Search engine optimisation tips

At Square One we firmly believe that no matter how good your website looks and functions if the search engines can’t find it then all that money paid and time spent in creating the site has been wasted. Let’s face it everyone wants to be on page one of Google –  the most widely used search engine – and that involves search engine optimisation (SEO). So……how can you give your site the best chance of getting on that coveted page? Below are a few SEO hints and tips that can give you a head start in the rankings war.

1. Do your keyword Research
It’s important to find out what users are actually searching for in your field. It’s no good ranking well for your company name but better to rank well for the subject of your website. Granny Johnsons flagship product is ‘Chocolate Muffins’ so ranking well for ‘Chocolate Muffins’ is more important than ranking well for ‘Granny Johnsons’. To make it easier to understand there are three main things to consider when researching your keywords:

  • Quantity: Find out the amount of times the keyword is being used to search. This will show the potential amount of traffic the keyword could bring to your website.
  • Quality:  Make sure the keywords are relevant to your service or product.
  • Competition: How many other websites are competing for these keywords? How well do your competing websites rank? Can you better them in the rankings?

Ideally you are looking for keywords  and keyword phrases which adequately describe your product or service, that many people are searching for but for which there are few sites competing for!

Google offer a free keyword research tool which is perfect for doing your keyword research.

2. Validation
Your site needs to be built correctly and validated to W3c standards. Validate your website at http://validator.w3.org/ this will ensure that the Google robots and spiders have no problem with the code of the website. It will also flag up any accessibility problems that are important to people with disabilities.

3. On site SEO
This will require some knowledge of web design, if you don’t have any then you can learn more at W3C school. Once you have discovered your keywords make sure they are populated correctly on your website – this is known as on site seo. Various elements of html code known as tags should be used to populate your keywords as well as including the keyword in the content of your website. Such tags would include <title> <description> <h1> <h2> <h3> <strong> etc. It’s also important to link all of your pages correctly so you can create many internal links and use your keywords as the anchor text.

4. Off site SEO
This relates to optimisation that goes on outside of the website itself but actually on the internet. Primarily backlinks are the major contributor to off site seo. Backlinks are links coming from other websites pointing to your website and they are really important as they will indicate to search engines like Google the popularity or importance of a website. For instance if Google robots see 25 links pointing to website A and 2500 links pointing to website B then obviously the latter is a more popular or important website and as a result Google will rank it higher than website A. To see how your website compares to another try using backlinkwatch. Many popular ways to get backlinks involve directory submission, article submission, social networking, blogging and many more. Having a network of links is not enough, the important thing to remember is the “quality of the link”! If your website is related to food then your backlinks should come from food related websites because of the synergy between the two sites. Similarly if your site is related to music then focus on music related websites for backlinks, this will ensure the quality and the preferential weight in the search engine rankings.

5. Keep Google interested!
Google robots will revisit your website if you have regular fresh content on it, lesser static websites will drop off the rankings. A way to achieve this is to introduce a news or blog element to your website, if you can combine regular content with off site seo then you will have discovered the holy grail! Techniques like top ten tips, freebies or giveaways and 2 for 1 offers etc. will encourage other websites to link to your website. Fresh content and backlinks equals win win for your site.

Now SEO is a vast subject and constantly changing – if you would like further information or a chat about the performance of your site contact Square One a web design company in Cheltenham – we will do a free evaluation of your site to check whether it is validated and how it compares to your competitors.

Call us now on 01242 704429.