Ten quick steps to improve your website’s SEO

Once you’ve got your business’s website up and running, you need to attract relevant traffic to your site. Follow these simple tips to optimise your website to ensure you are maximising your presence online. 

1. Register with Google Webmaster Tools

Register your website for free at Google Webmaster Tools. This will show you any potential issues with your website that may influence your search engine position.

2. Do your keyword research

Use Google’s free Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool to determine what keywords you should target for your website. Pick two or three word terms as these are easier to work with and are known to have a higher conversion rate than single word terms.

3. Structure your title tags

Make sure each page of your website has a unique tag and that this tag starts with the keyword targeted to this page, for example:</p><p><title>Metal Widgets | Buy aluminium, brass and steel widgets for sale at Bob’s Engineering

In this example, the title tag has additional information such as different types of metal and selling messages like “for sale” and “buy”. Also notice the company name at the end.

4. Think about your meta description

The meta description tag will not help your website’s ranking position, but it’s still important as it forms part of your visible listing on Google. Use this tag to display your unique selling point, such as:

“Free next day delivery on our award winning metal widgets – guaranteed to be the lowest price blue widgets for sale online.”

5. Create unique content

Make sure each page of your website contains at least 50 words of unique content. Pay particular attention to product details and category descriptions and ensure you include the target keywords for that page.

Don’t be tempted to copy text from other websites or catalogues as this will incur a duplicate content penalty from Google. You can find out how unique your content is for free at Copyscape.

6. Create a themed blog for your site

Add a blog to your website using a free blogging platform, such as WordPress. Don’t use your blog to only talk about your products. Instead, discuss non-commercial topics which will help to drive traffic to your website, i.e. a guide to buying the right widgets for your DIY job.

7. Drive traffic to your site with Google Adwords

For instant traffic to your website, use sponsored links from Google Adwords. These ads are typically displayed across the top of Google’s search results page in a beige colour, or down the right hand side. But be aware that your campaign could cost you a lot of money if incorrectly set up and monitored.

8. Use Google Analytics

To analyse and monitor the success of your website, set up a Google Analytics account. This way, you can measure the traffic to your website and keep an eye on visitor retention. It’s a useful tool when checking the success of your key words and outlining what people are generally searching for.

9. Contact authoritative sites for valuable links

Once you’ve completed the steps above, the next stage to improving your ranking for a particular keyword is to have a significant number of links to your website that use your target term as the clickable text link.

The easiest way to begin this process is to ask suppliers, customers and trade associations to link to your website. Send them an email and ask for a link. You can even supply them with the link code, such as:

Metal Widgets

10. Keep building successful websites

If you have one website working well, why not invest in more and repeat the process to dominate different areas of your industry? This should work well, as long as you make sure that they don’t link to each other (if both websites are competing for the same search terms).

Jessica Hodkinson is a consultant at Leeds-based SEO company Blueclaw.

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