Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) : Your Path to Digital Dominance

Professional Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Igniting Your Online Success

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Search engine optimisation - SEO for the UK

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a  must-have for any website or local business owner who is looking to supercharge their online visibility and secure the top spots on Search Engines like Google.

Unlock the power of search optimisation and get your website on Page one on Google and Bing, and benefit from a surge in traffic and conversions.

 

So if a website does not rank for the exact words or phrases that are associated with the business, the people searching will be looking elsewhere. So potential customers will probably visit the competitor’s websites.

Typically the sites ranking on the first page of Google did not get there by accident. Most have undergone extensive keyword research during development and often include popular search phrases recognised by the search engines.

If you want your target audience to find your business online, you will need to optimise your web pages accordingly. That is why search engine optimisation should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.

What is SEO and what is meant by Search Engine Optimization

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is a process that improves a website in specific ways to help it appear in search results when users search for particular solutions, products or queries on Google or Bing.

Simplistically it is the best way to improve online visibility and reach out to potential customers actively searching for a specific product, service, or information.

If a website does not rank for the exact words or phrases that are associated with the business, the people searching will be looking elsewhere. So potential customers will probably visit the competitor’s websites.

Typically the sites ranking on the first page of Google did not get there by accident. Most have undergone extensive keyword research during development and often include popular search phrases recognised by the search engines.

These organic search results usually appear below any current online advertised listings, annotated with ‘Ad’ and the google my business (GMB) listings.

To ensure potential customers find a business on page 1 of the search engine results pages for Google, the content on the individual page of a site will require targetted keyword optimisation that relates to specific user search queries.

That is why search engine optimisation should be essential to your marketing strategy.

The search engine algorithms analyse multiple online factors and determine how sites are ranked. Here at Search Click Digital, we understand what is required to rank a site.

If correctly done, a site’s authority will improve, the search engines and visitors will trust the site more, and ultimately the website will appear higher in the rankings.

 

The benefits of Search Engine Optimisation by SEO Experts

SEO delivers search engine rankings and visibility for your website

SEO can provide a robust online presence, business leads, brand loyalty, sales and conversions.

Provision of a great User Experience. A happy visitor may become a returning visitor.

Optimising Reach by ensuring a website ranks for multiple search queries associated with the products or services offered by a company.

The potential for increasing conversions. The visitor count rises when a website starts ranking in the top half of page one. Additional on-page content optimisation can lead to an increase in customers and sales revenue.

Brand awareness. People unconsciously trust search engine results. The more a website appears in the search listings, the more likely a business gains credibility and trust.

SEO provides the ability to manage the online reputation of any business.

The return on investment for SEO optimisation services can be high for local and national companies.

Costs can be cheaper than either traditional marketing methods or digital marketing PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaigns.

When done correctly, search optimisation can drastically reduce the digital marketing budget for customer acquisition.

Around half of all digital marketers believe that organic SEO provides the most effective return on investment (ROI) compared to other forms of marketing, such as social media and paid ads.

Once a website ranks on page 1 of the search engine listings, it should start to attract visitors to the site and continue to attract traffic for months or even years.

Reap the benefits of SEO and search optimisation

Over 90% of internet users never go beyond page 1 in the search results, while over 65% opt for a web page listing in the top five positions. SEO can put a website in these positions.

Typically around 71% of search engine users click on the organic listings visible on page 1, even though the PPC adverts appear above the optimised organic rankings.

The first five websites ranked on page 1 account for 67% of the click-through traffic, with 4 per cent of the remaining traffic going to sites ranked in spots 6 to 10.

Only 5% of search engine traffic selects a site typically on pages 2 or 3, and PPC ads cater for the remaining searches. Can you see the benefit of SEO?

50% of online searches are for local companies. A website optimised for local SEO will increase online visibility, traffic and potential customers.

70% of searches are phrases that include a service or product with additional buyer intent keywords, and over 40% of search phrases now comprise four or more words.

SEO helps index a website and lets people find individual site pages in the relevant results on the search engines for online queries.

If you compare the search engines to books and the site’s pages to the pages in a book, it stands to reason that somebody is less likely to visit your page if you are absent from the table of content and index.

When was the last time you went to page two of the search engine queries?

If a website undertakes all or most of the key ranking factors required by the search engines, it will rank higher in the search listings. The actual position in the search results depends on the competition level, the quality of website optimisation and content marketing efforts. The better the SEO, the better the results.

SEO or PPC

Search engine optimization costs vs PPC for website promotion

While search engine optimisation isn’t appropriate for every site, SEO techniques work on most websites to achieve your online marketing goals.

In some instances, paid digital advertising may be more effective via pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Search engine marketing (SEM) is an advertising process used to generate traffic for search engines such as Google and Bing.

PPC advertising (paid search) can gain more prominence in the search results pages, with the adverts typically being above the organic (SEO-optimised) listings on the same page.

Search engine marketing, or digital advertising, focuses more on prominence and visibility than the specific relevance of SEO.

According to Wordstream, the average click-through rate from pay-per-click adverts is typically only around 1.9%, and there is no guarantee that the user will convert to a sale on the web page.

The average Google Adwords PPC ads cost £0.50 – £2.00 in the United Kingdom and $1.00 – $2.00 in America.

Ad campaign costs are dictated by the industry, the website quality score and ad ranking factors determined by Google. Moreover, the campaign prices are often far higher than those that Google’s Keyword Planner predicts.

Conversion rates depend upon the industry and the relevance and quality of the landing page on the website.

To completely dominate the search engines, business owners should consider allocating budgets for SEO and SEM.

The goals and budgets of every business can vary dramatically.

Before proceeding with any form of digital marketing, it may be worth contacting SEO experts at Search Click Digital to discuss the best solutions for your current marketing budget.

Google search engine ranking factors explained

In 2024, Google is still the dominant search engine, catering for over 87% of searches, and Bing handles around 10%.

Google has over 200 factors that can affect the rankings of a website. A professional SEO will focus on the most critical factors to ensure a site ranks well on Google.

Google’s rankings focus on four primary areas; on-page optimisation, technical SEO, off-page optimisation and traffic. Get these right, and your site will rank.

The essential components that influence rankings on Google include;

· Page loading speeds

· Responsive and mobile-friendly pages

· A secure site using HTTPS encryption

· The website name, age and authority

· Optimised content

· Good on-site user experience

· Quality backlinks

· Valid business contact data

· Social signals

Improving the website performance

On Page optimisation - SEO factors that improve rankings on Google

Numerous on-page factors influence the performance and rankings of web pages.

Some think that on-page optimisation just involves inserting the relevant keywords in the website content, internal linking between pages and high-quality content creation.

Site content, however, comprises text, images, videos and Html code, all of which can be enhanced.

Keyword Research

Keyword research and correctly using the relevant keywords on a website is one of the main cornerstones of on-site optimisation.

 

Keywords and phrases play a crucial role in search engine ranking.

 

Including the relevant words and phrases within the body of webpage content, the site’s name, the webpage addresses (URLs), page titles, section headings and the meta descriptions can influence the rankings of web pages in the search engines.

 

Competitor analysis and keyword selection for improving rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs)

 

 

Search engines rank websites for specific keywords and search phrases associated with relevant content that provides solutions to users.

 

For a company to succeed online, the products and services offered by the business should appear prominently in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for the relevant search queries input on Google and Bing.

 

Numerous businesses compete to establish a strong presence online and attract their ideal customers.

 

Today, some search terms are much more competitive than others.

 

Without professional optimisation techniques, new and less established sites will find it challenging to rank on page 1.

 

Keyword research tools can assess what keyword phrases to use in webpage content, how difficult it will be to rank for specific keywords, how long it will probably take to rank on page 1, and what is possible with an agreed budget.

 

Experience and skill are required to understand what specific keywords and phrases help competing websites dominate the search engines. Adding all the keywords associated with a product or service to content pages will not guarantee page 1 rankings.

 

Before proceeding with any website improvements, a professional SEO marketing consultant would analyse a site to determine the steps needed to improve the keyword and content to increase the rankings and potential conversions.

 

Why not contact Search Click Digital to see what an SEO expert can do for you.

Headings and tags for keywords

Assigning descriptive headings to highlight essential subjects and sections can help create a hierarchical structure of the content to allow the user to navigate content pages easily.

 

Before creating headings, take some time to think of the content’s key points and sub-points. Then add headings for the relevent sections.

 

Use the meta description tag and title tags

 

 

The meta description provides Google and Bing with an overview of what a webpage is about and comprises a summary paragraph of text that appears in the search ranking beneath the webpage link (URL).

 

The title tag, which can comprise one or two important phrases, is the blue clickable link between the website URL and the meta description text.

 

Choose titles that are clear and effective communication to convey the contents of each page.

 

All the pages on a website should contain unique meta descriptions and title tags that accurately summarise the content to help both the visitors, Google and Bing identify and understand the different pages.

Image and Video optimisation

Compressing images and video files may improve site loading speeds.

Naming media files with the relevant words and adding optimised Html code can improve web page rankings.

Links between internal site pages help the search engines understand the structure and purpose of a site, together with the relative importance of individual pages.

The most common website links often include the keywords ‘click here’ or ‘learn more.’

Optimising content for conversions

Once a website ranks on Google or Bing and gains traffic, customers need to take specific action to ensure the web page converts.

Remove unnecessary distractions and include a clear call to action, such as a button to buy a product or service.

Including contact information - NAP

Validate the business by including the business name, address, phone number and email contact details.

Social media

When a business has associated social profiles with supporting content on social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter or Snapchat, it is always good practice to provide reciprocal links between the website and the social profiles.

Content marketing campaigns

The importance of Creating Quality Content for Google

 

When people search for products or services online, Google wants to provide them with the best possible search result. So to rank, it’s essential to produce high-quality content.

The content on a page should match what users expect to see when they click through to your webpage from the search results.

The average word count of a page ranking on page one of Google has generally increased over time, and the number of words required will often depend on how competitive the search term is.


Elements of content

 

Producing good relevant content does not just comprise of words and paragraphs. The content has to appeal to both the search engine algorithms to rank on Google and Bing.

Once it ranks, it also has to attract visitors who like the content and follow the call to action.


Quality Content

 

Google understands the significance of the keywords and is less concerned about the number of times the keyword appears and more about the quality of the surrounding content.


Intention

 

Today, the importance of intention is more than ever.

Google will reward web pages that provide informative content, solutions to queries and clear calls to action.

For example, a dog walking website would probably not have content related to cats or restaurant guides.


Search Intention

 

Google has explained the importance of search intents. The term “search intention” relates to the keywords or phrases that online searchers type into a search engine for answers.

For an agency advertising jobs in various industry sectors, it would be advantageous for the individual site pages to rank on Google and Bing for the specific roles in different industries. Potential employees or contractors could then find the vacancies online in the SERPs, even if they have never heard of the agency.


The freshness of content

 

Adding new material to an existing web page can signal freshness to Google.

Updating content on pages with new and accurate information can boost a page’s ranking on Google.

Avoiding duplicate content penalties

Google does not like to see repetitive duplicate content on multiple pages of a website, no matter how good the content is.

It is critical to avoid having the same or very similar content on multiple pages. The search engines will not know which page to rank for your chosen search term, meaning you fail to index correctly.

Duplicate content may also result in a penalty on Google, resulting in lower rankings or the delisting of a website from the search listings.

Always ensure each page has unique content and a purpose, such as a sales page or a supporting content page providing additional information on a specific subject.

And if you are republishing relevant content from another source, ensure you have provided credit to the original article. This citation credit will stop Google from penalising the site for having duplicate content.

Help Google find your content

Help Google find and rank your content in the SERPs​

 

How does Google find new website content? New sites or content can be found by Google by uploading an updated sitemap, by notifying Google via the Google search console or by content promotion.

 

Use Sitemaps to let Google see content

 

How is a website indexed?

Google has specialized search algorithms that search the world for web content and find sites for inclusion in the search listings.

The chances of indexing can be significantly higher by generating a site map, or website index, in Html and XML markup languages.

Uploading the Html sitemap to the website and providing Google with a copy of the XML sitemap will enable the site to get indexed.

Google and Bing also find content on new or updated pages via links from other sites and social media profiles. Finding ways to promote content in these places and sharing content from sources of authority will help to boost the profile of new web pages.

To learn more about such promotion techniques, check out the section about off-page optimisation.

The search engines work by crawling sites and indexing the most relevant organic search results. While the major search engines discover billions of pages, some sites are likely to get overlooked.

 

Determine whether your site is in Google’s index

 

The easiest way to check if a website is indexed is by inputting the homepage address for a website (URL). A positive result will indicate that the site is indexed.

Additional SEO work is likely if a site is indexed but does not rank high enough in the results for specific search queries.

 

Create a positive user experience

 

So how do you develop an SEO strategy to dominate your competition in Google and the other search engines?

SEO isn’t only about being found on search engines and driving traffic to a website. It also enables a great experience and generates conversions, leads, and revenue.

To create a positive user experience and generate leads from search, you have to do more than just including the right keywords in the content and format web pages correctly.

Once the user intent of the search is understood and relevant content that provides solutions and meets the needs of potential customers, attention needs to turn to on-site user interactions.

Creating a positive experience for the user comprises; providing a mobile-optimised fast-loading site, straightforward navigation menus, relevant links between pages of well-written informative content, and a clear call to action on each page that requires an outcome.

Technical Search Engine Optimisation for SEO success in the SERPs

Technical SEO improves Google search rankings

Technical SEO encompasses numerous tweaks that SEO specialists and web designers do behind the scenes to help websites rank higher. These include speed enhancements, ensuring sites are mobile responsive, and the Html coding complies with the search engines’ requirements.

Let Google see your site content

Let Google see pages the same way a user does


Google will look at a site the same way the average visitor will. For optimal rendering and indexing the Google crawlers should be able to access the Javascript, CSS code, Html schemas and media files that help create the individual pages of a site.

A website’s robots.txt file stored on the web hosting server controls what website files and code are accessible to search engine spiders and internet users.

Blocking specific code or pages in the robot’s text file from Search engine crawls may negatively affect the algorithm’s rendering and indexing of website pages. Blocking access to website crawlers may result in poorer than expected website rankings. Leave such tasks to an SEO expert.

Better page loading speeds

Improve website speed and page loading times

 

People love fast-loading sites. Nowadays, nearly half of the people online expect sites to load in under 2 seconds. And if a site has not loaded in 4-5 seconds, most visitors will look elsewhere and never return. 

Speed enhancements occur when hosting websites on better quality servers that can handle more bandwidth and connect pages to content delivery networks (CDNs).

Removing redundant Html code and compressing the remaining code, so it runs more efficiently can also improve page load times.

Compression and controlling the loading order of images and video files on individual pages can also dramatically affect page loading times.

Do not expect a page to open fast if it contains a series of images that are 2 MB (megabytes) and 12MB in size, the type of images taken by modern smartphones.

Mobile friendly sites

Mobile-friendly responsive websites

 

Google loves mobile-friendly sites that load fast. Mobile responsive websites reformat how the web pages appear on mobile devices and provide a better user experience.

If your site is not mobile-friendly, Google penalties may apply, and your rankings will drop. For example, eBay lost 80% of their rankings virtually overnight by not addressing this technical issue fast enough. 

More emphasis is given to mobile devices because most people now use smartphones for internet searches. Fortunately, Google provides clear guidance for the design of web pages for mobile users.

Consideration of accelerated mobile pages (AMP).

A website is the digital backbone of a business online, so no company can ignore mobile-site optimisation to stand out from the competition. In the era of mobile dominance, companies must have fast-loading and mobile-friendly responsive sites to compete with other businesses in search engine listings. 

HTML coding improvements

Html code updates and enhancements to improve rankings

 

Websites use the HyperText MarkUp Language or HTML for short. Html allows web browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, to communicate with web servers using the HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and display your pages on devices.

 

Web designers typically create sites incorporating content management systems that detail the visual structure of content on pages. Sometimes as the site evolves and ages, some of the codings can become redundant, and other parts need to be updated to comply with current standards. Regular maintenance should resolve this issue.

 

Compression of some of the embedded Html or javascript code can often improve page-loading times. 

 

More recently, SEO specialists now understand the importance of incorporating Html schemas into the web page code.

These schemas provide additional information to the search engine spiders, or computer algorithms, that explain what the site is about and how to display it in the rankings.

Activate HTTPS

Since 2020, sites need to provide encrypted communication. The HTTPS protocol provides such encryption. Sites that use HTTP are likely to rank lower on Google.

Visitors prefer to browse shop on secure websites, with padlocks displayed next to the https website address in the search box at the top of the screen.

Off-Site SEO optimisation and content marketing strategies

Off-page search engine optimisation is influenced by the backlinks or external links from other sites. Backlinks can be seen as votes in confidence for your site, and simplistically the more good ones you have, the higher you should rank.

Developing online relationships and creating quality content for sharing is an essential part of the process to ensure your link-building succeeds.

Although much effort is required, this technique is vital to ensure a website appears high up in the search result pages, ideally on page one of the organic search traffic.

Use content marketing and link-building campaigns to promote your business 

 

Long-term off-page SEO strategies that generate organic traffic can involve identifying opportunities to promote your website in news publications, magazines, industry sites, niche blogs, other relevant websites and social media marketing.

When researching new possibilities for link-building consideration, the benefits need assessing before proceeding.

Will there be a potential possibility of a link-building penalty by Google in the future?

Can they get your brand in front of consumers or get influencers in the industry talking about your business and generate free organic traffic.

Is the promotional cost viable? Will the upfront cost justify the potential long-term gains?

How long do SEO optimisation campaigns take?

Improving the rankings of every site varies, depending on levels of competition and whether the business is local company or national organisation.

 

The timescale for SEO to work depends on numerous factors

 

Has there been prior SEO work on the site?

Rankings are affected by numerous factors, both on-page and off-site.

On-page factors include the quality and intent of the content, how fast the website loads, whether it is optimised for mobile devices, schema usage and website security.

Off-page factors include the links from other websites, traffic, how long visitors stay on the pages, how many website page views per session, and the bounce rate.

If anyone promises SEO results within a few weeks, avoid using them. They are either lying or using ranking techniques that will ultimately harm the site and affect the rankings in the longer term.

 

Local  SEO

 

For a local business, results can take between 4 and 12 months, depending on the industry’s competitiveness. However, depending on the level of competition, rankings may respond more positively in a much shorter timeframe for long-tail keyword phrases comprising four or more words.

If you are looking to hire an SEO expert, use one who provides a clear outline of their strategy and a realistic timeframe for results.

Did you know that over 70% of searches comprise of four or more keywords, and these keywords can include business names, loations, services and products. So commercially it may be better to target longtail keywords or phrases focussed on business.

Why hire an SEO optimisation specialist from Search Click Digital?

The goal of any SEO campaign is to increase the website’s visibility, boost traffic and improve online conversions.

Search Click Digital specialise in SEO. So why not get in touch today?

To accomplish this goal, the site’s current ” health ” will need to be assessed before any new SEO strategies can occur.

To improve the rankings and performance of a website, it is likely that the web pages will undergo several changes and optimisations, both to the content and the Html code.

Content promotion and link-building campaigns will be undertaken off-site on an ongoing basis until the site appears in the organic search listings for the specified search queries.

After on-page and off-page updates, a follow-up analysis of any work undertaken assesses what further work is necessary to improve the rankings, user experience and conversions.

Reviewing the site prior to SEO and website optimisation

Before undertaking any search optimisation work, it is always advisable to assess the current state of the website in question.

Here at Search Click Digital, our website audits assess sites for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness.

The audit aims to assess what is required to move a website up the search engine listings for targetted keyword search phrases and increase conversions for a business online.

The audit encompasses off-site and on-site reputation signals, the current backlink profile, trust signals, business entities, Html schema data, content analysis, website performance, compliance pages and website health.

Are there any problems that may impact on the user experience, such as slow page load times, poor navigation, and site structure?

The assessment should help provide the solutions to rectify the problems identified and prioritise those that will have the most significant impact first.

 

Ongoing website improvements and content marketing campaigns

After the assessment, an SEO specialist will prioritise the weaknesses or areas for website improvements.

This process will typically involve content optimisation, Html coding changes, and user experience improvements off-page SEO.

These on-page optimisation improvements can often take weeks to months to complete.

SEO optimisation specialists will simultaneously develop specific off-page content marketing to promote the website and obtain backlinks from reputable and authoritative sites.

Off-site SEO may include the analysis of competing websites targeting the same audience and similar keywords and evaluating what they are doing better. Emulating success strategies, such as link building or content marketing, will impact the rankings.

Reporting and ongoing analysis by an SEO agency

Once any updates have taken place on a site, ongoing monitoring should confirm whether they generated a positive impact the page rankings.

An SEO consultant should be able to provide website ranking reports weekly or monthly.

These reports will give the client confidence and help them understand whether the investment is worthwhile.

Once the website ranks for the relevant results and gets organic traffic and customers, it does not end there. Key metrics, such as traffic and conversion rates, need regular reviews. This analytical data provides a better picture of what is working and what isn’t, leaving scope for further improvement.

SEO - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is SEO important for marketing?

If done correctly SEO enables your site to get noticed in the search engines like Google, without resorting to PPC advertising. SEO allows you to lead the customer through your buying process. In addition to visibility and increased website traffic, SEO contributes to your company’s authoritative voice in your industry. And that authority builds brand trust, which ultimately becomes brand loyalty.

Will SEO help people find my web pages

SEO will help other users discover your content. SEO is about helping search engines like Google and Bing understand and present content. The amount of SEO involved will depend upon the quality of the existing website and the level of the competition.

What are Google's EEAT guidelines?

E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust. EEAT is part of Google‘s Search Quality Rating Guidelines — the handbook that real people use to assess the quality of search results. If you get these guidelines right and your SEO plan is in place, you should succeed online.

How do I know when SEO is starting to work?

Once SEO starts to work you should start to see more page views, traffic from organic searches, pages appearing higher in the search engine listings.

What are the most important factors in SEO

Quality Content is probably the most important SEO factor. Google wants to provide people with high-quality, informative, and relevant content. Backlinks from other websites pointing to your website act like votes of confidence.

Do I need to hire an SEO expert?

If you don’t know understand how to do search engine optimisation on your own, it’s time to reach out to a professional. Even though you might understand the basics, you may have difficulty competing with the people at the top of search engine rankings. And if you do something wrong you could do some real harm to your online business.

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