What is the basics of SEO?

As a web programmer you will hopefully have at least a basic knowledge of SEO. Its amazing how many websites are built with limited or no SEO in them.  SEO (search engine optimisation) is a technique that includes a number of different elements that if done correctly will help improve the ranking position of your website on the search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

All web programmers should be able to do the basic elements of SEO. They site needs to be built in such a way that it is possible to add in the SEO elements. For example H1 (heading one tag) should be found once on every page and above the H2, H3 tags etc. This is basically a title for a page and should be highly relevant to the rest of the content on that particular page. Google often uses this title to find out what the page is about. Other SEO techniques is to include meta date unique for each page and having internal links to the correct pages.

If you find that a website you have designed and programmed is not performing well on the search engines, go back and double check that you have all the relevant SEO in place.  

How to expand your geographical reach online

If you are a business owner there may come a time when you want to start growing the business and reach out to other geographical locations. Many businesses that offer services, tend to start marketing to their local towns and villages and then over time branch out further to the bigger cities and possible even other countries. Depending on what business you are in will vary how easy or difficult this is to do.  There are many ways in which you can do this, and ideally you want to explore a few different marketing avenues to gain the best possible results. 

Firstly you should look at your website and find out currently which areas you perform well in. This can be done manually by searching on Google and Bing etc to see where you rank for your keywords or you may opt to buy some software that will do these searches for you. It may be that you only have one location mentioned on your site, in which case you will struggle to rank for other places. If this is the case then you need to create additional content talking about the products or services that you offer in other areas you wish to target.

Understanding website statistics and what to look out for

There are hundreds of website statistic tracking tools available for you to use to see how many people are visiting your site. The information you can extract from the software depends entirely on which one you use and often people opt to use two of three to get a better picture of what is really happening.

If you use Google Analytics, this can be very easy for someone who is not clued up on web marketing to understand. You can add the main information you wish to see on the front dashboard and even have the data emailed to you on a regular basis. But if you are in to marketing then there is a lot more in there that you can extract.

One thing to always look out for is a sudden unexplained peak in traffic. When you start to analyse the stats you may find that they have all come from one referring site and you have a very high bounce rate.. This is often spam bots which are essentially programs that are written that then send out spiders to crawl certain websites (they are not actually human visitors). This can serious effect the reliability of your data. You can set up filters to remove this information which I strongly advise you do so you can get a clear view of what is really happening in terms of traffic.

Making sure you track your marketing efforts

Marketing is essential to any business for it to succeed. As marketing can be so vast, it is important to keep track of where you are investing your marketing budget to check that it is giving you a health return on your investment.

When doing any form of online or offline marketing it is important to track the number of enquires or sales, this will help you decide about future investments. Some marketing avenues work well for one type of business and not so well for another, so you often need to trial it before you can see if it is right for you.  

If you set up an ad in a magazine or newspaper or do a leaflet drop then you may wish to set up a new phone number that is only used on this promotion. This will allow you to see how many people are enquiring due to that marketing.

Online marketing is often a little easily to track with the like of Google analytics which can show you where the visitor has come from i.e social media site, Google Adwords etc.

What is on page and off page marketing?

There are a huge array of marketing techniques and avenues that you can choose to do when trying to boost your business. Some are online and others are offline and depending on what you are trying to achieve you may try either one or both of these techniques. If you have a website then you may throw a huge chunk of your marketing towards it.

On page optimisation is essentially making changes on a page within your site or by adding new content to your site. It may be that you add a blog or that you optimisation the content on a page in include more keywords or build up internal links. Off page optimisation is marketing that you do offsite away from your website. The aim of this is to improve the traffic to your site and your rankings on the search engines. This can be achieved in a number of ways. Often people build up external links to their site from high quality authority domains, comments on other sites, have social media pages and interact with others or upload videos to sites such as YouTube. All of this can help build up your website without affecting the content on your site.

Ideally you want to do both to give your site the best chance of improving and gaining additional traffic.