SEO – search engine optimisation

search engine optimisation

SEO is often seen as a black art, but there is a largely transparent aspect to search engine optimisation and most webmasters and site owners should attempt to get to grip with the basics. There are only really two areas to be concerned with:

  1. Off-site optimisation

Off-site concerns itself with getting external links to your website from established websites. This is not always simple to do because in many cases, the other sites that are getting good results for the search terms you are interested in are actually your competitors. If this is the case, then you may want to see if you can get links from your suppliers or from web directories or any trade organisations in your field of work.

Ideally, you want these links to have an ‘anchor text’ which contains a search term that you are ‘optimising’ for. I will write more on search terms in another post, but please comment if you want me to expand on anything I have written here…

  1. On-site optimisation

So here is where there are no short-cuts. I always go by the motto that ‘Content is King’ which means that if you have good content, then by rights, the search engines should find and promote it. However there are some things you can do to accelerate the process. You will need to go through your site meticulously searching out where you can insert your keywords. You will need to add ALT tags to your pictures (yes have plenty of pictures..). You will need to focus on specific search terms. In a WordPress site, using an SEO plug-in can really help you to be disciplined. I will be looking at the YOAST plug-in which provides clear and specific SEO guidance.

In short, these are the broad strokes of search engine optimisation, there is no EXACT formula because the search engines keep their hysteresis close to their chest to stop us ‘gaming’ the results. So keeping your content good, makes good sense to get ‘organic’ results. Don’t go for short-term ‘cheats’ because you could end up having your site ‘de-indexed’ from search results. Over all, the best SEO is done on really precise search terms – finding your ‘niche’ is key. In some cases, it might be a unique service that you offer, or if you are in a competitive market, linking your keywords to your locality could be the edge that works for you.

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