How to choose an SEO company

How to choose an SEO company

How to choose an SEO company

Not all SEO companies are born equal.

Handing over control of your website to a good and trustworthy SEO company can be one of the best decisions that you make for your business, SEO companies have the power to boost your business’s profits, craft and effective online profile and bring in more customers.

The difficult part is finding a good SEO company. How do you know who to trust? If you get this step wrong, the effects can be devastating. Effectively you’re handing over control of your website and possibly your livelihood, so if your SEO company doesn’t know what they’re doing, they can destroy your website’s rankings and any future prospects of your website ranking highly, as well as this they can get you blacklisted in the eyes of Google in the process. Not good.

Luckily though In Focus SEO can help you steer clear of these pitfalls by teaching you how to weed out some of the bad SEO companies out there.

Ask about Google updates and what they mean for search engine optimisation techniques

Over the past few years Google has released several updates to their search engine ranking algorithms, these have shaped and changed how the SEO industry works. These complex algorithms basically decide which websites should come first in their search results. Your SEO company should be able to explain what these updates are and how they affect the work that they carry out for you. Although you yourself may not know the ins and out of these updates, the essentials for you to know are that Google has emphasised the need for good quality content rather than quantity of back-links, while also punishing shadier tactics such as building spammy back-links to your site from low quality sources.

Ask about Google penalties and how they can effect you

If your SEO company doesn’t know about Google penalties and how to avoid them, do not work with them. Penalties have come as a result of the updates mentioned above, if an SEO company is using tactics to rank your site that Google doesn’t like, then there is a strong chance that your website could be penalised for this. This can have a severely negative effect on your search engine rankings. To avoid penalties your SEO company needs to know about them, so make sure they do.

If you’ve already incurred such penalties, a good agency will be able to investigate your problem and tell you exactly why. This can allow them to rectify the issues.

Ask exactly how your SEO company builds back-links to your site

There is a lot of information on the Internet about building back links, a lot of this information is outdated and a large part of it just plain wrong. A good SEO Company will place emphasis on building a quality content that is engaging to its readers and naturally attracts links to your site.

You should always avoid working with a company that uses spammy techniques such as posting links on random forums and submitting your website web directories, which can often do more harm than good. Google is increasingly cracking down on low quality link building, so a good answer from your SEO company here is essential.

Ask them what tools they use

The only tools an SEO company should be using are ones that track their progress and analyse visitor traffic. If they’re using automated tools for content generation or link building then you should not choose not work with them. These are the hallmark of a low quality SEO company.

Does your SEO company promise the Earth?

This is another indicator of a poor SEO company. If they’re giving you guaranties of the number one spot for a search term, run the other way!

No one can promise the number one spot. This is highly dependant on the competition, while companies can promise to rank you highly and having assessed the competition thoroughly can suggest a probability of how far up your site is likely to rank, this top spot is a false promise.

Be cautious

By asking the above questions when searching for an SEO company you stand the best chance of landing yourself someone dependable. It is important to have a close and trustworthy relationship with your SEO specialist, after all they’ll be working with you for a long period of time to help your business grow, you need to know you can depend on them.

For an SEO company you can trust contact In Focus SEO today HERE or teach yourself SEO with one of our specialist SEO training courses HERE.

Social media and its impact on SEO

Using social media in SEO

Using social media in SEO

The use of social media in SEO campaigns is one of the most controversial topics in SEO at the moment. Some people argue that as the links created on social networks are of the type “no-follow” then there is little value in focussing your efforts here. Some say that while social networking profiles are nice to have, the majority of you efforts should be focused on building more traditional back-links from blogs etc.

This view however is becoming increasingly outdated in the SEO world, as people slowly realise the power of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and their effect on website rankings. Any SEO companies worth their salt Are becoming increasingly focused on maintaining an active and up-to-date social networking presence.

The use of social media sites is important for a multitude of reasons. Let’s forget search engine rankings for the moment, social media websites allow you to engage with your customers directly. By regularly posting relevant and informative content, companies are able make themselves appear experts in the fields who are always there to help. This in turn can increase customer trust and levels of satisfaction.

Social media sites can also directly increase customer numbers. If utilised effectively, they can form another sales channel, whether this is due paid advertising or by maintaining an active and helpful presence in social groups that are often formed around similar interests and hobbies.

But does social media boost Google rankings directly?

Our evidence suggests yes. Here at In Focus SEO we are always trying to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and techniques, so we decided to conduct an experiment ourselves. Using nothing but social signals, we decided to try and boost sites rankings. The results were exciting.

By doing nothing other than gaining Facebook likes, re-tweets on twitter and posting to our Google Plus page, we were able to significantly boost a website’s search engine rankings. We are always passing these types of findings directly on to our SEO customers in Stoke on Trent and adding them to our SEO training course.

Although our findings were anecdotal and only one study, we believe this is the next logical step in search engine optimisation. People increasingly use the Internet solely for the purposes of social media, as this is the case, Google can not afford to ignore the hype and user generated referrals that surround theses sites. Therefore we expect future Google ranking algorithms to increasingly take into account referrals from social media sites.

Now, we aren’t saying that social media is the be all and end all the search engine optimisation. But we believe is becoming increasingly important factor in search engine rankings. Therefore effectively using social media should form part of an effective search engine optimisation campaign.

Using video to boost your SEO campaign

In Focus SEO using video to boost your search engine rankings

Using video to boost your search engine rankings

When carrying out an effective SEO campaign, it important to add more than one form of media to reach your customers and make you look good in the eyes of Google and other search engines.

Many people have realised the importance of blogging and creating text based articles to raise the profile of their website, however many businesses neglect to use videos for this purpose. Not only does the use of vide make you a professional in the eyes of your customer but since Google’s acquisition of YouTube, videos have had an increasingly important effect on search engine rankings.

You may have increasingly noticed that video results are becoming far more prominent within Google searches, regardless of what you’re searching for. Now doing a search for a term such as ‘SEO training courses Manchester‘ you are likely to encounter a video as well as a text based result.

This is due to the fact that Google has realised that videos off and engaged users far more than text based articles alone. This shift in On the importance of videos in search results means that Links coming directly from videosHave also become more important.

This means that there is a rich vein of back-links and promotion to be gained from the various video Promotion website out there. Businesses should not limit themselves to YouTube exclusively, Even though this is the most well-known video sharing site, but others such as Vimeo and Vevo should be used, even when promoting the same video.

By utilising multiple video sharing sites in this way, it makes your video and therefore the website that it links are pointing to look more popular and therefore important in the eyes of Google. This can lead to an increase in your search engine rankings.

These Websites often offer the ability to meta-tag and categorise videos which can be useful If attempting to boost the ranking of your website for specific terms.

Why SEO (search engine optimisation) is important for your business

SEO Stoke on Trent

We build bridges to your website.

If you imagine your business to be an island in the sea, good search engine optimisation (SEO) is effectively building bridges to that island. Without the bridges, you could have the best business in the world on that island, however your customers simply can’t reach you because they don’t know about you. SEO is what makes you visible and accessible to the internet world and is essential to any business, big or small.

To put it simply, effective use of SEO can make or break a company. Unfortunately many businesses underestimate the importance of it. This is particularly true for small businesses that may be operating in a small area such as ‘plumbers in Stoke on Trent’. Most people have realised the importance of having a website, yet despite this, many people do not grasp that ranking highly on search engines is what really matters, because it ensures that customers can find them and not their competitors.

Search engine optimisation, is the act of making changes both on and off a website to help it rank better within search engines such as Google and Bing. There is nothing mysterious about it, it’s a method of driving more customers and visitors to a website by utilising a methodical process.

Good SEO and therefore good Google rankings, Can make the difference between your website getting visited by 200 potential customers a month, to zero customers visiting you a month. Let’s look at one example

There are 280 searches per month for ‘builders in Stoke-on-Trent’, Statistics tell us that the website at the top of the Google search results receives approximately 35% of all searches for a term (that’s massive!). Therefore If you are top of Google’s search results for ‘Builders in Stoke on Trent’ this translates to 95 customers per month looking at your website and potentially becoming customers. If you’re in second position however, you receive approximately 15% of the pool of customers left, which translates in to approximately 40 potential customers looking at your website per month. This is almost half the number of customers.

The further down the list you are, the more sharply your potential customer numbers drop, until by the time that you are unfortunate enough to be on page 2, you are almost invisible to your target audience.

This is why you need effective SEO. Whether you’re looking for SEO Stoke on Trent or an SEO training course, to teach yourself. We can help.