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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

In this section of our website, we try to answer in simple, easy to understand English "what is search engine optimisation (SEO)?". 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.

What is a Keyword/Key Phrase?

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".

Keyword or Key-Phrase Analysis:

Be sure to check out this document on keyword analysis: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/6-keyword-research-mistakes-you-might-be-making

Choosing Keywords to target - 3 Criteria:

The goal is to target keywords / key-phrases that satisfy three criteria.


The first criterion is that those who search for this key-phrase are likely to be interested in the content of the website that you are optimising. For example, those people who search for "bulk dogfood" are very likely to be interested in a website that sells bulk dog food online. There is no point ranking for this phrase unless you sell bulk dog food and your website clearly promotes this.


The second criterion is that people must be actually searching for this key-phrase. For example, if someone were to search for "Bags of dogfood larger than 50kg" this person would also be relevant to the content of the online dog food sales website. However, as no one is searching for this key-phrase, ranking well for it is a waste of time. The goal is to identify relevant key-phrases for which there is demand (people searching for it on a regular basis).

Google´s Keyword Planner tool gives an indication as to global and local monthly (country specific) search volumes (demand) for any key-phrase. The local results can be tailored for the country which you are targeting. The tool will analyse a website´s content and/or make key-phrase suggestions based on a certain theme or word depending as per your preference.


Pursuing a key-phrase that has too much competition relative to the resources that you have available for a campaign is the best way to squander your money. For example, if you are a small hotel in Dublin, you will inevitably want to rank for "hotels Dublin". However, every hotel is working on this phrase and so achieving a good rank for it will be a great challenge. If you are aware of this and sufficient resources are put in place, then of course you can target such competitive key-phrases. However, if the you need a quicker return on your investment, then a clever (Search Engine Optimisation) SEO executive will exploit key-phrases with less demand and less competition for which rank can quickly be achieved and so traffic. For example "3 star hotels dublin" has lower demand but by setting up a highly targeted page and building high quality links to this page, a high rank can be quickly achieved and so traffic.

When doing key-phrase analysis, you should always look for the quickest route to positive ROI on SEO spends. The overarching principles here are to pick the battles that you can win quickly and that a large percentage of small demand is more valuable to a client than no percentage of high demand.

On-Page SEO:

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.

Off-Page SEO:

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.

Link Building/Link Earning:

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.

How does DPFOC Build Links?

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.

What Our Clients Say..

Martin Commins MD
Dublin, Ireland

Cathal Greaney Owner
Galway, Ireland

Jon Munro Proprietor,
Dublin, Ireland

Robert Rogerson MD,
Dublin, Ireland

Joanne O Connor Head of Marketing,
Dublin, Ireland

Michael Harty MD,
Dublin, Ireland

Kimberly Ekblad
Perth, Australia

Clayton Beatty
Perth, Australia

Todd Smith Director,
Perth, Australia

John Elliott CEO
Perth, Australia

Dr Rachel Sheffield Global Hand Charity Inc.Chair
Perth, Australia

Carl Westwood Proprietor,
London, UK


We Have Achieved Top 3 Rankings For Thousands of Key-phrases For Hundreds of Irish Companies
Key Phrase Website Search Engine Rank
seo Corkwww.dpfoc.com/irelandwww.google.ie3
seo company Corkwww.dpfoc.com/irelandwww.google.ie2
Seo services Corkwww.dpfoc.com/irelandwww.google.ie2
Orla Kiely Bagswww.kilkennyshop.comwww.google.ie2
Orla Kiely Bags for Salewww.kilkennyshop.comwww.google.ie1
Orla Kiely Handbags for Salewww.kilkennyshop.comwww.google.ie1
Orla Kiely Bags Salewww.kilkennyshop.comwww.google.ie1
Enniscrone hotelwww.theoceansandshotel.iewww.google.ie2
Loss Assessors Dublinwww.balcombes.iewww.google.ie2
hotel Enniscronewww.theoceansandshotel.iewww.google.ie1
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