Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - the basics

15th September, 2010 | Web design | Online marketing | Internet
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - the basics

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is a term that you see mentioned often on websites. What is SEO & why is it important?

Unfortunately, Google (and other search engines) don't understand what your website is about unless you make it clear to them. Present information online in the wrong way & your website stands little chance of being seen by anyone.

Basic text optimisation

Before you write or optimise any text for your website, have a think about what potential visitors to your website might type into google to find it. In my case, two of my most important search phrases are: Norfolk Web Design and Web Design Norfolk, both are similar but are classed as separate search phrases. Once you have identified these keywords or keyphrases, you need to include them on your website in headings and body text. Not only should you repeat the phrases, you should also use different variations of the same phrase where appropriate. Focus on using a set of phrases on the pages that best relates to them on your website as this will further help re-enforce the subject matter.
Always remember that you are primarily writing for a human to read, so the content must always remain natural and flowing.

Images, photographs & general prettiness

Search engines can only see text - any images on your website are essentially invisible to them. This means that if you present any text on screen as an image, it won't seen by the search engines. Likewise, flash can be tricky for them to understand as well. If you website is image heavy and has little text, have a think about what can be done to incorporate more text into the website to help. Image search is also becoming more important, there are ways of including further information within the code of an image - this is a more technical & code level approach, but it can help drive more visitors to your website.

Page titles and main headings or H1 tags

These are the most important elements on any webpage. They are the first pieces of information that the search engines will look at when crawling through the pages on your website. As with the main body text, these items must contain your most important search keyphrases that are related to that particular page and more importantly, they should be different on every page. Also, becoming more important but still relating to the page title and main heading (H1 tag) is the file name that appears in the URL or address bar in the web browser. This can again have seo benefits if appropriate keywords are used.

When you look at the above, you can see that content is incredibly important when it comes to the search engine ranking of your website. It is also generally a rare case of where more text or pages of text mean higher ranking, a small website will always struggle to rank alongside its larger competition.

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