Search Engine Optimisation

There's no Silver Bullet software that will automagically increase your search engine rankings. If anyone tells you different, they're probably trying to sell you something. However, there are some great tools that can help you analyze your pages and monitor performance, but hey, you're already an expert with Google Webmaster Tools, right?

Follow the excellent advice on Google's own pages and your site will be seen by people who are interested in your stuff. If you try to 'trick' your way up the page and Google find out, you will suffer. Also, be careful if you do decide to buy SEO services from one of the many people claiming to be able to help you: There's nothing to stop them using 'illegal' techniques - it will get results, but they expose your business to the risk that Google could remove you from their index. That would be disastrous for most businesses. Make sure you know what your SEO people are really doing with your web site.

Tools

You can check your pages with a few tools listed below.

Get your keyword density right:
http://www.ranks.nl/tools/spider.html

But not too much:
http://tool.motoricerca.info/spam-detector/

Are your keywords meaningful?
http://www.w3.org/2003/12/semantic-extractor.html

These are supposed to be good but we've not tried them:
http://raven-seo-tools.com/

and, of course, the grand-daddy of them all:
http://www.google.com/webmasters/

Books

Comprehensive and very good:
http://buildingfindablewebsites.com/

Simple and lo-tech:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/184078332X

Not quite SEO, but useful if you complement your SEO with Google Adwords:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/190594098X

More help

If it all looks too much like hard work or you just want someone to hold your hand, contact us for a friendly chat and we'll try to help.

Comments

Picking the right SEO company

While all the technical stuff is interesting to understand and dabble in in the end any company which is considering engaging an SEO company is only interested in one thing.

Can the SEO company get you to the top of Google for relevant keywords?

So how do you know if your SEO company is any good?

You do what you always do when you hire people and companies. You ask for references.

Simply ask them to provide you with a spreadsheet containing 5 clients and a list of keywords for each client where the client is on page one for each keyword. Then go to Google and check it out. Make sure that the keywords given for each client is highly relevant to that particular business and that there are many pages coming up for each keyword. Many pages mean lots of competition. Lots of competition means it's not easy to get that keyword on page one.

If you're happy then go to http://www.adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and type in keywords which are highly relevant to your business. Pick the keywords which has the highest number of average searches and most relevant to your business and then ask your ‘new’ SEO company to be to get you on page one for those keywords and provide you with a money back guarantee. Don't ask them for the money back guarantee until they have told you repeatedly that they can get you on page one for anything.

As for getting on page one you have another choice which is Google Ads.

Whether you pick one or the other you are making a mistake in both cases. The most economical strategy to get on page one for as many keywords as possible is to apply the right mix of SEO and Google Ads.

That’s for another time.

Jorgen Poulsen
www.catalystpartnership.com

Good advice

Thanks for the additional commentary Jorgen.

I'd also add that although you rightly say a company engaging an SEO specialist is only interested in getting to the top of Google, it shouldn't be at the risk of being removed from Google's index altogether, through using dishonest techniques. Sadly, there are too many black hat companies in operation.