There are lots of SEO agencies in Manchester – We’re the best
We are specialists at executing effective Manchester SEO campaigns for local businesses. Read on and find out how we can help you.
You typed “Manchester SEO” into Google, and you ended up clicking on our page.
Want to know why?
Because we’re great at what we do.
Turn your website into a real asset that wins you clients with the help of the most effective SEO agency in Manchester. Whether you’re a small local business or a large company looking to gain some traction in Manchester, we can get you ranking #1 in Google for the search terms that really make a difference to your revenue.
We are Heavygate Marketing, a Manchester SEO and digital marketing agency. We are based in Manchester; we know this city inside-out. Manchester is our home. We help clients from across the country with SEO. However, our real strength is in local SEO, and we are most effective when working with Manchester-based businesses.
Through intelligent, test-driven SEO, we can completely change your business for the better.
Our services include:
- One-off SEO audits and strategy documents
- Full-scale SEO campaigns
- Content creation/on-page optimization
- Link building
- Website acquisition
- Analytics and reporting
Get in touch with us today and find out how our SEO for Manchester businesses packages can help you -> contact us.
How important is local SEO in Manchester?
If you’re a cosmetic dentist, injury solicitor, or plumber in Manchester, you might not think SEO is really that important for you.
So just how important is SEO for a local business?
A quick look at the numbers will show you that SEO is extremely important for local businesses in Manchester.
For starters, PPC isn’t enough. Nor is it particularly cost-effective. Over 70% of search engine users skip right past paid ads and click on an organic search result instead. You probably do it all the time.
Then there’s the fact that, for local business, clicks mean customers Almost 75% of people who do a local business search and click on a result end up visiting a business within 5 miles in 72 hours or less.
Local SEO can be an extremely powerful tool. Say, for example, you’re a dentist in Manchester. To really see a spike in customers, you want to break into the 3 search results suggested in Google maps on mobile. The vast majority of people looking for a dentist in Manchester on Google will visit one of those three businesses. If you can use an SEO service like ours to move from the second page to those 3 suggested results, you’ll get more phone calls.
This goes for any business looking to sell its services in Manchester: solicitors, opticians, mortgage brokers, plumbers – any trade or profession where people usually use “near me” searches and click on a Google maps prompt box.
Even when a map isn’t prominent in the results, most local businesses rely entirely on being in the top 3 search results.
Conservative estimates suggest that 30-40% of all organic clicks go to the first result on Google’s results page. The top 3 results combined take about 50% of all clicks.
The share of clicks then falls off dramatically. By the time you reach the second page, you’re down to just 5-10% of all clicks.
On local business searches – like “SEO Manchester“, “solicitors Manchester“, “dentists near me” – the percentage of clicks taken up by the top 3 results is even greater.
For local business, getting into the top 3 search results is the difference between thriving and dying.
Of all the Manchester SEO agencies, we think we’re the best at getting results for small businesses with limited budgets.
Our SEO approach – TEST EVERYTHING
We know that search engine optimization isn’t ‘doing the meta tags’ or ‘putting the keyword in the title’. That’s how some Manchester SEO agencies treat it, but this mindset is completely wrong.
SEO is a lot more complicated than that.
Done correctly, it can be a lot more effective than most people realize.
Instead of doing the same old off-the-rack stuff for every client, we take a more data-driven, scientific approach to SEO campaigns.
Google’s algorithm is an algorithm; it is not a human, so it doesn’t read web pages like a human. Instead, it likes numbers. Figure out the numbers it wants to see, and you can rank for any keyword you want.
We maintain a suite of test sites at all times. These sites all use different tactics to rank for select keywords. Some use a combination of different methods. Others are all-in on a single strategy.
Together, these sites give us real-time data on the importance of different ranking factors. They also act as a weather vane during Google algorithm updates. If a certain site drops but another rises, we can see how Google has changed the algorithm as it happens.
So what does this mean for Manchester’s businesses?
It means you don’t have to take our word for it when we tell you what will make your website rank.
We can show you what works.
We can explain why it works, and then help you take advantage of it.
Our SEO campaigns
Want to know a little bit about how we operate before we get started? That’s fine!
We take a slightly different approach to most of the larger SEO agencies in Manchester.
In fact, we’re probably the only Manchester SEO agency willing to guarantee you improvements in search engine rankings for your selected keywords.
We can promise you results because we only employ testable, proven tactics to increase your website rankings and traffic.
Here is what a typical SEO campaign looks like for a Manchester local business:
1. Initial meeting
This is where we’ll talk to you about your business. You’ll need to tell us what it is that you’re looking to achieve, how you see your business growing, and any insights you can give us with regards to current traffic levels, conversion rates, top pages, etc. From this meeting, we’ll form a rough battle plan and then get to work drawing up a proposal.
2. Site audit
Next, we do a complete audit of your website. This usually entails a look at speed, load times, usability, crawl stats, and more. In our experience, most local business websites can be massively improved when it comes to speed and performance.
We’ll also take a look at your site architecture, your sales funnel, URL structure, and your page structure. Again, there are always general improvements that can be made here; changes which apply to any local business.
Our SEO campaigns start in earnest when we begin keyword research and competitor analysis.
We utilize a range of tools to learn about your current rankings, your competitors’ top ranking pages, and which keywords we think you should be targeting. During this stage, we’ll also look at your backlink profile and those of your competitors. At a minimum, we aim for link parity – by the end of one of our SEO campaigns, we try to leave you with a backlink profile at least as good as your competition.
During keyword research, we usually we are able to identify a number of your pages already ranking for some keywords, but which could be earning you a lot more traffic.
We can almost always find a few high volume, high value keywords which are being ignored by both you and your competitors.
Once we’ve done our keyword research and competitor analysis, we put it all into a single, easy-to-read report and send it across to you. This report contains both our findings and our strategy for increasing your traffic. We then arrange for a follow-up phone call to answer any questions, talk about keyword choices, and explain our ranking strategy in full.
4. Content creation/on-page optimization
Once we have a set of keywords to target agreed upon, we start the pages which will rank for those search terms. Our content writers all know what they’re doing when it comes to on-page SEO. Their method is pretty simple – look at the page currently ranking #1, and then make a page that is slightly better in every ranking factor.
On-page ranking factors include:
- Keyword density
- Keyword use in title tags
- LSI keyword variations – “local SEO in Manchester”
- Keyword in bold tag – e.g. “SEO Manchester”
- Keyword in italic tag – e.g. “Manchester SEO services”
- Use of lists – e.g. this one
5. Link building
This is the part of an SEO campaign where we really come into our own. It’s also the most fun, and typically link building is where most of the gains can be made by local businesses.
We always aim to construct a healthy balanced backlink profile that will keep you in good stead for years to come.
Our methods vary a lot depending on your needs, your business, the level of competition, and your budget. However, for pretty much every Manchester-based business, our link building approaches all share some common elements:
- Directory submission
- Guest posting
- Web 2.0 property creation
- Profile creation
- Link outreach/PR
For some businesses – plumbers, solicitors, mortgage brokers – this is all that is needed to see significant increases in rankings.
In more competitive markets, we may need to employ more advanced link building techniques, which include:
- 301 redirects
- PBN construction
- Sponsored links
We will discuss which link building strategies needed, and which ones you’re comfortable with, during our initial conversations.
6. Analytics & reporting
Analytics and consistent site monitoring is crucial if you want to keep hold of your new rankings (and if you want to use them effectively).
That’s why we take analytics seriously.
We provide in-depth analysis and reporting throughout the duration of an SEO campaign. That is true whether you are a Manchester dentist or an international corporation; everybody gets the same level of analysis and reporting.
Once a campaign is over, you can hire us to keep tabs on your site’s traffic, performance, and SEO standing 24/7. If your business relies on getting constant website referrals, or people being able to find you in Google maps, then this might be the best option for you!
SEO Courses Manchester
We also offer tailor-made SEO courses for your business, in-house marketing team, or marketing agency. If your company is based in Manchester, SEO courses are given face-to-face by our MD. If you are based outside Manchester, get in touch to find out how we can help.
Our SEO courses cover every aspect of search engine optimization in great detail.
Whether you’re a complete beginner looking to learn the basics of local SEO for your business, or a high-end marketing agency looking to learn more about a specific aspect of black-hat SEO, our courses can help.
We can custom-design the courses for your needs. Just get in touch and tell us exactly what you want to learn; do you need a crash course in local business listings, or do you want to see our test results for a specific technical ranking factor?
Our courses are delivered in person by our MD. Businesses in Manchester, Salford, Liverpool and Leeds can be accommodated very easily. For businesses outside this area, please get in touch well in advance.
See our page on Manchester SEO courses for more details.
How We Price Our SEO Services
Manchester SEO is competitive. But thanks to us, you can start ranking for high value, local search terms without having to shell out ridiculous sums to an agency.
Instead of charging you a monthly retainer to drag out work, we put together a focused, targeted plan, and then tell you how long it will take us to carry it out.
In other words, we figure out what you want, and you pay us to get it done.
We charge for results, not time spent twiddling our thumbs.
As such, we can’t really give you a standard price; everything comes down your goals, your expectations, and your competition. For example, ranking for a keyword like “Manchester SEO” would cost more and take a little longer than ranking for “Manchester white hat SEO prices”.
Send us an email today telling us you’re interested in Manchester SEO services, and we’ll get straight back to you. Or, fill in the form below.
Manchester SEO Jobs
We are never actively hiring. Sorry but that’s just not how we do things.
Most Manchester SEO agencies throw bodies at accounts. This just eats up client money and drags down the quality of the service. More money and worse results – never a good mix.
We’re a different kind of Manchester SEO agency.
As such, we hire differently.
We don’t care how much experience you have; if you’ve been wasting client money at an agency for 15 years, it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily good at SEO. It just means you’ve kept your job for that long, which is no big accomplishment.
Instead, we want to see what you can do. Show us sites you’ve built and ranked for competitive keywords. Show us your affiliate earnings or YouTube subscribers. Tell us what you learned from your own SEO experiments.
If you want to work at the best Manchester SEO agency, you’ve got to earn it!
What is SEO and how does it work?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. In simple terms SEO is when you make your page as appealing as possible to search engines like Google and Bing. While these search engines have never released their ranking criteria, we can work out certain ranking factors by looking at the search results. Then we can make sure our pages meet those criteria to improve rankings.
How long does it take for SEO to work?
It is impossible to give a general answer to this question. How long it takes for SEO to work depends entirely on your industry, how competitive your target keywords are, and the amount of time, money and effort you’re willing to put into your SEO. However, as a general rule of thumb you should expect to see some positive movement in rankings within 2 months of starting a serious SEO campaign.
Depending on the SEO tactics you employ, and the timing of Google updates, you might see changes much more quickly.
How important is user experience for SEO?
Most people assume that Google’s algorithm is almost human in intelligence. That’s certainly the impression Google is trying to create. In reality their algorithm is an algorithm like any other. It is a machine that can’t read web pages the way you do. The mantra of “just keep making great content” doesn’t play out in reality; the pages that rank highest in Google are those that tick the algorothm’s boxes, not those that have the most eloquent English or compelling narrative. Algorithms like maths, not self-serving prose.
How does link building help SEO?
Backlinks remain the most important ranking factor today. Search engines like Google and Bing treat links from other websites as votes of confidence in your site. If you increase the number of high quality, relevant links pointing to your site, you will almost always see an improvement in rankings.
However, link building can be ruinous to a website if done incorrectly. A good SEO link building campaign will take anchor text, referring domain rank, relevance and target page into consideration. We advise trying to only build links that you control as this allows you to fix any penalties or problems that occur down the line.
Is HTTPS better for SEO?
Yes. It is absolutely vital that you have your site on a secure server if you want it to remain on Google’s first page for any length of time. A HTTPS certificate tells your visitors (and Google) that the communication channel between them and your site is secure.
Not having a HTTPS certificate is a cardinal sin of SEO these days. HTTPS is easy to implement as most hosts provide free SSL certificates. It is easy to implement and is set up almost instantly once the certificate has been obtained. If your site is HTTPS secured, then you need to fix that right away.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page optimization is the process of making sure your pages show Google’s algorithm exactly what it is looking for. In other words, on-page SEO is when you tailor your pages to rank higher for specific search terms. It is the opposite of off-page SEO, which focuses on backlinks, site speed, anchor text, and so on.
Some examples of on-page ranking factors are keyword density, use of the keyword in title tags, use of keyword variations, and content length.
What are some best-practices for on-page SEO?
People will tell you that on-page SEO is all about adding ‘value’ to your site; to just keep making ‘great content’ and Google will reward you. This is wrong. There are plenty of sites out there making extremely interesting, engaging, useful content, but you’ll never see these pages because they don’t rank on Google. So what does rank on Google? We could write several books on this topic, but for now here is a very brief look at some on-page SEO best practices:
- Keyword usage: Make sure your target keyword is used plenty of times and that it’s littered throughout the text. If it is unnatural to use your keyword too many times, use variations, fragments, and LSI keywords
- Use of title tags: Ensure that your heading tags are relevant. If you need to need to draw attention to a piece of text and it isn’t keyword relevant, then just increase its size. Your title tags tell the Google bot what the article is about, so don’t confuse it!
- Use of images: Images turn out to be quite a serious ranking factor. All search engines show a heavy preference to pages with images. Make sure you use relevant images that are large enough to look good but small enough to load quickly. If your competitor’s page uses 4 images, you use 5. Give them relevant – but not spammy – alt tags
Get these things right yourself and you will get a lot more out of a Manchester SEO agency!
Is image optimization important for SEO?
One of the first SEO practices people hear about is using image alt tags and descriptions. We have conducted dozens of tests on this, and it’s clear that image alt tags are at best a very minor ranking factor. Much more important is image relevance (according to how Google sees it), load speed, and number of images on page.
Is SEO more powerful than social media for sales?
Whether or not you should focus on SEO or social media depends entirely on your business. If you’re a new bar or restaurant in Manchester, then you should probably put most of your effort into social media marketing. But if you’re a Manchester dentist, solicitor, mortgage broker, or plumber (services people are likely to Google and want more information about), then SEO is definitely more important than social media.
How should you write meta-descriptions for SEO?
Meta descriptions tell search engine users what your page is about. Google tells you to write meta descriptions that people will find useful and informative. But Google says a lot of things. In reality, you should write meta-descriptions which help your page rank higher in the SERPs. From an SEO perspective, meta-descriptions should contain one use of your keyword, one variation, and some relevant question words. It should not be too long, but long enough to show as two lines of text int he SERPs.
What’s the quickest way to grow website traffic?
That’s easy – hire the best SEO agency in Manchester! That’s us, by the way. For those of you who want to start trying SEO for yourself though, there are a few things that every business in Manchester can do to make a difference today. First of all, make sure you have created a Google My Business listing and submitted your site to any relevant directories. This is step 1 for a Manchester SEO campaign. Then make sure the page you’re trying to rank – usually a landing page – is optimized and set up to generate sales. After that, start building links to your page. These three things will typically increase traffic for any local business (but not to the same extent that we can).