Search Engine Optimisation
Its all very well and good having a beautiful, all singing, all dancing website....but how useful would it be if none of your potential customers could see it? Enter the solution….
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has gradually emerged over the past few years to become the foundation on which many companies build up their digital marketing strategies. Being such a core element of online marketing, SEO should never be far from your mind whether you’re a small, local business trading solely in Manchester, or an international business with multiple services and locations. The impact that SEO could have on your business should definitely not be underestimated – if you have an online presence, you probably need SEO.
- So, what is SEO?
So, what is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for short) is an ongoing process that increases your website’s visibility within search engines, such as Google. If the analysis and optimization of your site is done properly, this increased visibility equates to an increase in visits, which, in turn, leads to more sales or enquiries for your business through your site.
Contrary to popular belief, SEO isn’t just something you can switch on and off, and it definitely isn’t just a case of making a couple of tweaks to your website and ‘ta-da’ there you are at page one! Although we wish it were that simple, professional SEO is a complex process that brings together a wide variety of factors including optimised content, technical analysis and social indicators, amongst other things. On top of that, best practices are constantly evolving with new algorithm updates affecting the way that search results are generated being announced all the time. We work across these factors and much more every day so we’re well versed in what it takes to get our clients tangible results.
- SEO at Red Cow
SEO at Red Cow
At Red Cow, our aim for our customers is simple, we use Search Engine Optimisation to improve your website’s performance, increase visibility and help you reach a wider audience online, meaning your business gets exposure to more potential customers.
We start by carrying out a full analysis of your website and coming up with various recommendations using our wealth of expertise. Then we take the recommendations and convert them into an SEO plan based on your individual needs and business goals. After the plan is developed, changes are made to your website structure working with your own developers where necessary, as well as content changes being made as/when needed. This on-page work, combined with a link attraction campaign using quality digital content generated by our talented in-house team, comes together to formulate your final SEO strategy.
As you can see from the process we use, we take a very customer-led approach to our SEO services, involving our clients in every stage of the process. This means that our customers have input on all levels from the initial SEO keyword research all the way through to the reporting metrics for your campaign.
- SEO Services
Red Cow offer a variety of SEO services, from local search to full scale international search campaigns. All of our services are done on a bespoke basis, with not a single ‘out of the box’ SEO package in sight….meaning your strategy truly is tailored to suit your business, and there is a solution for almost every budget.
We also offer specialist services such as video SEO, SEO consultancy, SEO white labelling and the set up of in-house SEO solutions. Please get in touch for more details about any of our specialist SEO services.
With a high percentage of internet users only using the first page of results when doing searches, its obvious that the higher your website is in search engine rankings, the more potential customers see you and the better your chances of converting them into paying customers. But how long should the process take, and what are the steps to get there? What if you’ve already invested and have suddenly seen traffic drop? Here we have provided a list of frequently asked questions with regards to search engine optimisation that we thought would be useful.
What is SEO? And how does it work?
Search algorithms are incredibly complex and improve further in sophistication year on year. They are based on mathematical formulas that generate millions of search results and then present them to the user in order of relevance in a matter of milliseconds. SEO is the process of catering to these algorithms using a number of technical, link and content based techniques to achieve high search rankings.
How long does SEO take?
The age old saying ‘how long is a piece of string?’ does marginally apply here. Although there are various things that can be used to improve and monitor performance, how long the SEO takes to make an impact can vary significantly from sector to sector. Things to consider include:
• The competition level of the sector
• The competition of the keywords you want to target
• The area you want to target (i.e. will your campaign be local to a specific area)
• Whether you are able to dedicate any time to content generation
All of these factors, and more, have significant roles to play in both how long the SEO will take to take effect, and also how much you should be paying per month.
Why should I invest in SEO?
It’s a widely published statistic that over 80% of users don’t even progress onto the second results page when performing searches. If you have invested in a lovely website for your business, then chances are you want the 80+% of people who use the first page of search results to see it. It all comes down to market share. Businesses that dominate the first page of results get more exposure to potential customers than those further down in the rankings. An investment in SEO ensures that you are ahead of the game and are getting your business in front of more people. If you’re an offline business and have no trouble with footfall, its still worth increasing your online visibility for purposes such as reputation management and brand awareness. In short, SEO can be useful for the vast majority of businesses, it just depends on the strategy.
Will SEO get me more website traffic?
Many think that the sole purpose of SEO is to get improved rankings. This may come as a shock, but that’s not necessarily the primary purpose, and it certainly shouldn’t be the only aim of an SEO campaign. SEO is, of course, about improving search rankings but, more importantly, it’s about ranking for key phrases that people are searching for. Similarly to having a beautiful site that nobody can see, ranking for phrases that nobody is looking for is also pointless. This is where the website traffic comes in. When SEO is done properly, increased traffic should follow on as a natural byproduct of improved rankings. If people are searching for the phrases you are being optimised for then the flow of visits and traffic to your website should increase.
My site has dropped down the Google rankings. How can I fix it?
We get asked this one a lot! If your website was previously ranking successfully for some great phrases, and then those rankings suddenly start to drop, it can have a significant impact on your business, especially if its based primarily online. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question as there are likely a number of factors at play. The most common causes include competitors investing more in optimisation, lack of content output, or link factors. The best thing to do is get an impartial assessment of your site from a reputable SEO company to determine the most likely cause.
My website has a manual penalty in Webmaster Tools, what do I do?
Don’t panic! Depending on the extent of the damage, manual penalties can be recoverable. The most likely cause of a manual penalty in Webmaster Tools is your back link profile. With the advancements of search algorithms in relation to links within the past couple of years, many companies have been hit with manual penalties as a result of work done previously that were geared to manipulate the system.
Why has my website disappeared from Google?
This is a tough one! There are so many factors involved in SEO these days that there are a few possible reasons, and it could even be a combination of causes. The key thing to consider initially would be to look at the timing of the ‘disappearance’. Was there a recent algorithm update that could have affected your site? Were any changes made to the website or content around the same time? Has your website or hosting gone down at any point? Have you ever engaged in any untoward linking activity? These are just a few of the questions that would need to be answered before determining the cause of your website disappearing from Google. The most common cause of rankings dropping suddenly is the link profile. In the majority of cases, we are able to identify the cause and put in place an action plan to rectify what has gone wrong.
Should I do SEO or PPC? Surely PPC is a better investment?
This depends entirely on what it is that you’re trying to achieve and the timescale you have for generating results. We would always advise an integrated search marketing campaign that incorporates a number of aspects of search, rather than solely SEO or PPC individually. An integrated approach allows complementary search marketing services to work together hand in hand, which generates the best results and return on investment. If you’re restricted on budget and would prefer to invest in one or the other, there are benefits to either. SEO is much more sustainable long-term, but it does take longer to generate results. PPC is almost instantaneous, but once it is switched off, it’s gone. SEO is ultimately a much more worthwhile investment in the long-term for sustainability and ongoing costs.
Should I focus on local, national or international SEO?
Choosing what reach to go for with your SEO campaign depends entirely on the nature of your business. If you have a physical presence, for example a shop, restaurant or bar, and you’re looking to increase footfall, then a local SEO campaign would be perfect. If your business is based online, or trades nationally or internationally, then you’ll need a more robust SEO campaign to target either the UK market or all of the countries that are relevant to your business.
Can you find me partnerships with other companies in Manchester?
As part of building up your SEO in Manchester, we reach out to a range of relevant companies who may be interested in linking to your website. As a natural byproduct of this SEO related activity, we are often able to find partnerships that you may not have been aware of previously, and these can then take root offline as well as online.