1. Speaking to Google.
Check your SEO files are in place. Google (and other search engines) use software called robots to read your website. This feeds into their algorithm and determines (in part) your page ranking. You can help these robots by adding two files to your hosting: robots.txt and sitemap.xml
A sitemap is a list of all the pages on your site, in XML format. You can generate an XML file with free online tools. WordPress users can install an SEO plugin (such as Yoast). This can generate a sitemap for you.
A robots file is a very short txt file that is the first thing a visiting robot will look for. It can also include a link to your sitemap, which helps the robot navigate your site.
2. Google Local.
It’s free, and connects to Google Maps. Make sure you have signed up for Google Local. Take your time when filling in your details. It is excellent free local exposure.
3. ‘Description Meta’.
It is this that Google shows as the description under your search result. It is understood that this feeds into the ranking for the page, both with organic SEO results and PPC. Add description meta into the HEAD of each page.
4. Connect to search engines.
Even if your site has been live for some time it is worth checking this. Google console allows us to see what Google sees (for Bing see Webmaster Tools). You can connect your sitemap and check the visibility of your web pages.
5. Page structure.
The latest standard for web pages is HTML5, ask for this during any development process. Also ensure your Page title, keywords and copy make sense when considered together. Wrap your page title in an H1 ‘header’ tag. These standards help search robots understand the page, and so improve SEO ranking.
If you don’t have a website, or are in the market for a new one.
WordPress became famous as the most popular blogging platform. Now it can boast being the World’s number one content management system. Some sources claim WordPress is behind more than a third of the websites on the internet. That’s some stat. So they don’t need me to proselytise on their behalf.
I would nevertheless suggest WordPress for your website. It is very well understood by search engines and beloved of SEO experts. It’s not as easy as: install WordPress – hey presto, Profit! But a well made WordPress website does so much for your SEO that it really is the number one recommendation.
I don’t need to take any interest in SEO, do I?
At its core SEO is a method used to make sure your website is easy to find. One can spend a great deal of time and money on optimisation. Good positioning on search engines can be very powerful. It can gain you many new contacts and potential clients. It’s a moveable feast too, which requires regular monitoring. Experts can help you.
It’s fine if you don’t want any of that. What I’ve been advocating is a proper foundation for your website. That it should be fast, and secure. That it should reflect your branding and aspirations for your business. That it should speak to your target audience. That it should contain useful information. If your website is all that, and more…
Then it should also be easy to find.