Website marketing guide
for small businesses and start-ups

Optimising the performance of your website

There are a few simple ways that you can optimise the performance of your website in the search engines.

Site structure

The structure of your website is important for your website visitors and for search engines. Visitors need to be able to easily navigate around your website and search engines need to be able to know which pages target which topics.

Individual pages

Make sure that each page targets different keywords, that way the search engines will know which pages to show for a particular search query. Other websites will know what pages to link to and the search engines will know which pages to rank for particular queries.

Meta descriptions

These can be found in your website's code in the tag <meta name="description" content= . This will be picked up by the search engines and placed in your listing on the search engine results pages.

It is important to have an attractive description of each page here because it could make a search engine user more likely to click on your website in the search engine results pages.

On any particular search engine results page there are nine other websites, probably all competing with you. In the meta description you need to give the search engine user a reason to click on your website.

Page titles

Once you have done the keyword research as explained earlier you can then begin to target those keywords you decided to target. A good way to do this is with your page titles.

If you have access to your websites code, the title tag is near the top of the page in the <title> section. If you don't have access to your websites code because you are using an online website creator or something similar, often these give you the option to edit your page titles.

Within the <title> </title> tags you should try to use the main keywords each page of your website is targeting, with an attractive phrase that will be appealing to potential customers.

Search Engines such as Google will use the keywords in the title tag to help determine what each page of your website is about and therefore when potential customers type those keywords into Google you will be more likely to rank for those terms.

Resist the temptation to stuff the title with lots of keywords and phrases, this will look like spam to the search engines and they could penalise your website.

Attractive title tags will help more people click on your website in Google

When you look at the search engine results pages in Google you can see that for each result for each page, the top line of that result is taken from the title of the web page.

The more attractive this title is to someone who searches for something, the more likely they are to click on that website.

Header tags

For each page of your website in the code you should see some <h> tags, for example <h1> <h2>. It is recommended that you put the main keywords you want to target for that page into these tags.

By doing this, the search engines will have a clearer idea about what each page of your website is about and will help your site rank higher for the keywords you want.

Website content

It is a good idea to include some keywords in the content of each web page. Remember that you can target a number of phrases per page. It is also important not to "stuff" your content with keywords and to write for humans to read rather than search engines.

There is no set figure for how many keywords you should include and it is best to write copy for your customers but making sure to include the necessary keywords you are targeting within the copy.

This is a great place to target long tail key phrases as explained above. More content leads to a greater chance of having more longer tail key phrases.

Website design doesn't have to be expensive, there are many free templates which can be downloaded online that are professional looking and easy to set up as explained earlier in this guide.

Other websites will be less inclined to link to your site if the design is poor quality. A website that is designed in a professional way is quite easy for other websites to link to.

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