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Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation is probably the most daunting thing that you will face when creating your website. The objective is to achieve a least a page one listing so that people can find your listing. The higher your listing is the more traffic will be driven to your website.

Simply submitting your website to various search engines will not achieve this. As part of your search engine optimisation strategy you will need to submit your website at the very least to the main search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

Avoid SEO companies that guarantee you a number one listing. When you read the small print you will usually find that they and not you will decide what keyword or phrase they will use to achieve this listing.

Anyone can achieve a number one ranking on a unique business name but unless people already know about your website it is highly unlikely that they will type in your business name when searching. It is much more difficult to achieve a high ranking using generic keywords or phrases relative to your business. To this successfully takes time and patience on your part but the rewards can be great. Alternatively, you can pay large sums of money to an SEO company to do this for you, but as this website is all about how to set up your online business with the least amount of expenditure we will be concentrating on how to do the search engine optimisation yourself.

In the following list some of the actions will need you to edit the HTML code of your website. If you are unsure of how to do this then ask the person who built your website for you. If necessary you can do this yourself using ‘Notepad’.

Here is a short list of things you should be doing. Follow this link for more information on the use of keywords :

  • Use keywords relative to the page in the page title but make sure it makes sense as this is what many search engines will use to display your website and what people will see when looking at your listing. For example if your are selling gardening supplies and the page is dedicated to plant pots the title might look something like this: <title>terracotta pots, plastic plant pots from yoursitename </title>.
  • In the meta keyword tag list all keywords and phrases that are relevant to the content of the page: <meta name="Keywords" content="terracotta, terracotta pots, plant pots, plastic plant pots">. Make sure you do this for each page on your website. Remember that if your page content is particularly relevant to a specific geographic area then include this in the meta keyword tag.
  • In the meta description tag put a brief description of the page content: <meta name="description" content="Brief description of the content of the page goes here">.  
  • If you are using any images in your page then use the ALT attribute to put a short description of the image. This also helps people who can only access your website using a text only browser. <img src="plantpotimage.jpeg" alt="Terracotta plant pot">
  • Include text hyperlinks from the content of your page to other pages in your website.

As well as things you should be doing there are also a number of things that you should not attempt as they could result in your website being blacklisted by the search engines:

  • Do not stuff the page content with keywords. For more information on this read our article on keywords.
  • Do not try to put lists of keywords in the page content using the same text colour as the background colour of the page. This is easily detected by the search engines and is regarded as spam.
  • In the meta keyword tag do not include any keywords or phrases that are not directly relevant to the content of the page even if they are relevant to another part of your site.

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