Search Engine Optimisation is all about improving your website to make it as easy as possible for people to find you using search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
It is one of the most important tools you have to ensure your site is seen and visited. It is also a lot less complicated than you think!
Here's an essential guide from Kalexiko to guarantee SEO success.
Get your key words right
When it comes to your website listing, getting your content wording spot on is an SEO basic. The aim is to build into the natural flow of language key words and phrases based on what people are most likely to type into a search engine when they want to find a business like yours. Getting this right will boost your site's ranking and help to put you at the top of the front page in the listings. You need to do this for all your main pages. On the Kalexiko home page we've built in the key words and phrases 'digital marketing agency', 'brilliantly designed online solutions' and 'web design, e-commerce and SEO services'. This echoes the type of words people will naturally type into a search engine when they try to locate a digital marketing agency. To begin with, it's a good idea to find out which words are most commonly searched in relation to organisations like yours. Check out Google's keyword research tool which shows the number of searches key words receive each month.
Title Tag it
Another SEO basic is your Title Tag. When you hit 'search' in Google you'll see listed under each website heading, a header (in blue), the website name (in green) and underneath (in a smaller font and black) the Title Tag. Your Title Tag tells the viewer briefly about your site content. We all tend to scan read these and then decide if we're going to click into the site or just skip it, so this is your opportunity to catch someone's eye and tell them exactly what your business, product or offer is. Remember, you only have space for about fifteen words, so make everyone count.
Ensure your site is easy to navigate
You must make it easy for visitors to navigate your site and quickly find the right information. This also helps SEO. Use clear and logical page links to take your customer on a journey that is engaging and persuasive. A separate site map, showing what's available and how to find it can also bring clarity.
Use clear headings
Clear page headings improve your site structure and encourage visitors to stay on site. They must be descriptive and accurate and consider also colour, font size and positioning. Using too many headings will be confusing, so build in drop down menus if needed. In addition, take time to think about the wording for your headers and ensure your navigation headings (usually displayed in lists at the sides or across the top of each page) are equally strong. 'H1 and H2 tags' are also an important consideration. They are the size specifiers for your on screen fonts (which range from H1 to H6). Getting these right for your key words is important and your SEO specialist will be able to help your identify how to best use H tags to give you the best return.
Entertain and educate
A successful site also entertains, educates and delights. We all have sites that we go back to again and again and these are the ones we recommend to others and share through online networks. Adding exclusive content will build your site's popularity and also boost SEO. This is one of the reasons why at Kalexiko, we often update and add to our blogs.
A few words about submitting your website and Meta Tags
Until a few years ago it was considered good SEO practice to 'submit' your website to the search engines. However, this is now outdated and has been replaced by the more important work of creating unique content and building effective website links (see 'Build effective links' below). It is a similar story with Meta Tags; a method of content indexing which is also now seen as outdated. Title Tags and key words are much more important.
Shortening of URLs
A URL is the combination of letters and numbers (starting usually with http://) which can be seen at the top of each web page. Short URLs are better for SEO. Web browser software can shorten or 'normalise' URLs and this is something that should be offered as part of your SEO support package.
Make sure your site loads quickly
Fast load speeds boost SEO and keep your site visitors with you. Google also now counts site speeds as a factor when computing website rankings. Ensure you are receiving the right level of support from your service provider/ server for all your site functions (slow load speeds and pages not displayed correctly will be an obvious factor if things are not quite right). Also, ask your website provider/ programmer about Clean Code. In simple terms this is the programming to ensure your site's operating system is efficient, well structured and logical. You must also ensure your photographs, videos and graphics load immediately. One option here is saving these in a variety of formats (JPG, PNG, GIF) to see which has the quickest load speed and gives the best quality display. Check also that you have appropriate software to support your image optimisation.
Build effective links
This means you must make regular additions, improvements and announcements on your site then seek strong links. Let people know you've updated and made additions, as this will alert the search engines to the movements on your site and show that your content is active. Share your specialism through social media sites and link to peers and other interest groups. We recommend Buzz Stream, which supports your link building. Ensure also that you are registered with Google places. This will really help when it comes to local searches.
Caption photos and graphics
Complex ideas can be conveyed with a single strong image. SEO however, thrives on words not images so take time to add specific file names and appropriate captions. It's equally important to caption video clips and moving graphics and all images and graphics should always have 'alt' text to help Google identify them.
... and finally
Search Engine Optimisation is a bit like going to the gym and eating healthy food. We know it is something we should do on a regular basis, yet there's always something else that seems more urgent. Just like health and fitness then, your SEO mantra should be 'little but often'. So update and improve your site regularly, add in new and engaging content and then tell people all about it. It's all good for SEO and good for you.