Many website owners feel that having a website is enough. But there’s not much point paying for a quality website if no one can find it. A little bit of effort to market your website can go a long, long way.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Search engine optimisation means preparing your website content (text, images and other files) to ensure that search engines can not only find it, but rank it as highly as possible in their search results. Whether you’re selling products online, running a campaign or just promoting your own brand or services, SEO can help you achieve much greater success.
Why do I need it?
Search engine optimisation isn’t a luxury; it is absolutely essential. Unless your business is completely unique, the number of competitors targeting the same markets as yours is ever-growing. A targeted SEO strategy can help you stand out from the crowd.
All business websites ultimately exist to increase brand awareness and income. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are used to help people find what they’re looking for, and they will send targeted traffic your way.
Their search results are created using complex and constantly changing algorithms. All websites are automatically discovered (indexed) by search engines, and the list of websites is then matched with relevant keywords (terms that users search for). Following the steps below on your site will help your website to be found.
For example, a site’s rank can partly be determined by how many websites are linking to it. It also measures whether those websites are popular themselves, so in effect if a great deal of popular websites link to your site, it gives your site credibility in terms of how your page is ranked. However, page rank is only one metric in determining a site’s popularity or strength.
Relevance is even more important. You want those links to come from within your industry, within your local area, or organisations who share a common thread. These will not only be seen as a more respected source by search engines, but also by your more savvy website visitors.
Search engines will use both the text on your pages and also the metadata – the information behind the scenes of your website. It’s vital that both of these help search engines to correctly identify your keywords and work out what users will need to search for in order to see your website in their search results.
Every page on your site needs around 200-500 words, and those words should be useful to your target market, and relevant to your business. Ensure that every page is optimised for your keywords by including them a couple of times within your text, especially inside the page heading tag (h1) as well as your page title (the title that appears in your browser bar).
Other factors include your site’s link structure, loading time and many of the other things that you should already be doing for the benefit of your potential customers. Websites that are user friendly will be favoured by Google, Bing and Yahoo, with the added benefit that your visitors will like your site as well.
Do you want to increase your income?
If your website doesn’t at least tick a few of the boxes mentioned here, you’re not achieving the results you could be. And, as with all facets of your business, results means money. Make sure you optimise your website and get the most out of it. A little effort goes a long way.