This article gives an overview of how you could increase your search ranking in Google.
First a little background.. A while back I visited a Nursery that grew Advanced Trees in South Australia, after talking to the owner for a little while we got on the topic of website and how he was trying to increase his website exposure. I mentioned to him that I’d send him some tips. Below is those same tips. Now, before you go reading them, please note I don’t claim to be some Search Engine Optimization guru, but just another person with a blog. Many of the tips below are what have worked for me.
The tips relate to the website: http://www.engeltrees.com.au the nursery specialising in Advanced trees, in Australia. At the time of writing many of these tips had not been applied to that website. They may have since updated their website.
Hi Paul, I’ve only now found time to have a good look at your website and see what could be improved to help you achieve a better rank in Google.
You might want to grab a coffee, this is a rather long email :)…
Some tips I have are:
1. Setup a Google Analytics Account
Google Analytics is a must for any website as it allows you to track where your visitors are coming from and what keywords they used to get to your site.
You’ll learn if they reached your site by searching or by a referral from another site. You’ll find what countries your site is being visited from and importantly, you’ll find out if changes you make are actually making an impact on your sites exposure.
You’ll be amazed what info you can get from this and it’s entirely free for most sites.
2. Look at how Google Sees your site.
Google’s robots don’t look at the images, they only see the text on your website. It’s a good idea to see how Google views your site.
The way I do this is I use the firefox web browser (http://getfirefox.net/) and install the web developer addon to it (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/web-developer/).
This extension allows all images and CSS to be turned off. That then shows you what Google sees.. often it’s not very good.
3. Improve your Search Engine Optimisations (SEO)
This item is a hard one as no one really know’s what makes a site rank higher in Google. It’s a bit of a black art.
Things that seem to work are:
* Be consistent with keywords
Come up with a set of keywords and make sure those same keywords are on every page, in the title of your site, if you can the domain name, meta description and url, etc
An example of where you could do this is make sure “Engels Advanced Trees” was in the title on every page. Ie your Specials page has a title of “Specials Price List”. You could change this to be “Specials Price List – Engels Advance Trees”.
Another example is you could put a keyword in your url. Ie you could have a url: http://www.engelstrees.com.au/trees/advanced/bamboo/
A lot of SEO is getting Google to recognize the keywords.
So a question I have is what keywords represent your site? Are they keywords that represent both your business but are also high exposure keywords?
Google has tools to help tell you if they are high exposure keywords. I can’t provide a link as google don’t want people to link to it. But if you search for “google keyword tool” then you’ll find the site. Here you can put in keywords, or keyword phrases and see what the average search results for that keyword is – very useful. For instance you might think that bamboo is a high ranking keyword. But infact eucalyptus is a higher word (just a guess).
* Make sure the meta-description & meta-keywords are different on every page
Your site uses meta descriptions. These show up in Google as the excerpt when you do a search. For instance if I search “Engels Trees” the second result is:
Adelaide Bamboo specialists Engel Trees Adelaide for Bamboo Adelaide Trees Shrubs Hedges and Garden design advice.
The “Adelaide Bamboo…” bit is your meta description. Google is less likely to show more than 1 page about your site if the description and keywords are the same on every page.
* Be prepared to pay for top spot
Google is all about making money. To do that you can pay to be top spot. Google has adwords (http://www.google.com/adwords)
which allows you to nominate keywords and place ads at the top. Depending on the keyword and the region you select depends on how much the keywords cost.
I note that as I search for Engels advanced trees the first link is actually a paid ad to Roneby advanced trees.
Whilst I don’t think it’s as big factor as some might suggest. Load speed must have some type of impact. A quick test from (http://iwebtools.com/speed_test
|Domain name||Size||Load Time||Average Speed per KB|
|1||clearchain.com||50.9 KB||4.42 seconds||0.09 seconds|
|2||engeltrees.com.au||19.98 KB||9.89 seconds||0.49 seconds|
|3||cnn.com||96.7 KB||2.36 seconds||0.02 seconds|
|4||unisa.edu.au||14.32 KB||3.05 seconds||0.21 second|
Clearchain is my website located in the US, as in CNN.com. UniSA is in Adelaide so it might be a better comparison (the international link adds about 1.5 seconds to most requests). Still Engeltree does seem quite a bit slower.
If you want to speed this up, buy a cheap hosting service from someone like http://www.dreamhost.com I note at the moment they have a 2 week free trial.. great to use as a speed comparison.
* Back links
When Google was first founded, they had the concept of rating a page based on how many sites linked to the page. Since then things have changed but it is still an important part of the search algorithm used. Hence the more sites you get linking to your website.. using the keywords you want. The better your site will rank. Google anayltics will help you see who links into your site. But if you have friends with websites relating to plants. Ask them if they could put a little blurb about your site and a link to the main page somewhere on their site.
You can also go to forums where questions are asked, answer questions and post your main page url. What ever you do, always post to the main page as this helps establish the main page as the one Google should rank higher. The main page links to the other pages of your site so they rank higher.
* Simplify your urls
If you look at your website can you guess what this url relates to?
I can’t. Though I can tell you it’s your ‘Current Specials’ page (that’s what I clicked anyway)
What if the url was instead:
Much easier to read.. much easier for Google to read. Also anything that links to the specials page uses the same link so google can follow your site structure.
* Keep your content changing
It’s a know fact that your site will rank higher if it’s changing. Old content on the internet is not good content so ranks lower.
You can easily do this by having some rotating articles on your main page. I can tell your site doesn’t get updated often as it still lists (C) 2010.
Another way to keep the content fresh is to keep a blog and show a section of that on the main page.
A blogs also a great way to get others linking to you. They leave comments or link to a blog post.
You might write an article about the best way of pruning trees for instance and get a lot of people referring to it.
As an example, my website (which is really something I work on when I can be bothered) brings in ~ $30 a month just by having adverts on it.
The most popular page http://www.clearchain.com/blog/posts/how-to-use-a-belkin-f5u409f5u409-cu-usb-to-pda-serial-converter-in-visawindows-7-64bit-mac-osx-10
brings in ~$10 a month by itself. Most of this is due to people linking to it. I note as of today it has been shared on facebook 14 times and two twitter tweets about it have occurred.
Ie, the people are building backlinks to the site by themselves just by having content that they find useful.
My mother keeps telling me how you have great tips on the radio.. why not post the same tips on a blog and at the end of the show/segment refer to your site with ‘and the tip in all it’s details area available on our website at engelstrees.com.au. I guarantee there will be people that visit just because the didn’t quite catch the entire tip… but make sure you setup analytics so you can see the before and after difference 🙂
Anyway, these are just some ways that you can help boost your company exposure via the web. But it should set you on the right track.
Hope these help you!
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