Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) = The natural (or ‘organic’) listings on Google. It doesn’t cost you anything when a visitor clicks, however it does cost time, effort and (if you want to do it right) money to get your website ranked well for your relevant keywords.

I provide a link building and SEO service to help client’s websites get as high as possible on the search listings for specific keywords.

Successful SEO requires a few things, which most SEO companies aren’t upfront about when taking on SEO work. You need a content rich website (the more content, the better) – without content, Google is not going to have anything to associate your keywords to. You need a good niche – optimising a medium sized website for something like “birthday gifts” is just not going to work – the competition is far too fierce to stand out in the eyes of Google. You need a good, relevant website that people actually like – Google’s algorithm takes into account things like how long people stay on your site for – if its a few seconds, then your rankings are going to drop.

The process of SEO is multifaceted – it involves how the content is written (ensuring keywords are used to optimum effect), reducing the loading times where possible, ensuring relevancy and quality, and building enough connections between your site and the rest of the internet (usually via links) so that Google sees you as “liked and respected”.

This process is lengthy, and the results are never certain. For this reason, I will always look at the site and niche first to get an idea of whether its worth pursuing or not. Normally, pay per click advertising (AdWords) is a far better choice – and should always be used before SEO so that the website made as efficient as possible.

Pay Per Click marketing vs Search Engine Optimisation

It’s usually a case of choosing between Pay Per Click or SEO based on your business needs – however, it may (depending on your budget of course) make sense to use both. This would then offer the immediate benefits of AdWords, whilst developing a longer term strategy for natural traffic at the same time. The results from AdWords can also feed into SEO – for example noticing which keywords tend to be the most successful. Its recommended to test your website first with PPC, because you know you are getting good quality traffic. Once your conversion rate is high, you can then start working on getting natural traffic to your site.

The table below compares the two approaches based on the relevant variables. If you have a particular question you’d like to ask, feel free to contact us.

Pay Per Click SEO
BudgetA tighter cashflow favours PPC, because the results are immediate and the whole idea is that it pays for itself. E.g. the management costs and clicks are covered by the profit of making sales. It costs between £250-£1000pm for the management fee, depending on many variables. Click costs depend on your competitors ‘keyword bids’, but cost is at least spread out. Bid prices and wasted clicks can be reduced with professional management. Costs between £1000-£4000 for 6 months of SEO work, and is more a long term strategy to bring in plenty of natural traffic. Results won’t take effect for months – but when they do, your investment is covered by the increased profits.
Immediacy Immediate – you can get campaigns within minutes or a week (if you want it done properly). This means that even if your website is brand new, you can direct relevant, quality customers to it immediately, to sell your product or service, or test the site. Pay per click favours businesses where products or services may change, e.g. updated products, or changing seminars. Long term – can take months or years to climb the rankings on search engines. Sometimes it can be sooner depending on the competition. Products or services should be more robust in their consistency to avoid ranking on a keyword that becomes obselete.
Website Must be user-friendly, and optimised to lead to a conversion (sale, enquiry etc) to make use of the price of the click and make a profit. Could be a single page or a large site with many different landing pages. Generally needs to be larger and more content focussed, so that relevant keywords can be optimised throughout. Must still also be commercial and user-friendly of course.
Your product or service Can be excellent for specific items (e.g. brands, makes, models) as well as directing more generalised searches to your relevant site (e.g. “toasters” or “flower delivery banbury”). E.g. an electrical retailer client has thousands of specific electrical products as keywords, all leading to their own relevant ads (so a high conversation rate). Favours niches of keywords as well as highly specific ones, but they need to be consistent. The more of a niche your business is, the better your chances of achieving high rankings (niche is defined by keywords that have a demand, but little existing supply – or competition – on the internet).
Your involvement Initial discussion to understand your products/services/needs, to allow for adequate keyword research and planning. May be a few more discussions to ensure you agree with the proposed strategy, and take your own ideas on board. Then you are given updates and regular reports. As with Pay Per Click, although a little more involved in that they may need FTP access to your site to be able to optimise your content pages for keywords (depending on the service).