What is SEO?
SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. It refers to how well search engines (like Google and Yahoo) are able to ‘read’ and understand a website. If these search engines give a website a thumbs-up, and decide that the websites content is well structured, trustworthy, and regularly updated, then they are going to make that website more available to their own users in the form of a high ranking on their search engine. This in turn drives traffic towards your website, so every website should be built with SEO in mind.
How Important is SEO?
SEO works using complicated mathematical algorithms that each search engine creates themselves. These algorithms effectively bounce around the entire world wide web and read all of the data, then they filter the data using methods that they keep a secret to avoid designers manipulating their website code to make their sites appear genuine when they may not be.
However rather than get too bogged down in the coding of a website, the single most important thing to focus on when designing a website is the content itself. Google themselves in their ‘SEO Guide’ state:
“Even though SEO contains the words “search engine”, we’d like to say that you should base your optimization decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors of your site. They’re the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find your work. Focusing too hard on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search engine optimization is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.”
The websites that any experienced designer builds for you will usually be sufficient for your SEO needs. Whilst SEO is important, we believe for small and medium sized businesses having a website that is well written, well structured, reliable, and regularly updated, is far more beneficial (and cost effective) that spending huge resources on an SEO campaign.