Search engine optimisation (SEO)

As Google gets smarter, traditional SEO techniques such as optimising page text and link building are starting to take second place to simply having a good, well presented, useful website. My mixed background – including design, usability, technical, social, and optimisation – provides me with a unique insight into the best ways to offer a well managed, well structured and easy to use website that will perform effectively on the internet.

I have worked as an SEO specialist with Vertical Leap in Portsmouth 2011. I work with websites of all sizes, however my speciality is small and medium businesses that have a grasp of why SEO is important, but have been unable to implement it themselves.

Here are a few of the key things you should consider when planning your SEO campaign.

SEO – things to think about

Keyword analysis

  • Find out which search terms relate to a business, learn which are actively searched for and which are the most competitive. Compare potential phrases with your current rankings to decide which are achievable.

Technical review

  • Make sure Google can actually understand the website and read every pages without running into problems.

Hierarchy and architecture

  • Sensible site architecture is useful both for users and to search engines. A properly structured website helps Google understand the context of each page, helps keywords be more readily identified, and helps with both targeted and attracted rankings.


  • Content is crucial, without it Google won’t be able to read your website or may decide you simply aren’t worth listing. It’s also important to ensure websites aren’t over-optimised which can put them at risk of a Google penalty.


  • Analysis of external back links to ensure they are non-spammy and will not trigger a Google penalty.
  • Managing the safe building of links through content and social activity.


  • Analysis of websites to confirm if they have/have not received a Google Penalty such as Panda and Penguin.
  • Strategically plan the best way of overcoming a penalty.
  • Research and decide the best techniques for maintaining prominent positions within the search results despite the ongoing algorithm changes made by Google.

As technology gets better, the SEO industry evolves. Many early SEO techniques are no longer effective and instead there are four key things to focus on: providing a great user experience, ensuring a website has no technical impediments that prevent it from being understood, providing the right trust and authority signals, and providing the right content. This is a simplistic approach, but it highlights why SEO is now a great industry to work in. Spammy techniques are out, and we concentrate instead and creating the best possible online experience.