Most of your customers come to you via a search engine and so appearing high in their rankings is a business necessity. Here we explain how to improve your search engine optimisation (SEO)
By Andy Atalla, founder and director of atom42
Search engines send out their spiders to crawl the web, find out what’s new, who is linking to what and where the action is. These little critters send back their data and inform organisations such as Google, Yahoo and Bing what the web looks like. When a user types in their search terms, the data gathered from the spiders is rapidly searched and the most relevant appears at the top of the results. For most users, the first page of search results is the only one they ever see. Results which appear on pages 2, 3 and onwards receive a mere fraction of the traffic gained by those on the first page.
How good is your SEO?
To begin with, type your company name into a search engine. It should be fairly high up on the first page. If not, you have a problem. The next step is to find out when you were last visited by a search engine spider, you can find out by clicking ‘cached’, which is found close to the search listing. The busiest sites are visited very often, and have good SEO rankings. If your site is visited every day then this is, in most cases, an excellent result. However, if it is just once a week, this is still a good result for many companies.
Simple ways to improve your SEO
Perform a site audit
You need to ensure your site is easy for the search engines to understand and that your code is up to scratch. Many web designers don’t understand SEO and make sites which look good but fail to register on search engines.
Use relevant keywords
Spend a little time working out which words or phrases are used by your potential customers. Ensure these terms are used on their relevant pages and in the right places – page titles are the most important.
Create engaging content
Gaining links is seen as a recommendation by search engines. By creating interesting and exciting content there is more chance that people will post links on social media sites, their own blogs and websites.
Use social media
Social media can generate traffic, links and buzz in general. It also helps you to find out what people think of you. Set up a Facebook page for your business and start using Twitter, if you’re not on their already, to let the world know you are there.