People’s expectations of Search Engine Optimisation is that we techie guys can wave a magic wand and suddenly get lots of new visitors to a website.
The truth is that years ago that probably would have been true, even for the bad SEO companies they could turn around decent results flailing into the dark changing a few things here and there.
However in today’s world those same bad tactics will get your site potentially banned from Google, and if that happens, goodbye business if you are reliant on that source of customers or leads.
Today it takes time and effort to steadily build a successful SEO campaign, to do things the right way and take into consideration the hundreds of little things that all need to line up to help boost a keyword or website up the natural rankings.
Rarely does a client have the patience to do it right and even more rarely does an SEO company help that view.
The SEO company want the sale so they go in with big promises that no company out there can ever actually guarantee, that’s just a fact no SEO company knows exactly what Google are doing, so anything can catch them off guard and most will use bad tactics for short term gain [< a link to a previous post I wrote about that].
Worst still people still get tied into long term contracts (usually 6 or 12 months) on specifically chosen keywords that are potentially out of fashion or season so are useless to target. So because of the contract they are stuck on them for the full term, clearly can be a waste of money and time. The client probably doesn’t even know that though because the reporting is woefully inadequate to truly get a sense of what working or not.
We do our best to manage client expectations, we do that by gathering lots of data before we even start an SEO campaign. That way when we go through the details with the client they have a very good idea of what to expect.
Even better is that we present a report each month in person or over the phone to ensure we’re on track and if we need to change direction then we can make the decision there and then to help out manoeuvre the competitors.
Why Reporting is so Important
We’ve done 14 monthly reports now for a client of ours – Catherines of Partick, they have been patient, invested properly and helped us over time understand their business better and what I really like is that they now contribute ideas as over time they have come to understand SEO much better. This creates a collaborative feeling and is what we always strive for with our clients because they know their industry better than we do even after 15 months of analysis.
What this has meant is that we have been able to get better and better results the more we discussed the reports with them. We could then create new objectives and action plans to help the business move forward. Add to that our understanding of what Google is changing and effectively giving it what it wants, and we have had some incredible successes.
Below is a graph of the last 15 months, so where they started and where they are now. These are just the numbers for keywords on page 1 of Google, we actually have results for the first 10 pages in Google as well so we can see keywords rise up through the ranks and what potential they may bring traffic wise.
As you can see they started with just 2 keywords on page 1 of Google and now they have 1,094, we have every one listed with the urls they point to, so no hiding.
To put that in a marketing percentage salesy way that’s a 54,600% increase.
Bit of the Process
You can see that initially we made some quite big gains just a couple of months in. This was in part because they built a brand new mobile optimised website built by another company (highly recommended especially now as Google are making this a ranking factor on April 21st 2015), and of course our Search Engine Optimisation services, which was also consulting on making sure all the code stuff in the background on the website was supplying the right information to Google.
Then there was a period of building up the authority of the website/company online making sure Google recognised the branding and the industry they were in. We were still gaining each month but the numbers had slowed a little at that point, but it was heading towards their quite period in the season as well, so that is a factor.
Google were doing some pretty big updates between July (pigeon) and September (Panda 4.1) and October (Penguin 3.0), here’s all the updates we currently know about http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change.
So you can see that despite the doom and gloom of people complaining about the big bad Google updates our client just kept gaining positions, even better was that their main competitors were dropping in rankings at the same time!
Not only were we tracking how many keywords they were showing up for, and these aren’t all of them, I can’t reveal that part here, but I can say there is another 2899 keywords on page 1 of Google (confused…? You’ll need to talk to me to find out why & how that works).
We are also tracking how many keywords are at what positions on pages 1-10 of Google, but we’ll focus on just page 1 here as that’s the most important page anyway.
Here are the position results for from November 2014 to February 2015
As you can see the majority of the keywords are sitting in the first 1-5 positions, which is where most clicks on the organic result are made and that each position has mostly gained new keywords as time has gone past.
Suffice to say that each positions numbers have been going up month on month and the higher they go the more traffic they bring in.
Here are some other nice little stats we thought you might like to know about that we’ve managed over the last year with their website (January 2014-January 2015 – it will be much more now as it’s there peak season right now).
If you’re Search Engine Optimisation or website isn’t working and especially if you don’t know why, then get in touch with me through LinkedIn I’d be happy to have a quick conversation on what we could do differently to help your company grow.
Alan Fair | Director
T: 07793 544 852