Effective and affordable web sites for businesses, societies, charities and individuals
PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE DESIGNER AND COPYWRITER, LEEDS
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process by which web sites are made attractive to search engines such as Google. Correct optimisation helps web sites to get to the top of organic search results (see Types of Search Results below).
Search engines use complex mathematical equations (algorithms) in order to assess web sites, give them a ranking them and allocate them a position in organic search results. The factors which make a web site attractive to search engines are numerous and constantly changing in importance. The exact algorithms are not published, but a combination of experience and ongoing research enables Polkadot Website Design to understand the elements that search engines are looking for and to build our clients’ sites accordingly.
Google handles about 92% of searches in the UK, followed by Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing which together handle around 3%. A large number of smaller search engines together make up the remaining 5%.
No company can guarantee this - some companies claim they can, but usually there are either “get-out clauses” in the small print, or they intend you to use Adwords (see Types of Search Results above). Rest assured, however, that we are not satisfied until our clients’ sites DO reach the top few positions on Google, and when we design, write and build our clients' web sites, we put a lot of time and effort into helping this to happen. Clients can do their part by publicising their web site address wherever possible, as Google favours popular web sites. Polkadot Website Design supplies clients with suggestions for free promotion upon completion of the web site.
Not necessarily - many of our clients rarely update their sites but they still come in top positions in search results. This is partly because Google looks for good quality content, and a site which is updated regularly may not necessarily have good quality content. Also, a regularly updated web site is only one of the numerous factors that Google takes into account when assessing web sites, and the other ways in which we optimise our clients' sites can compensate for infrequent updating.
2. Does my web site need to be regularly updated?
4. Does the number of web site pages matter?
A note about searching on Google:
Google uses your past search history when giving you search results. To obtain more accurate results, clear cache, cookies, search history and download history from your browser. Results may depend on your location, which Google will recognise even when all of the above elements are cleared.
Organic search results are those web sites which search engines judge to be the best match to the search question. Web sites shown in organic results do not pay for their position in the results.
Google offers a scheme called Adwords, which are sponsored links. Advertisers pay per click, and each click can vary in cost from a few pence to several pounds. Generally it costs more to appear in a top position.
Businesses which operate in a particular local area can apply to Google for a local listing and a pin on the Google map. Google makes no charge for a local listing. Polkadot charges a small fee to complete the Google+ forms on a client's behalf and write the copy, upload the photos etc.
Click the image for a larger pop-up showing the differences between the types of search results
FAQs about SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
1. Can you guarantee a top position on Google?
The need to update web sites can depend on the competitiveness of the marketplace in which a business operates - in a highly competitive market, it may be more necessary to keep the web site updated than in a niche market.
What matters most to search engines is that a web site has good quality content. Generally a web site with several pages would be expected to have a wider range of content than a single-page web site, although this is not always the case.
For most organisations, we normally recommend a web site of at least 5 pages in order to incorporate more content and therefore improve the chances of appearing in the top results on search engines. However, if you operate in a niche market, a single page may be sufficient.
3. Does an optimised web site need to include...
... YouTube video, facebook page, blog - all these things and more are elements which may go towards making a web site attractive to search engines, but no single element other than great content outweighs any other.
Google takes into account a couple of hundred factors and it is the overall attractiveness to search engines which matters rather than any single factor.
Click the image for a larger pop-up showing an integrated facebook page, or go to the Oakwood Clock web site
Click the image for a larger pop-up of a single-page web site
5. Does SEO apply to mobile viewing too?
Search engines prefer sites which are mobile-friendly. All our clients' web sites are optimised for mobile viewing and pass Google's mobile-friendly test. If you are unsure whether your current web site is mobile-friendly, please feel free to ask us to test it for you and we will send you the results.