We ♥ IE6

We’re constantly deploying new features to Copify.

Some are small updates that users are unlikely to notice. Others, where changes to the user interface are involved, require a bit more care and attention to make sure things are hunky-dory when it comes to cross-browser compatibility.

Let’s face it – the Internet is a mess. There are so many different browsers and devices, ensuring that your web-app works on all of them can be a bit of a minefield.

Thankfully, most modern browsers play nice, and all render HTML & CSS pretty much the same way.

Oh wait, no. They don’t. Do they, Bill?

Many agencies and web developers have fought hard for a long time to “convert” as many people as possible away from Internet Explorer, and with recent stats on browser usage it looks like it’s not all been in vain.

However, we still have a significant number of visitors using older versions of Internet Explorer (mainly IE6 and IE7) causing us headaches. One of the biggest headaches is testing.

If you’re on a Mac, or running Windows 7, you can’t just download IE6 and see how your site looks. You’re going to need XP.

In this post I’m going to show you how we use a virtual machine to test these older pesky browsers.

All you need is Windows 7 and a few gig disk space going spare.

Ready? You were born ready!

Windows Virtual PC

Head over to Microsoft’s website and download Windows Virtual PC. You don’t need “XP mode” so you can skip this if you like, just make sure that you select the correct version of Virtual PC for your machine and operating system.

Make sure you get the correct version 32bit V 64bit

Once the download has finished, have a bash at installing. You’ll figure it out.

Windows Virtual PC VHD

Next, you need to download the Windows Virtual disk image to run.

I need to test IE6 and IE7 on Windows XP so I download the package called “Windows_XP_IE6.exe”.

Take the mouse in your hand and click the thing that says “Download”

The disk image comes with Windows XP and IE6, and also the installation files for IE7.

However, once you’ve installed IE7 you can’t run IE6 again. So make a copy of the first image, rename it and use this for IE7.

Make a copy if you need to use both IE6 and IE7 regularly

Fire up Windows Virtual PC

First off, select which image you want to run.

Right click on the Windows XP VMC and enter “Settings“. From here you can choose which image to use. Change the setting for “Hard Disk 1” and browse for your disk image.

Choose which disk image to run

Login issue

As with many Microsoft products, there is some kind of annoying, inexplicable problem with its use. In this case, it’s the fact you are presented with an impenetrable login form.

To get round this, choose “Disable Integration Features”. No idea what this does, but it gets you to login screen that works!

Disable this to get to the normal login

You can now login with the username “IE User” and the password “Password1“.

Password is case sensitive! Bless.


You’ve now traveled back in time and are about to experience the wonders of 1990’s web browsing. I suggest playing some classic Nineties pop tunes  while you test to get the the full effect.

OK let’s Brogram this Mother until all the horribleness is gone. Done? Great!

Probably losing £££s because of this, but it’s too funny to care

We’ve made our fixes to ensure IE6 users get the best browsing experience, and we’re now ready to do the same for IE7.


If you never wish to use IE6 ever again in your life (highly likely) then just run the IE7 install.

Unfortunately for me I may have to revisit good ol’ IE6, so I just reconfigure Virtual Machine to use the image copy I made earlier. I’ve renamed them so I know which is which.

Choose the IE7 image this time

Again, work your magic and fix all the nasty codez with some CSS hacks.

If like us, you’re using Git (What? You’re not using Git? Why not?) this is a good time to commit your changes and wave and scream at your boss, hinting you’ve made your website look great for pensioners and public sector workers across the country.

Commit your changes. Feels good.

Having problems following this guide? Tweet now or forever hold your forever hold your peace.

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How to do a comprehensive keyword audit on your site

In this post, I’m going to show you how to carry out a comprehensive keyword audit on your site. The objectives of this are as follows:

  • Identify areas for improvement in site content.
  • Improve landing page relevancy, to boost both SEO traffic and improve Adwords quality score.
  • Ensure that you are covering all of the long-tail keywords that are driving traffic to your site.

What you’ll need

  •     Google analytics tracking and ideally conversion tracking.
  •     A spreadsheet.
  •     A couple of free hours and some strong coffee.

Step 1 – Get the data

The first step in your audit is to grab all of your keyword data from analytics. Log in and navigate to Search > Overview in the left hand column. Ensure that the date range is set to capture as much data as possible.

navigate to Search > Overview in the left hand column and ensure that the date range is set as far back as possible to capture as much data as possible.
Ensure that the date range is set as far back as possible to capture as much data as possible.

Next, filter the referring keywords from both organic and paid traffic by navigating to Filter by Secondary dimension > Traffic Sources > Keyword:

Secondary dimension > Traffic Sources > Keyword
Secondary dimension > Traffic Sources > Keyword

Next, export this data to a CSV file so that you can use the data in a spreadsheet.

Then toggle the number of the rows at the bottom of the screen to 500. Unless you are dealing with an ecommerce site with thousands of SKUs, this should give you enough data to play with.

toggle the number of the rows at the bottom of the screen to 500.
toggle the number of the rows at the bottom of the screen to 500.

Next, export this data to a CSV file so that you can use the data in a spreadsheet.

export this data to a CSV file so that you can use the data in a spreadsheet.
export this data to a CSV file so that you can use the data in a spreadsheet.

Open the file in the spreadsheet package of your choice, make sure that you select the comma separated option in the popup before opening the sheet.

The data black hole – ‘not provided’

Google tell us that their decision to block access to the keyword data you’ll see as ‘not provided’ is a privacy measure. Really it’s in a bid to push their premium Analytics package.

The bad news is that unless you’ve forked out the $150,000 Google is asking for this, a lot of your referring traffic will be anonymous. The good news is that if you are running an Adwords campaign, you will be able to see what terms are converting.

Step 2 –  Sort the data

Once you have your data, you can sort it by a number of different metrics. Which ones you choose will depend on what your objectives are:

Want to increase traffic? – The second column, visits is the most relevant, sort the data to see the terms that are driving the most traffic.

Want to increase profit? – If you have conversion tracking set up on your site, there are several columns that can help you to view your money terms:

Revenue, Transactions, Average Value, Ecommerce Conversion Rate and Per Visit Value.

Step 3 – Categorise the data

Once you have sorted your data, the next step is to categorise it. Add a new column and give each keyword a category based on the words it includes e.g. ‘content’ or ‘articles’. This may seem like a laborious process, but it does get quicker with time, particularly when the cells start to auto-populate as you type common terms:

Give each keyword a category
Give each keyword a category

Once complete, you can order sort these terms alphabetically to see them in groups:

Sort your sheet by category
Sort your sheet by category

Step 4 – Analysis

Analyse your data to identify areas of improvement and action points:

Add extra columns for analysis
Add extra columns for analysis

I have done this by adding 6 new columns to the sheet, which are as follows:

URL – Is there a page for this keyword that already ranks, or do we need a new one?
Keyword in URL – Is the keyword included in the URL?
Keyword in title – Is the keyword included in the meta title?
Keywords in meta description – Is the keyword included in the meta title?
Keyword in H1 tag – Is the keyword included in the page’s H1 title?
Keywords in copy – Is the keyword present in the body copy on the page?

Step 5 – Actions

Once you have your completed sheet, you are ready to action any changes that need to be made. This might involve adding new landing pages or editing the meta data and page copy of your existing ones.

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Win 2 tickets to BrightonSEO!


BrightonSEO is one of the best search marketing conferences in the UK. Tickets for the next event on September 14th were snapped up in a number of hours, but as a sponsor we have 2 to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is Tweet the answer + @Copify to the following question:

Which of the following people is a world-renowned SEO expert?

A) Randy Jackson
B) Rand Fishkin
C) “Macho Man” Randy Savage

The winner will be announced on Friday 31st August.

Good luck!

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How Startups can win at SEO

We’re a 2 and-a-half year old company with a 3 year old domain. We rank on some pretty competitive terms ahead of some very well-established brands.

For what it’s worth, we’ve achieved a Page Rank of 6 – that’s the same as sites like Rightmove, John Lewis and Groupon.


A lot of people think that being a Startup puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO, but I disagree. Here’s how thinking like a Startup helps us and can help you to beat the big brands.

Startups are lean

If you want to be good at SEO, reacting to trends quickly is critical. Being lean means that ideas > production can happen instantly. Startups get stuff done while big brands miss the boat.

Do it
Have idea > Do it

Here’s an example of a typical SEO workflow in a big brand:

Have idea > discuss idea with colleagues > wait for sign-off from stakeholders on idea > fail to get sign-off on idea > give up.

and in a startup:

Have idea > Do it

Paddy Kenny
You need to be more agile than Paddy Kenny after a trip to the kebab shop

Startups are agile

You’d have to be psychic to know exactly what Google is going to do next. Good news for Startups who can pivot easily, bad news for brands with 500 stakeholders and the agility of Paddy Kenny after 7 pints and a doner kebab.

Startups are controversial

Startups shake things up and change the way that things are done. People don’t always like that, which means that they’ll discuss it.

Prince Philip
A bit of controversy never hurt anyone

Just days after launching, Copify was mentioned and linked to from some of the most established freelance copywriter websites in the UK. Although the coverage wasn’t exactly favourable, that must have given a pretty strong indication to Google that we were a brand.

Startups give a sh*t

Startups really have to care about their customers. This leads to goodwill and goodwill means that people are far more likely to mention and link to you. Sainsbury’s aren’t a Startup, but I can’t think of a better example of caring about your customers, and the subsequent SEO and social media pay dirt than the Giraffe Bread story that broke at the start of the year.

Giraffe Bread
£3 and a nice letter = 150,000 Facebook likes.

Startups are Marmite

People don’t respond to vanilla content, they respond to content that has character.

Be a Marmite brand

Lots of brands play it safe by being vanilla, but Startups aren’t afraid to be Marmite. If you want to win at SEO, create content that polarises opinion.

Lings Cars, for example, might look gaudier than a gypsy’s wedding cake, but lots of people (including me) love it for it.

But Google loves big brands?

You don’t need to have been around for decades or spend millions on above-the-line activity to build a credible brand. It’s as simple as having a strong identity and a point of view. Not everyone will like or agree with you, but that’s fine, because you don’t want them to.

A meeting of two great minds
A meeting of two great minds

5 Quick Startup SEO tips

  • Do Adwords first – A brand new site will never rank immediately, so until it does, run an Adwords campaign to see what terms convert and then allocate SEO budget to these terms.
  • Don’t fixate on high volume and ‘vanity’ terms – Being number one for a term like ‘copywriting’ might seem like it should be top of our list of priorities. But it isn’t, because it doesn’t convert, it’s a vanity term.
  • Go for the long-tail – Long tail keywords are quicker and easier to attain rank on than generic terms, they also have a higher conversion rate.
  • Update regularly – Even if this is a just a Twitter feed or a news ticker on your pages. Our jobs page is updated on average 40-50 times a day and I believe that this is one of the main reasons that it ranks.
  • Leverage relationships for links – For us it’s the blogs of our writers, but we’ve also found that links from friends and suppliers can work well.

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