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Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly community roundup.
In UKBF Stories, TODonnell outlined a simple guide to setting up a UK limited company, Employment Law Clinic tackled the difficult issue of restrictive covenants and Francois Badenhorst looked at the future of self-employed immigrants in post-Brexit Britain. On the forums, the community discussed recruitment agencies, DIY accountancy and keyword metaphors.
Here are my top picks for this week:
Johnny1975, General Business
Johnny1975 is the latest to bring up a popular query for small businesses starting up: if I’m not dealing with a lot of transactions, can I handle the accounting myself?
“I feel like I could do it, once I can fully grasp it,” he says. “I just want to get some input in case I'm vastly underestimating it.”
johndon68: I'm a one man band limited company and I do know accounts up to and including management accounts (albeit I have no formal qualifications). I still use an accountant for my end of year returns. I know I could do it myself, but the peace of mind of knowing that everything is being done and being done properly outweighs the cost.
Pish_Pash: No, you don't need an accountant at the beginning of Y1, you just need to keep your books in order with accounts software (I used Quickbooks: it's fine for its purpose). However, you will need an accountant to take your accounts data and present it in a way for HMRC. Your HMRC corp tax return is needed at the end of Y1 + 10 months or so.
MyAccountantOnline: I appreciate that my view is biased as an accountant, but I have been an accountant for a long time and I've lost count of the number of people I've seen who have tried to DIY and ended up paying totally avoidable tax and penalties.
BenJacobs, General Business
Considering entering a partnership, BenJacobs looks for advice on how to check the assets and liabilities of an individual.
Scalloway: You could credit check them. But bear in mind what an insolvency practitioner told me - take more care in choosing a business partner than you would in choosing a spouse.
Webgeek: Ah joint ventures - can be the best of times, or not. Enhanced disclosure, credit check and police report are scratching the surface if it's someone you don't know or haven't known for years. More time and money spent on the partnership agreement and terms for an exit - the more the merrier.
splashweb: Why not take the lead and tell your proposed partner that you'll be declaring to them your own credit check, and whatever else and that they do the same. I'm sure they'll have equal doubts and questions as you have. Start as you mean to go on.
aflat9, SEO, PPC and Online Marketing
After noticing one of his competitors ranks for a keyword he was planning to target, aflat9 checked their backlinks and found thousands from Russian gambling and men’s health sites. He’s reported it to Google but isn’t convinced they’ll look into it properly.
Webgeek: You don't need to beat the site because of it's powerful paid links, you need to beat it because of its content and optimisation. Hopefully, you've abandoned the plan of tonnes of long tail pages which aren't linked in the main nav and are moving to using valuable, authoritative content, social mentions and an occasional quality backlink as your way forward instead.
Dmitri Fantastic: Truth is, even dodgy links can work. I myself work in some really competitive niches and I can tell you for sure that there are people ranking with hundreds of Brazil, Congo, Afghanistan, Russian and etc PBN links within the top four results for quite a few juicy keywords.
TODonnell: Cheesy backlinks from unrelated sites look duff to a human and may in time look duff to a bot. SEO is simple, really: How can I make a remarkable offer, and do the basic things to project that online, so a human, and a bot, can agree that it's worth promoting that offer to interested parties?
deniser, IT & Internet
When deniser tried to access her site earlier this week, a completely different site appeared in place of hers. The website was hosted by a different company and used a different shopping cart. Has she been hijacked?
Xtm_Mike: Websites that do not have SSL certificates but share a server with websites that do have SSL will load the primary SSL that was installed on the server. The result is seeing somebody else's website on your domain. You can quickly check for this problem by accessing your site over HTTP and HTTPS.
UKSBD: I think more and more people are realising just how bad the https implementation handling has been. When you get hosts automatically setting up lets encrypt and not telling clients, Cloudflare defaulting to full or flexible SSL, hosts putting certificates on shared hosting, etc. it's hardly surprising all the confusion is caused.
Dan_HiHosting: Browsers often default to https now, which can cause problems if you don't have an SSL certificate installed for your website. Any decent host will provide an SSL certificate for free, so you can look to add one. Or you can redirect https requests to HTTP if that is the issue.
Last but not least, here's a fantastic post on keywords from webgeek:
Think of keywords like root cuttings when you clip a bit off one one plant, stick it in the dirt and grow a new plant elsewhere, all the while keeping the original intact and healthy. A root keyword - like 'bosch widget' could be the basic term. Optimise your title, h1, opening para, inbound links within the site, navigation, etc, around that term.
You want that to grow into 100' tree with branches and leaves - but you don't need to optimise for each of them, like 'large bosch widget', 'bosch kitchen widget', 'sale on 'bosch widgets'. You can't optimise a page for many things - it doesn't work like that.
Optimise for the root, add nutrients and care to it, and it'll grow. The SEO equivalent of nutrients is authority and trust. The equivalent to care is optimisation and frequent content additions/updates.
Build the base, then give it a super Mario power up so that it'll rank for 10, 100, or 1000 terms related to your root.
Have a lovely weekend, folks!