We are experiencing hard times and everyone is watching their money, having said that It is unlikely that the majority of people can manage all of their search engine optimisation needs on their own, unless they are professionals. The good news is that there are a few ways in which site owners can improve their results in search engines and all they have to invest is their time. The web developer has to implement certain things into the site, clean code, Meta tags, correct use of h1-h6 tags and Sitemaps etc to enhance results but the real ground work is done even before the first word is written. Here’s a couple of tips that I hope you find helpful.

Spend time picking the right keywords to insert into the content of your site

The Google keyword planner is an excellent utility that allows you to see the words or phrases you need to implement into the content of your website by telling you the kinds of words people type into search engines that relate to your business. Below is a tutorial on youtube that will give you a head start on this little gem. Search engines use complex algorithms so you can’t just stick loads of keywords together in one massive sentence, these choice words need to be strategically implemented to give you optimum exposure. The keywords should appear no more then 3 times every 300 words. Your aim should be to end up with well written content that will engage your visitor and make them want to read your content.

See what your highest ranking competitors are up to

Use SEOquake to analyse competitor websites in Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera and see how they rank in search results compared to you. You can also use a Back link check to see how many backlinks they have and where they come from. Backlinks are links to your site from other websites.

Start a Blog

This might not be something that excites you but when you see how powerful it is, it should. Search Engines want to see fresh, relevant, keyword rich content on your site if they are to favour you so get blogging and engage your readers. The ultimate goal is for your blog to become so popular that people will want to link to your content as they find it informative or interesting, once people start linking to your content then you know you are on the right track. If blogging is not for you then at the very least you need to update your content on a weekly basis to keep things fresh.

Be Patient

Most search engine won’t take much notice of a site unless its 6 months old and as a result older domains carry much more weight. Its also very important that your hosting is in the country of your target audience. The best results are organic and use White Hat techniques (following search engine standards and employ tactics which focus on a human audience opposed to search engines). If your domain is new you have plenty of time to perfect your content and lay down some quality backlinks.

Don’t ever pay for links to your site

These low quality backlinks promise to improve your page rank but will more than likely have the opposite effect and you could be penalised in result listings. If a search engine notices you have 20,000 new backlinks from low PR websites then you will surely fall into obscurity. Slow and steady wins the race.

Get into Social Media

Its just too big to ignore these days and its a integral part of climbing up the search results. Sign up for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ under your business name and familiarise yourself with how they work. Search engines are definitely looking for these types of media integrated into your site. Not only do you need to use these social networking sites but you also need people to sign up to your pages and become followers. If you have no knowledge of social media I recommend this book as a gentle introduction to the main social networks.

Put Videos on your site

This is a well kept secret but can have a massive impact on your results. I suggest using youtube – mainly because its owned by Google and they are bound to look favourably on their own technology. Try and make your own or hire a professional to make a promotional video, the investment will be well worth it in the end.

Become active on forums and blogs that are relevant to your business

By contributing to community forums in fields that are relevant to your business, there is plenty of opportunity to promote your site in the form of backlinks. Don’t leave spam comments and make sure your contributions are positive and you will slowly begin to build organic traffic to your site. These backlinks are rated on the quality of the source. The tool SEOquake mentioned above will let you know the page rank (PR) of a site. Ideally, you should aim for a site with a page rank of 5 or more. A couple of links from high PR site will equal thousands of links from less credible sites so aim for quality and not quantity.

If you have any questions or comments about the points I’ve made, please feel free to drop me a message.