SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is, as the name suggests, all about improving how easy it is for people (prospective clients) to find your website and thus you. To achieve this the content of your website needs to be engaging, relevant and aimed towards  your target audience. There are a number of places in your website where you can optimise the pages – some visible and some invisible to improve page ranking. Page ranking is where you appear in the result of a Google search. The most popular, widely considered the best in terms of obtaining accurate results and therefore the most important search engine is Google, accordingly most techniques and discussions on SEO centre around improving Google rankings. The goal is ultimately to appear first in the rankings or at least on the first page as research suggests most people rarely scroll past the first page of results.


Pages can be individually optimised, this helps to promote different elements of your offering depending on the search terms entered. So for example I might want to capture people searching for a “photographer in Swindon area” or a”headshot photographer” I can optimise the specific pages of my site offering such services.

The areas of a website that need to be addressed to get good SEO are :-

Page Titles, this is the short description that appears in a Google search above the site name, it should contain search terms you wish to capture. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of the page content.

Page Description, this allows a longer description of the page and appears below the site name in a Google search. This allows for a more human friendly description to be entered and should be more descriptive than page title.

The page textual content itself. In the early days of SEO hidden keywords were important now the content itself is evaluated so this needs to be relevant to the title/description as well as engaging for the reader.


Captions and Alt text for images. The most important aspect of a photography website is of course the imagery. In order to ensure images are also properly ranked then they should contain similar information to the page titles for caption and descriptions for Alt Text. Alt text is a descriptive text used if the image cannot be displayed and is also used by programs for the visually impaired and it will be read out to them by the computer and thus it should be listener friendly rather than staccato keywords.


Apart from the content pages Google also evaluates the time you spend on a site and this is why the content should be engaging. Further, Google measures the traffic to and from your site in terms of how relevant your site is.

It is helpful therefore to regularly provide fresh content in the form of blogs and links to and from relevant content. For example I am shortly going to shoot the Swindon College media make up show which will be attended by around 500 people. The images will be on the college website, and I am sure will be avidly searched by parents and students shortly afterwards. Accordingly I will ask for a link along the lines of “images courtesy of”. Hopefully as a result a percentage of the Swindon College website users will click through to my site.

Ensuring SEO is always current is a time consuming and ongoing process particularly when it is being retrofitted to an existing site. It will take some time to have the site fully optimised. In the meantime, because my site is WordPress based,  I intend to make use of the free plugin Yoast SEO. The major advantage of this plugin is that it gives a live analysis of your SEO content for the current page or post in the WordPress dashboard, indicating both good and bad aspects, tools to help address any shortcomings along with suggested resolutions.

There is a also a premium, paid version, of the plugin available but for the moment, or at least until I expand my knowledge and understanding of the subtlety of the SEO process, I believe the free version will be more than sufficient. I will review whether the premium version will be of use when I have completed the initial round of addressing the SEO content, probably in around 3 months or so.

To find out more information on the Yoast SEO offering click on the link for an explanation of the features on offer and a comparison of the free versus premium versions.

SEO is also briefly discussed in the post about Website Design.

This entry was posted in Professional Contexts 3.

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