SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
It is a term that covers the many many techniques that can be used to help your website show up in better positions in search engines. Lets first take a look at how search works.
Using Google to Find Things
We all use search engines these days to find products, services, news and a host of other items. So we go to a search engine and type something in.
The arrow in point 1 is pointing to what is known as your search term. According to Quora there are between 3 and 4 billion searches per day. No that isn’t a typo. The search term above is one more. Lets look at the results of this search term and explain some of what you are seeing.
If you look on the left in the grey box you can see ways to refine your search to images, blog, news and video. Before we look at the results lets look at the purple box. Google knows that I entered this search from Cork as I am logged into my Google account and tailors my search results accordingly. Even if you aren’t logged into Google or GMail they still know by the address of your computer where you are searching from and tailor your results accordingly. If you search from different locations you would see different results.
In the red box I have highlighted the first 5 results. The buzz word for all of these results is SERPS or Search Engine Results Pages. But don’t worry about that. If you have a business then you really want to be in these top 5 positions for search terms. Most people don’t look beyond these first 5 results. And few people if any go beyond the first page. Statiistics also show that the percentage of people who click through on results drops dramatically after position one and two.
Everybody wants to rank number one as if you do you have a much better chance of someone visiting your websites and doing business and you making money. However it is impossible to consistently rank number one for a search term as Google changes regularly and your competition is also trying to work to rank also. However a healthy goal should be to rank in the first 5 search results. How you achieve this is the work of your SEO.
How We Make Sure Your Site Can Be Seen By Search Engines
For our all our website customers they all get the following installed part of our standard website package.
- We setup Google Analytics on your site so you can check your website traffic . Traffic does not equal to search engine ranking but a propular site builds authority so over time it is important. analytics also has a rich data set showing popular and non popular pages. Read More about Google Analytics
- It is very important that Google knows about your site and we verify your site using Google Webmaster tools. Read About Google Webmaster Tools
- A sitemap tells the search engines the structure and layout of your site to improve your visibility. With our website CMS we use using the latest plugins to dynamically create this sitemap for you so you don’t have to worry about it. Read more about Sitemaps
Ideally your SEO planning should start when you first create your site but if it hasn’t then that isn’t the end of the world. It cannot be emphasised enough that there are many many factors that influence your ranking the most well known ones are the following.
- Your site content. The pages that you write on your site must be relevant, well written and well structured. Underneath this statement there are lots of things at content level that are good practice for improving your site. The more relevant pages with good keyword structure you have the better. That is why all of our sites offer unlimited pages for your website so that the technology doesn’t hold you back.
- Links to your website. Links to your site are probably what most people are familiar with. But there are high value links and low value links. High Value links are from authoritative, related websites that are in your business. Low calue cover a wider range and cover directories, low ranking websites and so on. For example for me here in Cork in website design and SEO a link from somewhere like Searchengineland would be much more value than one from a a gardening site. This is a simplistic example but I hope it makes sense.
- Domain Authority of your site. Authority is a word that is used constantly in SEO. What it means is that your site is seen as an authority in your field (or fields). This does not happen overnight. It can take weeks, months or years. More often than not for the majority of sites it doesn’t happen at all as they don’t put in the mileage to make their site authoratie. A good SEO can explain how to do this but I bet you can guess how to start – yes write good content
There are many other techniques to help you be found in search but if you work on the three points above you will be doing something that most of your competition does not do. If you have a new website it can take a week or two for Google to even know you are there so imagine the effort to let them know that you deserve to be on page one for your business keywords.