Some might consider this a bit off-topic for a company viewed as ERP and CRM software integrators, but Technology Management does develop websites that link up to Microsoft Dynamics systems.
And it’s because we get involved with building web shops that Paul wanted to pick my brains this week about getting his site to the top of search engines like Google.
I’ve been involved with web marketing for ten years now with some successes in attracting more web traffic (and sales); it’s a topic commonly known as search engine optimisation (SEO).
SEO is a huge topic, but here are some quick tips to get you started. If you want some more pointers, feel free to leave your comments and questions at the end of this article and I’ll certainly try to answer them:
1) Keyword research
The first and most important thing to consider is to know which phrases you want your website to rank well for in the Google search results. There are some great tools online for seeing what people are searching for (switch off the ‘adult filter’ if you want to see some ‘interesting’ and popular searches!) to help you target the right words. A free tool is Google’s Keyword Tool that will tell you how many searches a day are made using the word or phrase you want to rank well for.
For more detail and analysis it’s worth using a paid tool called Wordtracker. Remember, shorter phrases – or even single words – are usually going to be impossible to reach the first page of Google’s search results. Slightly longer phrases (3-4 words) will be better as the person searching will be more specific about what they’re looking for. Do a search in Google for the phrase you want to compete for. As a rough rule of thumb, if there are more than ten million results you might want to find a less competitive phrase to go after.
2) On-Page Optimisation
The next part to ranking well in the search engines for your chosen keywords is to tune up your website so that it can be properly indexed by them. Google’s free webmaster tools will guide you in getting this right. Optimise each page for only one or two phrases. Most importantly include these phrases in the page title, meta description, page headline, sub headings, the alt tags of any images and a light sprinkling in the body text. Your page will need 200-300 words minimum and it should be original text.
3) Off-Page Optimisation
This is all about getting links from other sites that point to pages within your website. The more you have from relevant websites the more ‘votes’ you get as being a source of valuable information about the keyword phrases you’ve chosen. So, for example, if you have a page with the keyword phrase ‘Raleigh racing bicycle saddles’ that you want to rank well for, a link from another website that has information about this topic would be a good source. And, even better, the link itself should have the actual phrase ‘Raleigh racing bicycle saddles’ rather a link that says ‘click here’.
SEO isn’t complicated once you get into it, but it is a pretty boring job and quite time consuming so it’s worth using software to organise some of the work (Web CEO is well regarded) or getting an expert in to manage it for you. Experts are great to take the load off you, but it’s crucial that you have input into the keywords you should rank well for.
One final thought: consider starting a blog like this one – search engines love them, it gives you an easy way for you and colleagues to share valuable content with customers and, it’s a great way to build more links to your main website that will also help your search engine rankings.