Search Engine OptimisationAs every au fait web developer knows there is little point in designing a website that no one visits. However what many do not realise is that the SEO1 process must be included in the design from the start if the site is to come top of SERPs2. There is also a phenomenal amount of ignorance, bad advice and outright conmen waiting to befuddle the website promoter. Examples of these that can be found on many websites, forums and blogs;
people saying that PR3 is to do with more than backlinks4 (it is slightly in that outgoing links detract from a site's PR - but PR is generated by backlinks, it is SERPs rankings that take many other factors into account).
advice that such as that links from Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers boost PR (they don't - both sites use NoFollow5).
people charging $1,000s to get your site on the 'first page of google' - the con is that they don't mean in the organic6 results but in the sponsored areas - you can do this yourself with an AdWords7 campaign for much less and with total control of the cost.
Metafore can assist with SEO at all levels, assisting you in avoiding all these pitfalls, whether you want some start up advice, run an AdWords campaign, work out why a particular site rates higher than yours, get on the first page of google (yes - in the organic results) or even move up those last few places on the first page. One of the most difficult aspect of SEO is generating the necessary high quality backlinks without paying a fortune. We poride ourselves on thinking up new and interesting ways of achieving this.
We also have developed a set of tools for in house use. As these become polished enough to release to the general public we will make them available here.
1 SEO - Search Engine Optimisation, ensuring that a web site is found when users search the internet for relevant information.
2 SERPs - Search Engine Result Pages, the web pages returned by searches using Google or other search engines.
3 PR - Page Rank, actually named after Larry Page (Google's founder and the inventor of PR). A number from 0 to 10 indicating how many other web pages link to this page (higher is better). Think of it as a link to a page 'votes' for that page, the more votes, the more important Google considers that page. An significant factor in SERPs ranking but not as important now as it was when it was what made Google unique.
4 Backlinks - Links (ie text displayed in browsers that when clicked instruct the browser to display a different page - the page 'linked' to) in other pages that point to your page.
5 NoFollow - When a link is be marked as 'nofollow' it means that although it still works as a link for users it does not confer any page rank to the page linked to.
6 Organic search result area - Google SERPs have discreet areas, the top and right are the 'sponsored links' area - websites shown here pay for the privilege (using AdWords). Under the top sponsored area is the local businesses area (if the search term contained a location). The bulk of the rest of the page under the local business area and to the left of the right hand column is the Holy Grail of SEO - the organic search results. Appearing high up in this area is the aim because most people searching the web click on sites listed here.
7 AdWords - Google's paid for advertising. You decide what keywords are relevant to your site and pay Google to display your site in the sponsored results when those keywords are searched for. You choose how much to pay for each display (or for each click on your advert) and can set daily limits.