Thursday 22 March 2012

Time to Spring Clean your Website!

As a busy mum juggling work and childcare, there never seems to be enough time to make sure everything about the business is continually up to date. I'm sure you can identify with that too!

Sometimes it can be a challenge just doing the basics, not to mention the added marketing you know you need to keep on top of. But I do try to keep on top of making sure my website is working at its best, and I'm always tweaking things on a weekly basis.

One thing to do is to make sure your website is optimised so that it ranks highly on search engines. Ranking in the organic results on search engines isn’t easy, however there are many things that you can do to help. Here are my tips...

1. Organise your Website - Making your site easy to navigate and well organised makes it easy for visitors - and search engines - to find relevant content.

  • Plan your site with a simple sitemap, and include the sitemap online so that every page is easy to fine.
  • Give each page a unique title that accurately defines what it's about, and a brief description that summarises the content - eg, an 'About Me' page will explain more about the business and the person behind it.
  • Use headings and subheadings to break content down into readable chunks. For example, a page headed 'Gifts' could include sub categories with sections on 'Gifts for Him', or 'Wedding Gift's, etc.
  • Make the page's URL easy to understand - for example, is better than The title, description and URL tend to appear in search results, so the clearer they are the easier it is to see what your website has to offer.

2: Creating the best content - Creating useful (and preferable unique) content helps improve your website's SEO.

  • Think about the kinds of things your target customers are likely to search for, and develop content that will attract and satisfy those searchers.
  • Write focused text - ideally, each web page should deal with a single topic rather than mixing lots of ideas together.
  • Regularly update your website with fresh new content. Make sure the copy still reads well and isn't repetitive or artificially stuffed with keywords.

  • Writing a blog is a good way to include fresh content. This can be updated as often as you wish with relevant stories, offers and news.

3: Relevant Links

Try and acquire more high quality, relevant links to your website from other related sites. To find out how many external websites link to your website go to Bing search and then type - the results will show you the number of incoming links to your website. These are the links on other websites that point to your website.

4: Engage on social media sites

The more you engage on social media sites (like Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) and promote your website’s content, the more SEO value you potentially generate for your site.

5: Claim your business’ Google Places listing

If you rely on local custom, claim your business' Google Places listing as this helps you get more presence on Google’s search results. Google shows Places listings for search queries with local intent, so having a listing will ensure your business has a better chance of being visible to people near you.

6: Black Hat SEO

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to use illicit ‘black-hat’ techniques to improve search engine rankings. These could include using hidden text on your website filled with keywords, or ‘link spam’ (posting irrelevant links to your website on forums and comments boards, to make it appear popular) or even paying for links. These techniques are frowned on by search engines and if your site is found to be doing this, you could be penalised and actively downgraded in the rankings. Also be careful when you link out to other websites – if you link to sites that use dubious SEO techniques, it could damage your websites reputation.

You can find further useful technical advice on improving your website, SEO or web design at

I hope you find these tips useful for your website too. Happy spring cleaning!

Sarah x

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