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A more in-depth look

Many Facets:
SEO isn't just about feeding the search engines what they want to see; it's about doing so in a way that also helps visitors get the best experience possible. You shouldn't write pages primarily for search engines, because sooner or later, actual people are going to come to your site through those engines. Nor should you write pages that search engines have a hard time understanding, even if they're really nice for people to look at - because people might never actually find them!

When we optimise a site, we think carefully about what an ideal customer will search for. Then, we make absolutely sure that the visitor can easily find the information that they're searching for, preferably within a single click on your website.

Then, we check out the competition, to find the cracks in the armour; if your website could be accessed by the ideal customer through several different search terms, we'll go for the ones that have the least competition, so that we're setting ourselves up for a fight that we know we can win pretty easily.

For example, a widget-selling website could sell a range of red, blue and green widgets (all with automation options) and be based in Cheshire. It'd be very, very hard to get into the top result for "Widget" since there are hundreds of other companies offering widgets for sale. So, we have a good close look at the websites that are in the top results for "blue widget," "red widget" and "green widget." If we see any weakness in the top-ranking websites, we go for the jugular and optimise for those keywords.

The process of optimisation is an exercise in both technical and social engineering. Sometimes we can make tiny changes to a website that have huge impact on results, and sometimes we have to scrap the lot and start from scratch. It's all about knowing how much time and money you have, and picking your targets accordingly.

If the top-ranking websites for those keywords have more resources, time, money and popularity available to them than we do, it'll be possible to beat them, but it'll be quite a challenge and it'll take a while; so, we'll refine further. By searching for "red widgets in Cheshire" we might find some weakly-contested ground that'll be easy for us to take, and we go full-bore into the fight that we know we can win without too many problems. And by refining even further and going for "automated red widgets in Cheshire," we probably won't even break a sweat.

Once we've built up our traffic and popularity for the more specific keywords, we'll have better resources that we can use to go after the big boys with the monopoly on the more general keywords. Thus, we take our time to establish a strong position and fallback plans rather than just jumping in and most likely getting knocked back. This slow-and-steady approach has worked consistently for us, and if you follow up with your end of the equation, it'll work for you too.

Two sides of action
We can provide recommendations and make technical changes to your site to let Google's spiders quickly and efficiently find good information when they come to your site. But creating that information is largely up to you; if you're making a site that sells tyres, you're the best person to write that information. We know nothing about tyres, and you probably know a sight more about tyres than about search engine optimisation, so we both need to do our part to make it work.

 

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