Search Engine Optimisation
Positives Provides the best return on investment of any digital marketing channel and has longevity (every trace of your site does not disappear instantly as with paid advertising). It is always possible to increase your visibility further no matter how long you have been doing SEO, by doing things such as targeting bigger and higher search volume keywords, adding additional sections to your website, or improving upon existing optimisation work.
Negatives SEO is a long term approach and requires upfront investment. You will need to spend on SEO for between 3 and 6 months before you see the great return on investment it provides.
SEO is Red Cow Media’s core service and what the company’s reputation was initially built on. It is the fastest evolving sector within digital marketing, this means it is essential to not only be up to date but be ahead of the curve, and this is where our focus lies. We continually manage to outrank and outperform very large corporations with 7 figure budgets for our clients due to the fact that we are constantly analysing, testing and researching new and cutting edge SEO techniques, as well as applying best practice in innovative ways.
We understand that SEO appears complex, a service that is full of endless acronyms and technical jargon that seems aimed at making anyone other than SEO professionals feel stupid and as though they need help with it. Our approach is different. We aim to educate anyone we work with in the fundamentals of optimisation, as we have learnt that when clients truly understand what we are doing, they have a better grasp of our approach and of progress in the early stages of a campaign and throughout.
The only two reasons companies need help with SEO from an agency such as ourselves are:
At Red Cow, we take a very different approach SEO and to our digital marketing work in general. We don’t see ourselves as one of the many stereotypical digital agencies who ‘disprupt’ the market. We don’t have meetings in an office treehouse with a slide, nor do we talk incessantly about the success of a campaign in terms of it having ‘reached’ a certain number of people. We are competitive, we want to make you money, and we want to achieve the best results in order to do so. We provide a highly consultative, corporate level of service with results determined purely by the bottom line – return on investment.
"Red Cow Media managed the SEO implications of transitioning acquired private dental clinics in to the Bupa group with great organisation and professionalism."Irfan Rehman, Digital Marketing Manager
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.