So you’ve just had a shiny new website designed and built and now you’ve got the herculean task of getting people you have never met to look at it and hopefully buy your products. You ask around for tips and everyone is throwing buzz words at you like SEO and Social Media Marketing, you just agree with them because they sound familiar but you have no real idea what they mean. Well have no fear this blog post will hopefully explain some of these terms and how they effect what you should be doing.
Anatomy of a Search Result
First let’s go back to basics and look at a search result.
This is what you or the person searching for your services will see, let’s just break it down a bit and explain what you will need to do to get the best out of each section.
Title – The SEO Title of Your Page
- Title’s should contain key words that people will be using to search for your products but they must also be relevant to the page it’s linking to’s content
- Each page should have a unique title, this separates out pages and better describes what people will find on that particular page.
- Google will trim out most of your title so try and make it as short and relevant as possible, while still making it readable to a human as they still need to click on your link over others.
Text Snippet – The SEO Description of Your Page
- SEO descriptions help tell search engines and the users what they will find on that page.
- The set SEO description is not always used, if google finds a chunk of text on that page that is more relevant to the users search i.e. more key words match, it will use that instead. Google will use the predefined description if nothing matches so make it relevant.
- The description should be short and punchy, accurately explaining to the user what they will find on this page and why this is the page they are looking for. The idea is to make a user click on your link over other peoples.
- As with the SEO title the SEO description should be unique to each page, this way if your site did come up twice in someone’s search results they will know exactly which page is the one they are looking for and therefore shortening the process of the customer actually buying your product.
The Google Plus Profile Image
This is your profile image on the google plus account that you linked to that article or page. This shows up when someone searches google and your site is exactly what they need. Then your little face will pop up next to your post, saying that you are the author of the page.
By adding a human element to an otherwise boring listing, the post stands out; it shows that it’s been written by someone, it’s got context. Coupled with the fact that your listing is now colourful and has a large element breaking up the flow of the page, you will get more clicks on your link for it.
To link your posts up to your profile, you need to hyperlink your Google+ account on the page you want it to show. Then in your Google+ dashboard, you can view what sites you contribute to.
The Highlighted Bold Text
Words that match the key words the user has searched for will be highlighted automatically by Google. This helps the user to see why this result is being shown to them and the more highlighted words the better, this stands out especially if a string of highlighted words are together matching exactly what the user searched for e.g. Mansfield Web Design. The general rule is the more words that are highlighted the more the user will think that this is the webpage they were looking for.
Your URL’s should ideally contain keywords and key-phrases as these will also be highlighted where relevant, it also helps users read and share your url and understand that this is what they are looking for.
It’s also been noted that including a hyphen in your URL can affect your ranking on google! [read]
Content is King
A clichéd term but for good reason, while all these fancy techniques will help you appear higher in google there is no point in doing all this if a user gets to your page doesn’t understand what’s going on and leaves. This is where good content is really important, not only should your content contain key words and phrases for google to pick up it should also read well, be compelling and interesting and ultimately make people want to share it.
This sharing idea brings us to another point social engagement.
Social engagement is the process of trying to get people to share your content on their social network of choice and in return in front of hundreds of other people who may share the same interests. You can encourage them to do this by having social share buttons on your content and by making the content informative, relevant and interesting. Social sites are often a highly overlooked avenue but if used correctly can be just as valuable as SEO after all the whole point of SEO is trying to get your content in front of the right people and social engagement gets other people to do this for you.
Images in Content
Images are always an easy way to make your content look pretty but if used right can also contribute to your SEO efforts. Images should always contain a relevant alt tag explaining what the image is of and the naming of the image file should be relevant too this as well. This will not only help people who for some reason cannot see your image e.g. using a screen reader, but it will also help you when it comes to people using the google image search.
Links in Your Content
Links in a website should be descriptive of the page it is being linked too, this is specifically important for internal links.
All links to other websites should be no follow links, this makes sure that your site is not saying “this page knows more about this than me”
Links also contribute to you reputation in Google especially web pages linking to your page as they are technically passing your page some of their reputation. Links can be a powerful tool if used correctly but for now all you need to know is that a rel=”nofollow” on any external link is important.
Other ways to get noticed is to promote your site through Google’s local business centre, or though offline media such as flyers etc.
Hopefully this article has helped you see some of the ways you can get your site noticed on the WWW and explained some of the terms that may be a bit foreign to you, and always remember if you would like any help with any of this Full Phat Design provides a range of services to help you achieve more exposure.