Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a highly effective marketing tool and should be an integral part of the marketing plan for your business.SEO can be used alone, or in conjunction with more conventional marketing and advertising methods.
SEO can help raise awareness of your business because, unlike other forms of advertising, your customer is searching specifically for the goods and services you offer. There is no pressure on the customer to visit your site and even if they don’t choose to click through on the first occasion the chances are that, if your site ranks well for a variety of search terms, then they will remember you in the future.
So you can see that it is important for your site to appear high in the rankings for Google or other search engines. Ranking high somehow suggests that you are a reputable business and most searchers will consider sites on the first page to be the more credible option. It’s a bit like the business listings in the phone directory; businesses names beginning with ‘A’ are the first ones presented and most likely the numbers you will ring.
As part of our website design package we will help to improve your site’s ranking with the search engines by concentrating on the following areas:
Domain Name and Page URLS
Ideally, when choosing a domain name, it should reflect your business name or the services you offer. The same applies to the urls of your pages so, when you add a new page to your WordPress site, think carefully about the search terms which are relevant and choose the title carefully, as this will become the url for the page.
Google and most other search engines love content that is rich and easy to read. To rank well on a search engine results page (SERP) use keywords and key phrases but don’t overuse them. Focus each page on one particular aspect of your business and make it interesting to the reader. Try not to repeat blocks of text over different pages.
Meta Title and Meta Description
Meta tags are used to pass information to search engines. The meta title is a phrase displayed in the browser bar when your pages are viewed and it also appears at the top of your search engine listing. The meta description is a snippet of the page content and is displayed below the meta title on the listing. As with the page content the meta tags should carry the relevant search term for the page. With WordPress the use of an SEO Plugin like Yoast will enable you to add meta titles and descriptions to your pages without editing the code. It is important that meta tags are relevant to a particular page and not used elsewhere on the site.
An XML sitemap is an optimised directory of your site’s pages which is submitted to search engines so that they know exactly which pages to ‘crawl’. The sitemap can be generated automatically and if you use the Yoast SEO plugin, you can choose which areas of your site are available for ‘crawling’. New pages and posts are added automatically to the sitemap.
Hopefully, as your site gains respect, other web masters will link to you. In the interim it is possible to link to one page of your site from another and the idea is to optimise the keyword used in the anchor text (visible text) to reflect the keyword of the page the link is pointing to. With some themes the navigation menu is not always accessible to the search engines, so adding internal links to your page content can provide another root for the ‘crawlers’.
At first glance SEO can seem very complicated but with a little thought and preparation it is well worth the effort. Please contact Margaret Broadley for more details of our website design and SEO packages.