Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO, as it is also known) refers to a varied set of processes, disciplines and criteria that apply to activities undertaken to improve where a website appears in the listings of various search engines.
SEO has many different facets, some of which will be technical and relate to the construction and hosting of a website, while others relate to certain marketing and copywriting practices that will assist in the ranking of that website (i.e. where in the search results your website will appear).
The technical side of SEO covers many different aspects of how a website is put together and how it is put online (web hosting). These include, but are not limited to, whether the website is optimised for mobile devices such as phones or tablets, whether the website loads quickly upon a reader visiting it and whether images used on the website are properly formatted and tagged. These issues should be at the forefront of a business’s or an individual’s mind when commissioning a new website or looking to refresh an existing one, and any reputable web designer will be able to talk you through them and implement what is required in this regard.
However, SEO is also a major factor when considering what written and visual copy is needed for a website, and online marketing activity overall has been proven to assist with websites’ rankings over time. This includes thinking carefully about what keywords are associated with a business’s products and services, as they will be used by internet users who use search engines, and then making sure you include these keywords in an intelligent manner in your website copy.
In addition, SEO considers how often people view the copy online and how often other internet users share the online copy via the various social media networks. If a business or an individual regards their website as a key part of their marketing strategy, they must also look to undertake an ongoing online marketing campaign involving social media marketing, e-mail marketing and other online advertising options, such as Google AdWords.
SEO is not a static discipline, as the various search engines want to ensure that their users are pointed to the most relevant and timely online content and therefore change the parameters of what good SEO practice consists of. This too is undertaken so as to avoid search engine results being filled with promotional and advertorial content by clued-up online marketers, and this is why an intelligent and thought-through content marketing strategy is required for the ongoing promotion of a website.
This means that the only people who can truly call themselves SEO experts are those who work with a search engine company themselves. The parameters can easily change over the course of years as well, so what may have been good SEO practice in 2012 is probably ill-advised in 2016.
However, basic common sense should prevail when approaching the online marketing aspects of SEO, and there are some trusted approaches that have other non-SEO marketing benefits besides, such as the uploading of regular, new content to a website or the ongoing promotion of certain webpages via social media.
A combination of good website design, robust website hosting and sensible, ongoing content and social media marketing strategies will ensure a website performs well within search engines on a regular basis.
While Nick Lewis Communications do not provide SEO services as such, they can advise on general best practice as well as provide social media training, social media management and copywriting, all of which help improve a website’s search engine ranking. To find out, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07970 839137.