Before you start making SEO changes

SEO (Search Engine Optimisiation) can be quite time consuming and there are never any guarantees – but it can also make the difference between being found by the search engines and being invisible.

Is it worth the effort?These questions might help you decide.

As a minimum you will need to be found on Google for:

  • your, or your organisation or company name (e.g. Barn Owl Trust)
  • highly relevant niche information ( What to do if you find a fallen owlet )
  • specific product descriptions and brand names ( Owl nestboxes )
  • the specific services you offer ( Barn owl Conservation )

These words might not get very much traffic but it’s essential that you show up on Google for these – if a client is looking for your company name, for example. More about Keywords.

How will you know if your SEO editing work has improved – or damaged – your Google rankings?
Make a record of your website’s current state before making any changes:

Before editing for SEO:

  • Keep a back up copy of the website.
  • Keep a copy of the original content.
  • Make a record of website stats/traffic before making changes.
  • Make a note of whatever keyword searches your pages are being found for before any changes have been made – consider the risk of loss of traffic/Google position, involved in changing these pages.
  • Research your current position on Google.* Make a dated record of where (or if) your website ranks for relevant keyword searches before any changes have been made. NB: If searching on Google, be aware that localised/personalised searches can affect the results you see on your screen. Other people might see someting different.
  • Keyword (search term) research. What would people type in to Google in order to find your website? There are tools available that show you exactly what people search for and what the competition is. Don’t rely on guesswork.
  • Keywords to consider:
    • Specifics: Your name/ organisation name/ niche products or services
    • High traffic keywords (also look for low supply) (Recommend SBI Brainstormer tool)
    • Long tail keywords – use a wide variety nouns and adjectives in your content.

*Monitor frequently used keywords – but also keywords/phrases very specific to your website – these unusual keywords will get found easily and show that Google is finding the site, and the changes are working.

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