A Simple Approach to SEO

We've often heard that if something's worth doing, then it's worth doing well. Never was there a truer case than that of Search Engine Optimisation.

So why do we still get so many requests asking for SEO to be 'bolted on' to their website as a useful afterthought? Of course it can be done this way around, but this is a bit like spending extra effort furiously cleaning your teeth after hearing that most of your teeth need to come out.

In the good old days, we went around this loop many times: first design and develop the website; then apply SEO, that it quickly became a clear  'no-brainer' to build in some of the proven SEO techniques during development. This approach works simply, cost effectively, and extremely well. We have had some great results in our 'Hall-Of-Fame' SEO page if anyone needed confirmation of this.

Of course, SEO is a multi-faceted aspect and we can only hope to tick most of the boxes that Messrs. Larry Page and Sergey Brin (a.k.a. The Happy Chappies at Google) have set for us when deciding which websites succeed and which fall by the proverbial wayside. There are however important issues worth considering even before the domain name is thought of.

For example:

  • Should we use more than one domain name with our website?
  • Is it worth having our ideal keywords within the domain name? (Yes!)
  • Is there any merit in using keywords in our image-filenames?
  • Do we have to submit our URL to Search Engines repeatedly?
  • What SEO techniques are not allowed?

The list of possibilities drones on-and-on, of course (potentially endlessly) - but Google's own guidelines are very clear on some of these issues and should be considered essential reading before so much as lifting a finger.

If that all sounds like too much effort then you may already be teetering on the brink of making some fundamental errors. We can steer you through this minefield of course - and help explode a few common myths along the way. It's crucial, however, to have a grasp of at least some of these basics before you start out with any web design project.

However you approach it - set aside a specific allocation of time for it (ideally every month) and challenge yourself (as well as your web competitors). But above all - set yourself realistic challenges and have fun!

April 2008.