SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it’s the single most important aspect of your business’s online presence. If you’re at all serious about your company’s website, you have to SEO optimise it.
When you SEO optimise your site, it will help customers find your business when they search for it online. If you don’t think it’s that big of a deal, go ahead right now to your favourite search engine and type in the keywords for your business. Not your company, mind; your business, your industry.
What did you find? Chances are, unless you’re the only one in the world who offers your products or services, you found hundreds of thousands of results.
Now, think about how you use search engines. When you search for something online, nine times out of ten you’re not going to look past the first page of results, correct? Yes. Well, those results that appear on the first page all have one thing in common – they’ve SEO optimised their websites. A website that is SEO optimised will ensure that your company comes up on that crucial first page when people search for your products or services.
The key to SEO optimising your site, though, is to do the research. While you certainly know your business well, you know it from a proprietor’s perspective. That means you’ll most likely have a different set of vocabulary for it than your customers do. That vocabulary is called keywords, and it’s how SEO is measured by search engines. The more you use those keywords throughout your website, the more likely it is you will be the top hit when someone searches.
But, even once you do the proper keyword research, it’s not as easy as filling up every page of your site with those keywords. Search engine algorithms also look for readability, and they penalise you for using your keywords too often on one page. And what’s more, even if you do get customers to your site with the “keyword stuffing” method, they’ll click right off your site once they see that it makes no sense.
If it all seems disheartening, though, don’t despair! Chances are there are plenty of unique ways to SEO optimise your site that will get your site to rise in the rankings of the Internet. That’s because your website copy isn’t the only way to do it.
For example, you can set the words that appear in the browser bar – it’s a great way to use all your keywords, because people hardly ever look at it but it is taken into account by search engine algorithms.
Another popular technique is meta-tagging. This can be done with special SEO plug-ins for your site, and it determines the titles and descriptions that appear on search engines for results on your keywords. It may not seem like much, but many believe meta-tagging can give your site a huge boost in the rankings.
Any photos on your site can be back-end SEO optimised as well. The title of the picture, the “alt” description (the words that appear when you move your mouse over the photo) and even captions are all ways to help your site.
Of course, though, your website copy is key. And it’s not only on your home page – the more pages you have, the more opportunities you give yourself to use your keywords.
Have you ever wondered why so many websites have blogs? It’s to SEO optimise their site. You can have the best site in the world SEO-wise, but there’s yet one more thing that search engines look for when ranking your website – and that’s how often it’s been updated. If you put up a site and just leave it there, it will start off strong in the rankings but eventually it will be dead last the longer you leave it be. Blogs that are embedded in websites are a great way to update your website and keep it relevant without rewriting your main copy all the time.