SEO (search engine optimisation) can be a fantastic way to generate traffic to your website. It's well worth engaging a professional SEO company if you're serious, but if you pay attention to the five points below, you'll be off to a good start!
Keywords are the words or phrases that your prospective customers and clients type into search engines (like Google) to find companies like yours. It is important to know what keywords your potential customers are searching for so you can optimise your website appropriately.
TIP #1: People will often search for lay-terms and not industry jargon -- so make sure you find out or test which keywords your prospective customers use.
TIP #2: Include these keywords when you write your website copy.
EXAMPLE: People may not be googling for "financial advisor" (because to them that sounds boring and expensive). Instead they may be googling for "good investments" or "wealth creation" (because these are the things they really want!)
Page Title is the 'tag-line' part up the very top of the browser on each web page.
TIP #1: Put your company name first for higher click through. Then put in the most relevant keywords after that.
TIP #2: You can use up to 110-120 characters. Mind you, some SEO people argue short and sweet is better and suggest 60-70 characters, so it's up to you really!
TIP#3: Putting in geographic keywords is a good idea too since most people search for local suppliers.
EXAMPLE: Bluewire Media -- Professional Web Design & Development | Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Meta keywords (aka meta tags) are words that developers enter 'behind the scenes'.
TIP #1: Put the keyword you most want to optimise that page for first. Put your company name last since you should always rank well if your business name is searched for.
TIP #2: Optimise each page of your website differently and make sure the meta keywords MATCH the actual content on the page!
TIP #3: It's best to use 15-20 keywords. NB: Google doesn't read commas so don't worry too much where you place them.
EXAMPLE: web design, Brisbane, web site development, web, internet strategy, usability, interaction design, IxD, user experience, UX, web site design, web site development, web 2.0, Queensland, Australia, Bluewire, Bluewire Media
Description is what Google displays on your organic search listing underneath your Page Title.
TIP #1: Best to use 250 characters
TIP #2: To get a higher click-through rate, it is best if this description reads as a sentence. 'Keyword-stuffed' descriptions really don't explain why people should click through.
EXAMPLE: Bluewire Media Web Design and Web Development Brisbane -- Professional provider of ISO9001:2008 quality assured web design, internet strategy and online marketing for the property, health and finance sectors. Call +61 7 3846 7687.
Link popularity refers to how many other websites link to yours. It is very much like getting endorsements or references from other people. Naturally, if your endorsement is from a respected, well known expert it is much better than getting one from a 'nobody'. Same goes for link popularity.
TIP #1: Submit relevant articles or white papers to industry news websites and you generally get a back-link if they publish your content.
TIP #2: Just be aware that back-links from posting comments on blogs don't count anymore since anyone (read: black-hat spammers) can do this to warp SEO rankings.
EXAMPLE: It would be pretty much useless if a cooking website or a gardening website linked to a web design website, but then again if a relevant industry website like iMediaConnection linked to you it would be great!
Adam Franklin is co-founder and managing director of Bluewire Media.