Category: Websites

With the sheer number of sites online now it is more important than ever to correctly optimise your website for search engines, and particularly for the most successful engine Google. It is not as complicated as you may think to complete a full SEO overhaul of your website to make it more appealing to Google. There are many, many more technique’s that can be used to gain page rank but this is a basic guide to get you on the right track.

Content is King

One of the most important actions you can take is to make sure your website is kept up to date with original, relevant and engaging content. If you can regularly update your content and include lots of your relevant search terms it can only improve your websites credibility with Google.

Page Title

It is crucial to get your page title correct as this is the first thing that Google looks at and it is displayed within your search engine results. Your title should give a short intro to your site and have your most important keywords included, don’t just pack your title with keywords, you need to have a balance so it still makes sense to your potential visitors but you have a good helping of keywords in there to. Your title should be no more than 70 characters.

Meta Tags

The Meta Tags are found in the Head of your page and are called “Description” & “Keywords”, these are not visible to your visitors but they are used by search engines to categories your website pages, your sites description should be a full sentences or two and needs to give an explanation of your website, you want to include your top keywords but make sure it still makes sense or it may harm you SEO efforts, the description should be no longer than 160 characters.

Your Keywords are a list of the search terms you think your potential visitors are going to use to find your product or service, it is worth spending some quality time on deciding what your keywords will be as this impacts your entire SEO strategy and success. You can enter just individual words or whole phrases, your keyword research should identify what’s best for your business. You should have no more than 10 keywords or phrases, any more than this may dilute your SEO results.

Header Tags

Using Header Tags correctly will help search engines identify the key points within the text content of your page. H1 tags are usually used for page/article titles and is considered the most important. Using H2 & H3 tags is important to establish other important text content i.e. introductions. Do not just make all of your text H1 as this will just dilute your overall SEO efforts and may even decrease your website viability within Google.

Alt Attributes

Alt Attributes are use to give descriptions to images, your description is then added to your websites source code and if an image does not load your visitors will at least see a description of what should be there.

Title Attributes

You can use the Title Attributes to add extra information to text or images and it is used as an alternative or along side your Alt Attributes, if you enter the same info as your Alt Attributes you will ensure your tooltip information will be seen in all browsers.

Sitemap

Sitemaps are used to show search engines pages within your website and helps them to be crawled and index all the pages included within your sitemap.

Links

One of the best ways to increase your websites search engine position is by other websites linking to yours, the more quality links you have the more important Google thinks you are and ranks you accordingly. It is very important and most effective to have natural links from sites that have a high page rank and are relevant to the content or subject of your own website. It will harm your SEO efforts if you simply buy lots of irrelevant links from unrelated sites. The key to great links is to produce great content which people will want to link to.

URL’s

Search Friendly URL’s contain keywords that are relevant to the content on the page. For example, if the page is about Social Media your page URL might be {yourdomiannam.co.uk/socialmedia.html}

Social Media

Although Social Media isn’t usually seen as an SEO tool the use of sites like Twitter & Facebook is a great way of getting traffic to your site and with Google now showing real time results pulled from Twitter and other Social Networks it is a channel not to be ignored.

In closing – Basic SEO as described above is fairly easy to implement but it is surprising how many companies still aren’t optimising their online presence correctly. Before you undertake any of these steps make sure you have done your keyword/phrase research or all these steps will be useless and will not help to drive traffic to your website.

In my humble opinion WordPress is the best platform for building not only blogs but state of the art functional and interactive websites, this is made possible in no small way by the massive array of plugins available. I have been building websites using WordPress for some time now and I have compiled a small list of my favorite free plugins. There are lots of other plugins that I use on a daily basis but it would turn into a very long list and take a very long time to go through each one so I have just given you my top five.

1. Platinum SEO –

SEO can sometimes be forgotten in the process of creating a great looking website, Platinum SEO is an intuitive plugin, and it allows you to set you Title tags, Meta Description and Keywords for your default home page which is useful when using the Blog page as your home. You can also tailor your Title and Meta information for any other pages you create or you can choose to use the category and post title. I use this plugin for all my sites and I can’t recommend it enough.

2. WordPress Mobile Pack –

With mobile internet use rising it is more important than ever to make sure you have a well designed and functional Mobile site. WordPress Mobile Pack is by far the best mobile plugin I have come across.

3. Cute Profiles –

Social Media is an essential part of a website or blog, the Cute Profiles plugin lets you display all of your chosen social networks, in a line which scrolls with your page, you can choose the size of the icons and how far down the page you would like them to sit, you also have the option of either Grey until hovered over or colour. I have searched for a long time to find a really good social plugin and Cute Profiles is it.

4. WordPress e-commerce –

If you’re looking to create a site which is capable of accepting transactions through a range of shopping cart providers, then this plugin is perfect, it is a very easy to use but sophisticated e-commerce solution. There are many great features that come with this plugin including the ability to upload entire CSV files with product information and Facebook integration. If you are wanting a simple e-commerce solution this is great, if you want something a little more advance there are a selection of premium upgrades starting from as little as $40.

5. Fast Secure Contact Form –

If it’s important to give your readers/customers a simple way to contact you then you should be using the Fast Secure Contact Form plugin. This contact plugin includes a CAPTCHA support, multiple form features and lots of extra fields which you can create to fit your needs perfectly. You also have the option to redirect the user to any URL you want after they have submitted the form. I use this plugin for every website I create.

There are so many plugins available (12’799 at the time of writing this) on the WordPress .org site that I have not even made a dent in using and testing them, there may be other plugins that are even better than the ones I have recommended, if you have any suggestions please leave a comment with your recommendations.

In my humble opinion WordPress is the best platform for building not only blogs but state of the art functional and interactive websites, this is made possible in no small way by the massive array of plugins available. I have been building websites using WordPress for some time now and I have compiled a small list of my favorite free plugins. There are lots of other plugins that I use on a daily basis but it would turn into a very long list and take a very long time to go through each one so I have just given you my top five.

1. Platinum SEO – SEO can sometimes be forgotten in the process of creating a great looking website, Platinum SEO is an intuitive plugin, and it allows you to set you Title tags, Meta Description and Keywords for your default home page which is useful when using the Blog page as your home. You can also tailor your Title and Meta information for any other pages you create or you can choose to use the category and post title. I use this plugin for all my sites and I can’t recommend it enough.

2. WordPress Mobile Pack – With mobile internet use rising it is more important than ever to make sure you have a well designed and functional Mobile site. WordPress Mobile Pack is by far the best mobile plugin I have come across.

3. Cute Profiles – Social Media is an essential part of a website or blog, the Cute Profiles plugin lets you display all of your chosen social networks, in a line which scrolls with your page, you can choose the size of the icons and how far down the page you would like them to sit, you also have the option of either Grey until hovered over or colour. I have searched for a long time to find a really good social plugin and Cute Profiles is it.

4. WordPress e-commerce – If you’re looking to create a site which is capable of accepting transactions through a range of shopping cart providers, then this plugin is perfect, it is a very easy to use but sophisticated e-commerce solution. There are many great features that come with this plugin including the ability to upload entire CSV files with product information and Facebook integration. If you are wanting a simple e-commerce solution this is great, if you want something a little more advance there are a selection of premium upgrades starting from as little as $40.

5. Fast Secure Contact Form – If it’s important to give your readers/customers a simple way to contact you then you should be using the Fast Secure Contact Form plugin. This contact plugin includes a CAPTCHA support, multiple form features and lots of extra fields which you can create to fit your needs perfectly. You also have the option to redirect the user to any URL you want after they have submitted the form. I use this plugin for every website I create.

There are so many plugins available (12’799 at the time of writing this) on the WordPress .org site that I have not even made a dent in using and testing them, there may be other plugins that are even better than the ones I have recommended, if you have any suggestions please leave a comment with your recommendations.

With the sheer number of sites online now it is more important than ever to correctly optimise your website for search engines, and particularly for the most successful engine Google. It is not as complicated as you may think to complete a full SEO overhaul of your website to make it more appealing to Google. There are many, many more technique’s that can be used to gain page rank but this is a basic guide to get you on the right track.

Content is King

One of the most important actions you can take is to make sure your website is kept up to date with original, relevant and engaging content. If you can regularly update your content and include lots of your relevant search terms it can only improve your websites credibility with Google.

Page Title

It is crucial to get your page title correct as this is the first thing that Google looks at and it is displayed within your search engine results. Your title should give a short intro to your site and have your most important keywords included, don’t just pack your title with keywords, you need to have a balance so it still makes sense to your potential visitors but you have a good helping of keywords in there to. Your title should be no more than 70 characters.

Meta Tags

The Meta Tags are found in the Head of your page and are called “Description” & “Keywords”, these are not visible to your visitors but they are used by search engines to categories your website pages, your sites description should be a full sentences or two and needs to give an explanation of your website, you want to include your top keywords but make sure it still makes sense or it may harm you SEO efforts, the description should be no longer than 160 characters.

Your Keywords are a list of the search terms you think your potential visitors are going to use to find your product or service, it is worth spending some quality time on deciding what your keywords will be as this impacts your entire SEO strategy and success. You can enter just individual words or whole phrases, your keyword research should identify what’s best for your business. You should have no more than 10 keywords or phrases, any more than this may dilute your SEO results.

Header Tags

Using Header Tags correctly will help search engines identify the key points within the text content of your page. H1 tags are usually used for page/article titles and is considered the most important. Using H2 & H3 tags is important to establish other important text content i.e. introductions. Do not just make all of your text H1 as this will just dilute your overall SEO efforts and may even decrease your website viability within Google.

Alt Attributes

Alt Attributes are use to give descriptions to images, your description is then added to your websites source code and if an image does not load your visitors will at least see a description of what should be there.

Title Attributes

You can use the Title Attributes to add extra information to text or images and it is used as an alternative or along side your Alt Attributes, if you enter the same info as your Alt Attributes you will ensure your tooltip information will be seen in all browsers.

Sitemap

Sitemaps are used to show search engines pages within your website and helps them to be crawled and index all the pages included within your sitemap.

Links

One of the best ways to increase your websites search engine position is by other websites linking to yours, the more quality links you have the more important Google thinks you are and ranks you accordingly. It is very important and most effective to have natural links from sites that have a high page rank and are relevant to the content or subject of your own website. It will harm your SEO efforts if you simply buy lots of irrelevant links from unrelated sites. The key to great links is to produce great content which people will want to link to.

URL’s

Search Friendly URL’s contain keywords that are relevant to the content on the page. For example, if the page is about Social Media your page URL might be {yourdomiannam.co.uk/socialmedia.html}

Social Media

Although Social Media isn’t usually seen as an SEO tool the use of sites like Twitter & Facebook is a great way of getting traffic to your site and with Google now showing real time results pulled from Twitter and other Social Networks it is a channel not to be ignored.

In closing – Basic SEO as described above is fairly easy to implement but it is surprising how many companies still aren’t optimising their online presence correctly. Before you undertake any of these steps make sure you have done your keyword/phrase research or all these steps will be useless and will not help to drive traffic to your website.