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JGS Web Design

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a general term that describes techniques that can be used on websites in order for them to achieve a desirable ranking with search engines.

The higher a web site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user. It is common practice for Internet users to not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site.

SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine.

This topic can appear to be complicated and there are lots of companies out there eager to take your money based on that fact. Hopefully we make it simple to understand and at the same time save you money.

We have broken it down into 3 sections. Please click below to read the articles.
There are many myths and misconceptions about search engines. Let's take a look at the most popular myths.
1. Keyword Meta Tags are the most important factor in search engine rankings
Keyword Meta Tag is a bit of code hidden away in your web page. It is visible to the search engines, but not to the person reading the page (unless you right-click on a web page and select "view source"). The idea behind this was to give the early search engines an idea of what the page was about. By putting your keywords into the meta tag, the search engines wouldn't have to try to decipher the content of the page itself.

Guess what happened?
Yup. Every man and his dog stuck 'Free Offer' in the meta tag and watched as the traffic poured in.

Guess what happened next?
Yup. Those clever search engines started ignoring the meta keywords tag due to this abuse by webmasters. The only importance placed on meta tags these days is actually the meta description tag, which should appear as the description for the corresponding page on search engine (further detail on this is given in Article 2 : What We Do).

The Keyword Meta Tag is virtually irrelevant in the ranking algorithms of the top engines but many people continue to believe that they are the only optimization strategy that they need.
2. Search engine ranking can be guaranteed and is permanent
Search engines constantly change their algorithms, and your competitors' websites are also in a constant state of change. No one can guarantee search engine placement. You can adjust the variables that go into how a search engine ranks websites, to give yourself the best possible chance of doing well but you cannot be guaranteed that you will get that position or that the position gained will be permanent. Search engine optimisation is ongoing.

Credible, experienced, knowledgeable search engine optimizers can demonstrate results from past performance but cannot guarantee future results. In that sense, they're just like stockbrokers. No broker knows how future markets will perform, and no optimizer knows what future search engine algorithms will be.

Except for pay-for-placement advertising, optimizers cannot guarantee top positions. Only one group has final control over what ranks and what doesn't: the search engines themselves. All of the major search engines have some sort of disclaimer stating they ultimately decide which Web pages will be included in their indexes.

Unfortunately, a large number of the SEO firms that offer guaranteed search engine positions are spammers. To achieve top positions, thousands, even millions, of doorway pages are submitted to search engines. If one such doorway page gets a top position, even if only for a few days, the SEO firm fulfilled its end of the contract.

People like the comfort of a guarantee. Many believe a guarantee shows the firm's confidence in their skills and expertise. Remember, a guarantee is only one part of a sales pitch. The same guarantee that convinces you to sign the contract may very well result in spam practices that will get your site penalized or banned altogether.
3. Mention your keywords a lot
Contrary to popular belief, mentioning your keywords a lot can actually harm your page's ranking. The search engines have invested huge sums of money, and countless hours of linguistic expertise in creating ways to determine whether a page is written in 'natural language' or not.

People still repeat keywords a lot - you've probably come across a page that reads something like this:
'Bill's great cameras are the best cameras to buy cameras online uk with cameras in the uk. Cameras.'
Pretty obviously, everyone did this at one point. Which made for pretty poor results - for both the search engines and visitor.

By studying the frequency of words, the length of your sentences and the structure of your document, Google can have a pretty good idea of whether your page is written for humans to read rather than a machine. If it thinks that your page has just been written for it's benefit, rather than for people, it will ignore it at best - and penalise you at worst.
4. Submitting your site to 1000's search engines is a sure-fire winner
Actually, there are nothing like that number of search engines - certainly not ones that people actually use. Something like 85-95% of all searches are provided by Google, Bing and Yahoo.

If a company tells you that they'll submit you to this many "search engines," then they will be basically taking your cash and adding you to lots of sites that no-one uses.
5. Pagerank tells you how good your site is
That funky little green bar you might have seen if you've installed the Google toolbar gives you a very approximate idea of Google's rating of the page you're on. Essentially a mathematical equation, Pagerank takes into account various factors such as the number of links a page has, it's age and so on. It does not tell you where your site will rank.

If you search for almost any keyword, you will find pages with a Pagerank of 8 sitting under a Pagerank 2. Google's rankings are based on relevancy and trust - and Pagerank is only a very small part of that picture.
6. Sites must be constantly resubmitted to retain rankings.
This is a scare tactic popularized by various submission services and software companies. In fact, it is a waste of money to pay to have your site resubmitted once it is already listed in an engine's database. It will not hurt your rankings to resubmit (or else people would constantly submit their competitor's sites to get them penalized), but it will not help either.
7. Having a links exchange page is a great idea
You don't have to know much about search engines to know that having links coming into your website is one of the cornerstones of any search engine strategy. Often, getting a link from someone requires a reciprocal link. This has led to the popularity of the dreaded "links" page - where all of these reciprocal links are hoarded together.

Unfortunately, such pages are pretty easy for Google to spot for what they are. If your site has dozens of links to petfood suppliers, hat hiring companies and gym instructors but you yourself sell shoes, then Google just won't take you seriously. If you must give a reciprocal link in order to gain one from a trusted source, make sure that the link is given in the footer of the page, or within a page of content - perhaps in a news story.

Links that appear within the natural flow of content appeal to Google's sense that links - like content - should be natural and not just there for SEO purposes.
Are all these myths applicable all of the time? Of course not. Some SEO firms offer money-back guarantees. They do this because they're confident they'll get results, not because they practice unethical techniques.

Many other SEO firms know how desperate people are to obtain top search engine visibility. They prey on that desperation. So if you hear any of these myths in a sales pitch, proceed with caution. Read the fine print in the contract. Follow best search engine practices, and achieve the long-term results your company needs.

Any questions? Give us a call on 0845 313 6214 or 0798 271 8059.
Well Structured Design and Analysis
We ensure the layout of the web site is designed in such a way to be search-engine friendly, this includes it being mobile-friendly because Google now penalises sites that are not. Each of your pages will have a unique description to ensure the maximum number of your pages are indexed. We will also analyse your competitors and their rankings. We will offer assistance to you so you can generate effective content.
Manual submission to the Top 3 search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo)
We do not submit to dozens and dozens of search engines, as we stated in the Myths and Misconception article, "Something like 85-95% of all searches are provided by Google, Bing and Yahoo."
Creation and submission of a Site Map
A Sitemap is an file that lists URLs (or pages) for a web site along with additional information about each page (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other pages in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl and index your web site.
META Tag Setup
The META tags are arguably among the most important elements when it comes to SEO. META tags consist of text that reside in the code of your web page and are not on view when you see a web page (unless you right-click on a page and select "view source").
1. META Title tag
Technically, the Title tag isn’t a meta tag.
The Title tag acts as, you guessed it—the title of the page in question. This tag helps the search spiders understand the theme of your page (in this context 'spiders' are essentially scripts of program code that the search engines use to crawl and identify web pages that exist throughout the web). In the search engine results pages (SERPs), the title tag is the topmost line for each search result.

On our web site the title tag looks like this :
<title>Web Design Leeds | E-commerce Web Development, SEO, Domain Names, Web Hosting, site redesigns.</title>

If we search on Google for JGS Web Design we see this :

Search Engine Optimisation

Notice how the spider was able to identify the presence of the keyword “JGS Web Design.” Having keywords present within your Title tag helps associate relevance between your page and the search query. Having strong keyword density in your Title tag will also boost your ability to rank for your targeted keywords. When we write your Title tags we are concise and speak directly about the content contained within the page. Each page will have a different title based on it's content.

2. META Description tag
This tag shows in the results directly under the Title tag and offers space to elaborate on the page’s theme.

Search Engine Optimisation

There is no official limit to how many the characters can be contained within the Description tag. However, Google will only display the first 150 to 155 character, so we pay close attention to this number. Using the meta Description tag does NOT guarantee that the search engines will use your description. To increase the odds we make sure the description includes key terms you hope the page will be found for. If your page ranks for a particular term — and that term is in the meta Description tag — that will improve the chances of the tag being used. The Description tag will also be customized for every single page within your site.
3. META Keywords tag
The meta Keywords tag was a method back in the 1990s that allowed site owners a way to suggest to search engines the most important terms they hoped to be found for. Because of spamming issues — some people would stuff their meta keywords tags with hundreds of terms, sometimes not even related to their page content — the meta keyword tag lost support over the years. Google never supported it at all.
The reason we mention it here is because most people have heard of 'keywords' and believe it to be the best way to get good results. Not true I'm afraid.
All the above will help your ranking and all come as an integral part of all our design projects.

Any questions? Give us a call on 0845 313 6214 or 0798 271 8059
Write Good Content
This is probably the single most important thing you need to do if you want to be found on the web. Even if your site is technically perfect for search engine robots, it won’t do you any good unless you also fill it with good content. Yes, really! Good content is text that is factually and grammatically correct, though that is not necessarily a must for all kinds of sites. Whatever your site is about, the content needs to be unique and/or specific enough to appeal to people. More specifically, it needs to be useful to the people you want to find your site.

Good content brings return visitors. Return visitors who like your content may eventually link to your site or mention it in a blog/forum, and having lots of inbound links is great for search engine rankings, especially if those links are from highly ranked sites. Closely related to good content is fresh content. By adding new content regularly, you give visitors a reason to come back. Search engine robots will also visit your site more often once they notice that you update regularly, which means that any new content you add will be indexed quicker.
Get Linked To
There is no easy and sustainable way to solve this one except for – you guessed it – providing good content. Incoming links are important for SEO. They are also possibly the hardest part of SEO to implement. A word of caution, avoid companies who promise to put you on their link pages for a fee, if you have not heard of them the chances are they are simply a link 'farm' and they exist purely to try and trick the search engines into believing you have a link on a 'major' web site. Create a Twitter and/or other social networking account and be sure to have a link back to your web site within it. Mention your web site as often as you can within your posts. Create a Blog and do the same things, if you do not know how to create a blog we can help and advise on this.
Have Patience
You will also need patience. Results do not come overnight, some of the search engines can take weeks to even recognise your web site. Do not be tempted to use a third-party company or software to submit your web site to the search engines, they very rarely work, in fact with some of the search engines they may have a detrimental effect. We do however have a very high success rate in getting a listing on Google within one week of submitting it, mainly due to the practices we outlined in Article 2 : What We Do.
Keep Your Money
Many of our clients have been approached at some time or another by an SEO consultant trying to talk them into paying lots of money for search engine optimisation. The SEO firms tend to promise “guaranteed top results” and “submission to 500,000 search engines and directories”. Many site owners are regularly contacted by scam companies of this kind, and it’s understandable that many take the bait and start paying for “top results and submission to everything”. After all, who doesn’t want their site to be highly ranked by search engines?

First, just let me say that not all SEO consultants out there are scam artists – there are many reputable firms in the business (but following these rules mean you shouldn't need them). However, anyone promising “guaranteed top results”, “submission to 500,000 search engines and directories”, “instant results”, or “permanent top positions” is most likely a scammer. There is no way anyone can guarantee that your site is the number one result unless they actually control the search engine results, or if the top ranking is for a word or phrase that only exists on your site, of course.
That's it, nothing really clever or mysterious about SEO, just basic principles to follow.

Any questions? Give us a call on 0845 313 6214 or 0798 271 8059.