I’m totally amazed at the growth in traffic to the Computer Aid website.
Admittedly, I have spent a lot of time studying SEO techniques, and applying them to the website, and I can see that all my efforts are starting to pay off.
As they say, a picture is worth 1024 words, so here are the results to date:
To be honest, I just look at the figures for unique visitors (the orange bars), as its the most indicative of the true popularity.
A figure like “hits” and “page views” can be easily manipulated… I could double the the hits on Computer aid by just placing an extra 15 small pictures on most of my web pages, but it doesn’t change how many people actually look at my website.
Looking over the last 16 months of growth, I can see that there was no single factor that contributed to the 22-fold increase in unique visitors to the website.
There were a few minor hiccups along the way: the most notable of which was an unintentional “duplicate content” problem in the early days, which caused google to drop my ranking for the words “brisbane computer repairs” from 50th to 350th.
Anyone contemplating doing their own SEO to improve their own website ranking should probably consider the following tips:
- Start a blog.
- Update your blog REGULARLY
- Update your blog at LEAST twice per week.
- Make sure the vast majority of your blog posts, discuss topics directly relevant to whatever your website is about (eg a website about nuts and bolts should have a blog that only talks about nuts and bolts (eg sizes, shapes, metals, techniques, etc))
- Pick your wording and titles VERY carefully. A very good grasp of the (English) language is essential. You must consider what a typical “web surfer” would type into a google search, and then use those words in your title and body. This is not as easy as it sounds, yet its very important.
- Don’t post something that has already been talked about by thousands of others (eg the world trade center bombing in NY)
- The flipside of the last point is: Do post something you know, which few other people would know. It makes you appear (to google) as an expert in your field. Don’t be afraid of telling your trade “secrets”… chances are: only others in the same field will read your posts, and they probably already know the “secrets” anyway. The internet is a community that punishes those that keep secrets, and rewards those who share.
- You must think like a marketing executive. Read books about sales and marketing, then apply that knowledge to how you word your overall website. The wording is vital. You must think long and hard about what words and phrases you put on your website (this is not so important for blog posts). You must know what your customers want, and then appeal to them with what you write. Don’t take guesses, you must find out what they want (and sometimes asking the customers won’t give you the answers!)
- Monitor your own website statistics. If your hosting company cannot give you the statistics you need, then consider something like google analytics.
- Optimise your web pages. To see how google views your website, strip out all the images, videos, flash, and html tags. If what you have left looks meaningless, then google will rank you accordingly. Put some quality information in there.
- Check your website navigation. Don’t implement a huge structure of spaghetti links. Ideally, aim for 5 – 10 links per page, and you should be able to get from any page on your site, to any other page, with just 2 mouse clicks.
- Optimise your .htaccess file (learn about 301 redirect), and make sure xyz.com and www.xyz.com both redirect to www.xyz.com. I’ve seen some sites, where xyz.com returns a 404 error!
- Read all you can about SEO (or if you don’t have time, then hire an SEO expert)
For some businesses, correct SE Optimisation can lead to giant leaps in profits.
And remember: some SEO experts are better than others. But to get good optimisation, be prepared to pay more than the original cost of developing the website… any cheaper, and your website probably won’t reach its full potential (or at worst, will drop in popularity).