Published on Wednesday 17 October 2012
If you look at most small business websites many of them make one crucial mistake which can cost them dearly. Well actually, it isn’t really a mistake, it’s more of an oversight.
The problem is that most of them do not use any keywords in the code of their website. Keywords are basically the search terms that people type in when they are searching for something in a search engine like Google. A keyword could be “Plumber in Maidstone” or “Vets near Tunbridge Wells”. Unfortunately, if you do not tell Google what you do then it finds it difficult to categorise you & you therefore have less of a chance to get a good rank in their listings.
The way that you tell Google what you do is through the use of a piece of html code which is included in your website’s code. These are called Meta Tags. It sounds complicated, but it is really just a piece of code that includes your keywords.
Many small business websites will either not include any keywords in their websites or if they do then they use keywords that no one would ever search on. Often they just say “Home” or “Welcome to our Website”. If you can address this then you are well on the way to getting ahead of your online competitors.
The best way to do this is to use the Google Keywords Tool to identify keywords that get good traffic but which do not have too much competition. A good technique is to go for keywords that have 2 or 3 words rather than 1 word. These are called “long tail keywords”.
Once you have your keywords you need to include them in the Meta Tags. The most important one is called the “Page Title Element”. If you want to read someone’s page title element you can do so in the blue line at the top of your internet browser – make sure that you have the Menu Bar visible. You will notice that this matches the first line in the Google search results.
For the Page Title Element, use a maximum of 70 – 80 characters (7 – 10 words). Resist the temptation to “stuff” loads of keywords in as this can be penalised by Google. Make them readable and understandable. Don´t include any unnecessary jargon or filling in words and make sure they identify exactly what you do.
The next one is the “Meta Description” & this describes the content of a particular page, but in a little more detail and is used by the search engines to provide a summary of that page in the listings. Again, if you go to Google and do a search you will see the Meta Description appears on the 2nd and 3rd lines of each result in plain text.
You should use between 20 – 30 words, but do not use more than 180 characters in total including spaces. It should read naturally and be customised to the particular page that you are working on. Make sure that you update all pages of your website. Try to vary the keywords in the Meta Tags so that you use different ones on each page.
Next, make sure that you update the URLs (a fancy way of saying the page names of your website) to include your keywords as appropriate. For example, if your keyword is “Photographer in Sevenoaks” then make sure that you have a page that uses this keyword, eg: www.egmywebsite.co.uk/photographer-in-sevenoaks. If you follow these simple steps you will be ahead of many small business websites.
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