SEO - HOW DO SEARCH ENGINES WORK? 

Search engines want to provide users with the most relevant results possible in relation to their search query 
3 step process: 
Crawling – Search engines send out robots to find new and updated content. 
Indexing – Google processes and stores the content in its index 
Ranking – Algorithms are used to determine which pages to show in search 
Algorithms consider many different ranking factors when pulling websites through into search results 
Google’s algorithms are updated all the time – can affect rankings 

ON PAGE - SEO FACTORS 

Keyword research is a vital part of any SEO strategy 
Keywords should be used in: 
Metadata 
URLs 
Headings 
& throughout your website content 
Use long-tail keywords to target more specific, less competitive search queries 
Aim to target around 5-10 long-tail keywords 
Keywords show search engines that your website is relevant for search results 

METADATA 

HEADINGS 

Easy for both visitors and search engines to navigate and understand 
H1 is the page’s main heading – only one per page 
H2 tags used to separate out different sections of a page 
H3 tags then used to organise the text in each of these sections into sub-sections 

OTHER 

Internal links - help search engines crawl your website more efficiently 
Alt text – help search engines understand what each image is showing 
Page speed – Google favours websites that load quickly 
URLs – each page should have a clear and concise URL 
Content – Google loves websites that are regularly updated 
Responsive – mobile-friendly websites are more likely to rank higher 

OFF PAGE - SEO FACTORS 

LINKS 

These act as votes of confidence in your website 
The more links you have, the more likely your site is to contain quality content 
Need to be from authoritative sources 
Have to be earned 
Links should be relevant, from topically similar websites 
Links will naturally increase over time 
Avoid black-hat techniques for gaining links 

OTHER 

Reviews – trust is key to ranking well 
Citations – e.g. business directories. Consistent citations are important 
Domain age – the older your website is, the better 
Social media –increase opportunities for links by spreading your content 
 

WHITE HAT SEO 

Key principles: 
Provide high-quality, relevant content 
Create a user-friendly website – fast loading and mobile-friendly 
Make your website easy to navigate 
Keep metadata clear and easy to understand 
 
White hat SEO is sustainable, with long-term results 

BLACK HAT SEO 

Risky and unethical – can lead to website being penalised or permanently banned 
Common practices to avoid: 
Keyword stuffing 
Hidden content 
Thin content 
Duplicate content 
Paid links 
Fake reviews 

6 tips to help improve your website ranking 

1. Make sure your website 
is fully responsive (mobile friendly) 
loads quickly 
and has an SSL Certificate 
 
2. Do your keyword research. What are they likely to type into Google? 
3. Pick one keyword (product/service) per page. Create high quality content 
4. Put keywords into headings and page titles 
5. Create content that will generate links - shareable 
6. Ask your customers for online reviews 
If you want to find out more about how SEO can help improve your website rankings, then get in touch. 
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