Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, describes search engine optimisation (SEO) as “the process of improving the visibility of a web site or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid search results”.
When you search online, using for example Google, how often do you look at the second, third, fourth pages? Most people rarely look beyond the first page of results. In an ideal world you want your website to rank in this highly sought after space. This doesn’t happen automatically, it is a strategic process that is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
10 BASIC SEO TIPS
- Create page titles to clearly let the search engine ‘bots’ and customers know what the page is about.
- Write clear descriptions for each page, usually one paragraph. These descriptions are called ‘meta tags’.
- Name the URL of each page as if you were naming a file, for example - www.wesbite.com/section/name-of-page.htm
- Make your site easy to navigate by using things like ‘breadcrumb trails’, for example - Website > section > name of page
- Make your content easy to read, friendly and relevant. Using blogs will help you keep your content conversational and current.
- If your business is location based, get a free Google Map listing.
- If you have images on your website, give each image a descriptive file name that relates to your core business and the image.
- Link, internally and externally, to as many other sites as possible, such as likeminded businesses, listing pages.
- Take advantage of all the free webmaster tools offered by organisations such as Google. To access these go to the Google home page and click on ‘business solutions’.
- Analyse your website through free tools such as Google Analytics and use the data to continually upgrade your SEO.
GOOGLE AND SMALL BUSINESS
Visit the ‘business solutions’ section of Google to find out about all the free and paid marketing opportunities available, some of the most common are listed below:-
Google AdWords offers pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. This means that you only pay when someone clicks on your advert and goes to your webpage. The adverts appear on the top and right hand side of the search pages and are called ‘sponsored links’.
If you are a location based business it is well worth getting a free Google map listing.
Millions of users visit Google Maps every day to learn about new places. Showcase your business to these potential customers by signing up for a photo shoot by Google trusted photographers. The images will appear on the place page of your business listing, with 360-degree imagery using Street View technology.
Google Analytics is a web analytics solution that gives you insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. It helps you to write better-targeted ads, strengthens your marketing initiatives and creates higher converting websites.
GOOGLE MERCHANT CENTER
Google Merchant Center is a tool which helps you upload your product listings to be used for Google Product Search, Google Product Ads, and Google Commerce Search. Google Product Search allows shoppers to quickly and easily find your product listings on Google.
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of query or topic, such as your business name. You can also use them to monitor a developing news story or keep current on a competitor or industry.
PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH THE AUSTRALIAN TOURISM DATA WAREHOUSE (ATDW)
Another successful SEO strategy is to try and get your website listed on as many sites as possible. One way to achieve this is through the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW).
The ATDW was formed in 2001 as a joint initiative of Tourism Australia and Government Tourism Organisations across Australia, including Tourism Western Australia. ATDW contains over 130 travel websites including Tourism Western Australia's consumer website www.westernaustralia.com and Tourism Australia's www.australia.com
The ATDW enables you to control and update your product details through just one central point, which in turn are reflected throughout the network of distributor websites. Your record will show:
- Direct links to your email and website
- Booking and contact details
- Promotion description
- Service description
- Digital images of your product
- PDF of your promotional brochure
- Detailed pricing information
- A Google Map location display
To find out more visit www.atdw.com.au