I’m regularly asked for tips to improve website search engine success by folks who can’t afford to pay for the full SEO treatment. In almost all of these cases, the advice is pretty much the same. So, to save myself some time, here’s the basics that you need both as a step toward getting a better ranking in search results pages and to getting those vital click throughs.
Work on your keywords
I’d always recommend having a shortlist of keywords: phrases that you’d expect people might use to search for someone who provides the services you provide. If you’re in the fairy business then “children’s parties” is going to be one of your keywords.
When you’ve got your shortlist, periodically check over your pages and make sure you’ve included them somewhere on your site.
Ideally, you fairy people will have a “Children’s Parties” page that has the keywords in the page title, the page heading, and at least a couple of times in the main page text too. You might even be able to get a pic or two on the page so will be able to get some relevant keywords in its “alt” description.
Get links to your site
The more quality links you can get pointing to your site the better. If you’ve got lots of reputable sites linking to you, Google can be more confident in giving its users a link to you. Maybe there’s a trade organisation for fairies and they have an online directory of members where you can get a listing and a link. You might want to try other reputable local online directories too.
You could be a bit cheeky and see how your competitors are getting their links – go to Google and type “link:www.key2creative.com.au” to see who’s linking to us.
Google knows where you live
Google knows the computer I’m using is in Western Australia and will do it’s best to give me results for WA-based companies. Make sure you’ve got your city or suburb included somewhere on every page to help Google understand where you’re business is located. Having it in page titles and in the page’s meta description is going to be useful too: it will mean someone seeing you listed in search results will immediately be able to see you’re in the same country, city or suburb as them.
Make sure you’ve got a Google Places listing too.
Your content management system (CMS) should let you edit some of your website’s meta data. If it doesn’t, get on to your web developer and see if they can make this editable for you. You’re going to need to use the page title to state clearly what each page is about (and where you are). You’ll need to be succinct – you’ve got just 65 characters for the title.
Try to get the most import information first: this is the product or service, not your company name!
The page meta description is next, and should include the keyword for the page within an enticing message. You’ve got about 150 characters for this. If I was looking for a fairy for my daughter’s party, I’d be searching for “children’s fairy party perth” and would find it hard to resist something like this:
Children’s fairy parties | Perth | The Fairy Company Inc
Children’s parties and family events in Perth, WA. We hire Fairies, Mermaids, and Princesses, to help make your child’s dreams come true.
Where next …
I’ve just covered the absolute basics, but I hope this helps.
For a more in-depth guide to search engine optimatization basics, check out Google’s own Starter Guide, where you’ll find details about things like titles and meta descriptions.
Feel free to add your own tips below.