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Using SEO To Help Grow Your Business

September 22, 2009

Filed under: General

Search engine optimization is a method of increasing the amount of visitors and the awareness of a website by ranking high in the search engines. The higher the rank of a website in the result of the search engines the better the chance the website will be visited by users.

Over the last few years we have seen the emergence of some major internet companies, with search engine giant Google now amongst the most influential on the internet. While there are other search engines such as Yahoo! and MSN, which have a place and a presence on the internet, Google is by far the most powerful. If you have no presence on Google, your chances of success will diminish drastically.

Here are some basic SEO tips included in the search engine optimisation tutorial you might consider doing yourself to get better search rankings and increased site traffic:

1. Keywords
It’s important to know which keywords to optimise for. If you are a retailer of gift hampers, it’s important to know what consumers type into Google while searching for gift hampers. There are many tools available on Google that can help generate this for you. Try the keyword tool in Google AdWords or Wordtracker

Do a search for your top keywords and analyse the results that Google throws up. View how many times a particular keyword appears in the title, in the description, in the URL and on the page content. 

2. Title
Ensure that the title of your page is not more than 60 characters. That’s all that will be read by Google. 

Once you are done analysing the search on your keywords, understand how you can structure the content in your title, description, URL and home page, in that order.  Ensure that you are higher than your competitor. Having said that, don’t try to use all your keywords in such a way that it’s non-meaningful or desperate. It’s a fight between quality and quantity.

It’s important for Google to know that you have not put junk in your title. The way they determine this is by checking if the words in your title match those in the content of your page. If they are not, you won’t do as well as you could. So figure how you can have those keywords on your home page, too.

If you and your competitor have the particular keyword in equal quantities on your title, the next factor becomes the placement of keyword. In this case, you have to ensure that the keyword in your title is before that of your competitor’s. For instance, if the keyword is the 25th character of your competitor’s title, yours should be anything less than that. This way you will feature higher.    

3. Multiple URLs and URL address
Don’t place all your keywords in your home page. Optimize all the URLs in your site for different keywords. It’s important to achieve a good balance between content and form. Don’t let extra content kill the design of your site. If your URL address contains the keyword, Google gives it more weight. 

4. Keywords Meta tag
Disregard this. Google has stopped reading this a while back. 

5. PageRank
A simple formula devised by Google to check relevancy and the quality of a site is PageRank. It’s a vote that shows how other sites look upon you. If site x points a link to site y, then that’s a vote of confidence in site y by x. This goes well in Y’s PageRank. The more quality links you have in your kitty, the better. Work towards getting more people to point towards you. Read up on PageRank on Google.

Sometimes sites which are less relevant as yours may show up higher than you. That’s probably because they have a higher PageRank than yours. Don’t worry. You can’t help that. Just work on yours. 

6. Content
Google will give more weight to content right on top than that below. More brownies will be given to content in H1 (header) tags than regular content. More weight goes to larger font than smaller. Negative marks will be given (and you will probably disappear off Google) if you try to hide content by making it non-readable (either making the font the same colour as the background or making it very small).

Ensure that you have your keywords in a higher density than other words. Quality content is more important than quantity. So, ensure that when you are filling your page with keywords, it still makes sense to the customer. Otherwise, they will leave your page in no time and all time spent on SEO will be worth nothing.

7. Images
Don’t use any flash, unless people know your URL and you don’t have to depend on SEO. If you do, use good images that compensate for the lack of flash. Googlebot stops when it sees flash.

Did you know that you could put a name to your images? There is something called alternative text. Use this in the best way you can. What is alternative text? In case your image does not show up in a browser, the alternative text describes the image for the user. So, if I have the company logo and that doesn’t show up for some reason, the alternative text will. So, don’t fill keywords there, but then again, don’t forget to put your company identity / or category in there. 

8. Age of your URL
This is another factor that Google considers important. A competitor’s site that is less relevant may show up higher if they have been around longer than you. There’s nothing you can do about this though. Once you cross the one year barrier, you will probably be in the same league as your competitors.

SEO is a high impact, high value tactic for reaching Customers online. It focuses on Customers seeking a business’s service and not the other way round. Many smart businesses are starting to see the potential long term benefits of a committed SEO strategy during tough economic times to get more bang for their buck, so the question asked is why shouldn’t you be doing the same for your business?

Interested in what SEO can do for your business? Speak to us.

Tags: search engine optimisation, seo, internet, optimisation, google, pagerank, customers, keywords

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