So you’ve got your nice shiny new website. You’ve told all your friends and family to go and see it and to Like it on your Facebook page.
Now it’s been two weeks and the traffic has stopped. Only so many friends and family members!
So now what? You need to decide on the following points: Who is your website aimed at? How do you reach them? How much time and money are you prepared to put into it?
If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions, please stop what you’re doing. Sit down and spend a day answering them. If you don’t know who your market is then there is no point even starting your SEO.
Once you’ve decided who you want on your site you need to put your product in front of them and get them clicking.
The following is my recommendation for what to do to start the ball rolling:
1. Submit: The first thing I do is submit my site to all the search engines. Get yourself a Webmaster account with Google, Yahoo and Bing. Submit sitemaps to them all too. Do this early to get it started. It can take time to get listed in the engines so don’t wait until your site is completed.
2. Keywords: Deciding which keywords to use is the hard part. With so much competition on the web it’s hard to know which keywords will be the most successful. Try to think of how you would begin to search for your product. What would you enter in Google to find you?
3. Meta: Ensure your meta Title is relevant to your content and contains keywords. When people search this is the first bit Google will see so make it count!
4. H1: H1 tags are like the headline in a newspaper. They act as an anchor grabbing the bot and telling him “Oi, look at this!”. Including a keyword in your H1 will also help. NB. There are H2, H3 and H4 tags too so use them!
4. Content: Ensure your content is original, unique, relevant and contains keywords. Try to change the content of your homepage regularly. If you can’t think of new content each day or it really doesn’t apply to your site then you could include a news feed as this will change daily.
5. Socialise: Facebook, Twitter and the rest have all moved into the view of SEO. With so many users all over the world it’s a great way to get the exposure you need. Once again though, take time and put effort into creating your pages. A good Facebook page can send tonnes of traffic to you but a bad one will not only send none, it may even lose you some.
6. Persist: “If at first you don’t succeed…” SEO is not an overnight thing. You can’t submit to Google today and expect to see your site on top tomorrow. It takes time and effort to get top positions. SEO can take months or even longer. Don’t give up or be downhearted if you’re still not there after a few weeks.
After all is said and done the main thing to remember is your content. I recently posted on an SEO forum the following analogy: In real-estate they say “Location, location, location”. The equivalent in SEO is “Content, content, content”.
Andy has been developing websites for 15 years. Optimisation has been a major part of this for a long time. Andy now works as a consultant advising on website design, development and SEO for companies across Europe.