Search Engine Optimisation can be done by you or by your web-designer… You do not have to pay out a fortune in order to gain some effective results. Check out these ten top tips on rising above the online competition:

1)Content is key: So, no re-writing articles, plagiarisms, or packing in masses of key words. There really is no point in piling up your pages with content that is anything other than interesting and useful. Think about the kind of information you wish to read when you visit websites and provide your visitors with quality reading. Search engines can discriminate against content written purposely for high ranking. Also, avoid duplication of content on more than one page, or too little text on each page.

2)Link to blogs: Write a blog as well as having your website. You can either include a blog as part of your site, allowing the regular, varied content to attract search engines. Or you can have a separate blog, hosted by a blog site i.e. WordPress. If you choose this option than ensure you link out to your website in each blog post, increasing traffic opportunities and search engine ranking. You can also include your website name in the tag words.

3)Back links: Try to avoid swapping links with just any website, unless you really want to be affiliated with the other professionals or brands. It is a good idea to have established websites link out to your site, as search engines recognise this relationship – when that site ranks highly, it is likely you will display higher too. In fact, back links are one of the most effective ways to increase SEO. Gain back links to separate pages of your website, and links from various types of high quality websites too.

4)Social Networks: Ensure you are sensible with your privacy settings and personal data, but these sites are great for small businesses, as the more you complete your profiles, the more likely you will be ranked in searches. Remember to add social network links to your website, as well as linking to your website from the profile pages of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn etc.

5)Meta-data: This is data in the code of your website, and your whole site and in many cases, each page of your site can have words that relate to your business. So, use the word allocation wisely and ensure the information is relevant to your business.

6)Ever-evolving: To continue ranking highly, consider your website an ongoing project. Update information and make small changes, so that your pages do not get stagnant and lost in the order of searches. This is why blogs are good to have, or even event pages or news updates, as information needs to be added regularly.

7)Name images: Ensure that the images on your website are named so that they come up in image searches, which if clicked on will link to your website. This is an area many people miss out on… remember to only use images you are allowed to use, have paid for or have copyright for.

8)Three-clicks from home: Any URL from your site is best found if it is within three clicks of your home page. This links everything neatly together and makes navigation easier for your visitors.

9)Contact details: If you have your contact details on each page, you will be trusted by your visitors and in turn help your site to rank higher. Avoid adding details you do not wish to be plastered all of the World Wide Web.

10)Video streaming: This is a great way to keep people on your website for longer, which is deemed a good thing by search engines. It will also encourage return visits and people sharing your URL. By video streaming, you will gain SEO via the streaming sites i.e. YouTube and Vimeo.

Remember that whether you do your own SEO, or hire somebody, the more you know about the SEO on your website, the better, as you are ultimately responsible for the way your website operates…  So, use thorough, honest, effective methods… and enjoy your rise through the likes of Google and Yahoo.

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