The November edition of PC Pro (UK) had a good article by Kevin Partner, who writes on online business. Amongst other things, he outlined his straight forward process for getting a site optimised for a client.
Before spending lots of cash on “professionals” touting an expert knowledge in the black art, business owners would do worse than implement these basic ideas. Most don’t bother.
- Make sure the code for your site is search engine friendly. Ok, so this one can’t be done by the average business owner, but they should at least know someone who can help here. All the sites that we deliver for our clients are search engine friendly, not because we’re particularly clever, but because we start from a solid base. We use WordPress as a CMS, which is friendly to search engines anyway. We then use an SEO-optimised theme, and we make sure our sites are standards-compliant. Simple stuff. (See the offer at the bottom of the post if you’re not sure how to tell whether you meet this step).
- Put content into easily-indexable chunks. For example, put all your pricing information on a page called Pricing, so the search engines are in no doubt what the page is about.
- Do some keyword research, so you know what keywords you’re aiming to target in your business. (This wasn’t on Kevin’s list, but I think it’s essential – no point just shooting blindly in the dark here. I’m sure Kevin would agree.)
- Make sure all headings include the search terms you’re aiming for on each page.
- Make sure that the search terms for each page are in the first paragraph of text on the page.
- Make sure the copy is succinct and clear, so the copy still works for humans
- Make sure all pictures on every page are given ALT tags and TITLEs that include the search terms for the page.
- Install Google Sitemaps plugin and export a sitemap for Google to crawl.
- Over time, add the site to various directories that relate to your industry and search goals.
- Set up Google Analytics
- Add site to your Google Webmaster Tools account
- Manually submit the site to Google.