Broadly speaking, search engine optimisation has something of an unsavoury reputation. And, if we’re being honest, it’s not hard to see why. Using SEO techniques to boost search engine rankings feel like a dark art at the best of times, and with so many SEO consultants choosing to adopt black hat strategies for success, it can be tough for a business to figure out who they can trust.
And we get it. Even the best SEO company will have been tempted by under-the-radar techniques because, well, they work. At least, they do in the short term. The boffins at Google and other search engines work endlessly to shut down exploitive SEO practices, and when they drop the hammer through their latest update, all of your hard work and investment goes out the window. It isn’t uncommon for sites to drop dozens of places in search rankings overnight, leaving many business owners scratching their heads as to the reason why.
The problem of finding a reputable agency to run an SEO campaign is especially prevalent among small businesses: you don’t have the time nor the resources to waste on search engine optimisation services that don’t deliver; nor do you have the expertise in organic SEO to ensure your traffic has been generated ethically.
At The Bank, we don’t do things that way. We believe in providing our clients with long-term, sustainable SEO strategies that will move your business forward in both the short and long term. From our base in Newcastle upon Tyne, we work closely with our clients, offering a personal service that ensures every SEO project we undertake is a success. Whether you’re a local company, a sole trader, or an international corporation, our experienced team have the skills and the knowledge to take your organic search visibility to the next level.
For more information, contact us today. Alternatively, keep reading for our guide on what to look for (and what to avoid) in your search for an SEO company.
SEO Agency Myths You Were Told (or Sold!)
For brand marketers, search engine results often appear to be the ultimate opportunity—all that free traffic! It’s so simple: you build a few backlinks, write some quick content, stuff a few keywords and you’re top of the Google search results.
If only it were that simple! Only a few brands in any sector can benefit from the prime page one positions, and given few users look outside of those top 10 positions for any search term, the marketer gets desperate. They can make some really bad decisions in their efforts to grab that number one spot.
Let’s examine how they end up there by looking at some of the biggest myths surrounding SEO.
Whilst it’s free to occupy those prominent search results spots, establishing that prominence is anything but cheap. Depending on your current position in the search rankings and the life cycle of your website, search engine optimisation can be a costly process, particularly if you’re in a competitive market.
Time is the biggest expense here: the time to research search queries and implement a content strategy; the time to optimise web design; and the time to monitor and test the best strategies for success.
What’s more, buying cheap isn’t buying twice with SEO—it can be buying 3–4x over to fix the damage of a cheap SEO agency.
A legitimate SEO campaign takes time to show results. Even if you’re working with an experienced agency on a well-optimised website, it can take months to see significant results.
SEO agencies often talk about the “long game” because that’s what it is: a slow and steady race to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). There are no get-rich-quick schemes here—just a lot of dedication, patience, and hard work.
If you’re told otherwise, walk away. Any agency that guarantees results in a short space of time is likely using black hat techniques that will eventually be penalised by Google.
Building backlinks is an SEO agency myth of which many reputable marketers have fallen foul. Whilst it’s true that Google values the “votes” of existing websites when ranking content, the reality is more complex. Obtaining or—even worse buying—backlinks will often give your website an instant shot in the arm. You’ll see results. You’ll be tempted to amplify the strategy. Then it will fail.
Regrettably, few SEO agencies will report their link acquisition with full transparency and you’ll never quite know the problems they may be storing up in the future. Bear in mind that the sites which are generating you more traffic today may be the spam links of tomorrow that get you blacklisted. The nature and reputation of sites that link out change regularly. Quality counts and you need to be able to control or influence where your brand is positioned and to businesses online it is associated.
It’s a One-Time Deal
SEO and web development are ongoing processes, not one-off events. Once your site is launched, the work isn’t over; in fact, it’s just beginning. Search engines are constantly evolving, which means that what works today might not work tomorrow. As a result, your website needs to evolve to ensure it’s meeting your goals and reaching your target audience.
To stay ahead of the curve, you need to modify your target keywords, make technical improvements, and commit to an online visibility strategy that works in the long term.
You Can Do It Anywhere
Many SEO advocates will tell you that your SEO work can be done from anywhere in the world. This often tempts marketers to enter cheaper international markets.
SEO is about relevance and circles of influence—genuine links that are built out by websites close to your locality (for example, your local media outlet) carry substantial weight. With the greatest will in the world, an SEO agency thousands miles away will never be able to do the research to identify the link outlets that would work for you.
For local businesses in particular, choosing an SEO company that understands the geographic context of your business is vital. This is why most of The Bank’s Newcastle SEO services are served to businesses in the NorthEast—businesses that can benefit from the unique opportunities offered by an SEO Newcastle services agency that’s just down the road.
The DNA of a Great SEO Strategy
Great online performance starts with a great SEO strategy. Before you commit to a particular SEO company, make sure these services are on your checklist:
Taking a fine tooth comb to your current website structure and content is the first step on the fast track to success. Before anything happens offsite, you need to deal with what’s on it and ensure that you’re putting people first—they’re your users and consumers and they must come before creating content just for machines.
Content needs to make sense, be legible to the end user and made relevant to the way those consumers search and reveal their intent. At the same time, your site must be optimised for experience, with the correct pages in the correct places to ensure your customers are can find their way around.
Onsite optimisation covers the content that’s already on your site. Now comes the fun part: creating new, high-quality SEO content to encourage search engine users.
Your content strategy should be founded on the principle of amplifying your expertise across all areas of your site—this means adding high-quality content in your brand voice, spreading it out across your site until all points of buyer intent have been covered.
Strategies should be designed from a target list of search terms, professionally pieced together in compelling, genuine ways that people want to read.
Once that great content and optimum website offering is in place, link building will start automatically. People will value it so significantly, your users will do it for you.
The link building process can, of course, be increased and made more efficient by sharing that quality content with relevant partners who may have an affinity for your expertise. Why the affinity? You compliment their offering in some way, or there’s a commercial relationship that from which you might both be able to benefit. Either way, it has to be a two-way street. You give, they give, and you both win.
Transparency (…and Time)
Any SEO agency that undertakes work and isn’t transparent about what they’re delivering isn’t worth your investment. Results might be guaranteed or linked specifically to performance but remember: just because something works in the short term, doesn’t mean it’s a healthy long-term strategy.
Anyone can sell £20 for £10. The faster the results, the more that red flag should be waving. Correct optimisation and content creation take time to allow results to mature—and it’s worth waiting for. If a more instant result is required, digital advertising and effective social media management can help keep commercial results coming while your investment in SEO materialises.
The SEO Services You Need (That Search Engines Love)
Now that you’ve seen what to avoid, let’s take a look at the things you should for to find the best SEO company for your business.
SEO optimises your website to be found by users performing search engine queries. Each time a user searches, they’ll use a keyword to do so. As people behave differently, there is a huge breadth of keywords that will be used.
Through an in-depth keyword research process, our team develops extensive SEO campaign strategies that are designed to drive organic traffic in both the short and long term. Our detailed keyword research ensures you’re hitting the right keywords and attracting all potential customers.
Site Audit and Technical SEO
Understanding your website is key to every SEO services review. Many technical markers can influence your performance in search engines, and we’ll help you identify how much they may be influencing your site.
Our SEO audits cover factors such as SSL certificates (website security), page speed, and the quality of mobile optimisation for small screens—all prerequisites for SEO success (as well as being generally good practice for any website).
If your existing website is well established, chances are it will already be ranking in Google for some search terms. We’ll reverse engineer what your site is ranking well for and where it could be doing better. More specifically, we’ll tell you why your competitors are outranking you so we can start to pursue their results and eclipse them.
Often your initial passion in setting up your website, or your previous agency’s efforts will be doing part of the job. The Bank will exceed them.
Local SEO is vital for any business that has a physical presence. If you have a shop, an office or a local service, your customers need to be able to find you quickly and easily.
There are many factors in optimising your website for Google Maps, including NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) consistency, GMB (Google My Business) optimisation, and building citations and backlinks from high-quality websites. We can help you achieve better local pack rankings, improve the click-through rate to your website and increase the number of phone calls and enquiries that you receive
Content marketing is not necessarily just part of our SEO services, but it is a critical part of the process. There’s a good chance you landed on The Bank website from a search query—that’s understandable, as we have over 50,000 words across our various pages, each orientated towards a slightly different search keyword.
Using your keyword analysis, you can plan rich, immersive content across your website which is designed for both the search user and the machine. These are two separate elements of content creation that The Bank can help you navigate. We have a proven track record of producing rewarding and helpful web pages—pages that not only help boost the profile of your business online, but which engage those customers who end up there.
Building backlinks to your website is a crucial part of SEO. Getting links from credible, authoritative websites act like “votes” for your pages and site overall. The better quality they are, the more they support your site’s SEO performance. Getting these links can be challenging without assistance (and without straying from white hat SEO tactics).
First, your site must be worthy of linking, which is why we approach these SEO services in the order that we do. Your site must be worthy of giving it a backlink. Then The Bank will focus on introducing your site to relevant site owners and influencers so they can support their own content with yours.
Unfortunately, we find many clients who have tried to shortcut this very time-consuming process. They’ve bought SEO services cheaply and now they’re paying the price. Bad backlinks and practices can seriously hurt your website and commercial performance. But everything can be reversed! The Bank’s SEO services support many websites that have received Google penalties, assisting them in reversing the damage of poor search engine optimisation and black hat, unethical backlink building.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of turning more of your traffic into customers or leads. It’s about making it as easy as possible for visitors to do what you want them to do when they land on your website
If you’re selling a product, that might be buying the product. If you’re a local business, it might be booking an appointment or enquiring about your services. Whatever it is, The Bank can help increase the percentage of people who take that action by improving your website’s design, content and user experience.
We work with our clients to increase their conversion rates through effective CRO strategies. We start with data analysis to understand how users are interacting with your website currently, and then we work with you to develop and implement a plan to improve those interactions.
Monitoring and Reporting
The Bank provides monthly reports to all of its SEO clients. This includes an overview of your site’s progress, keyword rankings, traffic and conversions, with data taken directly from your search console.
We also provide access to our client portal, where you can see all the data we’re collecting and analysing in real-time. This gives you complete transparency over what we’re doing and how it’s helping your business grow.
Alternative Digital Marketing
SEO takes time, which is why The Bank recommend other digital advertising strategies like pay-per-click, programmatic and remarketing to fast-track SEO results. Without question SEO will deliver solid, long-term results with high-quality website traffic. That said, it can take many months to generate meaningful results for the most competitive of keywords. Digital advertising across Google, Youtube and Facebook—among others—can be a harmonious strategy that optimises short-term spend and results, with long-term goals.
The Finest SEO Service: Newcastle, the UK, and Beyond
The Bank’s fantastic team of industry experts work tirelessly to provide the best service to support the digital development of every client. We don’t see SEO as a dark art. To us, it’s crystal clear: deliver great, valuable content for your audience and people will want to digest it and return to your site. When they do—by engaging with your content from search results—Google will follow and use its various ranking methods to boost your listings.
If you reached The Bank via search, you can see this at work already! But we’d love to show you more and how our blend of digital marketing skills can support your brand communications.
If you think The Bank’s SEO and digital marketing agency services are something your website needs, then get in touch now. Our SEO team can’t wait to get to work!