Everything you need to know about setting up your personal or company website for gloabl domination, but were afraid to ask.

Below is a list of helpful steps to take to ensure you website meets the general rules for good clean search engine optimisation as well as building website traffic and social media profiles. Each step has a quick why it’s needed and how to do it tip.

There’s a little more to it, but this should get you started. If you have any problems or would like us to help, get in touch.

  • Get yourself on Google
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Social media
  • Content marketing and blogs
  • Website speed


Set up an account with Google

Set up an account with Google to useitlise the services and tools to aid your website ranking.

Once you’ve registered, sign in and set up accounts for YouTube, this will give you a Google+ account automatically. Register/sign and set up the suggested services on the right. You can use the same login for all and eventually link them, but you’ll be asked you to sign in to each service separately, each time. A little annoying I know. Speaking of which, don’t spend too long on Google+.

Which Google services should I register for?
  1. Google Webmaster Tools for help finding website errors.
  2. Google Analytics for reports on web traffic to your website.
  3. Google Maps. A listing can increase SEO ranking and help local searches.
  4. YouTube. Uploaded videos can generaet traffic and increase sales and SEO ranking.
  5. Google+. Reviews can increase SEO ranking.
  6. Google AdWords. Google Keyword Planner is part of AdWords.

Set your preferred domain www or non-www

Add both your www and non-www web addresses to Google Webmaster Tools. e.g. www.visuallanguages.co.uk and visuallanguages.co.uk

Setting your preferred domain prevents your website being listed twice with duplicate content, a big “no no” in search engine optimisation.

How to set your preferred domain?
  1. On Google’s Search Console dashboard page, click on your website thumbnail.
  2. Click the small gear icon, and then click Site Settings.
  3. In the Preferred domain section, select the option you want.

Submit a sitemap.xml file and a robots.txt file

A sitemap.xml file helps search engines locate all the pages on your website. This aids can speed up the listing process.

A robots.txt file lets search engines know which files and URLs they are allowed to crawl and index.

Adding both of these files contribute a little to your SEO status.

How to add a Google sitemap?
  1. On Google’s Search Console dashboard page, click on your website thumbnail.
  2. Click on Crawl in the menu to the left, and then click Sitemap.
  3. Add the location of your sitemap.xml and submit.
How to create a robots.txt file?
  1. Open a text editor like Notepad or TextEdit.
  2. Enter files you which files you don’t want search engines to crawl.
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /cgi-bin/
    Disallow: /tmp/
  3. Save and upload to your website

    root directory
    The first folder or first level, usually in /public_html or /htdocs


Add your Google Analytics code to track web traffic

Set up Google Analytics to get user statistics on browser type, location, page views, bounce rates and more. You can link your Webmaster Tools and your AdWords account with your Analytics account.

How to add a Google Analytics code?
  1. In Google’s Analytics dashboard page, click on Admin.
  2. In the centre column, select Create New Property, from the dropdown menu.
  3. Fill in your website details.
  4. Click Get Tracking ID.
  5. Add the code just above the </body></html> tags

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Research your keyword phrase

Keywords are vital for SEO. It’s extremely difficult to rank for an individual keyword head keyword , so put your efforts into keyword phrases 2 or more keywords . A page optimised for a 2 - 3 keyword phrase body keywords will automatically rank for closely related  4 or more keyword phrases long tail keywords .

How to research a good keyword phrase?
  1. Come up with a few keywords that your target audience might search for to find your business, service or product.
  2. Search on Google for your these keywords.
  3. At the foot of the page will be more suggestions.
  4. Copy and paste your preferred keyword phrases into Google Keyword Planner, part of Google AdWords.

Optimise your website pages

Optimisation is the key to getting your website listed and ranked on page 1. Using white-hat methods and abiding by the rules will keep you listed.

Use your exact keyword phrase in your URL
  1. Use hyphens to separate words, not spaces or underscores.
Use your keyword phrase in your title tag
  1. Limit your website <title> tag to 50 – 60 characters (512 pixels).
Use your keyword phrase in your meta tags
  1. Your website meta description should be more than 130 and less than 160 characters including spaces and punctuation.
  2. Limit your website meta keywords to 250 characters including spaces.

Optimise your website page titles

Placing your chosen keyword phrase throughout your web page will optimise the page for search engines. Use a different keyword phrase for each web page. This will broaden your listing for more keyword searches and make each page title unique, which is great for SEO.

Use your keyword phrase in your h1 and h2 tags
  1. Heading tags are visible in the HTML code e.g. <h1>Heading with keywords</h1>.
  2. Use only one <h1> tag in each web page.

Optimise your images for the web

In much the same way as the page titles, now you need to optimise your images, reducing them in file size and naming them properly before uploading them.

Use your keyword phrase in your image alt tags
  1. All website images must have an alt tag that is visible in the HTML code e.g. <img src=”” alt=”Image with keywords” />. Search engines cannot read the text in an image, but can read the name of the image file and the alt tag text.
Use your keyword phrase in your image file names
  1. Use your keyword phase or something similar and descriptive for your image names. Use hyphens to separate the words, don’t use spaces, commas or underscores.
    e.g. web-design-london-work-on-laptop.jpg

Add a favicon to your website

A favicon is a small image that appears in your browser, usually next to the website address in the address bar at the top. They also appear next to the websites you’ve saved as favourites.

Add a small version of your logo and save it as a favicon.ico file, then upload it to the root Top level e.g. /public_html/ or /htdocs/ of your website.

Use a favicon generator to save time
  1. Use a favicon image generator to get all the various sizes needed. e.g. favicomatic.com.
  2. Save the favicon.ico to the root of your website. e.g. www.visuallanguages.co.uk/favicon.ico
  3. Apps and other devices can use the link rel= to specify where the specific favicon is.

Social Media

Set up an account with Facebook and Twitter

Love ’em or loathe ’em, when used wisely, Facebook and Twitter can generate product or service awareness, web traffic and sales leads.

Accounts can be linked saving you time. Instagram can link to Twitter and Facebook. Tweets from Twitter can be posted to your company Facebook page.

Post on Instgram

Post on Instagram and share with Twitter

Share with Twitter

The tweet displays the first 140 characters and a link to Instagram.

Auto post to Facebook

Twitter connected to Facebook posts the 140 characters and the photo/video.

Instagram can link to your company Facebook page, enabling the business features in Instagram, giving your profile a contact button.

Which social media accounts should I set up?

Set up accounts based on what your target audience uses. If they prefer SnapChat or something else, be sure to set up these too.

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. Google+
  5. LinkedIn

Set up Website Cards

Twitter and Facebook can work together with your website. Website cards can be set up on your website to display a title, a short description and an image of your choosing, for each web page. This info will display below the tweet or post whenever someone pastes your web page URL web address .

  1. Copy the URL of the website you want to link to.
  2. Compose a new tweet or post and type your message.
  3. Paste your website URL.
  4. Add an image to help make your tweet or post stand out
Using a website card drives 43% more engagement
How to add a website cards to my website?

This may require help from a web developer. See How to add Twitter Cards in WordPress for an idea of what’s involved.

How to add a website card to a tweet or post?

Simply type your message, add a photo/image, then copy and paste the website address of the page you want to link to. The website card info will be visible below your tweet or post.

Content marketing and blogs

Set up a blog

Add helpful content that benefits your target audience. Offer free advice and lots of it. This will keep your users coming back again and again.

You don’t need to add new content each week. Many sites now have now realised that new content is not necessarily the best tactic. Have a few pages and posts with great advice and content on and KEEP THEM UP-TO-DATE. This is a much better idea and will pay off in the long run.

Keep links up-to-date, articles and advice current.

Which blog software should I install?

Set up an account or add the software to your website for seemless user experience. The most common website software with blog capability are.

  1. WordPress
  2. Joomla
  3. Blogger
  4. Drupal
  5. ExpressionEngine
  6. SquareSpace

Speed up your website

Website speed

It is now well known that Google uses site speed, and therefore website page speed, in it’s algorithm, to rank website pages.

Google PageSpeed Insights is Google’s answer to page speed analysis, but it only analyses your website code, it doesn’t measures your website speed. Use GT Metrix instead.

How to find out website page speed?

Analyse your website on gtmetrix.com. Analyse different pages, not just your homepage.

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