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 Website Optimisation

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 Website optimisation is the key to finding relevant visitors

If your website receives no visitors it serves no useful purpose.  On the right you will see the main sources of information about a website. Search Engines are by far the most important.

You must ensure that, when someone types some words into a search engine to find possible suppliers or informants, your site comes high up on the list of results. If it does not, you have just lost a potential customer to a  competitor.

So the first step is to analyse which key phrases are most likely to be used by your customers - and which give you the best chance of achieving a top ranking. For a new site, some subjective assessment is required, but later you will have actual results on which to base refinements.

You may have heard the term 'search engine optimisation'; this is the same as 'website optimisation' but less accurate. What you have to do is adapt your site to the requirements of the search engines. Not the other way round!

 

Most Used Sources
for Web Addresses

Search Engine

57%

E-mail Messages

38%

Web Sites

35%

Word of Mouth

28%

Magazine Ads

25%

TV Commercials

14%

Periodical Article

11%

Vendor Catalogs

11%

Newspaper Ads

9%

Banner Ads

7%

Radio Ads

2%

Mail Ads

2%

Source: Forrester Research

January 1999

How do you optimise a website? What's involved?

Search Engines exist to help the searcher find the most relevant sites for the information they seek. They do this by reading the text of all the websites they index and using complex algorithms to decide their relative importance.

As a result the use of language is crucial. You must ensure you use in your site those keywords and phrases that your customers will put into the search engines.  Each page should be considered separately as they are indexed separately by the search engines.  Each page should only be optimised for one or two phrases.  Here are the main requirements:

  • Page Title: up to 10 words beginning with the main phrase
  • Meta Description: up to 24 words describing the page content in a way that will interest a visitor to click through
  • Meta Keywords:  up to 12 pf the main keywords used on the page
  • Headers: use H1,H2 etc tags to show the importance  of each phrase and break up the page accordingly
  • Content: use the phrase in the content, preferably near the beginning
  • Keyword density: use variations and repetitions of the phrase to reinforce its importance without making the text unreadable.
  • Images: ensure their is a relevant 'ALT' tag with text to show content

This process will ensure your pages are indexed for the right content. It is a necessary starting point for achieving good rankings but it must also be combined with an active promotion program as explained on the link popularity page.  However there is no point in spending extra money on promoting until you have tested that the site itself does the job you need.

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in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames