I have read so many books, blogs and articles on search engine optimisation tips, tricks, advise and dos & don’ts over the years you start to wonder what to believe. Actually it is quite simple when broken down, there are only a few components to good SEO.
Although this is a basic list you can spend much time and go into greater depth on each item. That said there really is no need to and when you have an existing business many of the research and choices you need to make will be driven by business requirements anyway. Also a simple list doesn’t mean achieving good search engine position is easy, it still takes time, dedication and hard work to attain and maintain a decent ranking for a search term. So let’s get to that list:
- Research: Is your keyword or phrase being searched for – no point in spending days, weeks or months trying to get a number 1 position only to find out nobody is searching for that phrase. To do this it’s relatively easy, go to Googles Keyword Tool, put in your chosen phrase and it will tell you how many searches are being performed in a month.
- Competitors: Competition for a phrase could mean a lot of work. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the phrase, just be aware of the type of competition you face. Take your phrase wrap it in quotes and do a search in Google. This means searching for the exact phrase, see what the number of results are, over 100,000 and you are going to be doing some work to get number 1. Over 1 million results and it may take quite some time before you get any results. That said it is still possible.
- Content: This is the key to search and engaging customers once they arrive. Ensure you have a page based around your key phrase, written naturally and with calls to action where necessary. Importantly, just write for the end user not the search engines.
- Title: The page title, otherwise known as the HTML title tag, is one of the most important things to have correct. Ensure your key phrase is at the beginning or as close to the beginning of your page title as possible.
- Backlinks: Now you have done all of the research and “on site” work required. It’s time to do the most time consuming but important job that will effect your search position. The amount of links your site has from other sites is one of the most important factors that Google uses to asses your site and it’s ranking for a particular phrase. But not all links are equal you need to ensure you have links from good quality and relevant sites. No point in getting links from directories on fly fishing when your site is about basketball. Take your time and acquire links from related sites, ensuring those links have your key phrase text in them.
Doing just these tasks will be enough to get you ranked well for your chosen phrase. Forget all the talk of keyword density, meta tags and page sculpting. Yes some of these can help but they have a minuscule effect when compared with the above factors.