What is SEO all about? Search engine optimisation is getting a website to appear in a search engines results. Search engines read websites from time to time and log them and place them within their records. This is called crawling and indexing.
If you have a website, then you probably want it to get visitors and enquiries, to do this you will need your website to be ‘optimised).
An SEO company can help with getting your website optimised, or you can optimise the website yourself. Using a search company to optimise your website will be more expensive, as you will need to pay them. But optimising it yourself may take a long time depending on how large your website is.
A search engine is trying to match up the results with what you are looking for. Sites that appear at the top of the page, the search engine feels are what you are looking for, and the ones going down the page and onto other pages are less relevent. Search engines are constantly re-indexing websites so that they are able to provide you (the visitor) with up to date results. This is called an algorithm and is constantly evolving as search engines evolve their search patterns and rules.
This is why keeping your website regularly updated is good, as search engines love new data to munch through.
It can be broken down to four areas:
On-site optimisation has to do with the actual website itself. The would involve the designer ensuring that the website is SEO friendly. This means that when a search engine sends a ‘spider‘, which is a robot program that tests all the links on your website, reads all the page titles, checks for error messages etc. it has no problems in navigating its way through the site and finds what you want it to find.
The designer would also ensure that the site is keyword rich. Keywords are the actual words of phrases that you are targeting visitors for, so for example the keywords for a firm of solicitors in Birmingham would be ‘legal services Birmingham’, ‘solicitors in Birmingham’, ‘legal advise Birmingham’ and so on. Having keywords in the titles of the page and also appearing throughout the site will show to search engines that your site is relevant and is what the visitor is wanting.
Off-Site optimisation accounts for around 60% of the work that an optimisation company would do (40% being on-site) and would involve link building primarily. Search engines consider that a website that has lots of links pointing at it, is a good site and will grade it higher than a website that is brand new or has few links.
Technical optimisation is different to both onsite SEO and offsite SEO in that it is to do with the actual functioning ‘under the hood’. How speedy is your website to load? What is the coding like? What plugins are used? Is the version of WordPress up to date (or whichever platform you are using)? This is the process of optimising your website for crawling and indexing on the search engines.
Link building is something that is an ongoing process for search. This is done through a number of different ways:
In the old days before mainstream search engines, the only way that you could find something on the internet was to use a web directory. There are 10,000’s of them all around the world. Most of them are free of charge, and they could help you find what you are looking for. However the problem was, that if what you were looking for was not on a particular directory, then you would not come up. What the search engines did is brought all the directories together (a kind of central source) and gave users just 1 simple way of finding anything. Google came to the forefront as a leading search engine due to it being clutter free, popup free and simple to use; going on to become the market leader for search engines.
There are 100’s of article websites which act as a resource for search engines to go through. Most article sites are free of charge and allow you to post your information for free. In return they will give you a link to your website. Another option is writing an publishing articles on your own website (like this one that you are reading) which from an web optimisation perspective is better.
Link exchanging was very popular in that website owners would exchange links with each other. The problem is that as you gain a link, search engines also see you giving one. This may be friendly however search engines prefer one way links (links to you) rather than reciprocal. Reciprocal links are still good, but one way links are more powerful in the world of search engines.
There is skepticism about this in the SEO world, but most sources say this is OK if managed well. Buying links is based on you getting a link from a high ranking website pointing at you for a certain keyword you are trying to build on. Search engines see these sort of links as very powerful, worth around 600 links from a free directory. However if search engines see you buying links daily or more than 1 per week, they could penalise or blacklist your website. The reason is that buying links is not natural as search engines are concerned, so be careful in managing them.
PR is a great way to get links from blogs, social media and other websites that like your article. The only problem is that you cannot control who links to your website from reading your press release; however PR is a very cost effective way of getting on-line visibility and generating a lot of internet traffic.
Search engines now read social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter and the like) so having and using a social media account is important. Posting/tweeting also shows search engines that you are there, you are active and are of interest. Just no cat pictures please!
Web forums started off as places where techies and geeks would get together to swap ideas, exchange banter etc. However search engines do read them and often pull up information, links etc. from posts. Now many businesses use web forums to network and also to get links.
Web optimisation companies basically try to manipulate the search results, to get you higher. Some companies try to cheat, which is why the algorithms are constantly updated. Links do still show popularity, but in 2020 is it is more to do with quality than quantity. In the past, if you had 1,000,000 backlinks to your website, you were going to clime online! Now it is about quality. How many authoritative websites are linked to you? How many websites in your industry sector mention you? How many spammy websites, or websites in India are pointing to you. Spammy links actually cause issues for you ranking now.
All SEO companies are different, so it is work comparing a few based on their knowledge of your industry. If they know your industry, how your market works and how your competitors are working; then they should do a good job for you.
If you would like more free advice or guidance with what is optimisation going to do for you, just use the enquiry form opposite.