SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the best way to ensure a website ranks highly in searches. It’s often a combination of keywords and links, plus making sure they’re in the right place on the site.

Local knowledge and coverage is key for many businesses and using so-called ‘local SEO’ increases the chance of a company picking up new customers in their area. A locally-based SEO expert is more likely to know the competition, market and popular search terms for their town, city or county and therefore can craft their clients’ SEO to rank highly at the times potential customers are more likely to be searching.

In Cheshire, just as everywhere else in the UK, there is a choice of great SEO agencies. As always in these situations, potential new clients are advised to obtain quotes or consultations from several experts before making a decision. Prices and services vary, even within the same field, and some companies may offer options that others do not. Some will be able to help design a new website, while others will prefer to concentrate on tweaking an existing one to improve its ranking. Experience is also a factor. If a firm has been established a while and still uses the same domain they’ve owned since the start of the company, they are likely to rank higher in any search than a newer business, simply because they have had longer to build up the almost-mythical ‘Google juice’.

Talking of that, reputation management is a popular option these days, as is link building. A one-off SEO audit could be useful to some customers, while others may be looking for ongoing SEO assistance to help build and hold an online ranking. Customers should work out what they are looking for from an SEO agency before approaching them; research is key in this area. If a specific target is requested, such as increasing sales or leads by a defined amount, then the SEO firm will be able to advise whether these targets are achievable. Ideally they should be able to show work with companies in the same field, in the local area if that is important, or similar results achieved for other clients. SEO agencies do specialise, so businesses should also research the areas their preferred partner has worked in previously. Case studies and references are always key to attracting new clients, and an SEO firm is no different.

Companies in Cheshire looking to boost their SEO have plenty of agencies to choose from. The final decision will often come down to the services offered and previous experience in the same field or geographical area. These two points are the most important things to bear in mind when choosing a preferred agency.