One of the questions our clients ask us a lot is how they can improve their SEO ratings?

IN TERMS OF SEO, Google doesn’t want you to know what ranks one website higher than another. But there are some fundamentals to consider during construction that can make your site more SEO proficient.

WEB CRAWLERS  Google has, what are called web crawlers, like theoretical spiders, that go into sites and look around for keywords or metadata. Google wants this information from your site fast. So as a web developer, you need to make it as easy as possible for Google by efficiently serving up the information and stats that you know it is looking for. Content consideration on each page of your site is key. These days, robust, modern WordPress templates are ticking most of the important SEO boxes making things much easier for us and Google. Historically, the reason why Flash sites were problematic was because Google couldn’t find the information that these sites were serving up.

WHY IS IT THAT THERE ARE TECHNICALLY POOR SITES OUT THERE THAT HAVE REALLY GOOD SEO RATINGS?

Google wants to serve up the best sites for you, or more accurately, the ones that have the most valuable content for you. A valuable website can be measured in a couple of ways.

1. It has lots of users referencing and linking to it.

2. Lots of unique visits.

3. Users not only land on the site, but remain there for good periods of time.

As an example, a page that deals with tax law containing very relevant, current information will get a lot of visitors who will likely sit there for lengthy periods of time. The site that contains this page would therefore have good SEO. But the same page designed in the same way that contained less valuable information would be given a lower SEO ranking by Google.

CONTENT  So there are once off things that you can do from a technical perspective, but there are also more regular things you can do in terms of content. Some questions you might ask yourself include, have you made the information being served up on your site relevant and valuable for the people you know are or will be accessing it? Does your site have current, newsworthy content? Are people referencing your content and is your site being regularly updated?

SITE MAINTENANCE  This type of site maintenance becomes a full time job and it’s becoming more and more difficult to get continuously high SEO ratings. You might have good SEO at the inception or launch of your website, but then it drops off. There are companies that manage your website for you by for example regularly updating content and linking to social networks and affiliates for referencing, but this is a costly venture.

ORGANIC LISTINGS  Organic listings are also important to consider. In other words, how often are people just searching for the concepts or service of your brand rather than your company name itself? For example, when somebody is searching for an “advertising agency” rather than a specific agency’s name. If people are searching for your company name already, you’re doing an effective job. But if people are searching for a category of company, you can only hope that your name is going to come up. One way of assisting this is by conducting an SEO impact investigation to gauge the SEO impact of your actual company url name. Generally, relatively unusual or misspelt words as names for companies give some advantage.

       But how much of your client base will be coming from people just searching for concepts associated with your brand? Where are you getting most of your clients from? It is important to remember that SEO is never a silver bullet and good marketing and branding always equals more site visits. For really successful brands, it doesn’t matter what content is being served up, the site will continually get high SEO ratings. Yes, it is important to get your site technically ticking boxes and making sure that content is being updated on a semi-regular basis, but like any other marketing tool, it requires a close look at your objectives for your site and an investigation into what the expected returns will be. Ultimately, it always comes down to the relationships you have with your clientele. You become attractive and beneficial to your clients when you have relevant content.

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