Search engine optimisation – the good news is employing this strategy will help your business become more visible in the online space. The bad news is it’s not merely a box to tick; it’s an ongoing process to maintain and update your website and make it search engine-friendly. But for those businesses committed to staying ahead in the online marketing game, the benefits are there for the taking.
To grow organically and leverage your potential for search engine marketing – as opposed to paying Google for sponsored links whereby a pay per click model is employed – the key is to define the search terms you think your customers, or potential customers, will google, the results of which you’d like to rank highly in.
While search engine optimisation can be a complicated science, here are some things you can do to maximise you’re search engine rankings when starting out. However, note that doing one alone will rarely help. A combination is the best way to maximise search engine optimisation.
By way of example, let’s pretend you sell books. Place your keywords in the following areas of your site:
• In the HTML <title> tag. For example, ‘Books sold here’ as the title of one of your pages. For optimum results, keep your titles short (around seven words) and keep the keyword towards the beginning of the title.
• In the URL. For example, www.bookstore.com.au/books
• In anchor text. Anchor text is the visible, clickable text found in a hyperlink. For instance, in the following hyperlink, the anchor text is internet god, despite the hyperlink linking to www.google.com.
• In headings.
• At the beginning of website copy.
• Google won’t pick up on images so include a textual description within the <alt> tag in the HTML code.
Keyword density is how often the selected keyword appears in your website copy. It is generally considered optimal to have a keyword density of three per cent. Any more than this (especially higher than 10 per cent) and the search engine may ban your site for keyword stuffing, even if you are not doing so intentionally. Keyword stuffing refers to sites that artificially inflate keyword density.
A three per cent keyword density means that if your copy is 100 words long, your keyword should appear three times.
To easily calculate your keyword density, use a free online keyword density checker such as at Seomastering.com
Never underestimate the power of the search engine. Google, as well as other English-based search engines, search for synonyms of the target keywords so to optimise your rankings, include these where possible.
To remain high in search engine rankings, ensure your content is unique, relevant and frequently updated. Older documents or those not relevant to the search term will eventually be weeded out of the search results and lower your search engine optimisation.