Search Engine Optimisation, also known as SEO, plays an important role in the overall marketing and promotion of a website – and with more businesses beginning to take advantage of online marketing, the importance of effective SEO is becoming more apparent.
However, with the increasing importance of using SEO to boost your website, the importance of staying on the right side of SEO is becoming more apparent – and this was highlighted late last month (January), after it was revealed that Google penalised the domain name of a leading personal injury legal firm.
The domain name of the legal firm has been removed from Google’s organic search listings, due to hyper-linking from various blogs and forums; and this is not the first time that Google has penalised a domain name for what they consider a breach of their algorithm, which enables businesses to unnaturally influence search results.
The latest penalty issued by Google highlights the need for those taking part in online marketing and search engine optimisation, to ensure that they stay on the right side of the techniques available – known as “white hat SEO” – and below are some tips to consider.
Keyword Research / Effective Keywords:
One of the most important aspects of SEO is the keywords selected to promote and enhance a website; and it is important that effective keyword research is carried out.
When researching keywords for your site, you need to consider:
- What you want to be found for – for example, if you’re a legal firm in Birmingham, it is likely you’ll want to be found for “Solicitors Birmingham”, “Birmingham lawyers” and “Solicitors in Birmingham”.
- What your target audience are likely to search for, to find firms who offer the services you offer (e.g. solicitors in Birmingham who can help with speeding tickets).
- The competitiveness of the keywords – some geographical locations are going to experience more competition than others, if you’re targeting the Birmingham market, can you be more specific by targeting certain areas (i.e. Bartley Green; Aston; Digbeth; etc).
With your keywords researched, and narrowed down to those which are likely to bring you the best results based on their competitiveness, what you want to be found for and what your clients are likely to search for, you can begin using them within your website copy and online marketing.
Whilst the design and layout is important to how your audience will navigate your website, there is no denying that content is king.
Visitors to your website, will not want to see a technically gifted website which includes videos, images and various links, if they are not able to find the information they are looking for – and in many respects, Google and its SEO algorithm robots are the same.
It is therefore important to ensure that not only is the content on your website unique and interspersed with your keywords, but that the information your clients are looking for is easy to find. There are various ways in which this can be achieved, from short, concise snippets of information, through to information being broken down by effective titles and headings.
A top tip for when using keywords within the copy, is to include them within the opening paragraph (with a link to a relevant page on your website) and within the final paragraph (in a strong tag) – anywhere else you’re able to use them is an added bonus!
Quality and Relevant Links:
SEO is not just about making use of relevant keywords and unique content; a vital part of effective SEO is the use of links both on your company website and on external websites – although as you’d expect, there are guidelines to follow here too.
Whether you’re linking on your own website or external sites, you do not want to overfill your copy with too many hyperlinks, nor do you want to only link to the homepage of your website.
Effective link-building for SEO requires links to various, relevant pages on the website – from the homepage, through to service pages, team profiles and “contact us” pages.
When linking to your website via an external website, along with carefully considering the links you wish to include, you need to ensure your copy is being hosted on a relevant and well-received website. If you’re an accountant, it is not going to help your SEO if there are links to your website on a restaurants website, unless they are your clients – and in such cases, the link needs to reflect this.
Whilst the above are some techniques to consider when using SEO to boost your website’s rankings on Google, it is worth remembering that SEO never stays still and is constantly changing as Google changes its algorithm to ensure that businesses and individuals are unable to gain an unfair advantage.
For those businesses who want to make the most of their SEO, and to ensure that they stay within Google’s permitted algorithm, JE Consulting are able to assist – and to find out how we can help you, contact us today.