SEO, it's not rocket science
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation is really difficult, or so some companies would like you to believe. In fact with a little effort it really isn't.
You might hear of various tricks that will supposedly get you to the first page of a search, some might even work, but only for a short time. Most stand an excellent chance of getting your website dropped to the bottom of any listing, so watch out if you're tempted.
However there are some basics. The website should be well built and easy for the search engine bots to find their way around, they are only bots after all. This means there is a sitemap which includes all the public pages of your website, it's a bit like a tube map for bots. There are plenty of widgets/extensions that will do this for you. Ideally the result should be submitted to the search engine. Most will have arrangements for this. In Googles' case we use Webmasters tools, a very useful website as it will tell you loads of useful stuff about the performance of your site on Google. The website should also have 'Markup' in place. This is a system of labels that go into the code of your website which tells the plainly fairly dim bots what is what. What is a telephone number, an article heading, the name of a blogger etc etc. The up to date versions of Wordpress and Joomla with their templates have this built in to the greater degree.
Keywords; there is a place for these in the code but it is largely ignored by most search engines. The keywords are in the content of your website, the page titles, the links, the browser page title (The bit the appear at the top edge of your browser and often in the search results). It's worth asking people not in your business what they would use if they were looking for a service/product such as yours. There are online tools to help with finding effective words and phrases. The trick is to find terms that are heavily searched but not used by much of the competition. Googles' Adwords has some very useful tools for this. Once you have found what you want include them in the titles and content, though don't be repetitive in how you do that.
Finally, at least for this item, Social media. This is the most powerful SEO tool available if used properly. First thing is to set up the links and share buttons on your website. This needs to be done properly and like so much else there is a widget that will do this, in large part, for you. Once you have your Facebook business page, your Twitter account and whatever else you wish to use set up you are off. This is where the work comes in. You do have to use the social media to build a following, interact, engage, follow or befriend others and make a point of doing it everyday. Your success there will reflect on your websites' performance on searches.
And finally, ok I lied the last time, Google hates nothing more than a dead website, so bring it too life with blogs, news, whatever, stuff needs to be happening on your website.
*What's a bot? It's a little robot that runs around the internet checking out websites for it's master.
Cavespider, life needn't be complicated
- Written by Crispin Jones