SEO – My Process Explained
Forget about technical jargon; I explain everything in plain English that everyone can understand.
- Know what they are paying for
- Understand the challenges
- Realise their potential
Most small businesses are looking for a complete SEO package when they contact me. Understandably, clients are always keen to know how much it will cost.
I’ve tried all sorts of fixed pricing models over the 20+ years that I’ve been optimising websites, and I’ve never found one that is both fair to my clients and myself. I now use a method that is fairer to all.
My Search Engine Optimisation Process
The fixed price package model is the most common that is advertised. I don’t believe offering fixed price packages works well for clients as they don’t cover the true cost of a worthwhile campaign, and often they under deliver.
I can see why fixed price plans are attractive to both an agency and clients. However, if a worthwhile job is to be done, you need to really understand the challenges before a price is offered. Every project is unique, and a one size fits all approach never delivers the optimum solution. I believe my clients deserve a better approach.
I have developed the following process to ensure my customers get the best value from their budget. My service differs from many in that I take the time to engage with my clients, and understand their business. An appreciation of the challenges they face is essential so that an effective solution can be found. Together, we make the right decisions for your business.
You may think that you really don’t want to be involved in the process; you want to pay someone to do a job. I understand that time is precious, I won’t pester you constantly, but there will need to be a certain amount of interaction between us. If you want to get the best value from my services, you will need to make time for a meeting or two.
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Four stages of developing an effective SEO campaign
- Learn about the business
- Explain optimisation process
- Identify online goals
- Discuss likely costs
- Discuss payment plan
- Agree to move forward with confidence
- Assess the online market
- Identify and assess the online competition
- Complete initial keyword research
- Determine current position in search
- Complete website technical audit
- Assess website content
- Provide a detailed report
- Provide insight into the businesses online presence
- Provide insight into online competition
- Determine the quality of the website
- Provide a solid foundation for the SEO campaign
- Discuss report
- Present plan framework
- Discuss website changes
- Discuss and agree on cornerstone content
- Discuss performance indicators
- Agree on productive keywords
- Produce detailed plan
- Provide fully costed proposal
- Provide maximum clarity
- Provide a plan that is acceptable to the client
- Ensure that the plan is within budget
- Client commits to proposal
Changing Your Website
- Make any website design/structural changes
- Create and/or optimise cornerstone content
- Create and/or optimise supplementary content
- Track performance
- Refine & repeat
Why this process works
The greatest advantage of this process is that you are in full control. You don’t need to commit to the full service until you are fully aware of the facts, time implications, and costs. You will find more details about the stages below and my thinking behind them.
Stage one – Assess
Stage one allows us to get to know one another and for me to understand your aspirations. My SEO service isn’t for everyone, and it’s vital that we’ll be able to get along and that I’ll be able to do a good job for you.
Ideally, it would be best to have a reasonably successful brick and mortar business with a realistic marketing budget. However, if you are a start-up, then I suggest you look at my digital strategy service. At the other end of the spectrum, if you work for a large enterprise, it’s less likely that I’d have the capacity to assist you – my clients are generally small to medium-sized businesses.
At the end of stage one, we should be confident in each other’s commitment and have a clear understanding of what’s required.
Stage 2 – Research
After stage 2 is complete, you’ll have a grasp of where your business sits in the online marketplace, along with valuable online competitor and keyword analysis. Additionally, any technical or content problems with your website will have been identified.
You’ll receive a detailed but easy to understand report for you to digest and consider. If further explanation is required, you’ll be able to ask questions at our next meeting should you wish to proceed. Please be aware that this is not a “free” audit as offered by many SEO agencies. This is a detailed online review of your business and your competitor’s businesses.
Stage 3 – Plan
Stage three provides us with the ability to prioritise and make the best use of available resources. For instance, we may be able to utilise resources you have in-house to complete some of the heavy-lifting of stage 4. This isn’t always the case, or necessary, but it can be a useful way of keeping costs down. Depending on what the research highlights, we may have to involve your web designer at this point. At the end of stage 3, you will be aware of exactly what I propose, and understand the amount of work involved in getting your website where you need it to be. I provide a clear, detailed and fully costed proposal.
Stage 4 – Act
Results will start to show sometime after the completion of stage 4. I will have recommended some form of visitor tracking and most probably a schedule for refinement. At an agreed time, normally at 6 months from initial completion, I create a report that illustrates how successful the campaign has been and make recommendations for moving forward. In reality, SEO is never finished; there are always new opportunities to exploit on the horizon.
- Small business as defined by the government is “a business with 0-49 employees”. See documents available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/business-population-estimates
Content Focused SEO
My methods revolve around high quality content. If your website is thin on content it’s unlikely that you have a website that works well for you.
There is no quick fix for this, great content has to be produced and published. It needs to be well presented, informative and engaging.
If you'd like help with SEO please contact me to discuss your website