SEO definitely has its technical challenges, and the way in which Google chooses to rank sites is constantly changing. However, there are a few basic principles that I believe will always remain the same. Thankfully these basics are quite easy to implement, and should be achievable by anyone with a website. It’s also worth noting that even the basics will make a difference to your rankings and traffic.
Having A Website Isn’t Enough
Everyone has a website, even my dad has one and that’s saying something! All too often I hear from people who have spent decent money on a website thinking that would be enough to increase their business and ‘make it’ online. It’s a screamingly obvious point to make, but no one’s going to look at your lovely new website without a bit of effort on the marketing front. This could be as simple as regularly contributing to Facebook or Twitter.
Make Sure Your Website Is In Good Condition
This is where you can start to get stuck in and making a positive difference. You need to make sure that your website is accessible to the search engines and that there is nothing that could be negatively effecting the way they see your site. Make sure that your navigation is good and that each page can be reached within a couple of clicks via proper links (not just image links). Also make sure that each page has a unique title and unique content. Duplicate pages and content is a real no no. It gets far more technical than this, so if problems persist seek the advice of an expert.
Ensure Your Website Is Relevant
It’s no good targeting people looking for ‘auto mechanics’ if your website doesn’t actually focus on this subject. You might think that it does, but the way to convince a search engine that this is the case is via your text content. Search engines read text so make sure you talk about the subject you’re targeting. You’d be surprised how many people miss out on this. On the flip side to this, don’t go over the top. Your website can receive pretty hefty penalties if you over stuff your content with keywords. Keep it natural with the human users in mind and you should be fine.
Build Some Links
Search engines also rate websites on how popular that site seems to be. One of the ways they do this is by tracking the amount of links coming into a website, and also where they are coming from. There’s a lot of debate surrounding what links work, and what links don’t but my advice is to try and keep them relevant to your business. Think about it; if you’re in business you must know other people with websites. Would they be happy to give you a link? Is there any online PR you could be doing? There are loads of great ways to build links into your website, and if they are coming from trusted sources they will certainly help give your site a boost.
It’s a good idea to make sure there is a certain amount of ‘activity’ surrounding your website. Always try to make sure your site is regularly updated with fresh content. This could easily be achieved via a blog or news section of your site. On a similar note, social media is a great way to increase your online , and by regularly contributing to discussion on twitter and facebook you can really build your brand and traffic.
SEO really does go into a lot more detail than this one post could ever discuss. Hopefully though this can give you a few ideas about how you can start improving your traffic yourself. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions, just send me a tweet on twitter @jonquinton1 and I’ll do my best to help.
About the Guest Author: I currently work as an SEO specialist for a UK company called US For Homes. Previously I have been involved with a large range of online businesses selling everything from gifts to software.