The world of search engine optimisation (SEO) is both complex and ever-changing. Due to this, a lot of the information for in Google’s search results (SERPS) is out-of-date or irrelevant to the needs of a beginner trying to get some basic, easy wins.
In this article, we are going to give an overview of the SEO basics needed for beginners. If you combine the following information with some practice, your visibility in organic search should improve and therefore your website should rank higher in search engines such as Google.
Research and Relevant Keywords
There are many tools, both free and paid versions which are available to help you collect a selection of keywords together for your businesses SEO. Initially, you need to think of what potential customers may type in to find you. For small businesses, targeting local rather than national, this will be a combination of both what you do and where you do it.
As well as using your own initiative and keyword research tools it may also be worth searching for your selected keywords. This is because when you search for keywords, suggested keywords will also appear in the search bar as you type. Also, there will be a range of suggested keywords at the bottom of the page, if there are any relevant ones, add them to your list.
Optimise your META Titles and Descriptions
After you have collected a list of keywords, the next thing you will want to do is optimise your META titles and descriptions. This is an SEO element which is not displayed on page but available to edit in your websites control panel or SEO plugin.
NOTE: Page titles are what are shown within Google’s search results so we are aiming to portray what the page is about as well as tempt a user to click on our listing rather than others.
Our advice would be to include what the page is about, where your services or products are available and who the audience is, if possible. In an ideal world, you would like the keyword at the beginning of the title to aid click-through and also, for possible ranking improvements.
Also, consider META descriptions. This element is edited in the same place at your META title.
Optimise Page Content
As well as optimising your META content, we also want to optimise our page content. Using the keywords we collected as part of your keyword research, we would look to add these into your copy throughout a number of methods. These include:
- Headings – H1, H2, H3 etc.
Primarily, optimise your headings and subheadings to increase your keywords – where it is natural to do so. The next step would be to create copy that not only promotes, but accurately describes your business. Within this copy, try and aim to include all keywords which relate to the subject matter you are writing about. Further optimisation can take place on images via the image name, alt text and image description.
Implement these basic SEO tips and follow our advice on how to do so and you will see an improvement in your rankings and traffic. For those looking for more information, here at Chameleon Web Services we do offer SEO training courses as well as SEO packages.
The Value Of SEO
The power of the Internet in 2019 must be taken seriously and if your business is not achieving visitors to a website then you need to think about how you find services and products yourself?
If you need help or a FREE SEO Audit then get in touch.
Classic car storage and Supercar storage is a big business in the UK. The company Concours Vehicles was set up online at the beginning of June to open up a service to others.
This is a great example of what Chameleon can achieve and to provide some time frames around results.
The website was purchased NEW on the June 6th 2019 and this means it has no past, zero power or trust and Google has never come across the domain before. This is positive because it has a clean bill of health.
The website was built in WordPress our favoured platform with a holding page containing the core keywords and setup for Google to find. Behind the scenes the website was being built, new fresh handwritten content and images were loaded to the site and then we forced Google to come and get all the new page content.
The first thing needed is to rank for the brand name which should be easy:-
Some SEO Companies often do not understand the very basics and the early stages are vital to achieving a quick growth for a new website. We setup the website perfectly for Google to understand and the result is instant and the graph above shows this clearly what can be achieved.
The next thing is to achieve other keywords and interestingly the company name being a word used all of the Internet related to cars, the word Concours and top of Google for “concours vehicle” is the Wikipedia page related to this subject. Concours d’Elegance is a term of French origin that means a “competition of elegance” and refers to an event where prestigious vehicles are displayed and judged. There are many websites talking about Concours Vehicles and cars based all over the world which means this is competitive.
This Google search shows that there are 89,700,000 website results in Google’s database and the SEO consultant has to make Google like this website more than all the others.
The content at this early stage is vital providing Google with the details it needs to understand what the website is about will result in success:-
The graphs above show the quickly achieved results, note that position 200 is page 20 of Google and position 1 is top of Google.
Then the service related keywords need to follow and as an example “supercar storage”:-
You can see from the graphs the quick growth onto page one shows that a Chameleon SEO Consultant can quickly achieve growth for a brand new domain name without doing anything outside Google’s guidelines, simply doing what Google wants to find. This is natural organic SERP growth as the result of understanding the Google Algorithm.
It is great to read about the HOS Home – House Of Sparkles success and this is what inspires others to go for it and set up their own business.
Mandy Hale’s quote is great here “There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.”
The website HOS – House Of Sparkles setup by Layla Chapman back in 2016 with according to the Sun News Paper for just £40 is now a booming success with a turnover of £10.7 million. This is great to read and we really hope that people feel inspired by this but also understand that it takes a huge amount of hours and personal sacrifice with added luck to succeed. Previous failures often come before achieving success and the road to success is often difficult and we always admire success stories.
Successful people have a ridiculous level of persistence in making their dreams comes true and we see people here at Chameleon on a daily basis that want to make it online and we create a plan to achieve success for everyone from what we do, but often people never realise how much work is involved once you make it. We think it is easy to read articles like this forget this fact and it is important to have this in the back of your mind so not have false hope.
If you look at the likes of Sir Alan Sugar, he worked so hard to achieve the success he has today and he often refers back to his routes, even today in a tweet as he is attacked for being successful:-
The road to success is a journey and you will never stop learning. Successful people learn new things every day improving a little and the snowball rolling effect makes them become great. This website success has been helped along due to celebrities such as Amanda Holden and Peter Andre and this is fantastic. We are sure that with the positive publicity the business it will grow even faster now as a result.
We thought it would good to look to into this website further from an online marketing perspective because often success comes and businesses miss the basics. The growth of this company could come from hardwork, luck, organic growth, paid online advertising or something else and identify and help HOS achieve more growth from what we find.
When a business comes to us and asks us to audit a company we look into everything to understand and identify how success has been achieved.
We take a look at everything to understand what is good and what can be better, there is always something that can be better and we have been in the industry since 2001 and helped grow some of the most successful websites online today.
HOSHome.com – House Of Sparkles Website
The website HOS is currently looking lovely:-
Back in December 2018 which is not very long ago at all the website didn’t look as nice and it very important to look at how a website develops and move forwards. Often changes are made a result of research to improve conversions or simply to improve the visual look. The HOS Home website looked like this:-
The website in 2019 looks in-line with the competition and when we look behind the scenes at search engine optimisation aspects of the website it is missing vital information for Google to help it rank organically and this is something that HOS Home online development need to look at. Normally we would run and audit using our in-house software and then make positive changes after looking over the results.
The website is built using Shopify a hosted shopping website platform with multiple themes which requires very little programming experience. The website is using MailChimp for Shopify, Automatic Discounts, Searchanise, Covet Pics, Product Reviews Addon and MageWorx usage statistics as an example of plugins/extensions installed.
The website is hosted in Canada and on a server that is hosting websites we would not recommend to have in the same neighbourhood. We look at hosting as this is part of the search engines algorithm.
We found hoshome.com is hosted with over 1,000 other domains hosted on the same web server which uses IP address 188.8.131.52 and this web server is hosting web sites with explicit content. To show examples of the websites our system detected a simple ping command can be used to check the hosting to confirm this problem:-
There is a possibility that all of the web sites on this web server may be affected as far as being blocked by web filtering software. Search engine rankings for all web sites using the same IP address may be affected as well. We always recommend looking at the IP address and ensuring a website is hosted correctly with a unique IP address and SSL certificate.
HOSHome.com – House Of Sparkles Website SEO Report
We have a complete SEO PDF report you can download here:
When you carry out a Google search can see the company is paying for Google Adwords for its brand name to protect it presumably. However, this will result in people clicking on this and adding additional costs to the business when visitors are already heading to the website.
The home page www.hoshome.com meta title for example is <title>HOS Home | Luxury Furniture</title> and then the meta description is <meta name=”description” content=”Welcome to HOS Home. Affordable luxury furniture specialists. High end glamorous furniture at high street prices. A brand you can trust.“>
This could be improved but is in line with what Google is looking for in terms of the title and description.
If we then move to an internal page for example www.hoshome.com/collections/living-room we find the title is <title>Living Room Furniture | HOS Home</title> and the meta description is <meta name=”description” content=”The living room is where we spend the most time, create the best memories, and relax. For this, you need the perfect furniture for your living space. From sofas, coffee tables, media units & more. We have everything you need to design your living room interior.“>
This page could be improved to help tell search engines like Google what the content is about, but is a great starting point to achieve online success. It is clear that from only looking at a couple of internal pages they follow the same pattern. This shows that what we presume this is automatically generated meta titles and descriptions and the job is partially done right.
We scrapped the site to look to see what the Google spider would find and for example, we quickly found broken links on the website using our in-house developed scrapping software.
For example www.hoshome.com/pages/returns-policy we found a link created wrong:-
You can see the coding is has been built as follows:-
In the screenshot, you can see also that another link has been built correctly, so this is a simple coding error when the page was created.
To fix this they need to add the “mailto:” which would create <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com.</a>
As we carry on looking into the site we spotted the site has been built with an error using two rel=”canonical” tags across the site.
If you look at the homepage for example:-
A website should only have one canonical tag.
A canonical tag is the method used to inform search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or “duplicate” content appearing on multiple URLs.
This is probably because it is being generated by Shopify and also by a second extension adding SEO data.
A very important factor of ranking online is the power / trust a website has and this helps search engines determine whether or not to trust the website content and also it helps to identify the business links the website may have and the subject content to help place the website in a category.
Looking below we can see out of 100 the website scores 11 in trust and 18 in citation.
To compare that against another website for a reference we have used WayFair.com and you can see below the trust is 54 out of 100 in terms of trust and 63 in terms of citation. The higher the trust the better:-
To increase the trust carefully selected backlinks need to be found and this is a subject in the SEO world that causes many issues. Here at Chameleon, we identify only the perfect links to try and find that will add value and we help clients create links organically by creating content that can be shared adding value to the users.
Looking at the link text known in the SEO industry as anchor text the links can be seen below and the geographical location of the links:-
If we take a look at the traffic the website is achieving it is attracting a large volume of visitors already, but the traffic cost is low and this is due to the keywords ranking:-
HOSHome.com – House Of Sparkles Ranking Keywords
When we look at what keywords the website is ranking for it appears to be attracting its traffic via the brand name “house of sparkles”:-
So from what we can see the website strength isn’t its online rankings for keywords, it is something else which points us to Social Media as the main growth point of this business.
In the footer of the website there are links to the following social media accounts:-
The Instagram account has 116K followers, but when we look at the sharing of posts this is relatively low which makes us think this is a lot of bot type accounts.
From what we can see with the linked Facebook page being broken / hidden we think that actual FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/HOS-Home-1525053811125655/ is in the process of being merged.
It appears that this business has grown as a result of Facebook and then recommendations from friends, family and celebrities which shows the power of social media.
So What Would Chameleon Do Next?
We would look at the website and hosting, ensure all the site is Google friendly and fix all broken links. Ensure that all touch points are working, for example the Facebook link going to a dead page is not good.
We would carry out on-page SEO across the entire website and make it fully search engine friendly and increase the trust of the website to help search engines like Google rank the content and grow the traffic to the website for keywords that are not brand related. The website could then take the power of Google and increase business turnover without spending on advertising.
We would look at the images and get these ranked in Google search results for window shoppers to find by mistake and this would result in higher conversions because if people are actively looking for the products that are being sold by image then the very fact they click on the image to view it means they more than likely like what they see.
If you would like to understand more about this or wish us look into your website or a competitors, please get in touch.
SEO Service providers are used to provide an expert assessment of a website and identify changes required to help the website grow within organic search results and this role is known as search engine optimization. After carrying out SEO on page changes the website should have increased visitors to the website as a result of obtaining the high-ranking positions in organic search results of search engines (SERP).
SEO Service Packages
SEO services will be provided in a variety of packages which will include keyword and keyphrase research, competitor audit and research, technical website SEO audit of on-page content and external backlinks, robots.txt and sitemap.xml to be created or checked, identification of required and missing content and then because no website is the same, identification of additional tasks to achieve success within the specific industry sector.
SEO Service Costs
How much should SEO services cost is a question that leads to many issues in the Industry. SEO services carried out correctly will have a huge impact on visitors to a website and this should provide new leads or product sales. With every website being different and having a completely different history it is never a simple question to answer. SEO service costs should be relevant to the required hours to achieve success. With this in mind, if you consider the standard hourly rate in the UK for an SEO Consultant is £55 to £125 per hour then an company offering services for £30 per month, you should question! what are they going to actually do and achieve?
To then take this further an SEO Company should install Google tracking in Search Console (Webmaster Tools) and Google Analytics to identify the current situation and also monitor the improvements. This analysis work alone can take a number of hours alone and for larger projects nearly an entire day.
Then carrying out an SEO on-page audit and backlink health check will require many hours of labour. And on top of this, there is the research into the competitors and the industry to identify the correct keywords for the business to achieve.
Every SEO agency will be using various software platforms which are all paid subscriptions like:-
- SEM Rush for Keyword + Competitor Research
- Majestic SEO for Research and Analysis
- Ahrefs for Research and Analysis
- Serpstat for Content Marketing, SEO & PPC
- Long Tail Pro for Keyword Research
The SEO service provider should also provide keyword rank tracking in the form of a report or client portal to monitor keyword positions with search volumes and compare growth to give transparency of the SEO service results.
If you then consider that organic SEO search results allow a website to be available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with no budget constraints when comparing this to Google Adwords, the investment into professional SEO services should be a no brainer.
If as a result of carrying out SEO a website achieves 10,000 new visitors in a week or month and then 10% to 30% of the visitors purchase a product or service then the financial return on investment will be high and if you compare this a publication in a magazine, booking an exhibition stand or using digital outdoor media which have little to no tangible ways of tracking a return on investment, SEO should not be looked at as a cost you do not want to pay, it should be a cost you need to look at how much can afford to spend and then can I spend more, obviously with the correct SEO agency.
Choosing an SEO Company Agency
Selecting an SEO Company or Agency to carry out services can be difficult and if you do not understand what it is that is being done and why then you need to educate yourself. You will find the more you understand the better questions that you can ask and identify the sharks. Do not trust organisations that do not rank organically themselves, the SEO industry should be the hardest to achieve success and if a company can achieve results for their own website then can achieve results for your business.