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Search Engine Optimisation

athelite Everyone wants to be on the first page of the search engines, preferably in the top place. But just like athletes who all want to be in the Olympics, most are going to be disappointed because there are only a few places available and competition is fierce.

There are certain technical things that you or your web-designer can do to improve your ranking, but if you have a boring, unattractive site, with nothing to distinguish it from all the other sites offering similar services, then no amount of technical fiddling is going to place you in the top position in just the same way that no amount of technical coaching will get an over-weight, unfit "sportsman" into the Olympics.

But being on the first couple of pages of the search engines can vastly increase your income, so what can you do?

The simple answer is to get an interesting, well-designed site that everybody talks about and refers to - easy! Well, not so easy. What's needed is a combination of good marketing and good technical web-site design, backed up by certain technical measures to ensure that the search engines index the site properly and give it the ranking that it deserves. Here's our check-list on how to achieve this:

First place award
  1. The number one must-have for a high ranking is lots of other sites linking to your site. If you can get other sites to incorporate a link to your site, then the search engines regard this as a vote of confidence in your site. And the more important the sites are that link to you, the more the vote counts. If you can get a hundred of the world's top companies to link to your site, you'll probably get the number one slot!
    And how do you do that?

  2. By having an attractive site with lots of useful free information that everyone who sees it feels obliged to link to.

  3. By keeping the site fresh with new information, so that visitors keep coming back for another look.

  4. By having a site that is easy to navigate, so that people don't get lost trying to find their way around.

  5. By ensuring that the search engine spiders can find their way around too and that they have all the information that they need to index the site properly. (This involves having appropriate meta tags - keywords and phrases and suitable titles for your pages so that the search engines know how to index your site.)

It's not rocket science - its common sense. So take a realistic look at your site and if it's just a "me-too" site consisting of your contact details and a couple of paragraphs about what you sell, then you won't get a ranking worth having. And don't waste your money with companies that claim to be able to improve your ranking, because without the basic material to work on they won't succeed.

Finally, be realistic. If you are a car dealer based in Shlupton-upon-Mud, then you won't get a ranking higher than the major car manufacturers for a keyword search of "car", no matter how good your site is. However, with a good web-site and the proper technical measures, you should be able to get on the first page for a combined search of "car" and "Shlupton". And that will get you new customers.