Websites don’t appear high in search engine rankings by magic. If you know the basics of search engine optimisation, you’ll know this and you can look away now. I’m writing this post because a lot of people in small businesses are unaware that they could be making a huge difference to the success of their websites by making some simple changes. Some factors in search engine success such as links to your site depend on otehrs but I’m talking about matters you have direct control over.
You’ve probably been relying on your website designer. Don’t. My experience is that just because they’re good at producing a nice looking site but that won’t butter any parsnips with Google. To see whether your website is doing the basics of search engine optimisation right, there are three simple checks.
Go to your home page and right click. You’ll see a drop down menu- click View Page Source. What will appear will be a whole bunch of words in computer language. Look for <title>. This Title is not the heading that you see on the webpage but the one that appears at the top of the screen. this is the number one source of information for search engines so it should contain the key words that your customers will be searching for. For example, when you visit Your Life Your Style, you’ll see ‘Special Gifts & Accessories from Your Life Your Style of Winchester’. I looked at a friend of mine’s business website the other day. The title was ‘Home Page’!
. This is not the Title that appears on your page but the one that you can see at the very top of the screen and it’s this that is the number one thing that Google and other search engines look at. I looked at a friend’s business website the other day andNext in importance are Header Tags. you’ll see these in the page source as <h1>, <h2> etc. On the page you normally see, these will usually appear as headings or in bold. Again they should reflect the words that your customers will be searching for.
Finally, look at the text on the page and make sure that your key words are repeated regularly. Google and other search engines vary in how many repetitions they look for to tell them that this what the site is about and how many constitute overloading the site to manipulate the rankings. Six repetitions of each key word seems to be a good target but it helps if the copy is long enough for them not to be too obvious.
One other thing, check what the <meta name=”description” says. This is what appears under your name in the search results and describes to the search engines and your potential customers what you are all about. It’s your best opportunity to sell. Your Life Your Style ‘description’ is ‘Your Life Your Style offers gifts and accessories as special as you from our shop in Winchester including Dora Designs, Steiff, Ashleigh & Burwood, Dartington Crystal and many products handmade in the UK’.
If your site doesn’t conform to these basic standards, get your designer to change it right now (because changes can take three months to have an effect) and then change your designer. Not necessarily in that order.