South Downs Web

Learn Search Engine Optimisation Basics

SEO Audits for Small Business

Here you are ready to make big changes to your small business website, you have decided to invest time in SEO and you want to see some results right now. Would you be upset if I told you it could take months? Do not rush out and delete every page on your website.

Where Should You Begin With Search Engine Optimization?

These optimization techniques, though appearing minor and obscure, will add value to your SEO campaign. When used along with good meta descriptions, pertinent article titles and other major SEO components as covered in this website, they will help to bring out the best in your SERPs. However, remember good, White Hat SEO begins and ends with quality, fresh website content.

Ethical search engine optimisation

Start by making a backup copy of your complete website HTML code if possible. Leave your live website alone for the moment until you really are confident in making changes to the HTML code and that you can EASILY reverse if need be. Small Changes Make Big Differences.

I will put my hand up and admit that I have changed the HTML code on 100’s of my web pages in one go and then realised that the changes created an error that was time consuming to fix. All because I did not have a recent backed-up version of my original website code.

Why Seo is a Must for Any Small Business

Imagine a business that does not have any form of advertising. This business may provide the best product or the best service in its industry but without any way for customers to know that it exists, the business will not grow and will fail in the long run. The same can be said about online businesses.

For a website to grow, it needs a lot of visitors or what is known in the Internet marketing world as traffic. While a lot of traffic is beneficial for a website, you will not be able to convert these visitors to sales if they are not targeted traffic. Targeted traffic refers to traffic made up of people that are looking for the product or service you are selling and not just ordinary people who happen to stumble across your website.

Targeted traffic can be generated in two main ways – either paid or free traffic.

With paid traffic such as advertising, you can instantly get visitors to your website with little work but for a certain fee which when accumulated after each day may amount to thousands. When you suddenly lack advertising funds, your traffic goes down the drain. To make matters worse, the sad part about paid traffic is that there is no real assurance that there will be enough sales to make a decent profit after what you have invested for the website and the advertising.

With free traffic on the other hand, you have to work harder on your website to make it appealing to both the search engines and your readers. Also, traffic will not come instantly but if you do a good job with your website and your content, your traffic will rise exponentially without you having to spend as much as you would with paid traffic.

Comparing both, you will realise that there is no better form of online traffic than free traffic and to do this effectively, SEO is the key. You may think that running an SEO campaign for your website will be useless, tiring, and unrewarding considering how long you have to wait to see desirable results and the amount of work needed to rank your website effectively. If this is the case, you are simply not looking at the big picture and you are leaving money on the table.

Seo is essential if you want to grow your small business online.

At present, more and more companies are expanding their businesses online and even small companies and businesses are already following suite. Just look at large online retailers like Amazon or eBay that ply their trade online and earn millions every year. If you look at their history, they started small and grew to the giant companies they are today.

With the global Internet usage surpassing 2 billion users, which is approximately 30 percent of the population of the whole world, the globe will literally be your marketplace when you decide to expand your business online.

Add to this the fact that in 2006 alone, 400 million queries were made each day in Google. Imagine how many more were made with other major search engines and what the numbers currently are this year after 6 years have passed. By taking advantage of the increasing number of people who use search engines to help them find resources to solve their daily problems, you can take a huge chunk of the market share in your industry.

Sadly, not all marketers find these numbers appealing. Sixty percent of them do not invest in SEO for their websites. Only fifteen percent find SEO to be important. Twenty-three percent have no idea or are confused about SEO’s importance, and thirty percent do not bother with seo at all.

Luckily for you, you can have a head start and start using search engine optimization to your advantage early on. It may take long to see results but when you do, these results become better and better with time. Not only will seo help your business grow online, but also offline too.

Things Not To Do When Optimising a Business Website

We all make mistakes but with SEO these mistakes can take a long time to rectify. Just start with the simple fixes first, do not run before you can walk. Do not rush out and throw money at the first person to email you and promise the top spot position on Google, no one can guarantee that will happen.

I can advise you on how to increase your web traffic and your Google position by using tried and tested methods but I cannot and will not promise you the top spot on Google for a given search phrase.

Any SEO expert / company, no matter how professional their website looks, that promises you #1 top search ranking on Google, Bing etc is lying and just after your money. They are, trust me.

You can purchase off the shelf ready to go website templates that will make any organisation look like it is an authority on its subject matter.

There are some very good and helpful resources online, some truly inspirational companies who genuinely want to help small businesses succeed. I would just advise caution towards any person claiming to gain you a 1000 new twitter followers in a day, or perhaps 500 new Facebook ‘likes’ per week.

Obtaining high quality web traffic and social interaction takes time and effort on your part, just like making business contacts in the bricks and mortar real world.

Did you know that only a very tiny percentage of Facebook fans actually interact with even the most popular of FB fan pages? So paying for a 100 new followers often produces very little return on investment (ROI).

I happen to have top spot on Google for several key phrases relevant to my online tourism business; I worked hard to get my website there. I did not pay anyone; I did not do anything underhand or not discussed in this website.

It took time to increase the web traffic and to build up online subject authority, something the search engines and the public are looking for.

Do not feel you have to make the changes in the exact order they are mentioned in this website. I will list the items that in my experience should be of high priority but remember running a website is a full time job and therefore you should make the changes when you can devote time and attention without making hasty rushed decisions.

You need to create a website for your visitors, avoid building websites just for search engines because as search engine algorithms evolve, they are becoming more like people and are very wise to underhand SEO techniques.

Just remember that Google does not wait around for anyone, getting to the top is tough; staying there is tougher, best to start now.

Choosing Keywords for Good Search Ranking

The issue of keyword density is always a highly debatable one. Is it really necessary for your keyword to show up 3.4% of the time in order for Google to know what your business article is about? The Google algorithm has been designed to be smarter than that, especially with the semantic indexing that is built into it.

Now, you certainly do want your keyword appearing in your article but it needs to do so in a natural way. When you attempt to achieve a certain percentage of density for the sake of density itself, the end result is usually that the keyword is forced into sentences in ways that are awkward and unnatural. This results in sentences that do not read well. This is particularly unwieldy for keyword phrases and can harm your SEO efforts.

Stick with the notion of writing about your product or topic for the purpose of benefiting or informing your reader and the keywords will naturally come into play a sufficient number of times.

An alternative approach to calling Google’s attention to your keyword is through the use of text formatting. Use the strong tag (<strong> & </strong>) with your keyword a couple of times within the document. The recommended areas are at the beginning and end of the article or page. The first and last paragraphs are considered optimal. Some SEO experts opt for italicising or underlining instead of bolding, though underlining can be confusing as hyperlinks are often underlined.

As with keyword density, there is no need to overdo it. Two instances of formatting the keyword should be sufficient and use only one formatting at a time. In other words, do not have a keyword that is bold, italicized, and underlined.

One additional factor to be mindful of is the semantic indexing mentioned earlier. Try to incorporate commonly used synonyms and variations of your keyword in your content as well. That will be helpful to Google in determining what your page is about. In addition, you might get a pleasant surprise and find your page ranking for one of those terms, also.

Creating Site Deep Links

When building links to your business web pages, plan to go deep into your site. Google does not rank sites. Google ranks web pages! It is critical to keep that in mind when developing links.

You should not send all of the links you cultivate and develop to your home page URL. Create link diversity by sending links to the other pages within your site, as well. This will help with getting all of your pages indexed and will provide opportunity to rank more often. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, make sure that each page in your site is linked to at least once within the site.

Add a Title Attribute to Website Links

The title attribute is a powerful SEO tool. So many articles and white papers on SEO methods mention using the title attribute for photos that appear in a post or on a page. However, did you know that you could add the title attribute to your links also? Well, you can and you should.

Using the title attribute helps Google to determine the nature and relevance of the linked content. It also provides you with an additional keyword opportunity in a natural way. Here again, do not abuse the technique. Do not stuff your keyword or keyword phrase into the title just to get it seen. However, if it fits there naturally, take advantage of it.

Use of Meta Tags in Optimization

Meta tags are not as important as they once were, although some of them should still be used for every page of content on any website. It’s a common misconception and a hangover from past times that the meta keywords tag is still useful. The meta keywords tag used to be a useful place to write down any relevant keywords for your page of content, but due to this feature being abused over and over, most search engines completely ignore the meta keywords tag when they crawl your site.

You should still, however, always fill in the title and description tags as they not only help for SEO; they also provide useful information in the search engine listings. You can safely ignore the keywords tag.

Start at a logical point, the title of a webpage is very important as is the page description. See the rest of my free SEO business tips for advice and opinion.

Author by Malcolm Oakley