Generally, the higher up the list of search engine results your website appears, the more clicks you get, and the more traffic you get to your site. With this in mind, if you are a small business in Sydney, or in outback NSW, or anywhere in the world, you want to try to rank your website as highly in the search engine rankings as possible.
By applying some quick and simple SEO tactics, it helps to get your site ranked higher, so you can get more people checking out what you have to say and offer.
By following a few simple guidelines, you can easily make your website more SEO friendly. Below we will discuss a few of these guidelines, including –
- keywords and keyword placement
- ease of navigation, so visitors can find what they want
- URLs and filenames that are easy for search engines to understand
- and optimising your website images.
Keywords and Keyword Placement
When you are online looking for something, you normally enter your search terms into a search engine window. For example, if you were searching for information on “salmon fishing” you would enter those words. In this case, “salmon fishing” would become your keyword, or keyword phrase, that will be used by search engines to attempt to locate matching websites that best match your search query. When keywords are used correctly, this helps your website to become a choice offered in response to search requests.
When you are producing content (articles, blog posts, etc), the placement of those keywords in titles, domain names, content and in meta tags all help to let the search tools know specific information about what you want to target. Once your page is indexed by Google and others, it can be ranked when words matching your keywords are used as a search query. It sounds complicated, but in order for your website to be useful, it is best to target specific keywords.
But beware, don’t overdo it! In the olden days, SEO “experts” would “stuff” keywords into web pages, which did work once upon a time to get your site ranking well. But these days, the search engines are smarter than ever, and trying to trick them with tactics like this will just get you penalised. So just write posts and articles that are natural, and don’t push the limits too much, or you just might end up with a more negative outcome than you had hoped for.
Search Engine-Friendly Navigation
When Google can find and follow the pages, links, and images within your website, this helps to improve page rankings. When navigation is broken by clunky design elements or missing information, not only is it difficult for visitors to your website to find pages or information, it becomes difficult for Google and other search engines also. When they can’t figure out what is going on within the pages of your website, your rankings can suffer.
You also want to make navigation as easy as possible, so that visitors stay on your site. Google watches how long people stay on your site and will reward those websites that provide users with what they want.
Using Keywords in URLs and Filenames
Another quick and easy method of letting the search engines know what is in a web page or image is to include keywords in file names and the URL of each page. This way, Google learns what each page is about which helps it in responding to search requests.
Optimising Photos on your Website
When a search engine visits a website, it doesn’t actually ‘see’ photos or images the way we do with our eyes. Images need to be the right size to load quickly, and descriptive identifications included in the alt text, captions, titles and descriptions of images help the search engines know what the image is about.
We have written an article on how to resize your photos so that they can load faster… check it out here.
Building a website? There’s a lot to consider, not just SEO…
Building a website that is effective in attracting visitors requires the correct search engine optimisation. There are many tactics that you can implement, but if you do the wrong thing, the search engines will notice, and you can get penalised. Unlike paid advertising which can get you quick results (and can cost a fortune if you get it wrong), SEO can be a slower route but can have enormous payoffs when done right.
Even if you do have a well SEO’d site, if it doesn’t convert the visitors that come, then it is a waste. There are many things you can do to increase conversions, but that’s a topic for another day.
The above SEO tips are just the beginning – there are many different methods and strategies that are utilised to give your site the best chance of ranking for the terms that you would like. But it is an ongoing process, so don’t expect to hit position #1 overnight.
And remember, we are here to help. We are based in Concord, in Sydney’s inner west, and love to help small businesses get the most out of their online presence. So feel free to contact us if you need a hand with your SEO strategy, or to create a website that is designed right from the word go.