One of my pet hates is receiving telephone calls and emails from companies offering to improve my SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ranking. I guess they are just used to people saying “yes please” because they have no idea what they are talking about and handing over their cash – but not this gal!

In a nutshell, SEO is the process of getting traffic from the “free” or “natural” listings on search engines. All the major search engines (such as Google, Bing and Yahoo) work on these results as well as on paid advertising and it is important to make sure your site ranks well with these to ensure you get traffic to your website – without it you just don’t get seen.

However, you don’t have to pay anyone to sort it for you and in just five simple steps you can improve your own SEO ranking:

Step 1 – Include Relevant Keywords

It requires a bit of research, but use your favourite search engine to search for businesses like your own and figure out which keywords they are using to get to the top of the list. You then need to include these keywords in your own site – within page headings if possible.

Step 2 – Keep Your Navigation Simple

So many sites I visit are difficult to navigate and links within pages to other pages often don’t work. Make sure you visit your own page and search for items that you want your visitors to find. If you find it difficult then so will they. I often ask my husband to check my sites this way because we often search for things differently – you’ll be amazed at how another point of view can help!

Step 3 – Update your Website Regularly

Search engines really do like websites that are kept up to date and a very simple way to do this is to include a blog on your site. As long as you post to it regularly, there will always be new and relevant content to help improve your SEO ranking. It is also a really good way of sharing your ideals and information with potential clients as they see you as someone who is interested in their own business.

Step 4 – Submit your Sitemap

One of the website builder programs I use automatically creates a Sitemap for your website and submits it to search engines every time you publish your site, but if you use a different program, such as WordPress, then make sure you include this useful tool. Having a sitemap allows a search engine to see all of the pages within your website and not just the first page and is key to moving further up the rankings.

Step 5 – Track your Results

I use Google Analytics and I would recommend that you also use a similar analytical tool to see exactly where your visitors are coming from when they visit your site. It helps you to recognise how your social media presence is driving traffic to your website, which keywords are helping people find you and also the demographics of your audience. Very useful data when trying to figure out how to improve your site in future. It is simple to set up an Analytics account and put a small piece of code in your website to track it’s performance and is another free service.

Finally, you can always visit a free online SEO optimisation website such as Woorank.com – you just need to type in your website address and in a minute or two you will have a simple report on some of the issues that could be hindering your website ranking.

So there you have it – five simple steps to improving your own SEO ranking without the help of Pooja from India (yes, that was the name on a recent email I received!).

Until next time,

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