You might be reading this because you’ve got a website but not as much traffic as you were hoping for. It might be you’ve heard people talking about ‘optimisation’ but don’t know what it is. Maybe that’s the place we should start. What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? They are a set of techniques used to make website pages more visible on the natural, unpaid, section of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). That’s the bit below or to the side of the paid or ‘sponsored’ links. In short it’s where you want your content to be listed.
Many businesses hire digital marketing agencies to improve their visibility on SERPs. There are a number of known ranking factors that influence which content is displayed. These agencies are tuned into these ranking factors and can make recommendations to their clients as to how their position on these pages can be boosted.
There are thousands of digital marketing agencies in the UK, including us, that offer these services. So now you know what SEO is, how do you go about selecting an agency to work with (and yes you did read that correctly, you have to be involved too)?
We can’t speak for anyone else but our SEO procedure has been honed from our experience to date. This experience has told us that the place to start is to provide a briefing as to what the potential client can expect from working with us. And how much it could cost. And how long it could take. These are the questions we’re most often asked so we provide the answers upfront. We don’t charge anything until you’ve agreed to go ahead with an Audit of your current position.
In this briefing we also run through our checklist to ensure we’re able to carry out the required work for you. After that we’d schedule a time for our consultation where we ask you the crucial questions to establish objectives and key performance indicators for the project. We’ll then send you a proposal which you’ll need to be satisfied with before you commit to the Audit.
The checklist was designed to ensure you are a viable client to work with. Now please don’t take that the wrong way. It’s us not you! Our expertise is in self-hosted WordPress website development and associated digital marketing services. In other words we work with WordPress installations only, if you don’t have a WordPress website then we won’t be working together. It’s good to establish that before getting too far into the project we feel!
We then need to establish whether or not your site is being tracked using an analytics package, such as Google Analytics. If it’s not we’d need that set up before getting started. We can’t measure the work we do or report back to you otherwise. In addition we’d ask whether your site has been submitted to Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools. These services, provided by the two main search engines used in the UK, provide valuable insight about your site. If you haven’t submitted your site to them we’d need you to do this.
The next item on our checklist asks whether you’re currently, or have previously committed to any SEO activities.
We then go on to prepare you for the next stage; the consultation. The first might seem a bit obvious. We want to drill down as to why you’re contacting us for SEO assistance. We want to know specifically what you’re looking to achieve through your website. It might be additional sales, more enquiries, or more people reading certain pages, or downloading something, or joining a mailing list.
We’ll also ask you about your key competitors. We’ll ask you to have a think about who you see as the businesses directly competing with you for the market you’ve targeted. We can ascertain a lot of valuable information through competitor analysis, but it’s important that we’re analysing the right competitors from the off.
We also want to know who you see as the key influencers in your market. These are the websites that your customers and potential customers are using. Developing links to your website from any of these parties has a big part to play in the project, but it can take time to develop these relationships.
And finally we’ll talk about keywords. Keywords (and phrases) are the terms that people type into the search bar on their chosen engine to find the content they’re looking for. We want to know if you have a list of keywords for your site. If you haven’t we want you to have a think about this before the consultation too. We recommend that as well as doing this yourself that you ask your friends or relatives what terms they would use if they wanted to find your site. You’ll probably find it very revealing.
After we’ve gone through the checklist you’ll probably have started to realise that you play a very important part in the project! Not just from the outset but throughout the process. No one knows your business or your market as well as you do. We’ll harness that information to apply it to the techniques and procedures we know very well to boost your ranking.
What happens after this? We’ll set a time and date for the consultation. In the consultation we’ll review any of the above topics and ask some new questions to ensure the objectives and key performance indicators we set for the projects are spot on.
To start the process for your business get in touch to go through the pre-consultation briefing and checklist.