What can Squarenet do for my website?
I provide Organic Search Engine Optimisation services. This is the process of making sure your website is built in a way which enables search engines to easily index the content of your web site. It may sound like an obvious process however; many websites are built with little regard to how search engines work and as a result perform poorly. I do not guarantee top rankings and instant results – please be aware that no one can do that! If keeping on top of the search engines is key to you then I would recommend integrating WordPress into your website where you will able to constantly update your website on the go keeping the search engines happy. It’s our job to build your website but it’s your job to keep it maintained.
How do Search Engines find my site?
Several elements of a web page are used by search engines to list or find a website. The domain name, the page title, the keywords, the description, the H1 and H2 tags and most importantly the text content. The title, keywords and description are found in a special hidden section called ‘Meta Tags’. They are entered into an HTML page by the web designer. The ‘Keyword’ Meta Tag used to be important, however it is far less so now as stated above, File naming conventions can also help, for example using keywords to name a page or an image in a page.
When referring to keywords I mean the relevant words used within the visible text of a page, not the Meta Tags. Copy needs to be written to make use of keywords that are most searched for. For example ‘website’ might be searched for ten times more often than ‘websites’ and so would be a better choice. It is possible to research which words are used more often and so tailor the copy within a page to achieve higher rankings. Using different words with the same meaning can make the copy more interesting to read and help with SEO. If the copy on a page feels repetitive and laden with keywords when you read it then the search engines will pick up on this and probably penalise your site. So, copy has to be written carefully to make sense and make the most of keywords.
Some search engines also use phrases in addition to keywords – they look for patterns of words that match a search request. These engines are tailored for searches that are more language-based – for example ‘which colour goes with black?’ A site should be designed to utilise both phrase and keyword searches. Other weightings include how many inbound links there are to your site . . . the more the better since the logic is that your site is popular!
What about the structure of my site?
The structure of your site is important. Search engines often only read approximately the first 30Kb of a web page, so if your important copy, or menus are buried in too many tables or at the bottom of a large page, the engine may not index them. Links to the site’s pages from the home page are vital to search engines – this is how they index your site – by following these paths.
By separating content from structure (i.e. using CSS designs like this site) this problem is very much reduced; the search engine has far less structural mark-up to navigate. The inclusion of a simple site map page also helps with site indexing.
Framesets and inline-frames are avoided by most professional designers because search engines can’t find their way through them to read the content of the pages. A frameset home page only contains information about which other pages to load. Some engines do read the no-frames content, in which page links can be placed, but it’s not reliable.
How quickly can you get my website ranked?
There are no instant results with organic Search Engine Optimisation. It takes time for a website to build up a good ranking. Publishing an optimised website is like planting a seed – it takes time to grow. Obviously, the healthier the seed and better the location where it’s planted, the faster it will grow. Over time your site will be automatically picked up and added to many online free business directories. You should also take every opportunity to add links to your site from other appropriate websites. This is not generally done within search engine optimisation, however some companies will add your site to link farms. This is a practice to avoid.
Sites can also slip back down the rankings, especially if the competition improves their optimisation. Sometimes it’s more harmful to have WordPress blogs which are not updated often. Search engine results are relative and not absolute. Search engines do change their rules, though only radically in response to increasing cases of abuse. The most important on-going tweaking required is to keep content updated. For example, if you find there is suddenly media interest in your profession you need to mention this on your site. If your news relates to stories with a wider public interest then write your copy with this in mind.