All of the information below was taken from my website and is all subject to copy write. |
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the term used to describe the actions a webmaster takes to improve the search engine rankings of their website - simply put, this means moving your website higher in the list in search engines such as Google, when a web user searches for the products/services you offer.
This article offers a basic guide to the search engine optimisation process. Although they may help to improve rankings they are by no means all-encompassing, but rather a starting point for your SEO campaign.
The sections below outline the steps you should take:
Once you've selected the right key words for your site it might be best to structure the website around the key words. This can be done in several ways; when uploading pages and items to your domain, give them a name which is indicative of your key words. Also, key word text can be used within your site navigation. One notable tip is to use key words within the anchor text of your links, rather than using 'click here'.
In terms of SEO, it certainly is the case that content is King. Make sure your website is clear and coherent. Not only will badly written content dissuade visitors from returning but it can also negatively affect your rankings. Ensure your chosen key words are used naturally where needed, as pointlessly repeating yourself in an attempt to improve rankings could lead to you being penalised by Google. If you constantly update your site with useful and relevant information you will find your site naturally climbs the organic search listings.
Page titles give an immediate view of your site's content to search engines and to visitors and so should be extremely targeted. Use your strongest key words within this title but keep to a 70 character limit. This will ensure your full title appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Ideally these titles should offer a 'call to action' ('buy here, learn how to... for example).
Meta tags are small sections of coding placed within a web page's header tags which give information about the websites author, title, purpose etc. Adding details in the Meta tags which are relevant to your content is useful but is no longer the quick-fix it used to be. If you are able to edit your Meta tags, or your webmaster can do this for you, make them succinct and relevant.
Make sure that your website has a clearly structured hierarchy. When your website has a strong structure you are ensuring that the search engines can crawl (the process of scanning your websites content) your website efficiently and accurately.
Link building is possibly the most important factor to consider when beginning a DIY SEO campaign.
Search engines such as Google assess how many different websites link to your website in an attempt to discover how 'popular' it is. For this reason, the process of building links to your website is extremely important.
As your site grows in popularity 'back links' (links to your website) will naturally appear across the World Wide Web. However, when you are getting started with search engine optimisation it's important to 'build' some of these links yourself and make search engines aware of your presence.
The easiest and most cost effective method of link building is through business or website indexes. A webmaster submits information about his/her website to these online databases and directories and this information then appears on the internet within them. This is a benefit in terms of SEO as this is one more back-link to your website. Sign up to a good number of these directories (I would recommend around 50-100 if you have the time) and you may start to see some improvements in your website's rankings.
However, a word of warning; try to ensure that the directories you use are good quality websites. This means that they should be ranked highly in Google and should preferably be UK based if you are a UK website. Directories that allow you to write a few paragraphs of description are useful because if the content around your link relates strongly to the content on your web page, search engines will consider this to be a strong back-link.
Many directories you look at will vary in what they require of you. Many will be completely free, however just as many will ask for payments to list your website and will possibly even offer a 'premium' listing which offers a highlighted ad for a higher price. Some of these directories are free, but they require you to add a reciprocal link (a link to their website on yours). The directories you use will vary depending on your budget and knowledge of HTML but all strong directories should help to improve your ranking.
Of course there is an added benefit of having your site listed; when customers or web users are able to find your website through directories your traffic will naturally increase.
Blogs are pages of content on the internet, usually consisting of some kind of commentary. Traditionally, individuals use blogs to put across their views or opinions of which ever subject they wish to discuss.
In more recent years businesses are beginning to use blogs as a tool for online marketing and SEO.
As mentioned in the home page, a back-link to your website which is surrounded by relevant content is considered to be a strong one. For this reason, an online platform where you can list your web link surrounded by any or as much content as you wish is an invaluable tool.
Online blog pages such as blog.co.uk or Blogspot offer you a free platform on which to write about your business. Try to ensure your blog is not just shameless promotion of your website as this could be in breach of terms and conditions. Instead, try to make the content relevant but interesting; perhaps describe your experiences as you set up the website.
The more interest your blog attracts the stronger the effect on your website's traffic and search engine ranking.
Social Networking / Bookmarking
Social bookmarking and social networking are relatively new communication processes and are beginning to be used for SEO purposes.
The popular social networking sites Facebook and Twitter provide a powerful platform on which to generate interest in your website. Creating a group or page on Facebook is useful in getting feedback on your products/services etc and can even be a useful marketing tool (as well as providing another valuable back-link). Twitter allows you to gather 'followers' who take an interest in your business. Twitter also provides you with access to knowledge and advice from some of the most successful names in almost every industry.
Social bookmarking is a further development in social networking. This fast-growing phenomenon has been described as a micro-blogging platform and can be an invaluable communication tool. As well as providing yet another back-link social bookmarking tools allow users to book mark their favourite sites, whilst positively encouraging others to view the same sites. The benefits here are fairly obvious as more back-links are created and more people are encouraged to view your site.
For these reasons, it could be beneficial to sign up to the following social networking/bookmarking sites to promote your business:
So all in all you should be able to see how these basic steps can be utilised to improve your SEO rankings. However, please remember results may not be immediately noticeable and the SEO campaign is not one-off, it has to be sustained.
The information in this article was taken from my SEO advice website; for more information please feel free to visit my website, as listed in my sig. box.
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