Competitor analysis

Search engine optimisation

page divider

Why Bother?

Many businesses will find that customer referrals generate the majority of new business, but there is still a huge amount of business that can be won from search engines. Searches for a local tradesperson might see a few hundred searches a month in a town or small city, and services that cater nation-wide might see tens of thousands, so there's still plenty of opportunities if you're showing at the top of the first page for these high value searches.

Where to start?

Refer back to your research found in your user profiles and draw up a list of possible search phrases that your customers clients and prospects will be looking for. It's always a good idea to validate these search phrases, and a great free tool is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Setting up an account is free, and once again there are a lot of free guides to help you conduct some research using the Google Keyword Planner.

To demonstrate the value of keyword research, imagine you optimise your website for "flat management companies" you could show up in 40 searches per month. But if you had done your research and optimised for "property management companies" you would have shown up in a potential of 1,300 searches per month. That's an improvement of 3150%, so take the time to validate your keywords and phrases.

If you have the ability to edit your website, you can do some optimisation yourself. Try and do everything on balance, keep it human readable and don't try and cheat search engines (especially by stuffing your pages full of keywords). The search engines know what people do to cheat and will penalise you eventually. Do your research and ensure your keywords appear in the title of the page, the main content body, and within any links pointing to that page (avoid links saying "click here" for example).

Once you have optimised your pages, the next stage is to get inbound links from good quality websites. Avoid link "swaps" with other websites as search engines know what you're doing and will devalue them. Ensure that the websites that link to you are relevant in terms of content. If you're a manufacturer in Bolton, there's little point buying links from a supplier which are more likely to be fashion blogs that originate in Guatemala which will greatly confuse any search engine. Keep the linking websites relevant. It's difficult to do, but that's why search engines place more value on it. If it's easy, more people do it and it loses its value.

Useful tips:

  • If you want to benchmark your current position in the search engines, use a fresh browser which has had the website history cleared or it could skew the results somewhat.
  • There are a lot of spam emails circulating with companies guaranteeing results. Avoid these like the plague. If you want some SEO help, go and seek out a local reputable business.
  • Social media links don't help a huge amount as they are too easy to create so have little value. Remember, if it's too easy, it won't help your ranking much. Create good human readable content, and get good inbound links.
  • Keep your content human readable, if you over optimise for search engines you might show up in the results but you won't convert website traffic to enquiries or sales.
page divider
back to top