Search Engine Optimisation
You can have the most content rich website with a multitude of product and promotions but if it is hidden in the depths of the world-wide web then it is of little value. It is paramount that a website is visible to the target audience and at the right cost. It is always possible to promote a website and be top of the search listings using PPC (pay per click) type tools, like Google Adwords, but this can be prohibitively expensive. Additionally if a website appears high in the natural listings then educated consumers recognise that this website is respected by Google, which will give an uplift to the brand and website offerings.
The Base Principles of SEO
- Search engine optimisation is all about creating a website which is highly ranked by the search engines so that the website appears high in the search results for targeted keywords. As the vast majority of people use Google then it is Google’s algorithms that need to be understood for optimal benefit. The algorithms are secret but Google do publish guidelines and there is intelligence in the SEO expert community as how best to approach SEO.
- The first element of SEO is the on-site side which is all about optimising the content and navigation within the site. Some key elements are:-
- Ensure that the content is rich, unique and fresh with appropriate keyword focus
- Ensure that the site is well structured with different segments focussing on distinct themes and keywords.
- Ensure that the meta tags, keywords and descriptions are good.
- Use a good URL, if possible, and maintain clear page titles.
- Offsite SEO is all about website popularity to promote the website and most importantly for SEO, demonstrate its popularity to the search engines. This is achieved primarily by securing links form other websites which Google will then view as a vote of confidence. The key to good link building is to secure links from high ranking sites which have similar content.
Some Base Domain and Page Parameters for SEO
Google Page Rank
This is a measure of how well Google rates a webpage. Page Rank has a scale from unranked, then 0 for a basic website through to a maximum rank of 10. For most commercial websites a home Page Rank of 4-5 is good. The individual pages within a website will then normally vary from unranked up to the home page Page Rank.
Website Value Analysis
The value and inherent quality of a website from an SEO perspective can be determined by a number of attributes. The exact definition of these is secret to Google but some guides from intelligence sources are provided below:- Quality, freshness and originality of the content:-
- The number of pages with unique content
- Clarity of navigation and site structure
- The number of external links, especially unique linking domains
- The age of the domain
- The amount of traffic a website receives
- How dynamically content changes are made (Blogs are well respected)
How to appear high in the search results?
It is all well and good having a high ranking website but the acid test is how high the site appears in the search results for chosen keywords. This keyword optimisation is achieved firstly by optimising the on-site content of chosen website pages for the keyword and then by developing a link building campaign to target these keywords.