Key Steps to Optimising Your Site
Key steps to optimising your Reason8 website and improve your search engine position.
If you want your business to gain a good position within the search listings you need to optimise it. This process of improving your website to appeal to the search engines is called 'Search Engine Optimisation' or 'SEO'. For more background on how the search engines work please see our guide Search Engine Basics .
The following steps will give you the basics you need to get started.
Reason8 have produced 3 short, easy to read guides on SEO. If you are serious about optimising your website we would recommend you grab a cup of coffee and take a moment to read them.
Content is the most important aspect of your website both for users and the search engines. Think carefully about the content and layout of your website. ask yourself is the information on your pages relevant to your clients? Will it make people want to read it? Is it visually pleasing? Have you checked the spelling and grammar? Also think about what it is that you want to get across to your customers.
The search engines know how long each customer spends on your site, and how many pages they view. They use these figures as one of many indicators as to how relevant your website is. Encourage your visitors to stay by giving them well written relevant content. Aim to add at least 250 words of text per page, and include your keywords where relevant.
If you are not sure if you've got your content right get an objective, friend, colleague or family member to read it. Ask them what they think and if there are any improvements they can suggest.
The guide below will give you more on how to plan your website.
When using a search engine, the words you type in to find what you are looking for are known as keywords.
These keywords help the search engines to establish which pages on the internet are the most relevant to the searchers request.
You can also use keywords to help the search engines direct the type of users you want. You do this by giving the search engines the keywords you expect your users to type in to find you. For example if you were a plumber you may expect a users to type in 'plumber London' or 'plumber dulwich' etc
These keywords should be used within the content of the page itself. They should also be included in the title and description of your page which is held in the code of your website. These type of keywords are also known as your Meta Title, Meta Tags and Meta Description.
The example below shows how your keyword title and description are used in the search listings.
Your Reason8 website allows you to enter the keyword (Meta) information that is held within the code without you having to access the code or understand it.
Changing your site keywords
- Log into the website control panel
- Click Step 1 Basic Information
- Scroll down to Part 5: Search Engine Settings
- Under Most Important Search Engine key Phrase enter your keyword title
- Under less important Search Engine key phrases enter 4 main keywords/phrases for your whole website
- Under summary enter the keyword description for your whole website.
Tips on using keywords
- Ensure the keywords you use are also within the content of your page.
- Try not to make your keywords too broad or specific. Too broad and you will be competing against irrelevant sites, to specific and few people will find you.
- Don't be tempted to add too many keywords
- Ask friends and family what they would type if they were looking for your product or service.
- Look into your competitors websites to get ideas on other keywords you can use.
You can change the keywords set for your website whenever you like. However any changes you make can take a week or two to have an effect. As a result we suggest you consider very carefully before making any changes to your keywords. If you already have a good ranking then dramatic changes can be more harmful than beneficial.
4. Enter keywords for your pages
As well as setting keywords for your website as a whole you should also set them for individual pages. The principle and process is the same as for entering keywords for your site.
- Log into your control panel
- Click Step 3 webpages
- Click the Google button beside the page you want to enter keywords for
- The page is in the same format and works on the same principle as for Changing your site keywords.
- Ensure that the keywords you enter for a specific page relate directly to the content of the page.
5. Verify your Site and submit your Sitemap
Search engines don't understand the concept of a website. They only see individual pages that are connected together with links. To help them understand the hierarchy of your website you need to provide them with a map; known as a Sitemap
Sitemaps are computer coded maps of your website designed to be read by the search engines. As sitemaps are complex to create at Reason8 we have built one for you. We also automatically update it every time you make a fundamental change to your website.
To ensure Google has seen your sitemap and is regularly visiting your website it is important to verify your website. For detailed steps on how to verify your site with google see our blog post Verify your site with Google. The added bonus of verifying with Google is they will provide you with lost of useful information about your site and how their search engine sees it.
There are many types of links (Hyperlinks). Internal Links are those links within your website that connect your pages. Try and get in the habit of every time you create a new page to link it back to your home page. You can do this by putting the word home on your page (Perhaps in small letters at the bottom) and creating a link to your home page. You can find help creating in our Step by Step videos.
Other types of links are Inbound and Outbound links. These are links that connect your website to other external websites.
It is the Inbound links that are of the most value to your site. The more links you get coming into your website the better,
Every link is like a vote for your site. However not all links are equal; the more credible and established the linking website is the better.
The search engines also take into account the relevance of the link to your business / industry. So why not ask your suppliers, or other local businesses to trade links? Many such companies are in the same position and may welcome the offer.
7. Online Directories
As well as providing additional exposure, directories can provide invaluable links for your website. But do be cautious when choosing the sites to register with. Those making wild promises of thousands of links etc are usually best to steer clear of off. If you would like a list of directories to consider you can find one by going to Documents & Links
8. Keep up to date
The search engines know when you modify your pages. They like to see you updating and adding new content. A mistake people often make is to get to the top of the search engines, then be too frightened to change anything. As long as any changes you make are relevant, the search engines can see that the site is still active, and not one that's been forgotten about!!
A website should evolve and change as your business does.
9. Sit back and relax
There is nothing better with SEO than good old fashion time. If you get to the top in a few weeks you are lucky. Most changes you make generally take time to have an effect. With major modifications sometimes not having an effect on your search engine position for several months.
There is no fast fix. Your website will always start out as the new one on the block and ,need time to become established. So don't panic if you're not where you think you should be to being with, this is a process all new websites go through in the early days. So sit back relax, and take a moment to appreciate the achievement of building your own website.
Short of Time???
Anyone can successfully optimise their Reason8 site by following our guidelines. But what if you just don't have the time? Reason8 can put you in touch with a company that specialises in optimising our sites. A standard SEO health check costs approximately 75 pounds, and can include the following:
1. Advise on correct layout, quantity, quality and format of text,
2. Improved navigation of pages,
3. Placement and format of key phrases and meta tags,
4. Placement of images on website pages (as all images are tagged with your top key phrase)
5. Creation and placement of external hyperlinks on keywords.
6. Google verification and sitemap creation.
7. Submission to search engine directories.
(This service is provided by a third party, who is not connected to Reason8. Any work carried out will contracted directly with them, and has no bearing on the service or contract with Reason8)
To contact them for more information please see 4Tail Connections