Some SEO advice about how to get your website more visible on search engines. Search Engine Optimisation is something that everyone is talking about currently, how to get to the top of google and how to beat your competition. Many SEO agencies have new ideas and theories on cracking the system. Optimisation is an arms race, you are looking at getting it done. However every other company on the internet is looking to get to the top and there can only be one winner. It requires constant work, it is not a one off project or campaign. Search engines constantly ‘crawl’ websites to see what new information is on them that there was not before. What new links are pointing at a website and then ‘re-jigging’ the search results. This will cause your position to change almost daily for your chosen keywords (see below).
A keyword is a phrase or specific word that you want to be found for. For example, if you are an engineering business in London, your keywords could be ‘engineering’ or ‘engineering services’ or ‘London based engineering’. The idea is to have these phrases occurring throughout your website in articles, blogs and the main pages of the site.
The jury seems to be out a little with regards to the social media element around business. Social media sites are growing:
These are the more talked about sites however there are hundreds more and new sites springing up regularly that marketing companies jump on to be part of and ‘network’ True that search engines do read them however most updates are about ‘we just bought some doughnuts for the office’. Or ‘just had a really stressful day and looking to unwind lol’. As opposed to business news that companies would be specifically interested in Social media marketing sites are good places to build and develop relationships with companies and to communicate quickly. For example, if you are a fashion designer and have just bought in a new stock of swimwear, then this is a good place to ‘tweet’ about it.
On the internet there are hundreds, thousands of directories that you can get listed on. Most directories have a very low PR (page rank – see below) so do not carry much weight however in mass volume can be beneficial (mass volume being tens of thousands of listings). Main directories that are talked about are:
These are some of the most well known ones, however all (except DMOZ) are chargeable. Search companies are giving mixed signals as to how much weight the listings do carry. How many listings you need to get yourself to the top and of course, you need to consider the amount of time it takes to list your business on tens of thousands of directories. However getting a listing on 99% of them is free, so it cannot hurt. There are a number of directories that are spam related and carry viruses, so using an optimisation company to do the submissions may be a good option or ensuring that your firewall is up and your anti virus is running. There are automatic submission services that for $50 they will add you to 1000 sites – which can be a good alternative; however these may be low PR sites and not carry much search benefit.
Google grades all websites that it finds from 0 – 9 in terms of relevance. If your site has just been launched, then you start with 0 and work your way up. The page rank of a site is based on it’s popularity; the more popular a website is, the more the PR will be. So sites like news websites, government websites (like Companies House) are high PR websites. To get a higher page rank, you need to become a more popular website, and this is what optimisation is about, becoming more popular. The way this is done is based on links, the more links you have pointing at you (from directories, other websites, blogs etc.) the more google will see you as popular and reward you with raising your PR. There are a number of free tools on the internet to check what your page rank is (just type into a search engine ‘what is my page rank’).
A good bit of SEO advice is add content. It has long been said that search engines love content, so the more information that you have on your website, the more you will be seen. This is why sites like wikipedia are so high in search engines, is because there is just so much content on them. If you add links to social media sites, then people can ‘like’ you or ‘tweet’ you. Keep your site regularly updated, search engines like this as well as human visitors, so modifying the homepage, adding articles, new information is key. Pictures (although they look good) do nothing for search; however an article with a picture is ideal.
Some SEO advice is be patient. One thing to remember, is that as you are doing work to get your site up on the search engines, your competitors are doing the same also. It is an arms race and the only way you can win is to do more than they are. Search engines do take their time to read websites and suss out what to do with them (it is not instant) so can take time to clime up the ladder of the search engine world.