Optimising your Site for Search Engines in 10 Steps

Search engine optimisation is one of the main ways to get your website found, but making the search engines want to rank your site highly can be difficult. These ten steps will help you get well on your way to optimising your site.

Optimising your site SEO Hello
Optimising your site SEO Hello
  1. Find Relevant Keywords

Google’s keyword research tool is probably the best way to find keywords. It will help suggest relevant keywords, tell you how often they are searched (nationally and internationally), and how much competition there is.

  1. Choose the Best Ones

The biggest mistake is just picking the keywords with the highest search volumes. Think carefully about relevance, and which ones are likely to be used by people actually looking for your business. Think also about competition; you may get better results with lower search volumes but less competition.

  1. Place Them Strategically

There are a few specific places that search engines like to see your keywords. Aim to use them in the title, the first paragraph and at least one subheading. When search engines find keywords in these positions, they judge it to mean the page is more relevant to the search query.

  1. Have Quality Content

Your content should not overuse keywords; this is a common mistake and gets penalised by search engines. Neither should it be designed to appeal to search engines alone and be off putting to users. Quality, professional content will both attract search engines and engage with users.

  1. Write a Good Meta Description

On the subject of engaging users as well as search engines, your meta description will usually be used as the brief summary of your site that users see in search results. If you want your page to not only rank highly but attract clicks, use a good meta description.

  1. Use Page Titles Well

Page titles will also be shown to users in search results, as well as crawled by search engines. Include relevant keywords, and write them in a way that will also appear to users. They should be informative without being excessively long.

  1. Get Incoming Links

If a site has been linked to by other sites, then search engines assume this must mean the site is useful and worth linking to. They are therefore ranked higher and get more visitors. Build links from other sites through tactics like offering to submit articles for blogs.

  1. Use Outgoing Links

Search engines also like to see (relevant) links going out of websites, as this is often an indicator of quality content. Use a couple of links in your content, preferably leading to very reputable sites such as news outlets.

  1. Don’t Hide Content

It’s easy to inadvertently hide quality content from search engines. They cannot crawl images and videos, so make sure you give them something they can crawl. Always use the “alt text” attribute for images, and include transcripts of useful content given in video form.

  1. Update Regularly

Websites that are regularly updated with new pages or revised content appeal to search engines. This is a sign of a website that is actively-maintained and unlikely to contain out-of-date information. Having an on-site blog is a relatively easy way to add regular new pages.

 

The way in which Search Engines Operate

Search Engines Functionality

Search engines have main functionalities, two of the major ones being the crawling of the web and building an index once crawled. The engine then ranks the websites based on their criteria of providing the most relevance to the user.

The Process of Crawling and the Indexation

You could use the analogy of the World Wide Web (WWW) being a network of calling points in a large city subway. Each of these calling points has unique content (typically a web page, image, PDF etc.). The search engines need to find a way to ‘crawl’ the whole city and find all the calling points along the way. By using the best network available, being links.

This link structure of the WWW serves a purpose in a way to bind all the calling points together.

Search engines use robots, usually referred to as ‘spider’, ‘bots’ or ‘crawlers’ to reach the billions of inter connected webpages on the WWW by following links.

Learn search engine optimisation (SEO)

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of gaining higher search engine results positions (SERPs) by improving and promoting a website. The aim is to increase the amount of traffic the website receives. There are several aspects when it comes to SEO. On page factors and the actual content that is there to the different ways in which other website link back to your website. A basic form of SEO can be making sure that the website is structured in an easy way so that the search engine can find and read it.

Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation

Google want you to think about the end user of the website – your potential customers. Although building a search engine friendly website is desirable, Google do want you site to be user friendly.

Why you need SEO

Google, Yahoo and Bing are the three major search engines that we use today. The majority of the traffic coming from Google. Although traffic can come from social media and referral websites, the bulk of the traffic will come from search engines as this is the main methods people will use to search for things.

Search engines are ideal for business owners because they provide targeted traffic. No other form of marketing can do this. Therefore it is essential that your website can be found and your content is cached into their servers. Otherwise you could be missing out on some serious amounts of traffic.

The term ‘search queries’ relates to the words that users’ type into the search box. These search queries are extremely valuable. The traffic from search engines (primarily Google) are really make the difference from a company doing badly to doing very well. Targeted search traffic is a unique form of marketing. Invest wisely in SEO and it can pay off multiple times over.

Why your website needs optimised

There is no doubt that search engine robots are smart, however, they still need help. SEO helps you website be seen and read by the robots. Even with new technologies being created to help produce better search results. There is a base algorithm that is used to generate the results. Knowing what factors influence the algorithm in your favour are key. Get this right and rank your website highly will bring in the traffic. Make the wrong moves and you could get penalised!

DIY SEO

The basics of SEO are exactly that, basic. So, you can learn SEO and you probably will achieve some success. The amount of information about SEO is huge and is widely available, such as this resource.

SEO can be very time intensive, you will need to keep reading and learning and putting what you learn into practice. SEO can be costly especially if you do not know what you are doing. Why not put your trust in SEO Hello who have carrying out SEO for a number of years and have plenty of major successes.

Where are we now 2015?

A little update..where are we now

Where are we now
Where are we now

Since the last update, where are we now… Well seohello.co.uk site which runs on WordPress has been updated at least, to the newest version. But, still keeping the theme for the time being.

Keyword Positions

  • SEO Hello went from 1st to 140th to 2nd
  • SEO Glasgow went from 8th to 172nd to 154th
  • Glasgow SEO went from 7th to 245th to 161st

Not ideal, although it is somewhat better than the previous rankings in January 2015!

Getting Social

For greater brand awareness, our social profiles can be found:

Wow, I’ve fallen off the World Wide Web sphere of Google!

Fallen off the edge in terms of Google rankings
Fallen off the edge in terms of Google rankings

Okay, I know it has been a long while since last posting. Over two years! That’s passing several Google algorithm updates (Panda and Penguin) and the likes. The most noticeable are the drop in the rankings for this very website. Here are a few of them before (08/10/2012) and after (05/01/2014) – keyword positions:

  • SEO Hello went from 1st to 140th
  • SEO Glasgow went from 8th to 172nd
  • Glasgow SEO went from 7th to 245th

One can conclude that there will be virtually zero traffic from these results and also it shows that Google really does like up-to-date content. Let’s see what happens to these search engine result pages after indexing of this blog post?

Several actions need to be taken for SEO Hello such as adding our Facebook page, Google+ profile, Twitter etc etc. Not only will this create some new fresh authoritative links from well established sites, it’ll also get our brand out there. We recommend this for all clients as it helps provide exposure to potential customers and also the search engines (and in turn potential customers through better rankings). A recent post I came across has some great ideas to help launch a site. Although they are targeting business owners in the USA, the vast majority of the ideas can be implemented over here in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Google Place listings are also very useful as they are given more viewing space in Google’s results pages. Along with reviews and pictures, depending on the competition, you are able to take up quite a lot of the page – ideal for any business!

Aside from the above basics, the site needs to be updated too. That will start with the newest version of WordPress and possibly a new theme/template. Google authorship would be in the list of to do’s and then focus on some social media optimising.

That about sums up this post as I have quite literally fallen off any sort of traffic searching potential client searches. Remember though, we shall see what happens after the indexing. Cue later post.

4. Link Exchanging

It is regarded as not good practice to exchange links just for the sake of getting more links by search engines like Google and Bing. There are several different methods of link exchanging.

Some link exchanges can be automated (usually via php scripts) or can be arranged by organisations or groups. It can be said though, that link exchanges still can add value to users and therefore provides a legitimate method to link building. The different types of link exchanging can be view as follows.

Different types of link exchanging

Of the many different types for link exchanging, here are the two most common:

Reciprocal linking: Typically referred to as two way links. This is when two sites link to each other, i.e site A has a link pointing to site B and vice versa.

Three way linking: If an individual or organisation owns more than one website, they can exchange a link to one of their sites but linking back from another site that they own.

Google does not like link exchanges

It is common knowledge between SEO experts that the search engines do not like this kind of activity when the links are completely unrelated. Furthermore, it is even easier to detect if automation software is used to do the link exchanging.

However, link exchanges can be relevant in some cases. Ideally all links should be from sites with related content as this is a marker of relevancy for the linking site. For user friendliness, the link should add some value, possibly giving the reader further information or insights to related topics.

If the link is not adding value for the reader then it is possible to receive a penalty from the search engines like Google or Bing, but this is likely to only happen when the link exchanging is carried out on a large scale. A further disadvantage would be if the link is deemed as being a paid link.

Therefore, link exchanging can be worthwhile if carried out in moderation and with relevancy in mind.

3. Link Baiting

This means creating content so that people link back, like I mentioned before about obtaining natural links.  Ideally, after reading this, hopefully you have found it useful and link back to the site homepage, using SEO Glasgow.

It is probably much easier to get people to follow you via social media platforms, like Facebook.  Depending on your industry, various ideas might work, such as:

  • Controversial images, videos or phrases
  • Comical content
  • Competitions
  • Prize draws

2. In an ideal world you would want natural links

This is what any search engine optimisation expert would want to achieve, however, this can be difficult.

Possibilities to attract natural links, however, this is likely to take a very long time:

Honesty

Regardless what type of site you have, it is always going to be beneficial if you are honest.  For example, in an ecommerce store: do not mislead a potential customer with an offer that is not what you have advertised on another section of your website.

Additional resources

Providing additional links or tools with your customers is going to be worthwhile, whether it be from them linking back to you or by word of mouth.

Create fresh, interesting content

Keep your customers up to date with the latest news in your industry (in this case SEO Glasgow) or related news headlines.  Anything that is going to be useful for your audience; possibly your business was advertising at an exhibition, write about the day, add some photos to the article and publish it.

Have a presence on social platforms

If possible, be as active as you can on forums and other related blogs, although most of these tend to allow no-follow links, it can still be of value to your site.

1. Why Link Building Matters

First off, I will explain why link building is the most influential factor of an SEO strategy (even for this SEO Glasgow strategy).

Why do back links have such an influence?

Back links are the most important aspect in SEO and here are some of the reasons why:

  • Regard each link as a vote: Therefore having lots of links will give your website importance because it appears to be ‘voted’ a lot on the web.
  • Good sites with good content will tend to attract links naturally over time: This has to be carried out frequently to engage people in what you write or offer.
  • Links equal trust: Typically, links are viewed by the search engines as being a sign of trust.  Ideally, you want a constant steady flow of incoming links.

Common link building misconceptions resolved

  • Page Rank (PR) isn’t everything when it comes to back links: Although still a factor of link value, you still need a variety of links from several sites.  It is also worth noting that you can achieve higher rankings for keywords by obtaining links from relevant sites over high PR sites.
  • Swamping your site with links is risky: This is true, if you obtain lots of links very quickly you run the risk of your site being penalised.
  • No-follow links carry no value: This is not true; there is still benefit from obtaining links from sites that allow no-follow links, as long as you use the target keyword.

Getting Pages Indexed

It can be argued that the amount of indexed pages in the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing can be used as an indicator as to the visibility and importance of a site.  Also, if your pages haven’t been indexed, then nobody can find them either!

Are your web pages indexed in Google

Check to see if all of your website pages are included in the search engines.

Determine indexation

In order to have all the pages on your website indexed in the search engines, then some search engine optimisation (SEO) needs to be carried out.  Basic things like unique meta tags, mainly the title and description.  Then the actual page content should be unique too.  A good tool to use is the Copyscape plagiarism checker, which is free and will show you exactly what parts of text has been copied.

Another good tip is to link internally with varied anchor text links from different pages within your website.  Not only will this boost the page you are ranking to, but also help with indexing.

How to find out what pages are indexed?

Thankfully, another free tool I guess you could call it.  All you need to do is type in site followed by a colon and then your site’s address into most search engines.  For example, to check this site, SEO Hello, you would enter ‘site:http://www.seohello.co.uk/’ into Google and that will show you all of the indexed pages.

Why should we bother about indexing?

If you publish content on your website, you want to make sure Google and the other major search engines are picking it up otherwise nobody will be able to find it through searching.  Unique, indexed and content rich pages will help give your website authority in the eyes of Google and will usually help outrank other sites.  Look at some of the big articles sites out there just now that only accept unique content; you will see that they normally rank quite highly.

The best method to get your website indexed

Sitemaps: Within your Google Webmaster Tools or Bing accounts, there is an option to upload a sitemap, I would suggest carrying this out and also internally linking you website pages to the xml or html sitemap.

Internal Links: The more, the better.  Vary the anchor text for a better link profile. Also, refer to one of my previous posts regarding on page optimisation techniques.

External Links: Links from related pages from other sites will help rank your page highly.

On Page Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation Tips & Techniques to Increase your Website’s Search Engine Results Positions

If you’ve done your keyword research using one of the many tools freely available, such as Google KeywordTool as suggested in my last post. Analyse your competition to see what they are ranking for and gauge their success. Have a look into their link profile and develop your own link building strategy. On page SEO is just one aspect of the bigger picture, albeit a very important one, and as such you should spend time on this.

Having your keywords finalised for each page is a step in the right direction. I would recommend that you focus on three keywords, at the most, per page normally. A point to remember is that you don’t have to try and fit all your keywords to just the homepage, simply use another page of your website.

As an example, I could use the following root of the domain –

www.mysuperseowebsite.co.uk, to target the keywords; internet marketing and internet marketing services.  Then I can use:

www.mysuperseowebsite.co.uk/small-business-seo, to target different a different keyword like small business SEO.

Once you have decided on which page to use for your chosen keywords, I would page attention to the important on page factors as follows:

1.)    Title Tags

The title tag of each page is one of the most important factors for on page optimisation and overall in search engine optimisation. This tag is used to explain to the search engine bots what the page is about and this is what is shown in bold or blue text after you search for something, therefore it is essential to place your keyword in the title tag, not just for the search engines, but for your customers, so that they know what is on your website page. The key to writing a search engine friendly title that is effective in targeting your keywords is to make the title look natural whilst still including the target keywords and to limit the character length (including spaces) to between 60 and 65.

2.)    Meta Description

This is another important part of on page optimisation. The meta description is shown under the title in the search engine results and typically Google will display around 150-160 characters here. Spend time on these, make sure that each meta description is unique and include your keywords here whilst not making it look or read unnaturally. Think of the meta description as a brief sales pitch to your potential customers.

3.)    Content

The first part to look at is the page heading which should normally be in h1 tags. Also, try and include the page keywords with this tag as it is good from an SEO point as the search engines give this weight over other on page factors. For subtitles and other important headings use h2 and h3 tags as these carry less weight, but will still be picked up by the search engines. Note well though not to spam the page with keywords, don’t force a keyword into all h2 and h3 tags, only if it reads and makes sense to do so. Next, the content on the page should be relevant to the keywords for the page, it’s quite straightforward. Another tip to use is to bold, italicise or underline your keywords within the content on the page, again don’t over use these.

4.)    Alt Tags

Alt tags can be found when you hover over an image, usually some text will appear, this is the ‘alternate tag’. These can also be a good method of adding either keywords or related content to the keywords to describe the image.

5.)    Video

Placing a video on your website can be a good way to keep visitors on your site for a longer period of time. And if you upload the video via YouTube, you can create a nice link back to your site from an authoritative site, ideal for SEO.

6.)    Contextual Links

In effect, internal links using keyword anchor text. For example, if you create a page within your website that targets ‘small business SEO’, you can link from another page that mentions the this keywords or similar, thus creating a contextual anchor link.

7.)    Keyword Domains

Domains that contain keywords are ideal for increasing search engine results positions, but these aren’t always available or appropriate. But, the next best thing is to create keyword rich sub URL’s. An example would be as before, if the keyword is small business seo, the best URL would be something like www.mysuperseowebsite.co.uk/small-business-seo.

You should now have a reasonable understanding of on page optimisation.  If your current site lacks the above, make the changes and then allow the search engines to cache (re-index) the page and see what happens to the search engine results position for your chosen keywords. If you don’t know how to carry these techniques out or just don’t have the time, get in touch today!

Welcome to seo hello

Welcome to SEO Hello. This website has specifically been created to see if it is possible to rank on page one of Google for SEO Glasgow. I will begin to just write articles about search engine optimisation which is commonly abbreviated to SEO.  Furthermore, because I am located in Glasgow, it should make this website all the more relevant for SEO Glasgow.

The next thing to achieve is a worthy credible link towards this page, and then monitor what happens to the position.

If you are wondering what search engine optimisation (or SEO) means, it is simply to make a website more relevant to the search engines for certain keywords, typically with a high search volume.  There are various tools out there which will allow you to see the amount of searches people are making for a particular keyword, one example is Google’s KeywordTool.