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Get to the top of Google

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Stop losing online to those with deeper pockets. Dark Horse, the SEO agency Manchester needs, will deliver you results that will impact your bottomline by delivering converting traffic to your site to maximise your revenue.

We will steal market share from your competition to give to you. Robin Hood with masks. If you want your customers to find you as easily as you found us, then you need our SEO Manchester agency.

SEO Agency Manchester

The Manchester SEO agency you want doesn’t settle for mediocrity; it delivers commercial results. Money. Not stats or graphs. Everyone thinks they can “do optimisation” but only true SEO specialists can offer early salvation to the suffering, those needing to dominate competitors keywords and claim that number one spot. Number 1 still means something in our world. We take search engine optimisation services seriously.

You are not a monthly report. Your fee is not for a PDF with some green ticks and a graph. We are here to help you and your team fulfil their aspirations. We turn hope to reality. A light in the oppression. That relaxing Martini at the end of the rainbow tastes all the sweeter when made from the tears of your rivals.

No quarter will be given. We invest in the best people and industry tools to deliver data-driven SEO services that blow up your bottom line and kick ten shades of shit out of your current standings. No smoke, no mirrors, just traffic and profit.

You searched ‘seo Manchester’ and you found us. Beaconing to you from the shadows, waiting to offer salvation. If you want a SEO agency that can help your brand realise its full potential and make your accountant love you, look to the dark and send us a sign.

We don't offer SEO. We offer Commercial SEO.

Want to find out more about the benefits of SEO Manchester? Let’s get forensic…  

What is SEO?

SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) refers to the set of practices designed to improve a website’s rankings and visibility for specific keywords so the website performs better in search engine result pages and users are more likely to click through to said website.

As a topic, Commercial SEO is drier than a pensioner’s heel – but it’s the best way to get people to find your website, discover your brand, and buy your products. We’d all swallow a bit of biddies athletes’ foot for oodles of cash. Tastes like parmesan.

Clean air at the top. Absolute rankers.

Why is SEO important?

The power of well executed search engine optimisation is that it can build you a foundation that no competitor can infiltrate. We are THE Manchester SEO agency that doesn’t compromise your business and delivers impactful results to:

  • Send you to the top of search engine results pages
  • Build you a solid brand reputation
  • Improve user experience and journey on your website
  • Make you an authority in your industry
  • Reduce reliance on ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon or NOTHS which take huge chunks of your profits
  • Terrify your competition

But let’s forget every bit of jargon or process around SEO for a second… it’s completely fucking logical that SEO is critical. See how far you get enjoying the fruits of being bottom of page 7. Try checking the financial reports of those at the top of page 1. It’s that simple.

Maybe this will help; think about advertising during the Superbowl versus advertising in the local gazette. Page 1 v Page 10. Different price tags, different results for sure. Billion dollar Coca Cola aren’t rushing to take out double pagers in the Chorley Chronicle. That’s reserved for handymen and “legit” massages in the Other Services.

Search engines and SEO are league tables that matter. You get money instead of 3 points. Top 4 is the bare minimum.

Ready to be the chill on the back of your competitors’ necks? Our Dark Horse SEO marketing team is the complete SEO agency package. Our search engine optimisation services combine the three elements of digital marketing to give your competition sleepless night. Ready to see our ruthless strategy?

SEO Services Manchester businesses can bank on

Search engine optimisation happens when Technical SEO fixes your website errors, Content marketing rewrites your copy, and Digital PR delivers outreach campaigns to build you a solid backlink profile. Here’s how to do SEO the right way…

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Technical SEO

Technical SEO lays the foundations for search engines to find, organise and understand key pages on a website. It’s essential. A powerful website is fundamental for keyword rankings. But Technical SEO is also really, really dull. It’s all the shit you don’t understand about websites that need to be fixed and optimised for maximum results. You don’t need to know this stuff to enjoy the results. Our search engine optimisation industry specialists do the work for you.

They dissect your crawls, txt files and every meta description to find errors that are limiting you and opportunities you’re not aware of. From site maps and indexing issues to implementing structured data and SERP features, Dark Horse Technical SEO experts will get your business to the top of page one with calculated and precise actions.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is the blood that pulses through the veins of your business. One of our core SEO services Manchester businesses can benefit from, SEO copywriting is a skill that takes years, not one blog post on ‘how to do SEO writing’. So, don’t waste your time handing the task over to some intern in marketing using the Yoast tick box. Leave it to the elites.

The Dark Horse on-page SEO team hones in on copy length, correct tone of voice, researched keywords, targeted copywriting and so much more to make your brand stand out and make Google take notice. This is where boring product copy is transformed into SEO prose and ignored blogs become researched organic traffic generators. Make your competition sweat with a Content SEO strategy that ranks and converts.

Digital PR

Digital PR paid press releases and free blogger links are what SEO agencies stuck in the 00s do. We fix your backlink profile and make your brand known using creative and researched SEO PR campaigns that journalists would fight for. Less dogmess press updates, more feature stories.

The Digital PR experts at Dark Horse harness relationships with press and media to target nationwide or industry specific audiences and get your website links, organic traffic and conversions.

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What is SEO reporting

We know what it’s like to be scarred and broken, let down by Manchester SEO agencies that never deliver and just tell lie after lie to keep you down. We, too, searched high and low to find the right partner to lift us out of the pits, only to be left wallowing in the dark. So, we became the change we wanted to see.

Transparent, honest and open – just like our SEO reports.
Partner with us and we’ll send you a simple and straightforward, yet highly detailed, monthly report that tells you exactly what each of our SEO Manchester experts are working on across Technical SEO, Content marketing and Digital PR, how each of these actions has impacted your site, and where you rank vs your competitors. No fluff, no pomp, just the hard facts.

Our monthly reports include:

  • An executive summary with the key KPIs you care about most – and how we’re performing vs the set targets
  • An overview of your site’s organic performance, including user engagement and conversion metrics
  • An analysis of your keyword profile, how your visibility is increasing, where improvements are needed, and how you fair vs competitors
  • A summary of the technical work carried out and the impact it’s had on your site
  • A rundown of the content work conducted and the subsequent increase in visibility and performance
  • A recap of the digital PR campaigns sent to journalists, the number of backlinks acquired, and their effect on your domain authority
  • A clear outline of the upcoming work

We only hire the very best SEO experts. The smarter we work, the more money we make you. We have client relationships spanning years. That’s not down to business patter and fancy lunches, it’s down to the cold hard cash we are handing them. Want to get in on the action?

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The Manchester SEO team that will terrify your competition

How long does it take for SEO to work

We operate on a no b***shit policy, so here’s the hard truth: your SEO-generated leads and sales won’t dramatically improve overnight. It depends on so many factors. Everything from how long your website has been live to how many errors it has, how much content is on it, how many backlinks it’s acquired, and how much SEO work has been done on it previously can all impact how long it will take for your SEO strategy to drive results.

However, this is what our Manchester SEO agency typically delivers, and the results you can expect from our SEO strategies and search engine optimisation services:


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Month 1

We build you an SEO strategy that delivers. Our Tech, Content and PR teams analyse your existing website to identify the key priorities that will most impact your performance in line with your business objectives. They’ll outline a unified 12-week expert SEO plan to turn the cards in your favour.

Month 2-3

We use our years of experience to fix your most pressing SEO Tech errors that are sabotaging your website, turn your worst Content into hypnotising copy that hides keywords for Google, and run Digital PR campaigns that will connect your brand with high-value media.

Month 4-6

With continued Technical optimisations, Content creation and backlink development, you should expect to see a noticeable increase in rankings, organic traffic and lead generation.

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Month 7-12

SEO results grow with time, so the momentum built in months 4-6 will allow for significant improvements over the next 6 months. User journey is improved and those leads are converted into sales.

1 year and above

You’ll have dominated a good number of top spots – but be warned, complacency is for the lazy. Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving and there’s always more to be done to improve your SEO. Our Manchester SEO experts focus on maintaining those top positions, while expanding to your next target.

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How much does SEO cost?

Aside from knowing how to deliver, our services are priced fairly. Based up north, we’re a SEO agency Manchester that keeps its overheads down to give you the best price. Dark Horse has people who really get it, making noise and delivering results that leave you wondering why it took you so long to give us a call.

What can you expect from our full SEO agency service:

  • Quarterly comprehensive SEO audits which include Technical SEO, Content Marketing and Digital PR strategies
  • Technical SEO, from structured data to web coding
  • On-page SEO copywriting that lures people in
  • UX/UI and URL reviews to optimise for humans AND Google
  • Brand authority campaigns researched and written by our content specialists
  • Creative Digital PR and Outreach campaigns
  • SEO experts demystifying the fog of search engine optimisation
  • White hat SEO strategies– we look down on agencies who still do 2007 link buying
  • Ascendency and imperium

If you want to leave you competitor running scared, then find out if we can work together. Call us, we are your watchful protector.

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Find out more about SEO

Why choose Dark Horse as your SEO agency?

Good SEO gets you seen; great SEO gives your business access to whole new level of sales and profits. The Dark Horse SEO team is known for revealing harsh truths. This is a team of search engine optimisation elites who examine websites and find every error, gap and opportunity. The team’s ambition is high – they’re not here to make friends. They’re here to right the wrongs in your account and destroy your opposition.

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Other things we do


Digital Audit

There is no room for mediocrity in the future. We will forensically retire your incumbent agency. Piece by ickle piece individually wrapped in powerpoint slides.

Learn More

Paid Social

They haven’t got mortgages so why not take their savings instead of Netflix. Paid Social so startingly revolutionary that it could make Gen Z vote Tory with Kirsty Allsop as PM.

Learn More

PPC Service

PPC results to make you cry tears of joy. PPC results to make your competition cry. Period. Make a Martini out of them.

Learn More
Why should I use an SEO agency rather than do it in-house?
Why should I use  an SEO  agency  rather  than  do  it  in-house? - Expand

Expertise, time, resource and cost – there are a lot of reasons to choose an SEO agency rather than hire a full-time employee to do the same work. Mostly, though, SEO is an ever-changing landscape that requires expert knowledge across Technical, Content and Digital PR. Dark Horse has specialists in each of those verticals to build you an SEO strategy that will crush your competition.

Why should I use an SEO agency rather than a freelancer?
Why  should  I  use  an  SEO  agency  rather  than  a  freelancer? - Expand

Getting a freelancer to do your SEO is like asking one man to play every instrument in an orchestra – they’ll be some level of expertise but overall the music will be slow, messy and out of tune. We hire experts across all 3 verticals (Technical, Content and Digital PR) to draw on their unique, specialist knowledge to cover every aspect of SEO. The perfect symphony.

What is the difference between SEO and PPC?
What  is  the  difference  between  SEO  and  PPC? - Expand

SEO and PPC are both search engine marketing strategies. The first improves your website’s rankings in search engine result pages through organic (read non-paid) means, like optimising website content, building backlinks and fixing any technical errors. SEO takes time, but you’ll reap the rewards long after SEO activity stops, assuming you put the right investment and time into it. The latter is a paid advertising model where you pay a fee every time one of your ads is clicked. PPC ads are typically displayed at the top or bottom of search engine results pages, and are a way to quickly drive traffic to a website. However, as soon as PPC activity stops, so will the traffic and revenue associated with it.

Should I be doing both SEO and PPC at the same time?
Should  I  be  doing  both  SEO  and  PPC  at  the  same  time? - Expand

A well-rounded digital marketing strategy combines both SEO and PPC. While SEO focuses on building organic traffic over time, PPC helps to drive targeted traffic to your site immediately. Consequently, PPC can help to fill in the gap while you’re waiting for your SEO efforts to pay off, while SEO can help to improve your website’s visibility and drive more organic traffic over time, decreasing your reliance on paid channels and increasing your profitability.

How does Digital PR contribute to SEO performance?
How  does  Digital  PR  contribute  to  SEO  performance? - Expand

Digital PR improves your site rankings by increasing both the number and quality of backlinks pointing to your website, which, in turn, increases your website’s visibility and authority in the eyes of search engines. Digital PR also increases your brand awareness by getting brand mentions in online publications, potentially encouraging leads to visit your website. Read more about Digital PR.

How does on-page content contribute to SEO performance?
How  does  on-page content  contribute  to  SEO  performance? - Expand

Your website won’t rank for relevant keywords if there’s no content on page to target it. A strong content marketing strategy will optimise each page towards a set of relevant and specific keywords to improve your website’s visibility in search engines for those keywords. Good content should also be tailored to the needs of your audience, helping to engage and inform them, and come from trustworthy sources that showcase your knowledge and expertise to build authority. Read more about Content marketing.

How does Technical SEO contribute to overall performance?
How  does  Technical  SEO  contribute  to  overall  performance? - Expand

Think of Technical SEO as the foundations of your house – if they’re not strong, the whole building will crumble. Technical SEO ensures your site is easily crawlable and accessible, well-structured and user-friendly, fast and mobile-friendly. The better your site performs technically, the more search engines and users will enjoy using it, and the higher it will rank. Read more about Technical SEO.

How does Dark Horse measure the success of an SEO campaign?
How  does  Dark  Horse  measure  the  success  of  an  SEO  campaign? - Expand

Our SEO Manchester agency doesn’t rely on vanity metrics like time-on-page or bounce rate. We know what matters to you and we measure our success against it: rankings, traffic, revenue and conversion rate. At the onboarding stage, we’ll align on KPIs and objectives so we know what your priorities are, can set benchmarks towards achieving those goals, and report on them monthly.

How long is an SEO contract with Dark Horse?
How  long  is  an  SEO  contract  with  Dark  Horse? - Expand

As it takes time to reap the rewards of SEO, a typical contract with our SEO agency lasts 12 months and then moves into a rolling monthly agreement after that. Don’t worry, though, we’re not crooks looking to lock you in unnecessarily. Contracts can vary based on the current SEO performance of your website, the organic opportunity, and how long it will take to see notable results. Give us a call and we can chat more about it.

How much does SEO cost?
How  much  does  SEO  cost?  - Expand

Our SEO campaigns start at £1,500 per month, though the fee will vary based on how many hours you invest in. To deliver the best results for you, we recommend a set number of hours based on how long we think it will take to achieve your business objectives. We then charge a flat hourly fee for those hour, providing projections and options to align with your budgets and goals. Speak to our sales team to discuss our SEO costs further.

Does Dark Horse undertake SEO projects and ongoing retainers?
Does  Dark  Horse  undertake  SEO  projects  and  ongoing  retainers? - Expand

To impact your organic performance, we recommend investing in a long term retainer. However, our SEO company Manchester also undertakes short term projects, including in-depth audits, site migrations and on-page website strategies. We’ll give you the heads up now, though, our clients are usually so impressed with our project output that they end up signing a retainer too.

What happens once I become an SEO client?
What  happens  once  I  become  an  SEO client? - Expand

You’ll have taken the first step towards SEO success!

  • Onboarding: We start by having an onboarding call to introduce you to the full team, fill you in on our ways of working, align on your business objectives and discuss targets
  • Auditing and strategy: Our SEO team spend the first month auditing your site from a Technical, Content and Digital PR perspective, aligning internally on priorities and developing a coordinated 12-week SEO strategy that works towards your goals. We then present it to you, get your approval and start work
  • Monthly reporting: Each month, we send out a report, providing an overview of what’s been done so far, how these actions are benefiting your organic performance and what future actions will be taken to further improve results
  • Quarterly reporting and strategy reset: At the end of each 12-week strategy, we review progress to date, look at what worked and what didn’t, and create a new strategy to replicate and build on that success
  • We then repeat this process each quarter to keep delivering exceptional results
What does the SEO team at Dark Horse look like?
What does the SEO team at Dark Horse look like? - Expand

We have a large team of SEO experts here at Dark Horse – and no one is a junior. You can visit out about us page to meet the team in detail but here’s a quick overview:

  • Our Head of SEO and their right wing look after overarching strategies and department processes
  • Our Head of Technical and their team specialise in all things technical, implementing fixes to get your site working as quickly and efficiently as possible
  • Our Head of Content and their team specialise in content auditing, strategy and SEO copywriting to deliver content that ranks, builds authority and drives consumer trust
  • Our Head of Digital PR and their team perform backlink audits, link reclamation strategies, campaign ideation and more to get you links and brand mentions

We’re a well-oiled and coordinated machine that is ready to get you to that top spot.

Who will be my day-to-day contact once I am an SEO client?
Who will be my day-to-day contact once I am an SEO client? - Expand

We don’t rely on account managers at Dark Horse. Instead, you have direct access to the relevant person working on your website – no middle man. If you have a question about the content strategy, for example, you can reach out directly to the content manager looking after your account. The same applies to all verticals. Email or call us anytime between 9 and 5 and they’ll get back to you directly.

Does Dark Horse work with e-commerce clients?
Does Dark Horse work with e-commerce clients?  - Expand

We love a good e-comm site. From fashion retailers to skincare, and pet supplies to model railways, we’ve worked across a wide range of retail sites and made their SEO shine. Give us a little Shopify and some product pages, and we’re ready to roll.

Does Dark Horse work with lead generation clients?
Does Dark Horse work with lead generation clients? - Expand

We’re not a one trick pony. We work with a wide range of lead generations clients across a variety of industries, from delivery services to quote comparison websites, and health and safety specialists to electric vehicle charging point installers. If you’re looking to generate leads, you can count on us.

What CMS’ does Dark Horse work with?
What CMS’ does Dark Horse work with? - Expand

Whatever content management system you use, we can use it too. We do have a soft spot for WordPress, Shopify and Magento though.

Can Dark Horse work alongside our in-house SEO team?
Can Dark Horse work alongside our in-house SEO team? - Expand

We’re always happy to support and align with your in-house SEO team. Whether you need us to audit your site and propose a strategy that you then execute, or you want to create content in-house and just have us optimise it, or just need support on Technical SEO and Digital PR, we can adapt to your needs. Make an enquiry to speak to the team today.

What SEO tools does Dark Horse use?
What SEO tools does Dark Horse use? - Expand

At Dark Horse, data is everything. It informs every decision we make, so we use an array of SEO tools to gather as much information as possible.

  • Auditing: We’re forensic with our audits. We use ScreamingFrog to crawl through every inch of your website and find every flaw, big and small. Duplicate content, multiple H1s, excessively long meta descriptions – if it’s there, we’ll find it
  • Performance tracking and analysis: You can’t beat Google Analytics (even if GA4 is less user friendly than Universal Analytics) or Search Console. We’ll use them to track how much organic traffic your site is getting, how well it’s converted, and how many impressions and clicks your site is getting for the keywords it ranks for (among other things, of course, but we won’t divulge all our secrets just yet)
  • Keyword research: SEMrush, AHrefs, SEranking, Keyword Planner – you name it, we use it
  • Link and mentions tracking: TalkWalker and Google alerts are musts for tracking brand mentions and link acquisition. We also use Prowly to gain access to journalists, magazines, regionals and more, capturing live coverage and mentions as they come in
Does Dark Horse conduct cross-channel campaigns?
Does Dark Horse conduct cross-channel campaigns?  - Expand

Absolutely. We might be SEO legends now, but Dark Horse’s roots actually lie in PPC. Our SEO team can join forces with our PPC counterparts to create unbeatable paid and organic search marketing campaigns that help you dominate across the board. PPC gets you leads quickly, while SEO works on your long term visibility. The two teams also align on which keywords convert best to inform the organic strategy.

Can I work with Dark Horse if I’m located outside of Manchester?
Can I work with Dark Horse if I’m located outside of Manchester? - Expand

We love to work with our neighbours and have plenty of Manchester-based clients, but we don’t discriminate. It’d be unfair to deny our skills to those outside the M60. Wherever you’re based, we can work with you. We’ve had clients based everywhere from London to Dubai, and Ireland to Germany.

Does Dark Horse do SEO on Shopify websites?
Does Dark Horse do SEO on Shopify websites? - Expand

Yep – we’d even go as far as saying we’re Shopify specialists. Whether you’re currently using Shopify, thinking of migrating to it, or looking to migrate away from it, we can help you with all of your SEO needs.

Does Dark Horse do SEO on Wordpress websites?
Does Dark Horse do SEO on Wordpress websites? - Expand

If you use WordPress, our Content team will love you forever. Easy to use and update, we definitely have a soft spot for this CMS and work with an array of clients who use it too.

Does Dark Horse do SEO on Magento websites?
Does Dark Horse do SEO on Magento websites? - Expand

Customisable, scalable, flexible, and easy to integrate – we can see the benefits of using Magento. We’ve optimised and worked our SEO magic on a range of Magento websites, and we’ll happily do it again.

Can Dark Horse work with a custom CMS?
Can Dark Horse work with a custom CMS? - Expand

Give us a CMS and we’ll work with it. Our team is well versed in CMSs and can adapt to your needs. We might need a developer to help with some additional functionalities or design but we align on the details together later.

What is included in my monthly SEO report?
What is included in my monthly SEO report? - Expand

If it’s important to you, we will report on it. After aligning on your business objectives during the onboarding call, we create a personalised report that provides insight on what matters most to you. Typically, reports include:

  • An executive summary
  • Performance tracking vs targets
  • Overview of work carried out by each vertical and impact to date
  • Insight into next steps
What should I do if my website has been penalised by Google?
What should I do if my website has been penalised by Google? - Expand

Okay, first things first: breathe, stay calm and keep a clear head. Now you can work on identifying the cause of the penalty. Head over to Search Console and read Google’s notification about the violation. It should give you more information. Use that to identify the issue, then start rectifying it. You may need to remove spam or low-quality content, fix some technical issues, or ensure your site is in compliance with Google’s guidelines. It might take some time for the penalty to be lifted, even after the issue has been corrected.