Search Engine Optimisation
How do new Customers find your Website?
You have a great website - functional, attractive, and ready for business. Now it's time to sit back and wait for the increase in sales and profit. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that because having a website does not mean that potential customers can find it.
When your customers use a search engine like Google to search for the products or services you offer, you want to be reasonably close to the top of the list of search results otherwise they will not see you.
Search engine optimisation is the process website developers use in order to try and gain favourable search engine positioning when performing searches for your business or product on Google, Yahoo, or other search engines.
There are several aspects to Search Engine Optimisation:
- Identifying the words or phrases that your potential clients are most likely to use when searching for your products or services
- Ensuring that your website is optimised for those particular keywords
- Looking at external optimisations
- Identify your Keywords
It is not always straightforward to determine what phrases your potential customers may use - for example, if you sell ironmongery, do people search for "door handles" or "door knobs"?
One straightforward way to work this out is to budget for a small pay-per-click advertising campaign (such as Google AdWords) for a few months; not only will this help drive some visitors to your site in the short term but, by setting up multiple sets of sponsored keywords, you can gain valuable market intelligence on which phrases generate the most traffic. You can then have your site optimised for those keywords in particular.
Ensure your Website is Optimised
All websites built by axisfirst are done so according to best practice and so have the best opportunity to be indexed by the search engines. Once you have identified your chosen keywords, we can optimise the site for those phrases - remember as well that it is wise to optimise one page for one particular phrase and so have a different page per phrase.
Many people talk about various techniques to try and trick the search engines into giving a page a higher ranking but these (known as 'black hat techniques') are frowned upon and sooner or later your site will be penalised for using them.
Apart from ensuring that the pages are built correctly and include those key phrases in the underlying scripts (so-called meta tags), the best route to optimising your site is to make sure that the copy on those pages includes those phrases, near the top and not too many times. Remember though that the pages still need to be readable by human beings as well as by search engines so do not compromise readability for search engine performance.
Search engines will rank your site more highly if there are other sites that already have a high ranking on those phrases or keywords that link to your site.
In a commercial world, this can be challenging because they will often be competitors but you should endeavour to find manufacturers sites, local directories, trade associations and so on that can link to your sites.
Again, link exchange schemes and other techniques to artificially increase this are frowned upon by the search engines and have little benefit.
Is this a One-Off Exercise?
No! Reaching and maintaining your website position is an on-going process. If nothing else, remember that if you happen to reach No.1 for a particular search term then someone who was No.1 is now No.2 and they will be doing all they can to get back to that position.
Finally, remember that there are no guarantees - no one can keep a promise to "get you number 1 in Google"!
What Does axisfirst Offer?
We will, as a matter of course, build your website in such a way as it is search-engine friendly - in other words, the search engines will find your site and in due course you will start being listed based on the copy that you place on the site.
We can advise you on determining what are the key phrases that you might need to optimise on and we can ensure that pages include those phrases in their meta tags.
We can also offer a variety of on-going campaigns (agreeing to spend a certain amount of time on a regular basis) to fine-tune that optimisation.
Search engines, and Google in particular, are biased towards sites that change on a regular basis so there is no substitute for keeping the content on your site fresh and updated. For this reason, we see search engine optimisation as an on-going partnership.