Written by Ian Edwards   
Saturday, 05 January 2008

Website Search Optimisation (SEO - Search Engine Optimisation)

You can have the slickest website in the world but it will be of no benefit unless your audience can find it. This means your website has to read well to search engines (primarily Google). There are four important points to make about web SEO (search engine optimisation) ...

1. Website (SEO) search optimisation is not an exact science

There are certain things you have to get right, to that extent it is predictable, but the results are not. How effective your search optimisation efforts are depends hugely on what search terms you want to use and the level of competition for those terms. Test this by searching Google and seeing how many results are returned - at the time of writing searching on "paintbrushes" brings back 40,200 (UK) pages, searching on "computer" brings back 7,900,000 (UK) suggesting it's going to be easier to get to the top if you sell paintbrushes. It is therefore important at the outset to decide what your target is, the narrower you can make it the better chance of success you have.

2. Search optimisation (SEO) is an ongoing process 

Google is a bit unpredictable. Search rankings can change for no apparent reason. Sometimes this is thought to be because Google adjust the search algorithm from time to time. Sometimes it is because your competition has changed. More usually it is because the content of your website has changed in an apparently subtle way that impacts the way Google sees it. All these factors have to be monitored and adjusted for.

3. A website that has not been search optimized is very unlikely to show up in Google

Unless your website is so niche that no one else does what you do then this true. There are too many competing websites out there that have been optimised to a greater or lesser extent, and if you are not on the first page (top 10) of search results then don't expect a lot of passing traffic.

4. Web Search optimisation (SEO) is not a bolt on extra 

The best search optimised websites are designed from the ground up to be search friendly. The nature of your content, how it is put together, the precise wording you use and the architecture of your website are all relevant factors and must be got right. It is easiest to do this from the start and very difficult to optimise a poorly constructed site retrospectively. In such instances it may be easier to start again, either way we'd be happy to advise.

estm website search optimisation consultancy (web SEO consultancy)

Through our SEO consultancy service we will generate a comprehensive report on your site's SEO health. The report will identify commercially effective keywords, report on your site's use of those keywords and benchmark your website's search performance and page rank against your key competitors. The report will recommend structtural and content changes necessary to achieve search objectives.

estm website search optimisation service (web SEO)

The website search optimisation service from estm is an end to end process continuing on from our SEO consultancy. We will start by helping you decide on the most appropriate keywords - the importance of getting this right can't be understated, there is no benefit in ranking high for search terms nobody is going to use, on the other hand you may be able to identify some lesser used terms that your competitors aren't optimised for that would capture that proportion of seraches for you. We then benchmark your website recording results position against your chosen search terms, and then analyse your site. If there are architectural changes necessary these will have to be referred back to your site developer (although if you are using a developer that hasn't got search right maybe you should consider changing). If not we will go through your website word by word. As changes are made to your website we monitor and record search ranking and adjust accordingly. Depending on how frequently your website is crawled the process can take three months or more before a relatively stable position is reached, but requires continual monitoring.

Our expectation is that any website should be able to rank Number 1 for at least one three word search exprssion with several other two or three word search terms also in the top ten. If your website doesn't then contact us, we can help.