"Search Engine Optimisation in Action" (6 of n)

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Author: Mark Birkett - First published 6th June 2013 (Updated January 2014)

And the result of our SEO efforts over the first six months?

Below are a series of screenshots showing our progress in Rank Tracker from February to June 2013. You can see a steady improvement in most of them, especially the ones we are most interested in chasing; 'web design manchester' and 'web designers manchester'.

Google Results - February 20th 2013:

On February 20th, a month or so after first submitting the website to Google, we haven't yet produced any sensational results. For 'web design manchester' we are still outside the top 100 results. And for 'web designers manchester' we have only just sneaked in at number 95. But we will soldier on...

Dalemedia - Our Google results as of 20th February 2013

So, the same day we saw these disappointing results, we set about double-checking that our HOME page contained the right keyword density for both these phrases (around 3-5%). There were certainly some improvements to be made. We had inadvertently failed to include the phrases in the right order in our source code tags. So we re-wrote the HOME page's <title> and <h1> tags to emphasise the importance we placed on those phrases.

We then re-submitted a XML sitemap to Google using Sitemap Generator and Google Webmaster Tools to reflect the changes to the website. Only one week later, we saw a definite improvement.

Google Results - February 27th 2013:

By February 27th, just a week later, 'web design manchester' has gone from outside the top 100 up to number 34. And 'web designers manchester' has gone from number 95 to number 20. Quite a jump!

Dalemedia - Our Google results as of 27th February 2013

Google Results - April 22nd 2013:

We then decided to add further textual content to the HOME page to emphasise our key phrase focus. This included a 'latest news' article which discussed the fact that we had just completed a new website for local 'celebrity chef', Andrew Nutter. We made sure that our news article mentioned the geo-location of both Dalemedia and Nutters Restaurant in the article. This helped to focus attention on the fact that we were indeed involved in creating a web design for a Manchester-based client. We also created an inbound link from the new Nutters website to our HOME page. This helped to increase our inbound link count.

Did this effort pay off? Yes, we think so. By April 22nd, we can see that 'web design manchester' has moved up from number 34 to number 25, a jump of 9 places in the 'Google Charts'! The phrase 'web designers manchester' remained at number 20.

Dalemedia - Our Google results as of 22nd April 2013

Google Results - June 5th 2013:

So that we wouldn't lose out on the 'designers' element of these key phrases, we changed the text in our articles to include a few more instances of the word 'designers' as well as 'design'. This clearly helped. By June 5th, at number 6, we can see that 'web designers manchester' has finally reached the glorious goal of a Page 1 ranking in Google.

Happy news indeed!

And 'web design manchester' has made a little more progress too. It's moved up 4 places from number 20 to number 16. Sure, that still leaves us with a Page 2 position as Google only shows ten results per page and there is clearly still more work to do, but our SEO efforts are working, without doubt.

Dalemedia - Our Google results as of 5ht June 2013


With the screenshots above, you can see that our SEO efforts are paying dividends - albeit slowly. As you might be starting to appreciate, patience is a virtue with SEO! You can't expect overnight results - and it isn't always easy to see which of your SEO efforts has produced the results either. However, with some common sense, you can gain a pretty clear idea of what to do. The main thing with the SEO task is to ensure you've:

All of the above constitutes sensible 'on-page optimisation'. But we also need to consider 'off-page optimisation' don't we - i.e. obtaining inbound links. Remember, if your web page articles are concisely, entertainingly and authoratively written, and you take time to mention their existence to appropriate blogs, community forums and social media platforms, you will (with luck) manage to obtain some inbound links from people who admire what you've written.

That's where we are now going ot focus some proper attention...

Watch this space!

For any further information, please do call us on 01706 345648 (Mon-Fri, 09.00 - 17.00)

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