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Jan Klin & Associates
Charnwood, Hollow Lane
Kingsley, Cheshire WA6 8EF

Tel +44 (0)1928 788 100
jan@janklin.com

The institute IDM Fellow

Beyond SEO – Revitalising your Web Traffic

Retargeting your web site visitors.

So you are doing really well with your SEO – your are getting lots of traffic but there’s a problem; only 5 in every 100 visitors makes contact by either enquiring of your services or buying from you. In fact you are doing very well if you get this sort of conversion rate, the industry average is 2-3% depending on the type of business you have.

Have you ever wondered what happens to the 95% plus percent who never make contact? After all they had some interest in you thats why they were at your website. Wouldn’t it be great if we could follow then around the web and remind them to revisit us? This is what we mean by retargeting.

Of course some left without making contact because you may not have been relevant to their search – but many may have left because they were shopping around or that life intervened – nature called or they went for lunch or whatever. The chances of them returning even if you were relevant are small; Unless of course we retarget them.

A retargeting example

Here’s a simple example: Yesterday I visited one of our customers’ sites. They are in luxury travel. Later in the day I visited other sites – one was Tripadviser another was a product comparison website. In both cases as I browsed these sites little ads popped up reminding me to revisit the travel site. Of course you need to be a bit careful about this ‘electronic stalking’ so it doesn’t become counterproductive, but just imagine if I was actually on their site looking for a luxury villa holiday in the algarve; I later went to tripadviser and their banner popped up offering a £100 discount voucher I could get by clicking back to their site. This would be a highly relevant way of using retargeting and also highly effective.

adretargeting

Different ways to retarget

In the above example the retargeting was was carried our through Google. Its what Google refer to as remarketing and is an option when you use their Adwords pay per click service – you have the option of having ads appear elsewhere on the web rather than just at the Google search results page. The ads get triggered on the host site after someone has visited your website via a PPC ad to remind them to return.

Of course this only works if you use Google PPC but there are many options now to do this retargeting when people visit your site via any means – through natural search, direct traffic as well as PPC traffic. The technologies to do this used to be the domain of larger companies but over the past couple of years many low cost technologies have become available to allow this natural retargeting to happen; and it can be very effective.

How does it work?

You simply place a bit of code (provided by the technology provider you use ) which appears on your webpages. You can then track these visitors across the web (via cookies) and your technology provider makes sure your ads get displayed to relevant ex visitors at relevant times to bring them back. This is done by real time bidding (RTB) where the provider bids for ad space in real time and if the price is right your ad gets displayed.

Tracking people who are interested in you as they browse the web – and bringing them back to your site for the right reason and the the right time -is becoming an essential component in the digital marketing mix of all businesses and we now have the technologies to do this cost effectively.

There’s a list of the technology providers who provide this sort of service here…..

http://retargeting-companies.findthebest-sw.com/

We are working with a couple of them right now and I’ll keep you posted about our experiences.

Posted in SEO News | Comments Off

Keywords in Domain – Still a Good SEO Tactic?

A few years it was a well known SEO tactic to buy domains which included your target keyword in order to get a good ranking. Indeed the tactic became pervasive and people bought many domains to cover a wide range of keyphrases they wanted a rankings for.

If you sold widgets getting the domain www.widgets.com and an range of domains pointing to it – www.bluewidgtes.com, www.redwidgets.com and others was a good tactic. Does this still work today?

As part of Googles clamp down on low quality sites they introduced a algorithm modification a couple of years ago to downgrade such sites (http://searchengineland.com/low-quality-exact-match-domains-are-googles-next-target-134889).

We all thought that was the death of what was referred to as EMD (Exact match domain) SEO tactics, but today if you do a search for ‘ cheap flights’ you get…

flights

You can see that www.cheapflights.co.uk gets a higher ranking than both expedia and latminute.com even though you can see that both these sites have a higher domain authority than cheapflights.

Here’s another anomaly….

movies

For a search for ‘watch movies online’ You can see onlinemovies.pro and watchmovies-online.ch have a better ranking than Blinkbox which has a massively higher domain authority than them.

So EMD still seems to work. In fact here is a recent study from the canirank blog (http://www.canirank.com/blog/) which seems to support the situation.

And here’s a compelling item from their study which shows that you need around 3 times as many links to rank equally if you dont have keyword rich domains…..

linksvsbrand

So, do you go out and buy keyword rich domains still? A few points…

Buying multiple domains with keywords in and having them pointing to the main domain wont work anymore (for many reasons)

Having a keyword rich domain will still give you an advantage HOWEVER you will still need to satisfy all other SEO requirements – good quality links, good quality content, proper SEO on metadata etc.

So, its not a alternative to good SEO ( as it once was) its an important factor so long as you SEO the site properly as well.

Having said that how important is it to rank well for one major term? It probably isn’t for most sites– most sites nowadays get their best conversions from many ‘long tail’ phrases rather than from one or two major ones.

Another point to bear in mind is that what works on Google now may not in the near future. So, all things considered our advice would be don’t obsess about buying keyword rich domains – if you have one, great but make sure the SEO is good quality as the EMD itself will never be an alternative to good SEO.

Posted in Online Marketing, SEO News | Comments Off

Your free SEO Audit template

Good SEO comes in several stages of activity, but the starting point has to be the audit – carrying out all those essential checks to ensure your site will perform as well as possible once its optimised.

Some things are nice to have – others are showstoppers if not addressed.

The link below will download an audit we recently did for a client – with the name removed – which you can use as a template to ensure you are carrying out all the important checks.

Your SEO Audit Template.

audit

Posted in Inbound Marketing, New Lessons, Online Marketing | Comments Off

Are links still important?

We still get asked quite a lot about the relevance and importance of back-links from a SEO rankings perspective. Lots of people seem to think that in some way Google has de-emphaised their importance.

Its true Google has made lots of changes over the last couple of years but as far as we can see – and we deal with rankings on a daily basis – links are still incredibly important. Poor quality ones arent though – high quality certainly are.

Getting one high quality link quite often makes a substantial difference to your rankings – the trick is how to find them then create them, but what exactly do we mean by a good link?

A good measure is Domain Authority (DA) and to find yours or you competitors all you need to do is to go to Open Site Explorer – a free tool from Moz at… https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/

Here’s my example…..

moz-ose

This DA – 33 in my case – is on a scale of 1-100, but the significant thing is that its on a logarithmic scale rather than linear.

In practice this means that, for example, getting a link from a site with DA 50 is not twice as important getting a link from a DA 25 site – its more like 10 times more effective. Looking at it another way – getting 1 link from a DA50 site is equivalent of getting links from10 different DA 25 sites.

A good place to start looking for good links is at the sites of companies known to yourselves, who you already have a relationship with – then work out the best way to get a link from them knowing the effort will certainly be worth it if they have a high DA site.

We recently saw one of our customers move from low rankings to top 3 positions – just by getting 1 link from a DA65 site.

Another way of finding such links is through competitive analysis – finding what important links your high ranking competitors have. You can do this using Opensite Explorer and listing their links in DA order. You wont be able to acquire all of their links but there may be some with high DA you could get.

For the more adventurous…..

A more interesting way of doing it is through a dynamic link map….
dynamic-link-map

If you open up a new browser session and copy this url into it bit.ly/SGbDYa.

(open up 2 different windows so you can read this at the same time as looking at the link map)

The size of the blue circles is proportional to DA. If you click on the up arrow in the top left hand corner you will see the links fly in – spotting the larger blue balls is the trick. In this case you can see that the www.webtravelservices.com would be a link worth having.

If you want to create a dynamic site map there’s a blogpost we created which will show you step by step how to do it….

Creating a Dynamic Link Map http://www.janklin.com/blog/creating-a-visual-map-of-your-backlinks

Posted in Inbound Marketing, Link Building, Link Earning | Comments Off

How to build your Twitter followers and keep their attention

You can love it or hate it, but you can’t escape the fact that Twitter is an essential business tool for any company with online visibility. In reality, many people simply don’t understand Twitter, so leave it alone in favour of one of the more familiar platforms. However, if you take a hold of it, Twitter is an awesome lead generator. So I’ve decided in this post to share my secrets how to increase your followers and what to do with them once you’ve won them.

Hashtags are the life blood of Twitter

Hashtags were created by Twitter and have been adopted into the language of modern culture. You see and hear them everywhere, but they only work on Twitter (and Google+, kind of, but I won’t go into that). I see hashtags being used on Facebook all the time, but they don’t serve a purpose there; on Twitter hashtags are a search mechanism and something that can be used to great advantage.

There’s 2 ways you can use hashtags:

  1. To win new followers
  2. To reach a wider audience with your tweets

notifications

Winning new followers with hashtags

This is how it’s done. Choose a hastag relevant to your industry, I’ll go with #blogging. Carry out a Twitter search for #blogging and you’ll be shown a list of search results of tweets which include this hashtag. All you have to do is work down the list (be as selective as you want) favouriting tweets as you go. This strategy works on a conversion rate of approx 3%, so if you want 1 new follower, favourite 30 tweets, if you want 10 favourite 300. It really is as easy as that. Depending how relevant your hashtag is in relation to your Twitter Bio will determine the strength of conversion.

conversion-strength

Reaching potential customers with hashtags

Because hashtags are an accepted search mechanism on Twitter, lots of people use them. Therefore, if you don’t use hashtags in your tweets you have much less chance of getting seen than if you had. By inserting #blogging into my tweets, I will be seen by anyone who searches for that hashtag. Clearly, they are looking for information on ‘blogging’, so could be a possible business alliance or potential new customer. If I didn’t use the hashtag they won’t find me.

If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, try one of my favourite tools www.ritetag.com

Don’t let your new followers wriggle free

You’ve spent a few hours on Twitter and now have a few dozen new followers. You’ve checked out their bios and they are all genuine accounts who are involved in one way or another with your industry. In other words, you have a perfect audience. What now? Well, the next stage is to create some rocking content to share with them. That way you will be seen as a thought leader, you’ll start getting requests to speak at this conference or that expo and your brand awareness will go through the roof! But, before you get ahead of yourself and chuck all your money and resources into content, there’s something else you can do really quickly…

Use lists to forge relevant bonds

Twitter has a little used feature called Lists. It’s a simple concept, create a list, add people who follow you to it, and you have a convenient way to filter out all the noise. That’s great and pretty useful, but what’s even better (imho) is that when you add a follower to a list they receive a notification.

lists

create-a-list

So, let’s say I have a follower I want to do business with but I just can’t seem to get his attention, I add him to a ‘flattery list’, i.e. one which will make him feel good about himself, such as ‘My Top Bloggers’.

He will then receive a notification which reads: Matt has added you to his list ‘My Top Bloggers’ – how good is he feeling right now? And who is he thinking about while he’s feeling so good? That’s right, me. If I didn’t have his attention before, I have it now.
Now, you can invest in that content you’ve been thinking about and when you’re ready to share it you have a targeted list of Twitter users to send a tweets something like this:
Twitter-followers

How do you get new Twitter followers? Maybe you have a method I don’t know about. Call Us on 01928 788 100 or email jan@janklin.com

Posted in Content Marketing | Comments Off

Lesson Six – Optimising other Metatags

In addition to the ‘title’ tag we optimised last time, there are a few other important tags which need our attention.

What follows is instruction on how to structure the rest of the tags for your homepage – although these same instructions will be applied to the rest of our website as we move forwards.

So, the Title tag is the most important from a ranking point of view, and here are the others we’ll focus on:-

  1. The ‘description’ tag – will have a marginal effect on ranking but its importance is that it will maximise click throughs to your site if we structure it properly
  2. The ‘keyword’ tag – has very little value for the main search engines nowadays, but we might as well structure it since lesser search engines still use it
  3. The ‘h1′ tag – there are a series of ‘h’, or header tags which add structure to our on-page content. The h1 is the most important from a ranking point of view. Its not essential to have such a tag but it will make a difference in competitive situations.

So, lets take a look at where these tags show up. If you go to google and search for Parrot Supplies, you should get ….

parrot-supplies

You’ll see the listing in 1st place is Northern Parrots, one of our customers. The blue/purple link is of course their Title tag, and the text immediately below is the contents of their ‘description’ tag.

If you go to their homepage – www.northernparrots.com - and view the source code (as you practised doing in the previous lesson 5), you will see the detail of the description tag in the 16th line down….

meta-description

You’ll also see, directly above it, the Keyword tag. So heres some detail on exactly how to structure your homepage description and keyword tags….

The Description Tag

The importance of this tag is that it will drive click throughs to your website if its well structured, so here’s how to construct it:-

  1. You have around 25 words (No more then 160 characters) you can show here, so use them all if you can to maximise the visibility of your listing
  2. Make it a bit salesy or ‘call to action’ oriented – again to encourage click throughs
  3. You’ll see that search engines highlight the keyphrases in this tag that have been search for, as you can see in this example of a search for ‘dr martens’….

cloggs

So, I recommend you have at least one repetition of the phrase in the tag (and no more than two). However it is worth mentioning that the listing in Google may change depending on what Google deems as more relevant to the search.

Keyword Tag

As mentioned previously it has little value nowadays but its ‘best practice’ to include one. I’d include no more than 4 phrases in this tag, and, importantly, make sure they are phrases which appear in the ‘title’ and ‘description’ tags….

meta-keywords

Now the h1 tag…

H1 Tag

Content wise it should be very similar to your ‘title’ tag – except that its visible on your webpage, so it should be modified accordingly.

In the following example you’ll see the contents of the H1 tag displayed at the top of the web page, and if you view the source code you’ll see the Title tag has similar content because the phrases Parrot SuppliesParrot Accessories and Parrots Shop are the phrases this page is optimised for…

h1-tag

If you view the source code and search for h1 you’ll see exactly how this tag is structured…

h1-code

I think that’s enough tuition for now, we’ll address the ‘alt’ tagging two lessons hence. If you have taken in all this that’s great and if you now change these homepage tags you’ll have a pretty well optimised homepage.

In future lessons we’ll show you how to deal with the rest of the site and look at specifics like eCommerce sites and international sites. We’ll then focus on the important process off ‘off page SEO’ – link building and content marketing and the interaction with social media.

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons, SEO Lessons 2014 | 2 Comments

Lesson Five – Homepage Title Tag

Hopefully you have now got some keyphrase rich copy produced for your homepage.

Good SEO is about aligning the keyphrases people search for to both your on-page copy and the associated metadata. (Metadata being the behind-the-scenes code the search engines see, but human viewers typically dont).

The most important piece of metadata as far as search engines are concerned is the Title tag. Its into this tag that you need to position the keyphrases you identified for your homepage.

Firstly, lets look at a well structured title tag from one of our clients. Then we’ll look at your homepage title tag and work out how how to change it.

So, if you go to the Northern Parrots homepage – www.northernparrots.com. The simplest way to see the tag is to right click on the background and click on View Source or View Page Source depending on which browser you are using.

title-tag

What you should now see is the code as listed below.

You will see at the top (ninth line down) we have the title tag with the contents …
<title>Parrot Supplies | Parrot Shop | Parrot Accessories – Northern Parrots</title> 

title-code

The important point about this tag is that the main keyphrase targeted - Parrot Supplies is right at the beginning of the tag. Parrot Shop and Parrot Accessories are also important phrases so they appear near the beginning too.

Here are another couple examples. Follow the process above to view the title tags and familiarise yourself with what well structured tags look like and work out which keyphrases they are targeting:-

www.towmasteruk.co.uk
www.harland-hms.com

Then go and look at your own and make a note of it.

Structuring Your Homepage Title Tag

Here are some specific instructions for structuring your title tag:-

1. Include the main keyphrase at the beginning of the tag

2. Have the secondary phrase directly after it. You can use a hyphen or the ‘pipe’ character ( | ) as a seperator. If in doubt look at the three examples directly above.

3. Put your company name at the end of the tag. (So that when people search for your company name your homepage appears)

4. No more than 10 words in total (keep it below 59 Characters if possible).

5. No unusual characters – stick to alphanumeric plus hyphens, pipes and commas.

6. Use caps for the first letter in each word and lower case for the rest (it needs to look good as it will show up in search results!)

example: Exhibition Trailer, Hospitality Trailers & Display Trailers – Towmaster

One final point – many people conduct searches for local services (around 40%) so you may want to add a geo variable in the mix. This will also be less competitive than the more general phrases so you’ll get ranked more quickly

example: Exhibition Trailer, Hospitality Trailers &amp; Display Trailers – Towmaster Wigan

This will ensure searches for ‘Exhibition trailers Wigan’ and ‘Hospitality trailers Wigan’ show up in the search results.

If you do this make sure you have the location somewhere within the homepage content also.

If you have any problems or questions please drop me an email and I’ll help you out (jan@janklin.com).

You are now ready to upload your new text content and the title tag for your homepage. Go ahead and do it. The next time google bot comes calling (in a few weeks probably) the results of this activity should be apparent.

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons | 2 Comments

Lesson Four – Homepage Optimisation – 1

We’re now ready to start the optimisation process. We’ll start with your homepage.

Of course its necessary to optimise all pages you want rankings for and we’ll come to that later. The homepage is a bit of a special case though, for two reasons – one, it should reflect the more general nature of your business – and keyphrases selected accordingly. Secondly, it is generally easier to get rankings for your homepage than others. This is because typically it will have more search engine ‘equity’ in it because links from other sites will direct to your homepage (we’ll study this in greater detail at a later point).

There are two main parts to optimising any page – firstly optimising the on-page text and secondly optimising the metadata (metatags). The latter we’ll address next time but this time I want to focus on producing some good text for your homepage to capture the phrases you have targeted.

Before I ask you to select your homepage keyphrases I want to address the important point of SEO copywriting

Copywriting and SEO

We can’t get away from the fact that search engines, at the moment, place lots of emphasis on the textual content of your site. What they read is important in assessing what your pages are all about. So, you need text, and as a rule of thumb at this stage lets say at least 300 words on each page you want rankings for however the more words the better and if possible there should be at least 500 words.

A common misconception is that users dont like too much text. They do; its more a question of how the text is structured and presented to them. Here’s an example of a great homepage that ranks high for Garden Office (out of 108,000,000 competing pages!).

Take a look at www.iobuild.co.uk. Scroll down the homepage and see how the text flows and how the images used interact and break up the text.

So the trick is presentation and structure..

Choosing Keyphrases and using them effectively

I would suggest you choose two, and a maximum of four phrases for your homepage optimisation. In the example above garden office and garden offices were selected.

In the past we would have been obsessed with including a certain amount of each phrase within a certain amount of text. For example we would have said: Have 5 instances of Garden Office and 5 instances of Garden Office. This has now changed.

Nowadays we recommending working with synonyms as well. So instead of having the same phrase repeated over and over again we use different words that have the same meaning. Google has boasted that it can identify the meaning of words for a long time and over the last year this part of the search engine has improved considerably.

As we can see this in the following example:

outdoor-offices

You can see from the above image that we searched for Outdoor Offices but in the bottom listing you can see that Google has highlighted Garden Offices

Rooms Outdoor: Garden Rooms,Garden Offices, Garden …

So in this example you can see that Google has used Garden Offices as a synonym of Outdoor Offices. This means you can use instances of Outdoor Offices in your text and this will help you get listings for Garden Offices as well as obviously Outdoor Offices.

This can make SEO copywriting easier. You can either research these phrases as we did in the above example, or you can just use good synonyms because Google is constantly improving this part of the algorithm so these should get picked up one day if they don’t already – a way of future proofing your SEO.

If you visit http://www.iobuild.co.uk/ you will see that there are 4 instances of Garden Offices and 12 instances of Garden Office. There are also 7 instances of Garden Buildings (a future synonym in the Google algorithm?). However for this page we have recommended that 5 of the instances of Garden Office are replaced with Outdoor Office.

So, go ahead and choose a couple of phrases from your list.

I suggest when you produce your copy you write the text to sound as natural as possible. The text is there for people not search engines. Having said that you want to make sure that you are repeating the target phrases a few times. Four to five repetitions in 500 words is fine.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of how to produce optimised copy. There are a few other points worth remembering about keyphrase repetitions:-

1. They can be included in bullet points to break up the text

2. They can be included in navigation links

3. They can be included in links within the text

4. They can be included in footers in the page

…and other places to. But at the moment go ahead and produce some good copy to capture your main keyphrases and next time we’ll build on this and do the metatagging.

One last thing…. some people have a problem deciding what to write about on their homepage. In addition to the two examples Ive given above, have a look at this example - www.harland-hms.com - you can see here they have been creative in their copy, using values, information on sister companies, selling points and more.

Best of luck with it. Its not the easiest thing in the world to do (and there are alternatives we’ll discuss later) but its the best approach.

Produce your homepage copy but don’t upload it yet. Let me know if you need any help.

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons | 1 Comment

Lesson Three – Keyphrase Analysis 1

The first point to accept here is that this part of the process needs to be kept separate from other parts. Don’t be concerned at this stage where these keyphrases will go on your website – we’ll address this later. The important point is to find and record them. You’ll find the best way to do this is to open up a spreadsheet. Here’s a copy of one we use when doing this work with our clients….

Click To View Larger Keyphrase Analysis Image

Don’t worry about all the columns at this stage, it’s the first two only you’ll be filling in at the moment – the phrase itself and the search volume (number of monthly searches). The other columns we’ll fill in later.

How do you go about finding keyphrases that will bring relevant traffic to your site? I’ll introduce you to a tool to take the guesswork out of it, courtesy of Google. The important thing about this is that this in an actual record of what real people have been searching for.

However you will need to set up an AdWords Account if you want  to use this tool. This can be done by visiting: https://accounts.google.com. You only need to follow the instructions until you arrive at the Create a Campaign page.

Then on this page Click on Tools then Keyword Planner

Google-Adwords

On the next page click on Search For New Keyword and adgroup ideas

search-for-keyword-ideasWhen the box opens you can then enter the keywords that you deem as relevant to your website. You can also add and change where you want searches from (such as worldwide or just UK etc).

keywords

Once you have done this click on Get Ideas this will give you a huge number of keyword ideas and will also give the number of searches per month.

When you see the results you can click on Ad group ideas or as we prefer Keyword Ideas

keyword-ideasAt the top you will see the phrases that you searched for but under these you will also get some ideas for more phrases.

Clearly, the search volume (Avg. monthly searches) is an important metric – the higher it is the more people will be arriving at your site if you capture this phrase. (You’ll also notice here that the singular and plural are different, and we need to make a note of both of them.). However its important also to capture some of the other variants, even if they have a small search volume they may have a high degree of relevance (also, they tend to be less competitive to get rankings for).

So this is the process, think of keyphrases you think your potential customers may be searching for, check out the actual phrases which are being used using this tool, and transfer relevant phrases to your spreadsheet.

How many entries in your spreadsheet? At this stage say between 10 and 20 – although we may want to supplement with additional phrases later. (Actually we’ll revisit keyphrase analysis later particularly for ecommerce sites where there may be lots of products in a database)

The two major factors when identifying these phrases are relevance (to your business) and search volume.

So, that’s your task before you read the next lesson – get around 20 phrases in your spreadsheet. Speak to your colleagues about what they think people would type to find your products and services, if time you may also want to ask some of your existing customers.

Next time we’ll look at where to include your more important phrases within your website. That is, start the actual optimisation process

Posted in Links to all SEO lessons, New Lessons | 1 Comment

Lesson Two – Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools will enable you to kick start the SEO process and will also enable you to satisfy many of the basic requirements of SEO. Incidentally, if you are beginning to think everything is a bit Google centric, its because in the UK (and most of Europe) Google is dominant. Also by optimising for Google you’ll find you are optimising for the other search engines by default; Google being the most exacting for SEO. Later in the series we will address some specific international issues though and specifically look at other important search engines you need to be aware of. So, to Google Webmaster Tools. This will enable you to get recognised by Google, ensure all your pages get spidered, and give you lots of information about how Google sees your site. Its only a slight exaggeration to say it allows you to have a one to one conversation with Googlebot. So the first thing, if you haven’t already, is to register your site with Google Webmaster Tools, go to:- http://www.google.com/webmasters/ and Sign in to Webmaster Tools sign-in-to-webmaster-tools You’ll see you need a Google account (gmail address) so if you haven’t already got one you need to create one. Once you have done this go back to http://www.google.com/webmasters/ and sign in. The first task is to add your site and, very importantly, verify you site. This shows that you are the owner of the site. There are  number of ways to do this, for this exercise we will use the upload file option. Enter the website domain name that you would like to verify then click ADD A SITE webmaster-tools-signinOn the next screen click Download this HTML verification file. To download the file then upload (or ask your developer to upload) this file to the default directory of your website. Once this has been done you can re-visit this page and click verify. verify-your-site Once this has been done you will get a Congratulations page congratulations Click on Continue and this will take you to the Dashboard The essential things to do via Google Webmaster Tools are as follows:- Firstly we need to work through the setting. This can be found in the top right corner (the picture of a cog). Google-settings Set the geographic target to reflect where you want rankings from…. (Ours is set to the UK) Google-geo-target This is only necessary if you have a neutral top level domain (.com, .info. , .net etc). If you have a .co.uk or other country specific domain (eg www.yourdomain.de) Google knows where you want rankings from. If its neutral Google will assume you want rankings from where your site is hosted (eg if its hosted in the USA that’s where you’ll get rankings) so its important you give Google this information. Here you can also set your preferred domain name, which should be www. preferred-domain Next you should add a Sitemap. In the left menu click Crawl then select Sitemaps. Sitemaps Here you will be able to add an XML Sitemap to tell Google about the different pages on your website. Note: You may have to create one for your website One other check to perform, is to check if your website has a robots.txt file. This can be found under Crawl then Blocked URLs This is a file that resides on the server which tells Google which pages to look at and which to ignore. You may want to check with the tools available here what is included in the robots.txt file. (use ‘analyze robots.txt’) Sometimes we find people (or their website designers) have inadvertently excluded important pages of their site. It may also be that you want to exclude certain pages – eg terms and conditions. So familiarise yourself with these options and make sure everything is in order before we move on. These are the essentials, and over and above this play around with the other functionality to your hearts content and put right any other issues Google has with your site – like broken links for example. We’ll come back to Google Webmaster Tools several times later if its necessary to troubleshoot any ranking issues. That’s it. Familiarise yourself well with Google Webmaster Tools. We’ll introduce you to more tools at relevant times. Again, call or email if you have any problems (01928 788100 ; jan@janklin.com)

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