Search Engine Tips

Below is some information about some steps you can take yourself to improve your SEO (search engine optimization). The worksheet helps you write effective content for your website that will improve your rankings. I use this worksheet with my clients, so that they can deliver clear and ordered content to me, that will save them money and be effective with google. These free resources can also provide handy tips when you are creating your own website. If you use them or have additional suggestions please let me know so I can learn from you too.

As well as utilising some of these tips, remember that personal recommendations are the best marketing strategy and should be included in your marketing plan. People are more likely to use and be loyal to a person/organisation when they receive a personal recommendation from someone they know and respect. The same rule applies to your websites. Boosting your visibility and the ease with which someone can find you on the web is important because it is essential that someone who receives a recommendation of your services can find you easily. This is one of the main purpose of website.

 

Note: It can take between 2 days to a month for any SEO activities to come up on search engines. These tips will help you become more visible as well as get you further up the list.

The first step is to understand how people use search engines. Web users will use search engines in three ways:

  • To find a specific site – this is when a search engine user already knows the name of the person/organisation they want and searches for that name in the search engine. It is important to have a solid marketing strategy to connect with these web users. These users will most likely search for your site, if your service has been recommended or your service has been enjoyed in the past.
  • To gain information – information/research is the most common use for search engines, so it pays to be generous with information. The more free information you share on your site, the more likely people who are searching for information will stumble upon your website.
  • To make an online transaction – people often use search engines to buy something online. If you are selling an online service it is important to be clear about what you are selling in your keywords.

Domain names

The cheapest and most effective way to boost your ranking in search engine lists is to have a URL (web address), that is what someone would search for in a search engine. For example, the keywords which I believe someone would use to find me, would be “Karen Batten” so I have simply created a keyword URL which is www.karenbatten.com.au or I could also use ‘Brisbane Print Design’ as another example.

Alternatively, you may have a project name that you would prefer to use as your website address. Your project or business name would be your main URL, which would appear on stationery and be easy to remember. My work URL is www.createtogether.com.au. You can then create a keyword URL to attract search engine users and then use a URL forwarding service to link your keyword URL to your main URL.

Below are some suggestions of places to look –

Domain purchase: you can buy your URL online. Hosting: check your host provides free URL linking.

Content

The advice below will help you to write the content for your site that will also increase your ranking. The worksheet below will help you further.

Keywords – These are the words you choose to help people find your website, when they type search words into search engines. For example, for a youth arts organisation in Brisbane, their keywords would be “Brisbane” and “youth arts”. Choosing the right keywords is very important and can greatly increase your chances of being found by potential customers. Research what search terms, words or phrases your targeted audience might use.

Your keywords need to be featured strongly in your webpage content. It might help to think of your text like a glass of cordial. Cordial = keywords & Water = non keywords. The stronger the glass of cordial, the yummier it is and the more Search engines will like it! (Although your teeth might hurt).

Once you have chosen your keywords, use them in important areas of your site, if possible:

  • Use keyword text in your navigation (the headings which direct people to particular pages on your website)
  • Use keyword text in your links, rather than generic words like “click here” (links are text you click on to go to other pages)
  • Use keyword text in your headings, sub headings and copy

Create a useful, informative site with pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.

Correctly titling your photographs also helps with SEO. “Alt text” (which is the alternative text read by the computer for people who are unable to see the images on your site) is an important way to make your site more accessible to a range of people with different visual abilities. This is included on the worksheet below for creating content.

Keywords

Keywords are used to boost the web user’s ability to search for your site. Imagine what people are likely to type into a search engine when looking for you and make these your keywords. Keyword tools: to come up with related and derivative keyword terms which are popular with web users and search engines.

If you are in an industry heavily populated on the internet

Start with a small niche target audience rather than your ideal (heavily used) keyword

  • Focus on location, neighbourhood
  • Focus on a niche you can be well known for

Link Directories

Many directory sites are free and are a great way to list your business and the services you provide. Remember to provide your keywords as they are used by search engines to improve your ranking. Check that these directories are free or be aware of the pricing.

Search on your preferred search engine for:

  • Free business link directories
  • Free link directories ‘your local area’
  • ‘Your profession’ free link directory

Google Places

You can add yourself to the Google maps business list for free. Visit google.com/places and look under ‘Places for Business’

Site Linking

A great way for people to visit your website is to have a link to your site on other websites. Seek people/organisations with whom you have a relationship and ask them to display a link to your website and offer the same for them in return. Again make sure you use your keywords in the text you give them.

Google Analytics

You can find out about where the visitors to your website come from and how they interact with your site for free. This can provide you with valuable information to improve your marketing plan. To do this, go to the www.google.com/analytics/ and follow the directions.

Register with search engines

There are many search engines that you can register your website with. A list of major search engines are shown on www.freeality.com

Add your URL to google though www.google.com/addURL/ to increase your ranking.

Extras

You can do an internet search for DIY (do it yourself) SEO (search engine optimization) tips and read more about what you can do to boost your ranking check.

Alternatively there are specific companies that can offer SEO.

Website Content and Navigation Worksheet – use this file to create your navigation and content. It also contains more information about making your content SEO friendly.

Please let me know how you go using these tips and if you have more suggestions. I’d love to learn from you.

Karen uses visual art, print & web design with individuals and groups using a collaborative approach. This happens using dialogue, workshops and/or training to facilitate creation through to the final product.

Karen mainly works in Turrbal & Jagera Country (Brisbane).

Current Project

Colourise Festival 2017

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