Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a phrase we’ve all heard of, often in the context of pay per click (PPC) and Google. But how many of us know how to apply the basics, better yet get results? Do you really have to spend hundreds of pounds for a specialist to optimise your site? Or can you do the work yourself? In my ecommerce training work, I’ve been asked these questions many times by online retailers. Here are a few tips that have worked for me.
1. Google all the way
When it comes to browsers Google is by far the largest and most popular. Don’t just take my word for it, figures show that 87% of global searches are done through Google. If there is one search engine to start optimising for, it has to be Google. A great starting point is the Google SEO Starter Guide.
2. Organic listings
70% of people who conduct searches skip over the PPC ads and go straight to the first few listings. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use PPC ads, it just means that you should invest more time in optimising your organic listing as these will be more beneficial in the long run and will target a wider audience.
3. Meta tags
Use them. As part of SEO you need to make sure you have chosen your meta title and meta description wisely. Not only are these two a necessity with SEO but give searchers instant information about your site.
Finding the best keywords for your site can be a lengthy process. There are many tools and resources out there such as Google AdWords Keywords tool that can help. In general the ‘best’ keywords are 2 -4 word phrases that are as accurate as possible about what you sell. Think about your customer and what they will type to find that product. Then research the best phrases to see which can work for you.
5. Google Analytics
One of the most powerful and useful free SEO tools is Google’s own analytics tool. Make sure you have Google Analytics set up for your site and then you can track a wealth of value information. The features are comprehensive and can be overwhelming but it’s worth taking that extra time to learn the basics in order to get the best out of it.
This should be enough to get you started and a search will bring up a host of sites that offer more hints and tips for free or if you register. I'll post more tips next time.