SEARCH ENGINES & SEO PLAYS A CENTRAL ROLE IN OUR ONLINE LIVES WITH AN ESTIMATED 82% OF VISITS TO ALL WEBSITES ORIGINATING FROM SEARCH ENGINES.
Every time we use the internet the first thing we do is open a web browser. Whether we are on a PC or Mac, Kindle or iPhone our journey starts with the click of a browser icon. Once opened the browser is our eyeglass on the web. If we wanted to visit a specific website we may choose to type the web address into the address bar or perhaps (and research suggests this is now the norm) we might use a search engine to find the site we are looking for in amongst the organic results.
We have evolved in the way we navigate the web. More often than not, even knowing a website address is not enough to tempt us away from “Googling” our intended destination. If you want to go to a specific site (e.g. www.bbc.co.uk) you may well opt to search for “BBC” rather than have to type out the full address. It is quicker and with our browser address bar accepting search queries, Google is now the easiest route to a website. This makes the appearance in a search engine’s results page (SERP) a key focus for marketeers. Even the poor BBC who have a global brand and high levels of repeat users have to rely on Google sending them their traffic because BBC’s own users are now too lazy to type in the web address!
Moving on to the results page itself, with most people picking a website from the first 5 results listed it is of course important to feature in this top half of the page. Even more importantly, the higher up you appear, the more traffic you receive because there is a logical drop-off in audience numbers with each position moving down the page.
This means that as a business you need to focus on search engine marketing to ensure that your website is deemed more relevant to a user’s search query than those of your competitors so that you can take these top spots. Easy? Not even slightly.
The complex algorithms that search engines like Google use to understand websites and rank them focus on hundreds of factors. Algorithms are constantly being updated and tested to provide better results and so what worked last year might not have any positive impact this year. In fact some well used SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques used last year may now get you penalised and moved down the list! Staying on top of search engine algorithms and understanding how best to build your site is incredibly difficult unless you specialise in the industry. This is where we come in.
Correct SEO strategy looks at the big picture, it involves taking a step back and looking at your entire online profile starting with your website at the core and then all of the online assets your brand owns including social media pages, review & rating profiles and blogs. How well built is each of your online profiles? Do they conform to web usability and accessibility standards? Do they load quickly? How good is the content? You then need to look at each of these entities independently and focus on the “noise” surrounding each one. How many people link to them? What sort of websites link to them? How many people borrow content from them? How often is each talked about?
Every website is different. Whether your website was built recently or many years ago, we can help by carrying out a full audit and then making suggestions to form an ongoing SEO strategy. Perhaps you haven’t built your website yet but you want to ensure SEO is a primary focus from the very start. We base our work on research; after all, SEO is a science with measurable gains. We take time to understand you and your business, the products or services you sell and the markets you sell to. We conduct competitor analysis and audits of your current site. We find areas for improvement in the code, content and context of your online presence. Once we have a full picture of your “search landscape” we can begin restructuring, recoding, link building, blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting and much more. Essentially the more good quality fresh content you create and the wider you spread it the more people will talk about you and link to you. This is what reflects a good website and it is this that is likely to allow you to climb the SERPs.
We do NOT carry out any automated SEO, no mass link building activity or comment spamming. You may have heard of the terms “White Hat” or “Black Hat” SEO. Essentially there are many agencies that offer both services, White Hat being legitimate SEO activity and Black Hat being the sort that is against the rules of fair play. Black Hat exploits ‘quirks’ in Google’s algorithms and takes advantage of them to push you further up the rankings. Black Hat loopholes are often closed as quickly as they are discovered and as such do not form part of a sensible longterm SEO strategy. We don’t even suggest “Grey Hat” activities as a sensible addition to your campaign since what might be deemed as a “grey area” now may well become a dodgy one in the future and all of the hard work can be undone with a Google algorithm update sending your site tumbling down the rankings.