Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation isn’t as difficult as many ‘gurus’ would have you believe. A commonly misunderstood tool in the marketing toolbox, SEO represents a very real opportunity for business growth at a fraction of the price of ‘paid’ media methods.
There’s more to SEO than just churning out content and praying to the search engine gods though.
SEO represents a collection of activities that, when taken together, position your website as a trusted authority on a specific topic; providing improved rankings and increased organic traffic, which you can turn into paying customers.

 

Integrated SEO: Bringing it all together

Great content, website speed, user accessibility, a stellar reputation and a sound technical foundation need to be brought together and managed to achieve the greatest SEO impact.
The odds are, you may already be working on some of these yourself; and by rounding these out with the bits you haven’t started on yet, the result will be greater than the sum of its parts.
Every site is unique, and the cocktail of SEO recommendations will differ between clients. Some have a fantastic content marketing strategy but may have a slow site that doesn’t adapt very well to mobile. Some have lightning quick sites with great usability, but they lack the answers people are searching for when they go to ‘Google’ their problems. Others have done everything right on their site and all they need are some heavy-weight backlinks to improve their rankings relative to their more established competitors.

 

Free SEO audit

Whatever the case, we provide free SEO audits to highlight what’s going well, what could  be improved, and any opportunities that might exist for the future. If you like what you see, and feel that we’d be a good fit for you to help make these changes, we embark on a discovery process.

 

Our SEO Process

Audit and objectives

Here we dig into your business and website history; what has your journey to-date looked like? Here we examine what has worked well for you, and any areas that might need some work. If you already have an SEO or digital strategy in place, we’ll go through this to see if there are any low-hanging fruit that can be added. We often find that clients have assets and content that can be re-worked and re-used, here we’ll take stock of your digital and printed assets and develop a content ‘library’ that we can draw on later in the project.

Finally, we’ll ask you about your business goals and objectives. Are you looking to grow in preparation for a sale or exit? Are you looking for greater market share? Is it enough to increase sales, or does it make more sense to increase the value of each purchase?

With a good understanding of your objectives, we can see how SEO fits in to your overall strategy, and if it does, what shape it ought to take. If we find that you’d be better off doing something other than SEO and investing your money elsewhere, we’ll tell you so.

Competitor analysis

SEO is a competitive field. Even if you do everything exactly right, you may still struggle to make ranking improvements if you’re competing against established, mature businesses who also have a solid digital strategy. By the same token, if you operate in a niche or industry that’s been slow to catch on, you can see positive results very quickly with minimal effort.

To understand the environment your website and business is operating in, we conduct detailed competitor analysis to find clues as to what kinds of advertising they’re using, what appears to be working for them, and where there are gaps you may be able to exploit. With this information in hand, we can estimate the amount of work and time that’s likely required for you to achieve positive change. We’ll look to see what companies, publishers and charities mention your rivals, what topics your competitors frequently write about, and what user queries are generating the greatest volume of traffic for them. With this insight, we can develop a content strategy and a publishing schedule to help you to rank for the same queries.

Our focus will then shift to technology and SEO best practices. We’ll run diagnostics on your competitors’ sites to see what they’ve done well and what they’ve missed. We’ll go a step further to analyse their website speed and user experience so we can contrast these with your own. With a report compiled, we can work to make your site faster and more technically sound than those of your rivals.

Customer discovery

It’s likely that your ‘ideal’ customer takes many forms. Are they time-poor, affluent and tech-savvy people? Are they a bit old fashioned? Do they want to research everything in detail, or is it enough for them to see that lots of other people trust you? The chances are that your customers embody many of these traits and more in combination. As part of our SEO process, we’ll use your customer data and analytics to find overarching themes which we’ll develop either by asking for your insights, or by interviewing your clients directly. For some, this might seem a bit ‘fuzzy’, but it can provide insights into customer thinking that radically reshape the structure of your website, your navigation, your content, and perhaps even your product or service. The goal here is to design customer journeys through your site that suit each type of customer, increasing the chances that they’ll convert into a lead or sale.

Keyword research

Linked to our competitor analysis, keyword research is the cornerstone of a good SEO strategy. Here we’ll discover what keywords and queries you’re being found for, we’ll see what your competitors are being found for, and we can look for ‘gaps’; keywords that are ultra-relevant for your brand, that no one is really bothering with. This research will give us a view on what areas will require a larger investment of time and resources, and which queries we can capitalise on from the outset for quick-wins.

We take this further by considering the insights gleaned from the ‘customer discovery’ exercise. Do your customers look for other solutions that are related to your product or service? What else did they consider? Do they describe their problem in ways you hadn’t thought of? This approach allows us to find new areas and topics that your competition may be blind to, giving you a first-mover advantage.

SEO strategy

With most of the research complete, we’ll begin to build an SEO strategy around our findings. This will come with an action-plan and timeframes for completion, mapped against goals that coincide with your wider business objectives. The resulting strategy document can then be used as a guide when unforeseen challenges arise and to chart our progress over the course of the relationship.

This document will be drafted so that it can be shared with, and understood by, others in your organisation; allowing others to provide feedback or to ask questions as the work progresses.

Link building

The original Google algorithm depended on finding hyperlinks between pages, which allowed it to judge the relative importance of each page and website based on the volume of links they received. Pages and websites that amassed more links were judged to be more important and were ranked higher than their topically similar counterparts. You can read more on the page rank algorithm here.

Google has come a long way since then, but links still play a very important part in how well a website ranks. With all things being equal between two websites, the odds are high that the one with the greatest number of good quality links from other sites will perform and rank best.

So, while it’s important to make sure that your site is fast, technically sound and full of good quality content, it’s also important to attract links from authorities and influencers in your niche – think of these as votes of confidence from people that Google already trusts. The more votes of confidence you have, the better.
As part of our competitive research, we’ll analyse your competitors link profiles to see how many links they have, how good they are and to see where they’re coming from. With this information in mind, we will develop a plan to gain some of these links to even the playing field and to attract other links that your competitors don’t have, to give you an edge.

On-site optimisation

Covered in our audit and in the overall SEO strategy, our research will have highlighted any technical short-comings or on-site changes that could be made to improve your website. Here, we take our findings and condense them into a ‘to-do’ list of fixes, organised by difficulty, that you can act on yourself, or for us to complete on your behalf. Some of these could be as simple as fixing broken links, renaming pages or reducing the file size of your images to help your webpages load faster; in some cases, these recommendations may be technical, requiring the input of a specialised developer to make the necessary changes. Some of these changes will have a greater impact than others and will be prioritised as such so we can make the greatest impact possible in the shortest timeframe.

Reporting

In line with the goals and objectives set out in the SEO strategy, we’ll provide regular reporting on our progress and on the impact our work is having on your web traffic, conversions and more. These reports are provided in an easy to digest format, free of jargon, with a narrative that explains how the numbers fit together and what they mean for your and our continued partnership. These reports can be provided weekly or monthly in a format or file type to suit you.

 

Why choose us?

We have all the gear and fancy toolkits the big agencies use

All big SEO agencies have a tendency to rely on the same tools and software for their research and planning. We also employ these same tools in-house alongside some technical wizardy that we’ve built ourselves to identify new content and SEO opportunities, and to understand what the competition are up to.

We educate our clients, so they can contribute

SEO is far less mysterious when you understand how it works. We also think that we do a better job when our clients are actively involved. So we take the time to not only share our findings with you, but to explain what that means as part of a bigger picture. As you begin to understand the process, you’ll feel more comfortable sharing your insights and experience so we can put them to work as part of your SEO strategy.

When we worked in-house, we worked with some crap SEO agencies

We’ve been in your shoes and have felt your pain. We’ve had to research digital marketing and SEO agencies for projects we ran in-house for big brands, and while many agencies talk a big game and give great pitches, the resulting work can be surprisingly mediocre, and communication can be diabolical. We hated that and wouldn’t wish it on anyone, which is why you won’t get that from us.

 

Next steps

If you’re interested in finding out what opportunity SEO can offer you, we’d be glad to provide a free, no-obligation SEO audit to show you where some of these opportunities lie. We know that you’re looking for an agency partner that’s transparent and believes in delivering quality work that all parties can be proud of, someone who just ‘gets it’ – we think we can be that agency for you. To see if we’re the right fit, request a free SEO audit today, or simply call or email us to arrange a meeting or discussion over the phone.

 

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What our SEO & link building customers think

“In a crowded and very competitive market John and the small team he built to support him… achieved outstanding results for Your Legal Friend”

Colin Gibson, COOYour Legal Friend

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