So you’re building your website and you want to find out how to rank well on Google. There’s a tonne of information out there and everyone keeps saying “SEO”. This is short for Search Engine Optimisation. In layman’s terms, its getting your website to stand out on search engines, so that you will get more organic traffic.
Search Engine Optimisation is not hard, but it’s a step that not a lot of companies bother with, which means that it can be invaluable if you are competing with a lot of local businesses.
Who are you and what is your business? We are Fantasoft and we provide a wide range of services and all of this information can be found on our website! Let’s say you look us up, and type in Fantasoft. We are in competition with quite a few people who reference Fantasoft (which originally was a fantastic US based game company) on their sites, and if our website does not have good enough SEO they will beat us in the search results. Now we are a relatively new company at this point and we are competing with a major contender, so we had to fight through over 36 pages of Google to get where we are today.
So what is a keyword? Simply put: A keyword is an identifying phrase which a search engine can use to pull up your business. Let’s say you sell lamps and are based in Colchester, you will want your keywords to be Lamps, Colchester, and Lamps in Colchester, and make sure these are on your site!
It’s important for us to mention the name of our company a few times on the website, but keep it natural so that it doesn’t alienate people. It’s also important to make sure that you place the keyword strategically. If you look at the title of this blog, it’s called A Newbie’s Guide to SEO. It’s a blog about SEO, which contains the word SEO, which is one of our keywords, quite a few times. It’s always good to include the Keyword in the title and at least one subtitle in a blog. We shouldn’t overuse the word however as Google hates spam with a passion.
Blog – Like You’ve Never Blogged Before
Right now you’re reading a blog which is actually an important SEO tool. The words on this page are rife with keywords and relate to our business here at Fantasoft. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned the name of our company a few times in the blog. It’s always good to make sure that you include your company name somewhere in the blogs you write. Usually once will suffice.
Blogs are great because they’re full of keywords describing you, your company and the things that you do. You can write blogs on anything company related. Let’s say you do construction work, you can talk about roofing, or the importance of maintenance of fascias and soffits, bricklaying and pretty much anything to do with your business.
The more information that’s on your site relating to your business, the more likely you are to get people coming to your website to read your blogs. More traffic to your site means that it’s value will naturally increase in the eyes of Google and other search engines. You’ll want to save your keywords in your URL as well! Look at our URL, instead of a number, we’re using keywords to help our blog stand out.
If people aren’t bouncing off of your site and are reading your work, then your site is more likely to be highly regarded by search engines. People may also share your website to places like Facebook and Reddit which will increase the number of people going to your website and it’s overall value. For more information on blogging, check out our blog on it here!
Study Your Competition
Let’s say you’re a restaurant located in a big town or city surrounded by competing businesses who all have their own websites. Most restaurants have a specific style of food, say Indian, Italian, Chinese or my personal favourite, the Good Old Dodgy Kebab.
Let’s say you are the owner of a Chinese restaurant. You’d want to look up Chinese Restaurants “Insert Town Name Here” Try going to Google and doing that now using your own town name. You’ll get a few restaurants showing up as well as probably getting pages from Trip Advisor and possibly Just-Eat. Have a little look at the website, you’ll see it’s probably got quite a bit of information on it. It’s likely that your business isn’t a Chinese restaurant.
Let’s do this again for your business. Look up “Business Type” and the name of the town or city you work in, then pick out your Number 1 competition from the list of businesses that shows up. If you are number 1, Great! If not look at the person who is number 1.
If they don’t write blogs, write blogs, if they write blogs, write better and longer blogs, include as much information as you can and compete with them. Everything they do, aim to do it better and you’ll start to stand out more. Do this for a few sites as well. If you can add enough information, you’ll crush your competition. It will take time, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you will eventually beat them in a few months if you work at it.
Do you have images on your website? Pretty much every website has images running throughout it. All images should have a name and an alt-tag, and these can be tagged to your business name and the topic at hand. What’s happening in the image. This will help Google’s crawlers identify that the topics and images are related which will help improve your ranking slightly.
When uploading the images, it’s always good to change their name in advance before you upload it, so if you upload an image you’ve called “Fantasoft SEO Guide.jpg” It’ll be better for your site than 348231924.jpg. Once the image is uploaded you can designate an alt-tag with the name “Fantasoft SEO Guide.”
Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions
So few small businesses bother with Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions. Your Meta tags are snippets of text describing what the web page is about. They come into play when your website is viewed on search engines but they don’t appear on the site itself. They generally look a bit like this. “Fantasoft | Guide to SEO | Search Engine Optimisation” for example and apear above the Meta Description.
The Meta Description describes your website’s page on the search engine. This also doesn’t appear on the site but gives a little more information than the Meta Tags. In 160 characters you can summarise what your page is about and hint at the valuable information contained on it! It is important to have keywords in both your Meta Tags and Meta Description!
Internal links are extremely useful. I included one earlier linked to the guide I wrote for blogging. These are great because they keep people who are interested in specific tangents of the topics you may be discussing on your site. Let’s say someone wanted to read up on blogging and left this page. If I’d sent them to another website, I’d potentially lost a customer, but by keeping them here with my own blog about blogging, we keep a potential customer interested! A good internal link profile looks great to search engines which can help improve your presence on search engines.
When someone’s website links to you, this is a Backlink. Google and many other search engines place a lot of stock in backlink profiles when it comes to determining how websites rank. Not all backlinks are good, some can be detrimental to your website’s ranking. Never ever buy backlinks because you don’t know whether or not they’re good for you! For more information on backlinks and a couple of hints on how to set them up, check out our blog here!
Avoid Copying Other People’s Work
Sometimes, the idea of writing a long and complicated blog can seem arduous. I have known quite a few companies who have copied blogs off other businesses. This is not only really bad for SEO, because search engines hate duplicate content, but you are violating the copyright of the writer of the blog. I have covered copyright in several other blogs, but in the simplest terms, it’s not good to steal another person’s work. It’s dangerous and it can result in legal action being taken against you.
Don’t Give Up!
Appearing on the search engines is a slow process, it doesn’t happen overnight and it can take a while to slowly crawl up, especially if you are competing against people who are highly experienced at it. The most important thing of all is to persevere and keep writing blogs, making sure alt-text is in images and that you are doing the Meta Tags and descriptions. If your competition has a blog on a subject, write several posts around that subject and interlink them so that they stand out to google and eventually you will start to climb.
There are a lot of ‘SEO’ schemes that promise to help people and cost an excessive amount and generally yield poor results. Just focus on the work you are doing on your website and you will do well.
If you have Facebook, share your site onto your page and get it in front of people. Keep at it and eventually you will start to do better! Just don’t get disheartened if you write ten brilliant blogs and they don’t seem to be getting anywhere. In a few months they might be the reason you’re number 1. Just keep at it and don’t give up, because other website owners get lazy and let their guard down, and that’s when you’ll start to shine.
Some companies have a great website made for them, heavily researched, and with a lot of information about their products, but if it’s not updated regularly, it’ll eventually lose traction! Just keep it up and never give in! If you’ve got this far in this blog, I believe in you! You’ve got this! Just stick to these steps and you’ll make it.