Category Archives: Digital Marketing

Digital marketing ideas, issues and updates that relate to small businesses and local search.

SEO Progress Report

SEO Progress Report

Well, it’s the beginning of September and we’ve moved from nowhere (i.e. not on the first 10 pages for our chosen keywords), to page 2 in less than a month.

bluetree s e o position chartWe’ve used SERPS position 100 to indicate that our site didn’t show up in the first 10 pages.

Position 1 is at the bottom, so the lower the better on the chart.

Note: we’re talking about “organic search,” the main results listing, not pay-per-click advertising.

How We Made Progress

This is all we did, really, to make this progress:

  1. For the last three or four months, we’ve been building content on our new website, not exposed to Google.
  2. We removed some irrelevant pages on a micro-site we’ve been hosting for a client.
  3. On 12 August, 2012, we submitted our website to Google.

That’s all. We did no page optimisation, no extra link-building. Nothing.

Why the Progress?

We’re testing our theories.

We believe Google wants to deliver the most relevant page in response to every search query. That’s the page the user thinks most relevant, not the one that a search engine optimisation team thinks.

There’s all sorts of SEO advice out there on the web, but we think we should listen to Google. They tell us to,

  • Make sure our websites are clean and tidy;
  • Follow the SEO Guidelines;
  • Deliver useful information;
  • Create good in-bound links with appropriate anchor text;
  • Make sure our pages load quickly;
  • Make a popular site…

And so it goes on. We’d normally address the first two points first, but thought it would be worth changing the sequence, to see what happens.

Well, quite a lot happened. We wouldn’t normally expect to leap up the scoreboard as fast as that. It confirms our theory that content counts for an awful lot, but there’s still some way to go.

In Our Next Report

Next we’re going to look at page load speed. Again, we wouldn’t usually address load speed now, but Google seems to be pushing it.

SEO Start

SEO Start Point

search engine start button

Search Engine Start

It’s hard to believe, but our website hasn’t changed much since 2006! We finally have a new, more mobile-friendly design and it’s time to introduce it to search engines.

Mid-August, 2012. This is the datum for our progress to SERPS (search engine results) page 1. Right now we’re nowhere: not visible anywhere on Google’s first 10 pages.

Our keyword targets are modest: website design or SEO or, maybe, website maintenance in our local area. We serve businesses around Portishead, so that’ll do to start with.

Our website has history from way back that means Google doesn’t see us as we now are: a website design company. More on this later perhaps.

SEO Research

We also want to treat this as an R&D exercise. We follow a set SEO procedure to get clients’ sites onto the first page in search results. Google is focusing more and more on quality content, so this time we’re going to change the sequence of the steps we follow. We’re starting with content, which our clients update themselves. Then we’ll address the more technical aspects, for which we earn a fee.

The Start

So, we really are starting on the back foot. Wish us luck!

Help Google Find Your Business

Local Internet Search

Rapid growth means Portishead is filling up with business people. With young families and demanding jobs, they tend to be cash rich and time poor.

local search result pointer "A" on unfolded mapWhen such people want something, Google is probably their first port of call.

They may well search using a mobile phone or tablet. Tablets are becoming more popular with businesses. These devices announce their location to search engines, which list local results higher, when appropriate.

Google Places

With Google Places you can promote your business using a free web page. It doesn’t take very long and it’s easy to make your business stand out from the crowd.

On your Google Places page you can,

  • describe your business and your unique selling proposition (USP);
  • display up to ten photos of your products, people, shop, anything really;
  • state your opening hours and payment options.

More important, you can choose the categories in which your business will be listed. Google will list your business whenever someone searches for them around your location.

Get Started

It’s dead easy: go to the Google Places home page and log in using any Google account. If you don’t have one, we’ve more advice here.