What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of altering the structure and content of a website to increase its relevancy in search engine results. This is also beneficial to your website visitors because good SEO streamlines your website, separates content from design and improves your page load time.
There are a wide range of Search Engine Optimisation techniques available. Some focus on the structure and content of the site itself to make it easier for search engines to index while others focus on building external traffic through quality links from reputable sites, blogs and social media and increasing traffic accordingly.
While the techniques are many, varied and sometimes complex, here is a brief synopsis of some of the key areas:
Keywords are the words and terms internet users may enter into a search engine to find your business. Once keywords have been identified, they should be used in your web page titles, headings, meta descriptions and body content. Page titles, headings and descriptions should be unique per page and relevant to the page content. Each page of your website should have a primary focus and the keywords used throughout should be relevant. A search engine tries to deliver relevant results to a user search so your website pages must be relevant for you to rank well.
Meta tags are lines of code used by search engines to index your pages and display descriptions in search engine results. Please note that while meta descriptions should be included on every page, meta keywords are no longer indexed by major search engines such as Google.
Separation of Content From Design
Graphical websites were initially built with simple tables. This was a step up from the original text-only websites that initially dominated the internet. Tables are ideal for displaying tabular data but were adopted for layout design as no other suitable option was available at the time. The biggest drawback to using tables is that they bloat the file-size of a page and content is mixed with design elements. Images often had to be sliced into small parts to fit the layouts and results often varied across different computers and browsers. Mixing design and content also makes the job of search engines much more difficult.
Newer websites use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to separate content from design. CSS files control the look and feel of a website, allowing web pages to focus on content. Pages load more quickly and search engines find and index content more effectively.
Search Engine Sitemaps, Robots and all that Jazz
Amongst the millions of websites online, we can make google’s job easier when it visits and indexes your website by creating XML sitemaps to identify the priority order of pages within your website, inform google when pages were last updated and a Robots file identifies any pages/files that should not be indexed (such as admin areas).
External Traffic and Internet Marketing
A backlink is a link on a website that links to your website.
If a number of quality external websites link to your website, search engines may see your websites as of greater significance to the internet community and therefore rank higher. It is a worthwhile exercise to build reciprocal links with affiliated and relevant websites. Listing your website with reputable online search directories can also be beneficial (ie Google places, truelocal.com.au, yellow pages). Caution should, however, be exercised as not all backlinks are equal. Having suspicious or spammy websites link to you (often setup by cheap SEO companies) can result in initial boosts to your rank but cause you to lose ranking in the long term.
Social Media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn are not only a great way to engage with your audience but can also benefit your search engine ranking. They can serve as great tools for driving traffic to your website and search engines factor in the traffic you receive from social media.
Additional Paid Services
There are also a range of paid options such as Google AdWords. Short term results can be gained quickly with paid campaigns like Google AdWords, allowing you to target specific demographics using specific keywords. Google campaigns allow you to set monthly limits and you pay-per-click ie only when internet users click a link through to your website.
Facebook offer both adverts and the ability to promote a single facebook post to specific demographics.
Dedicated Search Engine Optimisation – we currently liaise with specialist SEO companies who can offer high levels of dedicated SEO. Targeting specific keyword phrases, writing blog posts on your behalf, creating external links to your site and optimising your existing keywords, they drive extra traffic and increase your position in organic search engine results.
Please contact us today to discuss search engine optimisation for your website.