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SEO tips

SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation) is what it's all about. It's no good having a great all singing website unless it has been Optimised for the search engines, nobody will ever find it !

It comes in 2 parts - On site optimisation & Off site Optimisation.

On site Optimisation

Some of this you may not be able to do yourself, depending on the access you have to your website. You may need a Web Design Company to help you out or a friend who 'knows a bit' about websites.

First of all make sure your site conforms to W3C standards. This can be checked via their website, which will show you any errors.

Make sure you site has a site-map.

Try to have your URLs search engine friendly, as opposed to messy code . For instance··· instead of··

Mae sure your paragraph , page headings have the correct <title> tags.

Try to keep your meta data relevant for each page· and try not to repeat similar information.

Any images should have relevant names and 'alt' names instead of pic1, pic2· etc

Keywords - You will need to utilise keywords in your on site and off site SEO. Keywords are the words / short phrases that you want· people to find your site with.· Deciding on which keywords to use to promote your site is critical to your SEO campaign.
Fortunately, Google has help at hand. The Google keyword tool, is an insightful resource in· what people are searching for and in what volumes. Spend a day getting familiar with this tool, and decide on your keywords using the parameters google shows you·· Monthly Searches & Keyword competition.· Ideally you want a combination of· high monthly searches & low competition .· Remember when using the tool to select· 'Exact' in the search types, as opposed to 'broad' or· 'phrase'.

Now you've decided on your keywords you need to get them in your site, but make them appear in written articles as naturally as possible. Google is brilliant at spotting Spam content, but is also good at rewarding well written articles. As a rule, try to keep your keyword incidence below 5% of all words written in an article. - DONT OVERUSE YOUR KEYWORDS.· Whatever you do don't be tempted to copy other peoples content and change a couple of words.· It will do absolutely nothing for your SEO, and could even get 'punished' by google.

It's· a useful idea to put a link in your written article to elsewhere in your site.· If somebody then copies your article for their website, they'll also be creating a link to your site· (helpful for off site SEO, as discussed later) .

Off Site SEO

Now the work really starts. Off Site SEO is all about getting others sites to link to yours. The more links you have, the higher you climb in the rankings.

However it's not just about getting as many links as possible from anywhere .· It's about getting links from· good quality sites, with relevant quality content and a good google ranking.

It's tempting to pay for people who will use software to place thousands of links to your site really quickly, but avoid this type of thing at all costs. This used to work years ago, but the search engines don't reward this kind of behaviour, often know as link 'farms' - where sites are built purely for creating links to their customers sites.

Concentrate on getting quality links from similar sites in your field. If you sell cars, a link from a computer software site will be of no use to you at all.

One of the best ways of getting links is to write articles and get them published on websites such as EZINE .· They are very well respected, and will get your articles good exposure. You'll find that a well written article on here will get copied onto other websites, and thus creating extra links to your site .

Getting links from other similar sites to yours isn't always easy, but the best way is to contact them and ask for a link in return for giving them a link.

Blogging - Create your own blog, either on your main site or a separate blog site. Write interesting articles and link them to your main· site.· Posting blog replies on other peoples blogs can also be a good way of getting a link to your site. When doing so, always make sure you have something relevant and interesting to say, instead of· something like· 'Nice blog, thanks '.

Anchor text· -· When creating links in any of the ways previously mentioned, the anchor text is key.· This is the actual text that the link is on. This is where you would want to put a your keyword that you're promoting.· When posting on somebody Else's blog, and you fill in the 'name' field, this is the field that usually becomes your anchor text .· This is why blog replies often have unusual names.

Finding other relevant sites to link too -· There are a number of free tools you can get that identify· websites that can be helpful to you.· A good one is SEO spyglass.· There is a free version that allows you to find all the links to any particular website· ( i.e - your competitor ). This will give you a list of websites where you would want links from.

SEO is a lot of hard work and needs to be done over a period of time. Google doesn't like SEO to happen to quickly, as it doesn't see it as 'natural' .· It's best to just do a couple of hours a day, and not expect too much too soon.

SEO results and analysis

How do you know how well your SEO is working ?

There are At leats 2 tools you need, Google analytics and Google Webmaster tools. Initially Webmaster tools is the most important, it will tell you what keywords google have picked up on and where your website is appearing for them in the searches. Don't expect much joy for the first month or two - It takes time to appear . Eventually, if your SEO is working you'll see yourself appearing on page 1· !.· Webmaster tools also offers help for your on-site SEO, as previously discussed.

When you're on page 1· ( preferably in top 5) is when your site should start working for you, and then using Google analytics will show you how many people are visiting the site and your 'click through' rate. Until you are on page 1 of google you won't get very many visits at all.

Accessing Google analytics and webmaster tools is completely free, but needs you to insert a bit of 'code' in· your site , which you may need a Web Designer for.

If you don't really fancy doing your own SEO  (it is quite boring ) it would be worth asking a web design firm to do it. Just make sure they only do ethical SEO, and will provide you with on going updates and analysis, so you can track how well they are doing.

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