SEO is usually something that people do after they have made their websites. As you probably already know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. What it does is to raise how high your page appears when it has been searched for (after the ad links at the top paid for by PPC).
Every month, there are things you can do to increase your SEO. You can develop high-quality incoming links to your site, have a growing (and genuine – Google can tell if you use bots) social media references and create non-linking citations about your company elsewhere on the web. Even then, half of the external SEO outcomes are outside your control.
Control your website, boost your SEO
What is in your control is your website. If you are thinking about making a new website or revamping your existing website, then you need to think about SEO before you start paying for it month on month. If you consider certain key things about the creation of your website, you can make it more receptive to SEO when you launch and get an instant boost. That’s being Search Engine Friendly.
Words are the key
When a customer types something into a search engine (or asks them to search on their phone – which now accounts for around 20% of searches), they are likely to use keywords. If those keywords are matched several times in the text of your website, and especially your introductory paragraph, then you will be more relevant to that search and your page will be higher up in the search results.
On the website, much of SEO is based around anticipating what these search terms will be and then using those words as keyword clusters within the website. Say that you are a clothes shop in Manchester. Obviously, words like ‘clothes’ ‘shop’ and ‘Manchester’ should appear. Then there are other words related to clothes, like ‘fashion’ but also specific things people could search for, like ‘dresses,’ ‘top’ etc. People may also search for specific brands too. All of these should be incorporated.
Different people search… differently
Then there is the way people search. Someone in an older demographic may type. ‘Where can I find a good clothes shop in Manchester?’ If this is your demographic, then you may want to think about synonyms for ‘good’ in that sentence, like ‘reliable,’ ‘trustworthy, ‘high quality’ etc.
A person for a younger demographic might voice search on their phone saying ‘Where’s a cool clothes place near me?’ As they are using location data within their voice search, having a location tag or location information is important within your copy. It also needs synonyms for ‘cool’ over good, like ‘trendy’ ‘now’ ‘hip’ ‘latest’ – and even words like ‘place’ over ‘shop’.
Start with SEO, don’t end with it
This gives you an idea of what keyword clusters are. Of course, you can go through and re-edit your copy to include words like these, but it’s much better if you build the websites with these words in mind. Copy on your website should be clear, have an obvious purpose and be entertaining when it can be. If you add in keyword clusters after the fact, it can break up the flow and seem forced. Much better to be Search Engine Friendly from the get go.
Once you have sorted out the copy side of things, then you have to worry about the behind the scenes structure of your website. You have think about the number of pages your website has, how they are indexed and how Google (or another web search service) can find them. Streamlining and structuring your website can be key in helping people find your business.
Get that ‘new website smell’
Search engines look at over 200 “signals” when evaluating web pages, and they add hundreds of refinements to these signals each year. They will check thigs like your links to social media, and if they are genuine and organically grown. They will check the reputation and trust of websites linking to your website and even the anchor text that draw people to your site.
There is a lot you can do yourself, but going to professionals to help you set up your website can help you do hundreds of little things that will mean you will get a solid SEO footing from the start – and will really boost any money that you spend on SEO in the future. SEO is like the fuel, it helps you move forward and go faster. There’s no point in spending thousands on the fuel if the car is a beat-up old jalopy. Get a new car – one that is fuel efficient. Not only will you save money in the long run, you’ll get better results.
Want more content direct to your inbox? Sign up for our mailing list.