Include search terms in your page title
Think about what terms people would use to find the page. Include those terms in the name of the page
Don't use "click here" for links
The words you use for your link should be the name of the page they link to.
Use headings and sub-headings
Search engines love headings, so use them to emphasise what the page is about, including keywords.
Use tags and descriptions
META data (such as tags and page descriptions) should include terms people might use to search for your page.
Do something new every week or two
Search engines "value" websites which are kept up to date, and so do users. Write new content regularly.
How to write content that attracts more traffic
Everybody uses search engines, so you need to write content that appeals to Google.
Without search engine optimisation (SEO) your site won't get as much traffic as it deserves.
Fortunately, creating SEO-friendly content is much simpler than it sounds. Just follow this guide, and subscribe to our regular email newsletter for more tips to help you get the most from your website.
The title is the most important part of your page
Think of the title as being like a newspaper headline. You need a title that tells the story very briefly (6-8 words is ideal), and makes people want to find out more.
But it doesn't just need to attract humans, it needs to attract search engines too. So you need to understand how the title fits into the structure of your site.
The page title appears at the top of the browser window and in Google's search results. In the sample below the page is called "Google will find this page title" (this uses the design one of our clients' websites, the Camphill Foundation)
In the title bar (the bar across the top of your web browser window) the website should display the "path" to the web page. For instance in the example above, the blue bar will have the following written in it:
Camphill Foundation UK and Ireland | What we do | Google will find this page title
The title of the website | The section of the site | The name of the page
Google uses these pieces of information to locate your website and pages within that site. If your pages don't have names which describe the content, Google won't find results that people are looking for.
An example of how to use a page title
Imagine you have created a page which has information about how people can leave a legacy for MyOrganisation in their will. How would you search for a page about that? You'd probably go to Google and type "MyOrganisation will" or "MyOrganisation legacy". So make sure the page is called something which matches a normal search.
Do call it something like: Leave a legacy in your will.
That includes key terms "legacy" and "will". You don't need to include "MyOrganisation" because that's already included in the "path" to the page (explained previously).
Don't call it something like: Other ways you can help MyOrganisation.
That includes none of the key words people would typically search for, repeats "MyOrganisation" unnecessarily, and assumes people have read another page ("Other ways" assumes you've read some ways to help MyOrganisation already). Remember that in many cases, your visitors won't have seen another page on the site.
How Google works
Google lists websites in order of relevance to a user's search.
If your page title contains the words/phrases that match a user's search, it has more chance of appearing in the top few results, and so more chance of them clicking on it.
This works if there is no competition for your chosen term. But what if 50 rival organisations have all got similar page titles? Try other techniques to make your site more successful.
Subheadings mixed in with content are good for your readers and for search engines.
For search engines it's a way of telling them more about what your web page is about. And for users, it helps to break up long pages into smaller chunks, which are more inviting and easier to read.
Link to other pages on your site
Drive your visitors to relevant content and your best pages by making sure lots of your other pages link to those pages. This is called "cross linking".
Choose your link text carefully
If the text for the link is exactly the same as the title of the page it links to, you will get better search results from Google.
Imagine you're linking to a page which has the title "Make a donation". You should use the exact words "Make a donation" as the link. Do not type "Click here to make a donation" (where "Click here" is the link) because Google will then think "Click here" is a description of the page it links to. This will get you worse search results.
(You can see a great example of this by visiting Google and searching for "Click here". The most popular result will be a link to Adobe Acrobat. Why? Because millions of websites have included "Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader", so Google now thinks the words "Click here" are synonymous with Adobe Acrobat.)
Get other people to link to you
If a lot of people link to your site, Google thinks your site must be important and/or good.
A lot of websites linking to you is great, but remember - the quality of those websites is crucial. Don't just agree with somebody that you'll link to each other, because Google will spot that, and won't value the link as highly.
The best way to get them is to provide good content that other people will really want to link to. Simply asking friends to link to you doesn't fool Google for very long, and can be counter-productive.
If your website has good content, it will get known and gain notoriety and these links should occur naturally. However, it's not an overnight process - it can take months.
So you need a strategy for making people link to your site. A good strategy is to create original content to which other sites want to refer - in other words, make yourself indispensable. That takes time, effort and creativity. So provide good information or engaging personal stories, and tell your story well!
It takes time, so have a strategy in place, and stick to it. You will see results in time.
Meta tags are snippets of content that are hidden in the code that powers your web page. Your visitors can't see Meta tags, but search engines can. You can add a Meta tag called a "Description" to a page when you create or edit it.
It's important for you to make full use of the "Description" Meta tag, by entering a short description of the content on each webpage.
Google also shows this description on its results pages, so it helps people decide whether to visit your webpage or another one in the list.
Ideally, your description should include a few of the key phrases that are in your page title, and maybe some key words from the content. Choose words which are likely to be searched for, and create a sentence using those words - don't just list the words, or Google will assume you're trying to cheat your way to the top of its search rankings, and will consequently ignore you.
Google is programmed to ignore anybody who attempts to trick it, so you have to write in proper sentences - but you can (and should) include key terms in your Meta Description, as long as they form part of a normal English sentence.