Search Engine Optimisation – The Basics

This article will describe and explain the basics of SEO and its practices. Search Engine Optimisation is the art of enhancing your website in order to improve its visibility within search engines. SEO can be applied to either ‘organic’ search results or Pay Per Click advertisements and its importance cannot be understated; a recent study undertaken by ‘Agent SEO’ it was reported that 96% of all search engine clicks take place within the top 10 results (with nearly 50% of them being taken by the top 1).

The history of SEO

SEO has been around for a long time, ever since there has been a search engine there has been SEO. As a whole though, it has evolved and come a long way since its inception. website design agency london During the 90’s, SEO was based almost purely around text and text based Meta tags; during this period it was easy to abuse the search engine algorithm, for example, a way of doing this was to write a list of unrelated but popular keywords the same colour as the website background, when scanning and indexing the website the search engine would pick keywords and index them to show up when a user searched those terms; nowadays this is noticed when scanning the website and the website is then either heavily penalised or removed from the search listings all together.

As the web and web based content has evolved, search engines and as a result search engine optimisation has had to evolve too.

On Page SEO

On page SEO is the art of ensuring that your website is fully enhanced in order to be search engine friendly; failure to do this would result in a lower chance of your website ranking well. There are a number of key points that are essential to this.

Title Tag – The title tag is an important feature, it must be a precise but compact (70 characters or less) description of the content on the page.

Meta descriptions – Located within the HTML code of the website, meta descriptions are what a search engine will use to provide a description of the site – to avoid this being cut short it is advised that it shouldn’t exceed 160 characters in length. They are also important due to the fact that they essentially act as advertising copy and must be engaging and compelling in order to draw readers into the website.

Finally, the 3rd factor that must be considered is the content of the page. A page’s content is what will make it worthy of a high ranking and it is what will drive traffic to the site. What makes good content I hear you ask? Well the first thing to remember is that any content written shouldn’t be written for search engines – content must supply a demand and any copy that is written purely for search engines is likely to be dull and uninteresting. Content must also be unique, it shouldn’t appear on other URL’s.

Although it may be tempting, it’s also important not to spam keywords. When writing good content keywords will fit in naturally, avoid keyword stuffing to ensure that search engines don’t mistake your website for an irrelevant page.

Off Page SEO

Off page SEO refers to things that you do off of your own website in order to improve its searchability and ranking. You may think that if your website is optimised for search engines then your job is done and your site will forever remain at the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing. Unfortunately this is not the case, Off Page SEO is in fact more important than on-page.