A Personal Experience of SEO

A Personal Experience of SEO

In 2007, I set up a web design business in Kent, England

After a year, I found that most customers had websites and were looking to be top of the Google rankings - most wanted us to get them to the top within a couple of weeks!

I tried outsourcing this service to a UK specialist, but the cost seemed high, too much to be able to make a profit on the service. British Telecom (BT) called into the office - they offered a guaranteed service to get people to your site and promised high google ranking links your site.

One of our clients heard the salesman and decided to join the BT service. 2 months with no new business and had cost this client £400. A money back guarantee had been promised, but did BT did not honour this.

This client later tried pay-per-click with Google. Again, no real results during the 6 month trial. Does anyone even look at the right hand of Google?

She hired a firm who specialised in Search Engine Optimization
- they told us to change the order of keywords for the customer and said they were submitting dozens of articles - costing £200 per month. We checked the links and could not see anything being linked to her site. The specialists refused to say what they had done, said it was technical and questioned why she then cancelled the contract.

I would read on the net that links were the best method of increasing the Google rank. I thought therefore of trying getafreelancer.com (you upload your project requirement and various companies bid for the work). I didn't choose the cheapest company; I chose an eastern European business with the good feedback. They contracted to write and submit 100 articles to good-quality websites. The cost $300, which guaranteed results within 4 weeks. I decided to use our own site as a test ground before our paying clients. We had a Google page rank of 3 before the exercise. They did the work, strange articles they wrote with little sense in the content. I was looking for 'web design Kent' as my main keywords. However, I thought these people know what they are doing, so let them get on with it. After a further 4 weeks, my page rank dropped to 1 and we were nowhere on Google with the desired keywords - I was disappointed!

Where next then? Hard work… - I researched every article I could find on the net, bought software and then put this all into practice with the client who had such a bad time. Here is are my techniques, which seem to be working really well…

Name - your keyword should be in your domain name ideally (ours was not - I realised too late).

Choosing a domain name using your keywords is a good method - hyphenate your keywords, rather than having one long name - the Search Engines seem to prefer this. Also they prefer international domain endings - .com, .net .org are the best 3.

If like my company, your domain name does not include your keyword, then make the html pages in such a way as to include the keyword before the html. Design - the design should be done using up-to-date web standards

Keywords - pick these very carefully, don't go overboard or Google will penalise you and the first one listed should be your main one.

Page title - your home page should be a concise description of what your site offers.

Your page code should be correctly placed so that your keywords and page title are prominent

Your main keyword should be in the home page a few times, certainly the first and last items on the page and preferably in bold.

You need to submit your site to the search engines - manually for some sites such as Google, automatically using a submission program for certain other sites.

You should register your site for Google Maps - this is free and can give you a real boost.

You need enough pages in the site to interest Google - a 2/3 page site would not be viewed importantly by Google

If you build your own site, we used a program called web ceo which offers a free version. This analyses your site in detail, giving pages of recommendations - follow these closely!

Last, but certainly not least, one of THE most important factors is getting decent links with well respected websites. The link is worthless if it is from a poor site, but if you can get your keyword linked from another site to your own (not your site name), then this is priceless. I bought software ($70) which promised to help write articles (there are loads of these on the market, just do a search). It was reasonably helpful; it made you think about everything and then provided a very comprehensive list of where to submit articles to. Top of the list was articledashboard.com (had the highest page rank) I registered an account with them and this is my first article - a true story, many mistakes were made, but I have learned from them. Articles need to be interesting, remember that. We now offer our clients a review service of articles they have written about their field of expertise and advise on how and where to upload these. Third party companies can't possibly write good, interesting articles on subjects they know nothing about!

And as for the above client - by using the techniques above, her site is currently page rank 4 and on the second page of Google for a very popular keyword. I am hoping that the article writing program will boost this further - legitimately!!

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