What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation is the process of improving the volume or quantity of traffic to a web site via Search Engine Result Pages (or SERPS).
Search engines periodically scan the internet to find new web sites using programs called Robots. When a search engine finds a new web site, they attempt to index it (basically meaning they save a copy) within their own databases. Users then use the search engine to find a web site from their database using relevant keywords or keyphrases.
If your site has been designed well, using correct SEO techniques, it should get listed near the top of the Search Engine Result Pages.
Important SEO Considerations
One very important thing to consider is that you must not try to fool search engines into listing your site. There are various ways people will try to do this, old methods included “keyword stuffing” and “spamdexing”, more recently “google bombing” has appeared. Unfortunately this can lead to misleading results within the SERP and therefore search engines tend to blacklist sites from the search engine database itself (rendering the site un-searchable).
Our SEO Techniques
We have been analyzing SEO techniques over time and have compiled the following guidance to give you an idea of how we conduct search engine optimisation:
Step by Step | SEO Guidance
Optimise the Web site
- Your web site must be “optimised”, meaning designed well using the correct coding standards and structured in a way that makes navigation easy. The site should ideally validate against the W3C Validation Tool
- Domain names are highly searchable, therefore choose your domain name with care. We would always suggest however that a domain name should reflect your company name, maybe with the possibility of using one keyword in there somewhere. Keep it brief though, the longer the domain name the more difficult it will be to remember
- Also the age of a domain name is relevant, the older the domain name is, the more likely the web site will be of quality use to someone. Probably why people pay money for old domain names (or steal yours if you don’t renew it quickly enough!)
Titles of Pages
- Every page in your site should have a unique title which is displayed (usually in blue) as text with the search engine results page (SERP)
- Avoid stuffing too many keywords in here, it needs to be readable and should entice the user to click it
Description of Pages
- Again every page should have a unique description, this is an overview of the page contents, perhaps the first few lines of the first paragraph and usually appears in black beneath the title within the SERP
- Search engine robots look for Headings within the text of each web page, therefore choose these with care, ensure they are relevant to the content
- Search engines obviously look for text itself, this is where you need to ensure your keywords, titles, description and headings all match the actual textual content. If not the search engine may blacklist you
- You could also use bold or italic text on some keywords within your main copy text, apparently this may indicate importance to the search engines
Alternate Text on Images
- Accessibility as an important factor, all images must have alternate text available
- This text is used by screen readers (for example JAWS) and also appears if images have been blocked by the browser
- When a search engine robot finds your site it will usually retrieve your homepage first
- The robot will then try to find all of the links from your homepage to the rest of the site
- It is very important to ensure all of your links work, if a robot follows a dead link your page rank may be penalized
- Also, robots (at this time) cannot read text on images, so you will need to supply plain text links somewhere if you’re using flashy graphics on your menu system
- Apparently however some Search Engines are researching ways to read text on images and in animations
- META Data is used within the Head section of each web page
- It can contain many pieces of information, including keywords, descriptions and robot instructions
- However some META Data can be replaced by instructions within Sitemaps (such as asking a search engine to revisit a site every 7 days) and can therefore be disregarded
- Some search engines may only use parts of META Data that others do not (for example Google does not read META Keywords due to old keyword stuffing methods)
- Sitemaps are used to tell search engines what pages exist within a web site
- They can also be used to define a priority of web pages and specify how often the search engine should index it
- Sitemaps are currently supported in XML (for Google) and Text (for Yahoo) based formats
Page Rank and Relevant Inbound Links
- The overall quality of a web site is determined by its Page Rank
- The Page Rank algorithm was developed by Google to assign a numerical weighting to a web site which is used to determine how important it is
- This will obviously effect how highly you will be listed in the SERP
- Page rank can be acquired from relevant inbound links from other web sites
- The more inbound links you have, the more important your site is and the higher its page rank could be
- Also if the site linking to you has a high page rank, it will also increase your own
- You could also contact the webmasters of other web sites directly (again relevant web sites) and ask if they would list you
- You must be careful here, old SEO techniques involve blanket submitting your site to hundreds of directories on the internet in an attempt to increase your page rank
- However the links must be relative to your site content, only opt to list yourself in directories which are relevant to your site
- Also it appears that webpages with just masses of links going to lots of different websites are now being ignored
- Other areas to consider would be creating your own Blogs and RSS Feeds, but these must be kept up to date
- A particular “spamdexing” technique for link building involved leaving comments on blogs and forums with your contact details including your web site address. This is called “link spamming”, avoid this unless it is actually a legitimate comment (for example; “hello, nice weather today isn’t it? for further information please contact the webmaster at www.aerovisionit.co.uk” is not really a legitimate comment!)
- Articles are a good way to create legitimate inbound links, these can be posted on various websites, but like blogs and RSS feeds, you must keep them up to date
So there you have it, our own SEO Techniques. All of this however takes time to achieve, the search engine robots revisit websites periodically and so each time an update is made to SEO there is a delay before the results materialise. We obviously include our SEO with all of our Website Design Projects, however if you already have a web site, but want it optimised for SEO please contact us and we will be ready to help out.
Contact us for more Information
Simply contact us and we will be happy to provide you with more information.