Why is SEO so important? Why is my website not listed in search results? How do I get people to visit my website? Do I need to spend money on pay per click (PPC) or are organic search results sufficient? How can I improve my search results?
With so many questions about SEO, let's start at the beginning...
What exactly is Search Engine Optimisation?
In a nutshell Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is the process of setting out a website and each of its pages to be as effective as they can possibly be with the search engines.
Search engines are asked by their users to return a list of websites which are the closest matches for the search term entered, and successful SEO on websites and individual pages will allow them to stand a better chance of being listed amongst the top search results.
Is SEO it important? Absolutely!
SEO is important, but how important will depend on what you want from your website.
If you have the most incredible site but no one ever gets to see it, then what is the point of that website? Worse still, if your business depends on it, then you’ve got a big problem!
So if you want your website to be seen (and who doesn't?), being as close to the top of the list of search results as possible should be your goal. Done correctly and consistently, SEO can make this happen.
But this won't happen overnight, and it will require a lot of attention, monitoring and analysis.
What does SEO involve?
Ideally your website should be built from the ground up with usability and SEO in mind. Some of the specifics are explained further down this page, but let’s just say at this point that SEO should have been a key consideration right from the start of the development of your website, and not just an add on at the end.
But what if it wasn’t designed to be effective? Is it too late?
The answer is no, things can be done to improve your effectiveness with search engines, but how much can be done would need to be assessed on a case by case basis. Our website health check would be a good place to start that investigation.
Does making a website search engine friendly mean it won’t look as good?
Not at all. In the early days of the web, success with search engines was often achieved by cramming as many keywords and key phrases on a page as possible. For example it might read something like:
Targa Web Services is a leading web design agency in Lincolnshire. Our 25 years website design experience speaks for itself, and we are unbeaten the in Lincolnshire area for building quality websites. You will find that our website design services are amongst the cheapest and best value in Lincolnshire.
That is NOT how I want to portray Targa, but you get the idea? It was very much a case of how many times can the same thing be said in as many ways as possible.
From that short piece of content you know for sure that we design websites and are based in Lincolnshire, but when websites were (and in some cases still are) written in this way, it can look a bit desperate or a bit patronising, and it certainly doesn’t look very professional.
In the early days search engines found it easy to figure out that the higher the proportion of keywords and key phrases a page holds, the more relevant it must be to the search query. So to win that race, just build a page include even more keywords than all of the other pages out there. That should work!
Well that’s how it used to be... keyword stuffing... and some websites still operate on that basis.
Thankfully things are continuing to change
For example Google places increasing importance on meaningful and relevant content, and discourages any form of keyword stuffing.
So what does meaningful and relevant content mean?
Well in our case, we design websites mainly for the trades and motorsport, we provide a number of web related services, and we are based in Lincolnshire in the UK. Our website and its pages should reflect that. But if we were to try and attract web traffic by using keywords for things we don't do (graphic design for magazine adverts, for example) that wouldn't be relevant.
But how meaningful is it? Does a website, for example, portray the company as being experts in their field, and from all of the other options of similar companies in the area, do you get the sense that this company is the one which is most suited to your needs?
Google tries to determine just that, by evaluating the nature and content of a website against criteria which assesses the credibility of a website and it's owners. Google calls this process E-A-T which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
I won’t go into that any further for now, but you can clearly see that it is a far better, albeit a far more complex approach than working out the volume of keywords on a page and delivering search results on that basis.
What are SERPs?
SERPs is a term which you may or may not have come across, but you use them a lot... probably every day.
SERPs simply means Search Engine Results Pages. Google it, then look as the search results display in the SERPs!
Get in touch
If you would like to discuss anything further, I can be reached by email or phone as follows:
Phone: 01406 373511