Monday, 8 July 2013

Search Engine Optimisation - Top Tips


I am constantly asked how to optimise a web site for search engines and specifically for Google. This really is not rocket science but many find it difficult, so here are some tips.



Firstly it is worth mentioning that there is a good guide produced by Google, called 'Search Engine Optimization starter guide'.  (....table of contents below right)

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.co.uk/en/uk/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

One of the first things it mentions is getting your meta tagging right and how important the 'description' tag is.
What you put in this tag will appear on search result pages, so you should word this carefully. When used well it will draw people to your site.

For example on my web site (jeffsportal.co.uk) the description tag is shown below:

meta name="description" content="Jeff is an engineer, entrepreneur and researcher specialising in information and communications technology (ICT)"



This appears on search results as follows;



Once you have optimised your site, you should add it to Google's site index, you can do this via a simple tool. (It's free)



Lastly keep the structure of your website simple and logical (this is covered in the Google doc on optimisation) and use accessible and logical page titles and URLs.

For example the page on my website which lists media references is; http://www.jeffsportal.co.uk/media.html (title 'In the Media')

My 'projects' page is; http://www.jeffsportal.co.uk/projects.html (title 'Projects') - a simple approach but all too often ignored.

Summary

My three top tips.

1. Ensure your 'description' meta tag is something you want to appear in a search result and something that will draw people in.

2. Add your site to the Google index, via their tool.

3. Use page titles and URLs that are simple and obvious - help the user.

Good Luck


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