What is search engine optimisation and why is it important?
Each time that you enter search queries into a search engine, search engine algorithms will determine the order of the results that you see. These algorithms are developed as search engines crawl and index different websites and pages, and gauge their quality and relevance to internet users.
Of course, as a business, you want your web page to rank as one of the first results for relevant key words and search terms.
One of the ways in which you can achieve this is through search engine optimisation (also known as SEO). SEO uses several techniques to help your website rank higher in search engine results, so that you receive more traffic, and therefore more leads and sales of your product or service.
Search engine optimisation focuses on generating organic (or unpaid) traffic. The other type of traffic is paid traffic, which is generated when businesses pay for advertising that ensures their website is displayed at the top of relevant search engine results. Google ads are one example of this.
What does an SEO-optimised website look like?
All SEO-optimised websites that rank highly in search results will utilise a range of on-page and off-page techniques. They will also have several characteristics in common (also known as ranking factors), including that they will:
- Be secure
- Be accessible and easily located by the search engine
- Have a good, human-readable domain name and URLs that are easily indexed by the search engine
- Have domain authority
- Have a fast page loading time
- Publish high-quality pieces of content that have been optimised with relevant keywords, headings, and meta descriptions
- Leverage relevant link building, with a combination of inbound, outbound, and internal linking
- Display as well on mobile devices as they do on desktop ones
- Offer a good on-page user experience
- Have strong user statistics, including clickthrough rates and dwell times
- Receive a significant amount of likes and shares on social media
What SEO techniques do you use?
A number of different search engine optimisation techniques exist. The exact techniques that we use may vary depending on your website’s current SEO health, though it is worth noting that at Tomedia, we will always use white hat techniques.
White hat SEO does things “by the book”, and adheres to Google’s webmaster guidelines. For example:
- Structuring your website in a way that makes it easy for users to navigate and locate content
- Ensuring your website displays and functions correctly for both mobile and desktop users
- Undertaking keyword research, and incorporating SEO-friendly keywords into your content
- Using descriptive meta tags (or meta descriptions)
- Publishing quality content that your users will be interested in
- Enabling near-instant loading where possible
- Creating a positive user experience
The opposite of white hat SEO is black hat SEO. Black hat SEO uses less scrupulous techniques to enable you to gain an unfair advantage over your competitors – for example:
- Publishing poor quality or duplicate content
- Keyword stuffing
- Spamming other blogs with comments featuring links to your website
- Hidden or “invisible” content / links
- Negative SEO
- Sneaky redirections
- Doorway pages
- Article spinning
- Link manipulation through link schemes, link farms, link wheels, and link networks
This type of SEO is against Google’s webmaster guidelines. If you are found to be using black hat techniques, your website will be penalised, meaning it will rank lower in search results.
You can find out more about the dangers of using black hat SEO on our blog here.
What does the SEO process look like?
At Tomedia, we kick the SEO process off by offering you a no-obligation, complimentary audit of your existing website. This audit will look at things like broken pages, key missing meta information, hidden technical information etc., and identify areas for improvement.
You can access this free audit tool below:
Disclaimer: By using this tool, you agree to be contacted by Tomedia in relation to your website’s SEO health
From there, we offer a range of search engine optimisation packages to suit every business’s needs, this includes:
- Site fixes to build a solid foundation (for existing sites)
- Keyword research
- Organic search research
- Competitor research
- Backlink building
- Content marketing (including blog posts – as required)
- Brand monitoring
- SEO performance
- Comparison to competitors
- Backlink acquisitions
- Brand monitoring
- Traffic analytics
We also offer a range of other packages for businesses looking for more comprehensive SEO solutions.
Here’s what the SEO process looks like at Tomedia:
1. Initial consultation
At our initial meeting with you, we will be looking at how your business is ranking now, and how we want it to be ranking in future. To do this, we will start by going over your complimentary SEO audit, which will have identified some of the main areas for improvement.
We will also ask you some general questions about your business. For example:
- What does your business do?
- What products or services do you offer?
- Who are your current and potential customers?
- What are your long and short-term goals?
Once we have a better idea of where you’re at and where you’re headed, we will provide you with our recommendations to improve your search engine ranking moving forward. We will also provide you with some information on the different SEO packages we have available, so you can choose the one that works best for your business needs and budget.
Then, we’ll go away and do some of our own research. We will look at who the leaders are in your industry, who your direct competitors are, and what each one is doing with their SEO.
Based on our research and initial meeting with you, we will develop a more detailed SEO plan for your business. This will outline the different SEO techniques we will be using, the steps we will be taking to implement them, and a timeline for overall implementation.
We will then present this plan to you for your approval.
Once you’ve approved our recommended SEO plan, it’s time for us to start implementing it.
Exactly what this phase looks like will vary depending on the SEO management package that you’ve chosen. Essentially though, we’ll be undertaking the agreed optimisation processes and making the necessary changes to get your website SEO-optimised.
Once we’ve implemented your SEO plan, we’ll continue monitoring it to see how well it’s performing over time. This part of the process is ongoing, and will be repeated by us every month to ensure that your website is achieving the best possible results.
Each month, we’ll prepare a detailed report for you. This will detail things like:
- How your search engine ranking is changing
- How much organic traffic you are receiving
- How people are finding your site
- What your conversion rate is like
- Which keywords are performing best
At Tomedia, we understand how search engines work, and are passionate about helping our SEO clients to rank higher in organic search results.