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Effective SEO gets the right site visitors to your website. You will probably also do this by promoting your website offline &/or via social media.
SEO is not enough on its own. Your ultimate goal is sales, not site visitors. The essential second objective of SEO is to trigger the right response from site users.
Keep both objectives in mind as you set up or edit your webpages.
SEO needn't be about spending up big. Good writing, an ability to put yourself in your customer's shoes and attention to detail are often enough. It also depends on:
There are well established practices that help a website to rank well in SERPs. We cover some of them here.
Your competitors are likely to know about good SEO too. So even after you attain those high rankings on page 1, expect to work to maintain it.
You're ahead of the pack if you have a SuttonNet website. Structurally, our sites tick search engines' boxes, so they tend to rank high in online searches.
Google publicises some of the principles that they use to rank webpages. They certainly don't tell all, and their system changes from time to time. Here are some insights from Google:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications....When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results....
You should build a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better.
Ask SuttonNet to update your webpages for you. We can work with your photos, full text or notes.
Search engine friendly coding, careful proofreading and fastloading pages - all at reasonable rates.
When you edit your site using our content management system (cms), Bizazz uses code features that search engines value. Make the most of this.
Use custom heading styles (h1, h2,...) for main topics: don't invent your own headings with bold, italics etc. The higher level the heading has (h1 is top), the bigger the weighting that search engines give to its words. Include important search terms (keywords or key phrases) in these headings.
Create page titles and menu names that include keywords. Write a relevant, unique metadescription for each webpage*. Stay within recommended lengths:
*Metadescriptions matter for webpages that site visitors are likely to land on. Don't worry about "Thank you for contacting us" and similar pages.
Keep page content on topic - relevant to the page title and (sub)headings - and communicate naturally. Don't resort to old tricks such as keyword stuffing; even if you fool a search engine, you'll repel customers.
Use relevant, high quality photos. Add titles and alt(ernate) text with useful keywords/key phrases.
Videos are best uploaded to Youtube, with a link back to your website and links on your webpages to each video.
Does SuttonNet think our clients have lousy ethics and don't care about intellectual property (IP)? No! But mistakes and misunderstandings about 'fair use' happen.
Search engines care about IP too. They penalise copycat websites severely.
For the website owner's protection and ours, SuttonNet may have to suspend a website that breaches copyright. We'll always notify you if this happens.
Pay careful attention to Bizazz settings for links to other webpages.
Update webpages often with interesting, relevant, original content. Give site visitors a reason to come back. They'll start to trust your knowledge and experience.
Well written webpages that offer explanations, how-to's and historical background all give your site an SEO boost. You build your website's reputation with search engines, as you build an online library of expert comment and advice.
Both a website and a webpage author can earn search engine credit for trustworthy, useful content, especially if other sites link to their webpages.
You can find out more here about SEO and 'Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness' (E-A-T).
TIP After substantive webpage updates, always click on the 're-index' link on the Bizazz Publish page. This indexes the new content immediately and rebuilds the sitemap for search engines.
A seriously cashed-up buyer has searched online, and one of your webpages has appeared on page 1 of their SERP. How do you entice this keen customer to visit your page, rather than the others listed above and below it?
Warning: search engines sometimes replace metadescriptions in SERPs with a description of their own devising. They do this in response to the particular search phrase used. You can't stop this altogether. To minimise it: keep your description directly related to the main topic of the webpage.
In an online world that depends on creating trust, a business account with Google helps you stand out as a credible business. Include a clear photo, opening hours, website link and contact details. When your webpages appear in search results, your Google listing can show up there too. It's an added incentive to visit your website.
Now that you have your potential customer where you want them...
What information do your customers want most? Place it high up on the page. Phone users might not look past the first scrolldown.
Your website needs to lead the site visitor simply to the right decision for their needs. That doesn't mean throwing a clumsy noose around their neck.
On a webpage I recently visited, three different 'Click here! Join us!' flyouts jumped across the text while I was reading. How annoying is that? I still need the knowledge this website offers, but I look for it on other sites.
Not every website visitor will become an instant customer. If you can't help them this time, try to give them a good site experience. Maybe they'll want your products later on, and remember how easy it was to use your website. They will almost certainly recall a bad experience!
Last updated 13 November 2020