SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Search engine optimisation, or ‘SEO’, is about getting your website seen in the Internet’s biggest and most important search engines, such as Google. Being seen is important, but being seen in the top 5 or 10 in Google’s search results is of vital importance for businesses. Getting a website to appear there, and to keep it there against tough competition all trying to do the same thing is what SEO is all about. Search engines such as Google and Bing use programs (algorithms) to assess websites and determine where they will rank for every search phrase carried out, and there can be thousands of these for most websites (of more or less importance). Making sure a website appears there, and then stays there, is hard, on-going work, combining deep understanding of how the algorithms work, art, skill, knowledge, expertise, insight, and experience. When successful, it pays off—big time. We have at least one client presently whose main website ranks in Google's top 10 organic search listings for in-excess of 30,000 search phrases. Needless to say, their website is the leader in their sector in the UK. The principal alternative to SEO is Pay Per Click (PPC), and this typically costs far more for considerably less exposure.
SEO is one of the most important and efficient ways to get your business and its products and services noticed, driven by the specific needs of people searching on the internet (ie consumer demand). SEO applies to all search engines including Google and Bing, and potentially as well to some of the major shopping portals such as Amazon and Ebay.
We are SEO experts and have been practicing SEO from its beginnings some 20 years ago. We can provide you with a professional service that will get you real results, and we have an excellent track record of success and repeatable results across a large number of sectors. We know of no other SEO practitioner who gets as good results as we do, and we have a number of sector-leading client websites online right now that prove it.
With well over 50 years of inhouse experience, and huge accumulated expertise, Freetimers’ SEO work is driven by getting results and increasing sales and conversions for our clients. We regularly help transform businesses though massive SEO-generated increases in visitors, at local, regional, national and international levels.
Our SEO also provides far better conversions and ROI than Adwords and other forms of Pay Per Click (PPC), whilst costing between 5 and 20 times less.
The Main Factors Contibuting to SEO
There are literally hundreds of factors playing a part in search engine ranking algorithms like Google's. Some of these are very important, others not very or potentially of low priority. Google modifies its weightings of the importance of each of these factors every day and every week, both to improve their search results, but also to keep website owners and SEO specialists guessing to prevent them from 'gaming the system'. While there are a great number, these can be classified into key areas that need to be considered for sustainable SEO to be put in place and maintained. A very important consideration is this;
SEO is not confined to what happens on your website (and meta and alt tags),
which is referred to as 'On-Site SEO'. Off-Site SEO, ie what the rest of the Internet has to say about your site, is equally if not more important. This fact was an innovation by Google which has made it the world's top search engine.
With both on-site and off-site SEO, there are important areas to be regularly considered and acted upon, and in situations of high competition, to beat the competition you have to do these better than they do:
- Keyword/Search Phrase Relevancy
- Structural and Technical SEO
- Content Quality and Useability
- Content Freshness
- Social Signals
- Backlink and Off-site Citation Profile
Each of these areas will have numerous elements, and ultimately a search engine like Google will use their assesments of these to arrive at a currency, trust and popularity view of a particular website. It combines this with search phrase relevancy factors and from this determines the ranking position in relation to any specific search.
Not all SEO Factors are Equal
Professional SEO understands that not all factors are equal, some are definitely more important than others. Relatively, how important work on any particular area is also depends on the current status of the website, so the focus of SEO work changes as the site evolves and in response to other changes going on with Google and in the general internet and competitor environment. Many SEO businesses use a basic checklist approach which can be a waste of time and money, and most of the time, is just wrong.
The Freetimers SEO Service and How We Work
Our raison d'etre is to help you grow your business, and our SEO also starts from that principle. Our focus is to first understand your business and your website, and where visibility on search engines like Google will most matter. We then consider your available budget and focus on those aspects of SEO that your site and business will benefit from the most. It's a 'biggest bang for the buck' approach to some extent, because we are constantly prioritising what is most important. We actually call our work budget a 'Continuous Improvement' budget, because that is our goal, to continuously improve your internet and search engine presence, as well as the ability of your site to create conversions that will hopefully turn into more sales. We have a monthly dialogue with you discussing our plans and threats and opportunities both for your business and the online world generally.
SEO is an on-going service. If your site is up against others who are working on their SEO, simply doing a one-off improvement to the on-site SEO does not work. We consider the whole SEO mix and work on the prioritised aspects every month to squeeze out every last iota of improvement we can make. The results can be simply phenominal. One other client's visitor rate has increased by over 13,000% over the last 10 years and it is still improving. Another client's turnover has sextupled over the last 5 years and these are just two examples of how a continuous improvement approach can deliver great dividends.
Costs and Timescales
Our SEO service is amongst the best anywhere, but our work is more transparent than most and can start from as little as £150 per month (+vat) for a local campaign. Most small businesses will have budgets of between £200 and £450 per month, but in very competitive national markets the costs can be much higher (but miles less than trying to achieve equivalent results using PPC). We find SEO provides the best ROI of any online marketing method, but it does have a downside, which is that it can take a while for success to be secured. How long it takes depends on the specific website and the market it is in, as well as the SEO status of the existing established competition. A main time limiter is caused by Google itself--the 'Google Sandbox'. This purposely delays the long term benefits of new backlinks by at least 6 months, and in some markets it may be as much as a year. Google imposes this delay primarily because it wants to ensure a website's profile and popularity can be maintained over a longer term before they allow them to overtake competitors who have already established themselves. We also believe Google uses this to influence people to use Adwords (PPC) instead.
So with this delay in mind, for local campaigns progress can sometimes be made within 3 months, with more still between 9-12 months. For more significant campaigns spanning multiple counties, regions or countries you can expect major improvements after 9-12 months on average. In very competitive and established markets, the process is on-going and can take several years, but know that success can be achieved. We have done it many times before, and against major brands.
Results That are Worth the Wait
There are loads of SEO practitioners who will promise the earth after only a few months, and you should be wary of these people, because SEO simply does not work like for anything other than a very localised campaign. Anything bigger than that will take some time and effort, so you should expect it. Also because the online world is constantly changing there is adapting to be done to these changes, and results will vary month on month. That being said however, as long as the monthly results are generally in the right direction, once you've gotten through the Google delays real results will start coming through. Our experience with a large number of clients is that with commitment SEO can deliver fantastic results and at a far lower cost than by other methods, particularly PPC, which always costs considerably more.
To find out more about what our SEO can do for you, contact us today on 01604-638421. To see some of our SEO case studies click here. These are true results, we promise.