In the current economic climate cutting down any costs is pivotal if you are to succeed. SEO is fast becoming first protocol for business and rightly so as more and more business have switched to being online rather than the old bricks and mortar. Sadly it is no good being online if you are not getting the right amount of traffic to your site and this is where SEO comes in. As SEOs we get paid to get your site listed. However we know all too well that a lot of businesses now do not have the money to spend on SEO especially if you are a small or start-up business. The following therefore are some techniques you can look to implement which can help you get some good SERPs…
Choose a good domain name
This applies more to a start-up business. Having a domain name with the keywords in can give you an advantage in the search engines from the off. Of course many people are aware of this and so it can be difficult to find a domain name that you want for example if you are a watch selling company it may not be easy to get the following: www.buywatchesonline.com. To overcome this try hyphenating certain terms in order to get the keywords in for example www.buy-watches-online.com or just keep trying different combinations, you are bound to find one eventually.
If you have an existing website or do not want your company to have a domain with keywords in it is important you write your URLs for various categories so that they contain the keywords. So if your company is called something like www.abcfashion.co.uk (and by the way I have no idea if this exists or not) and you sell watches and have a sub category that is men’s watches you should write the URL so that it reads www.abcfashion.co.uk/browse/N/65+4294967112/ and instead should read www.abcfashion.co.uk/mens-watches for example.
Add a sitemap to your site and ping it to Google, Yahoo! and Msn
This is simple and yet effective. Sitemaps allow your search engines to crawl your site much easier. A good tool we use is XML Sitemap Generator. You then need to ping your sitemap to the various search engines. The following links will be of use to you for this:
Yahoo!’s Update Notification
Add and update content
Search engines like content and more so updated content. On each of your pages add keyword rich copy that allows the search engines to see what your site is about. Make sure that your website content is refreshed regularly. Regular and new content is the best way to keep the search engines coming back to index your site, as well as ensuring that the likes of Google, Yahoo and MSN see your website as not being stagnant. Fresh content is also a great way to gain new visitors and hopefully a good selection of organic back links over time. Try not to overdo the keywords however as it can be seen as spam. For more information on how not to write copy see the previous blog on common SEO mistakes to look out for.
Build links with anchor text
Build links for your site but be sure to use the keywords you are targeting as anchor text. Anchor text is an SEO term which is simply the text that is clickable and directs you to another page. So for example the watch site www.abcfashion.co.uk its better to have the text ‘mens watches’ than ‘ABC Fashion’ as the clickable text.
Meta information and page title
Your sites page title should contain the keywords you want to rank for. You should also have META keywords and META description filled in using the keywords you are targeting. All page titles, META descriptions and META tags should be 100% relevant to the pages. Page titles are especially important and fall a close second behind the domain name and URL structure in being the most effective SEO techniques to use. When it comes to the META keywords do not be tempted to stuff this string with too many keywords. Keep the list of key phrases short and always remember that the most weight is given to the key phrases at the left hand end of the string, with the weight diminishing moving to the right.
These are just some very basic things you could do to help your site rank in the search engines. Of course enlisting in the help of someone who knows what they are doing will always be more beneficial (I would say that being an SEO Consultant!) but these are some things that can help you on your way before you make this decision. Happy optimising…!