Regardless of the size of your business, if you have chosen to have a website, SEO should be the foundation of your website marketing. So, what is SEO, and how does it help improve your rankings? This post looks at some of the primary factors of SEO and some core activities to help your site’s visibility.

What is SEO?

Fundamentally, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of gaining better visibility in search engine results pages (SERP) by improving the performance and experience of your website. There are many aspects of SEO, some much more technical than others, but there are some basics every site should have to ensure that Google (and other search engines) can crawl and index your site correctly.

Is my site being indexed?

To check if your site is already indexed in Google, there are some basic searches you can perform to check this out. On Google, type ‘site:’ and follow this by your domain name, like this:

Google will show you how many pages of your site are already crawled and indexed in the results. Hopefully, your site will show up in the results, but if not, this could be for a few reasons.

Firstly, if your site is brand new, it could be that Google hasn’t found it yet, or your site is mistakenly blocked by the search engine (more common than you think!) by not removing certain index tags in the HTML. You can take a few steps to keep an eye on your site and identify any indexing issues. One of the most important is to make sure you have set up a Google Search Console Account. Google Search Console is a must-have tool for all site owners as it gives you an incredible amount of information about how your site is doing in search. Setting up an account and adding your website to Google Search Console is relatively straightforward. If you do not already have an account, you can do so here: Sign up now for Google Search Console. Once you’ve done that, follow the step-by-step process, and you are all done!

Make sure you have a Sitemap

The clue is in the name; a Sitemap is exactly what it says on the tin, a map of your website. The sitemap helps ensure that all the important pages are being indexed correctly. There are several different ways to generate a sitemap. Some are automatically created for you via your CMS and depends on how your site is built (WordPress, Shopify, Hubspot, etc.). However, once created, it is worth submitting your XML sitemap to Google via your Search Console Account. Google gives some advice on sitemap creation here: Create a Sitemap.

Content has always been King

Some things never change, and content has always been king in the world of SEO. However, search engines are now much more advanced in understanding content, so more than ever, quality and authority play a big part in generating the right content for your website. Fundamentally, understanding your industry and target audience will guide you in understanding what searchers want to see for a query.

Finding out ‘Search Intent’ for a keyword is one of the first steps to creating SEO-friendly content thank ranks well on Google. A search engine will determine if your site satisfies a search intent and rank you accordingly. Without understanding your keywords, and your target audience’s search intent, you will find it hard to rank organically in the top search results pages. In its very basic form, content can be broken down into commercial intent or informational intent. If you think the search is commercial, searching for a specific product or service: “Conveyancing Solicitors”, your site should have a landing page for this search. If you think the search is informational: “What is Conveyancing” – then your site should have a blog or article for this search.

Complete a content audit of your current site and review the ‘keywords’, which are the search terms you want your website to be visible for in the search engines. Look at your competitors or those sites that currently outrank you for these keywords and the type of content on their pages. Analysing your existing content and comparing it to your competitors allows you to see where you might be missing valuable content pieces that align with your target audience. You are also likely to find new keyword opportunities that you are not currently taking advantage of.


Creating the right content and other basic SEO techniques requires getting to grips with how to do keyword research in the right way. Whilst too long to cover fully in this article – we will in a future post! – choosing the right keywords for your site and how you implement them will ultimately impact your site’s success. First things first, generate your keyword list. You can use various keyword tools, including – which will help you determine how competitive your keyword is, the search volume, and the search intent. Find a list of core keywords, splitting them into:

  • Seed keywords / short tail – are typically high-volume searches, which will probably be very competitive. Seed keywords usually include your primary services or products – for example: “Conveyancing solicitors”
  • Long tail keywords are typically longer search phrases – these will have a lower search volume but likely higher search intent, with searchers more particular about what they are looking for. For example, “new build property solicitors in Kent”.

You can also perform searches for your keywords in the main search engines such as Google or Bing and review the highest-ranking organic sites on page one. Look at how they have structured content and keywords the site is targeting. Once you have compiled a list of main keywords, group them and set the priorities around factors such as:

  • parent topic (find which keywords are semantically and contextually related and group them under a “parent topic” to target with a single page);
  • user intent (to decipher what exactly people want to find when searching for a given keyword)

Grouping your keywords in this way will help to see if the topic should be a main page, under a parent page as a longer tail keyword target, or ‘informational’ to be used as a blog.

On-Page SEO 

Another essential factor of SEO is optimising your pages around the content and keywords, known as on-page SEO. Whilst there are many on-page factors, some more technical than others, below we give some basic techniques you can implement on each page of your website.

Title Tags

Do not forget about these when optimising your page, title tags are a key ranking factor, and they appear as the title of your SERP listing:

When creating titles for your pages, try and follow these basic rules:

  • Include the main target keyword for the page, keyword variants, or locations where possible
  • Keep titles about 55-60 characters long
  • Make sure each page’s META title is Unique

META Descriptions –

Meta descriptions are the text that displays under the page title on SERPs.

Whilst Meta descriptions are no longer a direct ranking factor, they should still make up part of your SEO activity. A compelling description can positively impact CTR (click-through rate), which is crucial. Here are some basic rules to consider when writing your description tags:

  • Keep them about 1-2 sentences (140-160 characters) long
  • Don’t forget to include your keyword
  • Add a call-to-action if it’s relevant
  • Avoid duplicate meta descriptions

Optimising Your Heading Tags 

Heading Tags also referred to as H1-H6 tags, are another key on-page SEO factor that is often overlooked. Make sure the main keyword of your page is at the top and sitting within your H1 tag, then break up your content into sections using subheadings. Include your target keywords and related terms inside each of these subheadings.

Optimising Your Images

Another crucial SEO factor for on-page optimisation is the task of Optimising your images. Optimising your images also includes ensuring they are saved correctly to load quickly on any device, including mobile. Here are a few tips you should consider:

  • Name your images correctly to be descriptive and include your target keyword.
  • Resize images to the dimensions they’ll appear as.
  • Reduce file sizes and compress images.
  • Make sure your alt tags are optimised with descriptive text and include your keyword

Adding Links from Other Pages on Your Site

Internal linking is the activity that builds a strong site structure and journey between the pages of your site. In its very basic form, create anchor keywords within the text and navigation of your site that links to other related or core pages of your site. Internal linking helps:

  • Search engines understand your site’s structure
  • Pass authority between pages
  • Users navigate between pages

Off-site Link Building

One of the core ranking factors is the quality of backlinks directed to your site, which builds your site’s authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Link building is a constant and gradual task. Try to ensure they are from credible, high-quality, and relevant websites. If you have thousands of backlinks, but they are from spammy, irrelevant sites, the chances are they will do you more harm than good. A few ways you can generate backlinks include:

  • Guest blogging or Article placements
  • Social media promotion
  • Manual outreach
  • Analysing competitors’ backlinks
  • Submitting your site to relevant, quality directories
  • Links from relevant associations, connected businesses or suppliers

Site Speed and Mobile Optimisation

How fast the pages of your website take to load is a direct ranking factor that Google uses in their algorithms. So, a slow site can negatively impact your SEO performance, affecting several visitor user behaviour issues and how well your site ranks in the Search Results. To find out how fast your site is, you can run your site through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, where you’ll get recommendations to reduce your load time. The speed of your site on Mobile is also a key ranking metric. Specifically, due to Google using Mobile First Indexing (meaning that the mobile version of your site is what Google sees as the main site). Subsequently, optimising your site for mobile is a crucial part of technical SEO. To find out how your website appears to mobile users and if there are any issues, you can use: Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

SEO Specialist London

SEO still stands at the forefront of many digital marketing techniques. Our SEO Basics article covers some of the first steps you can take to improve your website. However, many other elements make the various techniques needed both on-site and offsite.

SEO, content marketing, and SEO audits require constant, consistent attention, and those covered in this article are just a few basic search engine optimisation suggestions. When performed correctly, SEO can significantly improve your website’s performance, enhance your marketing strategies, and increase goal conversions.

Furthermore, SEO is not a one-time deal. If you implement SEO for your website and then abandon it, that doesn’t mean your competitors are doing the same. You may see your ranking improve on Search Engines; however, these rankings are unlikely to last without continual SEO improvements. SEO is not a quick fix. If you want your business to survive in the ever-changing landscape of the online marketplace, you need to maintain a continuous and regularly sustained search engine optimisation campaign.

Reasons why Ongoing SEO is necessary:

  • Your Competitors are continually performing SEO efforts
  • Search Engines Continuously Change Algorithms
  • Developing Good Content is a Continuous Process
  • Continuous SEO Maintains Your Page Rankings
  • Changes Can Occur in Your Business or Company
  • Users Change Their Search Behaviour
  • Your Website Will Change its Analytics Behaviour
  • Establishing You as an Authority in Your Business area TAKES TIME.
  • Positive Online Reputation Needs Well-Maintained SEO Campaign
  • Continual Link Building = Continual increase in traffic

At FireTap Marketing, our online marketing team will develop strategies to help you benefit from the full potential of SEO. We can work with you to keep on top of the changes in search engine best practices to ensure your website is at optimum performance, improves Search Engine Ranking Results, and drives relevant traffic to your website.

Get In Touch

At FireTap, we are a team of expert digital and content marketers for professional services and other businesses, specialising in marketing for law firms and solicitors in London.

Our approach is flexible, transparent, and engaging.

For excellent marketing for your business, contact us today.