An Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is an acronym and stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Optimisation is the process of improving your website so that it appears higher in the search results for certain desirable keywords.
As most searches today are done using Google we’ll be referring to Google throughout this page, however please understand that we also optimise websites for other search engines including Bing and Yahoo.In addition to the paid listings on Google you will notice that there are 10 organic (unpaid) results listed per page, these are the ones that are there on their own merit. It is vitally important for businesses to get on the first page of Google for important keywords their customers are searching on because typically 75% of people will never go to the second page.
Keywords are Important
The words people use to search Google are normally referred to as “keywords” but can also be called “search phrases” or “target queries” – they are all the same thing. These keywords could be anything from “Electricians in Melbourne” to “Buy a table” to “Best lawyer Australia”.
When planning Search Engine Optimisation we look for the top keywords that are most likely to bring you paying customers and then focus on ranking you as highly as possible for them.
Natural and Organic Listings VS Paid Listings
Every time you do a search on Google you will get two different types of results displayed – some are natural and organic results whilst others are paid results. The natural listings show ten results per page of websites that the Google algorithm has determined are most relevant for the keyword you have typed in. These can be normal websites, but images, videos and news can also be displayed.
When someone clicks on your website from an organic listing, you are not charged. In contrast, Google also shows paid listings – these are websites that are using the paid advertising scheme called Google AdWords. Every time someone clicks on one of these the website pays an amount of money to Google for providing them with the visitor. This is known as PPC or Pay per Click Advertising.
Can we Understand Google?
The rankings that Google gives are governed by a complicated algorithm written by some very clever computer scientists and kept as a closely-guarded secret. To make it even harder to know how Google calculates its results this algorithm is constantly being changed and improved. Whilst many SEO firms may proclaim that they understand the Google algorithm, the truth is that only the engineers behind it truly understand it.
Despite this, we can definitively say we have many insights into how the Google algorithm works, and by constantly working to learn more we can keep our customer’s website ranking well over time.
As Google is constantly changing and updating the way its algorithm works many websites will see their website fluctuate in the rankings over time. For this reason, we encourage people considering undertaking SEO to see it as not a one-time thing but as a process that will improve your average ranking over time.
Some people are not willing to wait weeks or even months to get a website moved up the rankings, so they use what are called “Black Hat” techniques. These are methods that violate Googles own Terms of Service and while effective in the short-term they will eventually cause Google to give your site a ranking penalty, or even for your website to be removed.
For this reason, we only ever use what is known as “White Hat” techniques – these are methods and strategies that are in line with the Google Terms of Service. These might take a bit longer and require a bit more attention and expertise, but they deliver better results that will last much longer without the fear of invoking a penalty from Google.
What Does SEO Involve?
Search Engine Optimisation can be a time-consuming process and for that reason it doesn’t always come cheap. The process starts with an evaluation phase where your website and that of your competition is assessed and the keywords you’d like to rank for are chosen. Once this has been done the main focus is on creating a custom linkbuilding strategy (see below).
A link or backlink is when one website references another, providing a clickable link for users to travel from one to the other. Search engines like links because they are essentially one website voting for another and recognising it as content worth visiting. Not all links are considered the same however – the better and more important the website linking to yours the more it is worth in the search engines and there are many more variables that effect this too. This is why a custom linkbuilding strategy is important to ensure time is spent getting links in the right places to boost your ranking effectively.
Included in our Standard SEO Campaigns:
1. On-page optimisation
Google looks at a variety of factors on your website to help it determine where it should be placed in the rankings. By making small changes that make little obvious difference to your website we can help improve your ranking. Many of these changes are to the code behind the website and will have little effect on the appearance – our experts will make changes to things like your meta tags and your internal linking which will be favourable within Google. If you’d like a more technical explanation of what this involves please, do not hesitate to contact us.
2. Google Maps Optimisation
Google has a fantastic maps application that can help people find businesses that are in a specific geographic area. By optimising your website for Google Maps, we can ensure that your business appears in the results when someone is searching for a product or service you provide in your area. For this to happen the searcher does even need to be using Google Maps – these results can come at the top of the main Google listings which will give people an additional opportunity to click through to your website in addition to your site being listed in the organic search results.
3. Business Directory Listings
By registering your website with business directories in your area we get quality links from trusted websites. This will not only help send traffic from the directories themselves but will also help with your ranking within Google and Google Maps.
4. A Linkbuilding Strategy Customised for your Business
We create a custom linkbuilding strategy for each of our clients to suit their target market and website. We encourage other high quality websites to create natural links to your website to help boost your ranking, we do not pay for backlinks, and we do not use Black Hat methods to gain them. We also work hard to make sure that the websites you are linking to are the right ones because this can also affect your ranking.
5. Website and Blog Content Creation
Google loves high quality content that is informative and interesting because this is what people who are searching are looking for. By writing some extra content and adding images and video to bulk up your website, we can help improve websites which do not have enough content. Depending on your website design you may not need any content created and we will assess this and provide recommendations during the initial analysis of your website.
Why don’t you charge for a specific amount of backlinks?
We deliver a custom campaign to each of our clients and because of this our charges are linked to the level of competition there is in your market. This means for tougher markets with higher levels of competition we charge more and for easier markets we charge less. For each keyword you choose you might only need a few backlinks or you might need thousands – regardless we are committed to ranking your website for these keywords and will create whatever links of whatever type are necessary to achieve this.
We never charge a certain amount for a certain number of backlinks because we are already committed to working as hard as possible to rank your website for that term – no matter how many links it takes. Websites that offer this service are essentially holding you to ransom, promising to do more work only if you pay them more money. With us, the cost is clear because we quote based on the work we’ll need to do – we won’t stop part-way through and ask for more money.