SEO Guide

The Indispensible Guide to SEO

A webpage's ranking is determined by a number of factors including the webpage's relevance to the keyword you are trying to rank for, trust, and competition. Getting to a higher position means working to improve relevance and trust over time. The goal is to make your website more relevant and more trustworthy than competing websites.
When a user searches the Internet for a keyword, the search engine will display a list of websites in descending order, these are called the search engine results pages. The search engine will try to list the websites that it thinks are the most relevant to that keyword first (and also the most trustworthy).
It's a good idea to optimise the pages of your website so that they are tuned towards keywords that you know people search for regularly. A search engine will favour websites that have a good amount of high quality content relevant to the keyword, and the keyword in the page title, web address, page headings etc. By finely optimising the pages on your website, and tuning them towards specific keywords we can improve your website's rankings and bring more visitors.
When calculating your website's ranking in search engine results, search engines will also try to determine how trustworthy they think your site is. The more trustworthy your site, the higher up it in search engine results pages your site is likely to appear. By getting other high quality websites linking to your site, by getting people talking about your site in forums, blogs, articles and social media networks (Facebook, twitter etc) we can improve the trustworthiness of your site, and in turn your rankings.
You may have heard people talking about appearing on the 'first page' or even 'position 1 ' of Google. When a user searches the Internet using search engines like Bing or Google, they are presented with a list of pages relevant to the keyword that they searched for. These results are displayed in descending order, with the most relevant and trustworthy sites at the top.
One of the main goals of search engine optimisation is to get your website as high up these search engine results pages as possible. Most importantly: for keywords that people regularly search for and that will help you grow your business.
A keyword is the name for the word or phrase that is used when searching the Internet. For example a user searching for dog training services might search for the keyword 'Dog Training London' using a search engine. One of the keys to good search engine optimisation is identifying keywords that are both regularly searched for (have traffic), and that will generate business. A common mistake is for companies to optimise websites for keywords they think people might be searching for. Good SEO requires a process called traffic analysis to determine how many people are regularly searching for a keyword.
No, it just isn't possible to guarantee a position in the searching engine results. If anyone does guarantee you a position, it should set alarm bells ringing! We do however apply our extensive SEO knowledge and experience to build rankings gradually over time. We pride ourselves on selecting the best keywords for clients through thorough keyword analysis and competition research. We hand pick keywords that we believe clients can genuinely rank for and then work with them to improve the relevance and trust of their websites.
Yes, it is possible to pay for advertising above and alongside Google's normal search results (normal search results are called organic search results). These paid advertisements form part of what's known as Google Adwords.
Google Adwords campaigns aren't part of search engine optimisation. Whilst Adwords campaigns can be successful in the right context, you have to pay each time a user clicks on your link, and this can prove expensive, especially if it doesn't convert into a sale.
Research has shown that users recognise paid links as advertisements and are much less likely to click on them. In the long-term a solid ranking in Google's organic search results is much more valuable.
Organic search results are the search results that search engines display because of their relevance to the keyword that a user is searching for, rather than a paid advertisement. Organic search results are usually displayed in descending order with the most relevant and trustworthy websites at the top of the search engine results pages.
Yes, it's absolutely possible for you to optimise your own website for search engines, however in reality you'll need to spend a LOT of time learning about SEO. Search engine optimisation is an involved process that means more than a few coding changes. It requires careful optimisation of your website, thorough keyword and competition research and analysis, and off site optimisation using proven SEO strategies..
For completely new websites/domains it's extremely difficult to say. Search engines naturally trust websites that have been around for longer, making them easier to rank. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy and not about overnight success. You should think of SEO as a gradual process of growth and improvement. We would hope to see results in of 3-6 months rather than days or weeks. With highly competitive keywords it can take longer to overtake your competitors as links are built and trust is grown.
Google PageRank (PR) is a rating that Google assigns to web pages to indicate how important it thinks they are. The rating is from 0-10, 10 being the highest. In simple terms it's a bit like a voting system: every time another website links to one of your web pages it helps to increase the PageRank. If the websites' linking to you are already highly trusted and highly relevant, the higher the PageRank is likely to become. The factors that affect PageRank include things like time, content and incoming links. PageRank can be a good indicator of how trustworthy Google thinks your website is, but it is only one of the factors that Google uses to determine where your website and its pages should appear in the search engine results.
The exact figures vary, but on average the top 5 positions get around 80-90% of all clicks, with websites in the number one position getting around 36% of all traffic. Outside of the top 5 positions the amount of traffic that you'll get for a keyword tails of considerably.