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SEO: How it can help your brand

We are continuing our theme of empowering you with useful insights and tips on how to improve your brand.

SEO periodic table

Insights into SEO

This week the topic of Search Engine Optimisation or SEO as it’s known by. This insight will be split into two sections so we don’t blitz you with too much information! First, we shall inform you about SEO, its benefits and how to begin the process behind it.

So what is SEO?

Have you ever wondered why or how some websites or pages appear first when you type your criteria into a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo)? SEO is the method used to affect the visibility of a website/web page in a search engine’s results. The earlier and more regularly a site appears on the list, the more visitors it will receive from the users of the search engine. Ultimately, it is the process of making improvements on and off your website in order to gain more exposure in search engine results. To break this down further SEO may try to target various search criteria such as image search, local search, news search or academic search amongst many others.

How does it work?

Essentially SEO is an internet marketing strategy. It weighs up how search engines work, what users are seeking, the specific search terms and which search engines are preferred by the audience. SEO could involve editing the website content to give more specific words, the HTML to improve the tags content and other coding to improve its relevance to keywords.

What happens when you type a keyword into a search engine?

There are two main components to a search engine: Crawlers and Algorithms. The Crawler fetches information from the search term. The Algorithm- a ranking formula – will determine the relevancy of your terms with websites or pages. How you word your search can have a substantial effect on the relevancy of finding your search. For example if you were to type ‘brand agency farnham’ into Google we come up very early in the search! However typing in ‘brand agency surrey’ brings up a different set of results, in this instance we appear second on the list (as of 5/02/14).

Indexing your page

One way in which you can see how effective your website is, is to do an index test. You may have seen that search engines describe their database of webpages as indexes.  Search engines comb the internet for websites and pages to present information for their users. Users can be impatient and like information quickly. Search engines collate the information and structure it in a way it can be retrieved and presented quickly in the results page – an index. An interesting test you can do to see how successful your website is to go to google and type ‘site:’ and your web address, e.g. site:www.prefacestudios.com. This will show how many pages are indexed by Google for your website. You can do the same process for Bing.

How can it benefit your brand

Having effective SEO will help you to create web pages that can conform to the relevancy of the search (algorithm).  It will also help your audience as they can find your website/pages more easily.  We live in a world where people increasingly want instant gratification and speed; people are not likely to spend ages trawling search engines for results. The higher up the index ranking your website is, the greater the likelihood that they will look at your website.

Some important tips

We realise that SEO contains a lot of technical jargon so here is our first insight to help you potentially improve your website’s ranking.

Keywords

This is the integral ingredient of effective SEO. Keywords are the search queries people might use to find information on your site. They do not tend to be singular words but a group of words or phrases. Establishing the keywords your target audience type into the search engine is crucial. A good place to start is by brainstorming.  Think about your audience, what would you search for if you were the customer? Think about the service or product you provide. Thinking about your audience further, where might they live? Is your website only targeting a specific area, the nation or even the whole world? Think about the demographics involved; are they mostly male/female/ages/incomes etc.? It is also useful to know how other people describe your service too, what keywords do they use? Ask customers or even friends and family. Looking at blogs or forums that relate to your industry could also help. To use an example let’s say you have a service selling Kindle accessories. What kind of words might people type in? They could search for Kindle itself, Kindle cases, Kindle reviews, Kindle apps, Kindle deals etc.

We hope this has given you some initial ideas about SEO. We will provide part two of our SEO insight very soon. But if you require a consultation about your website SEO and branding, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you, whether you are a start up or an SME – contact us

Why not tweet us in the meantime…? @prefacestudios For further reading, MOZ have created a free beginners guide to SEO, you can download it here and our header graphic is by searchengineland.com

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