Author: Brett Tudor

SEO is often overlooked in the excitement of building a new website but not thinking about it during this process can be a recipe for disaster.

When designing a new website many business owners entrust all of their web presence to a single point of contact which in most cases is a website design agency. This is fine if the agency has an experienced in-house team who can take care of the SEO.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and it should never be assumed that just because the agency has an expert team of developers and designers, they can also turn their hands to search engine optimisation as well. (At least not in my experience)

SEO should be treated separately because it is a specialist area. Yet despite being probably the most important part of online lead generation it is still relegated to an optional extra that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Never more is this mistaken view of SEO more apparent than in a site migration gone wrong. Here are the most common SEO errors made when migrating or launching a new website.

  • Failing to record indexed pages

This applies very much to website migrations and is probably the biggest mistake of all. If your website has history it will have keywords ranking in either local or national search results. Many of these keywords are likely to be bringing in traffic and certain pages within a website are going to be ranking for those keywords. If those indexed pages are not recorded or redirected, then it will be very difficult to find which page urls were ranking for keywords when they are replaced with new ones.

  • No keyword ranking audit

Again, this applies to site migrations. Along with collecting all the indexed pages it makes for a much smoother transition to have records of keyword rankings before and after so you can compare performance. If traffic takes a dip when a new site is launched, then you can find and pinpoint those pages that are not performing as well as they were before in the search results.

  • Wholesale changes of website structure

Quite often during a website migration, those working on the project will refresh the entire structure of the website along with changes to all the website urls. Yes 301 redirects will be put in place if the web developer is competent but even when these redirects are put in place it will take time for Google to crawl the new urls and find its way around the new site structure and this can result in dips in traffic for months afterwards as keyword rankings are lost. While it is fine to change the structure doing both at once is not advisable in my experience.

  • Poor site planning

Business owners like to take control of their site planning but the best results happen when the site owner works with their SEO person to come up with a siteplan and navigation that closely matches their primary keyword targets. Yet all too often the process is done by guess work. There are plenty of tools out there to research traffic volume that are rarely used. Google keyword planner is a free one to start with. Failing to do research into keyword traffic volume means the site structure is built on guess work which can mean it is poorly targeted at keywords or too generic to rank for. It is far better to have those prime keyword targets featuring in the menu and navigation than keywords that sound nice but have little search traffic.

  • Not doing an SEO audit on the new website  

Just as SEO should be included at the start of a new website project, involvement doesn’t end there. An audit should be done following the launch of the new site to ensure all the 301 redirects are in place and there are no issues that may impact on SEO in the future such as high numbers of 404 error pages.

  • Failing to do a link audit

This can be linked to failing poor site restructuring and failing to redirect pages. Often a site will have large numbers of internal links to specific pages. When a new site is created, all to often these links will be lost when urls change which can also have an impact on search rankings. Auditing links internal links on large website will require specialist tools and the help of a competent SEO to find the broken links and redirect to the correct destinations.

  • Not connecting Google Analytics and Search Console

This remains an all to common mistake when people are migrating or launching websites. Some website owners will forget they already have accounts linked or their previous webmaster has done a runner with their login details. Sometimes a the new website url isn’t connected meaning valuable data is lost for months at a time. Google Analytics provides substantial data on the most popular website pages and traffic while search console will identify performance issues which can help solve a lot of the common SEO issues.

 

 

Our Top 50 SEO Ranking Factors For 2020

This year we have compiled the following list of SEO ranking factors based on our own experience optimising websites during the past 12 months and the opnions of other SEO experts from around the world. We have divided them into the five areas we consider to be the most important to focus on.

Technical SEO Ranking Factors

  1. Keyword in the meta title

According to results from all the websites we have optimised over the better part of a decade, having your keywords in the meta title is one of the most important ranking factors for a web page on Google and Bing. If you are adding keywords to the page title they should always be relevant and targeted to driving the right type of traffic to your website. This ranking factor is so powerful you should not duplicate keywords in your meta titles otherwise you will run the risk of losing rankings due to having multiple pages competing for the same targets. Also having too many keywords in the meta title can result in dilution of the relevancy of a page so it is best to keep them focused according to what’s on the page such as the product or service you are attempting to sell.

  1. Keyword position in meta title tag

Thinking carefully about how you structure your title tag is an important part of doing SEO. The position of a keyword in the title has been shown to influence how well a web page will rank for the keyword see more on this here Moz. Avoid mistakes such as having all titles start with the brand name. This only uses up the potential space you have for the main keyword targets.

  1. Length of title tag

Some keywords may not show at all if title tags are too long. Ensure title tags are set to an optimum length for all devices. Depending on screen size some keywords may not appear which can reduce click through rates. As click through rates are regarded as a ranking factor, low click through rates can result in a slide down the rankings.

  1. Meta descriptions

Most SEO experts agree that having keywords in the meta description doesn’t have the same impact as having it in the meta title. It can however improve relevancy for those searching and result in a higher click through rate if the result sticks out as the most relevant among the competition. The key thing with a meta description is to write them so people want to click for information.

  1. H1 Tags

H1 tags don’t carry the same weight as having the keyword in the meta title, but they are still a strong signal to search engines about what a page is about. If the h1 title doesn’t contain the keyword for the page this -more often than not – has a big influence on how well that page can rank even if the meta title is correctly targeted.

  1. Using h2, h3 tags and so on…

Breaking up content using variations of header tags can help Google better understand what a page is about and make it easier to read for humans.

  1. Image Alt Tags

Search engines can’t tell what a page is about from its images so it helps to add alt tags describing what the image is. This also helps improve the relevancy of the page and can help improve search engine rankings as a result.

  1. Website homepage

A website’s homepage is in the vast majority of cases the page with the most authority. It will normally attract the most internal and external links, therefore this page should be optimised for the most important keywords.

  1. SSL Certificate

Most new websites will now have SSL certificates installed and this will almost certainly be a ranking factor to take notice of for those websites still running on http: rather than the more secure https:

  1. Contact page

Having a contact page on your website containing an address plus a map if possible that is consistent with all your other businesses listings online is an important ranking factor for local businesses. Google mentions in its quality guidelines that all websites should have a reasonable level of contact information.

  1. Breadcrumbs in navigation

Breadcrumbs are not the most attractive things to include in a web page but they do help both users and search engines reach content. Google has suggested that it uses breadcrumbs for this purpose and if this makes things easier, then it is likely this will help with SEO.

  1. Loading time

The importance of page load time is well documented. Pages should load fast on all devices and if they don’t this can have a negative impact on rankings while a faster loading web page may perform much better. Google has a tool to measure mobile load speeds. This can help you identify areas of weakness or provide reassurance that your website is performing well against others in your industry.

  1. Click through rate

Google measures click through rate to assess the quality of ads and while there is no evidence it uses the same measure for organic results it is highly likely they do. The more people who click on our snippet the better it is likely to be for your search engine ranking.

  1. Videos and multimedia

Videos and multimedia are not going to result in a better ranking for a web page in the main search listings but video is increasingly being displayed for specific types of search. It can also increase dwell time on a page which can have some impact on its performance.

  1. Linking out to other sites

It can be helpful to link out to sites that have good authority in your niche. This is a bit like citing sources in a research paper and builds trust that the writer has taken the time to thoroughly research a topic. Linking out to sites with a bad reputation or no relevance to what is displayed can have the opposite effect as can an excessive number of links going out to external sites.

  1. Mobile responsiveness

Google has stated that mobile friendliness is a ranking factor on mobile searches. Sites that are only optimised for desktop are likely to lose more and more traffic overtime as more people use their mobile devices for search. For now though there is little difference in rankings and in our experience with some sites without mobile optimised pages, the mobile rankings are better than the desktop ones!

  1. Popups

Popups might be a way to attract signups but annoying popups are kryptonite to rankings due to their impacts on user experience. We have seen some websites lose rankings after adding popups to home pages.

  1. Useful tools

Things like mortgage calculators, website auditors and so on have a beneficial effect on rankings because they offer something extra to website visitors and importantly keep them on pages longer. Time on the page while not an official ranking factor can help improve search positions because it is sending a signal that people find the page engaging when they land there.

  1. Content hidden in tabs

Tabs have been increasingly used to feature more text content on a page without impacting on design. However, there are rumours Google is clamping down on content hidden behind tabs by saying this type of content “may not be indexed”. You have been warned.

  1. Internal links

The point of internal links within a site is often misunderstood. You find a lot a of site pointing all their internal links to the homepage, shying away from linking to any page within the site or simply linking internally without much thought. Internal links should highlight the important page you would like to rank for particular keywords and topics. The number of pages within a site linking to a page in this way should help the destination page rank better in the search results.

  1. Linking from high authority pages

Certain pages on your website will carry a lot more authority than others. Home pages will carry the most authority in general along with other static pages that have been ever present on a site from the beginning. Lining to newer content from these pages will help build the authority of the destination pages and in time should help it rank in the search results. Links going out from fresh blog posts internally are unlikely to pass much authority as these pages will not have had sufficient time to gain authority.

  1. Broken links

Broken links can do two things to a web page, they can make it look outdated and they remove any benefit that page might have passed on. Having too many broken links on multiple pages can send out a signal to Google that a site is poorly maintained and send crawlers to dead ends wasting crawl budget. Broken links can easily be fixed by redirecting or removing them from pages. Finding them manually however on large sites is not so easy. There are various SEO tools available however that will help find them and reveal the pages they appear on including Google’s own search console which is free. Paid tools are best to find all instances of broken links.

  1. Post tags

WordPress has a tag function to help people find posts on particular topics. These can be displayed on web pages and there is some controversy on how these might affect SEO. Most experts say they shouldn’t be used but there is really no reason not to use them and they help readers find the information they need quickly. This in itself creates a better user experience. Post tags may look a bit ugly, however, which is why you tend not to see them displayed on most sites.

  1. W3C validation issues

SEO auditing tools often flag up html coding errors and W3C validation issues. While these can appear alarming and indicate that a site is not as well put together as it should be this isn’t necessarily going to impact on rankings.

  1. url length

The length of a url doesn’t necessarily have a bearing on that page’s ability to rank in search results. Longer urls however will tend to rank lower than shorter urls that are more to the point and don’t contain unnecessary characters. The deeper a page is within the site the harder it is to find.

  1. Keyword in url

Having the keyword in the url is used by Yoast as an indicator of best practice so better to have it that not. Google also said a few years back that it was a ranking factor. Who are we to argue?

  1. Clean and messy urls

Why is it that WordPress sites tend to rank better than weebly sites and those other free website builder platforms? It’s often down to how well they are put together and the url structures. Having ‘.html’ on the end as well as question marks and other messy characters is not going to help a website rank in the search results in our experience.

  1. Sitemap

A sitemap should be generated for submission to Google’s search console. This will help Google collect important information about your web pages. While this alone won’t improve your rankings paying attention to these sorts of details helps optimise a website better.

  1. Find a good website host

Finding a good host should be high on the list of SEO factors. A site that is frequently down or located in a country other than the one you are trying to rank in can hold back your SEO performance.

  1. Keeping your website secure

Hacking and malware are by far the biggest threats to your search engine rankings. If Google detects that a website has vulnerabilities, it will often penalise. This can decimate rankings or at the very least result in warnings being displayed in the search result that a website has been hacked.

Content Ranking Factors

  1. Keywords in body content (TF-IDF)

This sounds technical but all it relates to is the number of times a keyword appears on a page as a proportion of the length of copy. If a keyword is used too often or too little this will impact on the TF-IDF score negatively and this could result in a page not ranking as well as it could do in the search results.

  1. Keyword position in body content

It is widely accepted that the main keyword targets should appear in the first 100 words of page content.

  1. Duplicate content

All pages on a website should have unique content and if this isn’t possible the primary page should be marked as the canonical version. Scraping content from other sites can result in a ranking penalty for a web page.

  1. Content age

Even content that ranks well initially for a keyword can start to drop in the search results as time goes on. This is why it is important to keep content fresh and continue to explore new topics in blogs and news sections.

  1. Length of web (text) content

Length of content is another important ranking factor and a page should have at least 300 words to be considered useful according to WordPress plugin Yoast’s recommended minimum. Studies have also shown a direct correlation between long form content and its ability to rank on the first page of search results. The average for a page one position is 1890 words according to this study.

  1. Content Quality

Google wants to present the best answers to queries so websites that give in-depth answers are likely to be rewarded with better rankings than those that don’t. Content should be readable, make sense and not appear as if it is written to satisfy a search engine.

  1. Reading level of content

You may have noticed that the Yoast plugin on WordPress rates how readable your content is using a Flesch–Kincaid readability test. This can be a useful tool to make your content more understandable but is of little use if your content is a technical one. The general rule is to make your content as understandable as possible. This means keeping sentences short and to the point, avoiding excessive unnecessary punctuation and avoiding passive language.

  1. Lists and bullets

Lists and bullet points are currently fashionable and it is no accident this is the case. For some SEOs creating list posts and pages is their secret weapon. You will often find lists in featured snippets which are the new position 1 in organic search results for many queries. For example if you ask for ‘the best seo company’, it is likely Google will return a list post. If you want your site to appear in featured snippets there is an in-depth article on the subject here.

  1. Quote your sources with links

Google started out as a library of information and it still is to some extent even if it has become far more sophisticated. Search engines will continue to look for relationships between content to gauge quality so it is advisable to help them do that with references to your sources.

  1. Outbound links

Having too many outbound links on a page isn’t advisable. Matt Cutts formerly of Google advised against having pages with too many outbound links.

  1. A-star content

If you are going to use your posts to build search presence the aim should be to make them better than anything else out there. If you can manage to come up with an original post that ticks all the boxes for quality and ranks well in the search results, this can improve the rankings of the site as a whole. Content of this level and quality, however, is hard to achieve on a consistent basis without employing the services of an outstanding content marketer.

Domain Ranking Factors

  1. Age of domain

You will often find that an older more established domain will perform better than newer sites. This is certainly so if that domain has built a considerable number of natural backlinks over time.

  1. Length of registration

As well as age Google looks for how long a domain is registered for. Domains registered for less than a year can send a signal that the website is created for the short rather than long term. To quote a Google patent

“Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.”

  1. Domain authority

Authority comes with age and popularity so Google will automatically make it easier for sites with the most authority to rank. The only way to compete with these sites is to tackle long tail search queries first and think hard about content production and building brand awareness. Over time this will build the required authority for a site to outrank the competition.

  1. Keyword domain

These are becoming increasingly hard to find nowadays. Those worth having are likely to come with a substantial price tag as well putting them out of reach of all but the largest businesses. Also there is little evidence that an exact match domain will outrank a high authority website. Having multiple exact match domains is a strategy for some businesses but this leaves them vulnerable to the costs of maintaining separate websites while not necessarily getting the desired results in terms of traffic and sales. Having a keyword within a domain name can give a website as long as Google still uses it as a relevancy signal.

  1. Location of domain

Your tld is an important ranking factor. This means you should think carefully about your future plans for the business when choosing a domain. Opting for a .co.uk for example will generally tie you to the UK while a .com has the potential to rank in more than one country. Businesses sometimes get around this by creating multiple domains for each country they operate in.

Web page design

  1. Layout

In our experience design is an important part of the SEO mix. It will determine how easy it is for a user to navigate around the site and how long they are likely to stay on it. Both these factors are going to help with SEO but perhaps the biggest consideration is how layout relates to the content on the page. For example, if your homepage is content features everything you are attempting to target in one page then this can have a negative impact. Google may find it difficult to determine what a page is about if the main topic isn’t displayed at the top.

  1. Attractiveness

You may have the best looking site in your niche but that ugly looking website is still at the top. This is a common issue for website owners and unfortunately Google doesn’t rack site according to how nice they look. You should however consider keeping up with the latest trends to avoid giving visitors the impression your business doesn’t keep up to date with the latest trends.

Off Page Factors

  1. Setting up Google Analytics and Google Search Console

While having your website connected up with Google Analytics and search console isn’t going to result in better rankings per se, it will help a lot with diagnostics. If your site isn’t connected properly then you will be missing some valuable data about how users interact with your site. Making improvements based on evidence is a fundamental part of the SEO process and ensures things are moving in the right direction.

  1. Backlinks

The number of links pointing at a website is less important than the quality of those links. If you have lots of good quality links pointing at your website or at least more and better ones  than your competitors then you should be ranking above them. Quality links are hard to find, however, and you need to be careful about where your links originate.

Guest post links are now given less weight and too many of them are not going to do your SEO any favours. Getting links from trustworthy sources such as .gov and .edu sites can carry more weight as these sites tend to be more trustworthy than standard .coms but a lot depends on the authority of the site they are coming from.

That said a website is never going to rank without links of some description so you can start the process by getting links to interesting content out on social media, good quality directories (local and national) and where possible joining local business associations which often provide sources of backlinks.

If you want your site to rank in countries other than the one you are based in, then getting good quality local links in those locations is of the utmost importance.

One thing to be avoided is reciprocal linking with either related or unrelated sites. This can look like a link exchange scheme which is now frowned upon and looks like linking for the sake of SEO.

Both follow and no follow links can help with SEO but the former is generally the more powerful of the two. Having the right mix of both will ensure that your site has a natural rather than unnatural link profile.

Have you ever wanted to find a reliable SEO company that not only says it can achieve great results for your site but is able to achieve this goal for their own website?  Here are the agencies we think are the Best SEO companies in the UK right now based on how many keywords they have ranked and their positions for the keywords you would expect the best SEO companies to rank for in Google search results.

Most SEO companies are going to promise you similar results for your business right?

Top 10 Best SEO Companies 2020

We are the only site that updates our top 10 on a monthly basis.

 

  1. impression.co.uk

    Multi award winning digital marketing company with offices in Nottingham and London. Services include PPC SEO and CRO. This company has 2,500 ranking keywords and ranks number one on Google for ‘SEO Agency’ on a national level. This company is currently the our number one based on having the joint most ranking keywords and a number one ranking for a prime keyword. 

  2. jellyfish.co.uk

    Digital marketing and web design company with offices in the UK, USA, Madrid and South Africa. Services include pretty much everything to do with digital marketing including websites. A strong contender and a close second to Impression, ranking 2 on Google for ‘SEO service’.  

  3. screamingfrog.co.uk

    Digital marketing company with offices in Henley on Thames. The company also has a popular website SEO spider tool which is offered in free and paid versions. Coming in at 3 for ‘SEO service’ it is surprising this company doesn’t rank higher in the search results. They offer a handy website crawling tool which none of the other agencies offer and also an SEO service. 

  4. found.co.uk

    Large London based Digital marketing company. Services include SEO, PPC, digital pr and content. This company have been around for a while and have more than 1,000 ranking keywords. They don’t rank in the top places for any of the prime SEO keywords so they are less likely to be found than their competitors but still up there with the best nonetheless.

  5. redevolution.com

    Digital marketing company with offices in London Newcastle and Aberdeen. Services include web design SEO, PPC, social media and content marketing. This company ranks 5th nationally for SEO which is a good achievement and they also have 1,000 ranking keywords in total.

  6. 123ranking.co.uk

    Digital marketing company that describe themselves as offering a cheap SEO services. The company has its hq in Leicester. They rank number one for SEO service and have several hundred other ranking keywords.

  7. rankno1.co.uk

    SEO, PPC and web design company with an office in Dorchester. The company promises to solve ‘SEO problems in an hour’. While they don’t rank number one for SEO or any of the other prime keywords they do rank 4th for SEO service. This puts them 7th in our top 10.

  8. improvemysearchranking.com

    Another general digital marketing and SEO company with an office in Kent. They don’t rank for any of the main SEO related keywords but they do have more than 800 ranking keywords which puts them amongst the big hitters in SEO.

  9. superb.digital

    Another general digital marketing that does everything with an office in Bristol. Superb.. Digital are in our top 10 on the basis of the number of ranking keywords. They don’t currently rank high for any of the major SEO keywords.

  10. kdweb.co.uk

    London based general digital marketing offering branding web design and other services in addition to SEO. As above we’re ranking them in the top 10 on the basis of them having 406 ranking keywords.

How did we find out which is the best SEO company in the UK?

SEO is very much an industry based on trust. If you are talking to the representative of an SEO company you want to hear and see certain reassuring facts like what they achieved for themselves, their clients and  any awards.

The latter can sometimes be taken with a pinch of salt unless the award is nationally or internationally recognised. To be put forward for some awards also requires than business to be well know in the first place or of a sufficient size to be recognised.

When choosing an SEO company for your project you will not only want to trust them to do the job they promised you want to trust that the person working on your project has the experience and ability to rank your site on the first page or better.

How can an SEO company demonstrate they have the ability to get your site ranking well?

Ranking their own businesses in the positions where people looking for SEO can find them is a good indicator and the one we think is the most reliable even if it shouldn’t be the only measure you look at.

Client lists featuring big brands can sometimes be misleading because these brands will already have plenty of authority in their niches.

There will be lots of variables to consider when choosing an SEO company and some may be more important to you than others. We could look for example at the size of the company.

We could look at things like annual turnover or the number of staff they have in house but none of this tells us how good they are when it comes to the sort of results their SEO service is capable of getting either.

We must consider who might be working on your particular project. Will it be the SEO expert who works miracles on their site? These are all considerations and questions to ask when signing up with one of the top SEO agencies or any SEO company for that matter.

This brings us to value for money…

Like any other profession hiring the best SEO in the UK to work on your project is going to cost you but you should naturally expect them to get the results you want.

If your budget doesn’t stretch that far then you may look towards the lowest quote. Or perhaps you could consider a freelance consultant prepared to dedicate extra time and effort to your project without your fee also having to cover the additional overheads that come with having to pay lots of staff and sales people.

To compile our top 10 SEO companies we looked purely at the number of ranking keywords these companies have and the rankings they have achieved for what could be considered the prime keywords in the SEO business.

We used SEMrush to get the information on the number of keywords because it’s the most reliable measure out there and a simple google search at a national level to find where the websites rank for prime keyword targets if at all.

 

If you are looking for the best SEO company in Manchester then you are naturally going to want them to know their stuff. This is why we have decided to embark on a quest to find out what they are made of based on criteria we think provide important indicators of ability.

This top 10 of the best SEO companies in Manchester has been put together wholly independently with analysis using a variety of SEO tools and of course Google’s own search engine.

This quarter, our list of the 10 best SEO Companies in Manchester is dominated by agencies with only two consultancies featuring.

Company  Ranking Keywords Ranking For ‘SEO Manchester’ Ranking Power Link Building Score Blog Rating /5 Our Ranking
soapmedia.co.uk 566 7 72 3 5 1
custard.co.uk 373 5 73 1 3 2
candidsky.com 19 2 68 0 2 3
bigfootdigital.co.uk 1400 10 63 1 4 4
redcowmedia.co.uk 140 6 60 2 4 5
netsixtysix.co.uk 5 1 62 2 3 6
embryodigital.co.uk 128 8 58 1 3 7
seomcr.com 88 4 51 0 0 8
neilawalker.com 63 12 56 0 2 9
peterwoottonseo.com 59 9 48 0 3 10

Note: Results taken January 2019.

1. soapmedia.co.uk

This digital marketing company has offices in Manchester and Preston and does well in most of the categories we use to measure how well a site is performing. Aside from having the second highest number of ranking keywords in our top 10 (566) the company ranks 7th in the city for the keyword ‘SEO Manchester’. Another measure of a quality SEO company is less about the technical and more about the passion that goes into the marketing. Soap Media’s blog ranks number one among our top 10 for quality. The site also ranks number one for the quality of its link building which helps it to second for ranking power.

2. custard.co.uk

Manchester based Agency, Custard, specialise in SEO and PPC according to their website and it looks like they practice what they preach by coming second in our Manchester top 10. With 373 ranking keywords they are one of the heavyweights in our top 10 and their ranking power is currently number one in Manchester. If there is one area that lets them down it’s the blog which is largely made up of the usual prediction and basic advice posts found on most digital agency websites.

3. candidsky.com

Manchester based Candid Sky have their fair share of awards but we rank them third among our best Manchester SEO companies. They are currently punching well above their weight in the local search results ranking second even though they only have 19 ranking keywords overall compared to several hundred for those above and below them. Their ranking power is also third on our list and again if there is an area that lets them down it’s the blog. Despite criticising company news posts they feature plenty of them on their blog.

4. bigfootdigital.co.uk

Barnsley based Big Foot Digital are a full service digital agency rather than being fully focused on SEO. They are the big heavyweights in our Manchester top 10 with 1,400 ranking keywords. Despite this they only rank 10th on Google for SEO in Manchester and don’t have the best link building profile. They do have a blog worthy of a detour which is why they make 4th on our list.

5. redcowmedia.co.uk

Manchester based Red Cow score reasonably well in all our categories without hitting the heights in any one particular area. They rank 6th on Google locally and have an above average rank power rating. They also have a total of 140 ranking keywords which proves they are able to practice what they preach. The company blog also offers some interesting insights into various aspects of digital marketing. Overall an SEO agency that does things the right way.

6. netsixtysix.co.uk

Manchester based Net Sixty Six currently rank number one on Google for local Manchester search results which is a big achievement for a website that only has 5 ranking keywords overall. The ranking power of their website is currently up there with the best but the blog ranks below most of the competition. This is very much a site that does well locally and doesn’t yet have a national reach.

7. embryodigital.co.uk

With 128 ranking keywords and a local Google ranking of 8, this company is placed just about where it should be in our top 10. The website has a decent blog that is in line with what the competition is doing and if there is a weakness it’s in the number and quality of backlinks. This may be the reason why the site only has an average rank power rating among our top 10.

8. seomcr.com

This website places eighth purely on the strength of it ranking locally on Google (third) and number of ranking keywords (88). It has however lost several of its ranking keywords recently. The blog also has a lot of keyword stuffed article titles which means the on site SEO appears to be a bit old school in approach. The footer says ‘pop in to see us at SEO Manchester’. I rest my case.

9. neilawalker.com

This site by local digital marketing expert Neil Walker sells his services as one of Manchester’s most trusted digital consultants and a prominent speaker in the industry. He currently ranks on page two for SEO in his home city and ninth on our list of the best SEOs. His site currently has 63 ranking keywords which is not too shabby for a one man consultancy although the site is let down by a blog that doesn’t feature much content and a lower rank power rating than the competition.

10. peterwoottonseo.com

Another small Manchester SEO agency or possibly a one man band this site ranks 10th among our contenders. The site has slightly less ranking keywords (59) than his closest competitor and a rank power rating that is lowest of the top 10. Despite this the site ranks higher at 9th on Google for SEO Manchester. The blog is broadly in line with what the competition offer and not currently up there with the best.

Our methodology for choosing the top 10 companies is shown in the tables below. We looked at a range of factors including actual Google ranking at the time of writing, backlink profiles, number of ranking keywords and quality of information supplied on each of the blogs.

The overall results breakdown is shown in the table below: