SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of increasing traffic to your site. SEO can be divided into two main areas:
- On page optimization – amending the structure of the code on the site and including keywords in the code and copy
- Off page optimization – link building – driving traffic to the site through networking, blogs and press releases.
Where to begin
SEO should be the first thing you think about when you decide to build a website for your company. Unfortunately it is often an after thought, only considered briefly once the site has been built.
On page optimisation
I have highlighted below some of the areas you should consider before you build your site:
1. Information architecture
This is one of the most important areas in seo and is how you arrange information on the web page. It has to be easy for users to navigate the site and find the information they need as well as search engine spiders who crawl and index the site.
There should be a clear URL structure, optimised page titles, heading tags (h1, h2 and h3) and enticing copy on the page.
2. The URL structure
The domain name of your site is very important and should contain the keywords you want to rank for. For example if you have a cookie shop in London called “London cookies”, this will need to be in your URL www.london-cookies.co.uk. The URL structure should stay the same throughout and when a user visits other parts of the site such asthe products section, it should be reflected in the URL www.london-cookies.co.uk/products. The URL should be kept short and concise with no long query strings such as www.london-cookies.co.uk/p=8799?pagename=233308080
3. Page title
This appears at the top of the web page and should explain the contents on that page. The keyword you want to rank for should be at the beginning of the title tag. For example if you want a page to rank for chocolate chip cookies, the page title should be: Chocolate chip cookies | Tasty treats | London Cookies. The brand “London cookies” should be at the end of the page title.
4. H1, H2 and H3 tags
The H1 tag is the most important heading style and there should just be one per page. It is the first level topic for the page. The H2 tags are subtopics and support what is in the H1 tag. The H3 tags should only be used if needed and support what is in the H2 tag.
5. On page copy
It is very important to have keywords within the body copy of the site. The keywords you want to rank for should appear between 2 and 4 times per one hundred words. For the chocolate chip cookie page, you should have this word within the on page copy, but do not write the key term too often as this looks like keyword stuffing and you hinder instead of boost your page rank.
Now the site is live, start link building
Off page optimisation
When you have a website, you want to make sure you get as much traffic as possible. Don’t worry about setting up all the twitter accounts and facebook accounts. Only set them up if you have time to update it regularly, otherwise it will look like you set it up just for the sake of it. Instead I recommend these three ways to get traffic to your site:
Yes as simple as that, go to different networking events in your field, speak to people, find out what they are doing, give them your business card. This is the start of viral marketing.
2. Blogger out reach
Contact bloggers in your field, you may meet these people at the networking events. If you have a product to sell, ask them to do a review of your product and post it on their website.
If you have a niche product or site, why don’t you do some PR yourself. Contact local newspapers and let them know what your business is about. If it helps the local community, the press team would be happy to cover a story about you.
These link building activities can have no financial cost, but they can take a long time to have effect. Be patient and keep an eye on your analytics. Seo is an ongoing job that is not finished once you complete the site build. If you want your site to rank in the top 10 positions in Google, you must continue to build traffic and spread the buzz about your business.
This was written by Jo Turnbull who has a blog seojoblogs.com