In this section of our website, we try to answer in simple, easy to understand English “what is search engine optimisation (SEO)?” for companies based in Ireland. While our internal SEO manual and literature runs to over 1000 pages, below we have included a beginner´s guide that will help you to understand the SEO space a little better. Advanced readers will find this quite basic but we hope that SEO novices will find this to be a useful resource.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the rank of a web page in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) of targeted search engines for a set of identified key-phrases. It is the process of getting traffic from the "free," "organic," "editorial" or "natural" listings on search engines. The three major search engines for which we optimise are Google, Yahoo and Bing. All three follow similar but different rules for ranking websites. In order to prevent webmasters (SEO agencies) from easily manipulating search results, they all issue only general guidelines as to the factors that they rely on when ranking web-pages. Due to its popularity, Google is the search engine to which we pay most attention. In short, SEO is about getting your target web-page to the top of your target search engine as quickly as possible in order to get people to click on your website.
A keyword is a word that the owner of a website anticipates that potential clients will type in a search engine if interested in his/her product or service. For example, an hotel may identify "hotels" as a keyword worth targeting. However, this is probably too vague and generic to be of any real use even if a good rank is achieved in search engines. Far more regularly identified are key-phrases. These are a combination of words that a website owner identifies as relevant to his product or service. For example "hotels Cork" or "3 star hotels galway".
Be sure to check out this document on keyword analysis: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/6-keyword-research-mistakes-you-might-be-making
The goal is to target keywords / key-phrases that satisfy three criteria.
On-page SEO relates to the factors on the web page itself that determine its rank in search engines. Once you have finalised the list of target key-phrases and target URLs, you should conduct an on-page audit and prepare a list of on-page recommendations based on this audit. This work includes meta tag writing, page content creation, page download speed optimisation, sitemap creation and much more.
The on page factors above are crucial in signalling to the search engines the keywords and phrases that matter to a particular web-page. However, many pages on the Internet will be very similar from an on-page point of view. For example, if two companies create a webpage to promote the key-phrase "dentist dublin," both pages will likely have pretty much identical content assuming both companies are proficient in SEO. Accordingly, off-page factors are used by search engines to decide which page should rank highest. Off-page factors include how old the domain is, how many other websites on the Internet link to it, what is the reputation of the website, Google+ Local (Google Places) listings and more. The most important off-page factor by far for Google is the number and quality of links from other websites that a domain / web-page has.
Links are by far the most important SEO metric. Google affords so much weight to links as they are the most challenging metric to game / manipulate. A link from one website to another is interpreted as a vote for the website to which the link points from the website on which the link sits (host site). The higher the quality of the host site (which in turn depends on how many sites link to it), the more valuable the link is. Google´s rationale is that the best websites create online buzz ie people talk about them on blogs, on social media sites, online forums and in the process link to the site. Poor websites go unnoticed and so get no links. So, Google´s advice on how to get links is to create such compelling content that people take notice and so link to it. Content that is so strong that it attracts links is referred to as link bait.
We build only high quality, editorial links ie links that Google values. We know that one strong, editorial link will help your website’s rank whereas lots of low quality links will expose your site to being penalised by Google. To get high quality links, we generate compelling, genuinely interesting content and then reach out to the relevant bloggers and publishers in your industry. To see some of the content that we have produced, please see the web design section of our website.
If you have any questions at all on SEO, please contact us and we will be delighted to help however we can.
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