Tag Archives: search engine optimisation

How Does SEO Work?

OK, you’ve heard about SEO but just how does SEO work?

Search engine optimisation serviceSEO, which is short for Search Engine Optimisation, works by making your site “friendlier” for search engines such as Google to list in their index.

No-one knows for sure just how many pages Google has indexed. It gave up posting that figure some time ago as it’s irrelevant to the average internet surfer – we only want relevant results when we’re searching and don’t really care about the literally millions of pages that were discarded on the way.

As website owners we only really care about our pages being found for searches that are relevant to our website. And that’s what SEO is all about.

Google and the other search engines don’t disclose precisely how they decide which sites rank at the top of the results for any given search phrase. That would be like Coca Cola revealing their recipe or KFC listing their herbs and spices. Instead, we have to use other tools to find out how SEO works.

In a nutshell, a search engine has to make a snap decision about what a page is all about. So, if a page mentions a monkey, the search engine has to interpret whether the page is about a monkey as a primate, a monkey as a British slang term for £500 or maybe a monkey wrench as a tool. SEO works by helping the search engines with that decision.

Google tell us some of the things they want us to do to help them:

Title tags. These are the the headline the searcher sees when they get back the search results and they should be much like a newspaper headline, giving everyone a snapshot of what the page is about.

Heading tags work much the same way. The first, H1, tag is likely to be the same as the title of the page. Other heading tags work in a similar way to sub-headings in a newspaper, helping draw a reader through the page. Lazy readers ought to be able to tell most of what a page is about just from reading the headings. This article doesn’t work like that, although I’ve bolded some items. But if your web page can tell a story with headings alone, the search engines will have a much easier job of working out what the page is about.

Inbound links: these are the search engine equivalent of a vote. Each link pointing to a page has a few words underlined and search engines take note of these words when they decide where to rank a page. So, if you search for the words “click here” in Google, chances are that you’ll see the Adobe site at the top of the results. Not because Adobe want to be number one for that phrase but because so many sites use those words to tell their visitors where to get the Adobe Acrobat reader.

Sometimes you have control over the wording used in your inbound links, sometimes you don’t. But this example shows you how important the words used on these links are – they are telling the search engines what your page is about, in as few words as possible.

The rest of the content on your page goes towards the “score” of the page. This is used to fine tune the search results and you don’t have to resort to repeating your target words and phrases over and over and over again. The search engines are good at intelligently guessing which words are related to each other – they’ve got millions of examples to analyse and that’s the kind of thing computers are good at. So you can write your pages in natural English without worrying that the search engines won’t know what you’re talking about. Chances are they’ve got an excellent idea. That’s why I haven’t harped on about SEO this and SEO that in this article – the search engines will know from all the other SEO related words what this article is about. So don’t worry about things like keyword density – we’ve moved way beyond that in recent years – just write for your readers and there’s an very high chance your content will be fine in that respect.

If all this sounds too much like hard work, give us a call on 07967 478272 for your search engine optimisation!

Why Use A Search Engine Optimisation Service?

Google and the other search engines list the results they give you in an order of likely importance that’s decided by their ever-changing, complex computer programs so it pays to keep on top of this by using a search engine optimisation service.

These programs are usually referred to as search algorithms – the word algorithm is just mathematical shorthand for going through a sequence of events until a result is found.

search engine optimisation serviceIn the case of Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines, these algorithms happen at lightening pace. Google tells you how long it took their program to get the results you see – times of a quarter of a second are typical, even when there are millions of potential results to sift through.

The aim of search engine optimisation is to give your site a fighting chance of appearing near the top of the results. And using a search engine optimisation service means you can concentrate on actually running your business, rather than turning yourself into a full-time nerd.

Like anything, the more you do something, the better you get at it. We’ve been optimising websites since 1995, which is before Google was even born. In that time, we’ve witnessed lots and lots of changes in the search engines. Which means we’ve found out what works and what are merely fads, designed to trick the search engines for a short period of time until their algorithm gets changed to weed out these spammy results.

This knowledge means that we only offer completely legitimate methods of improving your search engine rankings in our search engine optimisation packages.

You could spend years mastering optimising your web site for the search engines. And then hours and hours every month keeping on top of all the subtle – and not so subtle – changes. Or you could employ an expert like us.

You do this in other areas of your business. Chances are that you don’t run your own phone company, print your own headed notepaper, make your own pens and envelopes, etc. It stands to reason that the same goes for getting your site closer to the top of the search results.

The other thing to remember about optimising your website for the likes of Google is that results don’t happen overnight. They used to – maybe ten years or so ago – but the massive volume of pages that are indexed nowadays means that “instant” is impossible for the average website. Sure, a major news event will get a page to the top of the search results in seconds or minutes. But that page will drop out again just as fast when the news is over. It’s the way of the world.

It’s a bit like the race between the tortoise and the hare. The news event is the hare: it gets to the top of the search engine results fast but doesn’t stay there. Search engine optimisation is like the tortoise: it takes longer to get to the first page of Google but, once it’s there, it’s fairly easy to keep it there.

Just how easy depends on the industry you’re in. A chemist wanting to sell a blue pill online will have more of a struggle to reach the top of the results than, say, someone renting out a conference room or someone else selling custom made furniture.

Which means your budget should be set bearing in mind how competitive your industry is. If you’re unsure, just contact us and we’ll help.

The best time to start optimising your website is as soon as you can. Expect results to start showing through in a few months unless you’re in a highly competitive industry.

Take a look at our search engine optimisation service packages here.