Insights: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
There was a film a few years ago called “Field Of Dreams” which had a common theme running through it of “If you build they will come!” Most people think building a website is the same thing. Ten or fifteen years ago this may have been the case with fewer websites competing for traffic. Nowadays however you need to consider Search Engine Optimisation to improve your ranking against what is likely to be a crowded marketplace competing for the same traffic.
It’s easy to overlook Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) when creating your website but that can be a critical error. Whilst SEO does NOT create demand, when implemented correctly it gives you a chance to be returned in a Search Engine for those phrases that people are searching for real time.
SEO covers two areas: internal (on-site) and external (off-site). The former refers to things you can do when creating your site to make it index for relevant phrases by search engines like Google. If you are careful to take into account on-site SEO then it can significantly increase the position you appear to people using search engines. Above all remember to that you Optimise a Website page by page.
Here is a list of some on-site things you should consider for your site:
- Complete and keep consistent the meta-data for each page including the Title, Description and Keyword Phrases
- Use H1 tags with good descriptive headings on each page
- Where relevant cascade sub-headings using H2, H3, H4,…
- Use the page title field to describe what’s on each page
- XML Sitemap verified by Google
- Complete the priority field for each page on your sitemap
- Complete the frequency of change field for each page on your sitemap
- Use sensible page filenames like ourservices.php and not page.php?id=4
- Spread keywords evenly in the text content of each page, follow best practice for Latent Semantic Indexing, see Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latent_semantic_indexing
- Redirect http://domainname.tld/ version of your site to http://www. Domainname.tld/
- Redirect http://www. Domainname.tld/index.php or http://www. Domainname.tld/home.html to http://www. Domainname.tld/
- Use ALT and Title tags on all the images on your site. Some browsers use ALT and others use TITLE when looking for more information about your images
- Finally never, never, never,don’t, don’t, don’t try any Black Hat techniques that are unscrupulous like having lots of hidden white text on white background on your pages or code script that refreshes the age of your page making it look to Search Engines like the content has just been changed.
All of the above might sound a bit technical but we’re happy to give advice on the internal SEO for your site and then actually go ahead and make the necessary changes for you. Just drop us a line and we can get the ball rolling.
The other side of the coin is off-site SEO. Most commonly this involves creating links TO YOUR SITE on other independent websites. They are many ways to do this. We’d advise that you do not sign up to some of the too-good-to-be-true offers out there that suggest they’ll submit you to thousands of search engines as these are usually a con. Be very wary of anyone who calls you up or emails you guaranteeing you a Number 1 ranking for your site. These are usually unscrupulous operators trying to take advantage of your lack of knowledge on the subject.
If you consider/treat an incoming link to your site as a vote then the more votes you have then the greater prominence your website will have and the greater you chance you will have of the search engines moving your site up the rankings. It is a bit like a popularity contest. The search engines assume that if lots of independent people are linking to you then you must be a useful site.
One important thing to consider when getting other sites to link to yours is the anchor text (this is the blue hyperlink test that you actually see on the web page) used. You want to use keywords here that are relevant to your business to get the best value of the incoming link. Say you sell furniture then you might want links on other sites to look like discount wardrobes or computer desks. You do not want them to use the actual web address like http://www.inspireitservices.co.uk or have some meaningless text like click here as this won’t do you as much good with the search engines.
Quick test: Google the phrase “click here” now. You will probably find the most common return is the Adobe PDF reader site because so many websites have used the anchor text “click here” to link to this site! It’s an interesting side-effect showing how keywords in anchor text work. The fact that Adobe comes Number 1 for “click here” is completely unintentional on their part and just happened because so many other sites on the web linked to them using these words.
Remember that there are more than one type of link to drive traffic to your website, the most obvious are Articles, Reviews, Press Releases, Blogs. These are all text based, however there are also Videos that you can post on YouTube or Vimeo to link to your website. Indeed with HTML5 Video you can now have Subtitle Text via the WebVTT file format. The other main one is Images through adding to the likes of Flickr.
Please remember though that this is an absolutely huge topic and we have only briefly skimmed the surface. For more information on what we can do for you we would be delighted to take your call.
We offer professional link building packages that are proven to improve your ranking. Check out off-site SEO on our website or give us a call if you’d like to find out more about these packages.
See our website for more information: http://www.inspireitservices.co.uk/servicecategory/search-engine-optimisation.html