Such a good looking website but no traffic! Sounds familiar?
Improving your website’s ranking (using Search Engine Optimisation)and getting onto the first page on Google can be a long, technical andtedious process, normally braved only by technical people. There are several things you can do yourself to improve your SEO!
We have spent many months researching this, invested in software,tested on websites, and now want to share some of what we learnt.Firstly, a few facts:
- Websites have become “common” and it is estimated that there are now more than 110 million websites hosted on millions of serversthroughout the world.
- Google, Yahoo, Bing and others have developed search engines because we cannot check out all 110.000.000 websites when searching for something.
- A search engine is a computer program that matches “people’s search phrases” with the “content of known websites“
- If your website is not found on the first or second of the results pages then it is very unlikely that the person who is searching will ever see your website.
Firstly, 3 important questions
- Does the website work properly and has its engine been built and optimised by a professional website builder? The code, content management system, images, upload time, links, speed, and loads of other factors can all influence how your website is ranked. Search engines do not always give good rankings to badly built websites.
- Does the content of the website appeal to “web-crawlers“, and does the content match what people are searching for? Search engines will rank you high if your website has been optimisedfor certain very search-specific keywords. Remember, if you expect to be found for a particular keyword but you don’t use it in your text, thenyou probably won’t be found for it.
- Does your website convince or urge visitors to do something like buy your product, call your company, send you an email or make anenquiry? Or do your visitors quickly hop to another site?
Once search engines find my website and I get traffic – Does my site convert?
Must Read: 11 SEO Tactics Every Blogger must Know
The SEO Process In a Nutshell
The process (simplified) to increasing your website’s performance is really quite simple:
- Know (or find out) what your customers are searching for (known as “search keywords”)
- Alter / write your content on your website to match those keywords
- Wait for Google to see your changes, analyse the results, edit/tune your text, and repeat.
Of course it’s not quite as easy as that, however having relevant & well-written content on your website is the most relevant factor to improving your SEO, and it is the most common thing that website owners tend to overlook.
Q: What is a search keyword?
A: A word or phrase that people actually key into the search box when they are looking for a product. – What will my customers search for?
There is a fine balance here between too short and too long. Here are 3 examples of this:
- The search for “B&B” will get 1.240.000 results. The 1-word keyword B&B is too short to be of any use, and and generally not very effective.
- The search for “B&B Taradale” narrows the results to 10,900 which is much better and more common. Most search phrases used consist of 2, 3 or 4 keywords.
- The search for “B&B Taradale queen bed no kids” narrows the results to 1. This is a very targeted phrase but probably too specific.
You have to select a good spread of 2 – 5 word Key-phrases with 3-word phrases being the most used.
Each website owner needs to be very specific about this, andbrainstorm targeted keywords. Ask friends and clients, check out yourcompetitor’s website and test the keywords you come up with by doingsearches and checking the results.
Select as many different key phrases as you think fit, put them on a spreadsheet and rank these in order of importance.Allocate to each page of your website 5 of your best keywords relative to thatpage, then start optimizing each page with these keywords.
Trying to optimize your content without doing keyword research islike firing a gun with your eyes closed. Usually very ineffective andsometimes dangerous!
First the Landing (Home) page then the other pages.
Your landing page is the page where most of your customers will land and where you lay-out your services.
- This page must be “the honey that attracts the bee” otherwise you will get little traffic. It mustlook superb, efficient and direct your visitors to “what you have to offer” on the other pages. The tour operator willspecify that he offers walking tours, bus tours and wine tours and theB&B’s landing page will lead to pages describing the rooms,breakfast menu, swimming pool etc. We must help the visitor along bylinking them through to your other pages.
- Now first optimise this landing page followed by your other pages with good text using your specific key phrases for each page.
Deal systematically with each of the following aspects to see results:
H1 Headings – Start your page with a H1 heading of 5-10 words.
Subsequent headings in your text shouldgenerally be H2 & H3. Bare in mind that the more headings you have,the more “watered down” the effect of these headings become.
Other headings, bold text & italics.
Number of words and keyword density – How many words should I use on a page?
So take your queue from learning from the opposition, remembering that the text has to look natural at all times.
Links inside my website
“Book a forest walk here” is a better link with forest walk being a keyword.
Links to and from other websites
“Packit, a superb manufacturer of packaging products“. This would be a good link because it includes the business name and the keyword ‘packaging products’.
Search engines think highly of well linked websites – both internal and external.
Get linked from well known Search Directories
Describe your images
So if you are offering a beach walking tour and you display the image of a gorgeous looking girl who is obviously having fun on the beach, thenthe search engine – unfortunately – is not able to see this image butreads the image description that you have provided.
You need to be creative and descriptive here and instead of using a plain “girl on Beach” you could use:”On ourguided beach walks along the Kapiti Coast we often see gorgeous girlshaving fun”. You have covered some keywords and provided a usefuldescription.
Meta Title – Create a great title for your page.
Example – “Decorative Wedding Cakes for Wellington Brides” – This has the keywords Wedding Cakes and Decorative in the Meta Title and specifies the area.
Meta Description – Describe what your page is all about.
Example – Harry’s Tours in Whangarei include a Harbour visit with a 30 minute boat trip. Free transport to youraccommodation in comfortable coaches. Our guides speak many languages.
If you would like your website to produce good results, then it is important that you not only have a professionally builtwebsite, but that you pay special attention to the content of yourpages.
It is vital that you first undertake “keyword research” and proceed with optimizing your pages for these keywords. You need tocontinue testing your site and see how you and your opposition in thesearches are doing. Keep making smaller changes to fine-tune and update your pages fairly regularly. Search engines like “fresh content” and favour regularly updated sites.
SEO is a very fluid skill and owners of Search engines do not exactly advertise how they work out their preferences – they often change themso as to confuse those who engage in unethical practises to get to the”top spot”. What will never change though is the respect a search engine has for a well written and designed website!
SEO should be undertaken on a regular basis if you want good results from your site.
You can do this yourself (this article will have given you some useful tips) using your website’s CMS, alternatively Techno Joy can provide this SEO service for you as our software can research your site very quickly and professionally. We would:
- Select & weigh the effectiveness of keywords. Are they good or bad keywords?
- Adapt your content to relect these keywords in a way that is “attractive” to both Google as well as potential customers.
- Report on how individual pages have been optimized – what is my keyword density, how much bold text has been used, are theheadings effective, etc.
- Rank website and analyses performance against top competitors.
Optimization is not a “quick-fix” but a slow dedicated process and we usually do this work over a 6 month period when we are able to “measure and tune” the website whilst giving you monthly progress reports.
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