We have compliled a list of what we believe to be the most important aspects of Search Engine Optimisation. We hope you find these useful:
1) Domain Name – If you want to rank well for a specific phrase or keyword, then you must start with the domain name itself. Make certain where possible that the domain name contains the keywords or phrase that you would like to rank for. Just your company name isn’t always enough enough if you’re looking to rank for a very generic search term.
2) Locality – It’s now more important than ever that you let Google know where you are based as Google now puts more focus on highly contextual and localised results. It’s important that your website is hosted in the country you are targetting as well as using keywords containing the area in which you are based.
3) Keywords – Perhaps the most important point on the list. It’s vital that you include your keywords in the content of your website and that you format them properly to achieve any ranking at all. Use <strong> tags in your HTML to emphasize your keywords and use heading tags (h1, h2, h3) appropriately.
4) Back links – When other websites link to your website, this tells Google that your website has quality content which others value. The more websites who link to you the better but avoid reciprical links as this may give visitors the impression they are visiting a link farm!
5) HTML Markup – How your website is built is important. If the website is thrown together without care then the Search Engines won’t be able to crawl it and will leave. Try to follow guidelines and validate your HTML using the W3C validator tool.
6) Images – It is important to use imagery on your website for aesthetic appeal. If a visitor see’s blocks and blocks of text, they’re likely to run a mile. Use images to grab their attention but remember to use the “alt” attribute as Search Engines cannot understand images. Use this attribute to describe what the image represents and include one or two keywords appropriately.
7) Social Media – Twitter and Facebook are the two of the biggest websites on the internet and if used correctly, you have the potential to reach out to millions of users. Create something which is share-worthy – perhaps run a competition or create a funny video which users will share with their friends.
8) Mobile – Mobile devices are now ever more prevalent in today’s society. It is important you optimise your website for mobile browsing and usability. Also keep in mind that it may look good on your phone, but how does it look on a BlackBerry, iPhone, Android…?
9) Flash and Frames – Avoiding using Frames completely and use Flash sparingly as Search Engines cannot read the contents of either. If you must use Flash on your website, provide an HTML alternative which is clearly linked and close to the Flash applet. This way, Search Engines will have something to crawl and users without Flash will be able to see something!
10) Content is important – If your website content does not reflect the purpose of your website and the purpose of your business, there is little chance the Search Engines will rank you high for the keywords associated with your organisation.