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Part 4: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

7 December, 2011

what is search engine optimisation SEO

Welcome to part 4 of the ‘How Can I Promote my Website?’ series.

Week 1 examined the differences between online and offline website marketing techniques. This was followed by my tips on email marketing in week 2 and  conversion optimisation in week 3.

Now for the website promotion activity you probably know me best for: Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the name given to a range of techniques and activities that will help to improve your website’s natural search engine ranking. SEO is a long-term process of building and sustaining credibility.

Natural Organic search engine listings are ones that are not paid for (for example Google AdWords are paid for ranks). Natural listings tend to be more trusted, as they are based on website content and relevance, rather than which company has spent the most money on advertising. For this reason, while SEO will not give instant results, a long term investment in your SEO strategy will ensure a consistent and reliable level of website traffic from the right kind of potential customers (those already actively seeking your services).

If your business relies on website traffic, SEO should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy. Very few people look past the first page of search engine results, so ensuring your website is listed as high as possible on that first page is very important.

How Does Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Work?

Whenever someone types a word (keyword) or phrase (key phrase or long tail phrase) into the search bar of a search engine, that search engine performs a number of calculations (based on pre-programmed algorithms) to decide which websites to return as an answer to that particular keyword or key phrase. Search engine crawlers regularly scan websites to assess their content against these algorithms. Search engines want to know that your website is professional, relevant, legitimate and user-friendly, with easy navigation.

Each search engine has its own set of algorithms, so it is best to ensure your SEO policy meets the guidelines of the search engine used most by your customers. (You can find this out by using Google Analytics to see which search engine refers the highest percentage of your customers (known as referrals) In the general population, the most frequently used search engine is currently Google, so I always ensure I keep up to date with current policy on how Google ranks websites for natural search, in order to implement SEO policies for clients that bring the best results.

SEO in Leeds

12 Quick & Easy SEO Tips: How to Rank Higher with Google, Bing and Yahoo

There are a number of quick and easy things you can do to make sure your website is more likely to rank highly with Google or other search engines, and thus increase your website traffic.

(1)  Conduct an SEO website analysis. Before you spend valuable time or money on SEO, you should get an SEO website analysis (a kind of website MOT) to see how well your website currently performs. Click here to conduct a free basic report. You can then use the results of your SEO website analysis as a benchmark against which to measure the success of your SEO activities.

(2)  Act on it! Your website’s SEO analysis will give you some guidance about what you need to do get your website up to scratch and ensure that search engines are more likely to refer to it. Some of the advice will require the services of a professional analyst or programmer, but there are many things you can do your self to improve your website’s search engine ranking. A few of these are listed below.

(3)  Make sure each page of your website has original, well-written, relevant content, and that you don’t duplicate pages in different places within your website structure

(4)  Update your website content regularly, including both internal links (to different pages of your website) and external links (to other respected websites)

(5)  Ensure all your website images are tagged with the appropriate metatags, alternative (alt) text, geo tags and author tags. Find out why author tags are important here.

(6)  Treat your image and video titles in the same way as page titles and ensure they contain relevant keywords. Just going through and renaming all your photos and videos properly can really help to add to your search engine ranking score.

(7)   Set up a full Google+ profile for yourself, and ensure that all the original content on your website is linked back to your Google+ profile – this will help search engines to identify authentic content and attribute it to you as an author, increasing your online credibility. Find out about Google+ for business here.

(8)  Set up a Google+ Business Page. Click here to find out how to do it.

(9)  Populate your Google Business page to optimise for local business search. Creating a linked business account at your business address, and geo-tagging all your website content to this address will increase your business and website online credibility. It will also vastly improve the number of hits your website gains through

(10)  Set up a blog and update it regularly with keyword-rich relevant content, with both internal and external links. Ensure it is well-written, appealing, and that it offers useful content to your customers. As well as increasing your Domain Authority, it will also add value to your website, encouraging people to remain on your website for longer and view your business more favourably.

(11)  Make your website content easy to share, with ‘share’ links to social media sites such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter and LinkedIn. If your content is good, people will share it, which will open up your website to new audiences and increase your website hit rate.

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(12)  Link your business’s own social media pages to your website, and make the links visible on your home page. This is one of the quickest methods of link-building, increasing traffic between your website and your social media pages.

These ideas should give you plenty to go on, and implementing them all will improve your search engine ranking score.

In order for these to work, however, your website infrastructure (for example your HTML mark-up) first needs to be set up to allow for efficient and thorough analysis by search engine crawlers. Website development and coding is a whole other blog, but I am always happy to give bespoke advice on this, tailored to your website’s needs.

SEO in Leeds Contact Me

If you would like to discuss how SEO could you increase your website traffic and sales, just give me a call on 01133 20 21 21.

Good luck with your SEO and link-building campaigns!

If you have found this information useful, feel free to share. If you have any tips and advice for others on improving their SEO strategy, please leave your comments in the box below.

Next week, we’ll be looking at Pay Per Click (PPC) techniques for increasing traffic, leads and sales.

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