Search Engine Optimisation - What Is It?
March 19, 2014 Article by Dylan Williams
At Websimple, one of the services we offer is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
What is it? Well, at the highest level it is the art of getting traffic from search engines from their “organic” search listings (i.e. the ones that you don’t have to pay for and, statistically, the ones most likely to be clicked by teh Customer). But how does SEO work?
To understand SEO you must first understand how a search engine works. And by search engine, we of course mean Google as currently this covers the multitude of searches in the UK.
A website, when you put aside all of the graphics, photos and movies, is just a collection of words and code describing a subject, service, product etc. This is what a search engine calls Content.
Google sends out software (“spiders” or “web crawlers”) to visit websites and read the Content. From this it can identify how the website best represents the subject it pertains to discuss.
The Content may then be indexed by Google and ranked in direct comparison to any other sites it has crawled on the same given subject.
So, when a Customer searches for a given subject, Google will identify the keywords from the search enquiry and return search results from the index and ordered by rank. The websites with the Content that Google believes best represents the subject the Customer is searching for get top billing.
Notwithstanding a few variations according to geographical location, that’s pretty much it.
Google, love it or hate it, is very democratic. You cannot buy it. Google’s focus is the Customer experience and how best to give the Customer the best possible match for their search as they possibly can.
And, of course it is free.
With this in mind, SEO is actually quite simple in principle although can be quite fiddly in practice. We offer to deal with your SEO needs with a tailored approach according to your requirements.
In engaging on an SEO project, we will look to engage a number of techniques and philosophies including the following:
Content! Content! Content! Google loves good content!
Good quality, original Content up with a spattering of “keywords” (these being the words or terms your Customer will use to find the site.) Focus is on what you can offer, what set sets you apart from the competition, your USP (unique selling point.) Writing content for the Customer not for the search engine. Your website should be a resource, not a sales pitch.
Swim or die! Frequently refreshed content, such as a blog or news page, adds to the Customer experience encouraging revisits as well as helping to improve the Google position.
In the near future, most web surfing will be on a hand held or mobile device – if not already by the time you read this. The site must accommodate this change.
The standards and use of the code used to write a website changes frequently. Whilst a website still looks like it works, it may be full of errors and this cannot help. Good housekeeping by your designer can help avoid this but it is appreciated that some websites are “old” and will need rewriting from the ground up.
In the past, whole “farms” of page links were used to try and manipulate Google into believing a website was a good resource for its subject. Now, such practices are frowned upon however, good links to your website from other respected websites will benefit its profile in Google’s eyes.
Facebook,Twitter, You Tube, Google+: these are all ways of getting your name out there and your message across. Get a page, get some friends and SHARE!
Success doesn’t come overnight. Except for when it does.
We have seen websites take months to really take hold where as others explode overnight.
Some SEO firms will promise you almost instant results but these may be gained in a way that Google will frown upon long term and possible penalise or exclude your website.
A patient approach, which will incorporate trial and error, tweaks and adjustments, will gain greater, long term benefits.
If you have questions or queries on anything regarding SEO or if you need advice on your existing website or ideas then please don’t hesitate to contact us.