We have a lot of experience in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), specifically on-page. We offer a very high quality SEO service specifically focused on optimizing your website using techniques such as XML sitemap generation, custom page titles, meta descriptions, robots.txt setup, pagespeed optimization & proper code/content structuring.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the term given to methods/techniques used to increase your websites ranking in search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask). SEO is broken down into two precise areas which are on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On page SEO is the optimization of your website itself and off-page SEO is the process of building links to your website both of which are very important if you wish to generate targeted visitors from search engines such as Google. As the competition increases online so does the need for effective SEO if you wish to rank high for competitive keywords. Long gone are the days where a website would generate traffic (visitors) instantly after being published. More and more businesses are investing in SEO than ever before because it’s much more cost affective than traditional marketing (e.g newspaper advert, leaflets, Pay Per Click advertising).
There is different types of SEO, they are on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-Page SEO is the process of optimizing the website itself to increase the web page/websites change of ranking higher for a specific keyword. This includes but isn’t limited to editing the content, structure/HTML, title/meta information, heading tags, alt tags (image optimization), page/file names, internal links and structure on a website. It’s recently been proven that Google’s ranking algorithm also takes the speed of web page/website into account.
Off-Page SEO is the process of building incoming links to your website (also known as backlinks). Google sees a link to a site as a vote and measures it’s affect on a websites ranking in terms of relevance of the link and authority. There is 2 main types of links you can build, they are:
- 1 way links: This is simply a one way link to your site (in other words you don’t link back). This is the most valuable type of link in Google’s eyes.
- Reciprocal Link: This link is where 2 sites link to each other. This technique was a very good way to increase your websites ranking many years ago but is not so effective today as Google understands that it easy to exchange links and doesn’t say anything about the quality of the content.
The biggest rule of Off-Page SEO is not to build as many backlinks to your website as you can but rather look for quality links from sites that are already ranking well in the search engine.
The techniques we use on your website will depend on your unique business objectives.
The page title on a web page is the most important part of on-page SEO. As it’s the most vital part of your on-page SEO (other than your content) it’s important that it shows up at the top of your HTML page, it should be just underneath your opening head tag (
<head>). When someone finds your website listed on Google the text that is being used for your title tag will show up as the subject (in most cases). How many people click on your website rather than your competitors will depend on how attractive your page title is. A big mistake that we see is titles full of keywords, this is not good because it will lower your CTR (Click Through Ratio).
A web pages meta description is another vital part of your page. In your HTML the meta description is a line of code where you can write a small description of your page. So when a search engine crawls your page they will find your description even though it’s not visible to your website visitors. Sometimes search engines will use your exact meta description as the description on your listing on the search results page much like the page title, so it’s very important to keep CTR (Click Through Ratio) in mind.
In your HTML the meta tag is a tag in your HTML where you can list tags that describe your website. In the early days of SEO, search engines would use your meta tags to determine where your website ranked. Search Engines soon found out that many websites were abusing this by listing thousands of tags which had nothing to do with the content. As a result of this the meta tag is dying as far as how useful it is for ranking your website but we still think it’s important to spend 5 minutes on each page optimizing this.
Heading tags are a big part of your website because they show search engines the structure of your website. The heading tags consists of h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6. h1 should be used for the main title of your page and does have a positive impact on your websites ranking. The other heading tags should be used on your page to form a structure. When using the heading tags it’s important to use relevant keywords but also keep in mind that if the keywords are overdone the users experience will be affected. A common mistake we see is sites that have more than one h1 tag on each page. This is a big problem because the search engines may see your site as spamming or trying to cheat the system.
An alt tag is a HTML tag that can be used on your images to describe what the image is. When the search engines scan your website they can only read text and aren’t yet capable of knowing what an image is (the same goes for video) so the alt tag is used to tell the search engines what an image is. While this will not have too much of an impact on a text based website if you run an online store and have pictures of your products this technique is vital!
Robots.txt is used to communicate with the search engines and provide instructions on where they can scan and what pages/images then can or can’t index in their results. This is very important if you have pages on your website that you don’t want search engines to index for example a contact form confirmation page. Keep in mind that the robots.txt file can be accessed by your website visitors so if you have a page/file you don’t want people to find your best bet would be to password protect it or use .htaccess (mod_rewrite).
A sitemap is simply a file/page with a list of links to all of the pages on your website. There are 2 common types of sitemap formats. They are:
An XML sitemap is a file that contains links to all of the pages on your website created soupy for the search engines. This file should always be uploaded on the root directory of your website (public_html) so it’s easier for the search engines to find. You can also reference your website’s sitemap in your robots.txt file.
A HTML sitemap is also a file containing a list of links to all of the pages on your website but it can be useful for your website visitors as well as the search engines. Instead of being a page full of links an HTML sitemap generally has the same structure and design as the rest of your website to ensure a positive user experience.
Google’s Free Webmaster Tools & Software
Google offers webmasters many free tools and software as it is in their best interest to increase the performance and relevance of every website on the WWW (World Wide Web). Two of Google’s free software is particularly useful for improving your websites search engine ranking. They are:
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is designed specifically to manage your websites settings and help its performance and presence in Google’s search engine. With webmaster tools you can tell Google which geographic your website is targeted to, increase your websites page load, request pages to be removed from Google’s index, specify your sitemaps location, create a robots.txt file and much more!
In late 2009 Google announced that your websites speed will be part of their ranking algorithm. The reason for this is because a faster website provides a better experience for your visitor and Google doesn’t want to rank a website high for a popular search term if it’s slow and sluggish. Optimizing your websites pageload can be achieved by the following methods:
HTML Optimization consists of modifying the HTML that makes up your website for a better result as far as SEO goes. This can include reducing the amount of code while maintaining the same website design, using as little code as possible to achieve the same results to increase your websites speed, to use the least amount of code as possible to increase your websites content over code ratio.
This process is much easier than HTML Optimization because there isn’t many variables. The idea of CSS Optimization is to achieve the same results with the least code and white space as possible to improve your websites load time.
Reducing the file size of your website’s images is the easiest way to improve your websites load time because there is many ways to reduce the file size of an image while maintaining the same quality. This can be achieved by using different file types for certain images or reducing the file quality.