What do you do when you’ve had a really nice looking website designed, built and go live but then no one can find the website?
Working in online marketing for a number of years, I’ve seen a plenty of great looking websites go live without any thought of what happens next. Nice looking, well functioning websites are extremely important but without advertising they can just float in the online abyss.
There are a number of ways to market your website, through social media, email marketing, through traditional methods like word of mouth but more and more people turn to search engine optimisation (SEO). Why? Because almost everyone that uses the internet will use a search engine to discover things that they are looking for.
– 92% of internet users say that they use search engines
– 59% of internet users say that they use search engines on a regular basis.
– 66% of search engine users, use Google
Search engines offer businesses a unique way of gaining new business. With so many people using Google, Bing, Yahoo and the other search engines to discover products, services and new information, it is important to be ranking in the search engines for the things that are relevant to your website and your business.
How do I optimise my website for the search engines?
Before you do anything, start looking at keywords or phrases that you want to rank for. Deciding on the right keywords can make or break your search engine optimisation efforts. If you put all your time in to ranking in the search engines for something that doesn’t convert, that is too competitive to rank for or that no one is searching for, you won’t reach your goals and you’ll waste time, energy and money.
When deciding what the right keywords for your website are, think about what people would search for to find your business, think about your products, your services and your location. The best way to choose keywords is to use Google’s free and easy to use Keyword Tool. This will give you valuable information on how many searches per month the keywords and search terms that you are looking at receive. This useful tool will also give you a list of recommended keywords that you can use.
Once you decide on your keywords it is a good rule to assign one keyword for each page on your website. Making sure that the specific page is relevant to the keyword.
META tags are what show in the search engine to describe each website listing. These tags are the best way to tell the search engines and your potential website visitors, what your website is all about, which is why it is crucial to have a META Title and a META Description.
When writing your META tags, search for a keyword in a search engine and look at the listings, this will give you an idea of how to write the META data. It is important to note that the META title should be no longer than 65 characters and the description should be no longer than 160 characters.
An example META tag would be:
Title | Company Name | Main Products/Services
Description: Here you write a short description of your company and what services/products you provide to potential customers.
Once you have written your META tags, they can easily be implemented into any WordPress website, by using one of the free SEO plugins, “All in One SEO”.
If your website is on an alternative platform, you should still be able to find a META data section for each page, which will be easy to change.
Link building is one of the biggest factors in search engine optimisation. A link to your site is seen by Google as a vote of authority and approval. Having a few high quality websites link to your website, could boost you right up the rankings for your targeted keywords. The best ways to create high quality links are:
– Distributing high quality content to other website in exchange for a link back to your website. You can do this by getting involved with relevant blogging communities and by contact people within your industry.
– Creating good quality content on your website that is linked to naturally because internet users like your content and want to share it with others.
The whole idea and value of linking is based on people liking your site, because it is high quality and worthy of sharing with others. If you create good content, people will link to it.
Whilst gaining links is important to improving your website’s authority, it is important not to fall for any link scams online. There are many companies that offer to build you 100+ links for an extremely cheap cost, but it is more than likely that these links are poor quality and they could eventually have a detrimental effect on your search engine ranking positions.
Your website has been running for a few months, you’ve incorporated your keywords into your website and you’ve been building high quality… but without measurement, how do you know if it is working?
There are a number of different things you need to measure to determine how well your website is performing, they include:
– Search Engine Ranking Positions – Are you ranking for your keywords? Web browser, Firefox offer a unique plug-in that allows you to see where you rank in the search engines for your chosen terms.
– Traffic – If you are ranking well for certain keywords you should see an improvement in traffic. If you don’t then you need to review the search volume of keywords or investigate if the keywords are seasonal
– Conversions – If you have good search engine ranking positions and a high number of visitors to your site, then you should get conversions. If you aren’t getting any conversions, you have to change something. Either the site doesn’t convert the consumer because it’s not engaging enough, too complicated or the keywords isn’t right. Remember that informative, general keywords will not have a good conversion rate.
There are a number of free tools available that can help you track these things easily. Google Analytics is essential to have on your website, especially for tracking traffic, conversions and page performance. You can install Analytics by signing up on Google and then adding a unique code to your website. WordPress websites even have a plug-in called “Google Analyticator”, which makes the process of adding your analytic code extremely easy.
If your website is performing well, keep going, keep an eye out for new trends and keep reviewing your website, improvements can always be made.