Serach Engine Optimisation - Designing for Google

Search Engine Optimisation - The Art of Obtaining a Successful Google Ranking

Website content has never been so important. And updating it has never been so important. This is a major piece of the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) jigsaw. In mastering SEO you will drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, be seen as an authority on your subject and ultimately bring recognition and interest to your door. Sixmile Design places a great emphasis on Search Engine Optimisation. Here are some main SEO pointers to take on board.

Keywords - keywords sprinked within your website text is of prime importance. Not only within the body copy but ideally within headers and links within your text. Don't overdo it. Write text for a person not a search engine. Putting yourself in the shoes of your customer and understanding what words they would use to search for you and your business is one of the first steps forward in creating SEO content. Understanding the customer's 'intent' really helps.

Writing a list of keywords then form your content around that is a good starting place.

It's also worth thinking about Long Tail Keywords which are more specific than one or two keywords. Long tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion rate, as they are more specific to what the customer is searching for. For example:

But you could drill down and be more specific:

For example keywords for the Sixmile Design website would include "graphic design", "website designer", "Cork", "brand identity", "logo design" etc. Keywords appearing in the text should also appear in page titles and headers throughout the page. Use Google's Keyword Planner and Google Insights for Search - these handy tools will suggest alternative keywords for you.

Images - On a technical note keywords should also appear in the ALT tags for images. This helps your website become more accessible to visually impaired visitors but also gives additional clues to the search engines.

Blogging - A great way to increase brand awareness and encourage traffic to your website. A blog enables you to share expertise about what you do, growing advocacy, awareness and authority for your brand or business as a thought leader in a particular area. A blog embedded in your website generates traffic. A study by showed that companies who blogged achieved 55% more website traffic than those that didn't. You are effectively engaging your audience. If people enjoy what your write, or are informed, they will in time grow fond of your chat. Keep them interested and they will share with others and ultimately you will develop a following. Please remember this takes time though. More on blogging can be found here.

The Fistral UK Training Website I designed and built features an extensive blogging section. The articles dynamically filter into the relevant categories and archive section. This allows the articles to be easily traced and found. Meanwhile latest articles automatically appear on the home page. Great for Search Engine Optimisation. Be found!

Social Media Marketing - It is vitally important to have a Social Network presence in order to build or establish a brand. Now in conjuction with your website and blog you can reach a worldwide audience through the Social Networks. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus and YouTube for video. However it is best to plan and start using just one or two of the networks initially. Again blogging about company news, as oppose to the hard sell, is the way to go here. Engage with the audience by giving them relevant information, information they need and building trust while amplifying your message. More on the Social Networks can be found here.

Inbound Links - Plenty links from other websites help your Google ranking as well. This indicates to Google that your website is an authority on a particular subject. It's worth getting listed in good quality website directories (ideally edited by humans) especially directories geared towards your industry. Avoid spammy link building 'link exchanges' - they're no good.

And remember to include your website address (and maybe Social Network links) on your printed literature and email signature. And in order to gauge your audience statistics it wouldn't do any harm to be signed up to Google Analytics as well. Here you will find a treasure trove of information on your audience. More information on inbound/back linking can be found here.

...and one more thing, please remember to update your content whether on your website or within Twitter and Facebook. A blog posting with a date of 2010 doesn't look very good. In fact it's a real turn off...

Posted by Nigel on 11/22 at 09:38 PM in Website Design & ContentSixmile Design Archive
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