How simple is search engine optimisation?
What sort of strategies should small businesses use to attract more visitors to their websites and increase conversion rates? These are the sorts of questions we get asked all the time. Now, it’s easy to waffle on and make the issue far more complicated than it needs to be, but to us that sort of attitude is self-defeating. Nobody wins at the end of the day. SEO specialists won’t get any additional business as most SMEs will be baffled by all the technical jargon and will walk away. So, it’s much better to keep things simple.
The whole point of SEO is get a website ranked as highly as possible on the search engines.
Invariably the higher you rank the more likely you are to convert interest into sales. That’s it in a nutshell. How you get to that point is the critical question. You can get the help of a specialist or you can throw money at the problem with AdWords. All we would say is that what you should concentrate on is getting the basics right. If your business wants to become more visible on the web, then just follow these simple steps and hopefully the volume of your site traffic should increase.
Choose and use the right keywords.
The trick with keywords is to keep them simple and ensure that they are appropriate. The keywords and keyphrases should relate to the service you offer or the products you make. If you overegg the pudding you’re liable to sink without trace. Simple, direct language is better and will bring more targeted results. Once you’ve chosen the right keywords for your products, then stick to them. Admittedly many of the best ones will have been snapped up on AdWords by companies with unlimited resources, but that shouldn’t put you off. Be inventive and look for ways around this. Be creative with your keywords and play about with them. You’ll find the right ones eventually. Try using Google’s free Keyword Research Tool and find the words and phrases that users are searching for.
Use unique, accurate title and Meta descriptions for every important page.
The title of a web page tells search engines what the page is about, so ensure each page title includes the most relevant keywords for that page. The page title appears in search results as the underlined blue link to the page. An attractive title with relevant keywords close to the beginning can entice people to click on it in search results.
Search engines don’t use the Meta description to decide what a web page is about. They use it as the snippet that appears below the title in search results. That’s the bit that users see and read, so a persuasive Meta description and accurate title are like an advertisement for your webpage.
Get the search engines to index your site.
If your site isn’t indexed, it won’t appear in search results. That’s a fact. Make sure search engines can find your pages by creating an HTML sitemap and/or an XML sitemap.
Obtain links from other websites.
Links from other websites, or inbound links, are probably the single most important factor outside your site that will help it rank higher in search results. The more inbound links you can attract from reputable, trusted websites, the better your website will perform on the likes of Google.
The best way to get these links is by creating unique, informative content that people will want to link to. Don’t be shy though: promote your content on Twitter and Facebook. Engage with others and keep this engagement conversational and friendly. Simply posting links won’t work. If users retweet what you’ve shared, or like your content, then return the favour and do the same for theirs. Look on it as a bit of mutual back scratching if you prefer.
Don’t duplicate content.
Google and the other search engines don’t like duplicate content. When search engines see the same content on two web pages, they regard one page as the original, and the other as a lower-quality duplicate. Low-quality pages don’t rank well in search results, and duplicate content will be of little help to your prospective customers, either. What’s more, if you have identical content on two pages, and users link to both, you’ll finish up diluting the power of those links.
If this is a problem you’re facing, then redirect one of those pages to a 301 redirect to make the links function most effectively: concentrated links are much better than diluted ones. If you want to check for duplicated content on your site, then try using Google Webmaster Tools. Sign up, and visit the diagnostics section, and click on the “HTML Suggestions” tab. From there, you can check the “Duplicate Title Tags” section to identify duplicate content.