With technology ever- evolving, many small business owners are asking the questions: “How to SEO” and “What is SEO?” Search Engine Optimisation is the process of increasing the volume of traffic to your website as a search result from any person using the Google search engine.
People (potential customers) that “google” for a product or service that, you too are offering, will most probably look on Page 1, and positions 1 to 5 on that page. If your website is optimised correctly your website will be found in one of these prime positions. This is because your website will rank higher in Google’s search results.
Remember, there are mainly three reasons why somebody will perform a search on Google:
- Find information pertaining to a particular product or service
- Order or purchase a product or service
- Find information about a topic of interest for research purposes
The Google Algorithm: How Does Google Rank my Website?
In Layman’s terms: How does google rank my website? Google has a very sophisticated algorithm that they use to rank websites. I am not going to discuss that in detail here except to say that we will look at this in more detail later on in this series.
For now we will be focussing on one of Google’s priority factors which should be the foundation for your website, and that is content, written content. Content takes into account your page heading, page descriptions, headings and keywords. The Google Algorithm takes the following into account when determining the ranking of keywords:
- Relevancy of your written content
- The number of links from and to your website
- Originality of content
Ipcoweb has compiled 7 Free SEO Tips to help you optimise your website for Google namely:
- Write unique and interesting content
- You’re creating new unique content which Google values and indexes.
- You’re using keywords in the articles which may appear in the Search Engine results pages.
- Unique content will make your website more appealing and will cause people to stay on your site for longer
- Unique content will allow you to create better back links as others will find more value in your website and the site’s content.
- Use Title Tags on every page
- Google places enormous value on the title tags on web pages.
- Make sure that you: Use a unique title tag for each page
- Target one keyword or phrase (3-word phrases) per page
- Your title tag should be approximately 60 characters in length
- Do not use silly characters like * ^ &
- Use Headers
- Google does need guidance in terms of what is most important on your page. Headers are a wonderful way in which you can indicate the importance of some parts of your content. Be sure to use H1 and H2 headers.
- Get more links (specifically backlinks)
- The ranking of the website that links to your website
- The number of quality links to your website (both follow and no-follow links)
- The authority of the website linking to your site (domains like .gov and .edu as well as having a local domain like .ac.za)
- Create great content. If people find it valuable, they will link to it and more importantly stay on your site.
- Ask your clients or suppliers to link to your website.
- Using blogs and other social media.
- Google uses links as one of the ways to determine the importance of a website.
- The following factors are important:
Here’s how you can get more links:
- Local website hosting
- Host your website locally in South Africa and use a co.za domain.
- Don’t use Flash
- What is flash? Flash is vector animation software, originally designed to create animations for display on web pages. Vector graphics are ideal for the web because they are so lightweight. (Read about vector animation software)
- Flash is all but invisible to Google, which means that you may end up with a great-looking website, but no visitors. Pages with flash tend to load very slowly and will cause high bounce rates. Instead, use normal HTML, CSS, .NET or PHP. You are putting yourself at a great disadvantage if you use this technology for navigation buttons and important information.
- Monitor your traffic and ranking
- What does not get measured does not get done. Keep your eye on your traffic levels and your rankings in Google. Doing so will help you manage your SEO and increase your traffic.
- Use Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics) to monitor your traffic. An analytics code will have to be imbedded into each page of your website but with all the free google webmaster tools available you will be able to identify your website’s traffic trends in no time. This may even lead to a targeted internet marketing campaign. (Create a link to internet marketing article.)
- Even though SEO is a specialised field, by implementing some or all of the suggestions mentioned above you will definitely have the upper-hand over your competitors. Don’t expect immediate results as it may take up to 90 days for your website to achieve a better page ranking.
At IPCOWEB we provide the following services to help you increase your ranking in Google: Keyword research, Onsite changes, Link building, Social media, Tracking installation, Reporting, Article writing, Copy writing, Article submissions