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The Clientside Podcast

Why SEO is never done, with Dean Duffield

The Clientside Podcast

35 min Dean , Andrew

After being taken aback by a conversation that included the sentence 'we've done the SEO', we talk about why Search Engine Optimisation is an ongoing activity and will never be 'done'. In this episode, A Digital marketing lead Dean Duffield joins the show again to talk about why companies need to have a basic understanding as a minimum of the main factors that influence a strong showing in the search engine results pages.

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Dean:
When we talk about SEO, we're talking about driving organic traffic to a website from the free listings that you see in search results.

Andrew:
Welcome back to the Client Side podcast. We're bridging the gap between agency and client side, bringing you conversation about various aspects of digital marketing and managing websites on a day to day basis. I'm your host, Andrew Armitage.

Dean:
And I'm Dean Duffield.

Andrew:
We're back. We've had a bit of a hiatus. If that's even possible, after just two episodes. But in reality, we've had a bit of a busy month. We've been launching a few websites for clients. So unfortunately, the podcast has slipped down the task list a little bit. But we're back with a new episode today. If you've listened to any of the previous episodes. Welcome back. If it's your first time listening in, then thanks for joining us. We hope you enjoy the show. It's great to have you with us. And today, we're going to be talking about SEO, which is always a bit of a hotly debated topic. And it was a specific conversation that triggered this episode. We had had a conversation with a client. And the thing that struck us was they, I think they set the specific words 'we've done SEO on the website'. Can you remember back to that time Dean?

Dean:
So a few weeks ago, we were on a call with a client and we were discussing how we could improve the effectiveness of the home page in terms of its Google optimisation, and I remember making a couple of quick, sort of recommendations. I think it was even just to update the meta title at that time. And just as a quick win, I think when the site was launched, I think the meta title had just mentioned the word home. So I think, you know, we'd been working with the client to sort of advise on best practices around meta titles and descriptions, etc. And it was just very sort of blunt, sharp reply from the client. Oh, it's OK. We've done the SEO.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Dean:
You know, as if there was a very quick.

Andrew:
That task has been completed.

Dean:
Yes. So which kind of sort of took me back a little bit. And I mean, on the call, we never really went into detail around, you know, I could have sat there for the next five hours talking about everything. But no, I think it was more about sort of sitting back and understanding why in the client's mind, is the the SEO done?

Andrew:
What made them think that it was done?

Dean:
What made them think that it was done? And really to what level of understanding do they have of SEO to think that it was literally just 'done'. I mean even now, I don't know what done means in their mind.

Andrew:
So let's just answer the first question because we're talking about SEO. What do we mean by SEO; its search engine optimisation to make up the full abbreviation.

Dean:
So it's basically improving the positioning of a website website's pages within search engine results. And we generally talk about Google.

Andrew:
Other search engines are available...

Dean:
Absolutely. So, you know, obviously we've got being and Yahoo! And lots of different search partners. But yeah, we're generally talking about Google.

Andrew:
I think the last stat that I saw suggested 92 percent of searches go through Google.

Dean:
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Andrew:
And I think, you know, the overall purpose of SEO is that if you're not on page one, again, it's a similarly high statistic of about 90 something percent. That essentially means you're just going to be overlooked.

Dean:
Yeah.

Andrew:
Who actually clicks onto page two of the search results? I don't make a habit of doing that. I just look really on page one and I'm sure most people do.

Dean:
Yeah, there's lots of jokes. There's lots of memes out there. Page 2, which is almost cemetery looking. But yeah, obviously it's it's page one and particularly now on mobile. You know, mobile search is as much as people are used to scrolling, you know, once you get past the plethora of paid adverts.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Dean:
And you're into the free listings or the organic listings, so to speak, in particular on a mobile. You've probably scrolled down a good few times before you get to those listings. So it's particularly if your audience are used to researching your products or services on a mobile phone. It is those sort of top five, but certainly on the first page of results where you need to be aiming for.

Andrew:
So we know what it is. How does that break down in terms of task? Because it's it's an ongoing thing, isn't it? It's never something that you can really just tick a box and say thats it, it's done. There might be certain tasks within SEO that you can mark off as done, at least for a period of time. But actually, it's all about ongoing work, isn't it?

Dean:
Absolutely. I think the first thing is if you are a service provider or a retailer and you're working in e-commerce, for example, I think there has to be an understanding on the client side.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Dean:
Or if you're a business owner and you're looking to grow your organic traffic to your website, I think there has to be some acceptance that doing SEO on an ongoing basis is very much a long term strategy.

Andrew:
Yeah

Dean:
I think yes, there are other marketing activities which can get you a quick wins in terms of your sales growth like paid traffic, you know, social campaigns, etc. But you know, search engine optimisation in the longer term can yield by far the best return on investment for any company. So it's almost a case of, you know, stick with it.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Dean:
You know, and slowly and surely and gradually, you will see that organic traffic growing to a stage where you can be dominating your sector or your space for a whole range of search terms. And I think you almost hit a point where you're working and you're fighting off your competitors. And then it's almost like after a longer period of time and I say longer period, it could be it depends on the competitiveness of the space.

Andrew:
There's no instant results is there, thats the frustration.

Dean:
We might be talking, you know, 12, 24 months or even 3 years time where you're really, really dominating your space. And when that happens, it's almost like Google will reward you hugely and see you as a real voice for your products or services. So, yeah, that the answer is it's very much long term. What I would say is start now.

Andrew:
Yeah, there are foundations that need to be put in place as well aren't there. I suppose you could argue to a certain extent that those can be done and ticked off because you don't really want to sort of set out on a long term SEO campaign without having certain foundations in place.

Dean:
Absolutely. So obviously with us at a digital designing and building websites, we will always consider the implications of having the website rank in search engines. So we would obviously consider. I mean, you're more qualified than I to talk about the I think the foundations of the code bad, the page speed, those types of things that really enable you to build on that in terms of adding new content to the website and creating shareable content.

Andrew:
So if we just back step ever so slightly, then I suppose there's three main elements to SEO that we tend to talk of. The first being having sound technical code, the second being content. You know, content drives so much on the web, of course.

Yes.

And I suppose the more historical element that is still relevant and that's links; inbound links.

Dean:
It's still hugely relevant.

Andrew:
Yeah.

Dean:
So I think anybody that sort of tells you that, oh, it's spammy and you know, it's it's not what SEO is about anymore. That's completely untrue. Links and back links and being able to generate links to your website, I think where the sort of the myths surrounding links in SEO sort of stem from the years gone by where perhaps the website owners would engage in sort of black hat techniques.

Andrew:
And it was the rise of the directory, I think.

Dean:
Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew:
And there was actually specific directory software that once upon a time you could get.

Dean:
Yeah.

Andrew:
And you would just fill it with all sorts of random links with seemingly no real connection to the content that they were trying to promote.

Dean:
Yeah, exactly. So there were companies out there that worked for a pretty penny would guarantee you X number of links a day or X number of links. And basically what happened was you had a website that might have a few sort of local links from other websites and other sources, and almost overnight the website generated 10,000 links and Google looked at that and it was like, well, hang on a minute, this hasn't happened naturally over time.

Andrew:
Where have they come from.

Dean:
And so. Yeah. So so obviously a number of years ago, Google were able to sort of cut that out. I mean, there are still one or two questionable techniques around link building today, but without going too far into it, you know, it really generating those links whether they are top tier from sort of large national or international news sort of websites or the high authority websites right down to sort of generating links or relevant links locally. So there might be, for example, if you're a hotel, you might want to create some content that incorporates local tourist attractions or places to eat or drink. And naturally...

Andrew:
People will eventually start link to it.

Dean:
Yes, absolutely.

Andrew:
So the inbound links you have, full disclosure isn't really something that we get involved with, is it? You know, our real knowledge around SEO and all the things that impact SEO at least stands around technical code. And what that essentially means is having a page that is nice and easy to crawl for the search engines (bearing in mind they've got a lot of work to do), if they find that code is obstructive in some way, that's going to penalise the site in terms of its overall performance. And of course, page speed, because you know, search engines aren't the only people trying to visit these sites. If the site is deemed to offer a poor experience because it's slow to load, then that can also count against you, can't it?

Dean:
Yeah, absolutely. And actually, Google have put a lot of sort of focus on page speed over the last couple of years and actually it has become quite significant ranking factor there with links and naturally the content itself. I mean, without going too far into Google advertising, but actually with Google AdWords, so Google Shopping and Google text ads, for example, you have a quality score out of 10. And actually Google will take into consideration how fast or how slow your pages load that you're directing your ads to. And if you've got a fast loading pages with fast loading content, then they will reward you with a high quality score.

Dean:
That's the paid side of it. But yeah, absolutely. Page speed is hugely important now, particularly again on mobile and not just mobiles that are connected to Wi-Fi. You know what Google is saying is, is this and people want really quick loading content, whatever sort of, you know, bandwidth or Wi-Fi or different devices, you know, when they're bringing in new sort of technologies and new sort of image formats.

Andrew:
Yeah. All to try and improve the overall experience and essentially make it easier for pages to rank better. Google's advocating a faster web, essentially.

Dean:
Yeah.

Andrew:
So setting up the technical code like I say firmly stands within an agency's remit, or whoever's built a site, with the other aspect then really being content. Now content is really interesting one because you're never going to populate a site completely all at the same time. You know, Google's obviously going to be looking for that continual development of content. It's also looking for relevant content and content actually, it can still impact on performance. Something that we see quite often can be really oversized images and that's something that we can't necessarily control. It has an impact on the overall performance. It has a technical impact, but it actually falls within the remit of the client very often who are uploading images. And, you know, that's their, part of their task in terms of overseeing an element of SEO at least if they're not knowingly running an SEO campaign is at least to be thinking about the type of content that they're putting up there. Is it relevant? Is it well written? It doesn't want to be too spammy. Are they putting up oversized images that are going to cause problems and all those sorts of things and obviously content once the website's flown the nest, as it were, that's really where that ongoing work begins, and we talk a little bit about filling in meta tags, but SEO is far more than just filling in meta tags isn't it.

Dean:
Yeah.

Andrew:
You can't just say we've filled in the fields in our content management system for the page type, all for the keywords, for the description. That's it, Done. You know one of the things that really struck us with that comment was, well, how do you know it's done? And it's not been critical of the clients not sort of questioning their their ability. But there's a natural gap in knowledge, I think, between those who are working on an agency, who are working on websites day in, day out, and clients who may be, you know, in one day they might be populating the website, the next day they might be organising events, doing other marketing activities. And just that sort of idea of SEO being a tick box exercise with almost a little bit worrying for us, I think, because obviously we want to provide help and support for clients who have got a website and help them get the best from it. But if there's a mindset out there that says, well, I've done my SEO because I've filled in the relevant boxes, that's inevitably going to limit the impact that they can have in terms of getting a good ranking.

Dean:
Yeah, definitely. I think SEO is it's one of those words, isn't it? That's been around a long time in terms of generating traffic to a website. You know, even sort of people outside of the digital marketing or the web industry, you know, I've got sort of friends who are plumbers and joiners who really don't live their life online like we do. But yet you can mention SEO to them and it's oh, yeah, it's that Google optimisation thing, you know.

Andrew:
Everybody knows a little bit about SEO don't they?

Yeah. But I think once you scratch beneath the surface of their understanding of SEO and really the reason why why would you do SEO? What's the long term what's the long term goal and the long term benefit? And like you said, you know, how are they really measuring it? I think what worries me is when a client says, well, you know, we've done the SEO, I think clients are, you know, like everybody, they're busy people. And like you just said, the website is one part of their overall business. I almost feel that it's like, well, they're kind of they're working in-house, and again, not to be sort of too critical, but they've been employed to provide sort of sales growth across the website and other sort of channels and marketplaces that they might be working on. And I think it's I think in a lot of cases that there's just so many different things to think about internally that it's almost like, well, yeah, we've populated our meta-tags now, we've got some content on the website, that's it, it's done. But actually, you know, if you were to go into Google Analytics and view the traffic levels from organic search, generally, what you tend to find is they're generally, you know, generating a particular level, a certain level of visitors from from Google searches, but there's no real sort of month or month of sort of increase over time.

Andrew:
Is the problem that it's seen as a task rather than a campaign?

Dean:
I would say yes. Yeah. And again, it comes back to that sort of understanding or dare I say it, you know, I've spoken to people who want to appear knowledgeable and think that they've got enough knowledge to go. Yeah, I can do my email marketing. Yeah, I can do SEO and I can do my, I mean, you know, we've only been speaking recently perhaps for another podcast episode around you know, everybody's a social media expert now, but actually to get the best out of social media, and it's the same with SEO, I think you've got to have a real sort of slightly deeper understanding of what it is and actually how you measure in those sort of incremental improvements over time.

Andrew:
Okay. So where's the best place to start than if you are wanting to, let's look at the bigger picture, chances are you're wanting to get found because you want to increase sales. There wants to be quite a clear goal, an objective. Is it about thinking of a point in the future and saying, right, well, that's where I want to be. I want to dominate the search results and working backwards from that point? Or do you sort of look at and say, right, well, we're not appearing very well at this, let's try and improve that? There might be another particular aspect of the site that you might want to work on and like I say, get those foundations in place first. What's the best place to start? Can you do some of those things concurrently at the same time?

Sure. So I think obviously you've got to you've got to work backwards from your strategic goals. So, you know, if you're an e-commerce retailer, for example, you know, your goal over the next 12 months or the next couple of years might be to double the revenue or wherever it is that you want to get to. I think SEO, obviously, when we talk about SEO, we're talking about driving organic traffic to a website from the free listings that you see in search results. And I think that's got to be part of an overall sort of digital marketing strategy. You know, I'm a big believer that you can't really sort of do one without the other because the journey that people are taking now, whether in a B2B or a B2C marketplace, you know, those touch points might be across sort of multiple channels. So then somebody might do a Google search, they might click on your organic listing in Google. They might come back after that and click on a paid ad or a shopping ad, and then they might go to your Facebook page.

Andrew:
So it's a really fragmented journey to answer a question.

Dean:
I think the best place to start with SEO is really to benchmark what kind of visibility does your website have in organic search now? And I was actually just before this podcast working for another client on doing that benchmarking exercise where we would look at data in Google analytics and Google search console and actually just doing a few Google searches to actually sort of understand how they're ranking organically. And again, this is a this is client whose website hasn't really it's a newly launched website, so, again, those technical foundations are very much there.

Andrew:
They're fresh.

Dean:
They're fresh. And what we're looking at with the client now is to move in to a phase where we can look at what's the opportunity with SEO. And as part of their sort of wider digital strategy. And again, it was almost a bit of an audit that I was doing where in Google Analytics, I could identify that a lot of the organic traffic that they are receiving is coming from search terms that actually include their company name. Now, that seems pretty obvious. You know, if somebody is doing a search for your company name, you would absolutely expect your website to be ranking highly in most cases in that top position, depending on your company name or your brand, product name and so on. I think it's when you look beyond that, it's when you look beyond and think, OK, well, this particular company sell a range of products. How are they ranking when somebody is looking for a specific product or perhaps doing searches based around a category of or range of products or services that you're providing? It's when you get to that stage where that's where the real opportunities open up, because what you tend to find is the website will rank much lower than for branded search terms. And it's there where you would sort of start with the keyword research, looking at sort of what are some of the search term opportunities. So, you know, there's various tools, the Google keyword planner and Moz and SEM Rush.

Andrew:
Are they paid versions or do they have free versions that people can just go and have a dabble around with and put in a few key phrases that they might want to benchmark themselves?

Dean:
Yeah, so you can create an account, perhaps. I think with SEMrush, Moz as well. You can use their keyword planner.

Andrew:
They'll certainly have trial periods where periods where you can give them a test.

Dean:
You know, is that the Google keyword planner is free. All you need to do is have a Google ads account. You don't necessarily have to have any paid campaigns running. There's some really cool new features that they've just so you could put in a competitor's web address and it will sort of spit out hundreds of different search terms that you might want to target.

Andrew:
I've always felt that's one of the wonderful things of having a website. There is so much transparency and you can actually see what other people are optimising their site around the type of phrases. You know, obviously you can see the type of content that goes up there. So it can be quite easy actually to look at the competitive landscape, see how other sites are performing. But you might want to keep a close eye on.

Dean:
Absolutely. I mean, tools like Moz and SEMrush which we've used over the last few years, you know, with SEMrush, you can put in a competitor's website and it will actually tell you all the search terms that they are targeting perhaps across Google ads or, you know, what their social landscape looks like. So, yeah, all the data is there. And I think, again, it comes back to that knowledge of all this data and all this information's there at your disposal but its....

Andrew:
It's filtering through it, isn't it, in many cases.

Dean:
Andrew really knowing where to look? Absolutely. Competitors is obviously one of the first areas that you would look to.

Andrew:
But even just Googling yourself can be a place to start can't it?

Dean:
Absolutely.

Andrew:
It doesn't have to be complicated. You don't have to have all these different tools. Just put yourself in your customer's shoes and think about what they might be typing in. What is the problem that they might be looking to get solved? What might be the product they're looking for? And therefore, where are you appearing just for those simple searches?

Dean:
Absolutely.

Dean:
And I think a good example of that is if you remember a few years ago, we were working with a small family based business and they sold exhausts for motorcycles; small family business. And yes, so they had a really good customer base. But actually what we found was that I think for the first sort of six months, we were sort of driving traffic to the website, but that traffic just wasn't converting and we had to sort of stop and take a really take a look at, well, why, you know, what what's really stopping people from placing that order on the website. And actually what it was, was that there were certain questions around aftermarket motorcycle exhausts that they were trying to find the answers to before actually committing to place an order not just with this particular client or this particular client's branded products, but any any sort of supplier of these exhausts. And so actually what we did was we did some research, we did a couple of surveys to their Facebook page followers. And actually we were really able to on earth what those questions were and what information people were trying to find out before spending a good few hundred quid on a new exhaust. So actually what we did is developed a little bit of a content strategy for the next twelve months where we would actually answer those questions to a range of different content blogs, content campaigns to a stage where actually, you know, 12 months later, 24 months later, Google are actually ranking those those pieces of content extremely highly and not just for specific keywords or themes, but around the whole topic of motorcycle exhausts such as MOT implications and you know, how do I fit them, this stuff near there and you know, I'm a break in the law, blah, blah, blah.

Dean:
And so, yeah, we were really able, the point here is that we were really able to unearth what those questions and actually what we ended up doing was improving the conversion rate of the website because we were almost taking away that barrier. So we were helping them and pushing them towards that purchase. And in the end, you know, what we saw was an uplift in sales because, you know, they almost felt, well, actually, this supplier is of these exhausts and this brand, you know, they clearly know what they're talking about. And I think that's where the strategic long term, it's about developing content, becoming an authority voice in your field and really sort of standing out from your competitors. It's no longer specifically just about keywords. It's about really, really becoming that voice, whether that be for a particular product, a particular theme, particular sector or even a particular location.

Dean:
If you're a tourist attraction...

Andrew:
Location and local search is a separate episode in its own right, really, isn't it? But I think what's really important that you've highlighted there as well in another wider point is that SEO doesn't sit in isolation, does it? And you talked about content strategy. Again, there's another subject there in itself. But when we talk about content strategy, we're essentially thinking about what type of content we publish and when do we publish it that is going to support our longer term goal of, for example, selling more exhausts in that particular case. But SEO, again, to say it's done, it can't be done because it sits in that wider context of all the things that are all going to impact on digital strategy. And that might be the software that's running the site. Obviously creating content that we've talked about, but social as well. You talked about social media in that particular example. Putting a survey out to whether their existing customers or fans, followers, whatever. All of these things start to overlap and you can't just say, right, well, we're going to dominate Google search results and that's our goal. Well, what else are you going to do across digital channels that's going to help you get there? So it's a case of thinking beyond just the end goal, it's got to be broken down into all its component parts. I think, doesn't it?

Dean:
Yeah, absolutely. You know, when we are putting digital marketing strategies together for clients, the visibility of your website across search results really plays, is part of a much bigger picture. There's so many sort of ad positions now, we've seen some really good return on investment from perhaps Google shopping ad positions, you know, YouTube advertising, Gmail advertising and across sort of paid social campaigns as well, it's all geared towards growing the visibility of the brand or the product and really, SEO is yes, as as a channel, as a source of website, visitors, like I said, it can be, if not the most sort of profitable in terms of return on investment, because if you develop that content over a longer period of time, it can really, really drive vast amounts of visitors and relevant visitors and quality traffic to your website. But it does take time. But yeah, the end goal can be, you know, depending on the type of company you are, it can really yield increased good results here.

Andrew:
So I think the final point that is just worth touching on is SEO can absolutely be done by clients, can't it? In this conversation we're certainly not saying that because someone thought it was done, it was – we're not saying that it can't be done by a client and it has to be done by an agency.

Dean:
The thing is, it's never done because Google is always changing. You could do a Google search right now and in a few months time, the results page might look completely different in terms of its layout. You know, Google are introducing more and more paid ad positions. It's becoming more and more difficult to rank organically. So, yes website owners are always one step behind Google, and that's the reason why SEO is never done.

Andrew:
Yeah, really good point. So just to round off, you've talked about a couple of tools. The obvious ones are Google Analytics, which the vast majority of websites will have pre installed. It'll be installed from the day that it was built and obviously that's a free tool. There's a huge amount of data in there. But I think from an SEO point of view, if that's connected up to what was Google webmaster tools, it's now known as Google search console, isn't it? That can then give you an indication of the types of searches that people are actually doing when they're looking for your site, or at least when your sites are appearing not necessarily being clicked on, but at least when it's appearing.

Yeah, absolutely. And it's actually quite surprising just how many sort of people who are doing website marketing that don't actually understand or sort of visit the data within Google webmasters to see, you know, what is it? What are those search terms that their websites are ranking for? And what webmasters will allow you to do is see, well, on average, what possession is a website ranking? What's the page? And it's quite surprising when we sort of sit down with clients and we sort of say, well, actually, you know, for this particular search term, your ranking, you know, 12. And that question, well, what we're not even on the first page? Well, we should be. Exactly. So that's it's really looking at well, where are you now in terms of those rankings and understanding, then what is it you need to do moving forward?

Andrew:
Ok, so Webmaster Tools is definitely something to check out or like say it's – have they formally changed it to Google search console now?

Dean:
Yeah yeah.

Andrew:
We're just a bit old school and we keep referring to that.

Dean:
I think the whole industry does, to be honest.

Andrew:
So yeah, I definitely recommend checking that your website is listed in Google search console. There is a simple verification process sometimes that just requires you to put a a line of code in the a certain part of the web page itself. That's really a copy and paste exercise but if you haven't got access to the code, then to go back to your developer or whoever built the site and they will be able to get that added for you and that will soon start to track data and it will also link into your Google Analytics profile as well. So you'll be able to see not only then what searches are showing your page in the results, but also which pages are most popular. And by looking at those two combinations, that will give you a really good idea of how you're performing to start with. And then you mentioned a couple of other tools, Moz, SE Ranking, SEMrush I think as well, those are tools that really go into a bit more depth and detail and they introduce paid plans and things like that.

Dean:
Yeah, so I particularly like SE Ranking. I mean there's loads, Moz is obviously a huge in that space.

Andrew:
And actually it's worth pointing out that some of these tools use data from other providers who also have their own tools, so Moz data can be made available to various tools as well can't it?

Dean:
Yeah. Absolutely. Let's say SE Ranking is a particular favourite of mine. It's really easy to use. Yes, there's a monthly subscription attached, but obviously as a digital agency, we have several subscriptions with all of these tools in order to be able to help our clients. But SE Ranking is great because what you can do is input a list of keywords or a list of search terms, and actually the tool will check the organic ranking position of a particular search term in Google or Bing and that will update every few days. So every few days you are able to see, well, you know, my rankings, have they stayed the same? Have they dropped? Or actually is the work that we're doing having a positive effect on these rankings? And what I like is, I mean, again, rankings are always fluctuating every single day. So, you know, a position or position down. Yes, you will always see, and obviously Google are always updating their algorithms, so you will see sort of fluctuations throughout the year. But I think over a longer period of time, what you really want those graphs to look like is that there's a gradual upwards trend over time. And from there, you know that as those rankings are improving, not only the rankings improving, but actually is the website – so I always think theres two parts to sort of to SEO – yes, you want to rank and improve the rankings of a particular range of search terms. But actually, there are so many variations now, there are so many different sort of individual search terms that all mean the same thing. So actually what you want to do is dominate for a broader range of search terms as well, not just improve the ones that you want to improve, but actually there's probably a whole range. There's probably hundreds of other sort of keyword variations that you might want your website to rank for. And both of those together like I say, over time, you really want to see that upwards trend of rankings, which obviously leads to an upwards trend of organic visitors to your website.

Andrew:
And tracking those against competitors, too in an ideal world.

Dean:
So SE Ranking enables us to do that.

Andrew:
And we're not getting paid to recommend actually ranking.

Dean:
Oh no, no. It's just because it's a really good all in one SEO tool that enables us to really get a good holistic view of really where a client's website sits organically whilst looking at those sort of rankings and ranking fluctuations, but actually been able to see on any given day so you can import a list of competitor websites and be able to see on that graph and what that enables you to do, as well as if there's an upward trend in their rankings, you know that they're probably working themselves or with an agency to improve the positioning of their website. Again, if you see a competitor's website declining, it probably means that there might be some issues with the website or that actually they're really not working at improving the organic traffic side of their website.

Andrew:
And there lies the opportunity, isn't it really?

Dean:
Absolutely. It really is about sort of these engaging customers with great content, providing shareable content that somebody might want to link back to on your website and working at it over a longer period of time and gradually seeing those improvements and I think once you've got to that stage yes, again, the SEO activity and the whole content and everything has got to sort of continue because the minute you stop...

Andrew:
You open the door for someone else to overtake you essentially.

Dean:
And what will happen is if you were to just stop what your graphs will look like, you will see that the performance of your website will plateau and eventually it will start declining. So, yeah.

Andrew:
Super. Well, I think we'll wrap up there. Hopefully there's been lots of interesting discussion around perhaps some things that you can take away and apply to your own site. We will have the full transcript with links out to some of the tools and things that we've talked about like Google Analytics, SE Ranking and Moz. We haven't really touched on some of the page speed tools, but Google have page speed, page speed insights tool which will give you a percentage score of desktop and mobile page speed. There are other tools available as well. Just doing a simple search on web page speed test or something like that will pull up those tools and they're usually free tools and they will at least give you a little bit of an overview, usually by a some sort of score grading either a percentage or something like an A - F type grading. They can get really complicated and obviously that does go into more technical detail, but it will give you an overview of how your site is performing from a page and performance basis. Combine that with some of the other tools that we've talked about as well, and that really will put you in a good position to start benchmark your current performance and think of a plan to help and try and build up performance going forwards.

Andrew:
So thank you Dean for sharing all of that.

Dean:
Thank you very much.

Andrew:
Thanks for listening and everybody. Hope you found that useful show. We'd love to get you to leave a review. You can find the show on Spotify and iTunes; we're not yet on Google Play in the UK. That's something that we're certainly looking at getting it listed on there, but so far it seems to be restricted to the US and Canada. But we've got a few more shows planned and they'll be coming out over the next few weeks; hopefully we won't have the gap that we've had since the first episodes. So that's it for now we'll see you next time.

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So SEO is basically improving the positioning of a website's page ranking within search engine results. And generally, we are talking about Google.

Dean Duffield Tweet