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An Update On Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

By Jason Kendall

Search Engine Optimisation takes into account the factors used by Google, Bing etc. when they position websites in their natural listings. When we search for anything, up come the natural search lists. They are not to be confused with the Pay per Click entries. In a typical Google or Bing search, you can see the paid listings in the right column and in the yellow box at the top. Whilst the other free ads have been listed by the SE’s. The order of each site is determined by its ‘importance’ and relevance to the keyword.

Obviously, we want to be as high up the page(s) as possible. If we’re the 7th listing on page 9 then we’re hardly going to get prospects beating our door down! Nobody can be entirely certain about which factors Search Engines use in their ranking process. They keep it a closely guarded secret!

Because of this, much technical expertise has developed around the subject. And so we have on one side Google and Bing purposely patenting different technologies. (Which leads to much confusion of course!) On the other side you have an SEO industry. This involves measuring various factors and doing empirical tests to establish the most important ones to target.

On-Page and Off-Page considerations are taken into account. A certain amount of page ranking weight can be attributed to off web geographic influences. SEO can’t control these though. (We will cover off page optimisation in a separate article.)

ON PAGE SEO Explained

On-Page SEO is all about changes you can make directly to a site to make it more Search Engine ‘friendly’. This is actually a fairly clear-cut process. It involves such factors as – Internal-linking, using H1 & H2 header tags, seeding keywords at the correct density (and in appropriate places,) and to some lesser degree, using meta-tags.

That might sound like gobbledy-gook, but don’t be alarmed! On-Page optimisation is now known to have the smallest affect on your page rank. In truth, many argue its relevance has disappeared altogether! In the past it was easy to affect Search Engines with on-page SEO. Not any longer though.

The only time that ‘on-page’ becomes important is when you have taken care of ‘off-page’ and have a lot of inbound ‘back-links’. If that’s the case, internal linking and a certain amount of on-page fine-tuning can reap rewards.

A Few Handy Pointers… Do not START to SEO with phrases that yield millions of results. In a search for ‘Car Insurance’ on Google in the UK for example, you would find around 70 million results. When you’re just getting going, it’s not a great idea to face such huge competition!

But… If I typed in “Southampton Car Insurance”, then there are only around 300,000 results. (Presuming that was my market). A big number still it seems – but actually quite a small number when it comes to web searches.

I could expect to get ranked far more easily for the longer phrase. In fact, if I wanted to rate for phrases like ‘Car Insurance’ it would probably take a long time and a very large budget. I’d be up against massive multi-nationals! Not a wise choice at all – and actually not the best way to go about things either.

It’s far better to choose phrases that are more specific to our offering. They’re known as long tail searches, because they’ll have several keywords. Phrases can be as many as seven words, depending on your competition. Generally we use 3 to 4 words.

We prefer to begin optimisation strategies with phrases that bring in less than five hundred thousand results. (In some cases, we may go with a higher count – if the current page 1 results are not well SEO’d.) We’ll automatically move up the ratings for the more popular search terms as we gain more back-links. If we’ve worked well, we can start hitting the bigger terms in a few months time. This strategy is also far more targeted at the start. Frankly, we’re only interested in the customers who are looking specifically for what we offer. There’s much more chance these people will buy!

Don’t just limit building back links to your website’s home page – link them up to various sub pages as well. We call this ‘deep-linking’ – and Google in particular likes this. For example, build links to the pages that group products. That’s because pages like this generally have links to several individual pages. Do not simply build links to your website’s home page. Search Engines are increasingly focused on the individual pages within a website.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Kendall, Jason "An Update On Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)." An Update On Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). 6 Jul. 2010. 6 Nov 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Kendall, J (2010, July 6). An Update On Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Retrieved November 6, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Kendall, Jason "An Update On Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)"

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