For this Friday's Donut tip, we bring you five things to check to make sure you're not making any major mistakes with your website's search engine optimisation (SEO).
You have to keep working at SEO for it to be effective. Yet many companies start with a well-optimised site, then - despite their best intentions - find things slide as other priorities take over. Sounds familiar? Here's what you need to do:
The title and description are contained in a web page's HTML code, although not displayed on the page itself. They aren't a major factor in where your website is ranked. But Google does usually display them in its search results lists. So these fields have to work hard to encourage people to click through to your website.
When it examines each of your pages, Google places greater weight on the words contained in headings and subheadings. So it's worth reviewing your pages to ensure these contain the keywords you want to rank highly for.
Google also scans all the links on your website. It uses the text of the links (also called the 'anchor text') to work out what pages are about. And it looks at which pages are closely linked when trying to work out if they're about similar topics. So link freely between relevant pages, using keyword-rich text.
The next big thing in SEO is going to be social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google's own Google Plus. Expect to see the search giant looking at which pieces of content are +1'ed, retweeted and shared most when determining rankings.
Look, it's easy to go round and round in circles with your SEO. You could spend all your time researching keywords, tweaking links and text and asking people nicely to link to your content. But it's the content that really counts. Get it right, make it unique and interesting and the rankings will follow naturally.
What are your experiences with SEO? Leave a comment to let us know.
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Image: Flickr user pasukaru76 under Creative Commons.