When you’re working on your small business website’s SEO, the main aim is to make your website ‘friendly’ for all search engines and get on the first page of Google.
Here are 8 initial quick tips how you can achieve search engine optimisation perfection (or as close as possible!) without spending a fortune.
Make sure you’ve got 1 or 2 target phrases or keywords in mind for each of your pages, and use these keywords in the first paragraph of any copy….BUT try to only repeat your key words or phrases around ten times within the copy. If you over egg the pudding, as it were, you’ll run the risk of the text being read by search engine spiders as spam and you’ll lose your ranking. Make sure you’re not copy and pasting keywords and content from other pages of your site. Google, especially is great at picking up duplicate content and will penalise you for this. TOP TIP: Use Google’s Keyword Planner to improve your site’s keywords and get new ideas when you’re creating new content. It’s free to use, and can throw up words and phrases you might not have thought of, or ones that your competitors are using.
Poor spelling and grammar: Always proofread all of your content, use spellcheck and possibly let someone who’s a pedant give your copy the once-over. Search engines downgrade and/or blacklist sites where the content is badly written (plus it creates a bad impression for your customers!)
Try and keep all page copy to around 500 words and make sure that each page is full or relevant and interesting copy. It’s been widely commented over the past couple of years that ‘content is king’! And as overused as this phrase is, it does matter, and does make sense! Make sure that you’re continuously adding fresh and new content to the site. Keep it unique to pull people away from competitor’s sites and on to yours.
Add links to sites such as review sites, social media sites, user forums etc. PLUS if you add links to Google related products, Google will tend to rank your site more highly (think YouTube here). Try and add links to other sites that complement your business. Search do still engines pick up on back links so get in touch with these companies and make sure you’re both linking to one another’s websites – always be sure that they are good quality links. Don’t get caught in a ‘but I want to compete with this site’ if it’s a company that isn’t going to steal away users from you – it’s always better to get a higher ranking where possible.
Don’t forget about Google plus! This is a great article for some good Google+ tips
Try and include your main keyword or phrase in the URL of the page where possible. Make use of the H1 –H6 tags when creating your page. Have a look at this video for more details about this and also here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_EVHTm1c4Q
Title Tag: Every single page on your site needs a meta title, this should be unique and contain the relevant keyword. If you’re unsure of what a ‘meta title’ is, it’s the TITLE of your company/business which appears in the Google results. Google has now got rid of the ’70 characters or fewer’ rule, and use a larger font to display a site’s title – so make sure all of your title will fit in the listing.
Meta Description: As well as a title tag, each page also needs a meta description. Search engines don’t actually use this in determining a site’s ranking but it is vital as part of your marketing efforts as it’s the thing which should catch a potential customer’s eye and get them visiting your site. Make sure you include the keyword or phrase you’ve chosen and always keep the character limit to around 150.
Index your content with ‘Fetch as Google’ tool: A great way to get your content listed in the SERPS (search engine results pages), is to submit your URL(s) to Google using the ‘fetch as Google’ tool in Google Webmaster tools. This will boost your submission to Google and avoid the weeks or months of waiting for your site to show up in its listings. You’ll need to verify your website using the Webmaster tools (check out this article for a good ‘how to’ do this) then click on ‘Crawl/Fetch as Google’ and follow the instructions.
Google change their algorithms all the time, so check out Moz to keep up to date with the latest changes: http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change – also Search Engine Land contains some great articles, blogs and aids of best SEO practice: http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-algorithm-updates