As web designers and developers, we are obviously constantly involved with SEO. But for years we resisted the temptation to jump on the bandwagon and claim to be ‘Search Engine Optimisation Specialists’.
The reason, if we are honest, is that we knew we could not guarantee quality results in the same way we could with our other services. In fact, we were never quite sure how companies claiming to guarantee results could – we felt they must be using decidedly dodgy techniques (effectively spamming), which is a highly risky strategy.
On top of that, we had countless experiences of sites doing really well in search engines and then inexplicably dropping in the rankings overnight, due to the ever secretive Google changing their algorithms on a whim without any documentation or release information.
You can imagine this can cause problems with clients needing instant explanations! Thankfully, almost invariably, with a little investigation, head scratching and tweaking we can restore any “penalised” site’s position.
Ultimately though, why we never felt comfortable claiming to be SEO specialists is that we do not think SEO is a ‘specialist’ service. It is so intertwined with everything we do, that we believe it needs to be considered as part of the whole picture.
After years of watching and learning, monitoring and analysing, coding and optimising, we want to share our insights into “what effects what” with you. At the end of the day we have a history of delivering some very impressive SEO results for our clients, so we hope you will find our “plain english Binamic guide to SEO” useful:
- Firstly – you must have a strategy: What are you trying to achieve with your site? Who are your target audience? What do they need, and how can you give it to them in the easiest possible way? How are they searching, and with what keywords? Without these starting blocks, it is easy to go round in circles…
- Google tries to recommend sites that it thinks are going to be relevant and useful to the searcher. If your site is genuinely useful and relevant you are probably 70% of the way there already. So this is the first thing we look at: build a great site! We would never attempt SEO on a site that was useless – even if we could, what would be the point?
- Quality of coding. Search engine crawlers have to be able to read and make sense of the content of your site to be able to add it to their databases in a meaningful way. There are, thankfully, web coding standards (although you would be surprised how many coders still ignore them..) which, if adhered to, go along way to helping here. If a site contains content held in database (e.g. a product catalogue on an e-commerce site) then is is imperative that this can be accessed by the search engines too – again an often overlooked piece of the puzzle.
- Naming of files and pages - including your domain name. This is probably the single most influential way you can tweak the site to increase your ranking.
So, for example: carparts.co.uk/subaru/forester/brake-pads.htm stands a much better chance of being found if someone is searching for a…erm.. ‘brake pad car part for Subaru Forester’ than a URL like, say: robertsandco/132/22/index.htm (by the way – both these URLs are ficticious!).
- Regularly updated content. This is linked in to point 2, but is very important. If you site contains content that is relevant and useful and current, search engines will love it. Keywords and phrases need to be considered (as do the way they are coded onto the site, but that is usually our job). Remember – as long as it is relevant, it is still powerful – it can pull in useful traffic from unexpected quarters.
- Links IN to you site. The holy grail is to have authoritative sites involved in your area of business linking to your site – if lots of people link to your site, then search engines assume yours must be a good site and rank it higher. Now you may be able to achieve this by having good contacts in your network and asking them to link to you. In an optimistic approach: you might achieve this organically by having such a good site that people want to link to it! But if you are not sure/still confused/short on time and/or staff – we can help.
Now – what most Search Engine Optimisation companies will do is manufacture and manipulate and cajole only the last item in the above list! But it takes a bit more “fundamental” to your site first to successfully convince search engines like Google that your site is great and deserves to be ranked highly.
As you no doubt by now gather, our approach is slightly different: we actually build and help improve sites to be great, relevant and useful. We use all of the above (and more), and the rest just falls in to place!
That way not only do you get the traffic you desire, but when people get there, they are not disappointed – and that is good news for any business.
For more information on effective, long-term and “white-hat” SEO strategies that we could employ to get your site to that coveted top spot – call 0208 1335444 or email us today.