How to boost your website SEO

Many website owners assume that having a new website designed is all that’s needed to find instant success online. In fact, its only the start.

If you do nothing to promote your website, its unlikely you will get many hits at all.

Below is a simple guide to steps any website owner can take to help their website do well on Google. However, if you are unsure about completing all or any part of this guide, please get in touch to see how I may be able to help you.

Check the content

One of the most simple changes you can make to your website is making sure the keywords you hope to be found for actually appear in your website text. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But you would be surprised how many times I take a look at a website only to find that there is no mention of what it is the business actually does. For example; if you are a Dog Walker in Wimborne or a Florist in Ferndown – make sure you say this. If you offer more than one service or product – Google will score each one higher if it has its own page, expanding in more detail with unique and interesting text and images. Don’t cram all your services or products onto one page. (See ‘Size Matters’ further down this page).

Submit your business to Google Maps

You may notice that sometimes when you search on Google, results for local businesses are shown on a map result. This can provide a useful tool to help people find your website, especially if you offer a local service. It also shows customers the business is genuine as it can verify an address, phone number, email and website URL.

Submit your business and website here.

Submit your website to local website directories

Getting your business and website details listed on other directories is an important way to show Google you are open for business. The more places that refer to your website, the better. Google will score a website with 10 other sites linking to it higher than one with less.

Submit your website to following local website directories, which all offer free listings. Remember to make sure you specify your full, correct URL and include keywords in any website or business descriptions. Be warned however – as you begin to promote your contact details, inevitably you will also start to get phone calls trying to get you to pay for advertising. There is very little paid for advertising that can help with your websites Google results. Politely decline such offers!

Get social

Like it or loath it, social media IS a vital part of promoting a business. Get familiar with using Facebook and Twitter to encourage people to like, share and re-tweet your posts with their friends, family and work colleagues. If you are unsure about how to use social media to your advantage, look at other websites – even your competitors, to see how they do this. Post frequent updates with news, offers and links to your website to help engage with new and existing customers and encourage people to like, share and follow your posts. The exposure your website could gain from this free advertising is limitless. Facebook and Twitter, for example, also offer advertising which will allow you to pay for your post to appear to a targeted audience. This is a great way to promote your website directly with people who match your client base; be it by age, location, occupation or hobby.

Promote your URL

Search engines such as Google, like to see new visitors finding your website by physically typing in your URL (domain name) rather than just relying on a search result or link from another website. For example, typing your URL in to the address bar having seen it in an advert, poster, stationary or side of a van etc. Promote your URL as much and as often as you can.

Update often

Google knows when your website was last updated. If you rarely make any changes to your website, it will assume you are no longer in business and begin to score your website lower. If you have a CMS style website, you should be able to update your website for yourself and use a blog, news or latest projects area to post frequent articles to keep the site current and updated. If you cannot do this yourself, ask your website designer to update your website for you, even if only once a month.

Are you mobile compatible?

These days, its essential to have a website that is mobile and tablet compatible. Not just for the sake of anyone trying to view your website on a mobile device, but also because Google may rank a mobile compatible website over one that isn’t. You can check to see if your website is mobile compatible here .

Size matters

As I mentioned in the first point – Google scores keywords better if they have a dedicated page on your website. For example, lets say you are a builder and you want to be found for ‘Conservatories in Poole’, ‘Extensions in Bournemouth’ and ‘Builder in Dorset’ . Rather than have all your services covered on a single page, each of these should have their own page, with at least a couple of paragraphs explaining in more detail about each. These pages should include optimised headings, images and even a Google map to promote the area covered to help Google score the page higher. A single paged website with little or too much information squeezed onto a single page will score much lower than a website with more information over more pages.

Is your website too slow?

A website that is full of unnecessary effects and large, high resolution images will have a low page load score which can effect search results. Keep your website plugins, features and effects to a minimum and always only upload web optimised, (low resolution) pictures to ensure your website loads as fast as possible. You can test your website page load speed here and address any errors or low scores the test reveals.

Time to pay?

If you find you are not getting the results you want, you can use Google Adwords to pay Google to show your website on a pay-per-click basis. Depending on your competition – the more you bid per click, the higher up Google you’ll show. The budget you set per day will determine how often your advert shows and where it appears. While waiting to appear in the Google ‘free’ listings can sometimes take many days, weeks or even months based on how much effort you put in to promoting your website; using Google Adwords allows you pretty much jump straight onto page one the moment your website is live! This can be pretty useful if you need to start getting business as soon as possible. Find out more about Adwords here.