What is Search Engine Optimisation and why do I need it?
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, is sometimes referred to as Search Engine Marketing, or Search Engine Positioning. It refers to taking control of how your company and more specifically your company website is ranked in Google and other search engines. Most search engines tend to show 10 websites in what is called the natural listings on each page. The aim of Search Engine Optimisation is to get your website as near to the top of that list as possible so that people find you before they find your competitors.
What is needed to be listed high in Google?
Google have several algorithms which they use to decide if your website is the closest match for what the person searching on Google is looking for.
SEO breaks down in to 2 main factors:
On-site SEO and Off-site SEO. We will explain these for you in simple terms in a moment.
Some things that Google and other Search Engines require before your website will start to rank well:
Website Security, it used to be that only websites that processed sensitive data, such as processing payments online, needed to worry about security. But it has become a standard that is now expected for all websites. So your website should be accessible using https:// rather than http://
This is referred to as having an SSL certificate installed. If you do a search on Google and look at the websites that are ranking at or near the top, the chances are those websites will show https:// rather than http://.
Mobile and Tablet compatibility. Google requires that websites are fully mobile compatible, there are huge numbers of websites still within the construction industry that were built years ago and are not mobile compatible. If that is the case for your website you need to do something about it right away. You will be losing so many visitors due to this. Google will not show your website to people searching on a mobile phone or tablet if it is not mobile compatible and they don’t already have cookies installed from visiting your website before. Just think about how many people use mobile phones these days, pretty much everyone. The vast majority of your potential customers will be searching for your services using a mobile or tablet. If your website isn’t mobile compatible you will be closing the door to all those customers and they will be going to your competitors instead.
Website Speed is another vital factor, this is largely determined by 2 things, the speed and quality of your hosting account, (Some big name hosting companies are notoriously slow and cram far too many accounts on to each of their servers causing them all to run slowly) and the way that your website has been built. People are very impatient when it comes to the internet, they want your website to load like lightning and if it doesn’t, and it takes more than a few seconds to finish loading, then they will often simply walk away and go and look up a competitor on Google instead. So if your website doesn’t load quickly, you must do something about it or it is going to cost you business.
What are On-site SEO and Off-site SEO which do I need?
SEO breaks down in to 2 main factors:
On-site SEO and Off-site SEO. You need both to be in place (We will explain these for you below), without all these factors discussed so far being in place you will be fighting a losing battle. If you imagine a bucket with holes in the bottom and sides, you would be fighting a losing battle trying to keep the water level right to the top of the bucket as it would be pouring out of the holes. It is exactly the same trying to keep a website at the top of the search engines, if any of the required factors are missing the website will just keep falling lower and lower in the search engines.
On-site SEO refers to all the factors on your actual website. Is it properly coded, does it load quickly, is it mobile and tablet compatible. Does it contain all the useful and unique text and information that your visitor is looking for? (Don’t ever just copy the text from another website, Google has a vast database and knows exactly where that text came from, If you put stolen text on your website it will not rank well.) On site optimisation is usually carried out as a paid service as it requires a lot of work to the structure and coding of the website.
Off-site SEO refers in part to all the external factors relating to your website. Do other websites refer to your website, do they hold it up as an authority on the subject that it is about? Do they link to it, if so what words were used to link to it and what was the page that does link to your website about? Is it relevant to the subject, or just a random unrelated website? Does the website appear in Social media postings, are there shares and likes, are there positive reviews? Without going in to all the details this is the sort of thing that is involved in Off-site Optimisation.
How long does it take and what does it cost?
Those are both questions that will have a unique answer for each website. The reason for this is that it depends on how competitive the keywords that you are targeting are. A very rough rule of thumb is that for a website which has never been optimised before it can take between 6-12 months of working on the SEO each month, before you see the results starting to show up.
The cost for each website depends on a number of factors, such as how many keywords (a keyword is actually a key phrase or short sentence that you search for) you are working on each month. How competitive those keywords are, and how much work it will require to push you up in the rankings for those keywords.
Search Engine Optimisation is a gradual process, but it is also an investment. It can mean the difference between thousands of potential customers viewing your website and none ever finding you. When you contact us, let us know that you would like a quote for search engine optimisation and we will discuss with you the monthly costs.
What is PPC or Adwords and should I be using it?
PPC stands for Pay Per Click, there are several PPC platforms including search engines and social media platforms and other websites. Adwords is a very well known pay per click service that is offered by Google. It allows you to display a small advert for example on Google and if someone clicks on it they will be taken to your website and you will pay the agreed price to Google for the click.
Google Adwords need to be carefully managed or they can become very expensive with very little to show for it. On the other hand unlike SEO they are instant, and as soon as you start working with Adwords your advert becomes visible instantly. When they are managed correctly by a professional they are a very effective and very powerful tool in driving the right people to your website.
PPC is not an alternative to SEO, it is actually a tool which we recommend that you consider using alongside your monthly search engine optimisation. It is particularly useful for new websites that need to bring potential customers to their website while the SEO process is slowly taking effect. Many of our SEO clients also use Adwords and other forms of PPC as a part of their SEO strategy.
PPC generally works like an auction, you set a budget for the month of what you are prepared to spend on clicks during the month. You then bid an amount that you are wiling to spend for each click, others will bid either more or less than you and this will determine where your advert is shown and when it is shown. We have a team of dedicated experts that will manage your PPC campaigns and your SEO for you each month.