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seo

Find out how to optimise your site to get the best results from search engines

what is seo?

Search Engine Optimisation is the process of making small adjustments to your website to give it the best chance of appearing high in search engine results.

Some SEO items rely on the technical aspects of your site and how it’s set up behind the scenes. We’ll usually take care of those for you.

But there are also lots of ‘on page’ factors to keep in mind such as:
• Keywords
• Popularity
• Quality Content

These will be explained in detail in this guide.

 

A Few Important Things To Remember

SEO is a way of helping new people to find your site via a search engine. It won’t convert them into paying clients.

Remember that visitors to your site are people – always put them first, not the search engines.

Most importantly, if your site has quality content and you offer a great service, people will share and recommend it naturally.

This is from Google’s own SEO guide:

 

“Interesting sites will increase recognition on their own. Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here.”

keywords

Finding and using the right keywords on your site is the first step towards effective SEO.

It’s important that the pages on your website use the words and phrases that are being searched for by your customers. These are known as keywords.

Search engines will scan your site (along with millions of others) looking for these search terms.

It’ll ignore sites that don’t feature any of the words, and list sites that feature some or all, ranked according to how relevant it thinks they are.

To make sure that your site gets listed, these keywords and phrases will need to appear on each page – both ‘behind the scenes’ in page titles and image tags and in the actual copy on the page.

What You Need to Do

Have a think about the kind of words and phrases that your target clients and customers might be searching for and make a list. Try to make this as broad as possible.

If you can, put the list roughly in order, with the most likely/common terms at the top and more obscure ones at the bottom.

These can be used to optimise your website’s main pages and also to help you write effective blog posts.

 

blog posts

Search engines like sites that are regularly updated with new content. A good way to achieve this is via a blog.

 

Articles should feature the keywords you listed in the previous section to give them a good chance of being found by search engines. But most importantly the content must be relevant and interesting.

 

Here’s an overview of the key things that will give your blog posts the best chance of success:

 

  • Genuinely Useful, Informative Content
    Always write your blog posts for people first, not search engines. If you provide value, people will share it and your audience will grow.
  • Keyword Rich Content
    Pick one or two keywords or phrases per article and use them as a starting point. Ideally the keyword should appear in the article’s title, and maybe two or three times in the copy. Always make sure the copy reads naturally though – don’t squeeze keywords in where they don’t belong.
  • External Links
    Search engines like web pages that are connected. Use links throughout your article to direct people to other useful sites.
  • Images
    Images are very important in blog posts. They can convey information must faster than text, set the mood and make a page much more interesting. Use quality images as much as you can.
  • Short Paragraphs
    People tend to scan web pages for the specific information they’re looking for before they read them fully. Make this easy for them by separating your copy into small, easily scanned paragraphs.
  • Clearly Marked Sections
    Again, to help with scanning, divide your post into sections and use titles to distinguish them.  

avoid duplicate content

It’s very important that the content you use on your site isn’t duplicated elsewhere – even on sites/accounts that you own.

Search engines will spot this immediately and could assume that your site is of low quality. This could have a negative impact on your search rankings.

Bear this in mind when preparing copy for the site and avoiding pasting from or into other web pages
.i.e.

  • Social media profiles
  • Directory profiles

social media

Search engines are likely to prefer sites that are well connected with healthy social media accounts.

If you’re keen to use SEO to drive traffic to your site it should have links to these accounts on every page and make it easy as possible for users to share your content.

One of these are recommended as a minimum – ideally both:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Plus

Google+ follow button – If you have a Google+ page for your business it could be benefitial to link to it from your site

It’s important to only link to accounts that are active and updated regularly. Linking to an account that hasn’t been updated for weeks or months could be damaging.

 

What You Need to Do

Keep your target clients in mind and think about the sort of social media that they’re likely to use.

Decide which social media accounts you want to link to and make sure that you’ll have the time to update them regularly.

google business listing

If business is directed at a specific local area, it’ll be useful for it to be listed on Google My Business.

This will give you an extra boost when people search for businesses like yours in your area.

You’ll appear as a business in Google Maps and your listing should appear prominently when users in the area search for your services.

You can find out more and set up your account here: www.google.co.uk/intl/en/business/

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