Search engine optimisation (SEO) is hugely important to any business that wants to reach an online audience. Increasing the visibility of your business in search results can have a real effect on your business's bottom line.
There are 3 core aspects to SEO, each of which needs quite different expertise and focus to optimise:
Fundamentally, technical SEO consists of website and server optimisations that help search engines 'understand' a website by ensuring that they can crawl and index content quickly and correctly.
Understanding whether or not your website has any underlying technical issues that could affect this process is a major factor in SEO. If any such issues are undetected, then lots of good work on the other aspects of SEO could be hindered by not identifying and fixing these issues.
A long-held mantra in SEO is that "Content is king". This is largely true but it's important to be clear that this doesn't mean just any content. What search engines have been trying to refine over the years is having their 'algorithms' rank content according to how useful it is to searchers - or to what extent it matches the search intent and meets the searcher's needs.
It's important for website content to be created with this in mind. Two key questions are:
- How is your content adding value to the searchers who find your site?
- Is your content better at this than other websites that searchers will find with the same search?
Some overlap between technical SEO and content is not just what the content is, but also how it is structured - your website architecture.
That mantra that "Content is king" - there are some who would tell you that if you know how to do link building really well, then link building is king.
So what is link building?
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites.
- Paddy Moogan
When search engines find links to your website from other websites where those links are highly relevant and from authoritative websites, it serves as a signal of authority for your website as well. The more authoritative your website is seen to be, the more likely it is that it will rank highly and therefore be more visible with search engines.
For a brand new website, good SEO involves making sure of technical excellence during the website build, and doing the research to understand how to create truly great content. Then the link building can begin!
For a website migration, where an existing site is being rebuilt, the above factors still stand but there are additional considerations to keep in mind to ensure that none of the search value that the existing site has is lost. This would involve starting with an audit of the site architecture and content to gain a deep understanding of where existing value comes from. Once this has been achieved, the focus switches to mapping out how to make improvements in key areas whilst protecting what there is to protect. Then it's about having a thorough plan drawn up for managing the switch-over process when the migration happens.
For an existing website where the focus is not on a migration but on improving SEO with the existing site, the process again begins with an audit of the website architecture and content but also with a technical audit to uncover any potential issues that could be compromising technical SEO.
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