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Improve your Search Engine Rankings

Getting listed on page one of Google is the Holy Grail of all websites. However, there are a few very important points to remember...

  1. Getting listed on Google does not happen overnight. It can take weeks before Google will visit and index your new website.
  2. When you make changes to your text and meta tags etc, it will then take a number of weeks before the changes will be re-indexed by Google (or any search engines). Google has to re-visit your website to index the changes you have made.
  3. There can be no guarantees that your new website will appear on page one. There are millions of websites and only ten spaces on page one, so your website must be seen as very very important for Google to list you on page one.
  4. Always optimise your site for key specific phrases rather than single words. You will never likely appear on page one for the generic phrase 'portrait photographer' etc.
  5. Get as many websites as possible to add a link to your website. This increases your 'page rank' and encourages Google to visit your website more often.
  6. You should only optimise each of your pages for a single key phrase, so don't try to load your pages with different phrases.

To become registered on search engines there are a number of things you MUST do. The essential point to remember is the use of keywords and phrases on your site.

A keyword is a word or phrase that people might enter in a search engine to find you. For example, if you enter in Google 'websites for photographers' you should find that my site www.photographers-portfolio.co.uk appears on page one. This is because I have used this keyword/phrase within the text of my home page and in the page title (on the very top of the browser). It is also used in the Meta Description which you can edit yourself in the page settings section of the page editor.

Adding key-phases in the settings section
Adding key-phrases to Page Title and Meta keywords/description


It is not practical to simply use the phrase 'portrait photographer' as your keywords because this will return hundreds of thousands of results. You need to be more specific. Most people will search for a photographer by entering the area they are interested in. For example, 'portrait photographer lancashire' would be better (if you were based in lancashire), or even 'portrait photographer preston lancashire' will return even more specific results. You will have a far better success on search engines by selecting a key-phrase using the type of work you do plus the location in which you work.

Once you have decided on the key-phrase, click on the 'settings' icon against your home page, and enter the key-phrase in the 'Page Title' field. This will then add your key-phrase to the page title of your home page (on the top bar of your browser).

You should also add the same key-phrase and words in the 'Keywords' and 'Description' fields. The description is used by Google as a summary text in search results. The keywords are used by some search engines (but not Google) and should be entered separated by commas.

Then edit your home page and make sure you include the key-phrase in your heading using 'Heading 1' or 'Heading 2' size text. Don't just add the words 'Welcome' as your page heading. Use something like 'Portrait Photography in Lancashire' or something similar that includes your key words.

Also include the same key words within the body of your text, preferably once in the first paragraph, once in the middle and once near the foot of your page. Don't use them more than three times in the text.

Image Filenames

When you insert photos into your web pages, make sure that you name them using appropriate key words (something like 'portraitphotography-lancashire.jpg') and add the same keywords in the alt tag (this is the mouseover text). You insert the image and the alt text via the popup window when you press the Insert/Edit Image icon in the page editor.

Google also indexes images, so when people are searching via the Google Image search, then you stand a better chance of appearing in search results if your photos are named with keywords rather than DSC0085.jpg etc which will never be found by anyone.

REMEMBER: after making any changes it can take a few weeks before you notice any change in your rankings.

Website Back Links

Where ever possible, try and get links to your website on as many other good quality websites as possible (not just web directories as these can have a negative effect). These could be websites of your local suppliers or photographic associations, retailers etc. This greatly improves your page ranking and will also help you get higher listings because this indicates to Google that your website must be important if other websites have a link to yours.

Don't under-estimate the power of backlinks. These will improve your chances of getting on page one of Google. The more backlinks you get, the higher your search engine ranking will be.

Google Site Map

Your website uses an automated Google sitemap which is updated whenever you make any changes to your pages (this avoids having to regenerate the sitemap every time and resubmit it to Google). The sitemap tells Google all of the pages on your site that it needs to visit and index.

We will activate your sitemap and submit your site to Google on your request, and only when you are ready to make your website live. This should only be done when you have added all the text and pages that you want to be made public.

Google Analytics

If you realy want to find out how many people are visiting your website, and which pages they are looking at, plus masses of other statistics relating to visitors to your site, then you should register at www.google.com/analytics/

Once you have registered they will give you some tracking code that needs to be added to your site. Simply email the code to us and we will insert it into the correct place.

Google Places for Business

Remember that 97% of people search for local businesses, so if you provide a local service then you need to register your business with Google Places for Business at...

www.google.co.uk/business/placesforbusiness/

This also gets your business on Google Maps & Google+