It’s one of the most important questions a business can ask – “How do I get to Number 1 on Google?”. Well, the answer is far from simple, but with a bit of reading, listening and a lot of hard work it is possible. This post is an introduction to helping your website rank highly on Google via search engine optimisation (SEO).
There are a number of elements which collectively will result in improved website rankings on Google. These include your website, other websites and social.
By website structure we mean a number of things. For example, the URL of your pages, how the website is built and how large pages are. The URL structure of your website is important. The Google robot will crawl your website and you want it to find the necessary pages easily. This is essential for successful SEO.
Google can’t read flash, it never will so from a search engine optimisation perspective it’s useless. If your website is flash based, which many are, then your website will struggle to make it to the top of Google for your chosen keywords. Build your website in a lanaguage Google can read i.e. HTML.
Google wants to provide its users with the most relevant and easily accessible websites for their search term. If your website is built correctly, is the most relevant but it takes too long to launch the page, then Google will penalise you! Ensure your website pages are launching quickly or you’ll be penalised in your SEO rank. You can check this with a number of free tools. Typically large pictures or videos will cause your website to open slowly.
Tip when re-designing a website:Map your URLs and create the re-direct file cautiously. If you drop a URL which you’ve built up over many years you’ll lose the juice incrementally!
The content on your website makes a sizeable difference to the website ranking within the major search engines. You’ve bought the website domain and built the site correctly. Now, we’re going to focus on optimising your website.
Search Engine Optimising your website includes your Metadata. Your metadata refers to the information within each page including the page title, page description and page keywords. Google reads this information, along with the content on your website, to determine how relevant your page is to the user.
Your page title should be less than 65 characters. The page description should be a couple sentences (roughly 150-200 characters) and the keywords should be around 20-30. Ensure your metadata is not the same across your website – it should reflect the content and objective of your web page.
Internal Links Internal linking within your website is important to balance the web page and improve your website rank. By linking from one page within your website to another, you’re giving the user the ability to move to a more relevant page about that subject.
For example, on our Glasgow SEO page we explain Search Engine Optimisation. The user is able to seamlessly move from one section about SEO into the specific products offered by North Star. This is a relevant link which Google will credit.
There is another reason to build internal links. The link itself is the words “Pay For Results SEO” and it’s linking to a page called “pay-for-results-seo”, the metadata is built around Pay For Results SEO and the content discusses Pay For Results SEO. By linking these keywords to a relevant page you boost the authority and credibility of the page when Google crawls your website, this then helps a website rank for these keywords.
Create a Blog
Creating a blog is perfect way to write increase the amount of content within your website. The old expression remains true, “content is king”. It will always be this way.
Writing about relevant, topical and current events will help increase your visitors and potentially meet your objectives.
Selecting your URL
Last but by no means least, if your marketing strategy is predominantely based online, then select a website domain which has your keywords in it. For example, a Plumber in London may purchase alondonplumber.com. The keywords are in the URL which will also help Google. You should sign up to Google Adwords and use their keyword tool to check how popular your keywords are.
Below is an example of London Plumber. There are over 40,000 people searching for London Plumber each month – so a londonplumber.com would be a great URL. Other Websites
Ok, so we’ve covered how you can search engine optimise your website. Now, let’s focus on improving your authority with other websites. Google values website by their authority.
Your authority is determined by the information above but also other websites linking to your website.
Google monitors what websites are linking to your website. Quality over quanity is always the moto with search engine optimising. Links relevant to your website, from pages with a high authority and the correct anchor text will yield excellent results!
Let’s cover website authority and anchor text in more detail.
Google places an authority on a website and each of its sub-pages. This authority ranks from N/a – 10. Facebook is a 10 for instance. Interestingly, Google.co.uk is only an 8!
The authority is determined by Google’s algorithm. You can’t directly set your website authority, but you can influence it by search engine optimising your website.
There are numerous tools available to check your search engine / Page rank authority. I like to use SEO Tools- the toolbar is excellent. (www.tools.seobook.com)
Anchor text was discussed above briefly. In detail, anchor text is the wording within the link. For example, to use the same content as above “Pay For Results SEO”. The anchor text to the NorthStarMarketing website is “Pay For Results SEO”. The link and page rank authority is important, however the anchor text should reflect your keywords.
You can end up spending £5-£10K on link building with an SEO company. It’s a risky proposition which comes with a health warning for your website. If you purchase links back to your website and Google ‘finds out’ then your website will be penalised. You can build links with link exchanging with other websites (although this has a diminished benefit) or simply being relevant to another person’s blog and asking them to add you.
You can build links back to your website via a number of routes. One way to increase the number of links coming back into your website is by writing articles on websites such as ezinearticle.com or articlebase.com.
Social It’s become important to have a social presence to improve your website ranking. This means creating a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc page about your website. Social can no longer be ignored, even by Google!
Google has gone social with “+1” which we know will change the search results on Google. Start to think socially and about asking your existing customers for reviews and recommendations on websites such as reviewcentre.com. Again, it all makes the difference.
Before anyone complains, we’ve not done social justice, I know. More information about the benefits of developing a social presence will follow soon.
This is just a starter and an introduction to Search Engine Optimisation for people who have never read anything about the subject before. If you’ve got questions about SEO please post them below and we’ll try to help.
If anybody have a subject they would like covered within SEO Marketing Desk you can send it to contact at northstarmarketingsupport.com and we’ll consider it for an article.
MASSIVE PIECE OF ADVICE!!
If you are trying any marketing, including improving your SEO ranking, ensure you work backwards. For example, start by asking what you want to gain (what are the objectives?), then ask how you will monitor these objectives.
For example, If you want to be top on Google for 30 different keywords – how will you monitor this? (we recommend using a search results tool, seoserp.com is one example).
If you don’t create an evaluation strategy how will you know when you’ve arrived at your end goal?