1. On-Page Optimisation
This is about making sure the website fulfils all the criteria search engines uses to identify good quality relevant websites:
- Content: making sure that the content on your website is relevant to your desired searches. This is done through optimising the text and pictures. Updating content regularly is a good way to show the search engines that your website is alive and well and deserves some attention too.
- Structure: The structure of your website is important not only for the human visitors to your site, but also search engines. The page titles used are also important, as is making sure that all the links on your site work. Broken links is usually a sign of a poor quality website!
- URLs: The address or your website and the pages on it can have a big impact on your search engine visibility and user experience.
- Coding and behind-the-scenes stuff: There are other important elements to your on-page optimisation that aren’t always visible. Meta tags, rich snippet use and how your website is coded all have an effect on search engine visibility.
- Social Media integration: Increasingly, search engines are using what are called ‘social signals’ to measure relevance and authority of websites. Integrating social media like Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest can help to keep your website up-to-date automatically as well as demonstrating authority.
2. Off-Page Optimisation
Off-page optimisation is about showing search engines that your website is popular and considered an authority in its field. This is done by:
- Quality link building: This is about creating links from relevant authority websites back to yours. Search engines look at the links pointing at a website as a measure of how authoritative it is, and this affects ranking. For example, if you’re an accountant and your website has links from lots of different accountancy websites, blogs and the Financial Times, this looks better to the search engines than a competitor’s site that has very few backlinks from relevant websites.
- Directory listings: Being listed in relevant (good quality) local, national or specialist directories can be another signal that you are an authority. When this strategy is used as part of a wider Online Marketing Campaign, it can also generate business on its own from people finding your business in directories.
- Indexing: Making sure that the search engines know about your website and have indexed it is absolutely crucial. You can’t be found if they don’t know you exist! As well as basic submission, set up and linking to Google Places and Google Plus accounts is a great way to boost your website’s profile and is highly recommended.