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Search Engine Optimisation - Part 5

This is the final part of our series on search engine optimisation. If you missed the previous articles you can view them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

We have talked a great deal about search engine optimisation and what you can do to improve your website. If you have implemented all of our suggestions then well done but I'm afraid the journey does not end there.

Getting your site in order is just the start. Like I said at the beginning of this series; search engine optimisation (SEO) isn't a case of applying a few quick fixes. SEO takes time, your efforts will never be complete. You must periodically revisit all of the elements that I have discussed in order to keep on top of your SEO.

Search engines generally like an updated and well maintained website so constantly tweaking elements can have positive effects on your rankings. A great way of measuring how your changes affect your website is to use Google Analytics. Google Analytics is basically a way of finding out who is viewing your website and how they got there. There is obviously far more to Google Analytics than that and best of all is it's free. If you don't have analytics installed on your website then you should definitely do something about it.

Another great way of keeping your website current is to incorporate a blog. A blog affords fabulous opportunities to add key word phrases to your website. It also gives customers a reason to come back to your website again and again. If you have a more corporate website then a 'Latest News' section can be a great substitute for a blog. A blog and latest news are very similar but a blog is normally more light hearted and personal whereas a latest news section would usually have a more professional tone, however, there are no hard and fast rules, you call it whatever you want.

Another excellent tool from Google is Google Webmaster Tools. Webmaster tools is quite different from Google Analytics, whilst analytics is concerned with how people view your website, webmaster tools is concerned with how Google sees your website. One invaluable tool is the ability to upload a site map. All websites should have an xml site map in their root called sitemap.xml. This file tells Google (and other search engines) what pages they should be indexing. Search engines don't immediately add a new page to their index, first of all they need to know that a new page has been created. You can let Google discover the new page on it's own but this could take weeks or even months. This is where a site map comes in, the site map tells Google what pages exist and what it should be indexing. This can greatly increase the speed at which new pages are indexed by search engines but it is in no way a guarantee that they will definitely be indexed.

Conclusion

It must be noted that this guide to search engine optimisation is in no way exhaustive. There is far more to SEO than this but if you follow all of these techniques then you should see an improvement in your website rankings. This guide is merely an introduction to SEO, there are people out there whose sole job is to look after the SEO of a website. For most small and medium businesses it is impossible to employ someone purely to handle SEO but it's perfectly plausible (and necessary) for someone to spend an hour or so a week tweaking the company website.

Don't expect immediate results. Even though you have changed your website it can take the search engines a while to notice the change and then to index it. Sometimes this can take minutes, sometimes it can take months, patience is a virtue!

Like with all things in life, if you want to see tangible results then you need to put in the work. If you would like us to assess your website then please get in touch. We will give you a report on what can be done to improve your SEO, you can then implement the report yourself or we can do it for you. Give us a call on 01723 866058 or email us at for more information.