Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Keys to Successful Search Engine Marketing

If your website is not ranking high in search engines, you're burning money! However, optimising your website for search engines can often be confusing and time consuming. Here are some useful free Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools to make it easier for you to improve your rankings.

1. Understanding your website's performance - Google Analytics

Google Analytics is simply a must-have. Having a website without an analytics tool such as Google Analytics, is like flying a plane without an instrument panel. There are easy-to-read charts that show you how many visitors you've had, how they found your website (e.g. from Google Adwords, organic search, referred websites), and what they did (e.g. request a free report), or did not do, once they were there. Critically, you can also find out which keywords users typed into search engines to find you. The key with analytics is to not be overwhelmed by all the data, but to ask yourself "so what does this mean" and most importantly "what action should I now take".

Installing analytics is quite easy, you just need to add a few lines of code to each page of your website. See Google's website, or have a chat with your web developer.

2. Google 'Page Rank' - The Google Toolbar

Google gives each page it visits (or "crawls") a score to reflect how important it sees that page. This is called "pagerank" (PR). It is a score out of 10, and the higher the better. It is only a rough guide, but it can be helpful to analyse your website, and also to judge whether to accept reciprocal links with another website. All things being equal, you'd rather have a link from a page with a ranking of 4 than a ranking of 1. Most small businesses pages are usually in the 1 to 4 range.

Search for "Google Toolbar" in Google, click the link, and follow the download instructions. Once installed, go to the Toolbar "settings" and "options", and turn on the "page rank and page info" button. Now load up your home page in the browser. Hover over the page rank button with your mouse. It should display Google's page rank (PR) score for your webpage.

3. 'Last Crawl Date' - The Google Toolbar

The same toolbar button can be used to easily find out when Google last crawled your website. It will most probably be within the past few weeks. You can check each of your web pages.

Load up your home page in the browser and click the black arrow on the "page rank" button. Then click "cached snapshot of page". You should see a date there.

If Google has never crawled the page, or the date was more than a few months ago, you probably need to develop more external links to that page. I would also recommend visiting Google Webmasters - Site Status for further help. (It's worth spending a bit of time on the Google Webmaster website as there are some very useful tools).

4. Competitor Analysis - "SEO for FireFox"

This tool will not work in Internet Explorer (IE). You will need to download the Firefox browser.
SEO for FireFox allows you to see a lot of useful SEO data about your competition. It was created by the famous (in SEO circles anyway) Aaron Wall of SEO Book.

Under each search result, there will be two lines of additional SEO data (shaded blue) relating to that website. (For example, if you're a business coach, and looking to rank for "business coach Sydney", type that into the Google search box.) By clicking on the right field, you can find how many links your competitor has, who is linking to them, how old their domain is, and who owns that domain, among other things. This data can be very helpful in planning your own SEO strategy. If your competitor is ranking highly for a keyword, they must be doing something right!

The tool can be downloaded from www.SEOBook.com. (You can also watch his instructional video).

5. Quick link checker using Yahoo!

If you want a very simple way of finding out who is linking to your website, or a competitor's website, and you don't want to download any tools, go to Yahoo's website.

In the search box, type "linkdomain:www.yourdomain.com.au -site:www.yourdomain.com.au", where www.yourdomain.com.au is the name of your website. (This technique will not work in Google, as Google does not show a complete list of links.)

Visit SEO Sydney for more detail..

1 comments:

Garden Man 01 said...

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