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A beginners guide to website search engine optimisation

by Chris Sutton | June 30, 2013

“SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s unpaid or ‘organic’ search results”

A beginners guide to SEO.

Search engine optimisation is a topic that is a mystery to many small business website owners and, given its reputation as a “dark art”, one that many choose not to engage with.

However, I read a very good analogy on another website recently, if you build a great website and then don’t bother to get it ranked on search engines, it’s a bit like having a beautiful brochure designed and printed, and then just locking them away in a cupboard!

The content of this blog have been drawn from one of our eBooks on SEO, and while I’ll publish the book in sections on the blog, I’ll link to it at the end of the blog if you’d like to download the whole eBook.

This is a basic how--to guide in preparing your website to rank within the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing, and it isn’t intended as a definitive SEO document; but rather just a general introduction for beginners to the key steps of SEO.

Is there an allegiance to Google?

There are 3 major players in the search engine ranks: Yahoo!, Bing and Google. Every Internet user has their preference. For the sake of simplicity we use Google as the example throughout this booklet when referring to search engines. This is done, in part, due to Google’s market domination and does not demonstrate any preference or allegiance!

Why is optimisation necessary?

You cannot publish a website and walk away from it, then expect it to rank at the top of Google and stay there. SEO is a necessity and can be administered once you learn its core techniques.

What are ‘SERPs’?

SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) are pages returned by search engines in response to a user’s Keyword/phrase query. Depending on the search engine, the page/s typically consist of a web page’s Page Title, Meta description and web page URL plus additional information such as user reviews, again depending on the search engine. An objective of SEO is to get your web pages appearing at the top of SERPs for your chosen Keywords and Keyphrases.

What are Keywords and Keyphrases?

When people use Google they type words into the search area to locate what they’re looking for. The terms that people use are referred to as Keywords, and combinations of Keywords are referred to as Keyphrases. A Keyword example is

‘Apples’; a Keyphrase would be ‘Fresh Apples Sydney’.

What are some common SEO mistakes and misconceptions?

  • Choosing to adopt Keywords or Keyphrases that few people ever type into a Google search, in the belief that those are the Keywords used to locate your products or services. This is generally a result of not conducting keyword research.
  • Believing that getting a top page ranking for your business name constitutes good SEO. Yes you want to rank at the top of Google for your business name but it’s unlikely that people who have never heard of you will type your business name into Google to find you.
  • Overuse of keywords across all web pages in the belief that Google will take notice; on the contrary, Google is likely to penalise your website if you choose to ‘stack’ Keywords on your web pages.

Download the complete eBook here


SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

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