Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Basics

Here are some SEO basics to start you on the road to successful search engine optimisation of your website.

Technical Issues

Domain:

Either ensure you use the correct domain extension (for example - co.UK) for the geographic market that you’re targeting or make sure that the hosting is physically located there if using a generic domain like a .com or .net.

Page Titles

Ensure each and every page has a unique title that accurately describes the content of the page and is limited to 70 characters.

URLs

Try to ensure your URLs mirror your site structure. For example http://www.domain.com/category/sub-category/pro duct.html rather than http://www.domain.com/t2376dt278dge78dd.php

Site Structure

For larger sites, the information should be organised as a logical categorised hierarchy. A defined category/sub-category structure works best for grouping pages together.

Meta Descriptions

Additionally, each page should also contain a unique meta description of its contents – limit to 155 characters.

Navigation

As well as menu navigation try also to include breadcrumb navigation which helps maximise your internal link structure.

Page Mark-Up

On each page ensure there are H1 (heading) tags defining the main heading and images have alt attributes describing the image content.

Content

Content drives visitors, encourages people to link to it, ensures return visits, creates trust and strengthens your brand – it’s VITAL.

Keywords – Understand your keywords. Brainstorm a list, take a look at your competitors, and talk to your salespeople and clients. Understand what your potential clients are looking for. Add new content on a regular basis. Aim to turn your site into the definitive resource on your particular subject. Having an 8-page ‘brochure’ site doesn’t cut it anymore. Content ideas include company news, industry news, product news, opinion and comment, FAQs, guides, directories, lists, humour.

External Factors

Links are the medium by which search engines develop trust in your website and it is this trust that drives search engine ranking increases.

Get links through your connections professional bodies, business contacts and acquaintances and any other relevant websites that you have access to. Submit to good quality online directories and any niche industry directories that you can find. Other forms of link acquisition include press release syndication, industry forums and blogs, profile pages, ‘guest’ writing on 3rd party websites, business/product reviews. Social media – Get involved with social media within your industry. Network and comment on relevant blogs and forums, offer to write for industry sites.

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