Home
Why Our SEO Works



Why our search optimising works

SEO, just like business administration qualifications and corporate accounting knowledge, is a core factor in online business management. Without it you cannot improve revenues beyond a given point. In addition correct, quality-based SEO is the foundation for a first class website, since it governs build quality and other important factors such as accessibility.

In general, what is good for search engines is good for your customers and is good for business. You can turn this around any way you like, and it still works the same. It’s important to realise there are no tricks or ‘rapid result’-type methods of search optimising that pay off in the long term - it’s all about genuine gains in visitor awareness of your business, converting passers-by into buyers, creating satisfied customers, strengthening your brand, and turning your site into a valuable online resource. These gains need to result from an all-round quality improvement policy or there is no real point to any of it.

Targeted traffic

Targeted traffic is the starting point: visitors who are interested in what you provide, and not just more people passing through; they do not easily convert into sales. More traffic is not really of much use unless those visitors are specifically interested in what you provide, so generic methods of traffic generation are not beneficial to most commercial websites, unless they primarily depend on advertising revenue.

Usability

Usability factors are very important here: visitors need to be able find what they want quickly and easily, and then exit through a smooth checkout or ordering procedure. Why make it hard for them? You’d be surprised - so many sites do. Accessibility and usability are factors that seriously affect traffic increases in the first place, and then visitor to buyer conversion. Any proper search engine optimising project must include these factors as a primary target for improvement, since they impact sales so heavily.

Success is achieved by very hard work, by fully researching all possible options and techniques, by an intimate knowledge of the technology, by using and improving those methods seen to work and that are ethical ways of improving results, by knowledge and experience of online marketing, and by utilising online business management knowledge. There aren’t any shortcuts. Luckily, we have the experience to know exactly what needs to be done to your site; and with promotion off-site; and with paid-for marketing. The first step is always to sort out the site (or arrange the building of one in the first place), which is followed by off-site promotion. These methods, which are also known as the organic search component of search optimising, involve no costs whatsoever except time and skill.

Optimising icommerce

Online business, or icommerce, is like its offline cousin in that improvements can be made to any system of operation. Those improvements are targeted toward revenue and profit increases, though there should also be other benefits. The methods and especially technologies used in icommerce are different from those employed in brick & mortar business. An icommerce consultant needs to look at improving revenue and brand strength as the prime targets, and modern dynamic website technology is the most efficient way to action the improvements needed.

SEO for CMS

Our specialist area is search optimising for content management systems and ecommerce applications. In fact, we invented the term SEO for CMS back in 2007. Because this is a specialist technical field, an extensive knowledge of database-driven web technology is needed. Our experience means that we can achieve your goals within your budget.

SEO training

A greater and greater proportion of our time is spent on training; on occasion that can be as much as 25%. We were reluctant to actually calculate this, since at first glance it would not seem like an optimal use of time; but you should realise that an SEO project is a partnership. We both need to be pulling in the same direction otherwise a lot of effort is wasted. This subject now has its own page on the site. Search engine optimising training is going to be a very important area in the future, and we have already made sure we have a solid foundation here.

Search optimising budgets 

Search optimising achieves good results fairly quickly when done right, but in tough market areas achieving and maintaining top positions needs a decent budget, simply because you are competing with others who have the same aims and are using similar methods. It is probably fair to say that in the area of on-site work, a highly-skilled consultant can beat less skilled competitors even if they have the advantage of better manpower, whereas in the off-site area manpower is a more important factor.

We find it normal when taking on a new client to put them on page three of major search engines' results within two months, from a position of nowhere (probably down in the thousands), and then rise gradually from there. If they have already built some links, then the time is cut in half: they can be within striking distance of the top in the SERPs (search engine results pages) in around one month. This is because a site that is not search engine compliant, effectively doesn’t exist as far as the search engines are concerned.

If already on page three, then page one is easier to achieve since there is some ‘history’ of the site with the SEs. This is because time, in various forms and with differing effects, is usually an important factor in SEO and online marketing. A page one spot, though, cannot normally be achieved ethically and without expenditure in such a short time, unless a site is optimised exclusively for a narrow market area, and a large (and probably uneconomical) amount of time is spent on it.

Search optimising for new domains

Brand new domains will normally have longer to wait for results, because of the pseudo-sandbox effect*. A new site will be less visible for a short period, and then has to wait for a measure of its proper page rank for a time. For fun, though - simply because it is not commercially viable to expend the time required - you can work hard to search optimise a site in order to place it well early on. This lack of visibility at first is due to many factors but the most important is lack of links; next is the fact that search engines prefer not to give high positions to sites that are between 3 and 8 months old - this is an anomalous effect of the algorithm.

* There used to be a popular theory called the 'search engine sandbox', which stated that search engines refused to acknowledge the presence of new websites for several months. This not true; but new sites are still handicapped to a certain extent unless the owners or advisors know how to avoid the problem of initial invisibility caused by lack of  any kind of presence on the Net. Therefore, even though there is no sandbox, things can still be hard for a new site.

However, many search engines give a brand new site a small boost in popularity for a couple of months, to make up for the fact that a new site cannot (or at least should not) have much in the way of links. We invented the term 'News Boost' to cover this, as it is given to new sites in case their content is newsworthy. 

This means a quality, relevant, well-optimised website can compete, even early on; though it will need to develop some serious link equity in order to compete after the 'boost' period ends. The reason SEs provide this boost is that in the modern Internet environment a great many sites are appearing that have extremely relevant content, and eventually become popular. The Net is moving faster and faster. If such sites were limited to the traditional long internship, then useful and relevant content would not appear in the SERPs for a long time; and more importantly perhaps, it might be found more easily on a rival search engine. The algorithms ensure that if such apparently relevant new sites do not accumulate sufficient links to compete, they gradually slide down the rankings to their 'correct' position.

Time or position targets

You should be aware, though, that our targets are not time-related: we don’t set out in the first place to do ‘X’ by date ‘Y’. That would not be a sensible exercise, since (a) results are best gained by percentage increases that can be maintained and improved on; and (b) in a year’s time, who will care about a week or two this way or that? It just happens that things can happen fairly rapidly once you get the ball rolling in the right direction, because the search engines will simply reward you for doing things right. If you like, we can show you happy testimonials from customers who were overjoyed at getting much better than hoped for results in three or four weeks; but that isn’t really the point. We would prefer them to be just as happy after a year, which is more of a test.

We cannot guarantee any given ranking with any search engine, since that depends on factors that are completely out of our control: what your budget is, and how competitive your market area is, just for a start. We have never heard of any respected and responsible consultants who guaranteed any such thing; and in any case this isn’t the point.

The point, of course, is the bottom line: how much your sales improve - or the improvement in however else you measure your website's success, for instance by advertising revenue, or by telephone orders. Traffic and revenues from sales and/or advertising will rise more than you thought possible; and that's how we earn a living. In general, traffic has to increase by more than a factor of two in order to double sales. Just increasing traffic by itself isn’t necessarily the right answer - the traffic has to be targeted in order to pay off. However, in some markets, if traffic is correctly targeted and the right website improvements are also made, then a traffic increase of 50% can result in a revenue increase of 100%. To correctly search optimise any site, the full range of improvements must be made: traffic increases might in some cases play a only a minor role.
 
If your online business has 100 visitors a day, our next target is 250; then 500, which equals 15,000 visitors a month. If you have 2,000 visits per day, then we will want to turn that into 4,000. Websites with 20k uniques per day are looking at turning that into 33k, which equals the magic number of 1 million a month. If you are in that area, your Internet business is clearly powerful and very solidly constructed; you have the background to move on up.

It may sound a lot to you if you are just starting out, but it’s possible. For some types of sites these numbers are hard to reach because of the market they are in, and the type of site they are; for others these are just stage two of a promising career. If you had the right business idea, you could go from zero to 4,000 visitors a day in just a year and a half, simply in a normal business market. Social sites can do better than this in terms of traffic, since they benefit from fashion trends, but they are rarer than basic good business websites.

It doesn’t matter how successful your site is, if it hasn’t had a full modern search optimising campaign applied by a specialist then traffic can be improved. For instance, we recently looked at a top-end PR8 site that features in the Alexa World’s Top 500 websites. It has immense traffic from all round the world, with advertising revenue only to be dreamed of. But: it has never had any proper SEO applied, because it is run entirely by a Webmaster; which means that we could increase their traffic by a minimum of 25% in the medium term. It doesn’t matter how big you are…

Search engine optimising guarantees

So: we definitely do not advise any reliance on quick results; on a specific rank with a specific search engine; or on a specific range of SERP positions; and this is for all the reasons stated. The only way to measure the success of a search optimising project is to see the effect on the revenue, or on other determining factors you designate.

However, it's quite true that if you wanted to take this approach - to aim for a specific search position as the target (or at least a small range of positions), and to guarantee it - then indeed it could be guaranteed. This is not our modus operandi so we don't do it - our aim is to improve revenue, brand strength and reputation. But since we know how things work, and are web commerce engineers so to speak, we could work in that way - but we don't.

Here's how this would work: there are only a certain number of main variables; these are budget, timescale, skill of consultant, search engine factors, and the web resource concerned. If any of these 5 main variables are changed, it affects the result. The result is anything that you wish to achieve. If your target is a particular search position, then by altering those parts of the 5 variables that are under your control to suit, you can achieve that position (some are outside your control). It's just that we don't have that particular aim - we adjust those variables to suit our own targets, which were stated previously.

Measuring progress

There is a choice of metrics that you might measure here to determine the rate of progress. The first, most important, and most accurate is revenue, specifically from online sales or orders. Since this, if the website operates in this manner, is the end result: it is the main and critical metric. Beside this, any other value such as traffic increase or search engine result positions is of little value or importance. Next comes site advertising revenue or affiliate revenue, if these ways of monetising the site are employed. If income is rising, that's the result you want - other measurements are meaningless. Brand strength and business reputation are important, and need to be improved; but measuring these is not easy compared to an online revenue figure. We have an organised system to determine baseline metrics and how they should be appraised; and this forms part of our guarantee.
 
We certainly guarantee unconditionally that your sales increases will more than pay for our services - or your money back.

We guarantee to only use ethical methods, and that that our work will improve your standing with search engines, with the online business community, with customers and with the community as a whole; and that nothing we do will ever hurt your reputation in these areas.

And finally, we guarantee that you’ll be glad you hired us.

 
Web Business Managers