SEO (Search engine optimisation)
What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation is the process of making your website easier to find when people search for a word or phrase using a search engine such as Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo, or more recently, voice-operated search engines such as Alexa and Siri.
We’ve been optimising pages for search engines since 2000, and that takes us back to a time before Google even existed, so we’ve seen every change along the way.
SEO drives customers
Your customers start their buying journeys with search engines to find products and services they need, and if your website isn’t coming up when they do, your competitors could be taking business from you.
SEO is an important part of your overall marketing plan, and while it helps to drive more traffic to your website, there are many factors, including links, content, performance and usability
Case study: Local SEO in Scotland
Canary Dwarf has been involved with building web presences for a number of Scottish towns in Moray, Highland and Aberdeenshire. Even without sustained paid-for SEO, our website infrastructures, training and guidance provide an excellent base for ranking well in search engines.
As a result of our work with community and tourism organisations, the following towns and villages rank on the first page of google, sometimes ahead of Wikipedia.
- Forres (number 1 on page 1 for several keywords)
- Boat of Garten (number one on page 1)
- Ardersier (number 1 on page 1)
- Braemar ( number 1 on page 1)
- Page 1 listings for Keith and Nethy Bridge
Our services include web development, app development, content structure, advertising consultancy, membership systems, event listings, and ticketing.
When we started doing SEO in 2000, it was all about keywords. Things have changed dramatically over the years, and while keywords and keyphrases are still important, there are many important factors to keep your website ranking well in search engines.
“The results have been absolutely brilliant, my unique visitors have nearly quadrupled and my January totals alone have exceeded my first full year in business. These are converting into bookings as well, so my visit to Canary Dwarf was a 100% success!”– Dave Slater, Birding Ecosse
There is now a clear distinction made between good quality content and ‘tricks’ to get your website noticed. Good SEO includes good copywriting, good site structure, and good usability as well as links and keywords.
We like to look forward not back, and many of the practices favoured by search engine marketers of the past are now frowned upon or even punished by search engines. By maintaining a long-term approach, we avoid the need to constantly rewrite content and restructure sites for sites to keep their position. As a result, we typically see our customers’ sites increase their position when Google releases an update – a reward for our strictly white-hat approach.
If your business only operates with a local boundary, you can optimise your results based on where you operate, with maps and location pages. Google knows where people are based, and it can also tell whether people are interested in an area even if they aren’t in it at the time of their search. Local SEO is generally easier to get results as it narrows the reach, for example a hairdresser wouldn’t need to rank outside their own town, whereas a hotel would want to be found across the country, and even the world.
Optimising content for discovery and conversion
This term was coined by highly-respected internet marketers Copyblogger, and perfectly explains the real reasons for being found in search engines.
By removing the short-sighted need to reach the top spot in Google or any other search engine, we’ll optimise your website content so that it is discovered by people looking for what you have to offer.
This is where we will use our experience in the wider realms of marketing to capture and convert this traffic into customers. Our holistic approach means we will ensure your website is finely tuned for ‘conversion’ before we even consider how search engines might send more people along.
That’s the only sensible way to do it. And we follow search engine guidelines at ALL times and industry best practice. This is the only way to guarantee your website doesn’t fall foul of search engine penalties and get kicked off the ladder.
Panda and Penguin
And if you wondered why we haven’t made any references to these black and white animals yet, that’s because they’re not so important to websites which follow best practices. These animals are feared by SEO practitioners who sail too close to the wind and have to make adjustments every time they come visiting.
In fact, with our techniques, you’ll often see your website’s rank improve following one of these algorithmic updates, due either to a reward on your part, or a penalty on those previously above you.
Old-school SEO is a short-term solution locked into a payment model that feeds itself. Optimising content for discovery and conversion is a long-term approach to search engine marketing that is fed by a good content marketing strategy that can mostly be managed in-house by you and your staff. And we show you how to do it.
It’s cost-effective and not as hard as you might think. So if you’re ready to put the pandas and penguins to bed and generate some human interest in your site, get in touch with us today.
A well-ranked site is essential for getting results, but many times, it is not an instant fix, or if your keywords are competitive, you may struggle to rank highly, even if your website is perfect.
PPC is a method of advertising in search engines and other key websites, to get your ad listed higher than organic results.
It’s essential for new businesses, for seasonal campaigns and trending searches, as it allows you to put your results above the organic listings.
Google Ads is the most established pay-per-click platform, putting your ads above the organic search results in the most popular search engine, Google.
Ads can also be set to appear in other places, such as Google Partner websites and its search network.
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram ads
Facebook and other social networks operate pay-per-click ads, and these can be equally effective. They differ from Google in that they are less about the search term and more about the target audience.