Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The term search engine optimisation refers to the practice of using specific tactics and techniques to rank a website higher up the search results pages.

Having higher search rankings tends to correlate strongly with getting more website visitors which in turn should lead to either more clients or customers.

Traditionally SEO has been about two things, links and content.

Links are the probably still the primary ranking factor and the most difficult aspect of an SEO campaign to get right. They are loosely classed as popularity votes for a website by the search engines are really affect your ‘rankability’.

You can read more details on links here.

When talking about content relating to SEO I really mean the actually words, images and other media which makes up your website.

Google reads your websites and takes cues from your content when deciding what the site as a whole and individual pages are about, this then goes towards determining what search terms you rank for.

Getting the combination of links and onsite content right is what will push you to the top of the search engines results pages.

Historical SEO

SEO has been around for 10 years or so, maybe longer, I know that this isn’t such a long time when compared to other forms of marketing however for the Internet it is a massive period of time.

It used to be that up until just a year or so ago you could really do well with SEO fairly easily if you knew the right techniques. There were some fairly low cost ways of building links which were still effective, combined with an understanding of keyword research and some good onsite content planning you could really make a difference pretty quickly.

Unfortunately this has changed…

SEO Today

Google has aggressively been going after SEO practitioners and websites which blatantly use link building techniques to artificially bulk up their backlinks for the sole reason of SEO.

This has resulted in updates to their ranking algorithms which have massively devalued lots of previously effective link building techniques.

Many businesses that heavily relied on these types of tactics have suffered penalties which include being dropped way down the search engine listings.

The overall feeling of the industry is that these changes are here to stay and are probably only going to get worse.

Does this mean SEO is dead? Not at all. It is just more difficult to pull off.

The benefit is that the difficulty increase actually means less competition if you can get your strategy right and put the work in.

Likewise, the eradication of many ‘spammy’ ways of getting links means that a sensible plan is now to work on building higher quality links which will not only help your SEO efforts, they have side benefits in terms of branding and genuine click through visits from potential customers.

Getting quality links and referrals from other high quality websites is never going to be devalued by Google because if they ever did this then what would they have left to organise their rankings?

Overall my personal feeling is that SEO can still be a highly effective marketing route for many different types of businesses. It is a long term strategy which requires a fair amount of work to implement but the payoff can be significant.

It’s not right for every business though and if you have no budget or time to invest then it’s probably wise to put it to the back of mind for the time being and work on something more likely to turn your time and money into business and profit.

If you want to find out more about SEO and what the opportunities are for your business then simply get in touch.