Remember what you really want, more sales, more leads, and more enquiries. Ranking well in Google is one means to this end and Bradford SEO specialists could help you achieve this.
Bradford SEO – the basics, how Google ranks your page.
Google uses over two hundred quality marks that affect how well your page ranks but the basic idea is quite simple.
Your site needs to be visible to Google bot.
Fancy computer programming effects can actually prevent Google from seeing your site. If you have any doubts ask your Bradford SEO web designer.
Your site needs to be relevant to the searcher.
Is your site relevant to the searcher’s query such as, “restaurant in Ilkley” or “SEO Bradford”. Google’s rule number one is, the searcher must find what they were looking for.
Google uses the words on your web page to decide what your web page is about, “restaurant in Ilkley”, for example. If the search phrases used on your web page match the phrase typed in to Google, your page is included in the results the searcher sees. In our case it was Bradford SEO.
Your web page needs to have a good reputation.
If relevant (to your industry) and trustworthy websites link to your website Google sees this as a sign that your web site is trustworthy. Your web page will get a better page rank in search results. If people use Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to like your page, this boosts your page rank too.
Relevance, Reputation and Visibility are the main themes of a good simple guide to Google.
Google also give away a free downloadable guide to help you rank well in search engines.
Beware of ranking well for just one search term.
Make sure you’re not seduced by promises of being number one on Google for a particular search term, unless you know for sure that it will bring the profits you need. I saw an SEO businesses web site today that boasted of getting a client’s website listed on page one of Google for a search string that sounded a bit obscure. I used Google’s keyword tool to check and found less than ten searches were made every month for this term.
SEO consultants know the exact words your customers use to look for sites like yours, and how many people search using any search term.
A good search engine specialist knows which terms will bring you more sales, leads, and enquiries and they can back up their intuition with facts based on research using tools like Wordtracker and the Google keyword tool.
Having the right search string to target is only the start of the battle.
Your search engine results depend partly on how well your Bradford SEO specialist can optimize your website structure and content, and partly on how hard the competition tries to beat you to the top position.
Google returns local search results when appropriate.
If you’re a small local businesses the chances of success are greater, because searchers use the name of their town or city to narrow down the results they receive. Would you search for hair stylist, or hair stylist in Bradford? And would you search for SEO or SEO Bradford?
I tried searching for hair stylist and the first result was for a virtual hair style makeover web site… TheHairStyler.com in NSW Australia! People search for local services not, just the service.
Google can also get a good idea of where you’re searching from by examining your ip address. If you go to this website and look for the red text about halfway down the page it will tell you which town or city it thinks you’re in. It’s usually right.
Google uses this information to return local search results if it thinks they’re more relevant. So being a small local business actually helps your customers find you. And if you’re not competing with big businesses, ranking well is easier which makes for cheaper SEO. Bradford business owners like that ;-)
Good search engine professionals are not easy to find.
So things are looking up, but it’s not as easy to find an SEO specialist as it is to find a web designer in Bradford. Searching for “SEO Bradford” doesn’t return many businesses located in Bradford. Although many SEO companies appear to be local, if you check for a postal address you discover the business is in London or some other town. If you want a local business check their postal address first.
- So question one is do you need extra help or can your current web designer get you the search engine rankings you need? If you have a small business with local customers, your current web designer may have all the skills you need.
- If you decide to use an SEO specialist, do they need to be local? My view is, if you can find a good local search engine consultant that you trust and like, stay local. But SEO can easily be done from a distance too.
- Does the SEO company have a good track record of helping your type of business in your industry using ethical techniques? And can they show you any evidence?
- And speaking of ethics, do they use black hat or white hat SEO techniques? BMW given Google ‘death penalty’ this story is from 2006, but if it can happen to BMW it can happen to you, so take care.
Conversion, you don’t want visitors you want customers.
When you search for a Bradford SEO company read the words on their website carefully. If you see a lot of statements like we are, we can, we do, be wary. Customers prefer to see the words you, your and yours. Also notice if the page sounds natural, some search engine copywriters try so hard to include your search terms that the web page content sounds unnatural.
Stuffing too many key words into the page can sometimes push a page up the rankings but it sounds so wooden that it’s unlikely to make you many sales, and selling is the whole point of SEO for most businesses. Google hates keyword stuffing, my advice is to avoid it.
Some more questions you could ask before paying for Bradford SEO services include…
- Can you show me any results you’ve got for your current clients?
- If you increase my rank on search engine results pages, will those results convert in to profits for me? There’s no point ranking well for unprofitable search terms, make sure you know what you’re going to get before you commit yourself to paying for something.
- Am I locked in to a long term contract?
- How long before I’ll start to see results? Don’t be surprised if it’s two months or more, SEO is a slow process.
- If I stop using your service will you remove any links to my site? Some unscrupulous search engine agencies will remove links from sites they control if you stop paying for their services. And so your site’s page rank will drop back down again. In effect you rent the high ranking.
Search experts can not tell Google what to do. If they say they can be vary wary!
I have a lot of sympathy for SEO professionals.
Search engine optimization is hard work. An SEO specialist can only use their skill and judgement to decide what work needs to be done, then do the work and hope it will get the results their clients expect.
Some important points…
- An SEO specialist can not guarantee results, it’s up to Google. So do all you can to ensure the search engine optimization company you employ have previously produced good results for other businesses in your industry.
- There are two types of SEO, black hat (unethical) and white hat (ethical). If you choose a black hat specialist, on your own head be it (sorry about that I couldn’t resist the pun ;-). If your site breaks the rules you could regret it, you have been warned.
- Good search engine rankings come from useful well written content on a well optimized website that’s promoted effectively. If someone says you can get to the top in any other way ask a lot of questions or you could get scammed.
- Being number one on Google for one specific key word string sounds like a good idea but usually, to bring in enough customers for your business you need to target many key words. Search engine consultants refer to the long tail of search results, all of the search terms you never imagined your customers would use. Done right, this brings in much more traffic to your website and more work for your business.