SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, Leeds
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a collection of techniques used to increase the position of a website within search engine results, in order to attract more visitors to that site.
Effective SEO has two distinct aspects:
To determine where a site should appear within search results, search engines not only use the visible text on a site, but also use the invisible HTML code from which a site is constructed.
Improvements to the underlying HTML can go a long way to improving the search position of a page. We believe that all web developers should build a sites with fully optimised HTML, however we don't live in a perfect world and a lot of sites can benefit from being cleaned up. For example:
- A site may lack description or title tags.
- A site may lack header tags.
- Images may lack descriptive alt tags.
- The link structure of a site may favour less important pages.
Enhancements can also be made to a website's visible text:
- Targeted Keywords and Keyphrases should appear within the text content of your site, but in a natural and unobtrusive manor.
- Large chunks of text should not be repeated on different pages of your site.
- No two pages on your site should target the same Keyword/Keyphrase.
Secondly, Link Building
After you have ensured that the code is as good as it can be, the second side to SEO is link building.
The main way that a search engine determines the relevance of a site is to look at the number, subject matter, quality and referral text of other sites linking to that site. The quality of a link is mostly determined by the popularity of the page providing the link, for example a link from the BBC website would be extremely high quality.
Search engines use the referral text (the text you click on), to determine the subject of the page being linked to. There are various techniques used by SEO companies to increase the number of links to their clients sites, these are:
- Building new and original content for their clients to encourage others to link to.
- Contacting people with sites and asking them to place links to their clients site.
- Entering their clients into free web directories.
- Paying site owners to link to their clients site.
- Writing content on their clients behalf (usually without their consent) on various sites which host articles.
- Spamming "comments" sections of other websites with fake posts which link to their clients sites
- Quickly setting up several spam pages that link to their clients sites.
Of the above options, the first and second are the only ones that we would ever recommend to our clients.
The creation of new and interesting content is within the domain of a marketing company, and we have yet to find an SEO company that are capable to producing content for their clients of the necessary quality. If you have any marketing or promotion ideas yourself, then we can help you develop these and build the web pages that accompany them.
Many SEO companies will contact other websites on behalf of their clients, asking them to place links. We do not offer this service because we believe our clients have better contacts with the companies that are relevant to their industry than we do, and are therefore more likely to get the links themselves. We will advise on any technical issues regarding the placement of links on other site.
Entering a site into a free directory is both quick and easy, however any benefit will be at best, short lived. Search Engines are constantly on the look out for such directories, and remove them from the search rankings when they find them.
Paying site owners for links and setting up spam pages are both practices that are against the Google webmaster guidelines. It can be very difficult to tell if an SEO firm you employ engages in either of these practices, but if they do and Google find out, then your site can receive a ranking penalty. Google will not inform you that you have received a penalty, and you will not be able to find out how long it will last for. Your SEO company will certainly not inform you if their actions have caused you to receive a penalty.
Ultimately, the link-building used by many SEO companies is nothing more than spamming and if a customer came across this content it would give a bad image of your company.
The very best way to generate links is, unfortunately, the most effort and also the slowest, organic links. Your site should provide content that is of a high quality and encourages other people to link to you because they find it useful. You must ask yourself what would encourage you to link to another site, and then provide that level of content yourself. If you can provide good advice in your area of expertise, tips, interesting articles and the like, then people will link to you as an authority in your area.
What we can offer
- We can offer you on-site SEO work, and help build your own link-building strategy. This would be a one-off payment, rather than a monthly fee.
- We can also build pages and interactive features to your specification. If you have any good marketing ideas, then we can develop them and build the website.
- We can set up statistical reports showing how many hits your site is getting, the geographical origin of those hits and the terms your visitors are using to find your site in the search engines. Often SEO companies will say that reports are part of the monthly fee, however, they these reports are unlikely to focus on any bad news. Free computer generated reports are available when and as often as you want, and most importantly they are honest and accurate.
We do not offer link building. However, if you then decide to hire an SEO team for on-going link building, we would be happy to advise you the questions to ask them to ensure the techniques they are using are above board and worth the money you are spending. We have been unable to find a successful SEO company that does not use spam methods. We believe you are far better building up links yourself, without the excessive monthly fee that most SEO companies charge.