- SEO is not a process which delivers instant results. To see any change in your performance will take time. Your wait may be proportionate to how small you are and how new you are to doing business online.
- SEO is an ongoing process and you need to stay committed to giving it the attention it requires. Search engine algorithms change regularly and you need to adjust to suit the new criteria required to rank well.
- If you choose to do DIY SEO then make sure you learn as much as you can. There is an abundance of information available online and in print to suit learners of all levels. SEO is worth doing well – and being able to make informed and knowledgeable decisions about the tactics you use will help you achieve good results.
- Before you commit to using a company to manage your SEO be sure you do your own research online. Try to gain an appreciation for the basics and understand the risks and benefits of the tactics which they employ.
- The most obvious first-step is to make sure you build a good website to start with. Understand what the industry considers to be best practice and look to emulate the better examples of your strongest competitors.
- Have good web analytics software in place from the beginning. You should have measurable objectives and goals in place. The only sure way to properly manage the process is to have good performance data – this will help you monitor and adjust where necessary.
- Use SEO-friendly URLs and try to include your keywords. Try no to have more than three hyphens in any one URL – it may look too ‘spammy’ and discourage potential visitors.
For example: yourdomain.co.uk/blue-whatcha-macallit.html
- Search engines cannot index pages which the spiders cannot crawl. A site map page will help the spiders to find the important pages on your site and understand the hierarchy of page importance. Try to keep the links within your site map to no more than 70.
- Keyword research is probably best to come at the start of your web project, especially if you haven’t got the biggest budget to throw at it. This prevents mistakes later on and ensures your spending on the right keywords from the start. Use Keyword Discovery or WordTracker to check relative volume of your keywords.
- Be sure to write unique page titles and meta descriptions for each page of your website. The page title is the most important on-page SEO factor and, though not used to help you rank, the description is the text snippet which appears directly beneath the page title. It is useful if this contains the keywords so the visitor knows the content is relevant. Descriptions should be written so as to encourage visitors to click through to your site.
- Content is king. Regardless of whatever bots or spiders are crawling your site, they aren’t the ones purchasing your products or services. You need to write for your target audience first and foremost. It is important to have things like keywords in your text, but your text needs to be readable and compelling.
- Use keywords as anchor text for your internal page links. Using keywords for this helps tell the spiders what content the page is linking to. ‘Click here’ doesn’t provide any indication what the linked-to page is about and has no value for search engine optimisation.
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