A domain name based on the top keyphrase being
used to find your business, usually describing what you do
and where you do it.
A photographer who operates in lancaster may
find the top search for the business is "wedding photographer
lancaster". If this is directed towards his company website,
then the search engines can find his site quickly.
A generic domain name will not work on its
own, i.e. if the website is not optimised correctly. It does
give the site a slight advantage over the competition, and
in the world of SEO, every little helps.
Key Phrase Analysis
Exactly what are your prospective customers
typing into the search engines? How do you know that a keyphrase
has enough searches to warrant optimising your web pages?
A Key phrase analysis is the most essential
first step in the optimisation process.
If you were an estate agent in cumbria, which
of the following would you optimise the site for:
|estate agent cumbria
|estate agent in cumbria
|cumbria property estate agent
It is impossible to choose because you do not
know how strong the competing websites are in terms of links
and content. There is no way of establishing the expenditure
and time required to compete on the terms.
Return on Investment
The next step before attempting to optimise
the pages, is to establish a return on investment figure for
the top keyphrases.
A detailed examination of the top ranking websites
in terms of content and links would establish a cost to compete
on each keyphrase.
Depending on the best ranking position your
website will realistically achieve in the top 10 of a search
engine, I know how many of those searches you will convert
into actual business over a 12 month period and you will know
what each sale is worth.
A calculation is then made between cost and
profit, and this gives you a Return on Investment Figure.
The website can be optimised for the key phrase
that gives the most profit, which quite often is not the keyphrase
that is the most competive.
They may all make a profit, so optimisation
for all of them is dependant on your budget.
how search engines are used
|Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines are used by your current and
potential customers to find information, products and services
on the Internet, so the objective of optimisation is simple.
If you want your products or services to be found, then your
website has to achieve the best possible rank in the search
results. Ideally, this means your Website needs to be listed
in the first two pages of results.
Obviously, before you optimise your website
you have to establish exactly what people are typing into
the search engines to find your business. These are called
keyphrases, and provide the base for optimising your site.
In order to achieve a high ranking on these keyphrases, there
are two main areas to consider.
1) Search Engines - a search engine
reads your website in certain way, so your pages should be
written (or optimised) around your chosen keyphrases according
to the search engine guidelines. Once optimised, the search
engine can quickly assess the subject of your website, and
therefore can index it. A generic domain name containing your
main key phrase also helps with indexing and ranking.
2) Competive Issues - a search engines
objective is to bring back the most informative websites available
in its index relevant to the keyphrase that is typed in. They
are brought back in an order (or Ranking) from top to bottom.
Ranking is determined by assessing the amount and quality
of information available (content), and how your website is
recommended (links). It is therefore comparing your website
to all your competitors, and the results of this comparison
determine where you rank.
In essence, if your website is optimised better,
has more content and better links than your competition, you
should rank higher than them
However, it is not this easy because there
are many variables. The search engines tweak the rules for
ranking your website, and your competition are usually working
on their websites in order to achieve or maintain high rankings.
The ranking position of your website has to be monitored,
and if necessary your optimisation may need refining.
The structure of the site is a very important
aspect of optimisation, mainly revolving around navigation.
The search engine needs to follow the links within your site
quickly and easily.
Every page within the site should be reachable
through a text link and you should be able to reach any important
page in the site from within two clicks of the homepage.
Flash navigation cannot be followed by search
engines, and any content contained in a Flash file cannot
prove difficult for the search engine robots.
|On Page Optimisation
The keyphrase is placed in strategic positions
within the main body copy of the page, and within the html
code. This includes the html tags, which should be utilised
for good on page optimisation. Some tags are more important
The page should be balanced. The key phrase
should only be repeated enough times to constitute 6% of the
total page content.
|Competitive Issues - Content
Content is basically the text available on
the website. It should be of informative and of a reasonable
length (250 to 350 words).
The more times a term is used within a site
the more it tells the search engine that the site is themed
around this term. Having more content also helps pick up traffic
from obscure terms that you originally wouldnt have
thought to target.
Content also has to be optimised for keyword
density and keyword placement.
|Competitive Issues - Links
Link Building is the final aspect of optimisation.
There are many ways to go about a link building campaign,
but the basic gist is to get text links from relevant sites
and directories that have decent Google PageRank, trying to
get the keyphrase used in the link text pointing to your site.
Beware of Linking schemes as they will often
do a site more harm than good. Many sites that advertise link-sharing
programs not only offer little value and give you links that
are totally irrelevant, but will distribute your email address
without your permission, resulting in an increased volume
of unwanted mail.
The key to a good Link Building campaign is
striking a balance between quality (i.e. relevance and Pagerank)
Obtaining natural rankings takes a long time, there
are no instant fixes. A reputable SEO company should tell you approximate
time scales along the following guidelines:-
||3 to 4 months
||2 to 3 months
||6 weeks (sometimes)