When you own or run a web site your aim is normally to promote products, services, news or a set of ideals. In order to achieve this people have to find your site and engage with it in order to digest the information presented to them. Having a great looking web site, packed with great offers, information and features is pointless if no one knows about it. The key is to drive as many people as possible to your site. This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) plays an important part.
Understanding Search Engines
There are many SEO companies out there, some very good… some not so much. One thing I’ve used to judge the calibre of these companies over the years is often one of the first things they say. How often have you been approached with an offer of getting you top of page one in Google? Sounds great, almost too good to be true right? The chances are if this promise is made to you it’s unlikely to be deliver.
Companies that understand SEO know that there are many factors involved in the ranking mechanism and while SEO experts can use their experience to improve your web sites ranking, they can not guarantee your position.
The important thing to remember is that when someone uses a search engine such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc all the search engine is trying to do is show that person the most relevant result. They use many different factors to determine this, and unless you work for one of these search engines you don’t know exactly how their ranking systems work. The search engines guard this information very carefully.
SEO experts have built up their knowledge through trial and error, extensive research to establish what they believe works best in getting the web sites they optimise in to the best position possible.
Make Your Page More Relevant
So we now understand that the search engine is trying to show the more relevant page for a search phrase we have make our web page more relevant to this phrase than other pages. Thus increasing the ranking of the page so it appears higher in the search results. With the aim of being in the holly grail of all positions…. Number 1.
Identify Popular Search Phrases
The first thing I would suggest is to note down half a dozen search phrases you think potential customers are going to type in to a search engine. If you have a unique product or service then it becomes easier to gain a high ranking for this. If your service or product is not unique then the task becomes more challenging.
Many search engines add locality automatically for companies that they feel requires a physical presence (hair dresser, joiner, cafe etc). However if your selling products or services the search engines feel can be delivered remotely you will be up against companies across the country and sometimes worldwide.
So be realistic when identifying the search phrases you want to initially target.
Writing Your Content
As the title of this article suggests the content you place on the page is considered king (well by us and many other SEO companies). Keeping in mind the search phrases you have noted start to write your content. When there is an opportunity to use one of your phrases, take it. Working these phrases in to your content will make the page more relevant when people are searching. Don’t be too in your face, make the content enjoyable to read and easy to understand.
- Don’t Spam Your PhrasesSearch engines are very advanced and well trained in spotting spam… there is a lot of it out there. Form well written sentences that your customer will understand and engage with. Make sure your spelling and grammar are good.
- Don’t Rely on Hidden TextThe text should be visible on the page, seems obvious, however some have attempted to fool search engines in the past by hiding text. So this can negatively effect your ranking.
- Don’t Waffle OnPotential customers don’t want to read pages and pages of text. They want to get the information they are looking for quickly.
- Make is personal when possibleIf you are telling the story then make it clear it’s a person that is sharing the information. People don’t engage with faceless corporations.
Reviewing the results
Once you have published the page carry out some searches using the phrases you have identified and take note of the position your page was in. The search engines won’t pick up these changes straight away. Instead they will have worked out how often the page is likely to change and will have scheduled it’s next visit accordingly. So leave this a few days, maybe even a week and recheck the results. Again note the position.
If you are not happy with the results make small changes to the content (don’t rewrite and start again) and continue to check the position your page is displayed in.