So often with a new website, a client understandably wants said website to appear at the top of Google when someone searches for the new business. However this is highly unlikely and any reputable company would not promise any positionings and especially not with a brand new website. This is because SEO is a long term aim and not a quick fix (unless you are prepared to pay for Google advertising)
There are a lot of factors to take into account with SEO (Search engine optimisation) and I have collated a list of some tips and things to be aware of.
Here’s the top 5 !
- Age – Any new website will be competiting against well-establised websites. Research has concluded that if two websites are targeting the same key phrase in a local area eg ‘plumbers in buckingham’ then the older website will automatically appear higher than the new one. Its been around and listed by Google for longer.
- Links – 75% of how Google decides to rank websites is goverened by links INTO your website. This means that you need to spend a concerted effort in trying to get publicised on other external websites that have a link to yours. This could be via a recommended partner website, or an article on another blog or from a newspaper website. And bear in mind that the more relevant the website that links to you, the better Google ranks you. So using the plumber as an example, the website would benefit from a link from a bathroom decorator more than from a florist. Google likes to think you’re building a network! (Don’t underestimate this point – it is time consuming but very beneficial!)
- Changing content – this is important so that Google knows the website is developing and that the business is active and updating its services or products. Once you’ve had a website built, it is not sufficient to think it can sit there for the next few years without any changes. And this is particularly where WordPress (which allows you to edit and add/remove pages etc) and having a blog comes in. So it may be difficult to keep changing the About page for example but to write a monthly or quarterly blog post allows the website to be updated. And allows you to demonstrate your professional knowledge and skills too.
- Social media – posting on Facebook or Linkedin or any other social media account does NOT contribute directly to SEO. Those links to your website are not overly counted by Google to help with rankings. However, it does hopefully drive traffic to the website and this will be beneficial. The more people that view the site, the more Google will notice. And it helps with another free way to market your business.
- Locality – this is very important if you are trading locally. It is much easier to be searchable when people try to find you and attach a geographical area eg as mentioned before ‘plumber buckingham’. However, it should be noted that this performs better for towns and not counties or larger areas. So it is easier to appear against ‘buckingham’ as a smaller town than ‘milton keynes’ which would have greater competition. Also, when people search locally, and you have added your business to Google Places Listing (free!) – then you will appear on the map with a pin to your location. This is by far the best way to appear locally.
So hopefully that’s cleared up some myths and explains what works and what doesn’t and what you can expect to achieve with your new website. If you’d like to find out more about what I can offer – please read about my SEO package