Search engine optimization (SEO) is the buzzword of now and there are a fair few companies out there that specialize in this very easy technique. Like anything, SEO is not that hard when you know where to begin.
What is search engine optimization?
SEO is a method of targeting your website to specific search terms relevant to the content of your site. So in order for you website to pop up generically in Googles top ten it needs to be relevant and “recommended” for that particular search term.
Google’s page rank algorithm, among others, is a method that Google uses to deem which sites are the most relevant to a particular search term. It does this by working out which site has the most relevant recommendations – ie hyperlinks to it – compared to the rest. I won’t go into details of this as there is plenty of litrature on the topic if you search…. well Google, but it basically means that the more exposure your site gets the higher up in the results you will get.
How do I SEO?
SEO is easy it just takes time. If you follow the steps below and give your website time to mature on the internet then you will see it climb from one or two hits a month to multiple hits per day.
1. Relevant content is key
Before you begin you need to have a website that has content that is relevant to the topic of your website. So if you have a site about bath tubs, your need readable content about bath tubs and the link to the content to be about bath tubs! So there is no point having the link to your bath tub content – https://www.site.com/hamandchese/! The link should be something like https://www.site.com/info-on-bathtubs so the reader and search engines know that this section of the website is about bath tubs and bath tubs only! This means that when someone Googles bath tubs your bath tub site has more chance of showing up then the rest.
2. Webmaster Tools
Google has its free webmaster tools (https://www.google.com/webmasters/) that allow you to submit your website and make it known to Google. In order to use webmaster tools you will need a Google account and access to your web hosting server. Adding your website to webmaster tools will not increase its page rank but it will verify your site with Google as being legitimate website owned by a real person. This is done through a meta tag that you will need to place within the header of your website home page. Once verified the webmaster tool suite will help you distinguish how successful you website is within Google.
3. Twitter and Facebook
Love them or hate them Twitter and Facebook are here to stay and are fantastic tools to get your website known to more people and, in turn, increase its page rank. If you do not have a Twitter account and/or a Public facebook page for your website then your are missing out on two of the biggest referees on the web!
To use them effectively all you need to do is set up each of these with a little bit of info about your website and a link to it. If your website is a blog, like this one, then every time your release a blog post tweet about it. This will not only let people know about what your are doing but it will also give the Google bot one more reference to your site that may affect your page rank positively.
Remember relevance is key. If you just spam Twitter and Facebook with a whole heap of noise then your reference will be diluted and not taken as seriously as a tweet or post relevant to your site. Heard of re-tweets? If your tweet is relevant to one of your followers it might get re-tweeted a few times… how many more references to your website will be generated? This depends on the quality of the tweet and how many times it gets re-tweeted. Note: Noisy spam does not get re-tweeted.
4. Public forums and blogs
If you use forums or comment on blogs that are relevant to your website include a link to your website in your profile signature.
Note: forums don’t want your to spam their sites with your website because we all hate spam! However if your are a member of the forum or comment on a blog and have a link back to your website in a way that is acceptable to their forum or blog then it can be ok.
A good example of this is my Stackoverflow profile. I use Stackoverflow occasionally to ask and answer programming questions and my website is listed in my profile. This does not mean that I add it to every post on the site. It does, however, mean that my public profile on Stackoverflow acts as another reference to my website in the world wide web.
5. Email signatures
Every email you send to clients, friends or family should have your website in the signature. Emails are not in the pubic domain so this will not directly affect your page rank in search engines. However it will will get your website known to more people and people these days don’t really remember the full website or cant be bothered typing out all those dots and www’s! Instead they Google it. So when people Google yoursite instead of typing in www.yoursite.com.au this tells Google that your site is becoming more popular.
6. Google Maps
If your website is for a local business then register it with Google maps! This will give you exposure for localized searches. The information in this needs to be to the point, just enough for a user to be enticed enough to visit your website to find out more.
Adding a buisness to Google Maps is easy, all you need is a Google account and then go to https://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter and click the add business link. Once you have added you business Google’s automated service will either SMS or ring the telephone number supplied in the listing to verify that it is a legitimate business.
It will probably take your about a couple of hours or so to set up the points above however it is a do once and reap the rewards type of thing! Once it is done you will need to be patient and make sure your keep your content relevant to what search terms you are targeting!