Search engine optimisation for websites..ideas anyone ?

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Yeoman
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Search engine optimisation for websites..ideas anyone ?

Postby Yeoman » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:59 pm

Hi All,

I though this might help me and also be a useful thread for others with websites so if anyone has any more ideas on how to get your site seen please add them.

I have just bought "Search engine optimisation for dummies"...unfortunately I overestimated my intelligence in buying it...lol anyway... as the book recommends I wanted to get my website name in as many places as possible on the web so google and the like prioritise it... it must be working as yesterday it said "1 in 10 of 277" on google, now it says "1-10 of 409" so its going up slowly...

I can only get through the basic section of the book as the most of the book says you need to know HTML (Please buy HTML for dummies etc it says...lol)

So Far:

1. I have changed my site product section headers to key search words and put keywords near the beginning of sentences as search engines see words at beginning of sentences and especially headers as more important.

2, I have registered my domain with google, yahoo, ask and msn search engines by entering it on their websites in the registration sections of thier sites.

3. I am trying to set up a website/blog with my free webspace that I get with my broadband package (its not working as there is a fault with Virgin site but its on the list of things to do) and I was going to mention the website beside lots of keywords on that.

4. I have been on to google free adwords keyword tool and extended the list of keywords on my website according to the highest rated keywords on google.

6. What happened to 5. ?

5. Oh! there it is !

7. I have put my website in my signature on another forum I go on and its been in this one for years.

8. I have downloaded the google toolbar so I can monitor my placings on google.

9. I have gone through my site and tried to delete as many "ands, ofs fors, ins withs" and other words from in-between my keywords as google doesnt read them and the closer to the beginning of a sentence keywords are and the closer together the keyword are to each other the more priority it gives them.

I was wondering if there are any other groovy tricks I havent heard of or have forgotten ?

I know links on other sites (having links to your site on other sites gets googlebot to crawl your site as well) are meant to be good but I cant put links on my site as far as I know and I dont know anyone else with a website who would put it on for me as I dont know how to retturn the favour or even if its possible on my site.

I was wondering if googlebot crawled facebook as I could set up a facebook account and put my website name on there also perhaps if so.

Thanks for reading and please add any ideas or if you are a beginner like me and need to know how to do any of the things I have done I can explain further.


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Neibelungen
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Postby Neibelungen » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:21 pm

It's a complicated business and there are dozens of little tricks and tips to play around with.

Your basically along the right route, but there are a number of other factors as well that fall into website design as much as optimisation.

1. Look at the design of the website. While tables are depricated (redundent) there used a lot still in low level websites and older shopping carts. It pays long term with search engines to try to work through to a CSS based layout with a correct seperation of semantic , content and logic.
If that sounds greek, think about how your page would read without the design elements (structure, tables, graphics) Your content (meaningfull words) should be readable in a logical manner without them, so navigation needs to have ALT tags and atributed describibg it.. (if the image vanished would you have a means to understand the navigation)
Title and paragraphs need to have attributions on the H1,H2, H3 level. The search engine spiders that understand what the key meanings are.

2. Follows on from 1.. getting your site standards complient and without errors..

3. Key words etc.. Your content words should reflect the header tags you use.. Search engines look for a comparison between key words and content.

4. Links, meaningfull and significant links through the site add weight to the search engine results. The higher ranked a site linked to is, the more weight it gives to it.

5. Avoid all the old tricks of transparent strings of words etc.. The search engines are wise to these tricks and really only look at the first 100-150 characters of key words and text these days.

6. Sitemap pages.. lays out the structure of the pages as a map. Google do their own free software for generating these as XML or text files.

7. Robots.text file. Gives instructions to search spiders were to go and were not to go (mostly)

I'd say that the design structure of the site probably has more significance to search engines these days than just keywords. A poorly designed and laid out site (not appearance but structure and code) will effect your ratings more, becase the engines will struggle to find meaningfull content in the code.

Age of the site.. has it effect too.. You'll never get high rankings on a recent site regardless. I've had a site up for about 10 years and depending on the keyword for search will get into the top 1 or 2 pages on google, in not withing the top 10 listings.

It's worth putting something like google analytics into your site and spending a bit of time learning how to use it.. It will give you usefull info about where people are coming from, what there looking for and were they leave.. Bounce rates, key words etc..

There's a lot else you could cover apart from those basics too. Spend some time using google to read a lot of the good sites around about web design and structure and learning xhtml and css. If you can get a good handle on those you'l be able to understand why it works in certain ways and why design is more than just looking pretty.

Try smashingmagazine.com as it's got a lot of good links to lots of good tutorials and info, especially on a basic learner level.. A lot of the webdesign magazine sites tend to be geared at higher levels and skip out the explanations why.



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Yeoman
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Postby Yeoman » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:56 pm

The more I hear and read the more complicated it sounds, esp as I dont understand HTML except the very basics (I know what it is)...

I was wondering if it might be better for a small business to pay to have an expert do the "optimising" rather than learning how to do it all...valuable time might be better spent doing what I am good at rather than tring to learn new skills...where do you start though...lol

I thought buying this "dummies" book would help but I have only managed to get my site up from "1-10 out of 277" to "1-10 out of 415" on google... (it was 419 but it went down for some reason)...

How on earth do you get it up into the thousands and millions like some sites have ?... if you type in "livinghistory" for instance (even as all one word) you get over 1.8 million...

I am on 415 so far.... :oops:

I have an amount I would be prepared to spend but want to spend it wisely...


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Postby Tuppence » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:59 pm

Also consider that the majority of people searching for something will not be searching for your business name.

Some will, (and if they have your business name you should be coming at no 1 on the search anyway) most won't.

Also consider the fact that a huge proportion of web users will look at the first page, two pages perhaps, of search results.


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Yeoman
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Postby Yeoman » Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:17 pm

Also consider that the majority of people searching for something will not be searching for your business name


Yes you are right I was just kind of using that as a judge as to how many times my site might get picked up by google to be honest...I have been reading about "googlebot"...

I got the impression that the more times the search engines pick up your site the more likely it is to turn up in a "natural" search (rather than sponsored)...

As I say though.. most of what (I think) I am learning on the subject is from "SEO for dummies" before it gets to the HTML parts...(this consists of most of the book...lol)

I can understand the part about getting keywords to the beginning of sentences so I will do that for now...I didnt realise you got as many as 100-150 chracters though I have been trying to condense into six or seven words max...


http://www.ukhobbystore.co.uk Telescopes Binoculars and Astronomy Accessories UK mail order
http://www.powesavebulbs.co.uk LED SMD CFL and Halogen Energy saving Light Bulbs UK Mail order
http://www.ukhobbystore.com Binoculars Astronomy Stargazing

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Neibelungen
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Postby Neibelungen » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:54 pm

SEO is a bit of "chicken and egg"

Everybody else is also doing the same as well, so in theory you never get that much futher up.

I'm assuming your talking about your PresenceUK website ?

From looking at it, you've got a lot of wording on the front (all about how to buy, that should probably go into a seperate page about placing an order.

Visually it looks very cluttered, but thats a seperate design issue.

Firstly, Your logo doesn't have a Alt tag, so you loose points there.

There are other meta-tags than just keywords, so use them as well.

You really should have a prominent light bulb image of some sort linked into the logo. With the company as an alt tag too.

Any linkage off the email address doesn't tie into the site.

You need to change to email address to the domain name. Hosting it with apaid for service will make a difference and will only cost about £100 year at most.

Second line and next 4 paragraphs, while informative to the buyer, don't link into the keywords. that you do have.

You've a long list, but where's the relevence to them on your front page. Nothing. You have lots about buying from you, but nothingf about what your selling there.

SEO is also about content as much as anything else.. Look at the big selling sites of comparable businesses.. There's images and short word contents of them..

Key selling items, special offers Key word links to the relevent sections & catergories. Icon links to content.

Take a site like Lightbulbs direct.. you see all these features.. Even the browser says lightbulbs and mail order.. what's a preseceUk ?

Learning basic HTML isn't difficult, you need to undestand what it does rather than how to code with it..


To be brutally honest,:

Rather than paying for SEO from a company. pay for a site redesign becuase if you havn't got the mechanism to convert clicks into sales properly, getting a few extra visitors won't make any difference.

I'm assuming you using OsCommers, Zen or one of the derivatives.. Get a template, pay a designer or a friend with some HTML or photoshop to splash it up away from the bog standard layout.

Host it on a paid for service with a matching domain email address..

Put almost all the front page into seperate pages..

Loose the top tabs.. that's your selling information.. (how to buy, contact)

Redesign your categories.. I want Light-Bulb, Spotlights, Halogen.. ) I don't care what a B15 fitting is till I've found a lightbulb in the first place.

Categories on the LEFT.. it's where everybody looks first. First glance on your site.. something on the right I have to read... naa can't be bothered

What do you sell... PresenceUK ? what's that ? I look at the logo and see ... Nothing !!!

I see the blue tabs... and just see a lot of words.. I expect one word simple things I scan (contact. about)

I look for a category list... I'm looking for LIGHTBULB... and I get a paragraph description.



Finally to be hosest... first glance.... I don't even see a light bulb on the site... some small silvery thingymabob shapes..


First impression.. I'm going elsewhere to shop....

That's really what SEO is about... everybody sticks in a list of keyword.. you'll go up 10-50 places.. and get one extra sale...

You need to know what your conversion rate is,, what's your bounce rate in comparison to similar business.

Put google analytics in at the bottom, understand what's happening, who's visiting, leaving, etc.


Sorry to be critical, and I hope I was right in assuming that was the relevant website.. selling is 75% appearance. the price comes afterwards.. You've got to convince them to want to buy from you otherwise they will go elsewhere where they feel confident about what's being sold.. eg.. the big names with convincing sites..

People don't read a site.. they scan.. look for visual clues that jump out and tell them they are in the right place.. Nothing on your site works like that.. You make it too hard and force people to read... you've got 2-3 seconds to convince them and they're gone.

Hope that helps... or terrifies you,



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paul bennett
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Postby paul bennett » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:08 pm

Image names count as well.

I am going thorough the entire site re-naming image files so they show up in a google image search.

eg:

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enGB306GB306&um=1&sa=1&q=medieval+oak+bench&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&start=0


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Yeoman
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Postby Yeoman » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:42 am

Constructive criticism is great thanks... and very much appreciated... and yes quite scary but also incredibly useful...I will use it to try and improve that site and/or to be more realistic (after reading your advice and it confirming my thoughts), to help me think about getting another site up and running...

This one only costs me £50 a year to run now so I will perhaps keep it as a "trade only" site for regular customers perhaps ("Prices ex VAT" rather than "prices incl VAT" etc)...

I had the current site designed by someone who was recommended to me (by someone on this LH site actually) a few years ago, I sent the chap my logo and I said I liked the layout of the play.com website (as it stood a few years ago) and what I havee now is just more or less how the site came to me... I dont have any access to change any thing on it or monitor visitors (except in the last 15 minutes) or get traffic reports or anything like that... all I can do is add products and pictures, prices and category headings and thats it...

The chap who did it for me was (and still is) very helpful though and the site more than pays for itself... sales through a seperate more focused site for me would be much better though...

Firstly, Your logo doesn't have a Alt tag, so you lose points there.

I dont know what that is...

There are other meta-tags than just keywords, so use them as well.

I have heard of meta tags in my book but cant get my head round what they are...

In fact reading through... (almost) everything you said I am going to have to read up on... its really not my strong point... my sales through other outlets are great though so I must be doing something right... just my website is crap and getting (albeit sometimes big orders) only 10-15 or so orders a week... and as my other outlets charge me about £4000 a month in selling fees between them I was hoping to get the website some traffic and avoid thier fees...

I have toyed with paying for a new site to be designed (and would be happy to spend a reasonable amount of money to do it) but it has taken me so long to upload all the products on to this site I thought it might take forever to start again...

It would be great if I could get a new super duper site with a new domain name (relating to my products as you mention) and also swap the inventory/products over from the old site to the new site easily as well but at the mo I need to do the best with what I have got until I can find someone...

Image names count as well.


Thats a really good one and easy to do, even for me...

Change the titles of your pictures to keywords... Thats a great tip to add to the list...Didnt know that one...


http://www.ukhobbystore.co.uk Telescopes Binoculars and Astronomy Accessories UK mail order
http://www.powesavebulbs.co.uk LED SMD CFL and Halogen Energy saving Light Bulbs UK Mail order
http://www.ukhobbystore.com Binoculars Astronomy Stargazing


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