A question that often comes up when a prospective client is making enquiries is 'what exactly do I get for the money?'
Now this is frequently a perfectly valid question; it is by no means obvious to someone outside the industry what it is that we do and it's not always easy to see the reasons behind some of our activities even when they're explained. Sometimes however, because of the hype surrounding the subject in some quarters, a client expects an awful lot and their expectations rise as the project progresses so we need to be clear about what services we provide and what the client can expect from us.
Our general approach
Essentially we start out trying to maximise the natural search rankings of a site to ensure it's doing as well as it can in its current form. If that gets us to where we want to be then that's excellent. Then we look at how it can be made better. Frequently our experience allows us to judge both aspects together but if a client is wedded to their current structure then it may have to be done as a two-stage process to show them the limits of their existing site.
What we provide in a long-term project
If you choose to have a full long-term SEO project then you will have most or all of the work done that is listed in the What we offer and What we'll do pages . This will ensure that you have a website that is well coded, using up to date techniques and standards and in a good position to be expanded or revised whenever you require it. It will mean that the search engine spiders will have no problems crawling and indexing the site and that there will be sufficient content, well arranged and categorised, for them to consider your site to be relevant for the search terms that you are trying to achieve rankings for. There will be relevant and/or well trusted sites linking to you and you will appear in various directories under relevant headings. All this should mean that search engines will start to rank your site progressively higher for your search terms. Higher search results should bring more traffic and that traffic should be more targeted towards people who are looking for your products or services.
You will receive monthly reports on your search positions in Google Yahoo and MSN/Live Search, clearly showing the performance over time in an easily understandable spreadsheet.
What we don't provide in a long-term project
Some people ask whether we give detailed explanations of our activities.
If they accept the method of having an SEO Audit performed first then they will have an explanation of the issues and examples of what needs done.
If not then there really isn't time within a normally priced project to provide a detailed running commentary. Otherwise any time spent providing explanations, whether by email or phone, is simply reducing the time available to work on the site. On the other hand we have no desire to hide what we do, and if you require a justification of any of our recommendations then we'll always be happy to provide one. Just as a mechanic should be happy to provide a justification of the work he's carrying out on your car but can't be expected to instruct you in the theory of carburation or engine management electronics.
SEO Knowledge Transfer and Training
Another question is whether we provide training and knowledge transfer as part of the project. Firstly that assumes that the client has someone already knowledgeable enough on web design and coding, programming, search engines, copywriting, and internet marketing to understand what we could tell them - not everyone has. While we are open about what we do and encourage the client to understand the reasons behind our processes, we don't have the time within a project to provide detailed SEO training, though simply through interaction with us most clients will be much more knowledgeable on the subject by the end of a project. We can provide SEO training as a separate service and we provide some free SEO tutorials on this site, but training is a specialist activity best done in a dedicated manner and is of course chargeable as such.
Guarantees of ranking positions or timescales
As stated in the introductory pages there are no guarantees in the search business because the search engines make the rules. A change in algorithm at any of the big three can cause major changes in search rankings at any time and there is no way of predicting them. However, because we use only ethical methods which ensure that you have a quality website, you should be more immune than most to such changes and indeed more likely to benefit from any shakeout of the less ethical sites from the indexes.
Timescales for results depend on many factors - quality of competition, size of the site, existing links numbers and quality, any earlier SEO work undertaken whether good or bad, etc. - so again any timescales we provide can only be estimates based on our experience. Given a clean site and a free hand in structuring it we have produced results very quickly, but equally in situations where penalties have been incurred due to previous ill-advised work it can take many months to regain the trust of the search engines and timescales cannot always be reliably judged.
Guarantees of sales conversions
You can take a horse to water...
Conversion rates depend very much on the product you are selling, the price, the friendliness of the shopping cart and payment system, and many other matters which are not in our control. We are happy to advise on these but in the end they are down to you as the seller.