November 13, 2007

SEO on zero budget

James Pennington impressed 180 people when he spoke at the Search Engine Strategies 1-day forum at A4U Expo, the affiliate marketing conference and exhibition on the 26th October. James shared how four companies from the West Midlands have spent nothing implementing basic search engine optimisation to gain new business from all over the world.

The 4 case studies were:
DAW Consulting (
Adaptawear (
Perilla (
Pizzazz (

The formula for success was the same across all four companies who followed our advice, whilst working on their websites in their own time without spending any money. The secret steps each company took were:
* Optimised page titles for every page on the website
* Created good quality content and updated content on a regular basis
* Created a link strategy

The optimisation has resulted in:
* Improved organic rankings for targeted keywords
* New business from all over the UK and abroad
* Increased traffic and ability to react to customers
* Greater presence of their company on the Internet

You can read the full article on the National B2B Centre’s website.

- 6 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Andrew Ingram

    The title tags are pretty much the only things on those sites that will be driving good search results. Here’s a brief list of what most of them are doing wrong:
    • Awful URLs, Perilla is the only one that does reasonably well with this across the whole site. Fixing URLs isn’t a cheap change though and has more of an effect on SERPs than actual rankings.
    • Bad HTML ordering, they all use tables for layout and have left-hand navigation which means the search crawlers will see the content as being lower priority
    • Presentational markup rather than CSS, not a huge issue but it dilutes the content on the page
    • Very little usage of title attributes on links, DAW gets this right in places but on the whole almost no links have titles. This is generally considered to be quite a big factor in ranking.
    • They all do a reasonable job with heading tags, but most fall down on the most important one – h1. Bizarrely even if they’re using headings correctly everywhere else they’re still not using h1 for the main content heading on each page.

    However, they title tags are generally very good and assuming what you say about the content is correct then they’re well on their way to a good ranking. But the issues I’ve highlighted aren’t just SEO concerns (which I don’t normally think matters too much) but accessibility and usability problems as well.

    13 Nov 2007, 20:22

  2. Stephen

    Hi! I publish financial information websites. Something that started as a hobby and now brings in a few extra pounds. I am no seo expert but I do optimise my sites and myself. Take a look. You will see that title tag optimisation forms a big part of my strategy. I recently ran a test on my english site to ascertain the precise impact of title tag optimisation for the term best credit cards. My site ranks at about position six in Google UK when the term is in the home page title but when the title was removed it dropped down to position 11. Sure enough once I added the tag back in the page moved back up to position 6 – and within 4 days of making the change. The change therefor had an almost immediate effect. The Spanish site does not yet rank anywhere but once it does I will run the same test there to see if the results show a possible general trend.

    17 Nov 2007, 01:16

  3. Kjell Anderton

    Title tags are very important when optimising a website but there is more to search engine optimisation than title tags. For less competitive keywords you can just use carefully written title tags to get you to the top. But for more cometitive keywords it is necessary to have an active link building strategy as well.

    19 Nov 2007, 10:40

  4. Cuentas Bancarias

    Hi. This is a very interesting thread. The comment Stephen makes is very interesting. I have looked at the way his title tags are prepared. I note that they are split by using a line rather than a comma. Does anyone know if this is in fact the best way to do it? I have copied this myself and will report back if I see a change in the ranking of my site.

    19 Nov 2007, 13:32

  5. David Willetts

    As the owner of DAW Consulting and having invested time putting the DAW Consulting website together with the help of NB2BC, I find the comments interesting.

    Originally my website was developed by a professional, the appearance was fine and as far as I am aware the site conformed to the expected technie/SEO standards of the time. The problem was I had little control over the site, few visitors and a zero rate of return on the investment..

    My move to open source has afforded me the opportunity of gaining a few new skills, the ability to easily maintain the site, and page rank and visitors that continue to increase.

    I accept that there may be areas to improve on the site, however, when several of my important key words/phrases are already in the top ten of Google worldwide searches, the benefit at this time of spending time fine tuning the site may be minimal. The world of IT keeps developing so I will not being complacent in making any changes to help the site.


    19 Nov 2007, 20:54

  6. PPC Management

    The main ingredient when looking a the page title tag is keyword research.

    07 Jan 2008, 20:58

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