Search Engine Optimisation can be a bit of a black art but it’s something that you need to be aware of if you own a website.
So you’ve had a new website built for you but now you want everyone to see it. Unfortunately, no matter how great your new site is, you will need to put the effort into using the website and promoting it. This isn’t just to tell your current clients how great your services or products are… it’s also to make you more visible to search engines.
In terms of search engines, Google is still king. How many times have you used the phrase “I’ve Googled it”? It’s our go-to search engine. Most people would expect Microsoft’s Bing to rank second in popularity, but it doesn’t. The second most used search engine is YouTube… which is also owned by Google! What we are trying to point out is that when considering how to promote your website ask yourself the question “what does Google like”. In this blog post, we’ll give you a few pointers.
On-page and Off-page Search Engine Optimisation
There are two areas to consider when you are trying to propel your website up search engine rankings, On-page SEO (how your website is structured) and Off-page SEO (all the efforts that you and others do away from your website to raise the ranking).
On-page search engine optimisation should be considered when you are building the website. When you are discussing the website’s navigation think about the services products that you want to promote. Try to give each one its own specific page and title that page clearly with the main word or phrase that you want to catch people’s attention. Then use the same word or phrase in headings, subheadings, and the text that appears on the page. For example, this blog post is about Search Engine Optimisation. The title of the page features Search Engine Optimisation in it. I also mention it in subheadings and the body copy. A search engine will scan the page and see that phrase being used multiple times. If someone searches for Search Engine Optimisation then this page has a greater chance of appearing in the search results. Also, another thing to consider is the word count on your pages. Try to aim for a minimum of 300 words.
Off-page optimisation includes things such as Google reviews, social media marketing, backlinks to your website (places where your web address appears on the internet). Think about off-page search engine optimisation as building your website’s reputation in other areas of the internet. If a respected news outlet, such as the BBC, cite your website as a credible source of information then search engines start to view your website as a highly regarded news source. This improves your search ranking. If you register with directories such as Yell.com or Thomson Local and you specify what your area of business is, where you are based, and what your web address is, then search engines use this information to refine their visitor’s search results.
Give Search Engine Optimisation time
Gone are the days when your website could be crammed with keywords on the backend of the site. Google places a real emphasis on the content you have on your site, how it’s structured, how your website visitors interact with it. Don’t just use your website as a place to promote your services, use it to engage with your industry and talk about topics that your customers will find interesting. For example, if you’re a builder talk about the latest developments in the building trade including the very latest in Green technology, how new building regulations impact the building of new homes, things that your customers may want to consider when they engage with you. Your customers won’t only find it informative but it also helps to build your brand. You are suddenly propelled from a business that nobody has heard of to being seen as knowledgable and trustworthy.
Getting your website onto the first page of a search engine isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take planning, a lot of hard work, and patience… that’s the hardest bit!
Register with Search Engines
A website should be an integral part of your marketing efforts. You need to make it accountable to you. There’s no point in trying to promote your website and not having a clue whether your efforts are paying off. The first thing we do as part of search engine optimisation is register with the search engines. The first one we register with is Google. You will need a personal Google account then register your business with them. They will ask you to verify ownership of the business before your account goes live. When it does go live your business will appear on Google Maps, you can advertise your services, opening hours, and areas in which you operate. Most importantly, it will give your customers the opportunity to leave reviews. By registering with search engines you are telling them directly about what you do, where you do it, and what people think about using your services.
Search Engine Optimisation and fresh content
Google loves fresh, relevant, content. By publishing blog posts or adding new pages to your website, you are giving website viewers a reason to visit then revisit your website. The word to note here is RELEVANT. Make sure the information you are giving people is relevant to your business and it answers a need from the website visitor.
Age of domain name and website
It’s no surprise that search engines prefer established sites that have a proven track record. If you have just bought a domain name and you are going up against well-established businesses that have had a presence on the internet for a number of years, then you are going to need to put some serious work into promoting it. One thing you can do is consider advertising with the search engine. You will obviously need to consider the return on your advertising investment but this can prove to be beneficial when it’s a brand new website. Give yourself time for your search engine optimisation efforts to start showing results in the natural listings by appearing in the paid-for advertising sections of the search engine results.
As I mentioned previously, Search Engine Optimisation will take planning, a lot of hard work, and patience. It’s a huge topic to cover but I hope this blog post has given you an idea of some of the work that will go into making your website a success.
Let the professionals help
Don’t be put off by the number of things to consider. Get in touch with us and we will help you plan and implement a successful SEO plan. It will pay dividends in the long term!