In This Issue:

What Our Clients Say...

We’ve always operated on a word of mouth basis, but in the last 12 months we’ve been getting a lot of business, as a direct result of FirstFound’s involvement.

Owen Sharples,
Adelaide Engineering Co Ltd

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DIY SEO - is it the way to go?

By Sharon Kovacs, FirstFound Operations Director

Many clients come to us after trying to optimise their own website... disappointed they were getting nowhere fast.

It is hardly surprising. Successful optimisation is both time-consuming and full of potential pitfalls.

So why is it such a battle to get your own website to the top of the rankings?

Google alone looks at over 200 different factors on a website to decide whether to rank that page highly for a key phrase or not, and that’s something SEO consultants have to keep a constant eye on.

A major part of successfully optimising a website is keeping you on top of the ever-changing and crucial components needed to get you, and keep you at the top of the listings and ahead of your competitors.
So what are those factors?

Choosing the right keywords is one of the most important things, and often one of the easiest to get wrong. For example, one of our clients, JK Dance agency in Manchester, used to be bombarded by traffic assuming she was a dancing school instead of an agency supplying dancers to ad companies as a result of bad advice from her previous SEO adviser.

Here are some top tips for avoiding an SEO no-no!

  • Once you have selected your keywords, don’t think that is the end of it. Words and phrases change due to trends. You need to know what the current trends for keyword searches are and how these phrases should appear on your site.
  • Understand how meta tags work. They can be crucial to the way a search engine crawls your site. Knowing how many characters to use in these tags can play an important role. Too many characters can be just as bad as too few. It could be the difference between your website appearing on page 1 or 10.
  • Research your competitors – look at their website weaknesses and strengths – and see how you can capitalise on them.
  • Your site’s code can have a very big effect on your relationship with the search engines. Server codes in particular can steer search engine spiders in the right direction, or drive them away.
  • Don’t get sucked into believing you need so-called ‘website submission software’. There is only one way to submit your URL to the major search engines and that is manually.
  • Don’t go link crazy. One of the fastest ways to get booted down the rankings is by linking to thousands of other websites that have nothing to do with your own. Google looks for relevance in your links. For example, if you are selling kids clothes, don’t bother linking to someone selling bathroom tiles.
  • And finally, don’t try to trick the search engines. We have written much about ‘black hat’ - or unethical tactics in Optimise. Stuffing your website with keywords in the same colour text as the background colour to make them invisible will NOT work.

In addition to the above, there are many other technical factors to consider when applying search engine optimisation, these include how your site is built, anchor text, robots, broken links, keyword density, duplicate content ...