Fri, Aug

Sending out a search party

Online SEO success is only achievable when you understand what search engines need to find on your website in order to rank. Here Ian Bevis, director of Chameleon Web Services, explains all.

According to Ian Bevis of Chameleon Web Services, many business owners do not fully grasp that search engine optimisation is vital to ensuring their website is simple for both users - and search engine robots - to understand if they really want to make a mark. So should you consider improving your SEO?

Taking your business to the next level

If you find yourself asking “why is it that whenever I Google something my competitors show and not me” the chances are they are using search engine optimisation services.

Think about the visitor journey from Google to the page on the website they end up on and look to see whether this answers the questions that the visitor might ask. Look at the basics first - is it simple to find a contact email or phone number and are these details correct?

Get active in SEO by tracking the keywords you want to rank for, and also track competitors’ rankings for the same keywords.

Understand what the competition is doing online - and identify changes that result in positive growth. Armed with this information you can be sure to keep up with the Jones’s and then improve on what they have been doing.

Take a look at your website and ask a simple question “does this contain the keywords people are using in Google search?”. If it doesn’t then get them added. For example, if you are in London you need to help Google know this information to be able to use it.

Understand search engines
One of the most important factors to understand is how important Google is for a business - and what the Google search engine spider needs to find when it visits a website. It is vital to know that when you search in Google you are searching the data captured and held in Google’s database, not what is actually live on a website today. This is important because website changes can take weeks to become live and only available after the search engine robots have crawled the website in order to gather the latest changes and information.

Google dominates as the leading search engine provider - at the time of writing it had a 77.43% global share. Though Bing has grown recently and now holds a 7.31% clearly Google remains the main point of all internet search.

Being in the top three positions of organic listings within a Google search can drive tens of thousands of visitors a month to a website depending upon the type of industry and popularity of the service or product.

Google AdWords or SEO?
You can use Google AdWords to achieve a listing within search results and this can be very effective. However, there is a large percentage of people who ignore the adverts and go straight to the organic area. Also, with competitive keywords the adverts can be very costly and if there are large volumes of search results then this can lead into budget requirements of thousands per month per keyword.

With SEO services, once the website is listed it does not matter if there are a hundred visitors to ten thousand, there are no additional costs. Often a £500 SEO campaign can be an equivalent of £30,000 AdWords budget.

How does Google choose who is top?
This is a question everyone who works within the search engine optimisation world would love to have the exact answer to. The reality is that there are only so many areas of information that Google can use to rank a website above another. Start by understanding that if your content is unique and of high quality it will attract interest and visitors are likely to share the content. The sharing of the website pages are known as backlinks and these are used by Google to identify quality and trust. The more a website/page is shared on high quality websites the more likely the content is correct and worth taking note of.

Now if Google can understand the content in the manner it is laid out then Google can use this data to answer search queries due to trusting the content.

This is a simple process to understand once this is fully appreciated it should become clear how you can find yourself attracting a Google penalty by creating false backlinks on spammed blog sites and forums.

Keep clean and do not create Internet spam
The more spammy websites online to find then the larger the job becomes for Google and thus the more resources that are required to crawl the entire World Wide Web. Every website should add value with information/advice/products and reviews, and if you stay away from spammy websites you keep a clean profile that Google will reward.

If it is too cheap its wrong
If an SEO company can provide services for £50 a month then the chances are that this will be adding zero value to your online profile. The bigger picture is that such providers could be using spammy cheap techniques which are likely to result in a Google penalty.

Why should SEO cost so much?
To deliver SEO effectively you need to track all keywords the website needs to rank for, and also track competitors’ ranking positions for the same keywords. The average cost of simply tracking ranking positions can cost £30 per month to £100 per month depending on the tracking type and localisation accuracy. For example, tracking 100 keyword positions daily across the UK, London and Birmingham with competitors can cost more than some companies charge for an entire SEO package.

You have track ranking positions in order to carry out SEO services. If this is not carried out properly it is impossible to know what the SEO company is doing adds value.

Negative SEO
Monitoring a backlink profile of a website is vital for success, and with negative SEO being on the up it is more important than ever to protect your online profile.

Negative SEO backlinks are spammy backlinks generated to attack a domain name and cause issues which can result in a penalty and even prevent a domain for ranking for a specific keyword.

Google has a tool they provide to help combat these issues known as a disavow which basically tells Google that the list you provide of website links or domains are things you do not want stored in Google’s system relating to your own website.

Information is the key
The more information you have the better an SEO campaign will work - everything comes down to information, and the more details you have about a website and the competition the more positive impact you can have on the SEO success

Chameleon Web Services has been in business since 2001, providing SEO services since 2005 and every day there is still learning and data capturing from test websites to understand what is working right now in the latest Google Algorithm.

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