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Up to top-ranking

12 April 2011 / Daniel Selwood
Categories: Google , SEO
Introducing our editorial service aimed at improving the Google performance of readers’ websites

Tell me: how did you get here? That’s not a question about your parents conjugal arrangements, I should stress. Nor is it one of cosmology (I don’t have the hair to be a Brian Cox-alike) or transport, even.

What I’m asking about is your route to this page. The chances are that you came by way of Google; around half of’s traffic comes via the planet’s favourite search engine. And that is why SEO (search engine optimisation) is so very important to this site, which is driven by expert, up-to-the-minute content that we want to get out to the widest possible audience of tax professionals. That means ensuring our site and its individual pages rank as high as possible in search results.

To achieve that aim, we work with our colleague Paul Foxton, an SEO expert with whom we are now offering a new editorial service: readers are invited to email questions about improving their sites’ performance in terms of search rankings and conversions of visitors to paying clients; Paul will respond with straightforward advice on a monthly basis.

Here’s why you could use his help: you want/need clients, and SEO is probably the lowest-cost way of getting in front of a decent-sized audience. If you compare it to the price of, say, advertising on local radio or sponsoring local sports events, it’s going to work out a lot cheaper, says Paul.

There’s much a site can do to improve its lot; measures will be covered here in weeks to come. For now, here’s what not to do, according to our resident SEO aficionado, who at this point during his chat with me repeatedly used a slang word for a bovine creature’s droppings. For reasons of taste, I’ve replaced the term with one more fragrant.

‘Don’t pay the first SEO firm you come across; if you decide you’re going to hire one, be very careful because there are a lot of fairy-dusters out there,’ says Paul. ‘They’ll charge you a lot of money, do fairy-dust work, give fairy-dust advice, and then move on to the next firm.’

(We know Paul isn’t a fairy-duster, because he’s contributing to this column free of charge.)

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO firm, first read the Econsultancy guide to exposing fly-by-night suppliers. It will give you the upper hand and protect you from making an expensive mistake– in very much the same way that a little understanding of car engines means you know when a service garage is spouting fairy-dust in an effort to extort cash.

Alternatively, you can email your queries for Paul, thus saving money and clearly avoiding the risk of being fairy-dusted.

Next time: we’ll return to SEO and look at how a simple demonstration of your tax expertise can help web users find your site and then become paying clients.

Categories: Google , SEO
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