Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

If you do a search in a search engine such as Google, then you’re probably going to find what you are looking for in the first few results. If you don’t then you’re going to scan on down the page. You may even look to the second page if you’re really keen and haven’t quite found what you’re looking for. You almost certainly won’t look further; instead you’ll try a different search, or give up. That’s the importance of showing up on the first page – most people won’t look further, so if your company or product isn’t showing, then they may as well not exist to those very people trying to find you.

Thus enter the domain of SEO, the part-art part-science process of organically growing your website rank in search engines such as Google.

SEO is a big topic. There is a lot of good material available online if you want to delve deep, but if you’re looking for an overview then we can help you out! Here’s some things that will make your website rank more highly:

  • Break you page into sections related to your key products or services, and other sources of information.
  • Refine your list of keywords.
  • Fix errors on your site and make sure your pages load quickly. Search engines will demote poor performing sites or sites with problems loading.
  • Encourage your partners and clients to post links to your website from their own sites. Every link counts, but links from trusted authorities, such as the stock exchange or government sites, carry enormous weight and are particularly advantageous to have.
  • Study the analytics from your site, monitor the ranking of your pages, and refine the site iteratively.

Getting to page one can be a lot of work, depending somewhat on your industry and competition, but you can’t rest when you get there. If you stop maintaining your web site and adding new content, and monitoring the new trends and techniques being employed in the industry, then your site will fall as your competitors take advantage of your lull and rise above you.

And in all this, we haven’t really defined what ‘getting to page one means. Or more specifically, for what searches? If you have a really unique product name then maybe it won’t be so hard for people to find it. But if you’re in a crowded industry and someone is trying to find you by the name of a service or product type, then it starts to get more interesting. So the question becomes, what search keywords are important to my business, and attainable in my space?

SEO is organic, and it takes time to grow. You probably won’t get to page one in 3 months, but with a lot of work you might get there in 6. So if you’re just starting out then your presence on the first page will come down entirely to paid advertising in the form of search engine marketing (SEM). Even when you reach page one, SEM is still important because the only thing better than being listed first in search results is to be listed first, twice. And if you use Social Media, then you may be listed many more times still. Search for Nike in Google, and you’ll see a comprehensive company page in the right hand information panel, there are two or more paid ads at the top, then the company website, then the company twitter account, all before anyone else gets a say in the other 800 million matching pages. The big brands generally do SEO and SEM very well indeed, and provide models to follow for the rest of us.

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