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What we've learnt about SEO
“Extremely time consuming but worth the effort in the long run, researching your market and keywords is a not-to-be-overlooked aspect of SEO.”
There are an estimated 250 million sites in the internet and that number is always growing. The shocking truth; your website is just one of millions.
In the competitive online world, ensuring your website can be easily found is crucial to the success of your business and optimising your site for search engines is one of the only ways to ensure the longevity of your online business. SEO is not an option - it's a necessity.
Because the major search engines are ultra-secretive about their search algorithms, a lot of information about SEO is bandied about. Some of it is exciting, helpful and game-changing. Most is outdated, exaggerated and just downright wrong. Filtering out false information and knowing when to partner with SEO experts to manage the trickier, more time-consuming elements has helped us to vastly improve our SEO offerings at Indietech.
So, in the spirit of sharing, we wanted to reveal some of the all-important SEO tactics we use regularly. Much of the advice listed below can be easily achieved by yourself or with a little help from a reputable SEO agency, Do it yourself or get Indietech's SEO professionals on board to help out. Or at the very least, take advantage of our oversharing and read this article.
In this article we are going to share what we have learnt here at Indietech in the last few years about SEO best practices and how to apply them practicably to your online business.
The practices outlined below, and many other more complex SEO practices, are routinely completed at Indietech for our clients. Combining these and other practices have created great success for both brand new or re-launched sites.
Extremely time consuming but worth the effort in the long run, researching your market and keywords is a not-to-be-overlooked aspect of SEO. Keywords are SEO 101 and are integral to the search process - they are the building blocks of both language and search. In fact, the entire science of information retrieval (including web-based search engines like Google) is based on keywords.
So, finding relevant keywords is super important.
Stop and Think
Don't do anything until you know the traffic you want to attract. Think about what your customers/clients looking for? What would their search terms be? Brainstorm some ideas. Write them down. Ask friends and colleagues. Different perspectives can often provide unexpected results.
Once you have a list of words, you will need to research these words thoroughly. Add new words and tweak them to ensure the words you focus on are appropriate for you audience. It doesn't have to cost you anything, though there are plenty of keyword tools you can sign up for. Start off using Google Adwords free keyword tool or Wordtracker's free tool. Get to know these nifty programs well. Not only do they help you target your keywords, they also offer an interesting peak into the human psyche en masse.
Once you have a good, healthy, targeted list of relevant keywords, you can begin to research your competition. Who's ranking well for your keywords, what are they doing that could be helping them or not helping them. It will help you refine your strategy and figure out just how tough your SEO battle will be.
Now group your keywords by theme or similar search terms ensuring you dedicate 3 to 4 keywords per page. Once this is done you are ready to optimise your web pages.
Write your way to SEO stardom
Write? We know it strikes terror into many business owners overworked hearts, but this is an essential part of any SEO campaign. You already know a lot about your industry. You know what your clients want and what concerns or interests them. Build or integrate an industry news/research hub and make it a valuable, informative and entertaining resource.
Sharing your knowledge not only helps make you an authority on your specific niche, you are providing a valuable service to potential customers - information about your industry. Keep in mind that your content should be high quality, engaging and valuable to your potential customers.
Every page needs attention
Here's a few things you can easily do to get each page SEO ready:
- Keyword your title tag putting the most important first
- Make sure a keyword is included in a heading (H1) on every page
- Bolding and underlining keywords can also be helpful, but be careful not to wander over to the ugly side of text formatting.
- Keyword your text. Don't be spammy, just make sure the keyword is in your content a few times. Make your content for users, not search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as cloaking.
- Optimise your url's (i.e. www.palsticfantastic.com/furniture rather than www.plasticfantastic.com/allproductss/?type=furniture&material=plastic)
- Include keywords in relevant image alt tags and in file names
- Consider adding a meta description with a soft call-to-action, while irrelevant to search engines, it does provide a brief snippet that is displayed in searches and can help entice potential visitors to click the link.
- Add your company address and phone numbers on every page. This is essential for local searches.
TIP: Get your site out there (for next to nothing)
Get your site on all the major search engine local listings. This can be time-consuming but well worth the effort. Consider Google places, Bing Business Portal, Yahoo Local for free listings or Citysearch and Yelp for paid advertising.
And that concludes our article on SEO practices that work. For a more in-depth look at the importance of each of these factors in your SEO strategy, visit the www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors.
Need more help?
At Indietech we offer a complete SEO service. We're experienced in designing SEO Strategies that encompass all SEO elements. Combining our in-house talents and the specialised skills of our SEO partners we get your site rising through the search engine ranks all for just $450 a month.
If you've been considering starting an SEO campaign, now's the time. Order today and we'll get cracking on your SEO straight away.