Website Optimisation in 10 Easy Steps
As a business owner who is looking to leverage the power of the internet to increase sales and drive revenue your aim is to get your web pages listed on the first page of search results, which with many thousands and often millions of competing search results appearing for any given term, is a tough, tough task. As Google receives the lion’s share of the all search queries, a techradar.com report, showed that during May 2012, Google took a 91.17 per cent share of the search market in the UK, this post will focus on website optimisation strategies that you can employ to improve your business standings in search and the results it brings.
10 Website Optimisation Techniques for Prominence in Google.
1. Content is, and always will be, King.
A bulk standard five page website, that consists of home page, about us, products and services, FAQ and contact us, is not good enough to deserve to be placed in the search results pages for anything other than your name. If your internet presence is simply there so people can find you when they search for your name then that is all it is good for. If you want to appear for keyword ideas related to your business then you need to start thinking about publishing content that deserves attention.
This means publishing content related to your business and your industry such as what benefits your business and services can provide for potential customers, or helpful advice on how to get the best out of your products and services. This content needs to be published on a regular basis so that the search engines see that you are attempting to give the user the best possible search experience.
The search engine algorithms are constantly being updated; between 500-600 times a year, each time introducing new methods on best practice website optimisation. However, the one thing that never changes is the search engines require quality content. So be sure to have good, well written and unique content that focuses on your target audience and is optimised for search using keywords.
2. Links are Queen
If content is King then links from high ranking authority sites are Queen. You want to build a network of links back to your site with your keyword phrase as the link. But remember, if there is not a good reason for that site to be linking to you, then you don’t want or need the link as it will actually go against you.
Off page optimisation and link building is important because without links and references back to a web page then it is known as an orphan page, it is alone and no one knows it is there. As far as the search engines are concerned, no-one cares that it is there.
Once the search engines can see that you have relevant links pointing back to your domain and to other pages deeper into the site it will pay more attention as it sees these links as a citation that the content that you have written is of value and therefore will reward you with higher positions in the search engines.
3. On Page Optimisation
As a web user if you search for “red potatoes” and you click on a result you expect to find an article about red potatoes. The first thing that you may look for is the phrases red potatoes in the title
“The origin of red potatoes”
“Red potato recipes”
“12 varieties of red potatoes”
These articles from initial point of view are of relevance, an article titled “the potato famine” may not be relevant to your search and therefore will be placed further down the search engine results pages (serps)
The title is just one of many different criteria such as the liberal use of the keyword phrase throughout the article to remind people of the relevance of the document that search engine look for, click on the following link to find out more about on page optimisation
4. Don’t be vain
Unless your company is Nike or Audi, people are not going to be searching for you by name; they are going to be searching for you by what you do. If you need to include your name put it at the end of the title tag giving your keyword term the more prominent position.
5. Think Long Tail
The chances of ranking for the keyword “SEO “are very, very slim. In fact with 887,000,000 other pages competing for that keyword you probably need to be a genius and have millions of pounds to spend. Instead, choose a long tail keyword phrase that is more exact e.g. “improve search engine ranking”. Then you will find less competition and a more specific audience.
Experian Hitwise research shows that nearly half of all searches conducted in the UK in July 2012 used three or more words. source
If website optimisation for keywords and phrases related to your industry is what you are trying to achieve then go after targeted long tail keywords. Yes there will be less searches but equally there will be less competition and the searchers will be more qualified.
6. Think Local
For businesses with a physical storefront or presence, consider using local modifiers within your targeted keywords or phrases. Over 20% of all searches are conducted by people looking for a local product, service, news item or event. So, if your business has a catchment area make sure you include local modifiers when thinking about website optimisation in your key phrase. Instead of “SEO consultant” you may have “SEO consultant Altrincham” to help local searchers find you and reduce the competition.
7. Keep it fresh
The latest Google algorithm update gives more credibility to recent content. That means if you have a static website then you need to consider adding a blog to your website and more importantly producing quality content regularly. The more targeted content that you produce, the greater the chance you have of inciting customer engagement, attracting visibility by search engines and converting those visitors into partners for your business.
Don’t compensate for quality when producing content. It may be tempting to produce vast amounts of content just to get your name out there but this will only hamper your progress. If time is short and for most business owners it is, focus on producing one piece of top quality content a week and maximising the potential of that content by promoting the hell out of it and getting it in front of as many targeted eyeballs as possible.
8. The customer always comes first
Some of the older website optimisation techniques were put in place to trick the search engines into believing their sites were the most relevant in order to get a better position in the serps.
Google is really smart and some of the tactics that used to work no longer stand a chance against an increasingly intelligent system.
Website optimisation is not about beating the system. It’s not. It is about providing an excellent user experience in accordance with the guidelines given by the search engines.
Many companies believe that website optimisation is about beating the system. It’s not. It is about providing an excellent user experience in accordance with the guidelines given by the search engines.
Google’s aim is to provide the ultimate search experience allowing users to find more relevant information, spend more time on the internet on sites that Google can show adverts to and thus make more money.
If your site interests people then Google will become more interested in your site. Think about satisfying your customer first and Google will love you for it.
9. Technical accuracy
Sticking with the user experience of the customer when thinking about your website optimisation, technical accuracy needs to be considered. An example here would be to use Google Webmaster tools to identify any 404 errors (these appear if a page is no longer available or the link pointing to the page is wrong) and habitually 301 redirect those URL’s to a working web page that is most relevant.
There are many other things to take into consideration, for example, mobile accessibility, submitting a sitemap and load time of your website. Although this might sound daunting and time consuming, the ultimate goal is that if all of these aspects are taken into consideration and ticked off then the user will have a better experience. And yes, you guessed it the search engines will be happier with your site.
10. Be Social
Make your content easy to share and encourage engagement from your audience. The search engines look for social signals that your content is truly adding value to your following. If people take the time to share your content to their online following then it acts as a citation that your content adds value.
After all that we come back to the same point. Content is King -if you write quality content, structured in the correct manner that educates, entertains and informs your audience you will develop an engaged community that shares your material, resulting in the search engine spiders rewarding your efforts.
Think of it as a snow ball effect, the snow ball doesn’t have to start of big but as it rolls down hill it gets bigger and bigger and takes a life of its own. Just like your site or blog, the more and more content you add, the more links you will attract, the larger the number of comments you will receive, the bigger the number of visitors to your blog and as a result you will improve search engine ranking for your site or blog naturally and then all you need to worry about is converting those readers into revenue for your business.
Website optimisation is about providing a great experience for the searcher. That means if the user finds your site relevant to the search term, they spend time looking at what you have to offer, clicking through to multiple pages, interacting with your website and brand by leaving comments and sharing your information on social media then in the eyes of the search engines, your site is worth sending more people to.
Share with us the methods of website optimisation do you use to attract targeted clients to your website by leaving a comment in the box below!