Website Search Engine Positioning
SEO Strategies to achieve organic visibility
Customising SEO activities
The positioning of a site in the “organic” (natural) Search Engine results is the outcome of a complex set of SEO activities which are implemented both directly on the site (on-site activities) and external to it (off-site activities).
Each positioning project for an existing site includes an initial SEO analysis – this is a key aspect which highlights both on-site and off-site issues requiring attention, as well as SEO aspects which have not yet been dealt with or which require corrective actions.
The information provided by this phase, supplemented by the Web analytics data, allows the specialist to formulate a draft SEO activity plan along with an estimate of the costs which will be required to implement it. The goals will be measured using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) established in advance with the client, for instance organic traffic, sales (for e-Commerce sites), positioning for given keywords, and so on.
What does site positioning mean?
It is important for clients to understand that site positioning involves a very different set of activities to those required for indexing of a site: positioning implies the visibility (usually on the first page, or in the first ten results returned by a search engine) of a site when searching using keywords relevant to the services/products sold or presented on that site; indexing, on the other hand, simply means the presence of the site’s resources (pages, images, videos etc.) in the Search Engine's index. In other words, indexing simply means an acknowledgement of the site’s existence by the Search Engines, nothing more.
How long does site positioning take?
When will the first results be visible? This is the question which I am, quite rightly, most commonly asked by my clients. The honest answer is: it depends. This may seem deliberately vague, but there are many factors which influence the timescales relating to organic positioning: how “competitive” the scenario for the keyword semantics is, the target audience (at the local level, for example a single town or city, or on a national or even international scale if the site is multi-language), any technical problems which must be resolved at a later date, and the age of the domain or site, to name just a few. I always tell potential clients straight that the effectiveness of SEO work is generally visible in the medium term: in some cases it has been possible to achieve increases in organic traffic within four or five weeks, while others have taken six or seven months.
In light of the considerations outlined above, I offer non-binding contracts which allow clients to terminate the SEO work at any time simply by sending notice via registered letter. Regular positioning reports on the most strategic keywords for the client's business offer useful information on the effectiveness of the SEO activities performed right from the get-go. These activities will initially not create significant increases in traffic, for instance with the site showing up on the fifth page of search engine's results for a given keyword, but will then move up to the fourth page, then the third and so on.