Search Engine Optimisation FAQs

17 February 2009 by Yvonne Conway  
Filed under Search Engine Optimisation

Whenever a prospective client comes to meet with us about a new SEO Project they always have a list of questions relating to their SEO Campaign and I have compiled a list of the most popular questions below. Hopefully after reading through them you will get a better idea about the limits and the benefits of SEO and perhaps start to see how it could help you and your business.

Can search engine optimisation techniques be applied to any website?

Yes, as long as your site is not password protected as this will not let the search engine spiders collect information about your site. Poor website design and development, as well as unsuitable website technologies can also hinder the search engine spiders. As search engine optimisation is used to improve a spider’s ability to index sites more easily, this would be achieved by removing these barriers when the website is redeveloped.

Will the appearance of my website change after it has been optimised?

This will depend on the structure and coding of the site. Usually, the coding and underlying navigational structure can be improved for search engine optimisation without changing the appearance of the website.
Changes to the look of the website may only be necessary if it uses elements that cannot be replicated by the use of alternative techniques. These include elements such as frames, JavaScript navigation, Flash, dynamic content, or pages that require the user to login in order to see the content. However, in most cases, the use of alternate techniques and coding can mean that the look of your pages remain visually unchanged.

How do you know which keywords and phrases should be used?

Firstly we take a list of keywords and phrases provided by the client. As the client is an expert in their field, they often have a vast knowledge about their clients, products, services and customers, which leads to the generation of the first keywords and phrases list.
Secondly, the words and phrases are analysed and the KEI (Keyword Efficiency Index) is generated for each of them. This is a statistical score that is generated from the number of times the word or phrase is searched for, against the number of competing pages. This allows us to see which words and phrases would be best used on your site, and for which search engines it would be best for.
Thirdly, after seeing our evidence-based report advising you which keywords and phrases will be the best for you, you make the decision which ones you want to use and which ones you don’t.

What is the difference between ethical and unethical Search Engine Optimisation?

Ethical search engine optimisation involves using only high-ranking keywords and phrases that are relevant to the content of the website in order to improve its position on search engines result pages (SERPS).
Unethical search engine optimisation involves deliberately using high-ranking keywords and phrases that are unrelated to the content of the site in order to misdirect traffic to the site and artificially inflate the website’s ranking in the search results. This reduces a search engine’s ability to return relevant search results, and so many of the main search engines have identified a number of search engine optimisation techniques that are unacceptable to use on web pages. If a search engine finds that a website has used these techniques, they may impose a ranking penalty or ban the site from their index.
An ethical search engine optimisation will not involve any technique that is recognised as being unacceptable to any search engine and our company takes pride in offering the most ethical SEO services to our customers.

How quickly can you see the results from the search engine optimisation?

Unfortunately, it can take some time for search engine optimisation to generate results. It depends on a number of factors, but primarily the competitiveness of the keywords and keyphrases used in the search engine optimisation. This can be anything from under a month for uncompetitive key phrases, from 3-6 months to get into the top 30 of a large search engine, or up to a year to achieve stable first page rankings in the main search engines. On average, Google requires an extra three months to get the same results. We therefore recommend that clients who need instant website traffic initially have a “pay-per-click” advertising campaign alongside the SEO.

I have been with an SEO Company for the past year, but still have a page rank of 0 and I am not appearing anywhere near the first page on Google – why is that?

Like most web related areas, SEO has a number of unethical companies promising first page results and high page ranks in the first few months but delivering very little. This poses a huge problem for both the client and experienced SEO companies offering good results based on genuine research and hard work!
In order to combat this what we would suggest is asking your SEO company to deliver regular reports on your website’s performance for a set of targets that you set, this way you can challenge the results they are getting for you and you will soon know what type of company you are dealing with! However, be realistic in your goals and know that you are never going to be top of the search results for very competitive keywords like “toys” or “bikes”. A good SEO company will be able to target keywords that suit your company and which you have a realistic chance of doing well with.

I want to appear top of Google by next week – what can I do?

Using organic SEO, this is not going to be possible for you to achieve and do not believe anyone who tells you it is. In a situation like this when you are not willing to wait for organic SEO to take its course you should look at Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising. This is a great way to get yourself on the first page of Search Engines overnight. People are often worried about PPC because they are not aware that you can set a daily budget for the amount of money you want to spend, this means that you will not end up with a huge bill at the end of your campaign. Instead you can monitor or get an outside company such as Kent House to monitor your campaign on a weekly basis and judge how successful it is for you and make little tweaks that can have a big impact on your results.

Guidelines for Online Success

3 February 2009 by Anna Mieczakowski  
Filed under News and views

One of the best, if not the best, surfer of the web is back with yet another inspiring book on website technologies. Julius Wiedemann from Taschen has recently published “Guidelines for Online Success” (co-written with Rob Ford).

This book brings together the expertise and experience of the most highly acclaimed designers and developers from every corner of the world and in a step-by-step approach gives you advice on how to get a competitive edge over the websites of your competitors. I have read this book and really recommend it to everyone who wants to match up the success of their websites to the success of websites created by the world class designers.

The book is divided into 6 sections that discuss the dos and don’ts on the following topics:

1. Interface & Design, examples including:

  • Do: “Use colours that add something to your work and give the design the right balance” (p. 24)
  • Don’t: “Copy others – your work is much more valuable as the original” (p. 24)

2. Marketing & Communication, examples including:

  • Do: “Clearly display a Contact link at all times” (p. 78)
  • Don’t: “Fail to explain what makes your company special” (p. 82)

3. Technology & Programming, examples including:

  • Do: “Test! Test! Test! Nothing is really done until it’s tested online in as many variations as possible” (p. 152)
  • Don’t: “Make your flash navigation file size so large that it takes too long to download” (p. 168)

4. Technical Advice, examples including:

  • Do: “Make smart design to display photographs to fit different screen resolutions” (p. 210)
  • Don’t: “Make the interface too complex – simplicity is the key for users to access integrated content” (p. 202)

5. Content/Content Management, examples including:

  • Do: “Keep the animated sequences short and sweet” (p. 240)
  • Don’t: “Overload the layout” (p. 252)

6. E-Commerce, examples including:

  • Do: “Keep it simple. Customers need to feel comfortable with a cart as soon as possible, or they will be discouraged from browsing through the products on offer” (p. 290)
  • Don’t: “Use long questionnaires or surveys to gain information from the user” (p. 286)

If you want to have a quick look at what this book is all about, and you don’t really feel like rushing to the bookshop or filling up the mail order forms on Amazon, then you have the option of looking up the first 50 pages of the book at Taschen online.

Some of the other inspiring books created by Julius Wiedemann can be viewed here.