Climbing the rankings with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

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Small business web design – Do it yourself or hire a professional?
March 20, 2018
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Climbing the rankings with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

One of the most common questions I get asked by clients is ‘Will I be on the first page of Google?’. The question is not so black and white as you might think, there is no magic command you can put into your website to climb – it takes time.

You may have heard the phrase ‘SEO’ thrown at you by website nerds in the past, i’ll explain exactly what it is. To understand what SEO really means, let’s break it down and think from Google’s perspective.

Firstly, the quality of the traffic that Google is sending your way. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your website because Google tells them that you sell washing machines, but you’re a lawyers office, that’s not quality traffic. Secondly is something we call ‘organic traffic’ – which is essentially customers that have found your website on Google without clicking an advert. Unfortunately adverts can be incredibly costly if you’re a small business, so pushing your organic traffic should be your primary goal.

So how do we push your organic traffic? This one isn’t as simple either unfortunately. In layman’s terms, you would choose a keyword or a phrase for each of your pages that you want to rank for on Google. Let’s say that you run a coffee house in Liverpool, you would ideally want your homepage to show on the first page of Google when someone searches ‘Best coffee Liverpool’. If you have a physical store, you have a lot less flexibility in SEO tactics, you can still achieve your goal but it takes time.

On the other hand, if you run an online business that sells to a much larger demographic, you could create infinite ‘landing pages’ on your website that reach out to different areas, towns and cities. For example, you may sell shoes online – you may want to rank on Google for ‘Best shoes Warrington’, ‘Best shoes St. Helens’ and ‘Best shoes Wigan’. This is achieved by creating multiple landing pages for each area and assigning a keyword phrase to each of them.

Sound simple right? Not so fast. Simply applying a keyword to a page isn’t going to rank you on the first page on Google, it goes much deeper than that. Google has a list of guidelines in how they rank your website. Simply putting keywords on a page is only half the battle. There are actually over 200 different factors in which Google will rank your website. Things such as how fast it loads, how well it is coded, domain history, content length, image optimisation, different fonts (H1, H2) and affiliate links pointing to your page.

This is why when someone comes to me and asks ‘Will I be on the first page of Google?’, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. I run SEO packages without contracts that run month to month, but I would always suggest to clients that running an SEO package for one month is far from ideal. I’ve said this phrase a couple of times so far, but it takes time. There is a lot of trial and error on climbing the rankings. What may work for one business will not automatically work for the next. I would strongly suggest no matter where you go for your SEO services, give them at least 4-6 months to work with your website. Request a monthly report so you can see the progress, but do not expect to be #1 on Google overnight.

Although this isn’t a sales pitch, I do offer SEO solutions for new or existing websites – learn more here.

That’s all for this one though, I have websites I should be working on!

Chris