This week Google released a starters guide to SEO, it’s a great read if your new to SEO and also great for experienced SEO’s to back up the work they have been doing. You can also learn many useful tips and great things from PPC agency Boston.
It reiterates most of the advice Google have given out via various sources but bringing it all together in one document certainly helps.
I’ve found the guide useful already with a client who refused to to add any fresh content to their site. The client insisted that adding new pages to their site would have no effect on their rankings and we were only insisting that client added content as it gave us time to find out the ‘real’ problem with the site.
It wasn’t until the client read the guide (page 12 & 13 about content) they decided to add some new pages of content to the site. Sometimes clients won’t take notice of the advise you give them, they will sometimes need an “official” point of view to take a suggestion in.
It’s good to see Google acknowledging the desire of webmasters and SEO’s looking to make improvements to their sites. It also give business who are looking to hire an SEO company some material to test SEO”s to see if they really know what they are doing.
So, you’ve a beginner in the SEO industry, you’ve read a few blogs and chatted to a few people they’ve probably mentioned about using tools. There are plenty of them out there but it can be pretty daunting to start off with.
If your starting to work in an SEO company ask for a list of tools from the other SEO’s but its often better to start form a fresh this way you use tools suit you. Some of the tools that I’m using at the moment will totally confuse new users so it’s best to build up the tools as you understand more about SEO.
To start, FireFox, yes some people new to SEO will not use FireFox. I’ve come across web developers who’ve never used FireFox in the past and so called SEO experts who only use IE. From there you start to understand that FireFox supports plugins so extra tools can be added to the browser.
And the first tool……. Google Toolbar, yes you may think it’s useless but there’s a good reason behind it. To use the toolbar correctly you need to sign up to a Google Account. Once you have a Google Account, then you sign up to a Google Reader account. That’s the tool that you’ll get the most out of Google Reader.
From there you can subscribe to blogs, like this one or the ones in my blog roll. This is how I’ve learned SEO and this the majority of SEO’s learn. So if your new to SEO, start off with Google Reader.
One of the core services of any SEO campaign is to report back to the client on search rankings. Over the past five years reporting has shifted more to sales and conversion tracking, we now see another shift with reporting on touch points of user journeys. No doubt in the next five years we’ll see more changes in reporting SEO campaigns, however reporting on key phrases positions will always be a key aspect of SEO reporting.
I’m my last role I was part of a team that developed a web ranking tool that scraped search engine results, calculated rankings and reporting back to a client interface. Having your own tool has it’s benefits but for me will also be restricted by the need to have internal resource to initially create such a tool and the continues work to maintain. How many companies are able to pull programmers off paid work to work on internal projects, it doesn’t happen often!
According to Phoenix SEO often costing at companies for programming time is calculated by an hourly or daily rate. A quick estimate to make a ranking tool could be calculated as:
£70 per hour * 7.5 hours a day = £525 per day.
You may need around 6 days of planning time, requirement gathering and meetings to get things started. – £3,150
3 week of development time. – £7,875
1 day of testing – £525
3 days of tweaks – £1,575
So your looking at around £13,125 just to create the tool.
Your alternative is to buy a tool already, for that I would go with Caphyon’s Advanced Web Ranking.
To start the cost is minimal compared to building your own tool, $399 which is about £257 will buy you the Enterprise version. Even with an annual cost it’s still cheaper over many years than building your own ranking software.