SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
Don’t Believe All That You Hear
SEO is an abbreviation of Search Engine Optimisation. It’s all about making sure your site is found in online searches.
You may find people offering you services that are guaranteed to get you to the top of Google’s rankings. Believe me, that is very unlikely to happen. It takes preparation, patience and an ongoing commitment to develop your website.
The Rules are Always Changing
The way in which your website is ranked changes frequently. Not long ago a whole variety of underhand techniques were employed to boost rankings. Pages would be stuffed with keywords and you could buy back-links (links from other sites) that were supposed to give your site credibility. All sorts of measures were employed to hide keywords so that they were invisible to humans but visible to Google.
Today Google is very quick to spot so called black hat techniques. Websites that deliberately try to manipulate their search engine results can find their rankings reduced and could even be banned from Google searches. What Google wants you to do is optimise your site to provide a good quality user experience. Keywords are still useful, but they should be used in moderation. Back-links are fine too, but they need to be from credible sources.
Content is King
One of the most successful ways of getting indexed is to provide good quality content on a regular basis. That is one of the reasons why many sites use a blog. It’s a focal point for regular updates.
There are still many companies that offer SEO services and most are reputable organisations that provide marketing activity to help you with SEO. They may help with writing blog posts or manage Twitter and Facebook accounts for you. If you are regularly mentioned in social media that too will help your rankings.
My SEO Services
Whilst it is clear that SEO goes way beyond web design, my services will still provide you with a basic level of optimisation. This is included in the price of your website. Here are some of the things I will do;
- work with you to identify your keywords and advise you on keyword density
- if provided I can insert bespoke meta data (the snippets of information seen underneath search results)
- optimise your images to appear in image search results
- advise you on titles for your pages
- make sure you have a clear permalink structure (each page has a separate URL that makes sense to search engines)
- create an XML sitemap (which is submitted to Google and Bing to help them find you)
- install social media links on your site so readers can easily share your content
- install caching software to make your site load faster (speed counts with Google).
That should get you started. It’s then up to you to decide if you want to pursue activities such as blogging and engaging with social media.
Whatever you choose to do please be patient. Google rankings don’t happen overnight.