SEO Guide - What is SEO Anyway?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making a web site "search engine friendly" for relevant search phrases. The idea being that when someone performs a relevant search through one of the major search engines - Google, Yahoo or Bing - your site is listed in the Top Ten of the organic listings in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Organic listings are those that are determined through a search engine's algorithm methodology, rather than being paid for as in the Sponsored Links.
An example would be someone doing a search for the phrase, "builder london". Any of the results you see in this competitive market would mean that the website or page had good SEO.
This main section of the manual will explain how good rankings in the SERPs can be achieved.
How search engines arrive at results
As most London SEO Companies will tell you, there are 3 key factors for the search engines in determining which web pages to show in their results for a particular search:
- The site has to be known to them - i.e. be in their index.
- The site has to be considered to be relevant to the particular search phrase.
- For ranking purposes, the sites are listed in order of relevance, with those the search engine considers to be most relevant at the top.
The first factor - being in the index - is fairly obvious, but is often overlooked, particularly by large sites. The next section describes how to ensure your site is indexable by the search engines.
Factors 2 & 3 are the crux of the matter for SEO, and will be covered in detail throughout this section of the manual.
Getting your site indexed by search enginesSearch Engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo use what are call "spiders" (robots). These "spiders" will make a copy of your page and send them to the search engine database to be organised, valued and indexed.
The indexing process involves utilising the ranking criteria to be explained in the section below Breaking Down SEO one piece at a time.
But you need to ensure your site is "spiderable" to start with.
To this end, you need to ensure that "spiders" can read all the relevant content on your site, and can access all the relevant pages, through being able to follow each of the links. A good London SEO Company will first review your site structure to ensure the "spiders" can reach all relevant content.
What "Spiders" Like to See"Spiders" essentially replicate the functionality of the earliest type of web browsers. Thus they are happiest when your web site is made up of:
- Static HTML, ASP, PHP or other web-standard files (Word documents, PDFs etc. are "spiderable", too, but are not as good for ranking purposes).
- Text-based links to the other pages of the site.
- "Clean" pages, with little extraneous code.
If you are not familiar with any of the above terms or do not know how to see if your site is cluttered, contact us and we will have one of London SEO experts review your site at no cost.
The image below shows how it should be done. SEO starts from the web design service itself. Getting a new website without including professional SEO services will cost you a lot more in the long run. As any London SEO professional will tell you, having to re-plan your website structure from scratch because of a poor layout is time consuming. But is the first step to good SEO.
What "Spiders" Don't Like to See
Though the latest versions of search engine "spiders" are improving, it is still best practice to consider them to be earlier versions, which have difficulty reading:
- Java-based links,
- Lots of code - which can often be housed in a separate folder and referenced from the web page, rather than being a part of the page's inherent code,
- Dynamic pages with many query string variables.
Achieving a good rankingOnce you have "spiderable" pages on your site, the key is to make them appear the most relevant for the search phrases you wish to target. This will ensure your site is listed at or near the top of the rankings for those phrases.
Breaking Down SEO One Piece at a TimeSo what are the key criteria for the search engines in determining relevancy, strength and value?
- Domain registration features
- Hosting features
- The text content of the site, aka SEO Copywriting
- The navigational & URL structure
- Internal links
- Frequency of updates / additions to the site
- Outbound Links
- Inbound links from other sites to the home page or deeper pages
- Article Submissions
- Online Press
- Social Bookmarks
- External Blog & Guest Blogging
- Video content (Youtube etc)
1. Internal SEO on your website
2. Site Citations (Your site mentioned and linked from other sites)
In terms of how important these factors are for ranking purposes, we've allocated them percentages as below:
1) Domain & Hosting Features - 5%
2) Site Content - 20%
3) Site Citations - 75%
This allocation of importance is based on our extensive research over the past year and previously. 18 months ago, the Site Content figure would have been 30%, with the Site Citations figure being 65%.
Your relationship with a London SEO CompanyTo anyone unfamiliar with SEO, the above may appear to be a little confusing. It is very common for clients approaching a London SEO Company to not know where to start. The subject of SEO seems so big.
The arrowed points above are in themselves an entire subject and could fill several articles within themselves. But that is not your job, it is ours. Any good London SEO company would know how to manage each point with ease.
At Sterling Kreative we have developed and use SEO software which monitors, reports and oversees every single step of the SEO guidelines mentioned above. That's right! We are so serious about our work and the results we get, that our teams work solely on completely accurate SEO reporting and management systems so that there is no room for error.
If you are looking for an expert London SEO company, give us a call today on 0208 123 2351 for a free SEO review.