How to be a great SEO client
One of the major difficulties facing SEO consultants and SEO copywriters alike is a whole raft of myths and misunderstandings by potential clients about what search engine optimisation really is.
There, I’ve said it and no-one died.
All too often, we get embroiled in correcting fundamental myths and misconceptions, as well as fighting a burgeoning cowboy trade (usually conducted through the medium of unsolicited spam) of inflated promises, and too-good-to-be-true pricing. Unlike cowboy builders, clients may never actually know that they’ve been duped.
No wonder a business owner gets confused faced with such an alarming burden of choices and information. In as short a space as possible, I wanted to clear up some of these misconceptions and leave you with a better understanding (and a realistic idea) of what you’re undertaking and why it’s important to find someone that you can trust.
1. Where do you rank right now?
Ask your SEO company to find out where you rank right now. Not just for a few phrases, but for dozens, if not hundreds. What gets measured, gets done. Get your site benchmarked against the keywords that bring you traffic already and the keywords you want traffic for. If an SEO consultant isn’t prepared to conduct rank analysis for you as part of their SEO work – be wary.
We have now adopted a completely independent rank reporting system which means out clients get weekly reports about the rankings that really matter.
2. What are your goals?
What do you want? People calling up? Products in basket? Leads from enquiry forms? Keeping your goal in mind you avoid the temptation of searching simply for traffic.
A golden rule is that all traffic is not the same. Keyword A may produce 10 times more traffic than keyword B but could convert 100 times less. Focus on the goal first – every other metric is simply a means to reach that goal. Measure sales not traffic!
Which leads us on to the next point.
3. Keep an open mind about keywords
It’s important not to get stuck on keywords you want to rank for. Why? It’s the job of your SEO consultant to analyse data from several sources, looking at various factors such as search volume and competition to determine the right keyword search phrases. By analysing the language, we find the keywords that best target the search intention of your customers. What you type into the search engine may not be how your customer searches for you. A good SEO service will uncover exactly how those customers are searching and help you optimise for exactly that.
4. Don’t expect to rank for broad keyword searches (unless you’re a market leader)
Don’t expect to rank for really broad keyword searches. Unless you’re the market leader already, chances are that you’ll be disappointed if you fix your sights on them. They’re the SEO equivalent of Everest. Given enough time and money, of course it’s possible to rank for these terms. Far better to work more modestly and aim at a range of smaller goals you’re more likely to hit. A good SEO copywriter will be able to tell you whether you’re being realistic in your expectations.
5. You have competition!
It’s not uncommon that without any changes whatsoever, your site will drop rankings. Why? It’s not so much that you got worse, but that someone else got better. With SEO you are working in a competitive environment where other people are also trying to get to number 1 too! That’s why it’s important that search engine optimisation work is a continuous process.
6. Search engine results are earned, not given
Search engine rankings are the result of work and knowledge. There is no knowledge that can get you rankings without work, and no work that can get you rankings without knowledge. Ultimately, when you employ us, you’re getting us to use both our knowledge and hard work to get you rankings. To get a place and keep it, you have to earn that place and you have to keep on earning that place continuously.
7. No-one can guarantee results
People who say they can guarantee results are usually those who are a) in a foreign country an unaccountably long way away from you or b) cowboys banking on your lack of knowledge and get you to pay for results on some ridiculously easy-to-rank search term. The litmus test for spammy unsolicited mail is this: does it sound too good to be true? If it does, it usually is too good to be true. I hope my SEO counterparts (even if you’re direct competition) will join me in discouraging unrealistic promises.
8. It takes time
If you want instant results, search engine optimisation will disappoint you. Whilst early results can appear within a matter of days, long term reputation and rank building is a significant piece of work underpinning your business. You should expect it to be a continuous process in securing and advancing the reputation and position of your company – it is not a mere trifle that can be completed in an afternoon.
9. There is no single answer
Over-reliance on any single ranking strategy is dangerous. Using a spread of search strategies will secure you against any sudden changes in the Google Search Algorithm. Again, it’s hard work and knowledge applied cumulatively over time which reaps results.
10. Find an SEO consultant you can trust
A good relationship with an SEO consultant relies on trust. First and foremost, it’s important you can find someone in whom you can place your trust. Find someone you’ll enjoy working with, and find someone who you think can really deliver the goods.
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Thu 18 Feb | 2016
Following the launch of a new website, myhealth-devon.nhs.uk, Reactor15 have been helping to promote the website within Devon, in particular to improve the position within the search engines for users looking for support and advice on their health and wellbeing. MyHealth Devon has been developed by Devon Referral Support Service, part of the Wider Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) with the support of local clinicians.
Thu 18 Feb | 2016
We have just launched a new app to help reduce waiting times in hospitals across Devon and Cornwall. The app, NHSquicker, allows people to view up-to-date waiting times for local emergency departments and minor injuries units. It also provides information regarding distance and time to different treatment centres, based on the user's location. Reactor15 have been working with Exeter Health and Care IMPACT Network, a collaboration between the NHS across Devon and Cornwall and academics from the University of Exeter to build an app which is widely available for smartphones and tablets, on Apple and Android. The NHSquicker app took six months to build and is a fully native app developed using our own custom framework. Using a native platform which allowed us to build a fast, responsive and reliable experience to users, when accuracy and speed of information is very important. The app also provides information about less urgent NHS services, including GPs, pharmacies, sexual health services, dentists and opticians. Mike Saunders, Managing Director of Reactor15 said: "It’s great, once again, to be involved in building a really useful NHS tool. We were asked to build an app which will not only help reduce waiting times in our local hospitals but will also help patients make the right choices with regards to how and where they receive their treatment. We believe our native app platform is both robust and versatile enough to meet the needs and brief of Exeter Health and Care IMPACT Network." Reactor15 have a good working relationship with the NHS and have already built the award winning HANDi Paedatric, POPs apps and the Devon and Wakefield Formularies. NHSquicker can be downloaded on iTunes and Google Play.
Thu 18 Feb | 2016
Reactor15 have been working with Exeter based commercial finance specialists Charterbank Capital, to help develop an intergrated digital marketing strategy. Targeting the south of England, Charterbank Capital have a range of packages for commercial customers including bridging loans, auction finance, development loans and farm finance. Reactor15 have been working on their main site www.charterbank.co.uk. Looking to generate enquires to their service, we have implemented our 11 point SEO plan on the site and have also created an AdWords campaign.
Thu 18 Feb | 2016
Reactor15 have been busy helping Exeter based Busy Bees Window Cleaning Services and Busy Bees Carpet Cleaning Service with some search engine optimisation.