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Ethical search engine optimisation – you know it makes (web marketing) sense

Ethical optimisation? What other kind is there? Sad to say, there are far too many so called ‘seo’ experts promoting ‘first place in Google’ and the like.

The fact is, nobody can guarantee first place in Google, or any other search engine for any meaningful length of time against keywords that are worth targeting. Any fool can get first place for ‘John Smith Left-handed Ironmonger Gloucestershire’ (with apologies to any left handed Smiths called John Smith specialising in Ironmongery in the Gloucestershire area) – but is anyone searching against that term? As for the length of time that you might maintain a good ranking, the search engines change their ranking methodologies regularly. They do this to ensure that web sites that use illegitimate optimisation tactics get found out and relegated.

First place in Google is not a business objective anyway – it might be a means to an end, but only if the keyword being targeted is used by significant numbers of people searching for precisely what your business offers. So, if your business targets UK residents looking for financial advice, you’ll want visits from UK people searching against ‘pensions advice’ or ‘investment planning’. If your business is regionally focused, you’ll want a local qualifier such as Gloucestershire, Bristol, Birmingham, the Midlands and so on.

So how should you optimise your site?

There are three key aspects to any search optimisation strategy.

1.    Preparing your site for the search engines

Search engines feed on content. To be able to access your content they need to be able find their way through your code. Far too many web sites are designed and built using complex code or graphically sexy tools like Flash. By presenting your core content in easily accessible html pages and providing the search engines with a sitemap in an appropriate format, you immediately get a head start over your competitors.

TOP TIP – Remember that search engines index pages, not sites. Every page on your site is a search engine optimisation opportunity.

2.    Targeting the right keywords with valuable, dynamic content

The search words and phrases that people use are often different to those which an insider might use. Search engine optimisation (seo) experts have access to databases that capture the words and phrases people use. We can identify the number of searches, the engines in which they’re made and the number of web pages competing for them. By building useful, regularly refreshed content around these phrases and programming each of your pages’ code correctly, we can ensure that the search engines index your pages accurately and that you score well in relevant searches.

TOP TIP – For every keyphrase you target it helps to have a separate page of valuable content.

3.    Building links to your site

Last but by no means least, link building is critically important to your pages’ search rankings. When Google was an academic research project it was known as ‘Backrub’ as in ‘back links’ – the pages that link back to you. Google’s premise is the same as that used by academic research papers – the more often a paper is referred to in other papers, the more credible it is likely to be. This is known as ‘citation authority’. On the same basis, the more sites that link to you, the more important your site is likely to be, provided that these sites are thematically relevant.

There are various ways of attracting links – by getting listings in the right directories, syndicating content to other sites, blogging and so on.

TOP TIP – Don’t link to sites or accept links from sites that are irrelevant to what you offer. Avoid links with gaming sites.

Epicado is a uk search engine optimisation firm. We have clients across the uk but mainly in Gloucestershire, the South West, Bristol, Birmingham and the Midlands.

We can help you get better quality traffic from good search rankings. We won’t promise you the earth – but we won’t charge it either. Call us on 01453 873638 or send us an enquiry.

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