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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Top 10 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Tips

Second only to having a quality website in the first place, being found in the major search engines can be vital to the success of your online presence.

As you can imagine, with many hundreds of millions of searches performed through search engines every day and billions of web pages to choose from, having your site appear in the top few results in any search engine can be a hard ask.

Search engines, these days, work on the principle of "relevance". In other words: How relevant is a web page to a person looking for a certain thing ?

Despite the outrageous claims made by some SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) "experts" (sales guys, mostly), there really is no way to absolutely guarantee an organic top ranking in any search engine (appearing at the top of a search result page without paying for advertising placement).

There are many things that SEO professionals like ourselves do to analyse the deficiencies of a website and actions we can take to achieve fast, positive results. But, there are also a few things you can do yourself to get the ball rolling.

Here are our Top 10 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Tips

  1. Content is King .... Make sure that the contents of your website is concisely written and relevant to someone who visits your site.

  2. Update your content regularly to keep increasing your relevance.

  3. Include regularly updated non-sales content such as Tips, Helpful Information, and General News.

  4. Be aware of your customers' requirements ... if you know what a searcher is likely to type into a search engine, make sure you have plenty of relevant content that covers that subject.

  5. Meta data (keywords and descriptions etc, hidden from the viewing public) is rarely used by search engines these days, but it certainly can't hurt to have ... make sure you describe the content and purpose of each page accurately and succinctly.

  6. Inbound links (links to your site from other sites) are seen by search engines as a recommendation of your site and hence your site's relevance to a user can increase. DO NOT arrange links from irrelevant sites or "link farms" as many search engines will now penalise you for irrelevant links.

  7. Don't use Flash for your entire website ... As fun and exciting as Flash can be, most search engines cannot view content within a Flash file, so using Flash for significant content (or even the navigation) of your website is a sure-fire way to never be found.

  8. Structure your website in a logical, clear way (this also makes it easier for a user to find their way around).

  9. Submit your business and website to local listings, including Google Local Business Centre. This will help search engines to know where your business is located relative to a searcher's location.

  10. Consider Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This is paid advertising using, for example, Google Adwords to be placed on search results pages within the advertising space (i.e. not part of the organic results).

The number one thing to remember is that, just as Rome wasn't built in a day, your search engine rankings won't increase dramatically overnight without some professional SEO intervention. It can take weeks for search engines to re-visit and consolidate your content, comparing your site to the millions of others they visit each day.

Of course, if you would like to talk about how we can help to fast-track massive improvements in your search engine rankings, we would be delighted to sit down with you to chat about our Search Engine Optimisation service and what it can do for your business.