Skip to content

SEO and your website

A question I get asked regularly is “How do I get to the top of the search engines?” sometimes this is when their website has only just gone live.

If a website has only just gone live then it can take up to 3 months for a website to be picked up by the search engines properly. Once this has happened and you are in the search engine result pages (SERPS) then it will depend on some key factors on your website.

First and foremost before I even mention keywords which is more often than not the first thing I am asked about, you must forget all that and concentrate on the structure of your website.

The structure for your website is the most important part of your website. Depending on how it has been built it can aid accessibility, usability and search engines.

How can structure help search engines?

If you were to read a book that instead of having lots of nice formatted text, nicely separated paragraphs and labeled with titles and so on but had lots of unknown text intermingled into the words on the page would you find it hard to read? Yes!

If we consider a search engine reading your site and your site is not built to be “readable” then you will make it a lot harder for a search engine to list your site.

The first thing I do if it is not one of my own websites that they want to get higher in the SERPS,  is to take a look under the hood and check out the structure of the website.

I usually run the website through a HTML validator and I also run through it manually looking at how each section reads and how clean the code is.

How clean the code is ?

This is referring to the code that is used to create your website, in todays standards it should be written in such a way that only the structure of the site and the content is visible. The styling, the bits that make it look good are contained in a separate file. This is important as it allows the search engines to get to your content and read it without much fuss.

Once you have the structure of the website correct and ready to insert your content you then need to begin to consider the keywords. This doesn’t mean you need to write every other sentence with your favourite keyword as this will be penalised by the search engines. This part will need some research into finding out what words are used in the search engines to find your website. If you have a new website then you will need to look at your competitors. You can look through websites and also ask friends or family to write down some words they think they would type to find your site. It is an art to finding out the correct keywords for you and your website as it will form the basis on which you will create your content.

You will need to consider your domain name, the title that is the top text in the browser, the page title which is like the news title in a paper, the paragraphs of text in the first few lines of content, the links within the page and emphasis on text such as bold text. These are only a few items that need to be looked at, there is a lot to consider so please take your time.

Even when adapting your site to the relevant keyword terms that you have discovered it still doesn’t mean your website will jump to the top of the search results as there is going to be competition especially if your business is in a category with many websites on the same subject. Take a look at your competitor’s websites and see how they are doing are they using the same keywords to make their website findable in the search engines? Do your research and do not rush it, you will reap the rewards later when you know your website search engine strategy inside and out. This will be an ongoing strategy that will change on a daily or weekly basis so be patient and make sure you use something like google analytics to track what is happening on your website.