Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, consists of a variety of methods aimed at getting your site to the top of search results, usually Google as that is by far the most popular search engine. It is not a science but a process of trial and error. But there are a few things that are vital in order for Google to take a blind bit of notice:

Meta tags

Meta tags are tags in a webage’s code that contain specific information about the site. They can’t be seen in normal webpage view, but Google spots them.
The Description meta tag is the most important one. Here you enter a short paragraph describing what the page is about, lightly sprinkled with keywords which are words or combinations of words that you think people might use to search for a site such as yours. The text must make sense though! This is also the short blurb that will show in Google’s search results.

The Keywords meta tag is actually the least important nowadays, here you can enter keywords seperated by a comma. Search engines do take notice of this but only give it low priority.

Web page content

Your page content should be relevant, clear, and plentiful, with keywords sprinkled throughout. Too many of the same keyword and Google will ignore it, search engines will weed out pages that are overloaded with SEO methods, they want to show sites that are relevant, not sites that desperately try to come at the top.
It’s good practice to use header tags (heading 1,2,3) to highlight the most important sentences, a search engine will take these as guides to what’s important on the page. Keywords should definitely be used there. For example, the title of this paragraph “Web page content” in a header 1 tag (<h1>). It won’t help much because there’s zillios of websites out there that use these keywords but one can live in hope.

Page title

The page title is the name of the page and can be seen at the top of your browser when you’re viewing a webpage. It s very important to have a descriptive title, with relevant keywords.

It is important that all the above is different on each page, Google loves variety, and the more content in your site, the better.

Off-site methods

One of the major things that will help your site come on top of search results are inbound links, other websites that have a link to yours. Too many is not enough! Also, try to minimise links in your site that go to other websites.

A blog, social media such as Facebook and Google+ that link to your site, participating in forums where you can display a link to your site all help to spread the word that your site is IMPORTANT.

Beware of using Black methods. These are methods designed to get your site to the top and will work for a short period after which Google will ditch you. These are used by SEO companies that want your dollar and want to show quick results.

Consistently getting to the top of search results can take a while and requires careful monitoring and adjustment of your content. Google Analytics is a very useful tool for this. Ask your web developer to set up Google Analytics for you.

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