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Technology / SEO techniques

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tips

My last article explained how search engine optimisation (SEO) works. Now I will discuss how to use keywords on your website to improve your ranking in search engines and how to get links from other websites to improve your credibility.

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Web copy

Web copy refers to the text on your website. Because content is king in the world of search engines, your keyword phrases need to be placed strategically on your webpage to convince Google that your content is highly relevant to those keywords. The more prominent they are, the better. Keep in mind that customers come first, so make sure your copy also reads well.

Here’s how you can increase the prominence of your keywords:

  • Place your keywords in headings, preferably at the beginning of the heading;
  • Include keywords towards the top of the page;
  • Bold or italicise keywords where appropriate;
  • Instead of having a link to another page that says ‘Click here to read more’, reword it to include your keywords, e.g. ‘Read more about our vehicle fleet financing’.

An important tip is to also include these keywords in your HTML title tag. Use your content management system to make these changes yourself, or perhaps ask your web developer to guide you if you’re unsure how.

Once you have fine-tuned your home page, consider adding new content such as detailed descriptions of what you offer, FAQs and informative articles about your products and services. If you don’t want to write these yourself, they can be located for free on the internet – do a search for ‘articles directory’.

It’s also important to bear in mind that search engines can only read text, not pictures. Often web developers embed words in images to look better for website visitors or use Flash for animation, but this is a major impediment to search engines.

"Once you have fine-tuned your home page, consider adding new content such as detailed descriptions of what you offer, FAQs and informative articles about your products and services."

Linking

Each link from another website to your website (not from your website) is considered by search engines as a vote of popularity for your business and will improve your rankings.

But it is the quality, not quantity, of the links that is crucial. The other websites should be relevant to your industry and preferably highly regarded themselves. Ten quality links count far more than 500 links from arbitrary websites. In the same way your personal business network can have a significant impact on the success of your business, so too can the online network you build on the internet.

Brainstorm all the relevant websites that you would like to link to you, such as non-competing companies, industry bodies and organisations. Write a friendly email to each describing the benefit their visitors would get from knowing about your business and request that they create a link to your website. Most people will not respond the first time round, so a follow-up phone call is usually required.

How do I monitor my results?

Monitor your rankings in Google over the next few months by typing your chosen keywords into the search box and recording where your business ranks in the search results.

 You should also keep a record of how many visitors your site gets, and more importantly, what search terms they are using to find your website. If you don’t have a reliable statistics package that monitors the hits to your website, speak to your web developer about installing one.

The above process can be also be repeated for each page of your website. Remember to keep updating your content and try to continually increase the number of links to your website.

As you see your rankings climb, you should see a corresponding increase in web traffic and a substantial increase in sales enquiries. Be sure to record the source of your new customer enquiries, so you can measure the success of your marketing efforts.

Remember, if you can measure it, you can improve it.

Click here for my previous article on how search engine optimisation (SEO) works.

Philip Shaw

a director and founder of CleverClicks, an online marketing company passionate about helping small businesses use the phenomenal power of the internet to boost their sales.

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