SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic/non-paid search engine results.
There are many different areas to SEO from the content within a page, to the code structure (behind the scenes), all the way to how other sites link to your site. All of these can affect your search engine rankings. Marrying up a variety of different techniques can be the perfect recipe for an increase on your search engine visibility and an increase of your profits!
When we decided to invest in SEO
We decided to make a real push with our SEO around the beginning of 2014. It was time we began to produce another avenue for sales in our business and, although word-of-mouth recommendations were working fantastically, we were very much ready to speed up the growth of our business.
The steps we took
To begin our SEO journey, we sat down as a team and decided where we wanted traffic to come from. Initially, we decided to target local businesses in Derby who were interested in having a new website produced. This process began by creating a long list of keywords associated with this using Keyword Efficiency Index (KEI). This essentially gives you a measurable figure for a list of your chosen keywords based on the monthly search volume, relevance and competitiveness for a given keyword. Using the outcome of the keyword research we had a good list of keywords, ordered by priority and effectiveness.
Once we had some keywords to target, we could start getting stuck into the practical changes to our website. First of all we tackled some on-site SEO, otherwise known as technical SEO, this included (but not limited to):
- Keyword targeting:
- Page content
- Meta tags
- Alt tags
- File names
- Ensuring the site was readable by search engine crawlers:
- Redirecting any missing/broken links pointing to our site
- Making URL’s were readable
A full picture of the kind of technical changes we made to our site can be seen below:
Picture taken from Moz.
An essential part of SEO is making sure your website is providing the most up to date and relevant information possible. Google wants to provide the best results possible to their users so it’s important that content is kept fresh.
Google likes to know that you keep your website updated constantly, evolving the content for visitors. We (and still do to this day) kept our site content updated regularly. We’ve made a real effort to blog more often and adjusted our social media strategy in order to get more and more people to our site increasing our visibility.
How long did it take to rank?
It’s crucial you know that SEO is not an instant process. Be aware that there’s likely to be many different businesses competing for the same keywords as you are. We are very proud to say that we are currently ranked at the very top for our chosen keywords (as of April 2016). We started at around page 16 of the search engine results and the timeline went a little like this:
- 1 months in: page 8
- 2 months in: page 6
- 3 months in: page 3
- 4 months in: page 1 (pos 9) – at this stage we saw a great increase in traffic
- 5 months in: page 1 (pos 6)
- 6 months in: page 1 (pos 4)
- 7 months in: page 1 (pos 4)
- 8 months in: page 1 (pos 2)
- 9 months in: page 1 (pos 1!)
As you can see, it took around 4 months to start seeing the benefits and traffic increasing from organic results.
We’re now around 2 years in and traffic has dramatically increased since we began our SEO journey.
How SEO affected us as a business
Below is a screenshot from our very own Google Analytics account. The image shows how our website performs compared to 2 years ago.
We’ve seen a massive increase on the amount of traffic coming to our website, largely from our investment into SEO. With this traffic, we have seen an increase in business we are able to generate (increased traffic = increased opportunities!). In fact, organic leads now account for around 50% of our sales.
So, that’s how much of an impact SEO has had on us as a business. Do you feel you could benefit from more opportunities in your sector or local area? See our SEO page or contact us today for a free enquiry!