:: search engine optimisation (seo)
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... excited about the results! That we are number one on Google for 'natural toys' and ahead of the american companies selling similar stuff to us is amazing... you must be a genius!   , of Myriad Natural Toys & Crafts

A bit of history about search engines & search engine optimisation (SEO)

A few years ago, it was pretty easy to get high rankings on search engines: stuff your page full of keywords, submit your site and there you go ... until someone else did the same.

It didn't take long for the search engine companies to realise that, since they would only get people using their sites if they delivered good results, it was useless serving up results which bore no relation to the search which had been done.

So they started developing increasingly complex sets of rules ('algorithms'), in order to attempt to determine whether a page was relevant to a given search. These search algorithms now can contain more than 100 different tests on the page content, title, description, keywords, links, etc, etc.

The response from web designers was to adopt various techniques to convince the search engines into thinking that their sites were relevant. The most popular so-called 'search engine optimisation' technique was to avoid altering the visible page text, but include keywords in tiny, unreadable fonts - like this: keyword or making them invisible, by putting them in the same colour as the background colour (eg white text on a white background).

It didn't take long before the search engine designers included tests to check for this. If your - supposedly 'optimised' - site is found to be using these techniques, it will be placed far down in the rankings, or even removed from the search index completely.

WARNING - these techniques are still used, by incompetent web designers who have no idea abut SEO!

As time has gone on, every search engine has utilised increasingly complex technology - all with the intention of delivering the most relevant results for their visitors. In particular, they now attempt to replicate what a human visitor would look at on a page to determine whether it is relevant and appropriate to his or her search. And SEO has become increasingly difficult, as we attempt to 'second guess' what a search engine is looking for ...

So, is there anything you can do to get your site high up on the results - even on page 1? Read on ...

... a top level SEO guy ... we are getting natural listings all over the place ... He did a great job!   posting on the premier web professionals' forum, WebProWorld, by , of the Florida-based 6 Star Reviews

What is 'search engine optimisation'?

The art of search engine optimisation (SEO) is a highly complex process, requiring many different skills:
  • knowledge of the latest SEO techniques which work;
  • knowledge of now outdated optimisation techniques which no longer work;
  • spending time continually keeping abreast of search engine technology and search engine optimisation requirements;
  • the - absolutely crucial - ability to create keyword-rich optimised page text which not only works for optimisation purposes, but also works as marketing copy for your service, product or company;
  • the ability to stand back and look at the website as a whole and analyse whether, when search engine optimisation work gets you those visitors, your website will achieve the results you want - particularly in terms of the 'conversation' between the site and the visitor.
These points highlight exactly what skills andrew green associates bring to the SEO process. Most web designers (INCLUDING many large web design companies) know very little about search engine optimisation ... or, worse, think they know something about it! And most SEO consultants concentrate too much on the technical and ignore the fundamental marketing/sales point of a site.

That's why, at andrew green associates, all our optimisation is personally carried out by our founder and principal, Andrew Green - an acknowledged and highly skilled SEO expert, who is regularly used by web designers, marketing companies and other web professionals.

We should emphasise here that, when we refer to SEO, we are talking about a rigorous and comprehensive search engine optimisation process.

Many people still labour under the misapprehension that putting a few keywords in the webpage 'meta tags' will achieve good search engine optimisation results, when the reality is that this will achieve absolutely nothing.

In addition, many so-called search engine optimisation 'experts' (who might well have approached you offering "guaranteed 1st page positions on Google"), use a hotchpotch of - highly dubious - techniques: 'gateway pages', hidden page redirects, web address 'cloaking', and many other methods which produce short-term results and then always result in the websites which they have 'optimised' being completely banned from search engines.

Genuine SEO consultants will NEVER EVER guarantee positioning. I could only do this is if I knew the exact details of Google, Yahoo & MSN's search 'algorithms' - and if I had that information to hand I would be a very rich man indeed!   Andrew Green

Click here to read Google's own information about search engine optimisation - what to look for and what to avoid. ... apparently, they also receive emails starting: "Dear google.com, I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories ..."!

In contrast to this type of spurious, so-called 'optimisation', Andrew's expertise has been painstakingly built up over the past six years, working on real business websites, and he keeps up to date with current search engine trends on a daily basis.

This is simply superb work - I have spent an hour going through it step by step - can not fault it. If this is the standard of phase 1 can't wait for phase 2.   Andrew McGavin, CEO of iXat

Search engines - the current situation

The pre-eminent search engine, particularly in the UK, is still Google, so it Google which we always have to aim for - even though increased rankings might take some time to appear.

Google relies very heavily (but - in our opinion - somewhat less so now) for its rankings on what links it finds into a site ('in-bound links'). Since they only update their record of these periodically and since they favour older 'established' sites, good positioning on Google is relatively difficult to obtain for a new site, or for a site with few links to it.

However, our experience is that, once we've attained a fair number of good-quality in-bound links and the site is around 2 years old, Google is very easy to optimise for - and they re-index very frequently, so improved results appear within the fortnight.

With Google's large - and increasing - share of the search market, simply speaking it's Google results which our clients are looking for and it's Google which we always concentrate on first.

Yahoo remains very easy, in search engine optimisation terms, and we nearly always get excellent results in Yahoo on the first pass of optimisation work. Yahoo do not favour old sites with loads of in-bound links, so your (relatively) new site can easily rank well on Yahoo.

It appears that Yahoo prefers a lower density of keywords on the page, so it can be rather a juggling act to supply the high density for Google and the lower density for Yahoo.

Bing (formerly MSN) now supply the results for Yahoo searches (see above)

As far as the remaining search engines (including Ask [Jeeves]) are concerned, results appear on them - but, whilst we could trumpet results for these, we have to concentrate on the 'Big Two'. You will only get substantive traffic from the smaller search engines if search engine optimisation work on your site is concentrated on very heavily-searched keywords (like, for example 'Britney Spears'!). But, of course, heavily-searched equals highly competitive ... you don't get something for nothing!

Andrew Green Associates provided a fast, effective and efficient service which rapidly raised the profile of my website and resulted in a fourfold increase in new business from the internet.   Sue Branch, Acupuncturist

Our search engine optimisation results

The results we have achieved speak for themselves.

Below are shown the current results for just a few of the sites for which we are conducting ongoing search engine optimisation work. A dash (-) indicates a result outside the first page (assuming 10 results per page)

 

www.1-art-1.com, www.abstractartgallery.net, www.its-raining-men.com & www.feltmaking-workshops.info (search engine optimisation work carried out together for these sites)

On Google alone, out of 92 keyword phrases currently targeted, 76 appear on the first results page, 5 on the 2nd page and 4 on the 3rd page.

keyword phrase Google Yahoo
textile artists51,2 & 20
abstract art pictures52&6
british textile art1&27&15
UK feltmakers1&21&5
fibre art39
textile art UK1&26&7
contemporary textile art22&9
feltmaking210
feltmaking workshops2,4&52&3
textile art44&16
textile artists43&12
These are all search phrases relevant to that business and represent remarkably good results for any small sole-trader website.

In addition, we have carried out search engine optimisation work on these sites for image searches. This type of search is used very heavily by people looking for art on the net and our results are as follows:

Yahoo image search:

  • 'abstract art pictures' - 12 images on the 1st page (out of 20), plus the 1st 16 on page 2
  • 'art uk' - all 20 images on the 1st page (including 3 from LovefromMe - see below), plus 10 on page 2
  • 'textile art' - 16 images on the 1st page (including 8 from LovefromMe - see below)
  • 'fiber art' - 12 images on the 1st page
  • 'fiber art uk' - all 20 images on the 1st page, plus 18 on page 2 and 9 on page 3
  • 'textile art uk' - all 20 images on the 1st page (including 16 from LovefromMe - see below), plus all 20 on page 2, all 20 on page 3, all 20 on page 4 and 12 on page 5
  • etc
Google image search:
  • 'textile art uk' - the 1st 4 results on the 1st page
  • 'contemporary textile art' - the 1st 2 results on the 1st page, plus another 2 on that page
  • 'textile art' - 4 images in the 1st 5 results on the 1st page
  • 'fiber art' - 2 images on the 1st page
  • etc
 

www.myriadonline.co.uk - ongoing search engine optimisation for various phrases to do with natural toys, including important niche results for this market:
keyword phrase Google Yahoo
natural toys1&21
natural wooden toys12
natural art materials11&5
natural craft materials1&21
wooden stacking toys13
ostheimer1&25&6
ostheimer toys2&32&3
etc ...   

 

www.bionenergycentres.com - search engine optimisation work for niche keywords associated with this business
keyword phrase Google Yahoo
polarity therapy7-
polarity therapist37
polarity therapist bath11
polarity therapist somerset11
polarity therapy bath11
polarity therapy somerset11&3
polarity therapist uk42
polarity therapy uk312 (page 2)
We achieved good results after the initial design and then improved on these on a 2nd pass of SEO work. These are particularly pleasing results for both the client and ourselves and we will be working to improve those that have poorer positioning.

 

www.brianjung.co.uk - search engine optimisation work for local-based keywords associated with this photography business
keyword phrase Google Yahoo
wedding photographer bridport1&24&6
wedding photography bridport1&25&6
portrait photographer bridport1&22&5
portrait photography bridport1&21&2
wedding photographer dorchester5&62
wedding photography dorchester6&72
portrait photographer dorchester3&41&3
portrait photography dorchester3&41&2
wedding photographer weymouth44
wedding photography weymouth43&8
portrait photographer weymouth1&21&3
portrait photography weymouth3&41&4
landscape photographs dorset7&82
portrait photography dorset819 (page 2)
This was a site which we redesigned for the client, specifically to achieve good search engine results. When the site went live, the initial results were good, but these have been considerably improved with a 2nd pass of SEO work. These are good examples of what can be achieved with just a small amount of 'tweaking', following a design which had SEO always in mind.

 

www.andrewgreenassociates, and www.andrewgreen.biz (Andrew's local site) - search engine optimisation for various phrases to do with web design (and proofreading) in Dorset - carried out together on these 2 sites.
keyword phrase Google Yahoo
search engine optimisation dorset215 (page 2)
SEO dorset119 (page 2)
andrew green3&55&9
website designer dorset77 16:14 06/09/2010
proofreading dorset35,6&9
etc ...  
We also optimised one of the pages on this site for image searches on photographs of Abbotsbury, the particularly beautiful village which we are based in, which is very popular with tourists and artists. The results for a search on 'abbotsbury photographs' are as follows:

Yahoo image search - 17 images on the 1st page (out of 20) with many images also on pages 2 and 3

And, out of interest, the results for image searches on 'andrew green' are as follows:

Yahoo image search - 7 images on the 1st page (out of 20)
Google image search - 1 image on the 1st page (out of 5 million results)

 

As part of the SEO process, we also provide invaluable advice on site design and the user 'conversation', utilising our considerable experience of the internet, online and offline marketing, copywriting and proofreading.

Despite being a predominantly technical skill, I believe - very strongly - that SEO needs to be undertaken as an integral part of site design and textual/visual content. And I also believe that if your search engine optimisation consultant cannot do that, he or she is not going to give you what you want: results to suit your budget and improve your profitability. It is these additional skills - built up over nearly 30 years in the computer industry - which provide that vital 'added value' to my clients and ensure that top-class search engine optimisation work by me provides top-class results for you.   Andrew Green

So how much will search engine optimisation cost?

All our search engine optimisation projects are negotiated at length with you, the client, before any agreement is reached on the extent of the work and how many hours are required.

One site might need only 5-10 hours initial optimisation work and then, perhaps, 2-3 hours each month for 3-4 months. A larger site might need a continuing SEO effort of 10 hours - or more - every month, for 6 months.

That is why that initial discussion process about your search engine optimisation project is so vitally important: even at our current modest rate of £48 (approx $70 US) per hour, costs can easily mount up and it is of paramount importance to us that you feel you are getting value for money and that our work will help you and your business.

Search engine optimisation can provide just the boost your website - and business - needs and ensure a permanent 1st page search engine position, advertising your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This can be achieved for only a modest initial outlay and a couple of hours a month 'tweaking' your site, to maintain its position.

To start the search engine optimisation process off for your business - completely free of any obligation - just to email us, or ring us on 01305 850674.

Click here to download a single page printable document about our approach to search engine optimisation (SEO) to show to your colleagues (pdf file - opens in a new window)

 

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