name and web space? While confusion ensues and you’re pressing for answers, the third-party will be more concerned with getting its affairs in order.

You could easily be left in the lurch for a long period of time with nowhere to turn.

Long-term security

 If your outsourced agency does go out of business and the relationship breaks down, a new solution will be required. Even if this ends up being a hostile split, you would hope all the necessary details and documentation associated with domain names will be passed on.

However, if you receive little to no information, there could be problems when it comes to renewing a domain name or web host subscription.

While there may be a way round this with the web host, registering your own domain will avoid any future issues.

Complete control

Although it remains important to contact and talk to those in the know about domain names, dealing with registrars and web hosts directly gives you complete control.

Ultimately, you should be looking for a domain registrar that:

  • Does not mention hidden fees
  • Does not monetise your domain name
  • Gives you access to things like whois records, registrar locks, auth codes, DNS settings, mail exchangers and name servers
  • Pays for the number of years you order up-front

But when it comes to identifying the right domain name, which should take into account keywords as well as being unique and easy to remember, get in touch with Dark Peak Digital.



Even though Twitter is a place where you can tell friends and followers about how bad your day at work is going or post a picture of that evening’s dinner, it is a hugely significant and influential marketing platform for business.

Social media enables any organisation to communicate directly with consumers or clients, build brand identity, improve website traffic and ultimately generate more revenue. While other networks and channels may be more beneficial to certain types of business, Twitter can be taken advantage of and put to good use by any marketer.

Although you have got the opportunity to tweet all day until your heart is content, without knowing whether activity is having a positive impact or not, there is not much point in even logging in. Therefore, measuring Twitter engagement is crucial if you want to succeed.

What is Twitter engagement?

 It may feel like posting company updates or re-tweeting content is enough to make a social media impact, but this is simply scratching the surface. Twitter is a two-way communication channel, which compels you to interact and engage with others.

Therefore, if you’re successfully engaging on Twitter, your brand should start receiving more mentions and followers while posts will be favourite and retweeted to a greater extent. Once you start to notice these indicators, it will be time to measure Twitter engagement.

Define your goals and objectives

 Before you start measuring your engagement, it is extremely beneficial to determine what you want to achieve. From increasing awareness and website traffic to improving reputations and relationships with customers, your Twitter activity will be much easier to track and analyse with some defined goals and objectives.

Define metrics and indicators

 After figuring out what you want from Twitter, think about how these targets will be measured. This can include but is not limited to growth, reach, traffic and conversions. You could be getting lots of new followers, but they may not be interacting with your account. Certain posts might be favourited or retweeted, but website traffic and conversions could be lacking.

Measurement tools

 The best way to monitor and analyse follower patterns or tweet trends is by using a measurement tool. This way, you’ll be able to focus on particular aspects of your Twitter footprint and improve end results.

Klout – This particular resource gives you a social influence rating from 1 to 100 by determining the size of your network, correlating created content and measuring user interaction. After receiving a Klout score, you can use various tools to improve your rating with better engagement.

Twitalyzer – Measuring every aspect of your activity and presenting it in easy to understand dashboard, Twitalyzer is a ‘one stop shop’ for measuring engagement. With this tool, you can also browse topics, hashtags and influencers relating to your line of work.

TweetReach – This enables you to find out how many impressions your account’s activity is receiving beyond its followers. In addition to providing data about the engagement levels of your audience, TweetReach also presents information about trending topics, industry influencers and competitor activity.

This is our page, explaining the Dark Peak approach to social media marketing.



In case you’re not aware of the term, marketing automation refers to technology that can automatically streamline and measure common marketing tasks such as lead generation, segmentation, customer retention and ROI measurement.In theory, this can increase operational efficiency, minimise the cost of labour and ultimately grow revenue faster.However, question marks remain as to whether marketing automation actually works. Sure there are benefits to implementing this technology, but there are drawbacks as well.

When marketing automation works

Through marketing automation, routine and repeatable tasks like managing leads, ranking prospects and managing a comprehensive database are effectively taken care of. A great example of marketing automation working is Amazon. When you click on a product, its marketing automation software kicks into life and presents the prospective buyer with personalised content based on what they are viewing or previously bought.

This kind of automation not only provides the customer with a better user experience, it also allows the business to evaluate the effectiveness of site content in real time.

When marketing automation doesn’t work

 Just like SEO, marketing automation has been adopted as an industry buzzword. Several people believe that it solves every single problem or annoyance associated with turning prospects into satisfied customers. However, this means that generating inbound leads is often completely forgotten about. Even though you can buy lists of leads to nurture, they often turn out to be an irrelevant and unfruitful audience. There is every chance of attracting a few quick customers fairly easily, but long-term future success is far from guaranteed.

Getting the right balance

 Therefore, it is crucial to remember that market automation does not necessarily generate leads for you, but it can help identify and nurture quality prospects. From these potential customers, marketing automation can help deliver personalised content with behavioural data and tools based on unique interests. Here at PILR Marketing, we aim to deliver straightforward services and processes to help maximise your marketing footprint online. From marketing automation to search engine optimisation and social media management, we pride ourselves on striking the right balance for all our clients.

Is marketing automation right for you?

Are you…

  • Generating a healthy amount of new and qualified leads?
  • Overwhelmed by the number of quality leads you are creating?
  • In agreement with sales and marketing teams about lead conversations?
  • Tracking the body language of digital leads?
  • Interested in scaling a proven lead nurturing strategy?

 If so, get in touch with Dark Peak Digital today to find out how we can help with addressing and answering these questions.



In recent years, the power and popularity of social networking has been there for all to see. From interacting with friends on Facebook to catching up with the latest news on Twitter and posting pictures on Instagram, these websites are now a part of our daily lives.

While YouTube may not necessarily be your archetypal social network, it still encourages users around the world to create, upload, view and share content over the Internet. So do people go to YouTube to be educated or entertained? The answer is both.

Learning resource

 In the past, finding the answer to a common question or problem wasn’t necessarily an easy task. It would usually require looking in a book or asking a friend, both of which were potentially time consuming.

This was eventually replaced by searching the Internet via Google, Wikipedia or Yahoo Answers. While these resources remain valuable and important, YouTube now offers a new realm of possibilities.

Not only can you watch instructional videos, there is also the opportunity to increase your learning capacity. YouTube is a place where users can access classroom content, discover documentaries or simply look at product reviews.

At dark peak digital, we recognise the importance of social networks like YouTube as a way of promoting your business. This can be done in numerous ways, not least by giving your audience a way to learn more about goods, services or the company’s brand.

Pleasure and leisure

 Even though YouTube can be a great way to gain an understanding of numerous subjects or topics, its fundamental purpose is to entertain.

Whether you’ve spent hours on end watching suggested videos or tuned in to television shows dedicated to the site’s most popular content, it is difficult to ignore the entertainment value of YouTube.

While creating, producing and editing videos might seem like a drawn-out process, it can be a simple and effective way of connecting with customers on a personal level. In addition to a company blog or photo stream, shooting unique videos of the workplace, staff or operations will provide lots of entertainment.

With nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visiting YouTube, the benefits for any business are huge, regardless of the type of content on offer. Although comprehensive social media management takes time to implement and oversee, dark peak digital can help deliver any campaign. With us, both website integration and customer interaction is taken care off, allowing you to concentrate on other areas of the business.




Your company website can enhance brand exposure, gain new customers, improve reputations and increase conversions. However, these boons and benefits will not come to fruition if traffic numbers are poor or paltry. Therefore, the need for a coherent, comprehensive and compelling online portal is paramount. Even so, there are certain things that will damage your website traffic, which could then have harmful consequences for your business. 

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