If you own a business and have a website, it is fairly likely that you will at some point have received an email asking you if you would like a FREE (it’s usually in capital letters) SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Website report?
Here at F8, we would also like to offer you an SEO and Website report. But instead of doing it for free we would like you to pay us £350+vat.
Most SEO and Website reports – and believe me I have seen a good few of them in my time – are generic and largely churned out of one of many website report generating tools. They take very little time to put together and often lack any real depth or quality. The following is an explanation of how our reports are very different.
We take time give you the information in a way you are going to understand it
Our reports cover many of the basics of SEO including looking at how well the website ranks in the search engines, whether there are any crawl errors, the quality of your metadata, URL quality, duplicate content issues and a bunch of other technical sounding things you may or may not understand. What we don’t do, is feed you this data as if you are going to understand it without any explanation of what it actually means to you. We do give you the data, but we back it up with easy to understand explanations. Since every website is different, and every client is different, this explanatory information is always unique and is written specifically about your website and written to a level that matches what we determine to be your current level of understanding of the subject.
Our reports are in-depth and take an holistic view of both your website and your online presence as a whole.
Whilst our reports are SEO based, we also look at areas of functionality of a website that sit outside of the usual realms of Search Engine Optimisation.
Here at F8 we offer services that are outside of just SEO, and since those services have their own skill sets, we can apply many of them to our website reports. This is probably the biggest way in which our reports stand out from the crowd. It might seem logical that an SEO report be focused on SEO, but actually, since SEO is increasingly focussed on content of a website rather than off-site efforts, we look at your content too. Whilst we are looking at your content, we also look at a few other content related things. These include:
- How your content is structured.
- How readable it is and how logically it is laid out.
- How well it directs users of your around your website.
- Whether or not there is a defined goal or goals of the website such as driving the user to buy a product, get a quote or simply get in touch.
- How well these goals are represented on the website and, as such, how likely users of the website are going to complete them.
All of the above can be largely encapsulated by the terms “Content Strategy” and “Conversion Strategy”. These disciplines – combined with SEO don’t only look at how well your website will rank in the search engines – and so how likely people are to find your website – but also how likely people are going to stay on your website and do the things you want them to do once they are there.
It is after all pretty pointless directing people to a website that doesn’t make sense or confuses people to the point of them leaving. A commercial website is a selling tool. A poor, confusing website is akin to a mumbling, confused salesman. A good salesman will make the prospective customer want to keep listening, a good website will make the prospective customer want to keep reading, and hopefully either buy, or at very least set them on the right path toward buying.
Your Social Media Presence
Social Media is a huge part of a the chance of success or failure of a modern website. If you have and use social media we can look at how well your site interacts with your pages. If you don’t or for some reason can’t use social media, we look at how well your website can interact with other peoples social media interactions with your site. This starts with factors as simple as having sharing icons, but there is also a great deal of code that should be sat on your site to make sure those interactions work efficiently and accurately. We can tell you all the things you need to do to best work with social media however it is that you wish to use it.
Your Inbound Link Profile
Having lots of links to your website can be good. It can also be bad. Our reports highlight any shortcoming in your link profile and advise on how to fix them. We also look give some general advice on “link earning” which still seems a fairly alien concept to most new clients, despite it being fairly pivotal in the success of any website these days.
Your Website Platform and the Hosting it sits on
Believe it or not even the platform your website is built on can have an impact on your websites relationship with search engines. Old code might make your website run slowly, as might a poor or cheap hosting platform. Nobody likes a slow website, and because people don’t like slow websites, nor does google. If google doesn’t like your slow website, it wont rank it. Our reports include speed testing and advisories.
Believe it or not, whether or not your website works well on a mobile device can also play a big factor in how well it ranks with google. Google fairly recently introduced a new algorithm that penalised non-mobile friendly website on mobile searches. When they did this I saw a 25% increase in my organic search results almost over night. Since then we have deemed it to be essential that all websites are mobile friendly, and because of this we now uncover the vital info required to make sure your site is mobile friendly in our reports.
We dig as deep as we can to find answers to negative changes in traffic.
Don’t let anyone tell you SEO is a dark art. It isn’t. What can be a little confusing to the untrained eye is why traffic to your website might have dropped. We use various tools to look at your website and its historic relationship with Google. If there is one thing that is certain in the world of SEO it is that Google will move the goal posts, if you have used an SEO company in the past or followed some advice that might have been good for SEO two years ago, there is a chance it might not be good for SEO now. In the last two years google has introduced algorithmic changes to the way they rank pages so drastically that I have seen website traffic double, and indeed half over night. Since these changes are so drastic, we can cross reference them against your traffic and so come to very sensible conclusions about how to fix whatever is it that is causing the problem.
Of course, not all drops in traffic are down to Google. We did a report for a company recently who had commissioned the build of a new website at the beginning of 2014. When the website was built the URL structure had changed which meant that fairly gradually over the course of the first quarter of 2014 the traffic to the website – for various reasons I won’t bore you with – had decreased. A year down the line we were still able to find the old URL structure through one of the tools we use, and solve the problems caused by changing it… Low and behold, traffic is starting, all be it very gradually, to creep back up again.
Our SEO and Website reports are not a loss-leader for us.
Many of the companies who do these FREE reports see them as a loss-leader. As mentioned above, the losses incurred aren’t particularly great for them since they take so little time to complete… but lossy they remain. The idea is, you get a “FREE SEO report” which lists a whole bunch of stuff that needs to be done to your website. Then predictably, there is a quote at the bottom for doing the work. You get the work done by them and thus they recoup these losses within the cost of the work they did for you in the first place … I’m sure you didn’t need me to explain the concept of a loss leader … …
The problem is, when you outsource this work to said third party SEO company, that company is unlikely to want to have any real contact with your incumbent web design/development company beyond getting some admin login details… why would they, they want you to pay them to do the work, not pay someone else.
They then steam roll into the backend of your website, not knowing what efforts have been undertaken before, make changes, tinker with things, and sometimes, whilst often can improve things from an SEO perspective, they might also – through inexperience of your website – cause other issues with content architecture, structure, etc.
Our methodology is to create a report that can be handed – without any further input from us – directly to your incumbent web developers. The information we supply can then be interpreted and implemented in a way that best fits what work has already been done. If necessary we can work with your incumbent supplier on a consultancy basis, or we can do part, or all of the work. We can be as flexible as you need us to be.
Finally, our recommendations are “white hat” and future proof
I could fill an entire post waxing self righteously about all things that I’ve said about SEO over the last 5 years coming true. Some companies take risks for bigger hits, our approach always taken the slow-and-steady, risk averse road. In short, we always have, and always will give advice that to the best of our knowledge will not see you being penalised by google, now or in the future.
If all that sounds like its worth £350+vat…
…Then get in touch and we can start the ball rolling.