Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 by Jim

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process whereby websites are modified in order to achieve a higher position in Internet search results.

The higher a website appears in search engine results the greater the number of visitors.

For example: a builder located in York would like to be at the top of Google for “York builders”, “builder in York”,  “building contractor York” and similar searches.  The builder also has other phrases for which they would like a high position:  “house extensions in York”, “York attic conversions”, “property renovation York” and so on.  The builder also operates in nearby locations: Leeds, Harrogate, Hull etc. and would like high positions in Google for these localities too.

Google is the most popular search engine.  Google is usually used as the benchmark for a site’s SEO.  Where Google goes the other search engines usually follow.

An SEO project involves:

  1. Working with the client to identify the primary phrases for which a high Google position is essential, and other phrases for which a high Google position is desirable.
  2. Targeting phrases at different pages of the client’s website by making changes to the underlying website code (HTML) and content (the words that appear on the  page) in order to optimise pages for their allocated phrases.
  3. Identifying and correcting issues that are barriers to optimisation.  For example, some sites are driven by content management systems (CMS) which don’t allow the website code to be fully optimised. In such cases the CMS would removed or replaced.
  4. Setting up links from other websites to the targeted pages using the target phrases as the linked text.

Steps 1 – 3 are known as “on-site” SEO. Step 4 is known as “off-site” SEO.

Off-site SEO involves links to the target site from other good quality sites.  These links are usually, but not necessarily, reciprocal. A links page is set-up on the target site and other sites approached to “exchange” links.  Sites are chosen which complement rather than compete or detract from the site being promoted.

Often a client will already have a number other firms they do business with who will be happy to exchange links.  A builder might work with a plumber, an electrician, a surveyor, and an estate agent who have websites and can be approached regarding link exchange.

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