How Well Am I Ranked?
We’ve been asked a lot recently about how to improve the position of a website following an internet search. Known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) this is a whole industry by itself and can’t be solved overnight however, here a few simples steps that business owners should be doing to start improving their websites performance.
Choose a Set of Keywords – this is known as keyword research
Keywords can be more than one word long but, at this stage, don’t go above three e.g. ‘Ladies T Shirts or School Shoes’.
We will be discussing local SEO another time as small businesses can benefit greatly by using local keywords.
Create a list of keywords that you would like your audience to use when looking for your business. We suggest only having one keyword per page at this stage. You can work on more later.
Create a list of keywords that your customers actually use when searching for your business. Googles Analtyics Tool will help you with this.
We often come across clients who use one set of words who describing their business or services while their customers use a totally different set. Naturally, this mismatch will mean a website won’t be found.
Find Your Position
Once you have your list enter them into the search engines. Google is still the most used search engine and generally a good indicator of what the other search engines will show up. Enter your keyword and make a note of its position. Ignore the first few listings as these are ‘paid for’ advertisements which, is a whole different subject.
Keep a record of each of the keywords you use and their position. If you find yourself on page 2 the opportunities for improvement are much greater than if you were listed 6th or 7th.
Spot Your Competitors
Make a note of who your competitors are and where they appear in the results. Take a look at their website at the same time. See if they are doing something very obvious that you could implement within your own site. In most cases you will be looking to improve your position directly against the business above yours.
Make Some Tweaks
This where you can make a difference yourself. Search engines go through a number of processes before showing the results from a search. These include reviewing the title of your page, the headline you use and, in most cases, the text in the first paragraph of your page.
Make sure your chosen keyword is used in at least one of these areas, if not all. You may have to rewrite your page titles, headlines and content to make it fit. This is vital if you want to improve your ranking. Don’t over-do it and turn your content into a list. Be creative with your words. Use your keyword a couple of times in the first paragraph as a maximum.
There is a bucket full of technical things that can be done to your website to improve your search results including; site speed, SSL/https, mobile site, metadata and sitemaps We’ll cover some of these at a later date. Google and other search engines often change the way they display the results from a search. It’s our job to keep up to speed with these changes and pass them on to our clients
How Long Will It Take
The changes you make to a webpage will not show immediately. The search engines have millions of website to review and index daily. Your changes may not show for a week or so. Be patient and keep working at it and you will see improvement.