Your search engine optimisation (SEO) rankings are affected by something called an algorithm. Each search engine, e.g. Google, Yahoo! Or Bing each have slightly different algorithms, so getting high rankings across all major search engines is a fine balancing act.

Each algorithm is top secret and the exact formula not known, which makes optimising your website for top search engine results even harder.

The main things that affect SEO are:

Fresh content
Domain age
Incoming links
No actual text on your website
Over optimisation
Duplicate Content

Let’s start with what we know affects SEO rankings:

The use of keywords:
Keywords are the terms people type into Google to find your website e.g. “web design Wolverhampton” or “Walsall web designer”.

Keywords can be generic and non-specific e.g. “web designer” which are more difficult to rank for in Google or be more specific e.g “web design Birmingham”. The more specific and targeted your keyword the better chance you have of being found by only those looking to find you.

Keywords can be used in many places throughout a website:

In a URL –

In a domain name –

In the blue title bar you see at the top of your web browser

Used throughout your website in your text

By making them bold/strong and placed inside <h1> tags.


Fresh content:
Search engines love fresh content, think about it, they want the best and most up to date websites at the top of their results, and they don’t want a company that went out of business years ago at the top of their search engine results.

You can keep your content fresh by constantly changing the text on your webpage by adding new bits to it or by writing a blog and posting new fresh articles daily.


Domain age:
The older your domain, the better. Google sees older sites as being more valuable and providing trustworthy content. This also ties in with fresh content, a domain with an old age and a new page will get listed in search engines more quickly. Age is one factor you cannot control unfortunately, however you can buy an old domain if there is a suitable one for sale.


Incoming links:
These are the links generated when a website links back to your website, usually with a clickable text link. Think of these as “votes” the more you have the more important search engines see your site as being.

You see incoming links everywhere; they typically say something like “click here to find a web designer in Birmingham”. That whole line of text which you can click is what’s known as “anchor text”. Your anchor text should include your keyword and be as descriptive, varied and natural as possible.


As well as affecting your SEO for the positive there are also things you can do which will affect your search engine optimisation in a negative way:


No actual text on your website:
This means putting all of the text on your website in image form, search engines can’t read images and so they can’t read any text you place on images, its completely invisible to search engines and will harm your SEO.


Over optimisation:
It is possible! This means over using your keywords, also known as key word stuffing, there is a fine balance; it is considered best practice to have you keyword density to be below 3%.


Duplicate content:
Search engines have access to billions upon billions of webpages and their content, if you have copied a whole passage from a website, or written a blog article and posted the same duplicate, search engines will pick up on this and penalise you for it. Always provide unique and fresh content.


The above things are the most common factors that will affect your search engine optimisation (seo) and search engine results.