You will have seen the phrase, Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, if you’ve taken any interest in online marketing. You’ve probably been offered SEO services, and told that it’s how your website gets on the elusive first page of Google results. SEO isn’t something you have to buy in; with a set of relatively simple rules, you can make your site climb up the rankings on your own.
Search engines – particularly Google - remain the means by which most of us navigate the web. Anyone who ignores how Google works risks shouting into a cyber void.
That’s why Toolkit offers a full Google set up service. Google Analytics will measure the success of your site. Webmaster Tools will ensure you work to Google’s rules and the search giant can see you. Google Places will push you up the local listings. And with Google Alerts you’ll be on top of the latest changes in search policy that smart sites have to react to.
Once your web designer has finished their work, there’s also a lot you can do with the way you organise your site and the sort of content you publish.
There is no one at Google or Bing HQ sitting and deciding that one Southampton decorator has a better page than another. It’s all done with some fearsomely complex mathematics and programmes which ‘crawl’ and index the web, but the aim is to reach the sort of results that a real person would.
Your site should take account of how these programmes work.
Design your content around the keywords that people actually use to find businesses like yours. Google makes this easy for you with a free keyword tool, which will show you search numbers and the competition for those searches. A combination of lots of searches and low levels of competition is the best way to get visitors flocking to your site. Doing this before you start working on your site means your designers can include them in the site’s structure.
In the social media age, the importance of inbound links has decreased, but they still matter. The quality of the sites that link to yours is also more important. Directories, blogs and reputable forums are all places where you can link back to your site easily, and for free. But writing useful, interesting content means people will link to and share what you produce anyway.
The big search engines all allow you to submit your site for indexing, which is too good an opportunity to turn down. Again, it’s free.
Making video is a good idea too. It’s highly rated by search engines and there are plenty of networks on which you can publish it.
It’s in the interests of the search engines to return accurate results very quickly, so they make it easy for site owners by telling them exactly what to do.
For example, among Google’s advice is to, “Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.”
Bing tells site owners: “Create keyword-rich content based on research to match what users are searching for. Produce fresh content regularly.”
As the web changes, so do the search engines, social media is now becoming more important in page rankings. But remember that search engines want their users to find good, honest sites and anyone who tries to sell you ways of ‘tricking’ the engines may end up costing your site valuable ranking points.
We provide a very good and easy to follow guide to how search engines work, which is a great place to get started.
Contact Toolkit Websites, Web Designers in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.