What is Search Engine Optimisation…?

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO for short) is all about where your website shows on searches in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Google, in particular, ranks your pages based on these two calculations:

  1. How informative is the content on your website?
  2. How many quality links to other well known websites does your website have?

Both of these simplified versions of the necessary aspects of your online presence can be quite difficult to achieve. Here are some common myths (corrected) with SEO that seem to have slipped past most of us:

  • Your ranking is not based on the amount of times your website says a specific word over and over again.
  • It’s not based on meta tags either, the little keywords displayed in the code of your website.
  • Clicking on your website over and over again is useless.
  • Paying for links, comments or clicks is deadly and should be avoided at all costs (spammer alert!).

In fact, all of the things above are counterproductive to where you’ll rank on search engines. Most common practices that people adhere to are counting against their listings because sites like Google update their policies very regularly. In particular, Google alone have 31 different ways of deciding who should appear nearest to the top of their searches!

An important thing to pay attention to is that if ANYBODY offers you a guaranteed number one spot on Google in return for some cash, they’re either lying or you won’t stay there for very long (and may end up with a very big red ‘X’ next to your name).

Here are just some of the things we do at Illustrate to keep our clients websites visible:

  1. Get to know what your audience is searching for. If we know what people are looking for, we have a better idea of how to show them what they want. Try searching for ‘responsive websites wigan’, I’d bet we rank pretty high? 
  2. Keep your content fresh. The search engines love to know you’re still alive and kicking.
  3. Use and integrate social media. Linking to your website in tweets, Facebook posts, on Google Plus or Pinterest will generate more attention, by both your audience and search engines.
  4. Don’t repeat yourself. Copy content is a no, a BIG no!
  5. Using other links. Knowing what other quality, reputable websites to hook up to is something we do well. We’ve got a great network of customers who love the opportunity to share links.
  6. Probably most importantly, we study! Knowing what Google wants to see is the only way to feed it.
  7. In the end, longevity wins. The key is to have patience and not expect magic overnight. As I said earlier, anybody promising this should be avoided and fended off. Nobody wants to get blacklisted!

We can’t go giving all of our secrets away though, of course. And SEO is a time consuming, brain-squeezing exercise.

Thankfully though, it’s all provided here, included in our valuable monthly support and maintenance packages. Not that this is a shameless plug or anything…?

If you’re interested in us looking at optimising your website, get in contact with us, or throw us a tweet and let us know!

Scott is the Managing Director at Illustrate. His main focus is to cast vision and concentrate on our future growth, as well as looking after our customers and generally managing our effectiveness and value as a web design agency. He's also great at presenting new ideas and being picky about the design of everything we do. He performs best in building relationships with other people and in his spare time rides a Honda VTR motorbike, is a huge Cardiff Devils fan and loves spending time volunteering at Freedom Church in Cardiff.