Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

This page on Search Engine Optimisation covers the following topics:

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is the practice of targeting the content, structure, and visibility of a website so that the website is naturally favoured by search engines. A naturally favoured website is one that doesn’t buy their search engine ranking.

To think of it another way, search engine operators want their search engine to be the most popular search engine in the world. A popular search engine is one that returns the most usable and accurate answers to search engine queries. So in order for a website to be favoured by a search engine and achieve a high search engine ranking it must be well-structured, easily navigated, be usable by the widest audience possible, and, most importantly, provide the most appropriate and direct response to a search engine query.

Why is SEO Important?

Traditional advertising techniques such as Yellow Pages are dying, and around 80 – 90% of customers check online reviews before making a purchase. Search engines are the world’s preferred means of finding products and services, so a high search engine ranking is necessary for your business to excel. Organic search engine optimisation is the most cost-effective means of achieving a high search engine ranking.

As shown in the graph below, a study by the online advertising company Chitika shows that the number one ranking on the first page of Google will give you 33% of the traffic from that page. A proportion of this traffic will become sales.

A graph from the advertising company Chitika showing the relationship between website traffic and Google results page position

How to improve your website's SEO ranking

SEO is often described as an “art” because it requires creativity to position a website in the marketplace so that it’s seen.

There are differing degrees of SEO depending upon a company’s competition and what they are trying to achieve. Some of these techniques are easy, such a registering a website with a search engine; other techniques require development skills such as making your website work well on a mobile phone or making your website usable by more people .

Part of the challenge with search engine optimisation is that search engine operators keep their ranking algorithms secret, but what we do know is that SEO comes down to providing the best content in the most usable manner. In the following video Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, talks about Google’s secret search engine ranking algorithm:

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVf267F-0pE

Atom Software has an extensive list of techniques for improving a website’s search engine ranking, but different websites require different techniques, so contact us and we can provide a recommendation for your website.

Converting website visits to sales

Great SEO will direct people to your website but your website needs to be able to keep them there! Websites that are old or unappealing, don’t work well, or don’t allow their products to be easily purchased will lose customers.

Atom Software works with Graphic Designers to make websites modern and inviting. We don’t just build websites; we mainly develop sophisticated web applications with rich functionality for online sales and shopping carts. We are masters at responsive website development which will enable your website to work on other devices such as mobile phones, and we are one of the few companies in Australia that develops accessible websites.

Great SEO is important, but working with a company that just provides SEO will only get you so far.

SEO scams and pitfalls

SEO is a competitive industry that preys on the unwary. We recommend you read this article on the top 10 SEO Scams .

Please also be wary of companies that provide a guaranteed search engine ranking in X days, and then suggest that it might be on the first page. To be ranked by a search engine a website simply needs to be registered with that search engine. Search engine registration is trivial because it usually happens automatically (but you can also force it to happen). Proper search engine optimisation requires an SEO positioning strategy followed by website development and content work.

Be also a little cautious of search engine organisations that use paid advertising to rank highly on search engines – surely if they are good at their job then they won’t need to buy their ranking.

Further Information

Further useful information on SEO can be found in the following links: