Web Design & Local SEO for Small Businesses

Link building

What Do I Do With My New Website?

What should I do with my new website?

What should I do with my new website?

You have a new site, it’s listed in Google but it’s not drawing in as much business as you’d hoped. Well this is where Search Engine Optimisation comes into play. When I designed / created your site, I tried to optimise your site as much as possible for your most relevant keywords, so Google and the other search engine know what your site is about. I also added a few links to your site enough to get you listed in Google, but to improve you place in the search results you need more links. Google sees a link to a site as a vote. However not all votes are equal.

Good Links / votes

One way (no reciprocal link back to them on your site)
Dofollow (if the link is set as a nofollow site then the link doesn’t allow the search engines to follow the link or share the page rank.
Page rank (google ranks pages 0-10) depending on the number links, hits and other things. This is only updated a few times a year, the higher the page rank of the page your link is on the more sway it has with Google

Google keeps it’s formula very secret so NO-ONE knows for certain how to get to the number 1# slot every time, however there are a lot of companies out there that will tell you they can.

There are white hat techniques and black hat techniques (frowned on upon by Google), each company will have different approach depending on what they have found that works and the resources that they can throw at it.

SEO is something that anyone can do, but does take a little time to read about and learn different skills. If you have time to do it yourself then great, but if you would like some help then allow me to offer my services.

Who Are You Writing For?

As an avid fan if “The Apprentice” and watching the marketing tasks, where they have to work out their target audience. Is the product for the yummy mummy, or the business woman. But this still isn’t personal enough. The top marketing and advertising companies will create a full persona to describe who the are aiming their product and their campaign at.

Who are you writting for?
Who you writing for?

 

For example a new range of babies bibs could be aimed at Phillipa Jaynes, she is a 24yr old, new Mum, living in London, she does yoga and baby yoga with baby Matt. They’d work out her daily routine, what she does, where she shops. Why ? So they know how to interact with her, how to get their products in front of her, but mostly so that the information about the product is promoted as a product that she will like.

What’s this got to do with me and my site?

Have you noticed how if you write a letter your writing style differs if you’re writing to someone you know, rather than some nameless, faceless person.

Whenever you write something, stop and think who are you writing it for. If it’s content for a site then, who do you want to be reading this, are you writing for the ‘head CEO of some company’ or are you writing for a ‘busy new Mum’.

When I write this blog, I write for my Mum. (ahhhh how sweet, I hear you sigh), well yes and no. So why my Mum? Simple she doesn’t know or understand jargon. If I don’t explain myself clearly she’ll only be on the phone or email saying I don’t understand this, so for the easier life, I focus on straight talking for everyone to understand.

By understanding who you are writing for you can:

  • Write using the appropriate level of terminology. For example, for beginners, if you use jargon you need to explain what it means. However if you’re writing about the design of a new car, or piece of machinery, you are likely to want to use jargon to demonstrate your knowledge.
  • Understand where to look for links : if your target person for the blog post or site is a yummy Mummy, into yoga, and babies, then this is where you need to start looking for links. Parenting sites, yoga sites, baby blogs, etc. These links will help direct your targeted traffic to you site or blog.

 

 

 

So who do you have in mind when you start writing? Why not share your thoughts on it.

How to Tell Google About Your New Site?

In order to get your site to appear in the main search engines you need to tell them that the site is out there.

You could use www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl after all you enter your url / web address enter the “prove you’re real” code, job done.  But then all you can do is sit and wait.  In my experience this is the slowest way to get your site listed on Google.

So how should I add my site to Google?

The quickest and most efficient way I’ve found of getting a site listed in Google is to follow these steps.

1) Make sure it’s ready -is your site is finished or at least presentable, for people to see. Google may find you quickly, but may take a few weeks for the spiders that crawl websites to get back to check.  So by having all your info, your keywords, your descriptions, the site all set for visitors, it means that if the do take a little while to get back they already have the right information.  Nothing worse that seeing your new site on Google with glaring spelling mistake for all to see.

2) Add your sitemap – Create and add a sitemap to Google and Bing Webmaster tools, this means when the spiders arrive at your site they’ll be able to find their way round and hopefully explore as much of the site as is possible as quickly as possible.

3) Get Links – Google’s little spiders search back through all it’s known sites, the more often a site is updated the more often it’s likely to be crawled.  So good places to get some early links would be active  forums and blogs.  Also if you got a web designer to create your site, they might add a link to your site (especially if good if they have good pr (page rank) on the page you’re listed on.

3) Social Bookmarking – Submit to bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, etc. there are lots out there. Bookmarking sites are a way of saving links of sites, blogs etc of interest, and sharing them with others, it’s way of showing you liked something on the web and you can then share it with friends and followers.  The more votes a link has, the more popular it was.   But even if you just add it once for the purpose of getting Google listed it all helps, and ideally in time you’ll get more votes.

4) Social Networking – Adding links on sites like Twitter and Facebook, will hopefully help direct traffic, but they also help to get the search engines attention.  These links should not be your only links though as they don’t appear to give much juice.

The bonus of getting listed using links rather than submitting it directly, is the links will also count in your SEO efforts for to get a better ranking.  Using the right combination you could get listed in just days, rather than weeks, be aware though that although you’re indexed on the search engine it will take time for your rank to emerge and settle, so keep going with the link building and reap the rewards when it does.

Do you use any other methods? want to share?

To see how Pippasweb could help your start up or small business, check us out.

Link building and Page Rank

When creating links to your sites, it’s generally accepted that you want to be looking for site relevance and the higher the pages Google page rank the more influence it has.

However Google must be working on a new plan, and it’s still anyones guess what it’ll involve.

Normally Google update sites page ranks approx every 3-4 months, but this year there’s not been an update since April 2010. So SEO experts and users are going to have to re-think their approach. At the end of a the day a link is a link. Some have more sway than others, but I find a balance of links works better than all perfect, do follow, high ranking.
links.

So for now just build your links and watch this space.

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

What are Keywords?

Everyone is going on about keywords?

You can’t carry out any kinds of SEO (Search engine optimisation) on your site without looking at keywords. But what are keywords?
Essentially keywords are the words that people will enter into search engines to find your website.

For example if your site sells double glazing, then the kinds on words you use would be double glazing, windows, replacement windows, conservatories.
Your job is to tell the search engine what words you want to be found under. The search engine will then decide how relevant the site is to those keywords you’ve selected and then how popular your site and page is (the number of links to the site) and then it applies it algorithms to determine where to position your age in the results.

How do I choose my keyword?

Ok as it’s your site, and to set up your business and site I’m sure you looked at the competition, so I’m sure you’ve got some ideas about the words you want to use, but for interest, or to give you some new ideas why not try one of the many tools available on the Internet. One free tool is Googles Adwords tool (it’s meant to help people pick their keywords for their adwords campaigns but will at least give you some clue as to how popular certain terms are. Just enter your website and it’ll suggest some keywords (don’t list them all, they won’t all be useful). Think about the words you chose. If you clean carpets, you don’t necessarily want people looking for new carpet. You may also want to consider using long tail keywords rather than just short tail ones. A short tail keyword is the widest and most commonly used term for example carpet, a long tail keyword would be something like commercial carpet cleaning, residential carpet cleaning, pet friendly carpet cleaning etc.

So how can we tell the search engines where we want to be found?

A good place to start on your site, on each page is to use Meta tags. Each web page is normally constructed using html or another code. HTML has two sections (The head and the body of a document) in the head section of the code, goes the information that is not designed to be seen, information like the page title, description, the keywords, links to CSS documents etc. The body is the coding that tells browsers what to put on the web page and how it should look. So as long as you have access to change information in the head of your page you can set your own keywords.

The Title of the page I would normally add you company or site name as part of the title, for example “Pippas Web: basic SEO services for small businesses”. The title should be unique and relevant to what is on the page. Guess what everyone calls their first page, home! Try to think of something different.

The keywords are added using a Meta tag. They are added separated by a comma, and a space. For example web design, SEO, HTML, etc…. words can be listed individually or in groups for example Horror, cheap books, true stories, books Although be choosey, you should ideally have 4-5 main keywords per page (the rest can be variations of the wording in order to get the widest coverage) and no more that 20 in total per page. But remember you can and should have different words for each page so you can spread your keywords around.

The page description should also appear in Meta tag, it should give an explanation about what is on the page, ideally using some of the keywords already listed.

The contents of the body section or the writing on the site itself should include your chosen keywords; remember them in headings, when using Alt tags for images and in the text itself. However, don’t just cram them in for the sake of it, at the end of the day you can have the number one slot on Google, but if no-body can or wants to read your site what’s the point???

On their own these things will only help guide Google to when to list your site, the other aspects of SEO like link building help to determine where in the results your site should go.

Links building, bonus points.

Ok so your site is now focused on your keywords, you’re next job is to get links to it. Where possible use your chosen keywords as the anchor link, the text that the link is hidden behind like this SEO, it’s not always possible but if you are requesting links, or if you can choose, choose your wording wisely.

Your choice of keywords should not be set stone, you might want to tweak them, change them to reflect the current content of your page.

Link building using forums and blogs

So you’ve got the site, you’ve picked your keywords, now what do you do?

Link building is an important part of SEO, Google and the other search engines see each link to your site as a vote for your site. However not all votes are equal.
The figures aren’t exact but to give you the idea, if you think of it in these terms,

    • you submit your site to one of the many free directories 1 vote
    • Adding a signature to your profile and using it to reply in forums 1 vote
    • making a comment on someone’s blog 1 vote

Adding comments to a blog or forum in your niche for example if you sell children’s clothes then a clothing or parenting forum would give you a higher value link, than one on web design. 2votes

Getting links from sites with higher PR (Page rank; a value given to each webpage within a site by Google, which is largely based upon the number and quality of backlinks a webpage has.) also give more votes. 2/3votes+

Where to put the link.
The linked itself can be entered in your text, for example if the forum post says “help everyone I’m looking for someone who does accounts in Worcester” then here’s a good chance to plug your business, if you’re an accountant in or near Worcester, if you’re a hypnotherapist in Hampshire not the best time to mention it. However a lot of forums allow you the chance of adding a signature that gets posted at the bottom of each reply you make. So make the most of this adding your website, to your signature, then you can focus on the job of finding interesting things to say that will make curious people click on your link, to find out more about this person.

With blogs it is pretty similar, most blogs encourage comments at the end of page. Depending on how the blog is created will determine the appearance of the comment box. On mine under you’ll find a bigger box to add the comment under which is some drop down options on how to sign, you can use your Google id or the easiest way is to chose name/URL option.

which opens another box in the name, you can add whatever name you want, and then add your web address in the URL line.

Be aware some blogs allow your web address to show as soon as the comment is published (like mine), others you may have to contribute a few times before it shows, this is to deter spamming programs adding rubbish to the blog while still adding URLs.
The comments to this blog are monitored, this means that, although I would love it for you to leave me a comment, it won’t appear straight away, I have to go in an approve each comment, these allows me the control to stop any spam before it is listed.

The most time consuming part will be setting up your profile and signature, then just as you have a spare few mins log in, check for new messages you can reply to, new blog articles you read and comment on, each comment / reply is a vote for your site.
You can pay people to do Link Building for you on a much bigger scale, but why not give it a go yourself, as they say,

“every little helps”

So why not leave me a comment about what you think about this post, or the blog in general and help your business at the same time?
Testimonials

Pippa made what seemed a non- techie’s nightmare into a smooth and happy journey. She is very generous of her time and knowledge. A delight to work with.

Elen ClulowElen Clulow Hypnotherapy