‘Search engine optimisation’ is the process of altering a website to improve its position in the natural listings of the search engines. In the USA the term is spelt ‘search engine optimization’ and the phrase is often abbreviated to ‘SEO’ in both countries. Search engine optimisation has become a popular way of marketing websites as, when done correctly, it can bring visitors to your website for free.
To find out how we can improve your website’s position in the search engines, call us on 0800 292 2410 or fill in the form below and we’ll be happy to review your website and provide you with a free quote. If you’d like to find out more about the search engine optimisation techniques we use then simply complete the quote request form.
Search engine optimisation has grown rapidly over the last decade and developed into a whole new marketing sector. As SEO has become so important, many companies now focus solely on practising search engine optimisation. These companies, like ours, dedicate their business to helping others achieve high results in the search engines through developing techniques which allow websites to rank higher than their competitors.
The main aim of search engine optimisation is to give a website a theme so the search engines can easily tell what the website is about. At iM3 we focus on the two main elements of optimisation which are off page and on page search engine optimisation and we apply many of the techniques below to our clients’ websites.
On-Page Search Engine Optimisation
On page optimisation applies to SEO which takes place on the pages of your website. These pages will contain certain keywords which are related to what the website is about and which people may search for in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Web pages are periodically visited by search ‘robots’ which log what each web page is about and then report this information back to the search engines. We make sure the robots know what the theme of your website is by concentrating on the following on page methods.
• Meta content
We will ensure that every page on your website has the correct meta content. Although your website visitors won’t see the majority of the meta content on your web pages, it is generally the first thing a search robot visiting your website will see. The meta content consist of:
- The title which is seen in the top bar of a browser.
- The description which is often displayed in the SERP’s – search engine results page below the link to your website.
- The keywords which are only seen by the search engines.
Google doesn’t give any weight to the keywords, but they are important for Yahoo and Bing.
• Page content
The main content or ‘body’ of each web page can include titles, images and text. We will give the images on your website ‘alt tags’ which is text that describes what the images are about. Alt tags also help to show the search engines what the theme of the website is. Other additions can be made such as multimedia and flash banners and they all have an impact on a website’s optimisation. We can help optimise your existing website content so it includes the correct keywords and the right density of keywords as well as creating fresh, keyword rich content for you in the form of articles and blog posts.
• Headers and footers
A header is not just the place where you see a company logo and telephone number. Headers also contain useful information for the engines, including extra keywords which complement the theme of the website. Headers also contain the first alt tag of the page, giving a clear indication of the subject of each page. The footer is normally reserved for internal linking, the company address and registered numbers but it can also contain extra H tags (header tags) which are important to help the keyword density and relevance of a web page.
• Internal links
The Google PageRank is a popular method of ranking the importance of a web page and this is calculated largely by the number of links going to and from it. Internal links are either helpful or detrimental, depending on the calculation of the volumes, structure given to the URLs, the menu system and the links within the page content. We can ensure that your website has the right amount of effective internal links which will have a positive impact on your site’s ranking.
• HTML Code
All sites are made up of code and this is what the search robots see. It can be messy or clean and this effects the optimisation in a big way. By making sure a website’s code is clear, clean and structured, we can help ensure that web pages are indexed properly. Code which is structured correctly will also reduce the page size.
• Keyword / key phrase density
Incorrect keyword density can have a negative effect on optimization and reduce the chances of a website performing well in the search engine results pages (also known as SERP’s). Too many of the same phrases repeated too often within the text on your website pages will only confuse the search engines about what the theme of your website is. Repeating the same words throughout the pages also looks like spam and can result in a lower ranking for your website. We can make sure the keyword density is correct throughout your site which will greatly improve the chance of your website ranking well.
• Code to text ratio
When a website has a series of pictures and not much text it makes it harder for the search engines to know what the site is about. It also means the page will be large in size but without much text to inform search engines about the relevance of the content. Having a higher code to text ratio results in smaller web pages compared to the amount of information. It allows large page sizes because there is plenty of written content to back-up the images or multimedia.
Off Page Search Engine Optimisation
It may seem strange to imagine working on other websites to achieve better results for your own pages, but there is quite a lot of work involved with search engine optimisation that takes place away from your main website. By carefully selecting valuable places to leave information, we can actually increase the importance of your website. There are various important Internet locations for your website to be discussed, explained or promoted via links.
• Social networking
The more commonly known sites for posting personal or business related social updates are the vast array of social networking websites. The famous ones are Twitter and Facebook, but there are actually hundreds more and most of them will allow you to discuss your company activity and promote your products or services. Social media services provided by IM3 cover every angle.
Less popular than the social networking sites, bookmarking is still a necessary and valuable part of optimisation. People create accounts on bookmarking websites such as Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon and then share their own bookmarked pages with others. Bookmarking website pages gives people the chance to save and access their favourite pages wherever they are. Having your pages marked and tagged by multiple people is the aim as this can help to improve awareness of your website and also increase the number of links back to your website.
Short for ‘weblog’, a blog is a place to leave information, opinion, help and personal comments. Blogs are varied in subject matter and diverse because they can contain anything. By targeting relevant and strong blogs, we can leave information about your company by posting genuine comments that help other visitors.
Usually focusing on one given subject, forums are useful places for the browsing public to find local or national information as well as advice and help. An example could be a local forum where companies or individuals can post replies regarding solutions to problems. Also local workmen and traders can be discussed and rated. Discussing situations in which your business could provide an answer can help to create awareness of your brand, website and the services or products you offer.
• Link building
Exchanging links is purely beneficial for the ranking of a web page on the internet and is not normally seen by website visitors. This method of search engine optimisation is heavily practised and should be done with care. We can link your site to other websites that have a similar theme to yours and having a reciprocal link back can improve the potential importance of the pages that these links go to.
• Directory submissions
The top 5% of directories are essential to a well rounded search engine optimisation campaign. We can submit your domain to popular directories like FreeIndex and Dmoz so you can not only benefit from potential free traffic but also receive an all important back link. For example, as a Sheffield SEO company it’s important for us to be listed in local directories such as Yell and Dmoz.
Who Decides How We Practice Search Engine Optimisation?
There is plenty of information on the internet about search engine optimization and how you can do it effectively for your own website. You will find that people have varying opinions on search engine optimisation (or ‘S.E.O.’) as it is definitely a fine art rather than a precise science. The only way to be 100% certain that techniques are working is if your website is reaching the top of the rankings in search engines such as Google.
Although there is no one person or company that decides how search engine optimisation works, there are many people who have experienced success with different techniques and they frequently publish their findings. However, search engine optimisation is continually evolving which is why it is vital to not only remain up to date with existing techniques but also trial new techniques which will have a positive effect on a website’s search engine position.
Frequently, the search engines alter how they rank their search results and change what they see as important factors. At iM3 our passion for search engine optimisation means we try to anticipate these algorithmic changes. We are constantly testing alternative techniques to ensure your website has solid search engine optimisation in place which won’t be effected when the search engines make changes.
This type of marketing is not a very quick procedure so we don’t offer set timescales for the top rankings. Any company telling you something else is most likely engaging in unethical practices and ought to be avoided. All of our clients have achieved top positions though, and always in a timescale expected and explained from the start. Ask for contact details and we can provide past customers who are happy to explain the benefits to their business.
Contact us today on 0800 292 2410 for a chat about how we can optimise your website with search engine optimisation in Sheffield, London and across the UK.