SEO Advice for Essex Businesses

September 26, 2010
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The Internet is becoming a more important source of new traffic every year. The development of smart phones means that most people have Internet access around the clock now.

It is no longer enough that your business is “on the web”. You need a stronger presence if you want to beat the competition. The answer is two fold:

  • Increased visibility in search engines
  • Increase social media audience

If you have ever spoken to an SEO expert then they have probably (hopefully) explained to you the importance of placing a blog on your website. However, this is the not the end of it.

To improve your search engine rankings (term to describe where you appear when in the search engine results pages) you need to increase the quantity, quality and relevance of links to your website.

This is where Press Releases comes into play today. Most bushiness should be able to issue regular press releases. Whether it is something specific about your own business, such as expansion into new markets or just moving to a nice new office, or information about the industry that will impact on your suppliers and customers alike, it is worthy of a press release. So get writing!

Now, you could just issues press releases on your own blog. Although this is still a good idea, a better idea is to utilise the many press release websites. For example, on PRLog.org you can issue press releases for free, and UK press releases are listed in their own category on the site: www.prlog.org/uk.

This can provide excellent exposure for your business and boost your search engine rankings at the same time. A win win situation.

Get an account today and start writing. Search Google for “press release submission” and you will find many other websites, some good, some bad, some free, some not. Look around, see what the competition is doing, or just dive in and stay one step ahead.

Drive More Traffic to Your Business Website

Getting more traffic to yuor website is becoming a key part of business marketing in these very competitive times.

You may be used to writing sales copy that converts readers into buyers, but writing SEO copy is often a little different.

When writing copy for your website you need to consider how people will find your site in Google as well as how to sell to them.

The key elements of SEO copy are to include likely search terms within your headers and paragraphs. Also refer to our other SEO articles and ensure you include important keywords (search terms) in you page META title. Sometimes this will be done automatically for you if you run a good CMS (content management system).

It is always good too to “think outside the box”. Come up with some other ways or terms to win new customers. If you sell products then have a review section for each product – people search for product reviews almost as much as product descriptions.

Possibly the most obvious SEO tip for Essex businiess is to include the words Essex and you local catchment area in you copy to aid people searching by location.

SEO is really about making small changes across your site to enhance what you have, to optimise it for search.

Sitemaps and Site Navigation

These tips come direct from Webologist, another site that we run. If you run a small website for your business then you really just need to ensure that;

  • You have good unique titles for each page
  • You have a good META description for each page
  • There is plenty of well written and relevant web copy
  • All pages are linked from the home page

If your site is bigger, for example you have been running an online store for a while and it is grown over the last few years with many new product pages, then this information will be more valuable to you. It starts at the beginning, with Google Webmaster Tools and sitemaps.

Are Google Sitemaps Important fo SEO?

Yes.

OK, I probably need to elaborate.

A few years ago some SEO’s I was speaking to felt that a Google sitemap, i.e. placing a sitemap.xml on your site and linking to it in Google Webmaster Tools, was not really a requirement. It does not help your SEO.

This may of course still be the case, but is it worth not bothering, considering how easy it is to put on there?

Recently I got a little insight into how much Google does use a sitemap. It relates to the little mishap I had the other day when I accidentally blocked googlebot.

According to my Google Webmaster Tools at the moment there are may errors from between 2nd and 4th October, all 403 errors that Googlebot encountered when trying to visit my site. The distribution of errors is interesting.

  • HTTP ‎(1,681)‎
  • In Sitemaps ‎(367)‎

This means that Googlebot hit 1,681 errors while crawling my site via links on the page (internal links). It also encountered 367 errors while trawling the sitemap.

Now the sitemap as a lot more than 367 entries, so I do not know why it only crawled 367 pages. It could be because Googlebot does not look too deep into the sitemap.xml file, or it only takes a certainly percentage of the pages. Or it could be because it abandons its attempt after do many failures. But what it does show is that Google does look at those sitemaps to have an extra insight into what is on your website.

Internal Links Are King – Or Don’t Make Google Hunt

Many people still stick to the “content is king” rule for SEO, and this is certainly still the case. But if you want you whole website crawled by Google, you have to also follow the “Don’t Make Me Think” (that’s a popular usability book by Steve Krug) ‎approach, or more specifically “Don’t Make Google Hunt”.

To do this you need to ensure that all of your web pages are easily found by googlebot. Really, the same rules apply to googlebot as a human visitor. If your website is well planned, with good navigation, then it should be possible for a visitor to find your content within a few clicks. This is the guideline giving by Google.

So, do not leave pages buried on your website, with people (and googlebot) having to follow a long trail before they can find the page. Ideally all pages should be accessible from 3 clicks from the home page. A good example would be:

  1. Click main index
  2. Click section index
  3. Click page link

Or:

  1. Click main index
  2. Click section index
  3. Click a general page
  4. Click page link within this

For a small site this is easy to achieve, but once you have over 1000 pages then navigation becomes a bigger issue.

You need to be able to ensure that people can find your content without giving them too many options at once. It can be tempting to create massive index pages to provide all 1000 links, but this does not address the usability issues. Have ever tried to find something by searching through a list of 1000 items?

If you know there is something there you want to read, then this is possible. But if you are browsing, then it is unlikely you will go far beyond the first page (“above the fold”) before getting bored and visiting a better website.

So the trick is to order your content in bite sized chunks and provide as many useful sub-categories as possible without flooding your readers with too many options.

Source: Webologist – Internet News, Web Design, Development, Hosting and Optimisation

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