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SEO Leeds – Who is the Best SEO Company in Leeds?

seo leeds results in google

For those of you that are members of The Yorkshire Mafia on LinkedIn you may be familiar with this question.

One of the members asked “Who is the Best SEO company in Leeds” a couple of weeks ago and it started quite a debate! One of the common answers was “surely it’s whoever appears top for “SEO Leeds” in Google”.

For me it raised some interesting questions and points. The conversation initially was simply whoever appears top in Google. I then added a comment saying that a lot has to depend on the age of the domain (therefore age of business). How much focus is spent on the clients instead of the SEO’s own blog or website? A classic example here is how many solicitors don’t have wills.

SEO for Dummies

seo for dummies bruce clay

Image courtesy of Bruce Clay

One member suggested that you could simply go any buy a book “SEO for Dummies” and this would solve all your SEO needs. Actually I love this idea; it backs up my philosophy when it comes to working with clients.

In my opinion one of the factors that makes an SEO Company or SEO Agency the Best SEO Company in Leeds (or any town for that matter) is that the SEO Company should be open and actively teaching and training the client in SEO. I hope my SEO Blog reflects this, not only does it mean the client is more involved, but it means the client can give clearer directions as the client can integrate the new knowledge into his own business (the client of course understands his business better than anyone else could ever understand it).

It also means that an SEO campaign becomes far more effective, imagine if I am working on a campaign and on top of that I have staff in the client’s business blogging in the right way, adding content in the right way, engaging with their target audience in a more productive manner. If the client is taught and guided throughout, the client will start naturally link building without even realising!!

It’s a win-win situation, any SEO company that doesn’t share the knowledge and doesn’t explain in simple terms what they are doing, in my opinion are not worthy of the title SEO Leeds.

SEO is nothing more than Common Sense

After all SEO is nothing more than common sense, it’s not black voodoo magic its simple common sense, if Google sees people talking about a particular site in a particular way Google believes that site should be shown to more people. If Google sees that people interact with a site in a particular way, whether that be the time they spend on the site or the number of pages they view, or if they fill out a form, again that gives Google another signal that the site is worthy of a high rank. If Google sees that a particular site sent traffic to another site and that traffic/user was not only engaged with the first site but the second too, Google believes that the first site is doing a good job of referencing the web and again it deserves a higher rank.

If Google sees that your business is listed in many places, you are seen as that bit more important to a business that isn’t listed in any places.

  • Relevancy
  • Quality
  • Engagement

Are the key factors, but hopefully the above demonstrates common sense.

Anyway back to the topic! So yes I would recommend the new SEO for dummies but like anything experts have their place and I would hope this only enhances any campaign, by giving the client more of an understanding of the jargon and more involvement in the campaign and the ability to challenge their SEO consultant.

Is a recommendation always worth its weight in gold?

There then came the usual recommendations from other members of the group, members recommending other members as the best SEO in Leeds. Is this because they have used them or is it because they are friends or is this simply because someone told them they were the best? Who knows!

One member gave a great piece of advice, take time to speak to some different SEO companies in Leeds (or any other town!) and create a picture for yourself, and more importantly find a company that shows an understanding and actively wants to get involved in your business.

Vanity, Sanity or Reality?

seo leeds reality image

Any SEO consultant or agency can bring traffic to your blog or website, any SEO consultant can change ranks for particular keywords, but surely the Best SEO consultant has to be an SEO company that understands ultimately that’s not what you are after. Surely you are after more sales, more leads, and more enquiries. It’s like my favourite financial saying “Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash is reality”.

Does your SEO Company understand that? Does your SEO Company actively want to help you, does your SEO Company understand that getting to the top for a particular keyword may make you happy in the short term, but truly is it bringing you more business?

The best SEO Company should be analysing things like Google analytics to see if the traffic they are bringing is relevant, they should be setting up goals in analytics to create an easier way to see a return on investment. I read a great post recently with some simple steps on how to add some simple widgets to your Google analytics dashboard.

So back again to the topic, another great question came up, why does it need to be Leeds based? Very good question! I suppose the answer is it doesn’t, yes you have the benefits from having a local company of being able to have face to face meetings, which of course are important. But at the same time a good SEO company or agency should be able to adapt and be able to break down barriers using online techniques, whether that be utilizing online meetings, Skype video and conference calls or using one of my all-time favourite simple utilities enabling you to share ideas instantly – Jing . I find the free version sufficient and I have it running on my desktop at all times!

Exact Match Domains

So what about exact match domain names…. SEO Leeds finds two exact match domains at the top of Google.

So is the answer simply, find your best keyword and buy my-best-keyword[dot]com. No it is not!

You can see related posts of mine on this topic Stuffed keywords Part 1 and Stuffed Keywords Part 2.

Exact match domains in most cases are nothing more than spam; in fact both the examples found for SEO Leeds have a company name that is nothing similar to SEOLeeds!

The best SEO Company should be providing a long term robust solution, both of these top results suggest to me that it won’t be long before they get penalised. Google is already wise to exact match domains in a few cases there is a good argument for them, but in this case? No definitely not, neither company is called SEOLeeds and both companies have other domain names for the main brand, it may be seen as clever and it may be working right now, does it have longevity? No, I have seen and experienced many cases where this activity will simply cause a penalty and blacklisting from Google.

Another member makes a good point, another downside of exact match domains, means you exclude yourself from other keyword searches, take the example of having a town in the domain name, well you won’t appear for any other towns.

Understanding your target audience

SEO leeds target audience

Another member highlighted the fact that typing “Leeds best SEO Company” or “Search engine Optimisation experts Leeds” gives you very different results. He made an extremely valid point; the best SEO Company needs to be able to understand you target audience, your clients and your customers. What is your target audience typing into Google or Bing? Keyword research, and by that I mean proper keyword research and competitor analysis should highlight what keywords are being used across the search engines and more so regular interaction with tools like Google analytics should help the best SEO company determine what words and phrases are worth working on and what words/phrases aren’t.

Again it comes down to relevancy and engagement and the end goal, surely the client wants the sale, irrelevant as to whether they are top for “a-vanity-keyword”

Another member made the point that surely an SEO company that can promote their own brand far more than A1 SEO Company in Leeds is of far more interest. You want a digital marketer not a spammy company purely after your money!

What does “the best” even mean?

The latest comment on the thread made some valuable points, best for whom, best in what way?  Does being at the top for SEO Leeds mean best value, best results, most talented? The answer is the Best SEO Company in Leeds ( or any other town ;-) ) is the company that can deliver exactly what you need, so you need to identify what you need first and not focus on purely traffic and ranks but more on finding the right person you can work with on a long term basis, and someone that you will put you in a position where you mutually benefit from each other, someone who is going to be open and give you tips and tricks along the way and make the campaign as effective as possible.

You may have guessed but this post is also an experiment, having never worked on the term SEO Leeds I currently rank in position #85 for this term. Let’s see what this post manages to do to that position!

For more advice or a free consultation, please contact me on 0113 320 21 21 or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Updated Ranks 18/2/2011, 24/2/11, 4/4/12, 30/5/12, 30/7/12

“SEO Leeds” moved from #85 to #79 to #54 to #43 to #27 to #13

“SEO in Leeds” now in position #9

“Search Engine Optimisation experts Leeds” moved from Not in the top 100 to #46 to #5 to #10 to #4 to #3

“who is the best SEO Company in Leeds” moved from not in the top 100 to #1 still at #1 to #2 still at #2

“best seo company in leeds” moved from not in the top 100 to #14 to #3 to #2 still at #2

“SEO Company in Leeds” moved from #74 to #26 to #10 to #9 to #8 to #5

“Leeds best SEO Company” moved from position #96 to #17 to #2 still at #2

“SEO Leeds Blog” moved from position #16 to #8 to #4 still at #4 to #3

“SEO Halifax” not in top 100 but lets see…

“Leeds SEO Agency” moved from position #56 to position #44 to #18 to #15 to #9

 

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20 Comments

  1. Great article on SEO and selecting an agency or SEO pro. Echo’s a lot of what I’ve thought for a while, especially regarding exact phrase domain names.

  2. JP says:

    There is no best seo company in leeds, they are all rip offs no guarantees and betwwen 50 -70 ponds per hour, or 2 thousand pounds a month for work that any body can do. I started marketing my own web sites because of this over charging crap. they are all in the top 3 in google in less than six months. Also exact match domains do work but this is old news, we did our own exact match domain 4 years ago, it as recently dropped form 1st to 3rd because we did not put no links into it for 2 years.

    • jonnyross says:

      JP,

      Interesting thoughts, well done at going alone on it!! It’s good to hear you have had success, not sure if “they are all rips offs” is a touch general though!!

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Jonny

  3. The point you make is true that the best SEO company – ‘ is the company that can deliver exactly what you need ‘. For me it is about being aligned with my company values, having my companies reputation and interest at heart and working in partnership over time. And to be fair i would not restrict my search to – who is the nearest. You proved a great point in ranking with this post though – interesting. Where do you stand now?

    • jonnyross says:

      Stuart,

      Couldn’t agree more, 50% of my clients our outside of Yorkshire and around 15% abroad!

      Ranks as of 19/10/12
      “SEO Leeds” moved from #85 to #15
      “SEO in Leeds” now in position #5
      “Search Engine Optimisation experts Leeds” moved from Not in the top 100 to #2
      “who is the best SEO Company in Leeds” moved from not in the top 100 to #2
      “best seo company in leeds” moved from not in the top 100 to #2
      “SEO Company in Leeds” moved from #74 to #3
      “Leeds best SEO Company” moved from position #96 to #2
      “SEO Leeds Blog” moved from position #16 to #7
      “Leeds SEO Agency” moved from position #56 to #8

      It should be known that I don’t do any SEO (as people understand SEO) on this site, I simply blog and guest blog often, which ultimately is natural SEO the best form!

      Jonny

  4. That is amazing. No actual SEO strategy and you achieve top 3 positions. It shows the power of organic SEO. Also of writing engaging content which I for one regularly relink / re tweet. I like the google result page has your picture as well. Makes it stand out.

  5. Matt Shaw says:

    Jonny this article alone sums up exactly what is needed in the updated world of SEO.

    It is engaging, and something potential customers or SEO’s would find an interesting read.

    However from your social media stats i would say you aren’t getting the reward you deserve for the article but keep it up and i am sure you will be rewarded in the future.

    It just shows that it doesn’t take hundreds of links and extensive off page SEO to rank for a fairly competitive term.

    Great Post
    Matt

  6. jason cook says:

    Interesting post and interesting experiement. Not long after you posted this as you mentioned the exact match domain name signal was reduced and SEOLEEDS dropped in the ranking. To be the best is a very objective statement when it comes to SEO. Some clients you get on with, some you don’t. Some products you have a passion for and some not.

    • Jonny Ross says:

      Jason,

      Thanks for the insight and stopping by! I would agree it very much is about passion and the bottom line getting on with the client and setting/meeting expectations.

      Jonny

  7. Robert says:

    Having designed websites for over 4 years now, i became involved with seo fairy early on. In my experience the best way with customers is to open and honest from the very start with regard to what to expect from seo. firstly if Google move the goal posts then no matter what you do it is taken out of your hands.

    If your customer will not listen to reason then decline the work. seo is not and never will be an exact science, the damage to your reputation however from a disgruntled customer regarding there page position can be devastating.

    Don’t get too hung up on page position with Google, they are not the only search engine out there, also ask yourself this, how much work comes your way from an on-line search and how much work is generated by reputation?

  8. Jonny Ross says:

    Robert,

    Thanks for stopping by, and interesting points you make, although I am not sure I agree with you entirely.

    The role of an SEO company/agency or SEO consultant is to ensure your website does stay within guidelines if and when google move the goal posts. But I do agree that there has to be proof in the first place that spending time on SEO will bring the ROI required.

    Whilst they are not the only search engine out there, the UK is still giving 80% of its search terms to google.

    I agree don’;t get too hung up on position, it is more about traffic and more so relevant traffic.

    Do you offer your clients SEO following developing a site?

  9. robert says:

    Hi Jonny,
    I do offer SEO as an after sales service, although to be honest i do tend to talk myself out of potential business with probably being too honest as to what is and what is not realistic!
    As a matter of course i always implement on site seo.
    Just slightly off topic, i created a website for a local company who had previously had a design created by one of the trade websites. After i had put the customers new site live, the trade site contacted my client and told him he had to have these “special” tags for his website. they charged him £425 for 6 meta tags that would make no difference what so ever to his site.

  10. Jason Cook says:

    Amusingly, I always tell a lot of our new SEO clients, the story that when Deepblue achieved page one no2 for Web Design Leeds, the phone never started ringing!
    This is to highlight the fact that it is not the be all and end all to be ranked well, there are a lot of other factors we need to look at in digital marketing to get the phone ringing and sales increasing.

    • Jonny Ross says:

      A good point to show it’s not all about ranks! Thanks for taking time to drop by, appreciate your comment. I take it you managed to get the phone ringing? Was there a silver bullet?

  11. Great post and i agree seo is nothing more sense.

  12. Jonny says:

    Great post Jonny, (great name too)

    Just read the above from Twitter and have to agree with you on pretty much all your points.

    We are relatively new to the SEO scene in Leeds, but the initial feedback from customers is that they are delighted that
    we are educating them on what we are doing for their websites. Particularly as their past experience with SEO companies had
    just been all about taking their monthly payment and sending them a fudged report. There are certainly some bad eggs out there.

    Speaking of exact match domains it seems seoleeds.org no longer exists. :/