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SEO - what’s it all about?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about ensuring your website appears well in the key search engine results pages. There is no “silver bullet” to achieving this and we don’t pretend to have all the answers. What we do have is practical experience of achieving good “organic” (ie non-sponsored) results for the search engines that matter like Google and Bing. Here we attempt to summarise some of the key pointers.

“We guarantee to get you on the front-page of Google in 24 hours”

Or so many supposed SEO experts will say. So can it be done? Well the answer is yes of course it can, as long as you’re prepared to spend the right money on cost-per-click (CPC) adwords. These are the links that appear as sponsored links at the top and sides of the search results in search engines such as Google and Yahoo. In a nutshell you choose a key phrase you would like people to find you for, such as “Business in Cumbria”, set a budget, set it up in your Google or Yahoo account and away you go. Easy. Well not quite. Easy if you choose a phrase that no-one else if bidding for, but if you choose a competitive phrase like “cottage in the lake district”, then unless you are willing to set your cost per click budget higher than anyone else, then there is no guarantee that you will even make it onto the front page. You also need to ensure the text of the advert you set up up is sufficiently “relevant”.

So what’s the answer?

As with everything else it comes down to creating the right solution for your business. There is no “one size fits all” solution. We recommend a mixture of on-page optimisation - ensuring your site is designed in the most “search engine friendly” fashion for the key phrases you’re interested in, and off-page work, such as adwords described above, but also links from high quality relevant sites.

On-Page Optimisation

In its simplest form, this means ensuring your site is optimised for the key phrases relevant to your business. You’ll hear all sorts of phrases such as “key word density”, “meta key words” and others, but basically you need to ensure the phrases you expect people to use to search for your business are on your website, a lot! You also need to ensure the site it rich in relevant content, and you tick all the boxes that the search engines look for, like alt-tags on all your pictures, relevant meta titles and descriptions, and a good search engine friendly site index. Above all your site needs to be kept up to date with good quality content. The search engines will soon lose interest in a site that doesn’t change. Don’t forget the website design and layout as well. At Helvellyn Consulting, we use a technique we call intelligent optimisation to achieve good organic search results. Please click the link to see more information on this SEO technique.

Off-Page SEO

The main form of this are the ad-words described above. In addition there is much benefit to be gained from getting good text-relevant links to your site from other websites. Although there is a debate raging in the techyworld on paid links it is possible to get links for free, or at minimal cost. Your site also needs to be added to an array of internet directories, such as DMOZ. Again some of these can be joined for free, while others offer a paid subscription service. Increasingly we are also using Blogs, Twitter, Flickr, You Tube, and other social media to promote our websites. See our Helvellyn Blog, Helvellyn on Twitter, Helvellyn on Flickr, and Helvellyn on YouTube for examples.

How much does it all cost?

Well the easy part to price is the adword campaign itself. You set a budget and this will be how much you pay, from £10 a month to £100,000 (and there are some household name brands spending much much more than this a week on CPC advertising).

The on-page and other off-page work will depend on the size and complexity of your website and the competitiveness of the market. However for most needs we can achieve significant results for minimal outlay. The main requirement is time.

So what to do next?

Well we hope this brief article has explained some of the basics. To find out more, and to see what we can do to help your SEO campaign, then please contact us. You may also find our SEO case study and SEO glossary useful.

Examples of our Clients’ SEO Results

Site: www.lovetoescape.com

Phrase: holiday accommodation and attractions

Results: page 1

Competing Sites: 1,780,000

Site: www.detail-valeting.co.uk

Phrase: car cleaning in kent

Results: page 1

Competing Sites: 2,220,000

Phrase: car valeting in east kent

Results: page 1

Competing Sites: 312,000

Phrase: car cleaning in Canterbury

Results: page 1

Competing Sites: 148,000

Site: www.helvellyn.com

Phrase: Helvellyn

Results: page 1

Competing Sites: 147,000

Site: www.barcohouse.com

Phrase: Patterdale B&B

Results: page 1

Competing Sites: 37,000

The above examples give an illustration of the sort of results we have been able to deliver for a variety clients of phrases. Some are obviously less competitive than others, but each result has only been achieved through careful, targeted SEO analysis and implementation.

If you have any further questions or would like so more information on what we could do to help promote your business on-line please contact us.

Please click the link if you would like to know more about our customised intelligent optimisation approach to SEO.

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