Search engines have come a long way since the early days of the Internet. What would the world be without Google? When was the last time you opened (yes, physically opened!) a Yellow Pages Directory? I don’t know about you but I rely on search engines every day.
So it seams very logical that all businesses owning a website are striving to have to be found on top of the search engine’s search results listing – or at least on the first 1-3 pages. And there are all sorts of providers on the market who promise to get you there.
I’d like to summarise the questions I get frequently asked on search engine optimisation.
How do I get my website listed on search engines, especially Google?
Modern search engines like to find your site “naturally”, through links to your site from other sites. Google especially relies on the amount and quality of websites who link to you (incoming links) to determine your popularity and relevance.
You can register your site with search engines. Although we find this not being any quicker than the web–crawlers who constantly search the net anyway, we submit all websites we design to Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Life Search.
Why can’t I find my website on Google!
Once your site has been submitted to the Search Engines they may require several weeks, or even months to actually index and list your web site in their directory. No, there is nothing you can do to speed things up. Other than working on the content of your site and listing with industry specific online directories, blogging, having an XML sitemap created and submitted via the Google webmaster tools (we can do this for you if you don’t know how to go about this).
How do I get more traffic from search engines?
Search engine positioning is a long–term strategy, and there are no quick–fix solutions in this area. If you want to boost your traffic quickly, we suggest checking out Google AdWords or other paid advertisement options. Be very careful if someone promises you to have your site highly ranked within 2 weeks. The only way to guarantee this is to pay for your ranking. Or use some dodgy tricks (see black hat SEO below) that can get your site blocked altogether.
What can I do to help my search engine ranking?
- First of all, make sure your site is coded correctly (you can validate the HTML and CSS yourself using these services: HTML validator / CSS validator), so web crawlers are actually able to go through the code and index your site
- Have a useful, information–rich site with good & regular updated content
- Have a good description of your services and/or products in your meta tags
- Think about the words users would type to find your site and include them in your content in a natural way
- List your site in relevant online directories and ask your business partners to link to your website to create external links
What is black hat & white hat SEO?
You can define SEO techniques either as techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design (white hat), or techniques of which search engines do not approve. Black hat SEO and spamdexing are the latter – unorthodox methods to trick and deceive search engines. When discovered search engines penalise black hat methods by reducing the ranking or by eleminating the site’s listing altogether. We only recommend and use good SEO techniques and white hat SEO.
So what are good SEO techniques?
Good SEO is generally summed up as creating content for users, not for search engines, and then making that content easily accessible to the spiders and crawlers, rather than attempting to trick the algorithm from its intended purpose.