Okay so you’ve had a look into search engine optimisation (SEO) and you’re a bit overwhelmed. I was at first too, but then I happened across a list of tips on how to optimise your site. Here is a run-down of what I did and what you can do too.
Okay so you’ve had a look into search engine optimisation (SEO) and you’re a bit overwhelmed. I was at first too. But then I happened across a list of tips on how to optimise your site yourself in just one hour and I thought, ‘Yep – I’ll give that a go’.
Some of the tips worked and some didn’t. Some I adapted to fit my needs better. The list is long gone but it quickly taught me the value of SEO. After I saw the results of my quick-fixes, I decided it would probably be a wise investment to pursue it further and it’s something I’ve been dedicated to ever since.
Here is a run-down of what I did and what you can do too.
Analyse Your Page Titles
Are you page titles as relevant as they possibly can be? They are amongst the first things that will drive relevant traffic to your site so they’ve simply got to hit the nail on the head. For example, do you provide cheap MOTs in Bristol and the surrounding area? Then don’t just call your homepage ‘Homepage’. Call it - you’ve guessed it - “Cheap MOTs in Bristol and the surrounding area”. If you use Google Analytics, you can use this to pin down your most valuable search terms. If you aren’t using Google Analytics and you’re serious about DIY SEO, you should set up an account ASAP.
Optimise Your Image Tags
What you call your images will be picked up by search engines. Rather than calling your images ‘IMG1’, ‘IMG2’ etc. use the ‘alt’ tag (the text that appears when a user hovers over an image) to describe the image and pack in a few keywords.
Reorganize Your Home Page
If your home page doesn’t succinctly and relevantly describe exactly what you offer, then that needs immediate attention. Homepages that simply say ‘welcome to our website’ are a waste of time and should be replaced with a brief description of your product or service. Again, use Google Analytics to polish your key phrases and use creative versions of saying the same thing. It’s very important here to bear ‘keyword stuffing’ in mind and avoid it at all costs. Put simply, it’s the overuse of repetitive keywords and will result in the major search engines turning their backs on your website.
Review and refresh your homepage regularly to make sure it’s getting exactly the right message across.
Create a Sitemap
This won’t take long, especially if your site is relatively small (but really it should be big enough to warrant a map). Building a separate HTML page that lists every page in your website has several benefits. For a start, search engines like lists so you can bullet point each page. Under each bullet point you can reiterate what the page contains, using this opportunity to rework your key phrases. Hyperlinking each page will help your SEO and your customers simultaneously. If you don’t have a sitemap, you simply must.
Limit your Links
While links are a valuable SEO tool, they can be damaging when used incorrectly. If your page lists 100s of links, you can be fairly sure that Google won’t like it. Tonnes of outgoing links don’t offer much in the way of SEO and you’re far better off concentrating on the quality of your incoming and outgoing links, rather than the quantity.
If you are helping customers with SEO and are feeling like you are a bit “in over your head” you might want to consider working with a SEO reseller like Zeno SEO. Zeno can do all the work for your customers but let you take the credit – this is great news for both you and those you are working with.