What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO otherwise known as search engine optimisation is the process used to enhance the quality of the website, it's content, URL structure & profile in order to influence enhanced positions in search engines for targeted keywords. Search engine optimisation is a complex process based on simple principles which are dictated by search engines and authoritive members of the industry.
SEO is a marketing solution which has become far more popular among companies & businesses across the web with the evolution of search engines and web technology, mobile devices and home computing. There are many marketing solutions available including pay per click, social media marketing, paid adverts, video advertising, printed media and lots more, however SEO is generally the most cost effective option which can drive large increases in website traffic and brand recognition.
Search engine optimisation is composed of varying processes that help sculpt the website into a clean, compliant and valuable source of information, products and/or services. Using SEO a website can dramatically increase its exposure on the internet and will also drive a bigger recognition of brand, products and services.
Some of the key terms found in search engine optimisation include:
On Site SEO
On Site SEO is the process which involves the optimisation of elements which form the pages structure such as header tags, anchor text, content, links and more. On Site is exactly what the process states, on the website itself. This process can be broken down by lots of different elements including:
- Title tags
- Meta Data (Some tagging is depreciated)
- Author Tags
- Anchor Text (Clickable Link Text)
- Content, Content Theme & Content Placement
- Navigation & URL Structure
- Page HTML Code (Build / Technology)
- Coding Standards
- Accessibility & Usability
- Page Loading Speed
- Page Individuality
- Canonical Tags (Prevents Duplicate Content)
- External Link Anchor Text (Clickable Link Text)
- Content Update Frequency
- Page Size & Image Size
The above are just some of the items that play a key part in on site search engine optimisation.
SEO is about enhancing the quality of the website and not the prominence of keywords. On Site SEO is about the structural configuration of a website and its ability to convey relevancy and provide an enhanced user experience. Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not about the integration of keywords into a website, it's about the enhancement of content, navigation, usability, accessibility and relevancy.
Content is the foundation of any website, whether the content is about a subject, a theme, a topic, a product or a service, the quality of that content dictates the value of the website. With good quality content, other factors come into play such as how easy is the content to access, is the content unique, is the website structure clear and straightforward and more.
Good content needs to be housed in a good framework, SEO takes that framework and optimises it, for example, if we was optimising a website which sold cars in London we would undertake the following:
- Ensure the website content volume & quality was sufficient in relation to competitors
- Ensure the websites navigation and URL structure was simple, clean and utilised keywords in a structured manner
- Ensure content is easily accessible in a structured manner
- Ensure that the anchor text profile internally is consistent
- Ensure that the surrounding website template was quick to load, HTML compliant and worked in all browsers
- Ensure that the website participates in social media sharing / likes / buttons
- Ensure that all the titles, descriptions, tagging are unique and tailored carefully to each page
Again, the above are just some of the items relative to effective SEO.
Good SEO is about good content being placed into a compliant website structure. The level of detail that this requires is comprehensive, and to describe it all would leave this page being incredibly long.
To learn more about SEO and the aspects involved why not check out our SEO blog.
Remember, SEO isn't about keywords, it's about good quality content and compliant website structures. Keywords are integrated into content in a natural fashion that does not rely on methods that do not work i.e. keyword density. Just so you know, keyword density is a myth and does not work, there is no magic number.
Off Site SEO
Off site SEO is the process used to build a websites external authority. Off site SEO involves building and developing the websites external popularity profile. Conventional methods involved the development of links to boost popularity. Search engines used to operate evaluation based upon a websites external link popularity, the more links a website had, the more popular it was deemed. This framework worked on a voting principle, if a website was of good quality, it would attract more links, which is what search engines favoured. However, years of link abuse conducted by SEO companies and webmasters have caused search engines like Google to seriously rethink and reestablish link evaluation methods.
Google's latest Panda updates have changed the way in which links are perceived and evaluated, processes such as buying links or utilising blog networks will now consitute as black hat SEO and could lead to website penalties.
Some of the key items to consider for off site SEO are:
- Link quality
- Link anchor text
- Authority of linking domain
- Quality of content from linking page
- Pattern of external anchor text to each internal page
- Type of link (paid, organic, sponsered ad, blog link)
- Link longevity
- Cache dates of linking pages
- Relevancy of linking domain/page
- Social Media Profiles (Social Activity & External Brand Recognition)
Off site SEO has changed dramatically over the last 12 months due to the abuse of Google's link evaluation algorithm. Recent, Google Panda saw a significant change in the way which Google evaluates a websites link profile.
For long term SEO success based upon the algorithm changes, a white hat SEO link strategy needs to be in place. White hat SEO for link development should involve the development of high quality content and media in order to achieve a growing website link profile.
A websites link profile should grow because of the content on offer and not because of influences from SEO companies, link agencies, paid link brokers. This is because it goes against the principle of good SEO, a website and its content should be enhanced so well that any created content would attract links naturally. If you are having to influence links then you could potential set yourself up for potential SEO problems in the future Google Panda updates.
Other positive activities for off site SEO include the utilisation of social media. Social media is a powerful vehicle for good quality content / media. Websites should utilise social media options to allow the promotion of content. If a visitor enjoys the content / media on offer then they are likely to share with others, this is an additional off site process that should be undertaken.
Assertive-Media offers a 100% organic white hat SEO service designed to enhance website link profiles using good quality content.
Keyword research is the process used to establish high quality keywords relative to the target website for SEO. Keyword research should be about the discovery of keywords RELATIVE to the websites content profile, theme and target. Optimising for keywords outside of the websites content profile is a bad idea as the time invested could potentially be wasted.
Websites operate on a relevancy basis, content has to be relative to keywords, if a themed website targets something outside of its theme, the impact for SEO can be detremental.
You can read more about our Keyword Research for SEO here.
Ranking Reports / SEO Reports
Ranking reports, sometimes referred to as ranking reports, are statistical reports designed to provide an update on positions for the target keywords. These reports provide insights into keyword performance across the keyword group. Clients can use this to gauge the success of the SEO campaign.
Assertive-Media not only provides ranking reports, we provide full reporting services which includes:
- Positions for target keywords across major keywords
- Positions for target keywords for competitor websites
- Daily tracking updates with individual keyword performance tracking
- Analytics data, conversion data and insights
- Link activity for the client domain and competitor domains
- Social media activity for the client domain and competitor domains
Our SEO / Ranking reports are incredibly comprehensive, simple to use and fully dynamic.
Click here to see a demo ranking report
How SEO Works
The foundation of SEO (search engine optimisation) is very simple, the process itself is about the optimisation of a website and it's profile in order to achieve high positions within search engine results.
The 3 market leading search engines are:
Most SEO companies / agencies or freelancers will optimise for Google primarily. Usually, positive website amendments for the purpose of Google will also have similar effects in Bing and Yahoo, although Bing and Yahoo have different ranking algorithms.
SEO is about the content and quality of a website, enhancing a websites profile will often help to improve website positions. However, SEO is compiled of lots of intricate processes which work together.
The key principles behind search engine optimisation are:
- To maximise content quality & theme / subject coverage
- To enhance website navigation to facilitate content placement
- To integrate social media options to help external brand awareness
- To integrate sound structures in relation to website navigation / URL structure
- To enhance website loading speed, HTML compliance & page structure
- To create consistency throughout the website, covering anchor text / page structure
- To naturally accrue links through valuable content / media and/or resources
SEO can be implemented in stages, these stages are dictated by the company implementing the work. The general process operates in the following order:
- Website is initially audited
- Keyword research is undertaken
- On Site SEO is undertaken
- Off Site SEO is undertaken
- Social Media implemented & configured
- On going SEO work with ranking / tracking services.
If you would like to learn more about SEO then visit our SEO blog.