SEO for beginners

How to be search engine friendly

With Netcraft recently estimating that there are some 644 million active websites currently on the internet, it becomes obvious that any firm needs to ensure they have good online visibility to make their business a success.

Search engine optimisation is the process of making sure that a website has been built with the needs of both search engine spiders and real life internet users in mind. Without it, a website can slide down the rankings into web obscurity, but luckily for search engine marketers, there are some stick to rules which can help ensure that search engine optimisation helps add to a firm’s success.

Number one – make sure you understand the limitations of search engines and design your site accordingly. You might have the world’s most gifted writer working on your content, but Google’s spiders won’t be able to tell these pieces of beautifully written prose apart from other text – the distinction between good and bad content is always made by the real life user.

Number two – no matter how high tech search engines become, they won’t be able to access all of your website content if your link structures are not up to scratch, and always keep in mind that Flash, plug in content, Java applets, frames and audio and video files – basically anything not in HTML – all contain content which can’t be seen by search engines. As well as this, anything which is accessed by a drop down box or form will not be visible.

If you have videos on your site, you can get round this by having a transcript accompaniment, and make sure your images have alt attributes to make them crawlable.

Number three – make sure your content matches what your customers are searching for. If you run a website selling prams which is not seeing much traffic, it might be because potential customers are actually searching for buggies. If you’re an international firm targeting business in a number of different countries, this becomes even more important – make sure your content takes into consideration the variations between UK and US spelling, and if the majority of your customers come from Asia don’t waste your time filling your site with content written in Spanish.

If you want to check how indexable the pages of your website are then handy tools like Google’s cache can help you see exactly how much stuff you are making visible, and which areas of your site are falling by the search wayside.

Written by Kimberley Homer, Copywriter at Add People.

“Add People have worked with more than 3000 businesses to improve their internet marketing strategy, by offering a wide choice of SEO, PPC, web design and social media services. With our team of qualified experts, we have vast experience in helping small to medium sized businesses, across a wide range of industry sectors, to achieve outstanding results. To see how Add People can boost your online presence and increase traffic to your website, and receive a free website appraisal today.”

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