Knowledgebase: Client Support
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Basics
Posted by Liv James on 21/10/10 10:59
Search Engine Optimisation Basics
Getting Your Site Higher on Search Engines

Our clients often ask us "Can you make me #1 on Google?" The short answer is "No". The long answer is that you can organically achieve spectacular results by following the steps below.
Determine what you want to be found as.

For example, If you are a law firm, you might want to think of your unique service proposition and determine if you want to be found as simply lawyers or IP lawyers.

* Determine what markets you can actually service. There is no point in being #1 in Timbuktu if you serve West Perth.
* Do a search for 'IP Lawyers West Perth' to see if your competition is already there. If they are you could be losing valuable leads.

How do you get there?
Understand the Page Title, Keywords and Description

In the edukaCMS, these sections are available for you to fill in when you edit a page.

* Page Title: Search engines use this to ascertain what the page is about. It also appears as the title on the search results page. Make sure each page has a short title, for example "XYZ Lawfirm name - IP Lawyers West Perth (Intellectual Property)"
* Keywords: These are also important for showing some search engines what your site is about. Google doesn't use them, but other indexes do, so you should still have some. Insert a maximum of eight keywords on each page, that are highly relevant to that particular page. (Google has a program that suggests keywords:
* Description: On search results pages, this appears under the title. Keep it short and sweet. Insert a description for each page, for example: "We are a law firm based in West Perth which specialises in IP Law"

Check your content

* Does your content have the words lawyers, IP, West and Perth in it? Make sure it does.
* Link to other pages within your site, using a key phrase in the link text if possible, e.g. web design perth goes to our home page.
* Choose some key phrases and repeat them throughout your website content - google will consider your site to be more relevant when these phrases are searched for.
* Don't sacrifice legibility for the sake of including key phrases - there is no point having more people come to your site if it doesn't make sense when they get there!
* Add fresh content such as news items to your site as much as you can - this encourages search engines to revisit more frequently and shows that your site is still active.

Validation and Accessibility

There is a body called the W3C which governs and advises on how websites should be built. Two important items are making your websites "valid" and “accessible”. This opens your site up to a much wider audience, ranging from people with various physical or mental disabilities, to those with visual impairments.

Let's remember that Google, for all intents and purposes, is a blind user. Google cannot see what is on your site, so it has to read it. Valid, accessible code will be much better understood by Google and other search engines.

While your web developer will have made every effort to create your website properly, you need to ensure that you keep up the good work when you add new content yourself. There are several things to consider, as outlined below.

* Use the W3C validator to make sure that your site has the correct HTML code.
* Avoid tables in your website (unless they are used for tabular data).
* Make sure every picture has an alternative text description, vision impaired people, text only browsers and Google will love your site.
* If possible have a picture or descriptive text as an alternative to Flash.
* If possible make your site menu render as list items. This is not only semantically correct, but also ensures that all pages will be navigable even if JavaScript is switched off.
* Try to make your content first in your HTML and position it with styles. That way when you switch off styles, the most important information is first.

If your site was built recently by Eduka, all of these things have already been taken care of when we delivered your site. If your site is old it will have been built to out-of-date guidelines, so contact us to find out how we can help to make your site accessible by today’s guidelines.
Let Google know

* Create a free account on Google and in webmaster tools add your site details. Google will visit the pages and you can tell it where your Google site map is.
* If you are revamping a site make sure you remove old pages from the Google index and redirect others to the new page names.
* We all know it is important to have a sitemap so visitors can quickly find pages on your site, equally it is important create a Google SiteMap and to let Google know that it is there. (We can do this for you.)

Let the world know

* Link to your website from blogs, forums, facebook; anywhere you go - make sure you have a link to your website.

Get expert advice

If you're having trouble gaining a higher search engine ranking, get in touch with an expert. We can help you improve your site's ranking.
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