Posted on August 12, 2012
I love a sunny winter's day on the Sunshine Coast, yet I am inside writing this post! I think I am slightly addicted to this stuff now. Recently I went to a full day workshop all about Google Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It made me realise all the work that I have done is paying off, but also made me realise all the work I am yet to do (and there is a lot!!)
I am going to share a few things that we did before the workshop and things we have learnt from the workshop that we will implement. So be warned: I am a total novice in this department, but thought my tips may help someone who is just starting a website, as they have helped us.
Before we started this business I thought getting to page 1 of Google was as simple as just having the best content, and people will find you when they type what they want. I no longer think this. Its crazy how much work needs to be put into a website to get a presence on Google.I approached numerous SEO business' to pay for their services to help build up our SEO. I was quoted anywhere between $2000 and $4000! A price tag I would much rather apply to Marketing or a Holiday :) So I took it upon myself to read, watch and learn. We have been approached by at least 5 SEO companies per week from India claiming a guarantee page 1 Google, as I have learn't there is no such thing as Guarantee for this.
Now I am not bragging, (we are still learning and have a lot more to do), I have had to learn this new language of Google SEO and html and all that goes with it. So here are the things that we have implemented that have taken us from page 8 to page 1 for 6 of our keywords. I have some on page 2 that I am still working on :)
So here they are, our 10 top Google SEO tips...
1. Make your page titles have meaning. Dont just call them 'homepage' or 'about us'. I learn't this the hard way, I changed our title on our homepage and our ranking dropped. It took a while for it to bump back up. Google does look at these.
2. Pick up your web presence. You can use Directory Listings. There are loads of free ones out there it will build up your web presence, Google likes to know you are real! Also work on inbound links. Matt Cutts says these are not the only thing Google looks for, but is very important.
3. List your business with Google Places, Free! This is most useful for business' that have a physical address. Its useful when people type for example "Plumber Maroochydore", it will show you on a map the plumbers who have claimed their Google place.
4. Make each page as Google friendly as possible.
a. Make sure you have h1 title tags. These tell Google "this is what my page is about".
b. Also make sure you have good anchor text. Anchor text is the text you use for a link. Bad anchor text would be "click here" good anchor text would be "product specification page".
c. Drop down your page load time. This is also good for the visitor, as they are less likely to click away.
d. Consider URL structure. Google has said that there is a difference when you choose to use - as opposed to _. For example endless_ink would be read endlessink. But if you use endless-ink it would be read as endless ink. Notice the space. They have said it is not critical, but every bit counts in my opinion.
5. Use Google Webmasters. Another completely free tool offered by Google. You can 'crawl' as Googlebot and see what pages are indexed. You will be able to see any broken links, which will then indicate if there are problems with your site map, I guess you could say dead ends. There is also a tool that will allow you to see the keywords that Google is thinking your website is about. Which is fantastic because then you know if your content is steering in the right direction.
6. Make sure you images have Alt Tags. This tells Google what the image is about so that it can appear in Google Image search.
7. Make sure you have page descriptions. These are essential because this is what the customer who is Googling you will see, its the 2 lines that you see below a website link in the Google Search. So this is more for Customer Optimisation. Like the image below.
8. Get blogging/posting regularly. This is totally new to me. But considering 36% of internet users read between 5 and 10 blog posts per day, its something that I want to get involved in more! Its a great way to get people looking at your site, so more traffic.
9. Get into Social Media Marketing. Apparently 1 minute of every 8 minutes on the internet is spent on Facebook! And 79% of US Twitter users are more likely to support a brand that they follow. Follow Endless Ink on Twitter or Follow Endless Ink on Facebook Matt Cutts, a Google associate, says that Social Media can increase SEO indirectly, because it will increase traffic and essentially page rank.
10. Last but not least! Write good content. This is was the biggest key that I learnt from the Google workshop. Content is what Google crawlers is looking at. So the more relevant the content the higher the chance of it showing up in Google. Try to have your website as little flash as possible, as Google cant read Flash, nor can it read text that is within images. So make your content readable for your customers and for Google.
I am still working on our SEO, like I said heaps more work to go. I am currently working on link building, blogging and posting articles, working on article submission and getting rid of broken links. Its not something that is just done once and Google will leave you at page 1 forever, it is continuing work. Lucky for me, I love this stuff.
Oh and make sure you know how you really rank in Google by using an external program, I paid for one. If you are using your own computer to look and see if you are ranking, Google remembers what you search for and your search results will reflect this. So continually looking at your own website through Google will show a higher ranking, but only on your own computer.
Happy Googling :D
Until next time,