As the majority of Quvex's clients operate in the UK, it is worth us quickly looking at the current state of the market. Currently in the UK Google has about 80% of the search market. Yahoo has about 15%, Microsoft (or Bing as it is now called) around 5% market share and others about 1%. Google share of the market is holding steady, Yahoo's is falling and Bing's is rising. The one thing we can say for certainty is that you ignore the 'big G' at your peril.
There are many rumours doing the rounds about SEO (search engine optimisation) and many people approach the subject with no small amount of confusion and uncertainty. This guide aims to point you in the right direction, at least to give you a basic understanding of the road ahead and, we hope, to prevent you from making some of the more obvious mistakes that a lot of your competitors will be making.
We are going to focus on on-page optimisation – that is the factors that you can directly control yourself in how you build the site and the type of content that you add to it.
Choosing the right keywords to base your site optimisation around is an important first step in your strategy. General or generic keywords are usually not the best approach, and sometimes it's better to be a little more specific and focus on niche keywords relating to your product or service.
How competitive is the market? What are your chances of ranking for that term? Are people actually using that phrase in searches – and how many?
To find out how many websites are competing with your keywords -- either intentionally or not -- simply do a search on Google and note down how many results are returned.
A properly optimized website will use semantic code to market headings, paragraphs, lists, etc… This means that each part of your content is given a relative importance. Google uses this prioritization to figure out which keywords are important, so you should ask your webmaster to make sure your website is coded properly to use these.
Two of the most determining factors in Google's ranking are your domain name and title tag. For example, a domain name such as: http://www.we-make-widgets.com will generally get ranked higher than http://www.companyname.com, assuming that they had identical keywords and page content.
If Google considers that you are 'keyword stuffing' the site's URL this can actually suppress a site's rankings, but if the site is well mixed and the titles look more like descriptive newspaper titles than overt SEO it can help a lot. Also many people link at documents by their official names, and thus the title acts as anchor text for viral content which can be massively powerful.
Some people consider that www.we-make-widgets.com – i.e. using keywords as the domain name can look too unprofessional. As an alternative -- and also a useful tactic -- is to add your keywords into the names of your pages, such as http://www.companyname.com/we-make-widgets.php
Your title tag is almost as important as your domain name. Using keywords in your title tag can improve your Google ranking significantly. Trying to achieve a balance of professionalism with keyword density in the title tag however is sometimes a little more difficult. Going back to our example of a web development company earlier, a good title tag would be: <title>"We make widgets in London, England"</title> Usually, the closer to the front of your title tag the keywords are placed, the better.
Content includes any text, images, audio, or video that you put on your website. For this article we’ll focus on text, since it is the primary way Google understands your website. The others need to be described with text in order for Google to register them.
Here’s the simple overview of content and SEO:
Content is good
More content is better
Lots of content is the best
Content is what search engines rank. If you have a lot of content, you will have more pages that can rank, and more ways to get traffic. So the more content you have, the better. But it’s not quite that simple, content quality is very important. A high quality article will get a lot of traffic from social media and will get more links, which is a big factor in SEO (see the next big section). Also good content will be relevant to your website and have relative keywords in it. So don’t just throw up a crappy page and expect it to rank well—your content needs to be well thought out and provide some good value.
Sprinkling keywords throughout your page content can also improve your sites keyword density. Keyword density simply means the ratio of optimized keywords to the rest of the content on your page. It is usually expressed as a percentage, and should be between 7% and 10% for each page on your site.
Google can be a difficult beast to tame. Hopefully we’ve provided you with enough basic tips to
get started optimising your website. If you require any help then please call Quvex and speak to one of our team. We currently offer the following digital marketing solutions:
• Digital Strategy
• Link Building
• PPC management
• Landing pages
• Local search marketing
• Content optimisation
• Social media marketing