Last Thursday evening I have the privilege of talking to a larger audience than I was expecting at the stunning Fetcham Park for the Weddings in Surrey Tweetup event organised by Pamela Wallin and supported by Wedding Ideas Magazine. During the talk I covered a number of different subjects all to help people with their SEO and increase their ranks.
So a quick overview of what I talked about is below and I hope it helps.
Having a nice looking website
Now Google allows you to preview your website before you even visit it, it is important that you make sure that your website looks attractive on the eye. Other wise those that are searching for your website can view your Google preview and that could put them off straight off the bat. This means that you might end up being ranked number one and getting no traffic what so ever. This also reduces your bounce rate (where people arrive on your site and leave without actually doing anything.).
So good site design is becoming more and more essential to getting traffic through to your website.
If your visitors get lost or stuck in a loop they will get frustrated and leave your website. For this very reason it is extremely important that you have good navigation on your website and you are sending them in a very logical direction to not only get to the goal that they are trying to achieve but what you are also trying to achieve.
This also helps the search engines get to what they need to see on the website as well, meaning that you are guiding the search spiders (no not the crawly kind but the program that looks through your website for the search engines) to exactly where you want them to go as well. This is the sign of a well structured website and will help all your pages rank and get you a better ranking.
Your Visitors Own Your Website
I got a few strange looks when I mentioned this one but I have to say it is the way things go. If you honestly want to make your web strategy a success then you need to think about what your visitors want to see on your website when they visit it will be much better for your business long term. Here is the thing, as much as YOU love your website and it does everything YOU want it to do, your visitors (your future customers) might not be getting what they want from it.
The knock on effect to this is that they go somewhere else or are frustrated before they even get around to contacting you. Hand over ownership to your customers and clients by talking to them and finding out what they were looking for when they were looking for you online. A little research in this area goes a very very long way.
Use Video on Your Website
I was helped with this bit on the evening by Mark Hammett (from Blue Dragonfly Films) who is a Videographer and the only videographer that was there on the evening. Youtube was purchased by Google, in turn that pointed towards video being very important within the search results and that it would become a ranking factor.
Your videos need to be informative and of a half decent quality but you can make use of tools available to you to produce them if you are worried about being in front of the camera. For those that are brave enough to get in front of the camera just talk naturally as though you would to a client (a bit like when you write a blog post) and you will get your message across clear and easy.
Once you have your video post it on Youtube or Vimeo and then embed that into your website using the code they give you (compete technophobes please ask your webmaster or designer to help you with this and the next bit) then once it is embedded you will be able to create a video sitemap. Now for those of you using WordPress this is really easy you can install the Video Sitemap Plugin which will build your sitemap automatically. Then you submit that sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools (You do have an account with them don’t you?), then Google crawls your website and your video is visible to the search engines. If you build links to the page with the video on (by getting it tweeted and posted on Facebook etc) then you will see the benefits.
Google Plus Business Pages
The Google Plus social network is going to have an impact on search! Google don’t bring out sites or buy sites that are going to be ineffective in helping your website in some way. In this case the social footprint of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube (yes it is a social network as well) and Google Plus are becoming more and more important within the search algorithm.
If you haven’t got a Google Plus account then you need a Google account to get one which you can sign up for one here and then once you have your Google Plus account on the menu bar within Google Plus (could be left or right depending which way the wind is blowing on that day) you will see the button to create your Google Plus Business Page.
Some examples of good branded pages are:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/107515167440777049832/posts (Top Tip Like This to get SEO Tips from us in the future EXCLUSIVE TO GOOGLE PLUS FOLLOWERS)
Google Places Rankings
This was probably the biggest pleaser of the night and seems to be a big Holy Grail of a lot of people at the moment and rightly so. Your local visitors are in many cases the exact audience you are looking for and in many cases people prefere to deal with people close to them geographically in order to get them the best possible service.
In order to get good Google Places listings there are a number of things that you need to do:
- Claim your Google Places page
- Add a land line to your listing if possible (if you haven’t got one or don’t want to publicise your home telephone number then services like Smart Numbers allow you to have a number diverted to your mobile)
- Get an physical address in the location you want to be found. If you are aiming at getting ranked in Manchester and live in Cornwall then getting listed in the Google places pages is going to be very difficult (well impossible unless you know tricks no one else does). Virtual offices can act as a god send if you are really trying to branch out and want to expand further afield. (Virtual office addresses cost money but long term it will benefit if this is the route you wish to choose).
- Add your website to the important local directories such as BrownBook.net and FreeIndex.co.uk and make sure the information you are posting in ALL directories is the same. If you call your company “Wedding Company Ltd” in one and “Wedding Company Limited” in another then that is something completely different in the eyes of the search engines.
Use Twitter To Boost Your Traffic and SEO
Guest Blog to Increase Your Authority
When the Camera Lies! Photographers Need to Add Text
I think that has covered everything, if I have missed anything the please feel free to drop me a note firstname.lastname@example.org and I will write a backup post to cover that as well. I hope this has helped everyone.
The event was incredible with an amazing show of talent on show from all areas of this wonderful industry. I want to extend my thanks to all that participated as well as all those who attended. If you did attend and would like us to take a sneak at your website and send you a five minute overview of our initial thoughts and some tips on how you can improve your site and your SEO then please fill in the form below and we will send this to you within the next 10 days. (please note this is only available to those who attended the Tweet Up) Oh and please feel free to share this with as many people as possible.