Once you have made a shiny new website, you might expect to be able to sit back and what the traffic and sales roll in, however this most certainly will not happen in most cases. The truth is that once your website goes live, the only person that knows about it is you. Sure, you could email all of your friends and ask them to look at it, but the main thing that you want to achieve is to reach new customers, otherwise why have you built a new website in the first place?
So where do you start? SEO or search engine optimisation as it is know, is that art of trying to get your website to rank higher in the search engines. The vast majority of people use Google these days, so in essence SEO should help you to get high up in the Google search results. Note the word ‘should’, because there is no guarantee at all that anything which you do will help. In fact many things that you might do could actually hurt you and get you banned from Google all together.
There are two main types of SEO, on page and off page. Basically on page SEO relates to things that you can do to your website to make it more appealing to the search engines and off page SEO relates to building links from other websites to yours. So let’s deal with these to things separately. Bare in mind that this is just a brief introduction to the subject, and there is a lot more reading out there there on the internet that you should look at if you are serious about learning about it
On Page SEO
This is the easiest place to start, as you are in full control of everything. The most important thing is to make sure that your site is full of unique, quality content that is not found any where else on the web, Simply copying someone else’s article and putting it on your own site is one sure fire way to get in Google’s bad books. Make sure that your pages are not filled with ‘thin content‘, which can be very short articles or images with no text. If you do have images or videos on your pages, make sure that you accompany them with some text.
As well as content, you need to make sure that the meta data on you r web pages is correct. Add a descriptive meta title and description which is unique to each page and will tell your visitors exactly what the page is all about. Make sure that Google can easily find all of your pages by linking to the on your website and submitting an XML site map.
Is is also a good idea to register you site with the Google Search Console, as they will tell you about any problems that you might have.
Off Page SEO
This is where things start to get a little tricky. The way the Google’s algorithm works is very complicated, however, one thing that most people agree on is that the more quality, relevant links there are to you website, the higher it should rank. The problem is that getting people to link to your site is very difficult and time consuming. Many people simply give up at this stage and as a result their website will probably get no traffic. So where do you get started with building links?
A good place to start is to look for relevant web directories. For example, if you run a dog walking business, search for directories which list local dog walkers. Often you can find a good selection of free sites to submit your site to and they will place a link there for you.
Writing to other related websites and offering to provide them with an article is another good way to build links. Using the same example of a dog walking business, you could find websites about dogs and provide them with an article about a day in the life of a dog walker. In return, they might be nice enough to include a link back to your website.
There are many other ways to build links, but these are just a few quick examples to get you started.