One question we get asked time and time again is “How can i get my website to appear highly in the search engines”? Here i will explain the basics about search engine optimisation and how you can ensure you have a higher chance of obtaining higher rankings.
Firstly, it all starts with a user typing some word or phrase into the search engine and clicking the search button. These words or phrases are called ‘keywords‘ or ‘key phrases‘. The search engine will take these keywords and try and match them to a website which is related to the keywords so it stands to reason we need to ensure our webpage is optimised for these specific keywords. For example, Mr Smith is a mortgage adviser based in Manchester and he wants people to find him on the internet. Keywords or key phrarses used by searchers might be things like
- mortgage adviser in manchester
- manchester mortgage broker
- mortgage advice manchester
So how do we integrate these keywords into the website?
This is done using ‘meta tags’. Meta tags are simply snippets of text which include the webpage ‘Title’ and ‘Description’.
Once we have edited the meta tags and inserted the keywords into the main content of the page, the on-site optimisation is done. On-site optimisation accounts for around 30% of where you appear in the search engine rankings so even a highly optimised site will not deliver good ranking if it’s not backed up by good off-site optimisation.
So what is off-site optimisation?
This is by far the most important factor in website ranking. It basically refers to the number of Backlinks a website has. Backlinks are links on other websites which link to yours. For example, here is a backlink to the Google site. It’s just a simple link which the search engine will pick up on when it crawls this page. You can look at each and every link as a vote for a website. The more links a website has, the more votes, more votes means it must be a credible website with content worth seeing so the search engine will increase the ranking of the site based on the number of backlinks.
How do i increase the number of backlinks to my website?
This can be fairly time consuming but to start, ensure you search the internet for free listing business directories and other websites which will accept a free listing and add your domain name. You can also email other websites directly and ask if they would be willing to exchange links so you simply swap links. If you do not have the time to do this, you can outsource the link building. A quick search of the net will find many companies which provide link building. If engaging such a company, always stipulate these basic criteria:
- Links must be placed on other financial related sites
- No more than 20 other links on same page
- Site must have a minimum page rank of 1
You are normally provided with a report of where your backlinks are placed so you can check them yourself. Payment is normally on a price per backlink generated basis which is agreed at the outset.