SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is quite simple to understand but can be very hard to achieve.
SEO all starts with the concept of your website and optimising it for some terms. Terms known as keywords need to be researched to find out what people are searching for when looking for your web site. For example if your web site was about teddy bears, there maybe many searches about small brown teddy bears so this is a keyword you would want optimised within your website.
These keywords can be gathered via research or simply thinking as your customer and asking your self what would I type into a seach engine to look for some information or something I wish to purchase.
When it comes to search engines everyone wants to have their website on the first page as this is generally the most viewed. If you go to google and type in web design for example google will tell you there are over 2 billion results. As you can imagine getting your site into the top 3 or even first page seems a tough challange. Obviously some search terms have less competition and, although still difficult, can be ranked on the first page easier that a search term with over 2 billion results.
Search engines such as google are often changing the parameters as to what is considered a site worthy of being on the first page. Many years ago we could have a keyword such as digital cameras and have a website showing on the first page with next to no actual written content but just alot of the keyword required. This is obviously not very good for the user looking for real information and therefore over the years the search engines parameters changed to help user experience.
SEO is such an important part of website design, for large businesses or small traders and even more so that the site itself as you need potential visitors to see your site and the only way this will happen is to have it showing high up in the search engines.
SEO is sometimes divided into white hat and black hat. Black hat SEO is not what you want for you site. These techniques are often used for a short term gain, penalised by google and the site owner moves on to another site. White hat SEO could still be classed as alittle black hat because any time we make a site we think the search engine may like is still manipulating the search engines and they don’t like this. However, we have to use some techniques and white hat is what most SEO experts use successfully.
Bear in mind not all web designers are SEO experts. Some may have the understanding and actually rank sites for afew simple terms but not all are fully up to date with the best ways to get a site ranked well on a search engine. Thats not to say all are like that but if I was ordering a site I would also be asking for examples of results. You will want to see current results aswell, not just a screen shot of a site that was once ranked a year ago. When you check the results, do so on your own computer, not the web designers one. The reason for this being, results from search engines can be skewed.
For example if I had a site about green carrots I would visit it alot as I am checking on it. Therefore a search engine like Google would see I liked this site and when I searched for green carrots, my site is likely to be at or near the top. If a web designer shows you examples on his own computer the results could well be skewed so, in this case, you would check green carrots on your own computer to see where on the search engine it ranks. Cornwall Web Design has many examples of sites currently sitting at number one on google and can do the same for your site and business.
Of course, search engine algorithms change and sites alter position and then need more work on them to take them back to a good ranking and good ranking is vital for visitors and therefore customers.
There are many SEO gurus out there who charge a fortune to rank you, sometimes successfully. As a customer who wishes their site to perform well you not only need to see some example of where sites are ranking now but also have some kind of pay for performance set up, that way your SEO expert will need to do a great job. This is the way we do it at our website company with SEO, if we don’t deliver, you don’t pay for the services.
If you want a chat about your SEO for you current site or a new site you are considering, contact us via phone or email and we can discuss your needs and the best path for you.