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SEO - how do you actually go about it?

(22 Posts)
TracyK Mon 19-Oct-09 16:20:20

My client has just paid a lot of money for a website.

They are in outdoor activities - but when I google one of his activities and his location - it doesn't come up - and he's the only one doing it in a very large area.

The web company says it can take google from 3 weeks to 3 months to get the website near the top of the search.

Is this correct? Seems a bit strange as he's fairly unique in his location.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Mon 19-Oct-09 16:26:12

I do this a bit for a work website but in a very VERY low key way...

1. Install a tracking bot: Google Analytics etc is free - then you can just about see what is happening and where your traffic is coming from. If Google hasn't 'crawled' your site yet, ping it to tell it where you are. It can take a while to register but follow their instructions and you can speed things up!

2. Include something in or linked to the site designed to generate traffic and links. A blog is the perfect thing to do both. The more links into the site (from and/or generated by the blog), the higher up the Google rankings you will come. update your blog regularly

3. Make sure the code on his website is correct: use metadata and the right keywords on the front page; make the site quite 'shallow' (ie not loads of stuff buried in layers of pages); make sure you do everything the Google analytics page recommends!

4. Raise awareness about site/blog with Twitter

5. Make sure you 'ping' any update to blog/site with the main search pages (eg Google, Technorati etc) Use tags to make your site more recognisable etc..

6. Make sure key players know about your site: professional associations, contact lists, business organisations etc. Offer to promote them if they promote you etc..

7. Make sure you revisit these things regularly.

4.

MrAnchovy Mon 19-Oct-09 19:50:34

My experience is that new sites with unique keyword combinations hit the top of the rankings straight away, but it takes effort (regular updating, good inward links if possible) to keep them there.

Put up a link or email mr.anchovy at mranchovy dot com and I'll have a quick look in case there are some obvious problems.

TracyK Tue 20-Oct-09 08:54:02

thanks Mr A - www.gocountry.co.uk

dollyparting Tue 20-Oct-09 09:31:46

Hi TracyK,

I googled: outdoor activities loch ard; oudoor activities trossachs; quad biking loch ard; quad biking trossachs

and all of them came up with a go country link on the first page, although for 3 of them it was through the incallender site.

So at least some of it seems to be working.

morningpaper Tue 20-Oct-09 09:36:17

It can take 3-4 months for google to rank the site properly - it's called the sandbox effect for reasons that I've forgotten... worth looking up though, I direct clients to articles about that to buy myself more time to sort out the SEO properly grin

morningpaper Tue 20-Oct-09 09:38:42

You need to add geographical information to your a. page title b. metatags and either your <h1> or <h2> tag. I would also bung in as many geographical indicators as you can into the content of the text.

And a favicon

Lovely site though

morningpaper Tue 20-Oct-09 09:41:03

Personally, those subheadings like "thrill and chill" I would make ACTIVITIES e.g hill walking and code them as <h2> or <h3> and style them in the style sheet

I know they are the names of the packages but you could say 'HILL WALKING PACKAGE' and then have "...our thrill and chill package" in the content underneath instead

morningpaper Tue 20-Oct-09 09:44:25

Your sitemap is incomplete - it doesn't have all your pages, and misses out the pages with activities, so the activities are not listed on the sitemap - I'd make sure that the activities are individually listed on the sitemap as well as the geographical area

MrAnchovy Tue 20-Oct-09 10:43:39

OK, here are some points

The site has obviously been redesigned recently so lots of the pages that google does have are now not working.

The old site (which I can see because it is still cached by Google) had the address and other contact details as an image so most pages didn't associate the activities with the location - very poor design. This has now been fixed but the new site has not yet been indexed.

The new site map is OK, but to give it maximum visibility to Google you need to add the following line to robots.txt:

Sitemap: http://gocountry.co.uk/site-map/

You also need to deal with the old links. This is going to get a bit more technical. At the moment, all the old pages return a 404 error. Google doesn't know what to make of this because it could just mean the site is down temporarily so it keeps the pages indexed. You need to set up HTTP 301 redirects from the old pages ideally to new equivalents or at least to the new home page.

Then submit the site map to Google using the guidelines here.

I have already pinged it to Google so some improvement should be on the way.

Give it a couple of days for that to percolate through and you should see some improvement, if not we can have another look.

While changes are being made, I recommend that the images on the home page that are being delivered by PHP should be static-linked and the foxycart scripts removed from pages where they are not needed - the time it takes to download them ruins the home page experience for anyone not on broadband.

MrAnchovy Tue 20-Oct-09 10:56:54

Oh and do all the things morningpaper says, particularly get the location in the title tag on all pages: for example <title>Horse Riding - Go Country, The Complete Adventure Park</title> is useless, you need <title>Horse Riding in the Trossachs and Loch Lomand</title> because that is what people who are searching for it will enter into google.

MrAnchovy Tue 20-Oct-09 12:07:16

Of course it would be best if, unlike me, you continued to spell Loch Lomond correctly in the title blush.

auntyitaly Tue 20-Oct-09 12:20:49

Go on marketingdonut to find guides on how to do it best - and free google Adwords (the ones you need most) if you sign up. Yay! I worked on this site, I'm partial - but it really is good and free.

MrAnchovy Tue 20-Oct-09 12:35:20

And of course you could always post spam links on popular sites like Mumsnet. Not.

morningpaper Tue 20-Oct-09 13:25:35

hehehe

TracyK Tue 20-Oct-09 15:19:16

omg!!! I have no idea about all this techno stuff!!

I think I shall copy and paste this and send it onto the web company as suggestions.

I did see that we could google for blah blah Loch Ard or Kinlochard - but since they are relatively unknown wee towns/areas - no one would use them for searching.

Trossachs and Aberfoyle are the most searched for I think by tourists - and they weren't coming up with any of our links.

I'm just a bit arsey with the web design as I don't find it particularly appealing and it cost a LOT of money. I wanted it to have the look and feel more like www.lochlomondseaplanes.com

Much more pleasing.

auntyitaly Tue 20-Oct-09 15:50:39

Oh dear, sorry Tracy - it wasn't a spam, just a genuine piece of advice/recommendation.

Not to worry everyone - the platform's all yours now.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Tue 20-Oct-09 17:40:02

Yeah. And wot all those geeks say.

grin

<Wilf takes notes>

bettythebuilder Wed 21-Oct-09 22:55:45

Last week I went on a free "Gain a high ranking in Google" course put on by Business Link, there might be something similar in your area.

TracyK Thu 22-Oct-09 14:56:59

Thanks Betty - I'll have a look.

ydoxy Sun 23-Apr-17 07:11:33

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

reawakeningambition Fri 19-May-17 14:07:00

Placemarking

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