Search Engine Optimisation: Keeping up with the US
In December James Pennington and Mark Bonnett attended the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago to study the latest movements in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) across the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, the Yanks are way ahead of us when it comes to SEO!
The conference was well attended and included all the main companies in the field including
Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. The sessions we visited a wide variety of SEO issues, from
buying links to improve ranking to lunch with the Google Webmaster Team.
Themes recommended to website owners:
There were several themes running throughout the conference that were recommended to
website owners to implement in order to improve their search engine ranking. The following
points are a brief overview of those themes that you can work towards implementing now. If you need more help please contact the National B2B Centre .
1. Page Titles
Make sure your page title is unique for every page of your website. This is the title of your page that appears in the bar at the top of your web browser. The title should be between 60 and 100 characters, including spaces.
For example, the BBC’s page title for their home page is –
BBC – bbc.co.uk homepage – Home of the BBC on the Internet
2. Writing Good Content
- Don't put text in graphics - search engines can't read graphics.
- Make sure users come first when writing your content and it makes sense.
- Be descriptive when writing your content. Use terms such as "Our control system services can help" instead of "Our team" or "Our service"
- Make sure you say where you are from if you want local companies to find you. Include your location at least in the About Us and Contact pages.
- Make sure your content has phrases and not just key words, for example, use ‘Internet Marketing Strategy’ and ‘Marketing Your Business’ as well as just ‘Marketing’.
3. Links to your Website
The more links that link to your website the better the chance it has of appearing higher in the searches. However, it is not any old link that helps your site improve its ranking. You need to get websites that are related to your site to reciprocate, linking back to you.
For example, if you own an industrial instrumentation company, a link from an online gaming
website to your site isn't as valuable as a link from a temperature controller’s website.
There are many ways to increase the number of links to your site, these include:
1. Directories – look for
- Human edited directories such as The Open Directory
- Static links
- Older, more established directories
- High-quality websites linking to a directory
2. Social Networks – use these new phenomena to create a network of associates through
online tools, websites and Blogs available. Two examples of social networking websites
are Myspace and Flickr.
3. Press releases, email campaigns and e-newsletters are useful for promoting links to your
4. Online advertising via pay per click adverts and sponsored online advertising.
5. Partners – swap links with your partner companies and associate organisations.
6. Business communications – don’t forget to include your website on your letterheads,
email signature, presentations and brochures, to increase direct navigation to your site.
There were many more issues covered at the conference but if you look at these points it will help you begin to optimise your site for search engines.
To assist you there are SEO planning tools, website planning guides and other tools to increase traffic to your website in our e-marketing toolbox .
Mark Bonnett, Open Source Technologist, 8 January 2007
The National B2B Centre offers a range of e-marketing training courses. Check out our SEO training course today.