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search engine optimisation

SEO experts in Kent

So, you've just paid for a brand new website and you're looking forward to all the new clients it's going to bring in. You wait and you wait - and the expected flood turns out to a meagre trickle. Why? Sadly, many websites aren't optimised correctly or even at all.

Ideally, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a process that starts at the design stage of your website. Deciding the sort of visitors you want to attract can influence the design and structure of a website. Unfortunately, many website designers don't take this into consideration or fail to attach enough importance to this factor. Most prospective clients find websites through search engines. Unless you are the only business of your type in an area, it's likely you'll have competitors who also have websites. The term 'search engine friendly' is often used to describe a website that search engines can 'understand', categorise correctly and will feature well in their search results. If you are not on the first page of a search engine's results, you may be missing out on a lot of business.
At ZDT, we place primary importance on SEO as being the make or break component of a website. After all, if no-one finds your website, it doesn't really matter how good it is.

Optimisation in simple terms is about creating web pages designed to be easily read by search engines. The content of every page should be geared to attract search engines as well as being well written for human visitors. Optimisation however is just one piece of the puzzle in getting good traffic to your website. There are many other processes we can provide to place your website ahead of your competition.

We don't make false promises. Always look for proof. Type the term dominican property' into Google (currently the number one search-engine), and one of our websites has been and remains in the number one position for the last 3-4 years. That website, designed initially as a real-estate MLS system for the Dominican Republic, receives a number of genuine buying leads from prospective clients every day. Wouldn't you like your website to generate 'free' leads for you?

It's important to analyze your competition. How does your website compare in the search engine rankings? We can provide detailed reports to give you this vital information. Many clients have been misled by their current web master into believing that their website is doing well, and is receiving hundreds of visitors or 'hits' per day. If a webmaster mentions 'hits', you need to find another one immediately. 'Hit's are meaningless. Just one visitor could generate hundreds of hits in less than a second. In layman's terms, hits are related to the number of graphics and other components on a webpage. Some webmasters put hundreds of tiny graphics on a page to massively increase the hits - but not the visitors. Are you paying for this type of deception?

There are also many tricks for getting people to visit your website who have no interest in your product or service. Some webmasters will put other information, unrelated to your product or service on your website, possible hidden, which will feature well in the search-engines. Visitors are 'tricked' into visiting your website, but when they realise that your website is offering something completely different, they close it down and go back to the search-engine. Your website got another visitor, but its of absolutely no use to you! We can analyze your website traffic to see if your website visitors are genuine potential clients or 'tricked' visitors.

Website marketing is the key component in attracting new business for most modern companies. There are those who stick their head in the sand - and the more astute companies who turn to ZDT for advice. Why ignore all those revenue generating clients out there looking for your product or service. Let us give them help they need to find you!

SEO: The process

Improving your rankings in the search engines is a combination of processes. The days of tweaking a few Meta tags are long gone, although oddly enough it is still important to make sure the Meta tags are correct and accurately describe each web page on your site.

The SEO processes we use are a combination of all or some of the following:

Meta Tag Optimisation

Each page on your website should have correct and unique 'title' and 'description' meta tag as many search engines use these tags to describe your website. Most search engines do not consider these tags when ranking your website, but unoptimised tags could allow potential visitors to not click onto your website from a search engine.

HTML Validation

A basic process but often overlooked. Although the page may look ok to you, any HTML errors may cause search engine spiders to halt and not register your website correctly. We can validate every page on your site and fix any errors.

Broken Internal Links

As a website grows and you put on more pages, it's quite common for links between pages to get broken when you move pages about. This causes your website to 'lose' pages, as even though they may still be there, search engine spiders need links to get to each page. If the link is wrong; the spider won't find the page. We can check and fix any linking problems.

Sitemaps

A well organised site doesn't always need this, whatever people tell you. The two things to consider are: 1. Can visitors to your website easily find the page they want; i.e. is the structure and layout efficient? and 2. Can search engine spiders easily reach every page on your site?

The key to this is a good internal linking structure. Links in JavaScript and Flash will not be used by most search engine spiders, so if your website uses a JavaScript or Flash navigation menu, for example, the spiders may not index your pages correctly. This is where a sitemap can pay dividends. A sitemap is simply a page which links to all the pages on your website. It can be in HTML, text or XML format or you can have all three. The important thing is that visitors and spiders get to every page in your site.

Browser Validation

Most visitors tend to use their favorite browser software such as Internet Explorer or Firefox to surf the web. But your visitors may use another browser. Different browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera may render the page differently, meaning some visitors may see it differently and be put off. We can check your website for any errors and compare in all the major browsers.

Optimised Content Building

Does your website have enough information in its pages to accurately describe to visitors and search engines exactly what services and products you offer? Is your geographical location clear to search engines? For example, people often use place names in their search terms, e.g. "flats for sale in Deal". Your website needs multiple pages (articles) describing different facets of your business to catch all the possible search terms (keywords). You can provide us with your own articles or we can write them for you. There is a well known expression in the world of SEO - "Content is King!"

Link Popularity Building

For some time now, search engines have used link popularity as a key factor in deciding how important your website is. If many other websites link to yours, it is likely that your website is useful to visitors and therefore search engines will rank it accordingly. And vice-versa, if very few other sites link to your website or most of the links are from spammy directories and pages with hundreds of irrelevant website links, a search engine will consider your website less useful.

Search Engine Submission

This may seem a bit basic, but do all the main search engines already include all of your pages? We will ensure that Google, Yahoo, Bing, MSN, Ask and all the big sites spider through all your pages.

Keyword Research

Keywords and keyphrases are the likely words that your prospective customers will use when searching for you on the internet, for example, prospective purchasers of a new holiday or investment property in Kent might use the keyphrase ' flats in Canterbury for Sale'. We can research and identify a number of these which we can then employ in optimising your website.

Many powerful keywords are not always the most obvious. We also look for niche keywords that will bring you qualified visitors that your competitors may have overlooked. This is an area where quality can be more useful to you than quantity.

Competition Research

Identifying how popular your website is compared to your competition is vital not just to improve your website but useful in your business as well. Your competitors may be doing well in keywords you hadn't thought of, or getting traffic from sources you hadn't considered. Are they getting more traffic than you - or less? They may be getting a hundred times more leads from their website than you are, meaning their cost to acquire new customers is much less than yours.

Internet Marketing Strategies

There is always more than one way to skin a cat, as my Grandmother used to say. Tell us what you want to achieve with your website and we will offer you some solutions within your budget. You may have some unique aspects that lend themselves to a unique plan of action. No need to be 'run of the mill!'

A well formed strategy means that you, in conjunction with us, set desirable and achievable goals. We then create a plan of action detailing how we will achieve those goals. SEO without a strategy is like building a house without an architect's plan and without detailing the costs. Sure it can be done, but you'll waste much more time and money and there will be no sure way of evaluating whether or not you've succeeded.

A strategy must also be achievable. Don't ask us to get you to the number one spot in Google for the term 'property for sale'. You'd be wasting your time and money because the budget required would rule this out for all but the biggest names.

Web Site Analysis & Reports

You may already have a statistics package included within your website hosting package. "Awstats" is a popular stats package and is free on most Linux based web servers. We also use Google Analytics which is an extremely valuable tool in identifying what is happening to your website visitors. Using this and other tools we can identify:

Monthly Ranking Maintenance (MRM)

After an initial search engine optimisation campaign, regular maintenance, roughly every three months will aid in keeping and improving your rankings. It is likely your competitors are also trying to push their way up, so you need to also.

Pay Per Click Optimisation (PPC)

Pay-per-click advertising can be used to get immediate visitors to your website and generate immediate awareness. If your website is not properly optimised for this you will be throwing away money. To make this work effectively, multiple adverts should be designed to cater for different keywords. Each advert should send visitors to a specially optimised page on your website to grab people attention based upon the advert they saw. This may not necessarily be your home page.

Getting us to plan and arrange this could save you a lot of money particularly in the long run. We can get the same visitors to your website for less per click, and make it more likely they will continue to your desired course of action, i.e. contact you. We've come across a number of companies who have been burned by this sort of advertising, simply because they thought it didn't need any expertise. A bit of time and money invested in setting up a well-managed Pay-Per-Click campaign will repay itself many times over.

Article Syndication

A great way to get extra links to your website is to create interesting articles which we can submit to various article directory websites. This will encourage other websites to include your article on their website - with a link back to your website. Your website then appears to be an authority on the article subject. You can write the articles or we can do this for you.

Directory Submission - Paid for and Free

Dmoz was the original authoritative directory, but now there are thousands of directories. Dmoz lost its importance now, but getting your website listed by some good (not spammy) directories will provide extra links. Search engines rank directories on their usefulness and some are considered useless and spammy. One such term for these spammy directories is a 'link farm', i.e. it's not a real directory on the basis no actual visitors would use it - it's purely there to provide links. Avoid them - they may cost you rankings rather than build them.

SEO in Conclusion

Bear in mind this is not an exhaustive list of the service we provide, but more of a quick overview of some of the aspects that need to be considered. Talk to us to find out more.

Things to consider when requesting SEO

What is the SEO company's track record?

Ask them to show you websites they have optimised and ask them for what keyphrases or terms. Check out how these websites are now performing. Consider whether you think the keyphrases are applicable and would be used by genuine visitors to the website. Some so-called SEO experts choose keyphrases that would rarely be used and are not competitive so that getting to the top spot was easy!
If possible contact the administrator or owner of the websites listed as references to verify that the SEO company’s claims are true.

There are no guarantees

Some SEO companies will promise you the earth. As long as you pay them several thousand dollars upfront, they say will get you on the first page of Google for a range of keyphrases. In real life, there are no guarantees. Google and other search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and SEO experts cannot force Google to put a site on page 1. Most usually these SEO companies are just after your cash and will do very little work. Or, as previously mentioned, they use irrelevant or meaningless keyphrases to get a result, which doesn’t help you.

Want more ‘Hits’ to your website?

If an SEO company talks to you about ‘hits’, then run away – quickly! ‘Hits’ is a meaningless term in SEO, but is often used by rogue SEO companies instead of the term ‘unique visitors’. Unique visitors are what you want on your website, i.e. an extra 100 visitors a month will get you some more business.

‘Hits’ refer to how many graphics or sub-components there are on a webpage when a visitor looks at it. It’s quite possible for one new visitor to your website to look at one page and then leave, and yet generate 500 new ‘hits’ on your website.

This doesn't help you. One extra person visiting your site is worth more than a million 'Hits'.

When investing in SEO for your website, make sure the company you choose has a proven record in genuine Search Engine Optimisation.