Many people are completely bewildered when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) so I’ve written a few notes here to help explain, in beginners’ terms, what it’s all about and how it can affect your website.
Websites can be created either using some online services, bespoke software or hand-coded from the ground up. Unfortunately, they are not all equal in the way that they get looked at by the search engines. A good website design adheres to certain strict code and layout standards and these enable the search engines to decide what each page is about, ranking them accordingly. What then sets two similar websites apart becomes part of the very fine art that is SEO. Here are some of the influencing factors:
- The URL keywords (the web address of that particular page)
- Where they occur on the page
- How the formatting of the text is (bold, italic, underlined or as a header)
- The page title, subheadings, how long they are and words contained in them
- The page’s meta description, length and whether it contains the same or related keywords
- The overall content length
- The content keyword density
- The image filename, description and ALT attributes
- Internal and external anchor text linking in to certain pages
- Many more on-page ranking factors
- Links back to the website from other websites
- The quality and quantity of those links
You’re probably here because you have a website and want to know more about improving your site’s exposure to the search engines. So how would our company go about improving your SEO and your web presence?
SEO explained – Improving website optimisation
For our SEO services, we would start by looking over your website and analysing it for optimised terms as well as good, clear semantic layout. A brief look at many sites can show us that, even with several pages indexed by Google, they have poor “on-page” SEO and no real content. For the search engines, why would they send a visitor to your website unless there was something compelling to rank your website over other people’s sites?
Then, once the website is correctly formatted, we would get links from other sites to it. This can range from a couple to several thousand, depending on the website. The linking sources all carry different weight so it is important to choose these carefully. We can provide turnaround of a few thousand backlinks within a few days but your site has to meet some criteria (age, amount of existing links etc) otherwise it would be quite detrimental and you could see your site “de-indexed” by Google. Imagine a brand new site that suddenly gets 2,000 backlinks, this would never happen in the real world so the search engines are immediately suspicious. There are lots of different methods here and some of the less scrupulous companies will provide links without analysing your site’s requirements first. We try to help the search engines to correctly categorise your site’s content and give you the best chance of success in the search rankings.
Some sites will never be competitive enough to rank highly in Google for some keywords without spending tens of thousands of pounds on advertising. These are generally the sites in hugely competitive areas that already have big players in them.These larger companies spend thousands, sometimes millions, on making their site the top of Google. But there is hope as we can often target keywords and keyphrases that they don’t, delivering quality visitors to your website. In the case of websites that sell products, this visitor traffic is often more targeted to buyers rather than ‘Window shoppers’ so it can be more beneficial. If, like many of our clients, your markup on a product is high, then you may only need to sell a few products to the new visitors you receive to recoup your investment with us.
We have knocked many of the ‘giants’ off the top spots in Google too, so please don’t think it’s impossible; just be realistic about what you want to achieve and we’ll work with you to get there.
What else helps SEO?
We often suggest incorporating a blog where we can include highly targeted articles that link to your existing website, boosting the existing keywords and adding in new ones. Article marketing often runs alongside this adding authority to your website and raising its prominence. Local targeting would add some regional optimisation too, great for businesses with shop fronts.
Social networking is always beneficial and a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Google+ presence, correctly setup, would help to raise your rankings and site awareness. Prices here depend on whether you would maintain the social side or we would. It can be linked to the blog too though, providing a degree of automation.
We would propose a package that would be bespoke to your website’s needs but all costs would be discussed in advance and nothing hidden. Some questions answered:
Are your SEO package prices one off fees or are they monthly fees?
We have a mixture. Those listed on our website are all one-off fees but clients come back for more when required and often branch out into other territories such as social marketing with us as their business grows. Search Engine Optimisation is an ongoing thing, your rankings need to be maintained as new competitors come into the market and older ones improve their websites. By mixing the types of packages you have a rounded website that has the best chance of success.
Do you offer any kind of SEO reports showing my website’s current problems?
We can offer website analysis, keyword analysis, keyword rank tracking and backlink analysis. You will be clear on what we can achieve and, while not an exact science as search algorithms often change, we can use our experience to develop the subsequent stages of the SEO process.
As you might imagine, there are many factors that would need to be discussed (and SEO explained further!) so please use the contact form here for initial contact.