Neverending SEO Story

Jonny Darling Insight Leave a Comment

SEO is the job we love to hate, the job we hate to love. It’s a heart-breaking story, a broken record, a never-ending sisyphean symphony. It takes herculean sweat, blood and tears to reach peak website performance. False summit after false summit, steeper and steeper toward the top of the pile, then no sooner arrive the ceiling of the world do the elements conspire against and it’s back to square one. Little wonder even those of strongest resolve ultimately fall foul of Google. Read on as we re-write the story with a happy ending…

Pride comes before a fall

SEO is relentless and increasingly complex the higher up the value chain. There’s no off-switch, no time for self-congratulation or basking in Google glory. High-performance in search engines comes down to high-performance websites, and high-performance websites need continuous performance improvement!

Time and again, I’ve been approached to “fix” website SEO –

“Do whatever you do to get the website up in Google, please”.

It’s with a heavy heart that I begin to explain that it’s not that simple.

“It doesn’t quite work like that! We can only do so much here and now, it’s an ongoing process…”

I trail off as eyes glaze over, I see I’ve already lost them! They don’t want to know. Who blames them? For all their best intentions of best practice, business owners don’t spend their waking hours and tormented nights dreaming up how they can feed the Google machine! Fine, I get it. Not everyone is a dedicated follower of Google. It’s not everyone’s gig. Time is money, and the cost/benefit has to stack up. Introducing our website support service, a continuous performance improvement plan, an insurance policy even, against the inevitable digital decay of an unattended website.

Website Support Service

Peace of mind that the business website is fully functional, error-free and performing at its best. We offer this service as an insurance policy for a website. Clients buy this monthly cover for reassurance that their site is always clean and healthy. Before we award a website with a clean bill of health, or the “SURFMERCHANT™ Seal” as we like to call it, we perform a rigorous audit against a check-list of industry best practice guidelines, following 3 pillars of structure, security and speed.


Protective measures for disaster prevention. Our security screening safeguards the validity of visitors to your website. We make sure all the documents are in order, both sides of the border! Checks include:

  • SSL authentication
  • HTTPS everywhere
  • Secure file permissions
  • Privacy law compliance
  • Brute force protection
  • DDoS protection
  • SPAM filters
  • Firewall security
  • External link audit
  • Image hotlink protection
  • Database back up


Speed is a top priority. Slow loading time cripples user-experience and to feature on Google’s radar, websites need to be always-on and ultra responsive. We perform the technical checks and changes that deliver what people (and search bots) want, when they want it.

  • Check DNS settings
  • Stress-test server capability
  • Test load speed
  • Monitoring up/down time
  • Configure cache & minify
  • Varnish HTML
  • Optimise image file size
  • Apply CDN


Rock-solid infrastructure and high-performance technology lay the foundation for a website, but without strict building regulation, it can fall over like a house of cards. We keep your house in order with the following essential:

  • Sitemap indexation
  • Robots.txt rules
  • .htaccess commands
  • File server configuration
  • Clean URL permalinks
  • Map internal links
  • Link external sources
  • Standardise code
  • Optimise meta data
  • Add rich snippet
  • Tag file/image assets
  • Fix broken links/images
  • Remove duplication issues
  • Cross-check browser functionality
  • Approve mobile compatibility
  • Detect page errors
  • Improve content ratio
  • Integrate video & dynamic media

Website Performance Plan

In addition to maintenance, we can take on responsibility for continual performance improvement of the website and supporting digital channels. According to agreed deliverables, we ensure the site is fresh and ever evolving with regular changes and routine content publication. We also can be commissioned to manage the community outreach piece, in the form of social media management and peer network engagement.


Nobody likes a stale, out-of-date website. Google certainly doesn’t. That’s a BIG No-No. First impressions count and there’s nothing more off-putting than content that has gone past its’ use-by date. No news is bad enough, yesterday’s news is unforgivable. The embarrassment is agony, please stop apologising and start taking some pride in your website.

  • Blog updates
  • © 2016
  • Page iterations
  • New media
  • File additions
  • Meta data changes
  • Reinforced inter-linking
  • Link referral expansion
  • Social integration
  • Embedded content


It’s all too easy to get tunnel-vision, to live in an echo-chamber where the only sound is the sound of your own voice. We help give voice to your business, to be heard by your customers and extended community. As part of our progression plan, we become your brand ambassador and engage your brand advocates.

  • Social media updates
  • Email newsletters
  • Customer reviews
  • Feedback & surveys
  • Guest blogging
  • Forum engagement
  • Post comments
  • Industry papers
  • News curation
  • Brand sentiment
  • Reputation monitoring