What’s the point of your website?

questionSo you have a website, sitting happily in its own little corner of the Internet. Hoorah.

But what’s the point of having a website if no-one ever sees it? It’s not enough to create a website; you also have to drive people to it (that’s why it’s called ‘site traffic’).

Being found by machines

Depending on your business model, you may want to be found on search engines. I’m over-simplifying, but Google is looking for four main things:


How to get on page 1 of Google, free

An Australian chiropractor had bought a low-cost template website and contacted me when it didn’t appear anywhere in Google searches.

I edited the home page copy and changed some of the meta-tags in liaison with the developers. Within a couple of weeks, the site appeared on page 1 for a search of ‘chiropractic in [town]’. I also made the calls-to-action stronger, and my client started getting more enquiries from the site than she had before.

Appearing on search may not matter if people discover your business in other ways. But if you want your site to be found, there are certain tips and tricks you need to know.

Disclaimer: Note that Google’s algorithm is a strictly guarded secret and they move the goalposts all the time, so this is just a simple overview. (more…)

WordPress blogging SEO checklist

Here are a few things to think about when optimising your WordPress blog for SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes.


URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator (exciting, isn’t it!). The URL is the actual web address that you see in the browser bar, such as www.yourdomainname.com. If the URL contains the keywords you wish to be found for, there’s a good chance that search engines will rank it high in the results.

You can buy a domain name from WordPress or from any other provider. If you buy your domain name elsewhere, you can ‘map’ it to WordPress when you pay them $12p.a. (more…)

SEO made simple (part 3): How to optimise a web page

I used to work with a particular team of web designers, and could never be bothered to look up their phone number, so I’d just search their business name on Google.

The two lines that appeared in the search results under their web link read something like: “This web-design company is run by three lesbians.”

I did wonder whether that’s why they designed so many construction websites, and what the clients thought of me when I turned up to meetings!

Anyway, one day, I dared to tackle the web designers about it. “Why do you consider it good marketing to have that information included in your meta-description?” I asked. (more…)

SEO made simple (part 2): How SEO impacts the copy on your site

Firstly, it’s important to use customer language. For example, I heard that the DVLA used to talk about the ‘vehicle excise duty’ on their website. Then they realised the rest of us call it the ‘car tax disc’ and had to rewrite their web copy to match.

To find out what language your customers use, use the Google AdWords keyword tool. It’s free!

You have to wait a moment while it loads. Then you can type in the search term/s of your choice along with the CAPTCHA code to prove you’re a human being not a robot. Google will return a list of suggested keywords, each showing how many times it’s searched per month and how high (or low) the competition is. (more…)

SEO made simple (part 1): The basics

According to research by Pew Internet and the American Life Project, 90% of web interactions start with search. Your customers are looking for what you offer, right now, and you want your website to be found.

Remember, we’re all customers too. Imagine you’ve just searched a particular keyword or phrase, and you’re looking at a page of Google results. At the top may be a tint box containing sponsored ads (those companies have paid to appear there). On the right is a column of pay-per-click Adwords (those companies have set a budget to appear there, and it costs them money every time their ad is clicked. When the budget runs out, their ad disappears and someone else’s is shown.) The main part of the page comprises the organic listings, also known as the natural or free listings. These are the results that Google thinks match your search, ranked in priority order, displayed at absolutely no cost.


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