More and more often we are asked to help a website we design get to the first page of Google.
The acronym that will help you get there is SEO… SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Optimisation is all about making your website get found on the internets.
So… how do we get to the first page* on Google?
Easy, make sure your pages are search engine optimised, to do that you’ll need to do the following:
- Unique Titles, Descriptions and Keywords within Meta Tags
- Keyword Research
- Relevant Information
- W3C Compliance
- Sitemap in HTML and XML
- Sitemap and Website Submissions to Important Search Engines and Other Resources
- Keep Your Site Updated
- Ignore Pages
For each of these examples, I am going to pretend that you’re Bob from Bob’s Butchery and Streakhouse
Unique Titles, Descriptions and Keywords within Meta Tags
So, instead of having the standard “Untitled Page” or “Home Page” or “Our Products” think of something else like “Bob’s Butchery and Steakhouse – The best damn steaks in Bella Vista” or “Rib Eye Steaks, only the best from Bob’s Butchery and Steakhouse” – of course these titles will vary from page to page, so you must choose them correctly. To do this you need to have some keyword research…
Right, lets say that your main service is to provide high quality steaks at low low prices and you do this mainly in Bella Vista, you could just add your keywords as “High Quality Steak, Bella Vista”, but is that all that your potential clients will search on? You must do your research and make sure you cover your bases, don’t just add words like crazy as that will slow down the SEO. This is most likely the hardest part of SEO, but it is vitally important to obtain high rankings. Just think… would they use terms like “Cheap high quality meat” or “Beef for BBQ” – make sure you target those pages.
It’s all well and good to put effort into your titles and your keywords, but another part of SEO is to make sure that the words you have on the page match the title and the keywords. So if you have a page based on “Rib Eye Steaks” don’t put in keywords with “Pork Chops” or you’ll look like a pork chop when no one finds that page. Just bear that in mind when writing your content and remember, you’re writing for people not for Google!
W3C is an acronym for World Wide Web Consortium which is a fancy way that us web developers make sure our sites are written correctly… you see, you can cut up a steak in a weird way and still sell it as a steak, the same way with websites, you can get a site that looks fine on the outside, but just like a frankfurt, it can contain anything and everything to hold it together. Just make sure that it meets the standards, and the REAL standards, not Internet Explorer’s terrible interpretation of the standards!
Sitemap in HTML and XML
This is a simple yet often overlooked way to make your website more findable on the web. Create your website, make your sitemap, submit it to webmaster tools, Google will throw people at you, ???, profit.
Sitemap and Website Submissions to Important Search Engines and Other Resources
Google will eventually pick up on your brand spankin’ new website, especially if it is a re-brand of your old site, but, if you want to make sure that you get picked up quickly, you should submit your site to various Search Engines and Other Resources, one of the biggest is dmoz, it is a great idea to start there.
Keep Your Site Updated
When was the last time you re read a news article because it brought back some nostalgic reaction? What? oh, no, never? wow, funny that! Did you know that you need to keep your customers informed with NEW information and not just leave the “We have a new website” post on your news section. It also works the same with SEO, you won’t get ranked as high with an old article as you would with a new article. Keep posting relevant content. Why not incorporate a blog into your site?
Don’t worry about making your disclaimer or staff Christmas party (which involved steaks of course) pages searchable on the web, some things on your website are not needed to be found by search engines! Just focus on what you want your customers to find. You can use the robots.txt file to disallow certain pages to be indexed by search engines.
There are also some other little things…
I could go on and on about things you can do to make your website Search Engine Optimised… for example the use of proper naming conventions of pages, the 301 redirect, the useful 404 page, the use of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google profiles to generate links… but I have to get back to work!
If you seriously want to make it to the front page of google for the search term “Steaks Norwest” or “Norwest Web Design” be sure to do what I have mentioned above, if you’re unsure about how to go about it, give us a call, it’s what we do, as well as awesome web design, graphic design, email marketing, illustration… but you already knew that yeah?
* Please note that although you can do everything right there are no guarantees with first page rankings… if you’re a butcher and” Scrob’s Butchers” is doing all the same things as you and has been around longer… they get ranking priority over you.