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Basic SEO FAQs

SEO is a critical part of competing online, but not all of it is easy to implement. So the best way to get started is by scheduling an SEO audit and video review to discuss your goals.

Still, it saves time to address some common questions first. So please check those out below. Then, if you’re a UK-based small business, just click the button to book a free, actionable SEO audit — with no strings attached.

Get started today!

Need an evening/weekend call? Email me and I'll see what I can do to help. Meanwhile, please follow me on Facebook for daily tips.

If you no longer need help, please let me know so I can focus on helping those who do.

What is SEO and why is it important for my website?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of improving your website’s visibility on search engine result pages. It is crucial for boosting organic traffic, increasing brand awareness, and attracting potential customers to your site.

What's the value of SEO?

Sales don’t just happen. First, you need marketing to create sales opportunities — starting with getting visitors to your website. Most paid ads cost over £1 per visit they generate — often far more. That ongoing Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) reduces your profit margins because paid ads stop delivering when you stop paying.

So each free visitor you get from search engines is worth at least £1 in ad savings. In fact, they’re worth even more, as they’re actively searching for what you offer, and are far more likely to become customers. The benefits of SEO also accumulate over time, slowly reducing CAC and increasing your profit margins.

What is basic SEO?

SEO is an ongoing task that requires analysing site stats trends and link building with other sites (“off-page” SEO) to be effective. Some of it relies on coding and configuration (“technical” SEO). Most of the rest depends on your content (“on-page” SEO) and a few “meta” data fields that most site visitors don’t see — but search engines do.

Some of those meta fields can be given initial values during a site build, e.g. “alt text” for images, and page “meta” descriptions. In DIY systems, “basic SEO” just means they’ll let you do that. On sites you can’t edit, it usually means your web designer will do that for you. Either way, when the site is live and trends start developing in your stats, those initial values may need to be changed.

That “basic SEO” helps, but doesn’t guarantee you good search positioning. It just gives you some starting blocks for the SEO race. Running the race well takes a lot more ongoing work. That’s what my small business SEO packages are for.

Why should I trust what you say about SEO?

Because I’ve specialised in building search-optimised small business websites since 2005 — and was actually building sites in 1996, before Google was born. Having watched SEO evolve from its infancy, I see a lot of bad and outdated advice being peddled by hustlers masquerading as SEO specialists to make a quick sale. They don’t host their clients’ sites, so they often just disappear if things don’t work out.

As an SEO-focused web designer who does host sites, I have to care about my clients’ businesses. In fairness, so do the best SEO specialists — but they rarely charge microbusiness-friendly rates. So I provide cost-effective SEO services largely to help the small firms I work with avoid the hustlers.

Still, if you’re uneasy about trusting what I say, trust my seo testimonials.

Can SEO help my local business? What is "Local SEO"?

Absolutely! Local SEO focuses on optimizing your website for location-specific searches (like “SEO Cardiff” or “web design Newport”). Such searches are so important to local businesses and their customers, that search engines even modify the results based on the searcher’s location as well as that of the business.
 
Local SEO largely depends on the same things as general (national or international) SEO. However, it adds strategies that specifically boost your visibility in local search results. These include optimizing your Google My Business profile, targeting location-specific keywords, obtaining positive online reviews and adding specific structured data to your site. Implementing these helps to attract more customers to your brick-and-mortar business.
 
Check out my post on how to master Local SEO for more details.

If I search for my business name, it's already on page one - do I still need SEO?

Almost certainly. The only people who’ll search for the name of your business are those who already know you. It’s easy to rank well for your own business name, because that’s quite unique. What happens when you search for the main things you sell? Unless you’re getting page one rankings for those, SEO should be a priority.

Do I need to hire an SEO professional or can I do it myself?

While it is possible to implement some SEO practices on your own, investing in small business SEO packages can provide you with expertise, experience, and a comprehensive strategy to achieve better results. Experienced search engine optimisation professionals can save you time, help you avoid common pitfalls, and deliver long-term success.

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

The biggest SEO mistake is ignoring it. Still, it’s easy to get SEO wrong. Impatience and underinvestment are two of the most common SEO mistakes. SEO isn’t a quick fix and involves too much skilled work, done consistently over time, to be cheap. Still, it does tend to be cost-effective over time, as it builds lasting credibility and reaches people who are actively searching for your services.

Poor keyword research is another common SEO mistake. Many small firms waste money on targeting terms for which the competition is far too strong, or that aren’t as popular or effective as they assume. Effective keyword research involves analysing stats, not guesswork.

Other common SEO mistakes include building worthless backlinks (quality beats quantity because it takes more work), accidentally using “black hat” techniques that search engines penalise, and relying on cheap, low-performance hosting.

Basically, anything that is cheap or easy is unlikely to help you. SEO is a competition for site visitors — you can’t expect to win it by doing less than your competitors.

Are there any SEO techniques that should be avoided?

Yes, there are certain SEO techniques known as “black hat” practices that should be avoided as they violate search engine guidelines. These techniques include keyword stuffing, hidden text, cloaking, buying links, and more. Engaging in such practices can lead to penalties and harm your website’s reputation.

How do search engines determine the ranking of websites?

Search engines use complex algorithms to determine the ranking of websites. These algorithms consider various factors such as relevance, website quality, user experience, backlinks, hosting and code quality, and more. Understanding these algorithms and optimising your website accordingly is crucial for improving your search engine rankings.

How long does it take to see results from SEO efforts?

The timeline for seeing results from search engine optimisation can vary depending on various factors such as the competitiveness of your industry and the current state of your website. Generally, it takes several months to a year of consistent optimisation before significant improvements in search engine rankings can be observed.

What are the key elements of a successful SEO strategy?

A successful search engine optimisation strategy consists of several key elements including keyword research, on-page optimisation, technical optimisation, link building, and content creation. These elements work together to improve your website’s visibility and drive organic traffic.

Can any site achieve the same levels of search optimisation?

Sadly, no. Almost every site can be improved, but some aspects of SEO depend on the details of how your site is built. Many sites are just not built well, and those built on DIY site-building platforms don’t give us enough access to fix that.

Notably, site speed is critical, and that largely depends on your site’s hardware and server configuration. Again, the standard setups most sites rely on are far from ideal. That’s why the sites I build and host use special hardware and server software configured to optimise these aspects within small business budget constraints.

That gives you a choice. We can either do the best we can with what you’ve got, or we can rebuild and do better.

How often should I update my website’s content for SEO purposes?

Regularly updating your website’s content helps to boost its search positioning. Creating fresh, informative, and engaging content can attract more visitors, encourage sharing and linking, and improve your website’s authority in the eyes of search engines.
 
Quality counts far more than quantity. So aim to publish new content as often as you can think of something to say that’s genuinely useful for your target market. Still, content can look dated after just a few months, so review this at least every quarter, or every month if possible.

Can social media impact my SEO efforts?

Although social media signals do not have a direct impact on search engine rankings, they can help to increase brand awareness, generate traffic, and gain high-quality backlinks, which can positively impact your website’s visibility and organic rankings.

How can I measure the success of my SEO efforts?

Measuring the success of your search engine optimisation efforts involves tracking various metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, bounce rates, and more. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console provide valuable insights on your website’s performance, allowing you to make data-driven decisions and continually improve your strategy.

I'm a sole trader or small business on a tight budget - can I get cheap SEO?

Yes and no. Most firms are in the same position, with little or no marketing budget. So my SEO packages and my Budget SEO package are specifically designed to help small firms cost-effectively and sustainably.

Still, SEO is an accelerator pedal in the race for sales, not a quick fix. How soon you catch up with — and overtake — your competitors will depend on how much and how consistently you press that pedal. You won’t get far by tapping it timidly or quitting too soon, so plan your investment (effort and budget) accordingly. Patience and perseverance are virtues that pay dividends.

If you’re self-funded though, remember that marketing (including SEO) is a tax-deductible business investment, not just a hit to your savings. Factor it into your pricing and focus on long-term ROI. It should more than pay for itself, and the tax reductions can mitigate the short-term cost.

How much does professional SEO cost?

SEO works through consistent investment in the quality of your website, so many professionals target medium-sized firms and above, requiring a budget of £500 per month or more. However, smaller firms can often benefit from special, more cost-effective strategies. That’s why my small business SEO packages start at just £195/month.

Boost Your Search Positioning with Netcentrics.co.uk

Optimising a small business website’s search engine performance can seriously boost your profits — but can take a lot of work. SEO is not a quick-fix — it’s a competition that evolves. Yes, there’s stuff you can do yourself, if you’re keen — and I encourage that. Still, other parts are more complex, requiring specialised tools and skills. You’ll need to do it consistently, with an informed, personalised strategy — and just just doing the easy bits won’t get you far. So if you’re serious about enhancing your online presence to drive organic traffic to your website, don’t delay. Book your free SEO consultation today!

5.0 from 30 reviews
Ratings and reviews
  • 5.0 from 30 reviews
  • 08-03-2024

    Alison Rider-Hill

    Pete has been patience personified, helping me to navigate a website I inherited for an event I am responsible for. But for him I would probably have broken the back end repeatedly.

  • 14-12-2023

    Ivan Caric

    Pete has been incredibly helpful and supportive, above and beyond what was required. We're a tiny business, and from helping with the initial web design to SEO advice and inevitable tweaks and changes as the business develops, Pete has been patient and full of sage advice. We cannot recommend him more highly!

  • 24-05-2023

    Dave M.

    Thanks, Pete! Since you updated my site, business has gone crazy – I now have more work than I know what to do with!

  • 04-04-2023

    Mark R

    I use Netcentrics for all my business needs. Always a professional, super-prompt and to date flawless service. Excellent.

  • 02-03-2023

    Ceri E

    A fantastic service! We are a small business just starting out with a new venture. Pete at Netcentrics has gone above and beyond to provide us with not only a fantastic website, but also invaluable business and marketing advice. The whole process has been incredibly positive and beyond what we expected compared to previous experiences. He is incredibly knowledgeable and supportive. His support did not stop at the end of the website build, he has continued to make himself available ensuring that we know how to maximise use of the website for our start up. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Pete to anyone.

  • 18-11-2022

    Janet L

    Thanks, Pete — your advice is like gold dust!

  • 21-08-2022

    Barbara H

    Oh my goodness, thank you so much! In over 20 years of online retailing this is the best and most comprehensive bit of help I've ever had relating to the dreaded SEO. I really appreciate it - many thanks again

  • 07-11-2021

    Sam G.

    You’re amazing — highly recommended!

  • 16-06-2021

    Abid Hussain

    Amazing service. Professional and outstanding company to deal with. Pete has great understanding with online requirements and core issue's. Spent hours on the telephone explaining and working on the website to bring it up-to-date. Noting but gratitude and respect to Netcentric. Highly recommend to any one through my experience they have gone above and beyond.

  • 15-05-2021

    SakineO-1

    Pete is the most professional and knowledgeable web developer I have experienced since 2016 as I have had many since. You won’t regret. I highly recommend him.

  • 05-10-2020

    Paul Mercer

  • 26-08-2020

    Susan Baynham-Evans

    Peter expertise is exactly what I needed . When I have ideas Pete makes them work. I could not run my website without him

  • 09-07-2020

    Emma Cunliffe

    Can't recommend him highly enough. He was extremely professional, laid out exactly what we needed to do and his role within that, setting expectations all round very clearly, and working within our budgetary constraints to set clear boundaries. He was extremely prompt and punctual in his responses and work. He was also extremely patient with his recommendations and explanations, which were clear and simple to follow. Excellent value for us as a charity. We're very grateful to him - he was a real pleasure to work with.

  • 05-06-2020

    Graham Smith

    knowledgeable and professional service designing and building a website for a local SME business.

  • 05-06-2020

    Keary Birch

    Very helpful staff who really understood the problem and dealt with it.

  • 05-06-2020

    Ali van Dam

    First rate! Knowledgeable, professional and creative. I would absolutely use Netcentrics again for future projects.

  • 05-06-2020

    Barbara Harris

    Amazing, professional service and speedy communications. Very impressed and highly recommended.

  • 05-06-2020

    JWComp Sol

    Netcentrics designed, implemented and have maintained our company website for many years.If you want a secure and reliable website I strongly recommend Netcentrics.

  • 21-12-2019

    Alison van Dam

    I can’t say enough good things about Netcentrics.co.uk - thorough, knowledgeable, dedicated and innovative. Highly recommended.

  • 05-12-2019

    Helen Rich

    Very pleased with my new e-commerce site from Netcentrics. Very professional, knowledgeable, and highly recommended.

  • 05-06-2019

    Mark Davies

    I have been using Netcentrics' SEO service and they have impressively managed to get over 250 of my keywords onto the first page of the search results. A very friendly and thoroughly professional service. Highly recommended.

  • 05-06-2018

    andrew cocchiara

    Many thank's Pete for all your advice and expertise over the years. A first class professional service and excellent value for money.

  • 15-03-2018

    Tim D

    Just saw that my site is now in 2nd place on the first page of Google. I’m not sure what you have done, nor do I understand it, but it worked! Many thanks!

  • 24-02-2018

    Paul G

    It is a pleasure dealing with a professional with a high degree of technical skill allied to a ‘can do’ positive attitude. Your ability to explain technical concepts in layman’s language is also a great advantage. I would have no hesitation in recommending your services.

  • 03-01-2018

    Lisa

    Excellent and professional work from beginning to end. Pete was open to ideas and able to make suggestions on how to develop my site.

  • 05-06-2017

    Ian A

    Fast, friendly, efficient service that exceeded the spec and made a complicated job hassle free for me. Five stars, would highly recommend and would happily employ again for all things web and internet based.

  • 05-06-2017

    Mo Rich

    A flourishing web designer, who is thorough and meticulous in everything he does. Will create a great looking unique and professional website particular to your needs.

  • 14-09-2016

    Ian A

    Pete is one of the most creative, reliable, competent and ingenious people it has ever been my very great pleasure to work with. There is no problem he can’t find an ingenious and unexpected way out of, and he has a work ethic you could bend horseshoes around. I cannot recommend him highly enough for his breadth and depth of knowledge and his total commitment to whichever project he is currently undertaking.

  • 31-05-2015

    Jayne H

    DogLost is the UK’s largest community of pet owners and rescuers. Other developers have struggled to meet our needs, but since Peter rebuilt our site and support systems we have gone from strength to strength, winning major awards including the 2013 Innovation Award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. We couldn’t have done that without him.

  • 19-11-2013

    Codyspetdeli

    Cody's Pet Deli is an online business that sells pet food & accessories. Approaching Pete to set up a new website was the best move I have made. We wanted a system that was easy to navigate and look good when customers shop online.Pete made the whole process simple and dealing with him was a great pleasure. He can't do enough to help and solve any problem that may arise. I would highly recommend Pete for his experience and knowledge and total dedication to see the project through to final conclusion.Steve H.