Image this scenario; you've just splashed out on a brand-spanking new eCommerce website and after several months of development it launches. You're relaxing in your comfy armchair, sipping champagne (with your pinky out, of course) congratulating yourselves on a job well done, when suddenly it dawns... why aren't your orders flooding in?
Well, the answer can be found in three words... no, not I love you (after all, we barely know you), we meant Search Engine Optimisation, of course!
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is a process of increasing your website's visibility in search engines (for example Google, Yahoo, Bing etc). Ideally your website should appear on the first two pages of the search engine results for relevant keyword searches; studies show that most people never click past page two of search engine results.
All of our sites will be built using semantic code that the search engine spiders will easily identify. However in order to get your site to the top of the search engines (and stay there) you need to have an active SEO strategy in place.
We've been asked several times before why SEO is not included in the initial cost of the website development and so we've come up with the following analogy... Think of your website like a car - it has been built with the parts needed to hold the petrol, but it doesn't come with a free lifetime's supply of fuel, does it?
Broadly speaking, there are two main areas of search engine optimisation; on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Both are necessary to ensure you get good search engine placements for your website.
On-page search engine optimisation techniques involve choosing the right keywords for your website and including these in the text that appears on your website. The way a website is structured is also important so that a search engine can easily read and index the content and know which parts of the site are most important.
This refers to what can be done off the pages of the website to increase performance in the search engines. It involves building links on other websites that point to the website being optimised.
The first step in optimising a website for search engines is to choose the right keywords. Our team will perform research to produce a list of keywords that are appropriate to your products or services.
A good keyword or phrase is one that is not only relevant, but there must also be enough people actually using that term in their searches for it to boost web traffic.
Certain business areas are highly competitive, and therefore getting good search engine positionings for generic terms can be competitive too. It is often best to identify niche keywords and phrases that better define the product or service being offered. For example a company offering a car valeting service in Southampton would find it hard to achieve a good search engine placement for the search term "car". In any case, most of the traffic generated from this search term would not be relevant; people would be looking for car sales, repairs and other car-related services, not necessarily valeting. A more sensible phrase to optimise for would be "car valeting southampton".
Roberts White will research to find the best keywords that will result in high search engine placements and drive relevant traffic to your website.
When search engines determine a website's relevance for a particular key phrase, one of the ranking factors they employ is to examine the keyword density; how often a particular search word or phrase appears on that page as a percentage of the total number of words. Getting the keyword density high enough ensures that the search engines see the page as relevant for that phrase. Too many occurrences of the term on the page, however, can lead to penalisation, causing a fall in search engine placement. Getting the balance right, therefore, is key to the success of SEO.
Web pages need some pages of content to enable them to contain keywords at the right density. It is best for this content to be original because some search engines penalise websites that duplicate content from other sites.
Also important is reaching the right balance between search engine optimised text and readability; too often optimised pages are written almost entirely with the search engine in mind with little regard for the human that will be reading them.
The most successful SEO campaigns utilise frequent addition of new content to websites. This encourages search engines to come back regularly to index new updates and helps to give more importance to a site in a search engine's "eyes".
Roberts White can update your site on a regular basis with properly optimised, keyword balanced, high quality articles that meet these criteria.
Correct structuring of a web page is essential to show search engines which parts of the content are most important. Proper use of hierarchical heading tags (<h1>, <h2> etc.) and emboldened text is used to accomplish this.
Roberts White can build your company a search engine friendly website, or even re-structure your existing site to make sure it is properly indexed and ranked highly by the search engines.
The number of other websites linking to yours is one of the main ways that search engines gauge the importance of your site. These sites need to be on a similar topic as your own and are best as one-way links rather than reciprocal.
It is important to realise that the number of incoming links your site has needs to grow organically. Search engines look at the increase in links to your site over time and give the best rankings to sites that show steady growth, so this part of the search engine optimisation process needs to be on-going.
Roberts White will tailor an on-going link building campaign to your budget to generate in-bound links to your site to increase its importance and raise your search engine profile.
Submitting a website to the search engines can speed up the process of getting it placed. Roberts White will submit your site to all the major search engines and provide you with monthly reports on the performance of each keyword or phrase.
It is important to realise that search engine optimisation is a long term process and often takes up to six months before results can be seen. If a more immediate return on investment is required, then a Pay-Per-Click campaign can be employed until the optimisation starts yielding results.
Many people use dubious techniques such as cloaking (whereby a different version of a page is displayed to humans than is shown to search engines), or hidden text (where keyword rich text is hidden from human view by colouring it the same as the background colour). Such techniques can work in the short-term, but search engines are continually getting cleverer in order to spot such trickery. Websites employing these methods are quickly penalised when found out sending their traffic plummeting. This is why Roberts White uses only white-hat (approved) optimisation methods that generate high search engine positions.
So what's the next step? Well, what would really help us now is if you could fill out the form opposite - we appreciate you're probably busy. However if you have the time then please fill in as much detail as possible about your project. It will help us get a better idea of what you're after and then we can contact you to discuss how to take things futher.
If we've jumped the gun a little bit and all you actually wanted to do was say hello, then please still fill in the form opposite - we'd love to know what you think of our site!
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