Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for site owners

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the techniques involved in the attempt to appear higher in Google (and other search engines).

SEO can be an expensive and on-going battle. You are competing with large corporations who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get higher in Google rankings.

While that makes things difficult for smaller businesses, it is not impossible to get your name out there and compete. Of course you will need more than just SEO to run a successful business, but there's a lot you can do to improve your rankings without spending much more than time.

SEO starts with the markup. That's the stuff that makes up each displayed page, and is how Google see's your site. You rely on your web designer to do this correctly. For new builds, insist on HTML5.

Content is extremely important, and this bit is usually managed by the site owner. The key here is to make each page totally unique. The content should read like proper English, and contain keywords or phrases you think people will use to search for that individual page.

If you have access to Page Title and Meta Description, the same rule applies. Keep it totally unique, proper English and contain your keywords. Page Titles should be less than 70 characters, and Meta Descriptions should be less than 160 characters. If you include a Meta Description it will take precedence over the page content.

Link popularity is another good way you can improve your rankings. This means having other sites linking to you. The higher the ranking for the site linking to you, the higher the link ranks. And sites which link back to each other, cancel out. So you could ask online magazines to feature you perhaps, or look for things like online business directories that are relevant.

SEO strategies are continually evolving, like all marketing. So it's important to revisit things as you learn how people are searching for, and finding your site. You can use Google Analytics to see what keywords people are using to find you, and which pages are most popular.