It can be tricky getting the search engine optimisation right on your website. Often, small and micro businesses don't have the money to have large SEO companies dive in and pull their rank to the first page. It changes often, and it can be downright confusing. 

There are over 200 factors (yes, that many) involved in getting a good ranking on Google. However, if you can cover the basics, you'll be further ahead than most small business owners. Below are some basics of SEO to help you boost your website traffic. 

Keywords
If you have done any other advertising lately (Yellow Pages, HotFrog) you would have been asked to add in keywords that relate to your business, your products and your services. Basically, getting listed on a search engine for a keyword (of any kind) comes down to you doing a better job than your competitor when optimising your website.

With the right keywords getting listed on a search engine for any one keyword (search term) largely comes down to doing a better job than your competition at optimising your site for that keyword.

If you're trying to be well ranked for a popular keyword like 'art', you're likely to find it difficult to get ranked for it. On the other hand, if you're one of the few businesses looking to get ranked for a niche keyword or phrase (perhaps, 'pink elephant paintings') you will have a much better time.

Looking at search engine optimisation:
  • Including the keywords in the page titles of your website.
    Create page titles that target the keywords that you would like to rank highly for and target just one or two per page. For your home page, use your most important keywords. For example, "high quality art" for the home page and "custom one colour portraits" for a particular service page.
  • Focus on your copy.
    Use page headings that contain the keywords you are trying to rank well for and talk only about those topics in the copy. Don't worry about how many times the keyword appears, just write as if you were speaking with someone. Make the pages and the copy informative because the more unique it is, the more likely search engines will like you.
  • Label you images.
    If you have images on your website, go through and give them the appropriate name and create alt tags. Alt tags are descriptions of your pictures that are incorporated into their HTML code. For example, a picture of a painting should carry the file name pink-elephant-painting.jpg and the alt tag describing 'pink elephant painting photo'.
  • Use descriptive URLs.
    If your website or CMS allows you to, use descriptive URLs for all your pages, such as www.minisart.com/elephant-pantings.html
  • Use descriptive anchor text.
    Clickable words that link your pages together are called anchor text. Ensure these are descriptive as well. For example, Google will respond better to text that reads "Getting your art in a gallery" than it would to "Click here for more information".
  • Keywords should be in your meta description.
    Your meta description is the line or two of text that describes the content of your page that will show up in the rich snippet of the search engine listings. Make it compelling enough to get visitors to jump onto your website.

SEO that doesn't happen on your website.
  • Quality back links.
    A key factor in your SEO should be getting other websites to link to your website. These links should ideally come from a wide range of websites relevant to your industry. The greater the competition for the keyword, the more links you will need to rank highly. These links should be anchor text.
  • Avoiding no-follow tags.
    These tags are incorporated into many websites that tell search engines to ignore the links. It prevents spammers gaining links by leaving worthless comments on forums and blogs. In order for the links to pass, they must not incorporate no-follow tags.
  • Be consistant.
    Ensure your website stays the same. Stick with www or the non-www version of your website for links.
  • Verify with Google.
    Start by signing up to Webmaster tools at Google and verify your website there. This account gives a lot of information about helping your website and it will guide you to the areas you need to improve to rank better and achieve more traffic to your website.

Monitor your hard work.
Jump on to Google Analytics and monitor your progress. You will be able to change and improve your SEO from simple watching the traffic numbers go up and down, and how they are finding you. 

Remember however!
It's a competitive place out there and businesses need to manage their SEO to to capabilities of their websites. Otherwise, expectations can be too high. Getting the keyword combinations and targeting right can take some trial and error, and it takes some continuous work to manage your online presence. 

Easy to use CMS
Is your website setup so you can easily access the data online? If not, you can have a chat to us about converting your website to our simple Weebly system. Drag and drop and no ongoing fees, it can make managing your online world very, very simple!
4/24/2013 02:52:10 pm

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