Let me first start by explaining that SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of improving the ranking of your website in search engines via the ‘organic’ (unpaid) listings. The principle of SEO is to ensure your website ranks highly for keywords that people are likely to type into search engines when looking for a business like yours.
Optimising your website content and design helps to drive qualified traffic (what they are searching for you offer) to your web pages and ensures that people interested in your products and services can find your business online.
With Google AdWords (paid) listings, you are simply buying traffic to to your website, either through pay-per-click or other forms of advertising. But it’s expensive, and getting more so every day for the competitive keywords. It’s also complex and whole books have been written about how to manage the intricacies of Google AdWords. The bottom line is, before you even think about paying for AdWords, you need to ensure that your website is inviting to the people who are interested in your product or service.
Tip 1. The first place to start if you are just creating a website is to make sure that you have a keyword in your Domain Name – either the name of your Business or as a description.
Tip 2. Find a way to get a dot com (.com) domain and if your business name is not available, be creative rather than grabbing the dot net (.net) and then competing for ranking against a dot com with the same name.
Not sure what your keywords are?
Tip 3. A good place to start your keyword research is with the Google Keyword tool. Designed for AdWords advertisers to find keywords, you can also use it for your own research. Keyword research is the foundation of your website’s on page SEO.
Steps for finding keywords:
- Brainstorm a list of possible combinations of words people might use to look for your type of business, product or service, including brand names, generic names, geographic location, service descriptions or area of expertise.
- Go to the Google Keyword Tool and enter these, choosing Australia as the country and both Broad and Exact as the search results.
- The Keyword Tool will give you lots of suggestions based on your seed keywords.
Tip 4. Once you have your keywords, what do you do with them on your website?
- Think about your site content – use authentic and original content, use key search words in the text and make sure you have H1 headings and preferably H2 sub headings as well, all containing keywords.
- Pay attention to keyword density, and keep it low. It can be irresistible to stuff your keywords in wherever possible but with semantic search (Google now tries to figure out the meaning of your site when it spiders it), keyword stuffing will do you more harm than good.
- Internal links – when you write a related post or article on your site, link your keyword back to another article on your site. Building internal links helps Google find other areas of your site and reinforces you as an authority on the topic.
Tip 5. Create a strategy for your site design which includes creating a sitemap – a page that includes links to every area of your site. This helps the search engines find every area of your site.
Tip 6. Think about the customer who will use your website and what will be easiest for them to buy your products or services. Make a ‘call to action’ and relevant conversion for every page – don’t force your potential customers to make extra clicks.
Tip 7. Leverage your strengths – if writing is one of your strengths, then make sure you have a blog on your website. Remember blogs don’t just have to be just written words, showing your pictures or artwork can still tell a story on your blog. If you are a photographer or artist, make sure you have a Pinterest account linked to your pictures and ensure that all your social media platforms are updated for the audiences they serve.
Tip 8. Always check the ranking of your site as you continue on your journey. You should rank No 1 for your business name and possibly, your name (especially if it’s unique). But the important goal is to rank on the first page for key search terms in your business category, because that is where you will be competing for potential customers attention. If you want to rank well on your own name (because your name is the business), then make sure there are multiple platform link opportunities for people to see your name; like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter and multiple online directories entries – it all helps.
Finally, after following all these tips, sign up and use Webmaster Tools to verify ownership of your website. This tells Google about your website. Sign up for Google Analytics and include the code in your website, even when there’s no traffic, there are many opportunities for education by using these tools.
Google is such a wonderful resource, if you are thinking of building a website or you want to know how to rank well on Google – you only have to seek their advice and the best part – it’s free.
Love to know whether this is helpful or if you have other tips that are working for you?
About the author: Teresa Bassham is the boss lady of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort. She coaches customers in strategies for traditional and online marketing; and implementation. If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:
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