How important is SEO for small businesses?
SEO is vital for any business these days, because the internet is usually the first place that people go to when looking for any type of service. This means that if your business is visible on the first page of the search engines (especially Google) you should get more leads and more customers. This makes the art of reaching the top pages of the search engines – or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – very important for all businesses these days.
If people type in the service that you provide (and possibly the geographic area that you are working in) you want your business to be showing high up in the rankings – for example ‘Plumber Croydon’ or ‘Employment Lawyer Manchester’.
When your site is set up correctly and all the best keywords for you are in your content, the next stage is building links to them. This can be a laborious and difficult job if done properly.
Beware of damaging SEO companies
Because it’s so important, you need to make sure you get your SEO right and choose a trustworthy company, or you could well be penalized by Google and damage, not improve, your business.
Unfortunately the SEO industry has acquired a bad reputation due to the high number of dubious companies based all over the world, who send spam emails out offering ‘Top position in Google for £200’. This simply isn’t possible for any key terms that people are likely to be searching for.
These companies generally just send automated links to your site from very low-quality sites. Google frowns upon this and the links will either not help you at all in the long-term, or much worse may end up harming you by giving you a penalty which will drop you way down the rankings – you could even be dropped from the Google listings altogether. So whatever you do, avoid these ‘black hat’ very low cost SEO companies.
How to choose a reputable SEO company
So what should you do instead? Well you need a reputable company who isn’t just trying to get a quick buck using dubious methods but instead is going to work with you to make sure your site is all correctly set up and then build legitimate links to it. Check to see that they have a physical address and phone number that you can easily contact.
What is White-hat SEO?
To avoid any risk of getting penalized by the search engines I use what is known as white hat SEO – this means getting links by methods that are approved of by Google. The main way I do that is by approaching other websites in your line of business and ask them to link to good content on your site, or by providing them with content (usually guest posts) that will link back to your site. Having these links moves you up the Google rankings, because you are seen as a respectable player in your line of work.
The two key ingredients of SEO
There are two key parts to successful SEO – on-page and off-page
Onpage means what your website looks like, the content it contains and how it is structured.
Offpage is the links going to your site.
What can you expect if you employ me as your SEO consultant?
A full audit
To check whether your site is correctly set up and whether the on-page content is all ok, with the right keywords in place, the first thing I do is an audit.
This will make sure that:
a) There are no technical problems that are holding your site back
b) The content on your site is ok or whether it needs improving
c) Your links are ok or whether you have any that are damaging your site
d) You know what your competitors are doing, and if they are outperforming you what you need to do to reverse that.
I can make any changes to your site, including creating a whole new site for you if you wish.
I practice what is called white hat link building. These means approaching other companies/websites and ask them to link back to your site.
Why would they do that?
Because we offer them something in return. That could be
A) Something on your site that would be useful to their website visitors
B) Something we could write to put on their website that their readers would like
This kind of link building is much more difficult than sending links via an automated program and takes a lot more time to do.
Hence it is more expensive. But as with most things in life you get what you pay for.
The results aren’t generally instantaneous either, it can take a while to move up to a high enough position in the rankings where you will start seeing a big increase in sales. But when you are there, the rewards should be very high.
What I offer to clients
An audit of your site
– you’ll always have this to know which parts of your site need improving
Up to date progress
An up to date link to a spreadsheet showing what action is being performed on your website. You can see an example of this here
A monthly report
This will summarize what has been done on your site and how your website traffic has changed. It will show which pages people are visiting on your site and what are they doing when they get there.
Plans for the future
What steps can be taken next to improve your rankings.
Free marketing advice
I’ll be happy to provide other marketing advice on how you can improve the number of leads you get – for example by using social media.
Higher rankings, more customers and more money
My methods will lift you up in the rankings, will bring many more visitors to your site and should lead to more clients
I can provide any content that you need for your marketing campaign, online of offline including
Content for your site
Printed marketing materials – logos and branding, business cards,brochures, newsletters, newspapers and magazines
Who are my services for?
Any business who wants to improve their position in the google rankings and the level of their website traffic.
Ideally you’ll have some content on your site that people might like to link to but if not I can help with creating such content.
What will it cost?
We bill monthly and the cost for guaranteeing 10 links each month to your site is £500. For a guaranteed 20 links each month it is £1000.
I offer a very personal service and like to get to know all my clients and their businesses very well as I feel this provides them with a much better service. This means that I only have a total of 10 clients at a time – please email me to find out if I have space for a new client at the moment. If so, I offer a free consultation whereby I will look at your website and business and let you know whether my services would be beneficial to you.