While I’m available for wider consultancy on some projects, in the main I only offer one service these days… and that is to teach your staff everything they need to know about search engines so they can make better use of their own assets, skills and instincts while acting together in coordination towards agreed long term goals.
This is achieved through the use of a combination seminar and workshop.
What it is
Typically, this is configured as a one-day event, where I come into your office (or a suitable nearby venue) and begin by teaching your staff the basics of SEO from the ground up, using PowerPoint, props and live examples.
This seminar is specifically designed to educate and engage people with a wide range of SEO knowledge/experience, and the aim is to bring everybody to an equal level of understanding within the space of an hour or two, without boring them or drowning them in technical data.
Once the seminar component has been delivered, typically, we break for lunch before proceeding with the workshop.
During the workshop, we look at your existing website and openly discuss your long term goals (or improve/determine them if needs be) before using our collective knowledge to arrive at an online marketing strategy. Often, there’s enough talent at the table and time in the afternoon to rough out an entire keyword strategy (for example) and map out the primary tasks/goals required to move forward with this plan, as most decisions can be discussed, checked and approved in an instant by the people with the requisite skills and/or relevant authority.
Because the relevant staff members are all present (and all on the same page), plans/results come together very quickly during the workshop. It is, in short, the best value SEO consultation and most productive marketing meeting you are ever likely to experience.
How it can work
This is where it all began:
In 2001, I conducted a meeting with Foxtons that brought together their marketing department, IT department sales and accounting staff and brought everybody up to speed on search engines, how they really worked, and what was preventing the site from taking full advantage of organic search results . It wasn’t until after that meeting that Foxtons had the understanding and will required to do away with frames on its site (and reorganise its content around a long term keyword strategy).
There was a moment in that meeting where everybody who had a role to play in that decision understood exactly what had to be done, and why. So, finally, after years of internal delays, within a few minutes a direction was decided on, and all relevant investment approved in principle.
Today, almost 10 years later, Foxtons are still enjoying the benefits of that meeting, and my main product is a seminar designed to replicate the moment that made all the difference.
“Tim Ireland was able to understand our needs and offer several levels of service to help our ranking in search engines. His approach has been simple and yet very effective and we are excited about working with Tim on our other sites and taking what we have started to the next stage.” – Leo Lapworth, Senior Web Developer, Foxtons
Why you might need it
Many companies make the mistake of addressing SEO (search engine optimisation) by bringing in an outsider to shower their website with code and/or negotiate ‘carefully researched’ links on their behalf. Often they will do this because they are intimidated by a combination of needless details and wholly invented bullshit. Sometimes they will even miss the point entirely and focus all of their spend on PPC/Adwords (advertising) while neglecting to invest anything in actual search engine readiness (optimisation).
Pretty much all of the above is akin to nailing a propeller to a brick and expecting it to fly.
What I have learned in over a decade of working on nothing but search engine optimisation is that relevance is the key, and it must be genuine relevance radiating from the centre of your organisation if you want to enjoy affordable, reliable, long term results.
Therefore, it is in your interests to actively generate relevant content from the inside out (rather than have it tacked on by a stranger), and it is far better to have your relationship with your customers/audience contribute to better search results as naturally/spontaneously as possible (rather than relying on some joker to go out and buy a reputation on your behalf).
You’d be surprised what a little SEO knowledge can unlock in your staff; personally I’ve observed this in everything from better information architecture from developers to better headlines from copywriters. Even if you appoint a head of SEO/marketing or hire a credible agency/consultant to oversee future development, you will get better results out of this investment, not least because (a) you will know how to smell a bullshitter, and (b) relevant supporting staff will be carving with the grain, and contributing toward your success in search engines as part of their everyday work.