Ben Dyer at Semore Seismics was understandably bothered that his site was invisible on Google for a handful of key phrases. It was a good site, technically "correct" (ie it had nearly perfect HTML validation ie W3C compliant) neatly implemented by Brandlab in PHP, a few months earlier. It also had been around, as a web address, for some years and therefore had the great advantage of age.
Cosmetically, the site was pretty well suited for the market - no-frills. And it was already well-ranked on Google for some terms, but they were not all the terms which were required. It didn't take long for me to rummage "under the hood" to spot the usual culprits: poor page titles, no headings summaries at all, and, of less value, lack of META descriptions. Following up the rear was a sprinkle of small-beer items : a few TITLEs missing for images and better anchor text required for links to some seriously technical papers about Ben's geophysics research.
Semore Seismics has almost equal footings in hardware and software camps, and hence has to advertise itself on quite a broad range of search terms. In addition, the field of geophysics specialisation - microseismics - has a range of alternate and complementary terms describing similar features. It meant we had to spread our net wide, carefully choosing words and phrases in the right place, to be most effectiveness. As soon as I pointed this out, Ben understood immediately and we set to on a series of fine-tuning exercises.
After a couple of week's furtling amongst the fine-print, we got some "fantastic" (Ben's words) improvement on Google.co.uk. We went from nothing to Number 2 for "microseismic software", from 26 to 1 for "borehole microseismic processing", number 1 for other phrases, along with big jumps into at least the middle rank for a big bunch of other phrases. This is all the more impressive when you realise that Ben is up against some very big guns in the oil industry, global organisations with some big budgets.
Ben is based in Falmouth Cornwall, but travels all over the world.