The SEO Hype – Website Development
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation and is the process of analysing a site identifying and implementing changes in order that search engines can reach, read and index your website pages. The more efficient your SEO, the higher up the search results your page will appear. There are some basic steps to SEO that every web developer should consider when designing and building a site as well as once it is built.
1. Meta Tags. What are they?
Every page of your site should include meta tags. There are many different meta tags but a majority are now obsolete, however there are two that every page of your site should include. These are especially pertinent when being indexed by Google.
Keywords:- Should be relevant to the specific page they are included in, not generic to the whole site.
Description:- A short but informative description of your site. With engines like Google, this will appear on the search results page under your site name.
There are other meta tags you may wish to include, but they aren’t entirely necessary; becoming more and more obsolete as the internet develops.
2. Keyword Selection.
I know we’ve already briefly covered this in the last section but it is a very important factor to SEO and your website. You should always thoroughly research your proposed keywords. Don’t select keywords that competitors are using unless you are confident you can steal above them in the ranking and take the coveted top spot.
On the other hand, don’t select keywords that are never searched for. Obviously, you won’t get any visitors if you do this. The key to the perfect keyword selection is getting the perfect balance. If you can find a ‘niche’ keyword that gets regular searches but there is little competition you should definitely use these keywords.
Once you’ve selected your keywords you then need to determine a keyword density to use. There has always been heated debate over this but a good rule of thumb is to aim for around a 10% density with the main keywords on your page.
3. Your site should be indexable.
When a search engine judges your site for how appropriate it is, it needs to be able to look through each of your pages. In order to do this, it needs to be able to determine which pages belong to your site. If you use static text link navigation for your menu then there won’t be a problem. If, however, you use hover buttons or a fantastic looking navigation bar then you should have a sitemap and a text link leading to that sitemap. This way, the search engine spiders can find there way around.
4. Submit, submit, submit.
Once you’ve finished the steps above you need to submit your site to search engines and to directories. There are plenty of these around so get looking. Don’t just concentrate on Google. It’s true that Google and sites that use Google receive about 50% of all searches but if you only concentrate on Google you’re losing out on 50%.
5. Link building.
You’ve probably seen sites that display none of the principles above and may have thought to yourself ‘How did they get to the top of the ranking?’. The answer is simple, linking.
Google and other search engines and directories see a link to a site as an indication of that site’s popularity. Therefore, the more links you have the better the search engines expect your site to be. Also, if your links come from higher ranked pages, those links are deemed as more valuable.
Get as many links as you can.
6. The bottom line.
Above are the basic rules of SEO and how to get more visitors to your site. Once you’ve got the visitors to your site it is up to you and your product to convert surfers into sales.
Keyword choice, keyword optimisation, indexing your site, submitting your site and getting links to your site are the most effective methods of free or very cheap SEO available and you can do them all yourself.