Part 2: How to optimise your site & measuring success

 

Think of those keywords as the secrete spices that make up a recipe. They are nothing by themselves, but when you add them to the rest of the ingredients, they formulate a wonderful piece of SEO pie and make your website findable on the internet.

To help explain this we’ll use an example of a made up online dog food business called ‘Timos Natural Dog Food’.

Title tag

This is the second most important thing in SEO after the actual content of the page! Your title appears in two areas 1, at the top of your browser, and 2, the text of the link in Google’s (or another search engines) search results.

seo title and description

This should briefly state what the page is about and be meaningful to the content within it. It should use your keywords or integrate them. Try to put your more important keywords first. Aim for fewer than 70 characters anything longer will be cut off.

Example: Timos | Buy Quality Natural Dog Food Online – Free delivery on all orders



style=”display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px”
data-ad-client=”ca-pub-3464670228446169″
data-ad-slot=”6241564339″>

Decription

Think of this as add copy.  It can be any length but try to keep it to about 150 – 160 characters. Any longer and it will be cut off in Google other other search engines.  It’s important to know that since september 2009, metadata does not influence where your site rates in search results in Google. However, as this is shown in search results, it may effect how likely someone is to click on the link once seeing it.

Example: Shopping for quality dog food can be found at Timos. We’ve got the best selection of natural food for your dog. We care because we’re dog owners too! 

Content

Content is key for SEO. I’ll try and keep this as short as possible to A, not to bore you, and B, to keep it simple. Let’s take a standard web page as an example which consists of the things above, plus…

Page title (H1)

This should ideally use your keywords.

Example: Buy Quality Natural Dog Food

Page copy (body copy).

The more copy your have is the better. When writing your copy, it’s important to integrate your keywords into it. Don’t just bang them in anywhere – integrate them into the copy in a natural way. You can, and you should duplicate those keywords through out the copy.

Try not to duplicate copy form other pages on your site or others. You will rank lower if you do this. Use original copy to optimise your website.

If you are linking to other areas of your site, try to link keywords is applicable.

Use bold text in the copy to simply optimise your website.

Make sure your copy isn’t just full of keywords, but has copy that makes sense to be read and is relevant top the page.

seo optimised page

Images

Use alt tags on any images. Alt text is the little pice of text that shows when you over over an image with a mouse. Be descriptive and again, try to integrate at least one of your keywords in it.

URL

The page URL (or web address) is important to include your keywords in it. Sometime this is known as URL rewrite.

Bad: www.timosnaturaldogfood.com/page=1234as

Good: www.timosnaturaldogfood.com/buy-dog-food.htm

Fresh content – Blogging

Keep your content fresh to simply optimise your website. Google likes fresh content and an easy way to do this is through posting blog updates about new, tips…whatever that’s related to your business. It could be 4 or 5 times a year or up to every day! Entirely up to you, but just try to do it. You’ll get better at it over time.

Inbound links

Getting others to link to your website also often helps. This ties into blogging. If you write an interesting article, someone may find it and share a link to it on their site back to yours. The more links to your site from others can help a lot.

I’ve made those suggested changes, how long will it take?

It can take several weeks or even longer for you to start seeing the results of your effort. Be patient and in the meantime keep your content fresh.


Measuring your search engine optimisation

As mention earlier, I recumbent you install Google Analytics to your website so that you can measure and see how people are interacting with your site. It’s free, reliable and pretty easy to install. All you need to do is set up a free account and add a little piece of code to your website – that’s it! Once it’s successfully running you’ll be able to start seeing your stats how people are getting to your website:

  • Search traffic: People getting to your website through searches – what we’ve just be optimising!
  • Direct traffic: People typing in your web address in the web browser and going directly to your website
  • Referral traffic: People getting to your site by other pages on the internet. These are links from other sites.

There is a whole lot more data you can access with Google Analytics to learn about how people are interacting with your website (how long they are spending on each page, what pages they are viewing most and what pages they aren’t getting to), but this is out of the scope of this website. I suggest just getting in and have a play – you can’t break your site doing so!

If you have any questions or comments on things not explained very well, just post a comment below.

9 Comments

  1. On the topic of content – don’t forget about the length! Yeah, you need title tags and all that good stuff, but when it comes to SEO, length is strength! The longer the better, too – don’t always go for that arbitrary 500 word limit a lot of people seem to impose on themselves.

  2. Firstly thank you for all your valuable information! I do have a question. I’ve been using SEMrush to see what keywords my competition sites are using and it often lists thousands of keywords. What does that number represent because surely it cant be the page phrase keywords, as you have recommended we use 3-5 per page. Your help would be highly appreciated!

    • Hi Thomas, I haven’t any experience using SEMrush, but I assume that high number would be based on ALL the keywords people are searching for then landing on their site (organic search) and not keywords they have necessarily targeted. If you focus on the say top 10 keywords, that’s probably going to be more useful.

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