SEO tips to get you started - part 1
For some businesses, search engine optimisation (SEO) can be started in house. We always recommend this before spending any money on SEO with a company like ours because it's free and if you're the only company in your area doing what you do, you may find that you can easily get to the top of the Google search results without spending any money.
Obviously for others that do not have the time or have competitors in the area, you may want to consider hiring someone to do your search engine optimisation for you but why not give it a go yourself first?
Below are a few tips to get you started but please remember that there are lots of x factors with SEO - doing all of these below will not guarantee that you appear at the top of Google. It depends on how many competitors you have, what system your web site is built on, how well your template is programmed, how good your content is, how much content you have...
1. Submit your site to Google
Obvious when you think about it but the quickest way for Google to find your site is if you tell it that you exist. Simply go to this page and enter your web site address. Google will then add it to the list of web sites that it crawls and begin adding your site to it's results pages.
2. Add original content
This one is something that many people struggle with but there are ways to make it easier. When writing content for your web site - the introduction on your home page, your 'about us' page, the content for your services pages - the content must be unique. You cannot copy / paste it from anywhere else on the internet. The search engines will see that you have copied it from somewhere else and punish your site in the rankings for it. However difficult it may seem to create your own content from scratch, it is worth it.
What I suggest to people is that they go and read 3-5 web sites of people doing what you're doing. If you're a plumber, go and find web sites for plumbers in Whitstable but also in towns and cities that are miles away. Read what they've written and see what information they have put on their sites. Now, go to the kitchen, make yourself a drink and come back after five minutes and start writing your own content.
Doing this means that you have lots of ideas about what to write for your own site but you will not be writing it down verbatim from another source. It's a good way to stimulate your brain and get some of your own content written.
3. Add more content
Once your site is up-and-running, it is crucial to keep writing content on a regular basis. Depending on your business, I usually recommend a minimum of adding one new blog post every two weeks, of at least 400 words.
Search engines love to see sites adding new content on a regular basis so if you are doing this and your competitors are not, you will speed up the time in which you can over take them in the search engine rankings.
4. Build some links
Almost everyone knows that adding your web site's link to other web sites is an important way of boosting rankings and generating more traffic to your site i.e. getting more people to visit your web site from elsewhere.
Firstly, do not be tempted to buy links. There are lots of people on sites like Fiverr that will happily take your money and promise you thousands of incoming links to your site. Do not be tempted - it will do you more harm than good.
I'd suggest adding a couple of links a week. Go to sites like FreeIndex, Yell and 192. These sites do not charge you to add your business to their directories which is a great start and as well as generating some incoming links to your site which will help your SEO, you will also be surprised at the number of people that use these sites to search for businesses or services that they need. We've had lots of people come to us directly through sites like this looking for a web site designer or SEO expert.