Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of those things that, if you don’t really understand what it involves, you assume costs an absolute fortune. You’d be right in some respects. If you want to throw thousands and thousands at SEO there are plenty of companies willing to take that money off your hands. And they’ll probably do a great job too. But what a lot of companies don’t understand is that SEO is much like any other skill: there are levels to it and even the most basic of novices can help their company’s SEO with just a few easy tricks. Of course, there are still the gurus out there but you can save using them until you’re making your fortune. So let’s look at a few ways you can tweak your own SEO in just a few hours:
Sit down for an hour or so (ideally with a colleague) and work out exactly what it is you think your customers are searching for. If, for example, you are running a takeaway pizza service in Taunton, think of all the possible ways people could find you:
- Taunton takeaways
- Takeaway pizza in Taunton
- Pizza to take away in Taunton
These are just a few possibilities. Now, if you don’t already feature the majority of these phrases in your website, weaving them subtly into page content and titles will boost your page rank tremendously. It’s infinitely better than repeating the same phrase over and over again and will make your content seem far more natural. What’s more, no search engine could accuse you of ‘keyword stuffing’ AKA, using the term ‘takeaway pizza Taunton’ in every single sentence. Search engines aren’t stupid; you need to bear this in mind.
This is a two-fold point. First, you need to make sure that your favourite search engine can find its way easily around your site. This includes mostly using text instead of graphics. It may be tempting to get a designer to create some beautiful images for your navigation but search engines won’t be able to read them and you might lose valuable keyword opportunities.
You also need to bear your user in mind as well as search engines in terms of navigation. Don’t be tempted to have one long page that lists everything you do; split your site into pages for each topic. Using our pizza restaurant example again, have a page for starters, mains, desserts and sides as well as a ‘Contact us’ page and maybe a ‘Customer review’ page. The latter is another great opportunity to cram in some genuine keyword-rich content. This will help your customer find their way around and also leave the search engines certain of what each page is all about.
A Few Extra Pointers
Alas, we don’t have space here to go into more details but here are a few extra pointers that might help you on your way to finding out more about how you can perform your own SEO:
- Don’t use frames if you can avoid them
- Create a site map
- Link all pages to your homepage
- Look into back linking