SEO (search engine optimisation) for businesses

Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo - actually, mostly just Google - are key to funnelling users to your site. If Google knows about your site, and believes it is strongly relevant to what a user is search for, the higher you are on the results pages and the likelier a user will click through.

And SEO is the shorthand term for describing how to improve your standing with these search engines. We work with you to ensure your on-page and off-page SEO are pulling their weight in getting your site highly ranked for your keywords:

  • On-page SEO: elements of your site/webpages that influence search engine discovery and indexing
  • Off-page SEO: factors beyond your site, such as who is linking to it

On page SEO

The three key pillars of on-page SEO are:

  • Content
  • Markup structure
  • Underlying infrastructure/architecture

Content: We research the keywords users are likely to search with ("call a spade a spade, not a digging implement" as Jakob Nielsen puts it) and ensure you use these in your content> Also your content needs to be 'fresh', by updating your pages/blog, search engines reindex your content to make sure their up-to-date with the latest version of your site.

Markup structure: We feel quite strongly about HTML and CSS markup, one of the reasons being it is such an important SEO factor. For example, titling all the pages of your site "Joe's hardware store" isn't as useful as titling individual pages e.g. "Shop Hitachi 18-Volt 1/2-in Cordless Lithium-ion Compact Pro Drill/Driver at Joe's hardware store"

Underlying infrastructure/architecture: The drawback of search engines' relying solely on their secret sauce algorithms is how literally they see the world. Creative domain names and URLs don't do much for you in the age of search-bots: joeshardware.com is better for SEO than joesmithandsons.com, and joeshardware.com/hitachi-cordless-drill is far better than joeshardware.com/sku/sh29rm91. We'll get those URLs looking sharp, and speed your site up to further help with SEO.

Off page SEO

And off-page SEO factors can be categorised as:

  • Incoming links
  • Social media mentions
  • Authority and history
  • Visitor personalisation

Incoming links: the quality and quantity of links pointing back to your site is one of the most important off-page SEO factors. The best way to have this happen is to post content (information, products or images) that people want to link to - underscoring the importance of your site's content and the rise of the buzzword "content marketing".

Social media mentions: Like incoming links, social media mentions (links or shares on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc) are indicative of others' endorsement of your site's content.

Authority and history: Search engines look at incoming links and the history of your site in order to determine how trustworthy it is.

Visitor personalisation: Google is delivering highly tailored search results in order to reach it's goal of high-results-relevance. We help you understand how local and mobile search effects your search result standing.

Drupal and SEO

As our current Drupal clients know, it's out-of-the-box SEO performance is quite strong:

  • Human readable URLs: are preferred by non-human search-engines too :) The Pathauto module translates website.com/node/8911 into website.com/my-article
  • Enable 'clean URLs': remove the squiggly bits from your URL and opt for website.com/my-article instead of website.com/?page=my-article
  • Page titles: are output in the theme layer, and most themes are quite good at ensuring the <title> tag is using what the editor entered in the page's title field
  • Semantically correct: is also dependent on the Drupal site's theme, using the <h1> title as an example - most themes are pretty good at having just one <h1> element per page, and that being the individual page's title (not the site name ;))

Drupalista's here's a handy checklist for ensuring you're getting the most SEO bang for your Drupal buck :)

Up for auditing your site's on-page SEO? Ask us about it today.

Image credits: (1) SEO Periodic Table by Search Engine Land