Search Engine Optimisation ― What You Need To Know

Posted on 26/8/2011 by VUDU
Search Engine Optimisation ― What You Need To Know
Simply put, for a website to succeed, it needs to receive a steady high volume stream of incoming traffic. The most cost effective way of doing so, is by implementing a Search Engine Optimisation campaign. SEO is what allows the search engines to find your website. So, How well ranked on Google do you need […]

Simply put, for a website to succeed, it needs to receive a steady high volume stream of incoming traffic. The most cost effective way of doing so, is by implementing a Search Engine Optimisation campaign. SEO is what allows the search engines to find your website.

So, How well ranked on Google do you need to be, to get found easily? Well, 97% of Google users choose a link on the first page! So anywhere but page one, is nowhere. Over the past couple of years, SEO has been of increasing importance, and any website which fails to implement an effective SEO campaign is almost certain to fail.

The first thing that you must do if you are considering optimising your website for search engines – is do extensive keyword research. Keyword research will help you uncover the words which your potential customers are using to find the products and services which you are offering. Keyword research will not only help you discover how many people are searching for the products and services you offer, but how competitive those particular keywords are. The trick of keyword research is finding keywords with high search volumes and low competition – this way, it is easier to achieve high ranking for these keywords and still benefit from a large amount of site traffic. As a general rule, the higher the search volume, the higher the competition, but this is not always the case. You have the opportunity to find a hidden gem – a keyword which few of your competitors have optimised and then you can build a healthy lead before they find it too.

Google Keyword tool is without question the best keyword research tool which is free to use, but effective keyword research can be time consuming – so why not ask us at WSI Northern Ireland to assist you?

We highly recommend keyword mapping your website, this is fairly simple to do if you have a small website, however, if you have a large website with hundreds of pages and hundreds of products it can be extremely time consuming – but very rewarding, as it is an essential part of your onsite SEO. You have to assign keywords to different pages so your website as a whole covers the keywords that you need. When a search is requested from a search engine, the search engine tries to provide the user with the most relevant content to what they have searched. By focusing each pages on your website entirely around a single keyword, you maximise your chances of ranking well for that word.

Don’t forget on page optimisation!

On page optimisation is an essential part of a Search Engine Optimisation campaign. Through on site optimisation, you are trying to clearly signal to the search engines that a certain page is all about a specific keyword and that the page is highly relevant to what the searcher is looking for. On page optimisation involves using keywords strategically in the places where the search engines are looking for them. There are a couple of misconceptions as to where the best place to put these keywords is, many black hat SEOs have tried to fool Google in the past, but Google and the other search engines have caught on and rankings achieved deviously have been removed.

Best places to put your keywords:

  • The URL – e.g
  • The title tag – Each page has a Meta title, the keyword should be used in the Meta title towards the beginning of the sentence.
  • H1 and H2 tags – These are the on page headings of each web page, and usually correspond to the cascading style sheets (CSS). Keywords should always be placed in the H1 and H2 tags.
  • The body text – Keywords should be mentioned in the body text, but not just repeated multiple times, just a few times where it makes sense. Ideally the keywords should be mentioned at the start and the end of the text, and should be made bold, italic or used with bullets. Stuffing keywords unnaturally into the text will be sussed by Google and can result in your removal from the rankings.
  • Images – Using keywords in the image names and in the alternative text helps search engines understand what the page is about. Not specifying alternate text for images is actually against UK legislation on those with disabilities and it makes it impossible to use for those with visual disabilities.

Off-page optimisation

Google uses links to your site as a proxy for popularity. The quality and the quantity of links coming from other sites into your own is how search engines decide which of two pages that have equally good content should rank relative to one another.

Five basic strategies to help you increase your ranking:

  • Videos – Virtually unused 5 years ago, now it is one of the fastest growing methods for high search engine rankings. Videos are fun and more people are likely to watch a video than read 500 words. If you can make a video go viral, and it’s not out of the question – you would not believe the buzz that could be created from a quality video.
  • Blogs – Blogging can be fun and informative, create your own blog on Blogger or WordPress and start writing. Imagine yourself as an expert of the industry, people are keen to know what you think about products and your views on how the industry is moving along.  Also, don’t be afraid the comment on the blog of others’ each comment counts as a quality link which will aid your SEO. But don’t just go round commenting on random blogs, with the same comment – that is spam and is highly frowned upon.
  • Social Media – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and other social networking sites are invaluable for developing strong SEO. Posting a link on your Facebook page or Twitter page that points back to your content can be helpful in building popularity for your pages.
  • Press Releases – These can be used for a number of reasons, but are essentially news relating to your business.
  • Articles – Links that come from respected, aged domains, count for even more points. With articles, you can submit to article directories and strengthen the quality of your inbound links.

Tracking and Analysis

As mentioned in previous posts, failure to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing strategies is wasting marketing – as you don’t know what works.

There are three things which you must track:

  • Rankings – The goal of SEO is to achieve higher ranking, so you must constantly check where you are ranking each month and try and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Website Visits – Google analytics are a must. Check your analytics regularly, see how many people are coming onto your site,
  • Sales by keyword – Google analytics allows you to track value of business obtained from each keyword, so why not utilise this and base your future optimisation around this, focusing heavily on your best keywords and neglecting your worst performing keywords.

The thing to remember is, it takes time. Sometimes it takes months to see results; it all depends on the subject of your eCommerce site and what keywords you’re using. The success of websites today all comes down to how well they rank in search engines.

More site traffic leads to higher conversions which results in more sales.

SEO can be done by anyone with a computer – but that doesn’t mean it’ll be effective. We at WSI Digital Web have a proven track record in SEO. If you would like your SEO to be done right contact us today 028 9048 0257.

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