Beginners Guide to SEO
What is SEO?
SEO or (search engine optimisation) is the process where you work on your website to gain free or organic rankings in search engines, mainly Google. These are the results you see when you do a Google search though be careful to not confuse them with the paid adverts (usual say paid or sponsored listings around them). Organic free rankings tend to appear below paid listings.
The action to get your website to appear in the free listings is called SEO and requires certain tasks to be performed on your website. Big companies have entire departments working on their websites SEO such is the importance of it all. This doesn’t mean smaller companies can’t benefit from performing SEO on their website.
Search Engine Basics
This one is a little hard to cover in great detail as there are many aspects to SEO that all add up to have an effect on your websites free search engine rankings. So here we shall cover the basics.
- Content: If your website is full of images and little text you will suffer. Google likes lots of text and content.
- Site Speed: Make sure your site loads fast and more importantly on a mobile device. Google hates slow websites and will penalise you by placing you further down the free rankings.
- Links: Inbound links to your website from trustworthy and high value locations greatly help.
- Freshness: Do you update your website often, with fresh content like blogs and new articles, if not you need to as Google needs a reason to keep re-visiting your website.
- Metatags: Metatags are what your website uses to describe itself to search engines, make sure you use all metatags such as headers, Alt tags, Title and description tags.
Is It Worth Doing?
Yes, very much so. After all it’s FREE traffic and FREE business. Yes it might take hard work and some cost to get good free rankings but when you do your website is being seen 24 hours a day by people looking for exactly what you provide. When you consider tens of thousands of people search each hour on Google then yes it’s worth it. Industries like insurance have millions of people a month searching on Google. This is all potential free traffic for your business.
Should I Hire Someone?
Question is can you afford to? Lets just start with letting you know that Dorset Tech’s SEO service starts from just £99 per month. OK back to the question, well if you don’t know the basics of SEO or have the time then yes hiring someone is a good alternative. The cost for this does depend on your industry. An SEO company won’t work on insurance sites for £99 a month due to the competitiveness of the industry. There is a vast difference in prices too between companies, ask to see results too. The time it takes to learn SEO you can be working on your business so if you can afford you’re always best hiring someone.
How Long Does It Take?
This all depends on the industry. If you work in insurance or finance then it can take longer and cost more too. If you are a local sandwich shop just wanting to target your area then it can be a lot quicker to get free rankings as well as cheaper too.
What Are The Fundamentals of SEO?
A well coded site with good clean design and plenty of fresh content that’s regularly updated is a good basis for SEO. Essentially Google needs to know what your website is about, product or service wise, so then it can rank you accordingly.
What To Avoid
If you try too hard then Google may penalise you. Cramming loads of keywords into your text may alert Google that you’re using black hat SEO techniques which are frowned upon by Google. Having loads of keywords in your metatags will also harm your chances of a good ranking. A slow website will also work against you so have a fats clean site designed. Avoid using header tags everywhere as this looks awful. Pop ups are not ideal too so avoid these.
How To Choose What Keywords To Target
Before you start any SEO you need to decide on what keywords you want to target for the free rankings. This is essential in making sure any budget you spend is going in the right places. If you are a local only company then target local keywords, so if you sell local insurance target “insurance broker Poole” rather then “insurance broker”. There are free tools that shop how many terms a phrase has been searched in Google and this helps decide which ones to target. Dorset Tech can help you find the best keyword phrases for your SEO as part of our affordable SEO services.
Is it Expensive?
This all depends on the industry you are in and how far in the UK you offer your services. Finance and insurance companies spend thousands a month on SEO as they know getting a good free ranking will pay for itself in days in terms of new business. If you want to target keywords like “secured loans” or “home insurance” expect to pay hundreds a week and it can take months to get anywhere. If you are a local store selling inflatable spas then “inflatable spas Dorset” will be a lot easier and cheaper to get free rankings for. Fact is the price will depend on the industry you are in and the keywords you want to target. Don’t target generic phrases if you only work local.