It is a hard fact that Internet users will mainly search for a given service or producs using a search engine, more often than not with Google. Most people will often only focus on the first page of results, usually around ten paid for results (ads) and about ten organic or unpaid for results. Some people will only focus on the top five results and that’s it.
If your site is not in one of these prime positions, then chances are it won’t get seen, regardless on how much money you have spent on your website.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of refining a website from the ground up, utilising the use of good coding, good page content and other online factors to make your website “search engine friendly”. This will give you the best possible opportunity of being in that critical top end of search engine results.
There are two types of Search Engine Optimisation, On-Site and Off-Site
On Site Search Engine Optimisation
On-site SEO is exactly what it sounds like, SEO that can be done on your site without exterior elements. This can include the use of:
- Title tags and meta tags
- H1 tags
- Graphic alt text
- Layout and design elements
- On-site articles/blogs
- Keyword density
- Keyword-formatted URLs
- Fresh content
- Loading time control (via HTTP compression or other method)
- Internal linking
- XML Sitemap
- Robots.txt file
- 301 redirects
Off Site Search Engine Optimisation
Off-site SEO is equally as self-explanatory; it deals with all the elements of SEO based marketing that are done outside of your site. These elements can include:
- Back-linking or inbound linking
- Article directory submissions
- Commenting on related sites, forums and blogs
- Social network marketing
- SEO-friendly directory participation
- Press releases
- Optimized video submissions
- Keyword analysis
- Competitor analysis
- RSS Feeds
- Web 2.0 marketing
- Paid linking
- Posting on Q&A sites
On-site AND off-site: Together as One
When thinking about on-site and off-site SEO marketing you should be thinking about creating a unified marketing strategy. You shouldn’t choose one option over the other, this strategy unites the two opposite sides together for a stronger approach.
Pages with the strongest page rank ratings fulfill all the above elements and present a strong unified SEO front. In addition, they consistently update their content and links to ensure that they maintain their status.
SEO is constant vigilance; it is a consistent and successful string of on-site and off-site SEO strategies. The more elements of on-site and off-site you incorporate from the above checklist the more successful you will be.
There is no magic trick or underhand method involved – the search engines especially Google, are too smart of that. Just a mixture of hard work and an understanding of what a search engine will look for when “ranking” a website in the search results.
When we enter into a project with a Customer, we will always build their website with on-site search engine optimisation in mind, offering them advice on the best use of the phrases used to describe their given subject – “the keywords” – and on any other method that might improve their websites ranking.
A normal website build does not include Off-Site SEO but can be added as an additional package or can be purchased as a stand alone package.