What is SEO?

Each search engine uses a different method of collecting and ranking pages on the net - an algorithm, the most secret aspects of which are valued in the millions!  The way these algorithms rank pages has nuances to each search engine but follows the same broad strokes:

Content

It should surprise no one that the first measure of any website is its content.  The greater and most accurate content available, the better you will rank on the website.  A mistake many websites make is providing minimal information with a “Contact Us For More” call to action.  Depending on the site's demographic that may be enough to get a few potential sales to make contact, but limiting the content available, limits the number who find the website, to begin with.

Take Joe’s Gardening Services as an example.  Joe wants to increase the number of regulars he has, so one of the four pages on his site has some images of lawns he cares for and a sentence reading: “Our lawn care is second-to-none and offers discounts to regulars - get in touch to learn more”.   His page data mentions he operates in Hertfordshire and a few keywords about his business name.  But when Google crawls that website, and indexes the terms of this page - it doesn’t see “Grass Cutting and Maintenance in Watford”, so when someone runs that search, Google won't know to put the searcher and website together.

Adding a blog is a good way of adding lots of functional information.  Learn more about blogs here.

SEOBacklinks

It’s true, you never leave the school popularity contests.  Backlinks are links to your website in other websites.  Sometimes they’re the simple and obvious choice like Yell or Trust a Trader.  Other times they can be links to blogs or articles in your website, products in your shop, or links as preferred suppliers.

Be Careful

Warning - don’t spam forums and websites with backlinks where they’re not relevant and appropriate - Google will penalise and downgrade your site.  Many cheap SEO providers and offerings in places like Fiverr and People Per Hour do this as their “SEO Service”.  It may work for a couple of weeks, but then your site will be dropped down the list by Google.

Social Interactions

As of 2015, almost ⅓ of all referral traffic came from social media.  It’s a hard statistic to soundly quantify, but we can be assured that this number has only gone up in the last two years.  Because of this, search engines monitor social networks as much, if not more, than the average website.  Sharing your content, and links to your website is a great tool for benefiting from this.  

Be Careful

Be careful though - drown your feed with links may help your google, but not your social network following.

Searches and Results

Google alone processes over 40’000 search queries every single second - that’s over 3.5 Billion daily!  Needless to say, when it comes to data, they have plenty! This information is used to help refine search results - the more your website is clicked when shown in a page of results, the more search engines will rank you higher.  The inverse is also true, if you show up on hundreds of results but are never clicked, then you drop.  The best way to ensure this works in your favour is to refine your page descriptions and titles, so users know exactly what your page has to offer.

Hits

Don’t underestimate the traditional way of arriving at websites - type in an address.  These methods are also taken into consideration along with referral links. 

Website Construction & Code

Websites have evolved so much over the last two decades - and they continue to do so.  At this point, the value of the code and behind-the-scenes content is just as important as that which is visible.

The most basic and understood is metadata - which has been around decades. The top 3 types are Page Title, Description, and Keywords.  The data must always be accurate as incorrect data - using unrelated data in order to entice people to click will cause your website to get penalised and downgraded by google.

Then there’s a lot of structured content which tells search engines about specific things on the page.  These can be things like Products (with product info, price, data, options), Recipes, Reviews, Books etc - in many cases, the information also shows in search results.  This is a great way to improve your SEO.

 

There are many agencies who offer SEO services.  The quality of output can vary widely and the prices can be steep.  In an area where it takes a long time for results to be seen, and the day to day works are intangible, it can be difficult to find the right company to entrust.

We recommend utilising an SEO Audit and Improvement service before a monthly commitment.  This is a service we offer to our existing clients where we help refine the content, behind-the-scenes code and online presence of the website based on their current marketing objectives.  Following this with a Google cpc campaign is a strong and efficient way to improve your search engine rankings. 

Not everyone can commit to any large one-off or long-term SEO campaign, so for them, we offer one piece of advice - avoid stagnation!  Keep your website updated, add content to your page and give search engines the proof that you’re active and engaging with clients.  

 

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