Search Engine Optimisation describes the process of optimising a web page so that it appears higher in the organic listings of search engines for certain keywords (thus generating ‘free’, targeted traffic). The benefits that this could have to a business are self-explanatory – the process, however, isn’t. As such, many business owners don’t have the time to learn SEO – and then still dedicate themselves to implementing the best practices which generate results.
This is why many business owners will turn to an SEO agency to carry out an SEO campaign on their behalf. However, many still don’t know the processes around SEO and/or if the company they have hired are doing it properly. It’s for this reason we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on almost everything we could think of when it came to SEO. We hope you enjoy it & if you have any further questions or would like to speak to us about handling the search marketing for your company, then please feel free to contact our Manchester office on 0161 850 3963.
SEO TERMINOLOGY & FREQUENTLY USED TERMS
|On-Page SEO|| |
The process of making changes to the actual web page(s) you want to rank. This could be by either adding more engaging content or addressing technical issues.
|Off-Page SEO|| |
This is the process of generating traffic and gaining backlinks to your website in order to establish it as an authority.
Another word for a link on a web page – backlinks are crawled by Google, with web pages that receive the most high-quality* backlinks often being the first results that show for a keyword.
|Anchor Text|| |
The clickable text of a link. Search engines will often use this to understand what the destination page is about and subsequently may rank the destination page higher in the search results for the anchor text phrase.
|Keyword Research|| |
Using tools to analyse the search volume and competition of keywords in the search engines.
|Google Analytics|| |
A free tool that Google provides that lets you monitor traffic & the user behaviour on your website.
|Google Webmaster Tools|| |
A free tool that Google provides that lets you see your rankings in the Google search engine.
|Trust Flow|| |
An industry-wide metric created by Majestic.com that estimates the authority and subsequent ranking probability of a website based on its backlinks.
|Domain Authority|| |
An industry-wide metric created by Moz.com that estimates the authority and subsequent ranking probability of a domain based on its backlinks.
|Page Authority|| |
An industry-wide metric created by Moz.com that estimates the authority and subsequent ranking probability of a single web page based on its backlinks.
This stands for ‘search engine results page’ – what you see when you search for something.
|Local SEO|| |
This is the process of ranking a website for local a local search term that also displays a map result.
|Penguin Update|| |
An update to the Google search algorithm in April 2012 that penalised websites that were deemed to be using spammy methods to get backlinks.
|Panda Update|| |
An update to the Google algorithm in February 2011 that stopped websites with poor quality content from appearing at the top of the search results.
A Google update at an unconfirmed point in 2015 which uses machine learning to help the algorithm deliver more relevant search results to users.
|Content Management System|| |
A CMS, or content management system, is a web application that manages your website for you in a way that requires you to have little or no knowledge of code. The most popular (and in our opinion best) content management system is WordPress. Read more about our web design services in Manchester.
|Pay per Click (PPC)|| |
Paying the search engines ‘per click’ for keywords you choose.
Placing a cookie in the browser of a visitor to your website so that you may show them an advert on another website.
|Conversion Rate Optimization|| |
The process of making improvements to a web page so that more people are inclined to follow through with contacting you / buy your product etc.
If we take a look at the SERP’s we can see that it is often divided into 3 main sections (depending on the keyword). At the top of the search results will often be the adverts, where people bid on a keyword and pay for each click to their website (PPC). While it may stand to reason that the highest bidder ranks #1 in the advert block – Google also take into account many other factors such as ad copy, landing page and conversion rates.
Underneath the adverts will either be a Google Map result (if your search is specific to an area) and/or then the organic results. While Google and other search engines don’t tell us the exact ‘recipe’ of how websites rank, they’ve made clear that the actual content and structure of your website is of paramount importance. They’ve also confirmed that there are over 200 individual influences that they look at when determining if a page is relevant to the needs of the searcher. The methods of improving a website for search engines is called ‘on-page SEO’, for which we have made a guide available here.
Once search engines have determined the relevance of a web page, the next thing they look at is the authority of the website that the content is on. They do this by looking for and crawling links all over the internet – the idea being that the best websites are referenced to with the most with backlinks. As such, established and trusted websites with plenty of links to them are more likely to show above newer websites with fewer links. You can read our backlinking guide here.
So now we understand that once your website and content are up to standard, the name of the game is getting backlinks from other websites. Before any of this starts though, it is imperative that you conduct thorough keyword and competitor research. It’s all good and well getting the top position on Google, but if no one is searching for that phrase then your efforts have been wasted.
SMALL BUSINESS CASE STUDY
Read how we helped a local business over quadruple their inbound inquiries through online marketing.
Now that you have a clear idea of the keywords that you want to target, as well as what your competitors are doing – it is time to formulate your SEO strategy. This will obviously differ between industry, competition and type of SEO. Below we have broken down the three most common types of campaigns and the processes we undertake at Gorilla to ensure their success.
It is important that you keep a log of everything you do to your site, including links that you build/notice that you’ve attracted. Keep this alongside any of the subsequent changes to your sites position in the search rankings. That way you’re able to determine which changes to your website had a positive or negative effect and then take the appropriate action. If you would like to learn more about SEO, check out our SEO resources page. Alternatively, if you would like to have a chat about how Gorilla Marketing is able to help your business, then please feel more than welcome to swing past our offices or give us a call on 0161 850 3963. We’re also hiring!