I found a really good blog written by Andy Phillips, where he talks and explains about using the internet and your website effectively for business. I found his posting on SEO for your own site so useful that I wanted to share it with you. There are many companies out there that claim they can get you to the first page of google, however, think about this:
– of the millions of websites out there, not everyone can be on page 1
– when you search google and your friend in their house searches for the exact same thing, you will both get different results on your first pages of google (try it! it has something to do with the server you’re connected to)
– if an ‘internet guru’ shows you that if he enters his name it will be in the top 10 results, and he tells you that he can do the same for you, well… this is rubbish really. Most people have quite a unique name and if you are in enough places on the internet (like facebook, forums, websites) using your own name, then you too will be in the top 5 – 10. I did this with my own name, and I had the first 7 results. So, if they are using this to get you to buy something, dont be fooled.
– there are millions (probably even billions) of websites out there and not everyone can be at the top, so, follow the steps below, implement as many of them as you can and remember that your website shouldn’t be your only means of sourcing clients! (there are exceptions, like someone who works solely as an internet marketer)
– SEO with google is simple if you follow a few techniques as listed below from Andy’s blog:
Business for Life : 6 Steps to SEO Your Site
Here are some basic rules to optimise your site. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation sounds like a bit of a dark art, but think of it as a logical step to help search engine spiders find the site, after all they are only pieces of code which have a program looking for certain things.
Lets be clear about what the spiders job is, in fact lets look at what the search engines job is. The search engines are there to provide you with the most relevant pages for your search term/s. That’s is, nothing more. The spiders job is to find all the pages it can, find out what the page is about, and then index it in a database and put some sort of score on how relevant it is to a search term. All we are doing with SEO is making sure we have a better than average chance of being indexed correctly and showing that we are the most relevant site for specific key search terms.
So how do we do that?
1. Keywords – Understanding the keywords and phrases which you need to use so the spiders know what your site is about is an essential part of the SEO process. Remember the spiders do not think, they just collate and index. You can use software to get your keywords (Wordtracker, Good Keywords)or you sit down with a piece of paper and brainstorm them. The psychology behind keywords is pretty simple, and goes back to basic marketing principles.
a. Who is your customer?
b. when they go on the internet to search for your product, service or activity what do they type in?
c. write down all the words and phrases you think they use.
You now have a keyword and Key Phrase list.
Ill give you and example of a site I recently built for a Property Networking Club in Leeds. Straight off you can see keywords jumping out at you. PROPERTY, NETWORKING, LEEDS
If I was in Leeds and I wanted to find a Networking meeting in my area about property, I would probably put into my yahoo or google search, “property networking in leeds” or something similar.
Keywords could also be names of people involved, or guest speakers etc. So once this list is put together. you can carry out the rest of the 10 steps. It is worth doing some further research into keywords and their usage.
2. Page Name (Page Title) – One of the most important placements for keywords is in the page title, if you think about it, it’s probably the first place a spider will look to see what the page is about in order to index. Tell the spiders what this site, or page is about in the shortest most relevant way.
Do not put your company name in the page title unless you are a huge company and people will be searching specifically for you. This is one of the biggest mistakes small companies make. It is a total waste of SEO real estate. If you sell German Shepherd dog puppies then put in your index page title “German Shepherd dog puppies” because that’s what people will be searching for.
Also, on every page of your site state in the title what that specific page is about. Do not use the same title on every page.
3.(h1) and (h2) tags
The headline or (h1 and (h2) tags are also a very important tool in your SEO toolbox.
(h1) Is your primary headline on each page of your site, there are many theories around their usage and some tricks which some SEO guys use to enhance the optimisation of their sites. Some of these techniques they use can be seen as spamming, and google etc will not tolerate some of these techniques.
So, for most sites, just use them with a chosen keyword or phrase, as long as it genuinely relates to the page content. Search engines expect your (h1) tag to contain some prime keywords.
As we move down the page you will be using sub headings. For this you would use the (h2) tag. This again is a great place to place keyword and key phrases which relate to the paragraph.
As you can see, all we are doing here is realising that with a bit of thought on our headlines and paragraph headers, we are assisting the spiders who crawl the page to be able to index us more accurately and therefore decide that the relevance of the .html file should be categorised where we want it to be. Every little bit helps!
4. Keyword density
Another subject which gets the SEO community into a huddle in the corner of darkened rooms to ponder and cogitate.
Using keywords and phrases within the content (the text) of the page is important, but you do not want to “keyword stuff” the page. The spiders will consider this spamming and it could count against you.
The idea of understanding SEO is to be able to write your headlines, sub headlines and content text with the concepts of SEO in your mind. In other words, write the text as you would normally write it, but have your list of keywords and phrases in front of you and use them when appropriate. Don’t try to be too clever and NEVER write for SEO purposes. Just have SEO in mind when you write the content.
5. Separate your products and services
Have a separate page for every different thing you do. If you do Blue coats and Red jackets then have a page for each. and have a keyword list for each. Using those keywords as detailed above.
Title of the page may be “Blue ladies coats for wet weather”
The (h1) tag for the main headline could be “Waterproof coats for ladies in Blue”
You get the picture
Having separate pages is not only good the the client, as you can send the link to existing customers in an email promotion as opposed to sending them to the front page of your site. It is also giving the search engine some keywords and a page to index.
Now if someone was to search for ” Ladies waterproof coats blue” your chances of being found is far greater because you have targeted the clients needs and optimised a page on your site which is highly relevant.
6. Inbound Links
The more links you have from other site, especially high ranking sites the more you will be crawled and the more relevant your page will be to the spiders.
You have to work to get links from other site, call them discuss what you can do for them, ask for a reciprocal link etc..
Once you have agreement from the other site for reciprocal links. Give them the .html code which you have written if you can. Using the SEO Guidelines above construct the link with a clickable title and a short explanation.
I hope this gives you some useful tips that you ga use straight away. Have a look on your site now and see if there are things you can change NOW!
You can read Andy’s full blog here and sign up to his newsletter. You can also download his ebook
Internet Marketing The Beginners Guide for Small Businesses here
Do you need a website? As part of what I do as the SmallBusiness Angel, I also create websites for clients, see my portfolio here