Guide to SEO
1. How do you get to the top of Google?
That's THE question isn't it? Here goes...it's a process of working on the factors that Google determines are important indicators of what makes a web page 'valuable' and relevant for a specific search term. Key factors include the url, page title, page content and the quality and quantity of links pointing to that page. Google is always changing the 'weighting' of certain factors to return the best possible set of results, so methodologies have to adapt to remain on top. Read: Top 10 Ways to Raise Your Site on Google. Another way to answer might be hire Catch22 Marketing! Ahem, moving on...
2. What is (Google) Page Rank?
It's Google's indicator of a website's quality, on a scale of 1-10, with time, content and links being the biggest ranking factors. In SEO terms an inbound link from a site with a higher page rank will have greater impact - especially if it's 'on-topic' (contextual). High quality links are also harder to come by through cheap/automated SEO practices which helps the whole Google eco-system stay healthy.
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3. Can we do SEO ourselves?
Sure. We'd even be happy to teach you. But here's the hard truth...you won't get very far. Maybe 4-5 years ago you could apply some good on-page SEO principles and with a few link exchanges find yourself top of a niche market or long-tail search term. Now, forget it. There are too many horses in the race and if you're entering the race with an old mule of a website and seo strategy you're going to get shot in the paddock! Bottom line...hire a pro.
4. How long to get to the top of Google?
For brand new websites it's really tough to predict accurately, with established sites it can be a little easier, but SEO by nature is a long-term marketing strategy. So think in terms of 3-6 months rather than days and weeks. Sometimes it's strictly a shortfall of inbound links, sometimes it's site structure or content issues - so we plug those gaps until you hit pole position. We analyse your website and the websites currently in prime positions, then calculate the time needed to overtake them using one of our monthly SEO packages.
5. Do you guarantee ranking results?
No. It just doesn't work. SEO is not a exact science - it's more like stock trading. You apply knowledge, experience and proven strategies and over time the graph (over time) heads in the right direction. Past performance is a good indicator of future fortunes and we have a pretty impressive track record of getting businesses to the top of Google.
6. How about outsourcing SEO to India?
A good question. The 'idea' of exploiting India's cheap labour is very attractive to UK companies, but from first hand experience it's riddled with risk and management issues. Downsides include, language barriers, increased communications, frustration, performance, reliability and accountability issues to name just a few. Then imagine dealing with that every month. For most businesses that simply doesn't appeal - hence the desire for an SEO Web Design company.
7. Can you pay to get to the top?
No. Well, not in the natural (organic) search listings. You can use Google Adwords to pay for text adverts to appear alongside search results but ranking in the organic search results solely depends on making Google's search algorithm happy. Also your Adwords activity bares no relation to anything happening in the SEO world.
8. Won't everything change next month?
Maybe a little...but relax. We know things are moving fast - especially with how social media is changing the online landscape, but believe it or not the fundamentals of SEO have remained largely unchanged in the last five years. A healthy outlook is to think of successful seo web design as a process and be willing to adapt and try new things. We always advise for the need of a marketing mix, and choosing channels where your target market spend their time online.
9. We're on page 1 but don't get any enquiries!
Annoying isn't it? Did you know 1st position gets around 30-40% of clicks from each search and after 2nd place the percentage dramatically drops off? What this means is that you need to be in top 5 (or ideally in the top 3 positions) to get a decent slice of the action on a search terms people are actually using! Fill out an SEO Quote Request and we can give you an indication on how much traffic there is for ANY search term...anywhere in the world.
10. Just one more...
Sorry, I know we should probably just write a book :) If we didn't cover your query check out the expert video and SEO glossary below. Then you can always fill out our free website review and one of the team will shed some light on your SEO query. If you're keen on ramping up your SEO IQ then we've compiled the best places on the net to learn...
- SEOMOZ Blog - Cutting edge SEO industry insight...daily.
- Search Engine Journal - Not really for beginners but incredible SEO resource for staying ahead of the SEO game.
- Search Engine Watch - One of the longest standing communities for SEO. Superb new site as well.
- Search Engine Land - Packed with useful SEO articles and lots of superb SEO Tools.
- Catch22 Marketing Blog - We've started to collate our best small business advice on web design, SEO and social media.
I'm Informed and Convinced...What's Next?
Get in touch! After you've sent us a short brief we'll supply a short SEO review, a cost for SEO Stages 1 and 2 and some estimates on how long before your website will appear at the top of Google. Send us your > SEO Quote Request
Search Engine Optimisation Videos
On-Site SEO Review
We will perform a full on site SEO analysis of your website and list all of our recommendations to make it 100% Google friendly. By implementing our recommendations your website will stand a better chance of showing up in the search results for your top keywords (search terms). The important thing is we also understand about balancing SEO, design and commercial needs, so no area is neglected in the quest for higher rankings.
Google Analytics Installation
If you don't already have it we will setup and install a Google Analytics account for you so that you can see how many people are visiting your site, how long they are staying, where they are coming from, plus much more information about your website.
We are huge fans of Google Analytics and use it on every site we work with as a powerful diagnostic and measurement tool, so our decisions are based on empirical data and not guess work.
Top Level Keyword Research
Right now there are many searches going on in your market for phrases that you may not have even thought of; and often it is these lesser known keywords that hold the most opportunity. Therefore we will research your market and find 3 - 5 of these hidden gems that you should be trying to show up in the search engines for.
Advanced Deep Level Keyword Research
Right now there are many searches going on in your market for phrases that you may not have even thought of; and often it is these lesser known keywords that hold the most opportunity. Therefore we will research your market and find 10+ of these hidden gems that you should be trying to show up in the search engines for.
We will take your top 10 keywords that we found in your keyword research and perform a full competitive analysis for each one. In this exercise we will take each one of your 10 keywords and list the top 10 sites that show up in the Google search engine. We will then perform a full on-site and off-site analysis for each of your competitor's sites and using metrics such as domain age and number of backlinks we will give them a rating out of ten. With this information you will know where the untapped opportunities are in your market for you to take over in no time at all.
Search Engine Submissions
Submitting your site to all the top search engines used to be enough to get your site ranked highly. Now, due to the speedy algorithm updates of Google this strategy is not nearly as effective as it once was. However, submitting your site to search engines is still good SEO practice and usually plays a part in the initial SEO strategy for new projects.
Also known as on-site SEO, it's all about the physical elements within the site. From search friendly url structure, clean 'semantic' code, keyword density, key-phrase diversity, header titles and site architecture. All of which relates to work done in Phase 1 of our SEO Service and then getting your site working collaboratively with your 'off-site' activity. Google is caring more and more about how quick your site loads (construction) and how people behave on your site (usability and design).
Conversion Analysis and Reporting
We use Google Analytics Goal Setting to record which keywords result in a sale or enquiry. This is a very important part of the SEO process as it enables you to see how your website is working and to calculate your return on investment (ROI). We are able to identify which keywords are converting are which are not and adjust our SEO strategy accordingly.
There are hundreds of good social bookmarking websites out there but the trick is submitting your web pages to the right ones and not too often. Social bookmarking sites are simply a place where you can submit a link to an individual page on your website with a short description of what this page is about. People and Google alike love these social bookmarking sites meaning that they do a great job at funneling customers to your website and getting strong backlinks.
Before Google wised up and starting getting clever, this is pretty much all you had to do to get your website on page 1 of the organic search listings. You just posted your website address to a few website directories and sat back and watched the sales come in. Unfortunately, it's not that easy now. There are still many SEO companies out there where this is all they do. They will charge you hundreds of pounds for a few directory submissions and then disappear when the results that were promised do not materialise. Despite this, directory submissions still have their place which is why we still use them; we will continue to use them until our testing proves otherwise.
Although nowhere near as effective as they used to be, when done slowly over time, Google still notices them and they will form a good foundation for your link strategy. The key point with directory submissions (and most other forms of Internet marketing) is to make it look as natural as possible. If you suddenly have 250 directory listings for your website within 2 days of launching your new website - Google's algorithm is smart enough to recognise this as irregular behaviour. Mostly we try to stay as close to Google's Webmaster Guidelines for ethical SEO practices.
Now that you have a slick looking professional video, what do you do with it? Simple, leave that to us. We will post your video to more than 5 podcast directories plus 20+ video directory sites including:
- AOL Video
- Facebook Video
- MySpace Video
- Google Video
- Podcast directories
Plus many others
We have perfected our video submission process to the point where we regularly see our client's videos showing up on the first page of Google in a matter of days.
Press Release Submission
We will submit your press release to Press Release sites such as www.prlog.org and prnewswire.com page rank 6 and 7 respectively. These sites only accept high quality unique press releases and are human edited. Traffic stats for each press release submitted are available from within these sites.
The course ends with a conclusion about what we have learned and where to study them further. We also look at how the patterns are all connected.
We give a number of great references where you can learn new patterns and study the subtleties of patterns further.
Lastly, we give some pointers on how to write your own patterns. This process is called discovering or inventing a pattern.
If you want to attract more customers to your website, then you need to keep pumping out fresh content to the internet on a regular basis. Don't know what to write about, where to publish, or don't have the time? Then let us do all the writing for you. We will produce high quality articles written specifically to promote your website and business and publish this fresh content all over the internet.
This will stop Google in their tracks and make them fall in love with you and your business. In return for all this fresh content, Google will send you all the customers that you could possibly handle.
Monthly SEO Reports
We provide all our clients with monthly SEO reports that:
- Comprehensive list of links created for your site to for the month.
- List all the social bookmarks created
- Will show the micro blog posts that we have made
- List of SEO directories we have submitted your site to
- Show backlink analysis showing all your new backlinks
- Importantly show an updated ranking report with at-a-glance metrics
- Include an analysis of the previous months activity and ranking results
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