SEO Services You Can Trust
Some site owners try to take the “DIY” approach to SEO, which can be time-consuming and frustrating, with unpredictable results. The benefits of hiring a professional SEO agency far outweigh the costs, as you can rely on getting tangible monthly results and excellent return on investment.
What is SEO and Why Do You Need It?
Let’s start with the basics. SEO stands for search engine optimisation. The major search engines on the web, such as Google or Bing, respond to user search queries by producing search results. These results are ranked based on the sites that the search engine algorithms determine to be most relevant and helpful to the searchers.
These search results are critical to site owners. A good position in the search engine results pages (SERPs) will help more potential customers to find you online. Good search engine optimisation plays a big role in making sure your site appears higher in the search engine rankings, and gets seen by more people.
Search engine optimisation is a multi-faceted process that takes every element of your website and online presence into account.
The Anatomy of Search Engine Optimisation
A good SEO agency will understand that there’s no such thing as a standard, one-size-fits-all approach to optimisation. So, what makes up the right “recipe” for successful SEO?
Search Engine Journal has created a “Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors”, based on the Periodic Table of the Elements so many of us will remember from our science classrooms. SEO is both a science and an art, and here are the elements that go into a successful strategy, according to the table:
The content on your site is extremely important. In recent years, search engine algorithms have been cracking down on poor quality sites and penalising lazy, shallow content. Onsite copy must be well-crafted, cleverly optimised using the right keywords, and accompanied by other types of content like images or video. The elements of good content are as follows:
- Quality: Well-written, highly relevant pages of content with value to searchers.
- Research: The use of well-researched keywords that searchers will use to find a site.
- Keywords: Targeted keywords built naturally into the written content.
- Freshness: Good content must be relevant, correct and up-to-date.
- Multimedia: Content should make use of images, videos and audio content, rather than simple plain text.
- Answers: Content must provide useful, relevant answers to the searchers’ queries.
- Depth: Content needs to have substance and explore the chosen topic in-depth.
2. Site Architecture:
The way a website is designed and laid out affects the way search engines will rank it, and also impact the user experience. Clean, fast, user-friendly site design is key.
- Crawl: A site must be designed to allow search engines to easily crawl and index all its pages, otherwise it won’t show up in the SERPs.
- Mobile: More users than ever before are performing searches on their mobile devices. Successful websites must use responsive (mobile-friendly) design, so they can work efficiently across multiple platforms like tablets and mobile phones.
- Duplicate: The same content should not be duplicated across multiple URLs.
- Speed: The site should load quickly on any device, to avoid searchers becoming frustrated and leaving the site without viewing the content.
- HTTPS: The site must be secure.
- URLs: Site URLs should include relevant targeted keywords.
The HTML tags used in a website provide search engines with clues about the site’s content and how it should be ranked. SEO services should include optimising the following HTML elements:
- Titles: All page titles should include relevant targeted keywords.
- Descriptions: Meta descriptions should clearly describe what a page is about, to search engines and human users.
- Structure: Optimal site design makes use of structured data.
- Headings: The headings used throughout the content should include relevant keywords.
- AMP: Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages format helps sites to load faster.
Demonstrating trustworthiness and value to search engines helps to improve the way a site is ranked.
- Authority: Signals like links from other trusted sites or shares on social platforms tell search engines that people find a site to be trustworthy and useful.
- Engagement: The longer visitors spend on a page (rather than “bouncing” off), the better the engagement.
- Reputation: Sites that establish themselves as trustworthy and show consistently good practices over time build a solid reputation with search engines (and users, of course).
The links that come to a website are a long-established ranking factor.
- Value: Links to a site should come from trustworthy sources.
- Anchors: Links from pages using similar keywords are considered more relevant.
- Backlinks: A solid backlink strategy can bring in links from a variety of trusted sources.
Of course, good SEO and site design aren’t just about making search engines happy. There are a number of user-specific factors to think about too.
- Country: The countries searchers are located in must be considered.
- Locality: The regions searchers are located in will also affect how the site should be optimised.
- User experience: A positive user experience goes a long way, but a bad user experience online will cause searchers to leave a site and discourage them from returning.
- History: Past user behaviour can be used to optimise and customise a website.
- Intent: SEO takes into account what the searcher’s intention is when looking for a certain phrase.
SEO Practices to Avoid
The periodic table of optimisation also identifies “toxins” or black hat SEO techniques that should be avoided. No reputable SEO agency would use deceptive techniques like these:
- Cloaking: Showing different pages to search engines and users.
- Stuffing: Using excessive keywords in the copy in an unnatural-sounding way.
- Piracy: Using content from another site and passing it off as your own.
- Schemes: The use of unethical spammy practices and buying unearned links.
- Hiding: Including hidden keywords on a page.
- Intrusive: Ad-heavy content that intrudes on the user experience.
The Future of SEO and Digital Marketing
Finally, the table lists a few emerging factors that professionals need to be aware of in 2019 and beyond.
- Voice: More and more searchers are using voice recognition tools like Alexa and Siri to conduct their searches online. SEO agencies now need to incorporate techniques that optimise sites for voice search.
- Image: Visual content is on the rise, with infographics, illustrations and photographs ranking higher in search engine results pages.
- Local: The rise of local search cannot be ignored. Research shows that around 78% of locally-focused mobile searches lead to the user visiting a brick-and-mortar store within a day of the search. Locally-focused listings, reviews and maps all help to improve returns for businesses.
- Video: Around 300 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute, and the average user consumes approximately 40 minutes of YouTube video content daily. Vlogs and video tutorials have become increasingly popular, and it’s essential to include the use of video content as part of an up-to-date SEO strategy.
Why Use a Professional SEO Service?
While there are definitely some steps you can take on your own to ensure that your site provides a positive user experience, it pays to hire a professional to handle the more technical side of things. Here are a few good reasons to put your site in the hands of an online marketing professional:
SEO is a highly involved, time-consuming process. It’s not as simple as adding a few keywords to your copy and sourcing some attractive images. An SEO professional will know where to focus their efforts and put a strategy in place to cover a lot of ground, improving multiple areas of your site at once. This means you can focus your attention on the day-to-day running of your company, while the SEO efforts continue behind the scenes.
The rules of SEO are continually changing and evolving. Google rolls out updates regularly, so what worked well for you a month ago won’t necessarily work in the coming months. A good SEM agency will have their finger on the pulse, anticipating updates and responding to them by adjusting their strategies to avoid penalisation.
Speaking of penalisation, doing your own SEO can open you up to getting flagged and penalised by Google. If you try to take shortcuts (for example, cramming keywords into your content or buying artificial backlinks), your site’s reputation can really take a knock. A professional will know what techniques to avoid, and can also help you to recover from past mistakes and penalties.
Professionals will also have the right tools available to them, and an in-depth understanding of how to use them. Handing over to the pros will save you plenty of time and expense you would otherwise spend on finding and getting to grips with the right tools for the job.
Choosing Your SEO Consultant
If you’re looking to hire a professional SEO provider, make sure they live up to the hype and will be able to get you the results you want. Here are some useful questions to ask when you get in touch with a potential provider:
- Can you show me examples of some of your most successful past projects?
- What tools do you prefer to use? (Ask about reporting tools, research tools, link-building and technical tools, etc.)
- Do you have Google Analytics certification?
- Do you cover on-page, off-page and technical SEO?
- Which metrics do you track, and how do you determine if your strategy has been successful?
- How will you share results with me?
- How often will you share these results?
- How will your optimisation work tie into my other marketing activities?
- Have you been penalised for any techniques in the past, and if so, how did you fix the issue?
- Can you tell me how the latest major algorithm changes have affected the way you work?
- How do you plan to adapt your strategy to work in my company’s industry or niche?
A good SEO agency should be able to give you concise, honest answers to these questions, and should also be willing to admit when there’s something they don’t know the answer to. Rather than expecting you to trust their knowledge implicitly, they should be willing to clearly show you what you’ll be getting from your investment.
Professional SEO Agency London
What separates a great SEO company from the competition? At our UK-based marketing agency, we believe transparency is key. Our skilled SEO professionals won’t simply rattle off some technical jargon, tweak your website copy and collect a paycheck. Instead, we work with you to establish measurable goals for your website. We audit the site and put a plan in place to improve your search engine optimisation. Then we work behind the scenes to optimise your site, while you’re free to focus on running your business.
Good SEO is measurable SEO. All facets of our optimisation strategies can be measured, and we do this by filling you in on monthly Analytics reports, so you can see the changes and improvements in traffic and rankings first-hand.
A Holistic Approach to Optimisation
Lilo is a full-service digital agency based in London. We look at things from every angle, and provide a range of services to make sure you get a fully integrated solution. Our key SEO services include:
- Smart site design, which improves performance and enhances the user experience, which ultimately leads to more conversions for you.
- Keyword optimisation and well-crafted content, which help to improve your site’s rankings organically.
- Marketing branded content, aimed at building more trust in your brand.
- Link-building strategies, which help to generate trustworthy links to your own site from other high-authority sites.
- Google AdWords services with targeted pay-per-click advertising, for an immediate paid traffic boost while your site builds long-term organic traffic.
We make sure that the various elements of your search strategy can be constantly measured and monitored, so we can refine and improve upon them as needed. This makes it easy to see exactly what you’re getting from your SEO investment.
We are proud to build lasting partnerships with our clients and work to help them improve their rankings in a lasting, sustainable way. Take a look at our past projects and case studies, to see how our London SEO agency can help to transform your online presence.