Search engine Optimisation Explained

By: Mike Boht

There are a number of aspects of a website that should be focused upon at one point or another to ensure that the website is successful. You must have a quality website design, the development must be done properly, maybe some advertising, up-to-date content, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and more. SEO is one of those critical aspects of your website that is often not focused upon often enough. This article aims to fill you in on what SEO is, what are the benefits of doing SEO work for your website, and how Graphics Online can work with you in a joint effort to increase the world’s awareness of your website and draw in an increased amount of traffic.

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, is all about making internal changes to your website, as well as external changes throughout the rest of the internet, to help make your website more popular and draw in more traffic from the community. In the end, when SEO work has been done the desired result is that traffic to the website increases and when users search for particular keyword phrases in search engines you become one of the first websites listed. SEO does take a fair bit of time and commitment, and it is an ongoing process, but the end result can be well worth the effort, and any amount of SEO being done is better than nothing.

There are 2 critical areas of SEO for a website, internal modifications and link building, and there are also two forms of SEO as well, good (white hat) SEO and bad (black hat) SEO.

White hat SEO techniques are all of the things you can do to make your website more search engine friendly, these are the things you should be doing. Whereas black hat SEO are things you can do that are malicious in nature, using these techniques are likely to get your website banned from search engines. Some black hat SEO techniques are more obvious than others so in the next sections you will find things you should and should not be doing.

Website Modifications Involved

Many of the changes made to the website itself to boost SEO quality involve gracefully working a select two or three keyword phrases, about two to four words in length, into the content of the website. A keyword analysis should be done to first analyze what keywords are relevant and searched most often, and are preferably not high in competition.

Once the most suitable keywords have been selected they should be nicely sprinkled throughout the website, without abusing use of the keywords. There are a number of spots where keywords can be worked in, such as the title of the page (which appears in the title bar at the top when the page is visited). Also all of the images on a website have a special “alt” attribute which is meant to have relevant information in it about the image. There are also <meta> tags within each page that store keywords and descriptions for each page, which the Graphics Online CMS allows you to easily modify. Some good tips for white hat and black hat SEO when it comes to modifying the website follow:
 

White Hat Website Modifications

 

Black Hat Website Modifications

  • Add unique and relevant alt attribute content to images
  • Add keyword rich unique titles
  • Add keyword and description meta tags
  • Work keywords into content and keep keyword prominence and frequency in mind
  • Use keyword rich filenames for files when possible
  • Ensure keyword rich <h1> and <h2> tags are used where appropriate for headings
  • Incorporate links to pages within the website when possible
 
  • Stuffing keywords into <image> alt attributes
  • Using <image> alt attributes that don't describe the image at all
  • Titles outside the range of 7-30 words
  • The same title on numerous pages
  • Hiding content and keywords in invisible <div>`s

Some other useful information to be aware of is that keywords in the text of links will have a much greater impact than regular text. Also, keyword prominence is how close to the beginning of a paragraph of text or the top of the page keywords are, the greater the keyword prominence the more effective the keywords will be. Keyword frequency should also be quite high, but not to the point that you are being abusive, keyword stuffing is a sure fire way to get your website black listed and never found within certain search engines again. Finally, the length of time a site has been live for makes a huge difference, a site that's 10 years old will rank higher than a site that’s 2 years old which is more SEO friendly. So don’t get discouraged if your site is new and is struggling to work its way up in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Link Building Work

Link building work involves trying to contribute to the outside world of the internet and trying to add information to other websites about your website, or adding links to other websites that link to your website (backlinks) to help boost traffic and public awareness. There are a number of ways this can be done, some more time consuming than others, and some more beneficial than others, but all worthwhile. Following is a list of some white hat and black hat techniques regarding link building:
 

White Hat Link Building

 

Black Hat Link Building

  • Submitting to open directories
  • Set up a blog and keep updating it
  • Post on forums
  • Syndicate articles
  • Post useful information on question and answer type websites with a backlink to your website included
  • Submit your site and a sitemap to search engines
  • Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
  • Request backlinks from partners websites
  • Add the site to social bookmarking sites
 
  • Submit the exact same information to hundreds of open directories or break their rules when submitting
  • Posting on forums with very little useful information and solely trying to get another backlink
  • Composing promotional type of information and adding it to forums and open directories

 

Handling Multiple Domains

If your website is being hosted at multiple domains (mysite.com and mysite.com.au for example) then pick the domain you wish to be the main domain everyone sees and put a 301 redirect in place for all other domains. This will redirect all visitors (including search engine bots) to your main domain, regardless of which one they initially visited. If this is not done search engines will think the content at your different domains is duplicated, and it will cause confusion as to which is the main source, which will negatively affect rankings in the end.

Why bother with Search Engine Optimisation?

When SEO is done effectively your website will draw in way more traffic, and more traffic to your website means more business for your company or more attention towards your cause. SEO, as mentioned, is an ongoing process but the longer your website is around for and the more it contributes to the community the bigger and more popular it will become. Provided the SEO work is done properly you will find improvements in the traffic to your website and one of the best tools to monitor all kinds of information related to your visitors is by using Google Analytics, which Graphics Online sets up for clients.

How can Graphics Online Help With SEO?

The information read here is essentially the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO. It is a continuous process but you want to make sure it is done right from the beginning. Graphics Online has trained professionals with experience doing SEO work that can make sure when work is done it produces positive results and increases traffic. We also have laid down an excellent workflow to make SEO as effective as possible.

We start with the keyword analysis and an analysis of your website to produce documents outlining the keyword phrases we suggest and the modifications to your website, as well as link building work, that we plan to do. Once approved, we go ahead and beautify your website for all of the search engines to help boost traffic. Throughout the SEO process from beginning to end we use a variety of tools and techniques, as well as a wealth of knowledge, to ensure your website is effectively yet efficiently serviced for SEO. We will also provide an SEO follow up report a couple months after the work is done and provide you with access to Google Analytics to monitor progress. If you are interested in getting Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work done through Graphics Online then please contact us to get started!