Whatever you site is selling, offering or providing, be it a product, service, information or a collection of data, you will want internet users to find it. Even if you aren’t actually selling anything, you do still put a lot of work and effort into creating your site and you won’t all that work to be in vain. So, how do you ensure that internet users can actually find your site? The easiest and quickest way is by optimising it for search engines.
Search engine optimisation, or short SEO is a form of online advertising. It works by increasing your website’s visibility by ranking it higher among the search results of search engines organic or unpaid search results. Think about what you do when you want to find a website, a blog or a business, you search using a search engine such as Google.
Once you have typed in your search phrase – which could be anything from “hairdresser Melbourne”, “cheap running shoes” or “unique mother’s day gift ideas” – Google will display a large list of results that usually goes on for pages and pages on end. Now what do you do? You scroll down a few inches, look through the first couple of results and click one of them.
If none satisfy you scroll down a little further until you get to the end of the first page and if you still haven’t found what you are looking for you just try searching again, this time with slightly different keywords. Hardly anyone these goes beyond the first search engine results page, so if you want your website to be found, you need to make sure it features on that initial page.
Here are some useful tips and tricks on how you can tweak your ranking a little bit yourself.
First you need to write some really good content and as always plagiarism doesn’t pay. Google knows when you’ve cheated and just copied someone else’s content and won’t reward you for it. So sit down and actually think about what people want to read. Yes you need to create content for people first and for search engines later. Google is smart enough to recognise good content and knows to stay away from duplicate and over optimised texts. What all major search engines are looking for these days is content that flows naturally and doesn’t include too many keywords.
If you want to use images, you need to make sure you complete all image attributes and give your images a title and fill in the caption, alternate text and descriptions fields, otherwise Google won’t know what to do with them. Again it is important that you do not try to cheat and use keywords a your image titles, captions and so on, because all that might do is negatively affect your ranking.
Make sure you use title tags for every one of your pages. Here is your opportunity to use keywords, so go crazy, but make sure you choose some that are relevant to the page.
Use your headers, H1, H2, H3 appropriately and do not over-optimise these either.
Lastly do not forget about your meta tags and descriptions, as these will work for you behind the scene.
If it all sounds like too much work, you can always employ and SEO company to do it all for you, and they might have more tricks up their sleeves.