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Successful SEO
Top tips for a successful SEO strategy
If your site is not delivering hoped-for results in terms of site traffic and page rank, it is likely that your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy is not all that it could be. However, there are a number of simple steps that you could take towards rectifying this. We would be happy to help you with this! STEP 1: Set goals - but make sure that they are realistic and targeted If you are a webmaster, you will no doubt be aware of the high level of competition for appearing on page 1 of search results. If your website is relatively new, or operates in a highly competitive or saturated industry, it will naturally be difficult to rank highly for broad keywords. Over time, as your site becomes established and more trusted by search engines (and provided you regularly add high quality, unique content), it is likely that your site will gain a higher ranking. Similarly, you will most likely start to appear in search results for a broader spectrum of keywords. However, in the beginning, it is recommended to start with more targeted keywords and phrases. By optimising your pages for a wide range of different keywords and phrases with a lower level of competition, you make it more likely that you will rank highly for those. In turn, the more high rankings your site has as a whole for keywords with lower competition, the more likely it is that it will also get high rankings for the more competitive keywords that belong to the same theme or topic. Step 2: Be persistent and consistent Wouldn’t it be great if we could simply pay someone a one-off fee to optimise our website, full-proofing it for the future?! However, the unfortunate reality is that, whether in terms of layout, design or content, search engine optimisation is just not “set-and-forget”. It takes time, patience, persistence and regular effort to make things happen. There is no point spending 3 months solid, re-doing your website and optimising it in light of some new algorithm, only to then let it stagnate for 2 years. SEO is an invaluable investment in your company and should be viewed as such. Step 3: Get the basics right and prioritise It’s important not to get overwhelmed by the minutiae of SEO, particularly if you are new to webmastering. If you are so inclined (!) you can quite easily become obsessed with the length of title tags, sitemap submissions, rel=nofollow attributes etc. While these more detailed aspects of SEO doubtless have their place, they are for more advanced users and aren’t always necessary for a successful site; instead they usually make the difference of one or two position in page results. If you are not yet ranking on page 1, look at the bigger picture - rather than worrying about chasing the latest SEO “trend”, focus on getting the basics right, i.e. good content and good backlinks. Step 4: Choose your keywords wisely As we explained elsewhere on this site, targeted and varied keywords and phrases are extremely important for a high ranking site. If you choose the wrong keywords (i.e. too competitive or not directly relevant to your industry / niche), you could be wasting both time and money. A good rule of thumb is to choose keywords that deliver targeted visitors who will be most likely to buy. A lot of the time, this will mean opting for less obvious keywords and may take a bit of creative thinking. Keywords with the biggest search volume will usually be the most competitive. Although these may be the “big sellers”, they are unlikely to work best for your SEO. Think about it - even if a particular keyword is being searched for thousands of times per month, this doesn’t do you much good if none of these visitors find your site through that keyword and/or buy! By contrast, if your keywords are targeted and less competitive, this makes it more likely that you will be found, and by people who will be more likely to find what they are looking for and therefore make a purchase. Step 5: With backlinks, think quality; not quantity Times have moved on and it is now quite clear that it is not necessary to have thousands of backlinks if you want to get high rankings; in fact, a disproportionately high number of backlinks can even damage your listings and raise alarm bells with search engines. What you need is a natural backlink profile, which develops from your genuine interaction on the web as a valued member of the internet community. In other words, your website needs the right kind of backlinks - think quality; not quantity. Paid links, automatic links from link building schemes etc simply do not work anymore. Even worse, they can get you into trouble with search engines like Google - is it worth risking a penalty? We think not.
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