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To rank high on google, you need to cover three key areas:
The technical side of the website needs to be perfect and clean so it is easy for google to crawl through the the site and work out what to rank your website for (ie chiropractor in London’. This includes a clean page structure, the right signals being sent to google (I do this in a variety of ways, from signals I send from the website to actually submitting reach web page to google).
But most importantly, a very fast website is essential for an SEO campaign. Google has only ever officially released information on a few ranking factors, and one of the top ones they say is vital is a fast loading site. Sites should load in under 2 seconds. And, should score well on their page speed test tool here: https://pagespeed.web.dev/
Squarespace is a brilliant platform to set up simple effective sites for clients. But in being simple, it has its limitations with flexibility when it comes to things like SEO. And inherently their site speed scores are not great. I have never managed to get a site loading in under 7 seconds (and they need to load in under 2 for a good SEO campaign).
So, Squarespace is great. But for an SEO campaign, another platform is much better. WordPress. Squarespace is an all in one platform, you don’t need to add anything to it to make it work. Where as WordPress is a blank canvas, you can literally create anything on a WordPress site, it gives us ultimate flexibility. Including incredibly SEO options.
For a WordPress site to work, it needs me to choose and connect up the following elements (all of this is included within Squarespace on the other hand, meaning I cant hand select each element)
To use an analogy and help the concept – let’s compare a website to a making sandwich:
Hosting – this is where your website files are saved and ‘kept fresh’.
This is what WordPress is. It is the platform your website (or sandwich) is built on on.
Theme – this is the design structure of the website. The thing that holds it all together
Plugins. These are the features of the site. From contact forms, to image banners to videos to your SEO optimisation. Every feature on your site is created from a plugin. There are millions of plugins to choose. This is the beauty of the WordPress flexibility. I have that choice to select the best plugins for what I need the site to do. Letting me create literally any type of site. I could create an Air BNB site or a netflix site. Anything is possible on wordpress.
To compare WordPress to Squarespace using this analogy. Squarespace is a plain cheese sandwich. It does the job, but it can never become more than a cheese sandwich. I cant choose where to host the site, I cant choose another theme, and I cant choose any new plugins.
So, I have built a very specific combination of hosting, theme and plugins to create very SEO optimised, lightning fast websites. The reason I moved was that I just didn’t have the flexibility I needed to optimise sites for SEO in the new package. I have just launched my site on this new setup, and here is a link to my cousin’s site launched last month on this same setup:
Here is my sites load speed on my old Squarespace site
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And here is my website speed on my new site (on the same setup you will have). It is night and day how much of a difference I have managed to create on these new sites. You couldn’t build a more powerful website than this, they are truly amazing.
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To summarise – for a website running an SEO campaign, it has to be on wordpress.
The second ranking factor is content. Each page must have 1 clear SEO intent. And, using the WordPress SEO plugin and page builder, I optimise each page for each search phrase.
To support these pages, we need blog posts around related topics. Back pain, sciatica etc. There will be a little bit of search for these terms locally too, but not enough to focus on them. They have ‘informational intent’ – in that people are looking for information about those topics. As opposed to ‘London chiropractor’, this term has transactional intent – the person wants to find and pay for a chiropractor. But, having these blog posts around chiropractic related topics just further help let google know that you are an expert in your field, and helps the overall weight of the website.
After optimising technical and content, the next thing is to tell google to find the pages and rank the pages. This is done by other sites linking to your site. These links basically give google a path to discover your site, the more paths = the more times google finds your site, the stronger your site gets and the higher your ranking goes. As well as letting google know that you are an authority in your field.
This leads on to something called ‘Website Authority’. A site with a lot of backlinks from high quality sites has a high website authority, scored out of 100. My site for example has about 30 backlinks, and has a website authority of 28/100. A site with no backlinks would have an authority of 0/100. A big authority site in the health space like the NHS has a site authority of 92/100 (not many sites are offer 80).
The amazing thing about SEO is that, when you have a high site authority, it is very easy to go into other markets. For example, as you grow the site authority, then, it will be much easier for us to go into other markets. For my site, I can compete on any term globally because I have a reasonably high website authority.
So, how do you get backlinks… It isn’t easy to get a site with authority to link to you. Which is why it is used by google as a ranking factor. It is very hard to ‘fake’ a site giving you the ‘thumbs up’ by linking to your sites content.
Link building will be the bulk of my monthly time (along with continuing to further optimise the content and technical). I will be finding good relevant websites locally, nationally and globally in the healthcare space. Reaching out to them and offering to write them a guest blog post around a topic I choose that connects with their audience, and paying for the opportunity. Within the article, I ask to put a link to the clients site. This is where the link budget comes in. I pay a writer around £100 for the blog, and the website owner around £100-150 for the link. I will be delivering 2-3 links a month during the campaign. (either 2 at website authority over 60/100 or three at website authority over 30/100, it is important to have a mix or authority levels)
A bad link is a link with a low domain authority, very low site traffic, and conducting dodgy activities. These are things like linking out to questionable businesses like gambling sites etc. Google doesn’t like this, and if they then link to your site, it brings that bad signal through to your site. I heavily vet a websites link profile before putting links on a site. Worst case – google could pull your site off google.
Often people above you ranked because the competition was simply doing worse. The weight of his site is likely due to a lot of blogs and that his domain has been live for over 5 years. The time and content he has on the site, along with a few low quality links, has helped him to build a website authority score of 15/100.
Not amazing, not better than number 1 (he is ranked number 2), but better than his other 5 competitors. His closest competitor in position 3 has an authority of 1.8/100. So, he ranks because no one else has done any SEO work (good or bad).
This leaves him near the top in position 2, but not in a strong position. I could build a dentist website tomorrow and out rank him in about 3-6 months of SEO work. The aim with my SEO work is to rank you at the top and make your site very strong so it stays at the top for the longer term.
So, that is SEO
Common question: can I use google ads? – google ads statistically get 10% of clicks, organic gets 90% of clicks. People don’t trust ads. When you turn them off, your results stop. With SEO – it cant be turned off. You rank for the long term and get results for years to come.
As we discussed, I can do this as a special one off at £1,000 a month over 9 months. I can guarantee results as I will be measuring people searching for a chiropractor in the area and booking appointments using google analytics tracking. So I can show you measurable results (ie, organic SEO brought in X amount of new clients in the last month). If I don’t within 9 months, I will keep working for free until I do (however, this won’t happen, I will be getting you results within the first 3 months of work). SEO isn’t an overnight fix, and it will take 2-3 months to see the first results and increase in patients booking in.
After the campaign is done, the website needs maintaining. THis is where WordPress differs to Squarespace. Because of all the elements that make it up (hosting, theme and plugins) – it can break. So I need to go in every 2 weeks and make updates, maintain everything and ensure everything is working. Most people do this monthly, I like the peace of mind and go in fortnightly. Squarespace being an all in one platform is unbreakable, so doesn’t need this.
In terms of what one of these sites would cost you per year in terms of features: