Wednesday 19 June 2013

Search Engine Optimisation

Vision ICT Blog 06/13

Welcome to the Vision ICT Blog. 

Every month we will have a topic or issue that we will discuss, either to do with the company, related business or technology issues that affect YOU.

This month’s topic: Search Engine Optimisation

Carrying on from last month’s topic, Standing Out from the Crowd, we will be taking a look at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) including a special guest post.

What is SEO? SEO is the development of a website to increase its ranking on search engines.

What is a Search Engine and how does it work? Search engines work by finding pages a user asks for, based on the “best results” available. The “best” is defined by SEO techniques – The most popular, the most relevant and the longest active.

SEO varies depending on what you want to achieve. To this end, you should treat SEO differently if you are doing it for a council body or for a business.

SEO for business:
Businesses need to promote themselves and push themselves above the competition. Search rankings are a constant battle between companies to reach the lucrative top spots. Not only does a company need to have strong Search Engine Optimisation, your competition needs to have weaker Optimisation. Rankings are constantly changing so sometimes it can be a struggle to remain at the top. Alternatively you can pay google to have a fixed spot, although many people will tend to ignore these in favour of the ‘natural’ links.

Some SEO companies offer some ‘solutions’ that exploit the search system. However, if caught this can result in a website being banned completely from search engines. If someone offers you a 100% guaranteed top ranking, don’t trust them! You could end up losing any search engine good-will you already have.

For the best results, we recommend using our trusted SEO company, Skyline.

SEO for councils:
When it comes to council websites, many will put a lot of faith in website rankings. The truth is, unlike for a business whilst a page ranking is useful, it usually isn’t as vital. To begin, most councils will have an easy to find address (such as [councilname], and if most people are looking for the council, they will find it. 

Secondly, most people search for the council will type “[Council Name] Parish/Town/Community Council” into a search engine, and as such the council site will very likely be on the first page, usually amongst the top 2 or 3 links. This is purely because a specific search like that will yield few other results than the one they want. Just searching the “Place Name” without the “Council” might return different results, but rarely will this be because the person is looking for/wants to see the council site.

Thirdly, if your council’s rating is a little low for some reason and you do want to boost it (also perhaps for easy access), we recommend contacting other large government bodies (such as Unitary Authorities and District Councils) and getting them to post a link to your site. This will help boost your ranking. We also can also post a link to your council site on Wikipedia under the page about the region. 

And now, a special guest post from Skyline SEO Experts – 

Seeing as search engines are the main way in which internet users browse the web, an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) campaign will give your website the best chance of being found on results pages by searchers. Companies that have invested in SEO now enjoy profitable places on Google results pages, and as up to 80% of internet users don’t look past the first page of results, these top ten spots receive thousands more visitors than websites found later on. Traffic increases, custom flows and with this, Google’s algorithm recognises the positive reputation of the site, thus sustaining its high page position. 
Rather than using Google’s more expensive service, Adwords AKA Pay-Per-Click (PPC), the organic list statistically gives a better return on investment (ROI). 70% of internet users only use the organic listing.
Ideally, your online-goal should be to rank on page 1 for all your products or services. How do you get there? Today, just think relevance. Is your website as relevant as it can be?
A hugely important part of any SEO campaign is building strong links from other sites to your own. 
Every page has a page ranking, from to 0 to 10 and building links from a page with a ranking higher than yours will have an extremely positive effect on your position on Google. The fewer number of links on a page to other pages, the more authority these links will carry with google and a result will have a greater effect than a page with many links.
For example, a link to your website from the BBC (page rank 9) in regards to an article they have written about your council will have a huge impact on your google ranking. This is in contrast to a link from a website under six months old or with few visitors, which is like to be page ranked 0.
If you need any help, please do not hesitate to contact either Rob or Joe at Skyline Marketing - We specialise in SEO and PPC.

We hope you enjoyed this special edition of the Vision ICT blog.

Until next time, stay well!

Next month – Uses of Social Media