Get Your SEO Involved Early On

Here at SEO Liverpool we recently had a call from a business trying to engage us for search engine optimisation. They had spoken to a few other companies before us and decided he knew what he wanted and more importantly, he knew what he wanted to pay.

The Situation

He had his website built based on his own webdesign ideas and from the look of the website had not employed anybody who understood UX (User Experience) design. If fact for our perspective, he’s missed this step and employed a firm of developers from India to build to his personal specifications.

Secondly, he had then decided to employ an SEO specialist to simply gain the page one, number one listing!

Finally, the potential client had decided what he’d like to pay, he knew the amount of clients he could potentially reach and that almost all would want his service.

His Offer

A small SEO fee on retainer then a profit share based on sales.

The reality of the situation

Unfortunately, even the most insular webdesign and development teams understand the nature of UX particularly in relation to conversion. Navigation isn’t simply decided, it’s researched using a number of techniques and systems such as ‘card sorting’ and ‘user journey analysis’. The message on the home pages should be succinct and broken down to manageable chunks. Removal of any psychological barriers should be a priority, otherwise you can derail customers from going on the user journeys you’ve planned and ultimately driving them to some sort of agreed conversion or at the very least data harvesting.

This website shown looked very pretty, didn’t fulfill any of the requirements for SEO. Content was mixed and design was unclear with conflicted messages.

If in the research piece keyword volumes for the particular services and ROI for such services were worthwhile, the current design would have already put us quite far back. A redesign would have almost certainly have been needed.

The client wasn’t prepared to do that!

The client wanted the majority of this SEO company UK contract to be funded by the percentage of sales. Unfortunately, if it was possible to get to number one, the conversions through the site would have been very, very low. It wasn’t until I had a chat with the business, that I understood the services, therefore it would be a difficult proposition to any site visitor.

Finally, the search volumes are low, the price of the service is low, and the profitability needed to cover costs wasn’t viable.

Needless to say, we aren’t working on the project.

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More Quick Hits

At SEO Liverpool we like to answer as many questions from our readers and clients as possible… so here goes.

In general, what should I concentrate on with SEO to get the most value out of my time?

The golden rule is that content is king! This will never change. Content shows the search engine that a website is still alive. You’re very much mistaken if you think Google is all knowing.¬† Just because you’ve registered a domain name for a year or so, Google has no idea if the company is still trading or the information on site is still valid? Remember Google is essentially an academic tool. It’s core belief is to deliver the most valuable and up to date information to the searcher, therefore, having fresh content on valuable pages is essential. I’d always suggest a blog, with snippets around a paragraph long on a websites key-pages.

Depending on the content, this is also how you generate links. Good/valuable content is natural link bait, which is arguably the second most important SEO consideration. Viral content, or content that is easily shared, fun, interesting or even provocative (polarising) is also great for links. The Daily Mail are the masters of the universe on this one.

New content is also a great way to include keywords and back-links. You don’t want to spam your regular content with lots of keywords you’d like to be associated with, but a regular blog can help reinforce the keywords you already have. Just create a hyperlink to a particular site page using the keyword as the ‘anchor text’.

e.g. type the words ‘click here’ into Google. This illustrates the power of a link, as almost every site that has an adobe download uses ‘click here’ as its anchor text.

Are their any legitimate spam techniques?

Nope, spam is spam is spam. If it hasn’t already got a penalty attached, the likelihood is that it will. Inappropriate link spamming is the most recent aspect to get webmasters and SEO’s into trouble. Put yourselves in the situation of consumer and the search engine, if it looks dodgy, then it probably is. If you’ve been getting away with it so far, then the chances are you’ll fall foul in the future.

Case in point¬† – purchasing lot’s of Page Rank 3 links. If your link profile (the types of links you have) looks artificial, then the search engine will penalise you! If you think about it, how can any business regularly get 25 Page Rank 3 links month after month. Well they can’t, you’re more likely to get rubbish links than good ones.

What is the best tool you’ve got for SEO?

I had a really good think about this one. It’s a dead heat between Firebug and my back-link checker. I’ve done this purely based on the amount of value I get out of an hour or so.

Firebug

This is a plugin for Firefox that lets you easily see the HTML of website whilst the website is still visual in the browser. It has an inspector tool which is vital in checking over your own sites and those of your competition. You can check for various things such as H1 tags, alt image tags, frames, java and sometimes the dreaded hidden text.

Back-link Checker

If you want to investigate a site for links, then a back-link checker is a great tool. You can quickly look at competitors to see who links to them, the value of the link, the anchor text and even the value of the root domain it has come from. Any SEO worth his or her salt is using this on a regular basis.

How do I become an SEO?

If you wanted to become an SEO in Liverpool I’d recommend this is how you should start. Read the basic books on search engines and SEO, then move on to more advanced books on search. You’ll need to understand a little about webdesign and a lot about UX (user experience) design.

The next stage is to take on a project, something small and local, that you can’t do too much damage with. So I wouldn’t mess with anyone who relies on a passive web income that you could potentially jeopardise. Local is good, work for free and give it time. The best way to learn is to give it a try, understand why something worked and why something didn’t.

Start learning Google Analytics and have a regular set of daily blogs that you can read keeping you on the straight and narrow.

How do we prevent being penalised in the future, as we have done with the Panda and Penguin updates

You can’t! You need to be proactive, practical and quickly adapt to change. If you spam, you will get caught, but if you’re static you’ll get left behind.

Hope everyone found this useful.

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