Only a couple of years ago, many SEO companies would take the stance of unethical or `black hat’ practices. This involved paid links, lots of low quality links coming from irrelevant sites and over-optimisation in the form of too many anchor text keywords on the website, used as internal links on websites and backlinks from external websites.
For our SEO we use for all of our clients, we only using ethical techniques that are within the search engines’ guidelines and don’t compromise your website – and ultimately your business. Using `white hat’ seo means that we don’t use practices that could result in your website getting banned or causing your rankings to drop significantly over time.
Here’s a guide to the ethical SEO techniques that we use and that we stick to. We don’t use anything automated and we do everything ourselves manually. We retain complete control as we don’t outsource to other companies and we make sure that all of the SEO techniques we use is long-term and durable.
1. Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process that underpins all of the SEO work. Without it, we would just be guessing at the search terms that customers are using. We use a variety of processes to get to the core keywords which are targeted and relevant for your business and market, have the potential for the highest volume of traffic and that you can realistically rank for. We also don’t just use one or two keywords where we can use a number of keywords that we can target now.
2. Write an Excellent Title Tag
A title tag contains details about what information a particular web page contains. A meta tag needs to be well written and relevant to the particular web page and is the strongest element of the page.
3. Write a Compelling and Unique Meta Description For Each Page
A meta description gives further detail on the content and reason for a particular web page. The meta description uses between 150-160 characters and is essentially a brief advertisement for the web page. It must be well written and compelling enough for users to click-through from the search engines. Above all it must be relevant to what the user is searching for. You can find out more here.
4. Implement a Technical Audit
We take an indepth look at the technical aspects of your website for SEO. For example an essential process is to check that your robots.txt files are not blocking your site from being indexed which is a barrier to SEO performance.
5. Check the Website
Having a good website in the first place is vital for great search engine rankings. This is because Google and the other search engines are hot about giving their searchers – i.e your website visitors – the best experience on your website. Therefore, in order to do that, you need to have clear navigation, great content that is relevant to your business and clear information about and a clear path to what you offer and sell. We’ll also take a look at the speed of your website and any urls that can be more descriptive. We can advise on barriers that your website may have to implementing the best SEO.
6. Have Quality, Credible Content
Your content on your website should be very relevant, credible and informative to your customers. It’s no point having loads of words that don’t say or mean anything. There should also be clear internal link structure between web pages that helps your customer to get from one page of your site to another in a clear common-sense path. We also optimise the content so that it makes it more relevant for search engines to determine what your pages are about. This is particularly important for your core web pages that feature your products or services. Content is all part and parcel of how search engines use the quality of website pages in their rankings criteria and algorithms.
7. Use Images and Video
Images on your website have a significance when it comes to SEO as these can be optimised too with their titles and alt-attributes. Where an image appears, it should also have an alternate text title should the image not get loaded because of an error or slow connection and also for customers using screen readers.
The alternate text is a description for the image to tell the user and search engines what the image is about. Remember, search can be by images as well as text.
8. Build High Quality External Links and Promote Your Website
Another factor for search engines to rank your website well is for other external websites that are a good authority, to link back to your site. A link back to your site (termed backlink) is a vote for your website in the eyes of the search engines, and this means that the more high quality links you have pointing back to your site, the greater domain authority your website achieves which in turn helps your rankings. It also help to promote your content to encourage links back to your website, providing your content is of high quality and value to audiences.
Link building is the process of building high quality links back to your website from credible websites and is an art in itself. We carry out high quality link building for clients that we implement manually and use a variety of techniques that are of course ethical. As part of this process, we promote your content and of course any links that are easy to get are probably not worth having.