It’s not Rocket Science!
I’m going to write three words in a second and I want you to try and stay with me. Usually when I say these words the result is a vacant stare or blind panic but it’s just the fear of the unknown, a bit like when you were a kid and you were scared of the dark.
Ok, here goes – search engine optimisation. Still with me? Good, let’s say it again, together this time – search engine optimisation. Now we’ve taken the first step you’ll need to know what it is because the phase, by itself, doesn’t mean much. In it’s 'simplest sense' it means getting your website to the top of a relevant Google search (no point being top of a Google search for Baked Beans if your site is about Hot Air Balloons... Oh hang on!).
Now, there are a lot and I mean A LOT of companies out there who claim that they can get your website to the top of Google for a fairly modest fee. Sadly if they were doing it in a way which wouldn’t eventually get your website black listed and banned by the search engines then that modest fee wouldn't be modest at all and the person calling you would probably be a fair bit nicer (and less pushy).
So, here's a little recap (and expansion) on a blog I wrote a while back about search engine optimisation.
To start, let’s be blunt - there is no silver bullet when it comes to search engine optimisation. The only way you can get you’re site higher up on Google, Bing or any of the other search engines is through hard work. Still with me? Good because it really isn't rocket science. Ok, so there are elements which require HTML coding but if you have a decent website designer then this is something they can handle for you. The key things you need to be concerned about are:
1. Keeping your website’s copy fresh and up-to-date. This can be done using a simple, low cost, content management system like the one AnsteyDesign offers.
2. Utilising social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In. If you use a web browser such as Firefox you can run all of your social networking accounts through one application called ‘Yoonoo’ making this aspect of SEO much easier to manage.
3. Writing monthly blogs. If you set up a blogger account (like this one) it’s possible to bespoke the design to make it more relevant to you, it is also possible to make money from your blog account...
4. Visiting online forums and posting comments. The online forums you visit need to be relevant to your industry and you need to have something useful to say. Some sites will require you to ‘login’ before you can comment and others won’t let you post links until you have made a certain number of comments.
5. Issuing online PR statements. There are several useful free websites on the Internet that let you select the industry you are in and then target your PR statement at your preferred individual type. It’s a great way of getting your message across!
6. Creating linking agreements with relevant websites. As with the online forums, the best links are the ones that are relevant to your industry. It’s also good to have lots of internal links throughout your website so that the search engines know that your site is being properly utilised.
7. Asking your clients to rate your business on review sites. The latest belief is that search engines are putting a lot of stock into online business ratings as it shows which are good businesses and which are bad. However, I’m told that they can tell which ratings are ‘fakes’, so there’s no point writing ten 5 star ratings yourself!
8. Getting journalists to write articles about you. Perhaps the trickiest as journalists are not easy to get hold of. Your best bet, perhaps, is to call them up and make advertising deal with them.
Now, this might all sound like a lot of work and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t (some companies employ people to do it full time!). But it needn’t be a burden, not if you do a little every day. It’s possible for you to focus on just a few key areas such as keeping your website copy up-to-date, social networking and writing monthly blogs although, of course, the results won’t be as good as if you did everything consistently.