What makes a site search engine friendly?

11th July 2013

We often get asked if we offer search engine optimisation. The short answer is no. The long answer is that SEO is a highly specialised skill set that is best left to the experts. What we create are search engine friendly websites. But what does this mean and what is the difference between friendly and optimised?

A search engine friendly website has everything in place for Google to be able to access all the information it needs to rank your website.

Meta tags are in place and editable through the CMS. Any social profiles that the client has are linked up and an easy way of users sharing links to the site are in place.

All the code is valid and semantic. In non-techie speak this means it is well written with a sensible hierarchy of information. Heading tags have been implemented so visitors and Google alike can see the core messages on each page. Alt tags are defined and editable on each image; this assists both Google and visitors with visual impairments to determine the content of each image.

We always recommend a blog to be implemented. Good blog posts are also more likely to be shared on social networks, increasing your website's reach. Google loves editorial content and sees content which is shared by visitors as being relevant, helping with your site's ranking.

We will make sure your site loads quickly as speed is a major factor in Google's ranking algorithms. This involves making sure code is written efficiently, images are served at the correct size and, where possible, implementing third party services such as content delivery networks like Cloudflare to make sure your content is loaded super-fast.

Although it's not our own in-house skill we still help clients with searchability via our expert partners Tillison Consulting. They are true SEO experts and specialise in optimising websites according to the latest algorithms and current best practice. They can also help with distributing your content, handling your social media and paid search and even offer social media training.

The bottom line is that good SEO is a process, not an event. It is a continuously moving target which is why we monitor our clients' websites regularly to ensure they stay sharp and search engine savvy. It's one of the many aspects that makes the difference between a good website and a great website.