Category Archives: Our services

Website design in Sutton Coldfield

If you are looking for website design in Sutton Coldfield then you are probably a local business like us. We can design attractive websites that also drive traffic to your business.  We build in content management systems so that you can add new, fresh content when you want or modify existing content WITHOUT being charged for the privilege.  We also give you the facility to upload photos and embed videos, all free of charge.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

We code in strong Search Engine Optimisation in all our designs and work with you to get your site ranked for the keywords that you want, helping to drive your business forward with a strong web presence. We can also maintain your business computers and sort out backup programs so all work is done by a company you can trust.

Responsive design for mobile devices

Mobiles and tablets now account for over 50% of all website traffic, so it makes sense to code in support for these devices right from the start. By avoiding bad user experiences (for example where mobile users have to ‘pinch’, ‘scroll’ and ‘zoom’ around your website) you will get increased user interaction and ultimately improved sales figures. By using one of our mobile friendly ‘responsive’ designs, the website adapts to the device that is visiting and offers the best use of screen size available. Try resizing this website in your browser, you’ll see what we mean!

E-commerce and online shop integration

Want to sell products and wonder if the whole thing might be a bit too hard to do? Many people do, but we can even setup state-of-the-art e-commerce systems in a way that anyone can understand, maintain and happily run.

Keeping it simple

We try to keep things as simple or as technical as you want us to, explaining all steps in the design and build process in a way that you’ll understand. Unlike some other companies, we don’t want any client baffled by the website creation process, it’s really not that hard to grasp and most clients are genuinely happy with the way they can add to, update and manage their own websites.

Please contact us for case studies and examples of our web design work.

SEO explained

SEO Services Sutton ColdfieldMany people are completely bewildered when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) so I’ve written a few notes here to help explain, in beginners’ terms, what it’s all about and how it can affect your website.

Websites can be created either using some online services, bespoke software or hand-coded from the ground up.  Unfortunately, they are not all equal in the way that they get looked at by the search engines. A good website design adheres to certain strict code and layout standards and these enable the search engines to decide what each page is about, ranking them accordingly. What then sets two similar websites apart becomes part of the very fine art that is SEO. Here are some of the influencing factors:

  • The URL keywords (the web address of that particular page)
  • Where they occur on the page
  • How the formatting of the text is (bold, italic, underlined or as a header)
  • The page title, subheadings, how long they are and words contained in them
  • The page’s meta description, length and whether it contains the same or related keywords
  • The overall content length
  • The content keyword density
  • The image filename, description and ALT attributes
  • Internal and external anchor text linking in to certain pages
  • Many more on-page ranking factors
  • Links back to the website from other websites
  • The quality and quantity of those links

You’re probably here because you have a website and want to know more about improving your site’s exposure to the search engines.  So how would our company go about improving your SEO and your web presence?


SEO explained – Improving website optimisation

For our SEO services, we would start by looking over your website and analysing it for optimised terms as well as good, clear semantic layout.  A brief look at many sites can show us that, even with several pages indexed by Google, they have poor “on-page” SEO and no real content. For the search engines, why would they send a visitor to your website unless there was something compelling to rank your website over other people’s sites?

Then, once the website is correctly formatted, we would get links from other sites to it. This can range from a couple to several thousand, depending on the website. The linking sources all carry different weight so it is important to choose these carefully.  We can provide turnaround of a few thousand backlinks within a few days but your site has to meet some criteria (age, amount of existing links etc) otherwise it would be quite detrimental and you could see your site “de-indexed” by Google. Imagine a brand new site that suddenly gets 2,000 backlinks, this would never happen in the real world so the  search engines are immediately suspicious. There are lots of different methods here and some of the less scrupulous companies will provide links without analysing your site’s requirements first. We try to help the search engines to correctly categorise your site’s content and give you the best chance of success in the search rankings.

Some sites will never be competitive enough to rank highly in Google for some keywords without spending tens of thousands of pounds on advertising.  These are generally the sites in hugely competitive areas that already have big players in them.These larger companies spend thousands, sometimes millions, on making their site the top of Google. But there is hope as we can often target keywords and keyphrases that they don’t, delivering quality visitors to your website. In the case of websites that sell products, this visitor traffic is often more targeted to buyers rather than ‘Window shoppers’ so it can be more beneficial. If, like many of our clients, your markup on a product is high, then you may only need to sell a few products to the new visitors you receive to recoup your investment with us.

We have knocked many of the ‘giants’ off the top spots in Google too, so please don’t think it’s impossible; just be realistic about what you want to achieve and we’ll work with you to get there.

What else helps SEO?

We often suggest incorporating a blog where we can include highly targeted articles that link to your existing website, boosting the existing keywords and adding in new ones. Article marketing often runs alongside this adding authority to your website and raising its prominence.  Local targeting would add some regional optimisation too, great for businesses with shop fronts.

Social networking is always beneficial and a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Google+ presence, correctly setup, would help to raise your rankings and site awareness. Prices here depend on whether you would maintain the social side or we would. It can be linked to the blog too though, providing a degree of automation.

We would propose a package that would be bespoke to your website’s needs but all costs would be discussed in advance and nothing hidden. Some questions answered:

Are your SEO package prices one off fees or are they monthly fees?

We have a mixture. Those listed on our website are all one-off fees but clients come back for more when required and often branch out into other territories such as social marketing with us as their business grows. Search Engine Optimisation is an ongoing thing, your rankings need to be maintained as new competitors come into the market and older ones improve their websites. By mixing the types of packages you have a rounded website that has the best chance of success.

Do you offer any kind of SEO reports showing my website’s current problems?

We can offer website analysis, keyword analysis, keyword rank tracking and backlink analysis. You will be clear on what we can achieve and, while it’s not an exact science as search algorithms often change, we can use our experience to develop the subsequent stages of the SEO process.

As you might imagine, there are many factors that would need to be discussed (and SEO explained further!) so please use the contact form here for initial contact.


Backlink building and social media SEO services

Backlink building SEO Sutton ColdfieldSearch Engines rely on backlinks to tell them which website is an authority on a certain subject.  This occurs naturally as websites with great content get found and people link back to them from their own sites. The problem is, this rarely happens quickly if you don’t promote your website.

A9 Creative & SEO can build backlinks to suit the requirements of different sites.  Most websites need a variety of backlinks building to them, with links from as many different websites as possible. Some links will use keywords that are specific to your website’s brand, some will use general subject matter while some will contain targeted, keyword-rich links to pages within your website. This is called ‘deep linking’ and can be an excellent way to drive targeted traffic to your site. There are many different ways to link back to your site, so we offer some packages for our clients that can be used separately or mixed.

The backlinks that we offer are available at any time and can be adapted to your specific requirements. There are no contracts or tie-ins and you can set them up as part of a campaign. Our link building campaigns look very natural to the search engines and we advise on respectable time pauses between backlinks creation.

Realistically, the work we do can often take a few months to affect your search engine rankings. We take a before and after snapshot and work to raise the prominence of your chosen keywords and phrases. Backlink strategies are rarely immediately beneficial, although in some low-keyword-competition areas it can sometimes be just a few days before the client sees a marked improvement in traffic.  We offer short and long-term contracts for this reason, although you can always try our service and invest later when you require an SEO boost.


Social Media Backlinks

We offer a variety of methods to get you noticed on the social networking sites. For Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Digg and more we have bespoke networking tools that can drive visitors to your feeds. Don’t underestimate the power of social networks in upping the ranking of your website.

Give us your preferred keywords and we’ll help you to get comments and links on thousands of social media sites. We also offer complete management of your social profiles from initial setup to posting content.


SEO article rewriting service

If your website contains posts, pages or articles we can optimize these to include search engine friendly layouts and semantic structure. Website optimization starts with getting the on-page elements correct.

Prices start from as little as £60


On-page Search Engine Optimization

We can carry out a review of your website and improve your on-page SEO so that you have a much better chance to attract the right visitors. Coupled with our backlink building and quality SEO services you will then have a website with increased ranking and authority.

For more details on any of the services listed above or to chat to us about SEO, social or backlinking services, please use the contact form here.


Contact form spam and offers of cheap SEO!

contact form email spamI do get annoyed by the common website contact form spam from Eastern European and Asian countries (mostly India). My regular clients do too. These contact emails offer the promise of cheap SEO services which can often be attractive for businesses just starting out. There is a hidden price to pay though if you take them up on this offer. If you’re lucky, they’ll just do a bad job. If you’re unlucky, and many are, they’ll make your site completely disappear from Google’s search results and you’ll need to recruit a proper SEO company to put things right.

Preventing contact form spam

Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do to prevent this type of contact form spam while still allowing legitimate enquiries to come through. The spammers often use newly created free email accounts such as those from Gmail, Yahoo, Live etc. This is because their previous ones are caught by the email spam filters and it takes a while for their new accounts to get detected. We use various levels of filtering on websites that we create, but it’s a trade-off between getting those all-important enquiries and blocking everything that seems potentially spammy. Believe it or not, we get this type of spam through our website too, saying that our site is no good and that we urgently need an SEO company! It’s simply automated junk that fires off to every website that has a contact form, they don’t read or test your website at all.

Their underhand methods explained

spam gmailSpammers will use common SEO terms to make it look like they have something to offer but, when pushed, they really try to cover their lack of knowledge with more technical jargon to ‘blind’ the customer. Recruiting one of these companies to do your SEO work is a big mistake and we often pick up the pieces of poorly run campaigns which cost the client more money to put right.

Most of these ‘companies’ just throw lots of links to your website from very dodgy sources and these can get it quickly de-ranked in the search engines for attempted manipulation of the results. Some of them even run off with your money, never to be seen again, unless under a new name with more false promises.

In contrast, our link-building methods are natural and allow your website to grow over time with no damage to reputation or rank. And to answer common questions from our clients, yes, we monitor Google Webmaster Tools, we monitor website analytics and look for keyword trends and patterns and much more besides. We do every legitimate search engine optimization technique that the email spammers say they’ll do but actually don’t do very well.


How to find out if an SEO company is real?

Asking a few key questions should quickly expose their legitimacy. One look at their email address usually is enough to show that they don’t have a registered business, often using free Gmail or Live email addresses that close down when things get awkward between them and their clients. If they include a number it’s often just a throwaway one too.
As a guide here are some things that you should check:
  • Has the company got a registered business address?
  • Do they have a UK company number?
  • Does the company have verifiable client testimonials?
  • Does the company have any websites they can show you that rank for difficult or competitive search terms?
  • Can you hear call-centre noise if you actually speak on the telephone with them (many work in call centres by day and spam websites by night)?
  • Are your questions answered in plain English or are you given more technical jargon as a response?
  • Did you contact them or did they contact you?
  • Is their email address a free one, eg Gmail, Live, GMX etc.?
  • Are there spelling and grammar mistakes in their email and would you want them creating content on your behalf?
  • Do they have a website that doesn’t look like a generic, unfinished template (if they have one at all)?


While not an exhaustive list, this has hopefully made you more aware of what to look for and the potential hazards of recruiting an unknown and unaccountable company to drive your business presence on the web. You have been warned…

We are happy to chat about your company’s business requirements by email or telephone. Get in touch now to see how we can simplify your Search Engine Marketing.

Facebook marketing

Facebook marketing SEOWe offer Facebook marketing campaigns as part of our SEO and advertising services, which are really good for driving targeted traffic and visitors to your site.  We can recode part of your website so that any new posts you make get automatically fed onto your Facebook and Twitter pages, so no effort is required to maintain or post onto these sites.  This way, you get a social presence and receive passing ‘organic’ traffic with no ongoing costs.


Bespoke Facebook adverts

We also offer design services for your Facebook advert so it stands out from the crowd. We can then deploy these adverts onto Facebook’s system for you and explain the tracking system used to monitor your advert’s performance. The adverts can be paused at any time or switched to a new campaign.


Facebook marketing demographics

Facebook has the most targeted demographics currently available anywhere online.  Where else can you advertise to, for example, “women aged 30 with an interest in furniture design” or “men aged between 40 and 46 who like tennis and squash”?  Using our experience, you can also reduce the cost per click of these adverts significantly, sometimes saving up to 80% on Facebook’s proposed charges! Cost per click can often be driven down to just a few pence making it cheaper than Google Adwords,, or other online marketing methods

Please contact us for more information about Facebook marketing and advertising.

Recycling computer equipment

In an effort to help with environmental issues, A9 Computer Services is proud to be part of a recycling initiative. We have always endeavoured to recycle used equipment and have the facilities available to securely erase personal and private data from computer hard drives.

Many charities and schools would benefit from a working computer, laptop or screen and we often repair units free of charge before passing them on to worthwhile organisations. It’s our way of putting something back into the community.

As data recovery specialists, we are only too aware of what sensitive information is easily retievable from a personal computer. Credit card details, banking details, passwords, emails, photographs, documents, database records are all stored on drives that we have recovered data from.

Simply formatting your drive does NOT remove this data and it can often be retrieved by people using readily available software.

For secure erasing, you can trust us to wipe hard drives to military standards. Drive destruction is also carried out in-house. We do charge for this service but the cost is minimal compared to the risk of this data passing on to third parties.

Please contact us for further information, quotes and free advice.

PC Health Check

PC Health Check Sutton ColdfieldThe PC health check costs £95 for previous customers and £105 for new customers. It remains the most comprehensive check of your computer that is currently available in the area.

We have been carrying out this type of maintenance for many years and existing customers often ask for a yearly ‘spring clean’ of their PC.

It can be carried out as a standalone service or in conjunction with a repair or upgrade.

The health check covers all of the following:

  • Complete scan of the hard drive(s) for malicious code
  • Antivirus test and update
  • Antispyware test and update
  • Trojan and worm scan (including the Conficker worm)
  • Rootkit scan
  • Firewall check, update and penetration test
  • Temporary file removal (accumulated ‘clutter’ of Internet pages, history, logfiles etc)
  • Hard drive error scan
  • Registry clean
  • Router settings backup
  • Examination of startup entries for malware
  • Windows security patches and updates
  • Advice on backup regimes

All necessary updates will be carried out provided there is broadband Internet access at your home. Should you be interested in this service please contact us via telephone or email. Details can be found on the ‘Contact us‘ page of this site.