Tag Archives: Web search engine

SEO in Action – Developing an optimised web page

23 Apr

You know what SEO is. You know why you need it.

But … how in the world does it actually work?

Let’s take a look at the basics of creating an SEO friendly web page. This example is all about ‘internal ranking’, that is, what you do ON your page.

SEO in action

SEO in action

SEO Basics: Establishing keywords

First, you know what you want to write about, so you need to define keywords that are ‘essential’ to it.

Words that you believe will be used by someone doing a web search on the same/similar topic.

On each page, try to use your keywords at least three to four times.

Top Tip: Don’t just brainstorm here, check out sites such as Google Adwords and find out what people are actually typing in when they search.

For this example, let’s write about how to ‘cheat at home repair’.

As such, some applicable keywords may include:

Not forgetting that if you’re more of a local business / market, include your area:

  • Home Repair Munich

Top Tip: Also, find keywords that are similar to the main one you want to use (a thesaurus will come in handy) and include them. This will help improve the chances of catching ‘searches’ that don’t include your main keyword but something close to it.

SEO Basics: Keywords in action

Okay, you’ve chosen your keywords, now it’s time to put them directly in your article – ensuring that the ‘main’ keyword is mentioned in the following areas:

  • Article Heading
  • Page title
  • Page URL
  • Content
  • Meta description.

But first, select the MAIN keyword or keyword phrase. The one you believe will be most searched for.

Let’s select: Home Repair

This is the two word phrase we want to ensure is repeated several times throughout the article – because our research shows that ‘home repair’ is the most searched term for our market.

Top Tip: When writing your headline, it is best to put the keyword at the front. For example: Home Repair Cheats for the Everyday Handyman

Then make sure your HTML tags are the same: <Title>Home Repair Cheats for the Everyday Handyman</Title>

Now let’s look at the body copy (content) you want to include:

“Welcome!  This site is packed full of simple tips and techniques that anyone can perform with the most common equipment.

This isn’t about ignoring regulations; it’s about using smart shortcuts that will save you money, time and energy.

 All while getting the job done right!”

Do you feel that that is okay for SEO?

Of course it isn’t, otherwise, we wouldn’t be here!

  1. … it actually isn’t long enough. Ideally you will have a minimum of 300 words – we’re only at 45. An optimum page size is 500-3000 words (content is king).
  2. … where are our keywords? Home repair isn’t even mentioned.
  3. … no headlines.
  4. … no images.
  5. … no links.

So first, let’s look at where to put our keywords and how to break it up so we include good, relevant headlines. I’ll bold every keyword so it’s clear.

DON’T FORGET: Make sure the page’s URL also contains the keyword! And ideally, start off with your keyword.

Start with a main headline that has a minimum of 40 characters. Note that headlines marked with <h1> and <h2> HTML tags are more effective:

HOME REPAIR CHEATS FOR THE HANDYMAN AND DIY WOMAN

Include a relevant <IMAGE> and make sure that its <ALT> tags contain your keyword / phrase. Basically, if the website doesn’t download your image or the browser image is disabled, the text within the <ALT> tags will be displayed. If possible, also link the image to a relevant page (or your or another site).

Home repair stressing you out? It doesn’t have to.

Welcome to Do- It-Yourself-Cheats.com, your one stop DIY location.

This home renovation site is packed full of simple tips, cheats and techniques that any home owner or renter can perform with the most common tools and materials.

This isn’t about home repair that ignores building regulations; it’s about using smart shortcuts and proven techniques when you’re doing some house remodelling. Home repair cheats that will save you money, time and energy.

Include a sub headline featuring the keyword(s):

HOME REPAIR TO ANY HOW-TO-PROJECT

In fact, for any how to project, Do- It-Yourself-Cheats.com gives you the professional how to knowledge you need 24 hours a day!

All direct from the real-world experience of professional handymen and women, inspectors, architects, builders, organisers and inventors. Not forgetting anyone and everyone with very clever DIY ideas that come with a healthy dose of common sense.

And all to help you get your home repair job done right!

Include another sub headline featuring the keyword(s):

HOME REPAIR TOOLS OF THE TRADE

You may also want to include another relevant <IMAGE> (again making sure that its “alt tags” contain your keyword / phrase).

Of course before we start on any home repair, there are a few things to keep in mind.

    • Sometimes the easiest fix is the most obvious. For example, if your lamp stops working, try the light bulb first, the power plug second, etc.
    • Make a list of all the people you may need in an emergency, handypersons, electricians, plumbers, etc.
    • Be reasonable with what you know. Do not attempt dangerous repairs and modifications without any experience – call the professionals.
    • If it isn’t familiar to you, don’t rush. The old saying measure twice, cut once is true for a reason, especially DIY home repair.

And let’s not forget your tools.

Make sure the tools you buy and use are versatile, portable, readily available and durable.

So before you start, make sure you have the essentials:

    • Screwdriver
    • Crescent Wrench
    • Channel-lock pliers
    • Pipe wrench
    • Hammer
    • Utility knife
    • Chisel
    • Power drill
    • Hand saw
    • Staple gun
    • Caulking gun
    • Tape measure

Okay, we can stop there… that’s a good 335 words, so just past our 300 word minimum.

One additional thing to consider is linking to other websites and/or within your own site. When linking, use keywords in the text of page links – this can help enhance your page rank.

Finally, you’re nearly there.

But before you post your page, let’s look at three things:

1.       Your Description Meta tag, which is used to specify page descriptions.

Search engines display the information you put into your Description Meta tag in their search results, making it very important. Especially if your result is right next to a competitor – your visitor will choose the one with the page description that they like most.

And yes, it should also have your favourite keywords!

Our example, embedded in our HTML, will look something like this:

<metaname=”description”content=”Home repair cheats for everyone wanting to save time, money and energy!”/>

2.       One keyword phrase for each page

This basically means it is best to not have every page (or post) use the same keyword / keyword phrase. So we would use ‘home repair’ only on one page. Our next page may use ‘do it yourself’ or simply get more specific ‘toilet repair’, etc.

3.       Keyword density

This is the measure of the ‘relative frequency’ of your keyword within the copy of your page. If you use ‘repair’ five times in a page with 100 words, your keyword density is 5%. Ideally you want to hit between 2 to 5 per cent. Too low the search engine may ignore the page, too high it may activate its spam filter.

In our example, our keyword (home repair) appeared 12 times (not counting variations), giving us a keyword density (for 335 words) of 3.60%, which is ideal.

And with that, you’re basically done.

At least until you start working on your External ranking!

Author: Paul Treleaven

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SEO, What You Need To Know (Part 3 of 3)

2 Apr

Part 3: Getting social about SEO

Today, a successful website is all about making connections.

If you aren’t including social media / web participation in your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) processes you won’t be getting the full benefits of either.

social_media_icons

Bring Your Customers Together

Why?

Because social media is all about sharing.

People vote, comment and most importantly, link (a fundamental part of SEO) to what engages and interests them. This linking is literally lead generation for your business.

When those links are inbound to your web pages, you’ll do better on search engine rankings and get a lot more traffic to your site.

With careful planning and a set goal, SEO with Social Media can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy, especially as an active component to content marketing.

This means creating SEO optimised content that truly connects with your audience, that engages them in such a way that they want (if not need) to share the experience with others.

It is not about content that directly ‘sells’ but that does influence the reader’s thinking in that direction.

And once you have everyone sharing, talking and visiting your site, your chances of converting visitors to customers is greatly enhanced.

To achieve this you need a two-step strategy:

  1. An overall SEO / Social Media framework
  2. A direct way to set it up and get working

FIRST: Establish your Framework:

  •  Identify / get your audience
    • Do your research and fully define who they are, where they are, and what they want.
    • One way to help do this is by using social media monitoring software such as Salesforce Radian6.
  • Define your objectives and strategy
    • Be clear about what you want to achieve. How you work towards more sales will be different to how you work towards enhancing your brand.
    • Look at the best ways of doing that through optimised content and interaction.
    • Organise a framework of connected social media sites that encourages easy sharing and proactive promotion.
  • Get connected
    • Where does your target audience spend its time online, which social media is most used?
    • Link them all up.
  • Optimise with SEO
  • Measure your goals
    • Look at social media and web analytic tools.

SECOND: Get to work:

Once you have a set framework established, it’s all about the day-to-day business of connecting with your audience.

Here are a few steps to help you on your way:

  • Register with the most relevant and major social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
    • They’re where your audience is and by being on them you build credibility with search engines.
  • Display your social media ‘share’ buttons on every relevant page of your websites and blogs (remembering every time a user clicks on them improves your credibility and ranking), for example:
    • Facebook users will “like” your page and their friends will see that
    • You can also use a ‘catch all’ service such as: http://share.lockerz.com/
  •  Display your social media ‘connect’ buttons (as above)
    • Visitors can then directly follow your Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, etc. within their preferred social media channel rather than always revisitting your site.
  • Develop your content and distribute it across all of them
    • Make it new, interesting and relevant
    • Optimise it for SEO
    • Publish a lot of it
    • Encourage comments and respond to them
  • Build an ‘opt-in’ email list for direct marketing campaigns
  • Promote, promote and promote your posts
    • Syndicate them across all of your social channels
    • Comment on blogs (with links back to your site)
    • Participate in forums
    • Send out press releases
    • etc.
  • Take the time, a lot of time, to do it right.

Once all the pieces are in place, you can better connect with your audience, achieve higher search engine rankings, and cost-effectively promote your business by having your own customers do (a fair bit of) the work for you.

By combining SEO with your Social Media strategy, the benefits are virtually unlimited.

Click here to read part 1 and here to read part 2.

Author:  Paul Treleaven

SEO, what you need to know (Part 2 of 3)

26 Mar

Part 2: How exactly does SEO work?

SEO is a process to help increase visitors to your website (using organic ((natural or un-paid)) search results) via the listings on search engines. Each results list shows and ranks content on what it considers most relevant and/or important to users.

How to get up the search ranks?

How to get up the search ranks?

This ranking is achieved by two main factors, what is On-Page and what is Off-Page.

  • On Page SEO is anything that can be done ‘on the page’ to optimise its relevancy. So good titles, descriptions and appropriate key words.
  • Off Page SEO is basically ‘link building’; where a large effort is made to have links come back to your site and help build its reputation.

All combining to help ensure your site is at its optimum when ‘scanned’ by a search engine, which uses complex algorithms to search (and index) each web page for specific content including:

  • Words (keywords). Each search engine scans every word in your website to help produce results. For example, if your site contains the word ‘holiday’ and someone searches for ‘holiday’ the search engine will then list websites that contain that word.
  • Titles. You won’t often see them as they are in your web pages’ code, e.g: <title>Europe’s Best Holidays</title> but they are very important as they provide a quick and descriptive summary of the page.
  • Links. Each link between web pages can be seen as one ‘recommending’ another page to users. So if one page has a lot of links to it that will look good to a search engine.
  • Words in links. By linking a specific word or phrase that is relevant to the link, the search engine will connect those words with the site. For example, if you have a hyperlink ‘travel Germany’ that links to ‘EuropeanHolidays.com’, the search engine will better rate ‘EuropeanHolidays.com’ on any search result that looks for ‘travel’ and ‘Germany’.
  • Reputation. This is all about producing consistently fresh, engaging content and higher numbers of quality links, which rate higher in search engine algorithms and are then deemed ‘more important’ to users.

When the above is done right, your website can rank higher in search results, which means more people see your site.

So what elements can you use to help your site rank better?

  •  Keywords
    • These are any words and phrases that are unique to each page and the product, theme, etc, and which you believe your customers are searching for. It can also be best to ignore keywords that are too generic as they will get lost amongst all the online ‘noise’, for example,  instead of the too generic ‘widget’, use a more descriptive element such as ‘acrylic self-binding widget’.
    • Keywords are what you will / should design your site around.
  • Metadata and metatags
    • Once your keywords are selected, it’s time to customise and make unique the metadata (embedded descriptive information) on every page.
    • Metadata is coded into what are termed ‘metatags’.
    • The more ‘generic’ and ‘same’ metadata you use the more a search engine will give you a worse ranking.
    •  Metatag example:
      • <meta name=”description” content=”Metatags and SEO.”>
      • <meta name=”keywords” content=”metadata, metatags, SEO, web design, resources, HTML authoring”>

TOP TIP: Keep metatags simple and concise as some search engines ignore long descriptions and too many keywords. They may even rank you lower if you repeat a keyword too often. With this in mind, prioritize the most important keywords first in any list as a search engine may only read a specific amount of keywords.

  • Content and New Content
    • The old saying that ‘content is king’ is absolutely true. That’s why you should keep it as unique and as updated as you can. It’s also better on average to have more on each page than less.
    • Always do your best to add new content – and link it within your own site – as much as possible, this gives search engines another reason to come back and rescan your site.
  • Link Building
    • Perhaps the hardest, most time-consuming part of the SEO process, link building is all about establishing inbound links from other sites. The more sites that link directly to your site the better, as the search engine ‘assumes’ an importance to the site being linked to.
    • It is also best to have links coming from sites that have similar keywords to yours, so a site about ‘bread’ that links back to your ‘bread’ page will be seen as more relevant and therefore better rated.

AND A WARNING: Spamming.

When a keyword is used repeatedly it is called ‘metatag spamming’ or ‘keyword loading’ (specifically when you use irrelevant words such as ‘sex’ or ‘porn’ that you feel will increase traffic to your site) and a search engine can penalize you for it. You should also be careful about using someone else’s trademark.

Additional spamming methods to avoid include: hidden links or hidden text, duplicate content on multiple pages, intentional misspelling of web site names and popular keywords, and using link farms.

By helping to ensure your site is accessible to, and optimized for, a search engine (including Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.), SEO can help your site obtain higher-ranking placement in search result pages.

But keep in mind:

Search engines constantly change their algorithms and this means what works one day may not work the next. Good SEO has to keep up with these changes.

SEO may not be appropriate to your site and you may achieve more by looking at other marketing strategies.

When it comes to SEO, it is impossible to guarantee the 1st spot. If any SEO specialist says they can, be skeptical.

But when SEO is done right and inline with your overall marketing strategy, with accurate research, quality content and strong link building, the benefits to your business can be significant.

Author: Paul Treleaven

Find part 1 of this article here. Visit soon to read Part 3: SEO and Social Media!

SEO, What You Need To Know (Part 1 of 3)

21 Mar

Part 1: Why You Need Good SEO

wireless network light

Not sure if you need SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?

Not even sure what it’s all about?

Well, let’s look at it this way… when you use a search engine to find a product or service, how do you feel about the top ten results?

Odds are you see them as being ‘the best’.  Why else would they be ranked so highly?

The next question, of course, is how do you feel about the following pages (and pages and pages) of results?

If you rarely look beyond the first four pages, you’re not alone.

Studies show that the majority of people don’t look beyond the first few pages, while the majority of clicks are within the top 10 results. An Optify study showed that the website ranked first received an average click-through rate of 36.4 per cent with the second receiving 12.5 per cent and the third 9.5 per cent. Out of all the thousands of links, the top three alone accounted for nearly 60% of all clicks.

While these percentages will naturally change, it’s clear that if your site isn’t listed in the top 10 to 20, odds are you’re not getting as many online visitors as you could.

This is not to say that a successful website must be in the top ranking results, it simply means your site is easier to find and that it stands out amongst the competition.

Basically, ‘how’ people view search engine results is quickly changing.

Rankings are increasingly seen as being more about ‘reputation’ than a simple list of ‘related’ sites that contain the word you searched for.

TOP TIP: Today, most search engine algorithms actually rank words in context. Simply having the word ‘bread’ listed dozens of times no longer ensures you rank highly; it has to be better integrated into the pages overall content.

People now expect that the sites (brands) at the top of search results to be the leading brands. And that means the top listed sites are the ones that get clicked.

But such perceptions of quality aren’t necessarily true.

And this is where ‘good’ SEO comes in. Each site that ranks highest has used a variety of SEO techniques to help increase rankings, traffic and, hopefully, conversion.

This is the true strength of SEO and why it’s something you cannot ignore.

To read part 2, click here.

Author: Paul Treleaven

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