I have a client, Steve, who came to me about 5 years ago, wanting to setup an ecommerce website and take his menswear business to the next level, creating a well designed and functioning website was the first step. Attracting customers to the website and increasing sales was the second. For me a well designed, engaging, and search engine optimised website go hand in hand, especially if the end result is an increase in sales and revenue.
At the time when Steve and I first worked together, he hadn’t really had much to do with computers or the internet, in fact he’d never turned a computer on! Fortunately I did and together we were able to build Huckleberry’s Menswear into a leader in his niche market of Mod clothing selling Lambretta clothing, Ben Sherman and much more.
I want to give you some FREE tips that helped Steve to achieve page one rankings on Google for his main key phrases and number one positions for most of his main phrases. Not only can you achieve great results online but these tips can help increase your sales and profitability online.
So here’s 7 FREE SEO tips to boost your website rankings.
Just before we get into the tips… Because each tip can be expanded into more detail, I will take each one into more depth through seven follow-up blogs that you can use to really boost your SEO online. To get started lets look at the main seven tips now.
Keywords if you don’t know, these are the search descriptions that your potential customers will type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. Depending on how well your website is optimised and coupled with the research you undertake to ensure there is demand, this will help to focus the time you invest in SEO.
Knowing who your competitors are online will give you a better understanding of your market position and where your targets and goals need to take you. I find sometimes people get confused with their competitors offline, what I mean by this is the bricks and mortar businesses that you are aware of locally or nationally. When it comes to SEO, online competitors can in actual fact be websites who simply rank well for the key words that you would like to rank well for and probably don’t even have a big setup or any real office as such. The point I’m getting to is that online if you get your SEO and Online Marketing right, the internet can give even start up or micro businesses a level playing field, even against big businesses who have big marketing budgets.
- Search Engines – Google, Yahoo & Bing
- Localised – UK or International? Make sure your SEO is based on the right version of each search engine.
- Back link Checkers – Find out who your competitors get links from and do the same but better
- Try typing this into any of the above search engines to see who links to your competitors: link: www.yourcompetitor.co.uk
- Web CEO – Monitor your competitors and your own websites performance.
Your content is as they say “King” in actual fact as John Reese says it’s “Kong”, because it’s actually bigger than king. The search engines will rank your website based on analysing and reading your content and your customers will view and read your website content and providing that it’s good it will convert potential customers into buying customers. Some of the key components to content are:
- Structure – Make sure its readable, engaging and aimed with your customer in mind.
- Word Length 250-300 – The search engines like a good chunk of text to read, so make sure your content also contains your Key phrases.
- Blog – Add regular, fresh content and when you open up the ability for your customers to leave comments this is great for both search engines and building up rapport with your existing and potential new customers.
4. Web Page Structure
By ensuring your web page structure is set up correctly this will allow the search engines to read your web pages and rank them accordingly. Through having a number of key features in place this will enable your website to start off on a firm foundation to attain great search engine rankings. Some of the key components to Web Page Structure are:
- Meta Tag – Description tag, the tag that Google likes, place a unique description and your key phrases for each page on your website. If you don’t know what i’m talking about… In your browser top left click on View then go down and click on Page Source you should find something like this:
- Title Tag – Normally the Blue strip at the top of your web browser, Where your key phrases should appear
- Header Tags, H1, H2
- Search Engine Friendly Page Names (SEF URL’s) – www.leonstreete.com/increase-your-sales-online.html
- Alt Tag – Images, pictures can contain key phrases but make sure they are also true to what the image displays
5. Website Structure
Having the correct website structure will ensure search engines can read all of your web pages and record the pages that you need listed on the search engines. Some of the key components to Website Structure are:
- Sitemap Web Page – Great internal linking
- Sitemap XML file – Point Google and other search engines in the right direction, get a free sitemap.
- Robots.txt – Show the search engines what you want them to see
- Urllist.txt – Show the search engines what you want them to see
- CSS Files – Keep your styling off page in separate CSS files.
6. Links – Hyperlinks
To get great rankings on the search engines one of the main influencers is having links to your website and links from your website to other websites. When a search engine reads a website it also scans all of the links placed on that web page. Very Important: In the eyes of search engines a link from one website A to another website B, is classed as a vote. But unlike political voting each vote carries a weight or sometimes called a ranking, so the higher ranking website A has the better it is for website B. So you may be thinking well i need lots of links, this is cool but the better ranking links you get can also mean less is more. Some of the key components to Links are:
- Inbound – Backlinks
- Outbound – Who do you link to? Make sure its quality and a website your okay with.
- Internal – Linking to your own web pages
- How to get links – Exchanging and requesting links
7. Social media – Video / Documents
As social media grows online and the memberships on website such as Facebook breakthrough and grow beyond the 350 million members, it’s a good time to stop, take note and look at how to leverage the potential customer base on these sites. Some of the key components to Social Media are:
- What’s it all about?
- Established customer base – Make use of the ready made traffic
- Profiles – Create information about you or your business
- Backlinks – Use the high ranking social media
- Facebook – Create a Business page and build a list of fans.
- You Tube – What’s on your channel…
- Ezine Articles – Are you an Expert?
- Scribd – Your documents can add more value online
8. Test and Measure – Okay so I said 7 free tips… I’m feeling generous so here’s an eighth tip.
Without testing and measuring the results of the SEO work that you have done, you would not be in a position to actually determine the effectiveness nor work out what your return on investment should be or what it should be headed towards. Through testing and measuring you can work out what works, what brings in the right type of customer and what gives you the best leverage online. Some of the key components to Test and Measure are:
- Website Visitors statistics – What should I be looking at and tracking? Unique Visitors, Traffic Sources, Bounce Rate, Top Landing pages…
- Review your websites performance – Google Analytics, Omniture and others.
- Split testing – A/B Testing tweak your web pages.
- Return On Investment (ROI) – Work out your aquisition cost, log the time you invest in marketing online, does it add up? Does it pay for itself? Are you making a profit?
With these tips in your back pocket you’ll be able to tackle SEO on a whole new level that you can focus the success of your website pages on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). The tips above are the first step, reading in further detail on the follow up blogs will be the second step.
I would love to hear from you and your views on this topic, if you’ve got any great comments or advice to add to this please do below now. Good luck with your online marketing.