SEO also known as Search Engine Optimisation, is the common term for anything that is done in order to ensure that a website ranks for relevant search terms within all the main search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo). However for the majority of websites, merely getting high number of visitors with a high ranking website is not enough. Ensuring that the traffic received from search engines converts into sales or performs some other action required for the website such as signing up to some for of subscription is also just as important.
There are three main Search Engine Optimisation steps:
- Target the right keywords – Your keywords will need to be relevant, achievable and profitable
- Build your website around these keywords – Write content for humans, optimise for search engines
- Build backlinks to your website – Get links from other websites to your website from other websites in your particular market
There are many more things you could be doing to make your website rank better in the search engines. The process is considerably more complex than what we’ve explained above, but doing the above will go along way to improving your visibility in the search engines. If you consider Google have actively come out and said that when calculating it’s search rankings, it considers over 200 factors to do so, some with up to 500 variations. Nevertheless, these three points stand as a good framework for any SEO campaign and will work well as a starting point to build on from.
Why employ a company to handle your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
- 80% of the time, an online transaction will start with a search engine search result
- Every day, Google alone handles several hundred million searches around the World
- The majority of people never get past the first page of results or even past the top 3 results
- Most people will simply search using different keywords if they do not find what they want
If you want to make the most of your web presence, it is important that your website is ranking on the first page for relevant terms. You cannot expect to compete online if your website cannot be found by your potential audience. If your website is not on the first page, it is to some extent, invisible to the outside World.
Making use of the right SEO services is the most cost-effective way of attracting customers to your website.
When choosing an SEO company, what should they offer you?
- They should a proven track record of previous clients
- They should have the technical know-how needed
- They should communicate with you (telephone/email)
- They should understand the needs of your business
- They should provide a comprehensive and natural link building campaign
Can your current SEO company provide you with all of this? If not, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your SEO campaign. If SEO is done badly, rather than have the desired affect of improving your search engine rankings. It can actually have the opposite affect and be detrimental to your websites success.
What’s new in SEO?
Since Google is consistently changing it’s search algorithm in order to create the perfect search results listings. Keeping up with these changes is of paramount importance in order to keep onside with Google’s changes. As an SEO company, it’s our aim to keep you informed of recent changes Google has made and how these changes may affect how we do SEO on your websites.
Keeping your SEO campaign natural
Many years ago, building links quickly through the use of directories was an established way of ranking well in Google. However, Google quickly realised this devalued the search listings and penalised websites using this as an effective means to ranking well in Google. Now over the last 12 months or so, building a links profile that appears natural and not manipulated in anyway, has become more important than the sheer number of links pointing towards your website. In other words, it has become more important to make sure of the quality of your links, placing increased emphasis on the type, source and anchor text of your inbound links.
Google Local and Bing Local
If your business is a clicks and bricks (physical business with website) as a posed to pure play (online only). You should be making the most of both Google Local and Bing Local listings. Having your address referenced on your website and a Google Local and Bing Local listing has become essential in order to rank well for many local search terms. It is quick and easy to add your business so it should be the foundation of your efforts for your local SEO campaign.
Google Instant and Bing instant search query suggestions
Google implemented an update to it’s search engine called Google Instant which is a search suggestion tool to help people find what they are looking for. If you’re wondering where these search suggestions come from, Google offers them based on how people actually search. Google has said there are other factors used to determine what to show beyond just the popularity of searches. However, anything that’s suggested comes from real search activity by Google users, the company has said. Not to be outdone, Bing also implemented their own version of the instant search query suggestions. Due to this feature, it has meant many people change the way they search for things online. It has meant that in some cases, people may actually begin to search for longer search queries with two, three, four or even five word terms which happen to be more specific to what they are trying to find.
Google Algorithm updates
Every year, Google does a series of updates to it’s search algorithms in it’s attempt to make the search results more relevant. The purpose of all of these updates is to separate the quality websites from the low-quality websites in the search results. The latest update, was also one of the biggest Google has ever announced and is known as the Panda update, quite a fitting name since the Panda is a large animal.
Google Algorithm Naming Schemes
Google rarely gives the updates a public name, but for ease of reference, SEOs and webmasters have offered up names for the updates. These have been quite random with no real logic to each name. The very first update to be given a name was the “Boston” update in 2003, the reason for the name was simply because it was revealed by Google at SES Boston that they’d updated their algorithm. The name was given by users on the Webmaster World forum. It’s as simple as that…
Later updates took on other names such as “Cassandra”, “Dominic”, “Esmerelda” which were also named by WMW users. These were given in a style similar to how hurricanes are named. However, this only lasted so long and once the monthly “Google Dance” ended, that system fell into disuse.
Later updates were given names by various sources, including WMW, and other major search blogs and forums. There has also been the occasional name given by Google themselves, such as the “Caffeine” update. Other names have been Google-inspired such “Vince” and “Panda” which were named after Google engineers.
Want more information about Google’s algorithm changes through the years? Check out the Google Algorithm Updates Infographic.
If you want further information on how we can help you with your SEO campaign, please contact us