If you type SEO tips in Google there are hundreds of guides, tools and schools of thought on how to get your Website seen and visited by more people. Some of these are pretty complicated and you need a very good understanding of coding, algorithms, Pandas and Penguins. It is important to feature well in the searches of people that are geographically close to you despite the accessibility of products through online shops. Why? Because people still like to shop local if they can – there is more comfort in supporting a company based in the same country and besides it takes longer to get your stuff if they have to ship it all the way from Paraguay!
It is more important to look at the value proposition of your online presence rather than engage in fancy tactics to get your site a better rating. Ultimately this comes down to creating value for the reader rather than for a multitude of spiders, crawlers and robots. Google has smartened up its approach to ranking websites and now gives weight to quality content. So if your coding is not strong and you don’t fancy spending a lot of time registering your business on a host of dodgy directory sites, then here are some focus points to help you get results.
Social Media Accounts
With Social Media you need to engage your readers and want to get responses in the form of likes, shares, follows and comments. There is a hierarchy in the popularity of content posted where visual and video are more likely to be shared than text and links. Each social media site has a different flavour and audience – although for most Visual has become King. Understand that the posts are scanned by readers at a fairly high speed so the message needs to be attention grabbing to win a like, share, +1 or follow. When posting it is more important to construct the message for the reader‘s benefit than for your company so delve into their interests and get creative.
Know what your keywords are and how use them.
Keywords are used by people in searches to find what they are looking for. There are two types – short and long-tail keywords.
Short keywords are more generic and as such are used with a higher frequency, for example “guest house” or “accommodation”. The results from this type of search will be enormous and not all the results will be helpful.
To narrow the results the searcher will have to get more specific and try “guest house accommodation bloubergstrand”. This is known as a long-tail keyword.
Keywords need to be in your website title, article titles, image names and article text. It is important to get the balance right as the articles are ultimately meant to be read by a human visitor so keyword stuffing will work against you when the visitors finally find your website. Spend some time thinking about the words visitors will use to find your website and include them in your text. If your text begins to sound repetitive or feel forced then you are overdoing it. Article titles and sentences like the following make reading your website copy really boring.
Example of Bad Website Copy:
Guest House Accommodation in Cape Town South Africa.
Our lovely Guest House Accommodation is located in Cape Town South Africa. The Guest House Accommodation has majestic views of Cape Town surrounds and Cape Town’s famous Table Mountain. The Guest House Accommodation in Cape Town has 4 lovely appointed rooms…etc.
Start a blog and more importantly keep it going!
For most businesses once the website layout is complete for the product offering, about us, contact, etc. then it tends to remain pretty static. This is why a blog is very important as it can be used to add fresh content to your website to engage visitors, encourage repeat visits (Google tracks this) and keeps the robots happy with new content to crawl all over. If you can’t add a blog to your site easily because it isn’t a content management system (WordPress, Joomla!, etc.) then get one installed on your website. This is the best option as your website and blog are in the same relative position so when Google checks your website it sees the blog too. If this is not an option then start a blog with Blogger (another Google product) and link it to your website, Google analytics and Google webmasters.
Once you have written your masterpiece then you need to promote it! This is where your social media channels come in handy.
User friendly website
There was a craze a while back to create outlandish or different websites that ended up just plain hard to navigate. Take a look at your website – is it easy to get to all the important content? Is the most important selling point front and centre? Is it obvious what you do from a glance? Is it what your readers would expect to see?
Google looks at your page titles, images, article titles and page content. Make sure that you have the proper structure in place. For example a home page that has a page title of either “home” or “index” is not helping you at all. To view the page title – hover over the tab near the close button in your browser and pop up will show the full page title (Google Chrome). An example of a good SEO page title is Guest House Accommodation Cape Town South Africa (you can have a maximum of 70 characters including spaces).
Make article titles richly descriptive – why waste it on a generic “welcome to our website” or “about us” when you could have so much more? For example “10 Reasons for Visiting Cape Town this Winter”. The same applies to images – name them properly! Describe the image! No more pic01, pic02! (e.g. View from Table Mountain). Bear in mind with page titles and alt image tags that there is a character limit and more is not better.
So to summarize – for good SEO you need a holistic approach with a strong focus on content. We have found this to be the most effective for our customers and content also drives Lead Generation and Customer Acquisition.