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Search Engine Optimisation On A Tight Budget

Jun 6, 2008
Improving your website rankings within search engine listings doesn't need to cost you an arm and a leg. With a few simple changes and a bit of extra work you can dramatically change the fortunes of your un-optimized website.

Website and On-Page Optimization

Firstly, focus on the structure of your website. Your website should allow search engine bots to easily read and index all your content. Offer sitemaps (both HTML and XML), create a structured navigation which provides a clear path from top level webpages through to lower level categories and product/service webpages. Use search terms in the anchor text that links to your pages and within the URL structure. Validate your HTML to be sure that there are no 'brick walls' for search engine bots. Highlight important webpages at higher levels so that they get more exposure and link juice. Interlink pages where possible within the content text, a perfect example of this is Wikipedia.

Now look at your individual webpage structure, use CSS to structure your webpage design so that you can order the HTML to focus on your page content, provide relevant title and heading tags for each individual page, separate chunks of code such as CSS or JavaScript into their own files so that they do not interfere with the code/content ratio and offer unique content within your webpages.

Target Long Tail Search Terms

Really competitive search terms such as 'car insurance' require deep pockets if you are to aim at achieving top 10 rankings in the search engines, so targeting less competitive long tail search terms can provide your website with excellent results without too much effort. Obviously the total volume of visitors may not be as high but by targeting several long tail search terms they can collectively help increase visitor volumes. Research your keywords to gain more knowledge of what people are typing within your website's target audience then create webpages targeted towards these search terms. The more pages you create, the more visitors you are likely to gain.

Free Directories

There are thousands of free website directories out there that allow you to add a listing which links back to your website. Although they may not dramatically improve your website rankings, every link counts. What these link will definitely do is help improve the speed of which your website is indexed as you are providing more ways for the search engine bots to find your website. This will help keep your website content fresh in the search engine listings by allowing updates and additions to be quickly recognised.

Article Distribution

For search engine optimization it is important to create a website that contains many pages of unique content. For this reason, there are a lot of website owners that are happy to allow you to add content to their own websites. This can be done through article writing either directly for these websites or by distributing your own website's articles through other websites. The main point here is to require an acknowledgment link back to your own website. Just like the free directories, there are thousand of website that can quickly distribute your article and this will help your website gain incoming links.

Offer Something Unique

In the end, the easiest and most successful way to quickly attract visitors to your website through search engine optimization is to offer something valuable and unique. Whether this is content, products, services, website tools, advertising etc., by offering your visitors and potential customers something else that no one else offers, you are instantly going to generate interest in your website. You will find that people will start naturally linking to your website through forums, blogs and other websites. Word of mouth will bring in more visitors and you could even find your website being mentioned within authoritative press websites such as the BBC.

Summary

Search Engine Optimization is not just about reaching top 10 for expensive highly competitive search terms, it is about using the resources available within a budget to improve not just the volume of visitors, but the quality of visitors who are likely to help increase your website conversions. Through research, careful planning and a bit of effort you can give your website every chance of competing with the big boys.
About the Author
Steven Balfour wrote this article for search engine optimization company Position Gold Ltd.
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