Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential component of any internet marketing strategy. There has been quite a bit of ‘smoke and mirrors’ even ‘mystique’ surrounding SEO but really it is nothing more than optimising your website to attract targeted visitors.
Most of the business websites we see are quite poorly optimised and have serious, but not insurmountable, problems which are preventing their site from being listed on the first pages of the search engine results.
Most business owners have no issue with sanctioning a reasonable budget for a good looking website but what is the point of going blindly ahead and launching your new company website without any consideration as to how it is going to be found by the people who are looking to buy your products and services?
The analogy we often use is spending thousands on a performance car, such as a Ferrari and not bothering to put any fuel in it – beautiful to look at but totally useless!
Do you think you are guilty of buying the Ferrari and not putting any ‘juice’ in it? Here are a few issues that might stop your website getting off the starting block:
Page Title Tags
Avoid have ‘useless’ words such as “Welcome” in your title meta tag – unless you really want your website to rank well for the word ‘welcome’. The page title tag is quite important for on-page search engine optimisation as it is one of the first things looked at by the search engines to determine what the page is about. Make sure you use your primary keyword for the page in the tag.
Keywords / Keyword Phrases
If you are using the wrong keywords or broad keyword phrases whilst you might attract traffic to your website it is likely to be casual visitors rather than visitors ready to do business with you. Focus on just one or two primary keywords / keyword phrases on each page and never use the most competitive keyword phrases for your business as these tend to have by far the lowest rates of conversion.
By way of example let us say you are a dentist based in West Sussex. There is little merit in optimising your page content for the keyword ‘dentist’ or ‘dental surgeon’ or even ‘orthodontist’. What use is it to you if a visitor based up in Aberdeen in Scotland comes to your website? Far better to optimise for the long-tailed keyword phrase ‘dentist in West Sussex’. ‘Dentist in East Grinstead (or the appropriate place!) would be more effective still.
Never link to other pages on your website using ‘search poor’ phrases such as “read more”. It is far more effective from a SEO view to use your targeted keywords and keyword phrases on the internal links of your website. Also make sure that all internal web page links are created as full ‘http://’ links. Your internal links are powerful search engine optimisation tools and care should be taken to set them up correctly.
Avoid Duplicate Content
It is quite easy and very tempting to use content from old articles you have used previously or copy content from other websites. The problem is that search engines detest duplicate content and will penalise the copier quite heavily. Search engine spiders can detect and filter out duplicate content from all but the website where the content appeared originally. The site who published the content first keeps it, the others get punished.
One simple rule for duplicate content – don’t do it!
Every website should have analytics software attached to it. If you do not have website analytics how will you be able to analyse and understand how visitors found your website, which keywords they used, which pages they viewed or even where in the world they are based? Analytics are also extremely useful in helping you plan your ongoing internet marketing strategy.
SEO is a process, not a one-off event. Good SEO requires regular attention, constant evaluation, continual link building and the regular analysis of results to measure how effective the campaign is and identify areas requiring further attention in order to attain or retain a top position on the search engines.
For more information on our Search Engine Optimisation services please leave a comment below or visit WSI IMS – WSI Digital Marketing Services in Surrey, Sussex, Kent & the South East of England