1. What Keywords or phrases to use?
Think of key words or phrases a potential customer would type into the search engines to search for the products and services you provide. If you’re a new website you may not rank highly in the early days, but it’s still good practice to find out how you rank for these phrases in Google for example. Check your competition, scope what keywords their ranking for to be aware and plan accordingly. Initially you may want to rank locally i.e. your local borough or nationwide as opposed to globally or worldwide as it may be easier and faster to rank.
The web is global whereas pages from the UK more targeted to nationwide coverage. Do you appear on the first page of the results? If not, there is work to be done as most people do not scroll past the first page. Statistics proves that 75% of people make a decision from this page hence the importance. Make sure each page of your website has a number of keywords assigned. Make sure the copy for the page contains the relevant keywords or else Google thinks your spamming. Use keyword phrases as opposed to single keywords, because people typically type a phrase into Google, e.g. “accountancy in London” and not just “accountancy.”
2. Give them what they are looking for!
This is a key requirement as people are more internet savvy and know what they are looking for.
If your pages are not relevant your potential customers or visitors tend to shy away and possibly never return.
Provide high quality content especially the home page which is the flagship ‘shop window’. Make sure the content focusses around the relevancy of the keywords, containing useful information to keep visitors enticed and more importantly coming back.
3. Make sure your using search engine friendly URLs
This is an example of a dynamic URL http://www.amazon.co.uk/music-rock-classical-pop-jazz/b?ie=UTF8&node=229816
The later part of the URL does not make much sense ‘b?ie=UTF8&node=229816’
A better example would be http://www.amazon.co.uk/music-rock-classical-pop-jazz/
4. How Content Can Help Your Rankings
‘Content is king’ a well know saying amongst the internet community. Generating regular, fresh and compelling content is one of the best ways to improve your ranking. Blogs, articles, videos, competitions, polls, surveys, top tips and free downloads are a number of ways to do this. Another good way to promote fresh content would be to embrace social media which also contributes to your online ranking and visibility. The best part to this it’s FREE!
5. What Can Hurt Your Rankings?
Google changes its search criteria almost daily nowadays even though they don’t mention it. Other search engines are also doing this too such as Bing, Yahoo and Blekko. There are number of things you should pay attention to or should we say no-no’s: do not overuse or mention your products or services too many times on a page – seen as spamming. Slow page speeds, links from your site to spam sites; duplicate content on site, Google only ranks one of them.
Even though meta tags don’t carry much weight as in previous years, it’s still advisable to get this done for each and every web page. This could be the difference between the second page and the first.
If you don’t have page titles and meta descriptions on your site, Google won’t display proper information in the search engine results pages (SERP). It is also recommended to use proper 301 redirects if you change the name of pages so that Google does not end up missing pages and stop crawling and indexing your web pages.