Ten top Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tips
Ten simple techniques you can use to market your website online
These tips will help get your website highly ranked and properly categorised in the results of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. You'll need to do some research first to identify the keywords and phrases your audience will use to find your website. There are many keyword suggestion tools out there. You could also review your competitors websites!
- Publish relevant content and publish it often
There's no other better way get well ranked by Google and the other search engines. When writing your content make sure you include plenty of keyword rich headings and subheadings. When you finally add the content to your website, make sure the text is properly tagged (h1 for the headings, h2 for subheadings etc). Highlighting keywords with the HTML <strong> tag also helps.
- Don't try and trick the search engines
Techniques like irrelevant keywording, invisible text and bogus landing pages can all lead to your website being penalised.
- Think niche
It's going to be very difficult to optimise you website for broad search terms, so put some work into uncovering niche terms you can use instead. For example, it will be difficult to get your website on the first page of Google's results for 'recruitment', but much less so for 'pharmaceutical recruitment London'.
- Choose your domain carefully
Try to include relevant keywords in your domain name. So rather than using www.smithandassociates.co.uk, use www.smithretailrecruitment.co.uk. It's better to have the correct domain suffix (for a company in the UK, you should own .com and .co.uk)
Make sure you include proper alt tags for all your images (these are simply text descriptions added to images to help make more sense of them). The search engines can't yet tell what an image is of! At the same time, it'd be worth naming your images with relevant keywords so _img_1.jpg could become barrack_obama_at_the_g8.jpg.
- Make sure other high-ranking websites link into yours
This might seem difficult, but there are often easy ways to do it. Some websites include forums where you can include your website address as part of the sign-off on any posts you create or respond to.
- Validate your HTML
The W3C website includes a free validation service that'll let you know about any errors your pages hold. By correcting these you'll make your website accessible to the broadest possible audience and will increase its chances of a favourable position in search engine results
- Pay your way to the top
Finally, it's worth thinking about bidding for relevant keywords in schemes like Google's Adwords. You'll see these paid-for listings on the right hand side of Google's search results page.
- Measure you success
You domain host may provide statistics software that allows you to follow traffic volume and trends on your website. If this isn't the case, try Google Analytics, a free and very comprehensive service.
- Don't stop
You have to view your online marketing as on ongoing project, if its neglected your website will slowly fall down through the search results