Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a form of online marketing that uses various techniques to get a website a high ranking on Google organically. It is usually compared to Google AdWords. The main difference is that if you use Google AdWords you pay every time someone clicks onto your website. Although it can take some time to see SEO results it is very cost effective when it works well, and can completely replace the need for Google AdWords.
So what are some of the more common SEO techniques?
1. Keywords and more keywords
It is important that the content of your website has the keywords that your potential customers are using to search for the products or services you provide. If this is done correctly it is more likely that customers will find your website instead of a competitor's website when doing a search.
To make sure the correct keywords are used time needs to be spent to carefully research the keywords likely to be used before they are inserted into your website. Where the keywords are placed on the website also influences how well your website will rank.
Of course, the use of the keywords needs to make sense. If you try to 'stuff 'too many keywords onto your website Google will penalise you and your website will start dropping in ranking.
2. Fresh content
One of the most effective ways to help get a high organic ranking is to provide fresh, up to date, and useful information on your website. One of the easiest ways to do this is to write a regular blog that is relevant to your business - even better if you include relevant keywords. Other techniques include gradually increasing your website by developing specialist landing pages. For example, if you are a painter, having separate pages for commercial and domestic painting services.
3. Image description
Google can only search text so if you have an image (even if you have text written over it) it cannot read it. That means, an effective SEO plan needs to have every image on your website described in detail. This can take quite a bit of time but in the long term it will have a positive impact on your website's SEO position.
4. External Linking
External linking is great for your website but can be 'abused' by some SEO providers. Having quality links (eg links from online directories that are relevant to your business) are a great way to boost your SEO (especially at the start of a SEO campaign). However, some SEO providers resort to using 'link farms' - adding you to literally thousand of 'dodgy' websites. Google knows about 'link farms' and your SEO position is likely to suffer as a consequence if you use them.
5. Internal Linking
Internal linking is often forgotten, but can be a powerful SEO tool if used correctly. An easy to navigate website will always rank higher on Google. One aspect of having an easy to navigate website is to have internal links so that your customers have multiple options on how find the page they are looking for. An example would be having direct links on your home page to the most important pages of your website - meaning that your customers do not have to go back to you main menu when looking for the information they need.
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