Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
You know you need it, but what is SEO specifically, and why is it important?
What is SEO? – and keep it simple!
Search Engine Optimisation is a range of individual techniques which optimise the way your site is interpreted by search engines, so you have a better chance of appearing in search engine results pages for relevant search terms.
The term SEO covers a lot of individual tasks: Organising your pages, writing good content, using images well, making sure the code behind the site is valid and more. When done right and monitored properly, they can have fantastic results.
Can you get me to Number 1 on Google?
Almost certainly not. If any company or individual guarantees to ‘get you to the top of Google‘ you should immediately start running away. Google’s ever-changing algorithm is too sophisticated to make such guarantees possible. What we can do is build your site and optimise it expertly. This means that search engines will understand and rank your site appropriately – and the traffic you get will be people who are actually interested in your company.
Frequently Asked Questions on Search Engine Optimisation:
What are Keywords and what makes them ‘Relevant’?
Keywords are what people type into a search engine when they’re looking for something specific online. This is more likely to be a short phrase such as ‘how to replace the cylinder head in a 1957 Gold Star‘, rather than ‘fixing my bike‘.
Choosing the keywords that you want to rank for (ie appear as high in the results as possible) is very important. Some keywords (or phrases) will be searched for in higher volume than others. This means that you have very little chance of competing against the rest of the world for broad (or too generic) searches. So, being specific is key.
Are the images on my site important?
The images you use will help your site to look appealing, but they have an important part in SEO too.
Google is able to analyse images to decide if they are relevant to the rest of the content. It can tell if you’re using stock images that can be found all across the web – and treats them as poor quality content.
Even the filenames that the images are saved as are important. An image called ‘dekton-trilium-stone-kitchen-worktop.jpg‘ will improve the quality of a page, whereas ‘IMG2022-03(1)-copy.jpg‘ is meaningless.
What do ‘Black Hat’ and ‘White Hat’ mean in SEO?
Black Hat Techniques are shady ways to try and ‘game’ a site into ranking. This might involve things like using a competitor’s brand name in your keywords (to try and steal their traffic) or loading a page with dozens of instances of the same keywords. Google learns these techniques and punishes them.
Conversely, White Hat Techniques are (as you’ll have probably guessed) mean creating a properly structured site with good quality content and providing everything a search engine needs to understand what your site is about.
It’s not a ‘one-and-done’ process
SEO isn’t something you can just ‘do’ and move on. As search engines develop, visitors search for different things, competing websites are launched and your own business develops – your SEO efforts need to update, improve and refine to keep your site ranking.
Since most of us view websites on our phones or tablets more than ever (and generally more often than on desktop computers) how your site looks and performs on a mobile device is absolutely paramount. Google gives more importance to how your site behaves on mobile than on a desktop and ranks accordingly.
This is also because navigating a website on a phone is vastly different to how we navigate a large screen with a mouse.
What is Meta Information or Metatags?
Meta information or metatags are blocks of information in the code behind your pages that aren’t visible to the visitor, but are read by search engines to scaffold what’s on the page and make your site rank better.
What is ‘good content’ and does text matter?
The text on your website is extremely important. ‘Good content‘ means that it’s appropriate to the topic of the page, contains relevant keywords and is presented in a structured way.
Breaking large amounts of text into shorter paragraphs, adding subheadings, using bulleted lists where suitable are just a few methods for making your content easy for a search engine to interpret – and just as importantly, for your visitors to digest easily.
Google’s latest AI techniques know the difference between well-written information and badly-constructed language that’s just trying to shoehorn in the keywords!