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A Quick Guide to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) isn’t a new concept, developers have been optimising sites in one form or another for twenty years or so, but it remains a hugely important part of any web strategy and is a discipline that continually changes with the introduction of new technologies.

What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is a collection of tools used to increase the number of visitors to a site by maximising visibility in search engine results. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing use web crawlers or ‘spiders’ to analyse and rank the content of each website.

Understanding your audience
It’s tricky to optimise your site without understanding your audience. You need to decide what kind of words will be used to search for your site; to do that you’ll need to think about who will be doing the searching and what kind of descriptions they are likely to use.

Ways to increase your rankings
Effective use of titles, tags and key words is essential. Make sure titles and tags are unique and accurate and that key words are targeted and relevant.

Search engines love great content, ensure your site contains interesting and unique information and is updated as frequently as possible. Easy to navigate user friendly sites also tend to appear highest in the rankings.

Social media is fast becoming one of the most important tools you can use for SEO, with search engines taking note of likes, re-tweets and +1s. Set up accounts on the main social media channels, link to them from your site and update regularly with high quality content. Also allow users to share directly from your site to their own social media pages and feeds.

Beware!
Don’t overdo keywords. Search engines want to find sites that are relevant, so avoid the temptation to include every word with the vaguest connection to your offering.

Also be careful with links, never pay for them and keep them to a minimum, again quality over quantity here. High quality links to and from reputable sites are great, multiple links to poor sites reflects badly on you and harms your rankings.

Monitoring
Use an analytics package to see what key words and phrases are working best for you, if there is anything that isn’t working change it to something more in line with those that are a success.

Using agencies
There are numerous SEO agencies out there, many of whom are great at their job, but beware the sharks! Some agencies use practices akin to spamming and may harm the reputation of your company, as well fail to achieve the results you are looking for. Make sure you take time to research the company that you are thinking of using as well as their methods.

SEO providers spend a lot of their time analysing a website and removing barriers to the search engines ranking a site highly.  At the web development level it is possible to build a site that is perfectly search engine friendly from launch; which is what we do at AVAMAE. We also always make use of dynamically generated site maps for search engines to consume. Contact us if you’d like to talk to us about how we can build you a fully search engine optimised site. 

8 July 2014
Blog Author
Oliver Pluckrose
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