SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of updating your website with the aim of it appearing higher up the list of results on search engines such as Google. We have chosen (from Google's own SEO tips for website owners) the four techniques we think will deliver the most benefit for a club that is starting to look at SEO:
- choose and set relevant, descriptive page titles;
- add ‘meta description’ text to key pages;
- customise page URLs so they give an idea of their content;
- use appropriate 'heading' text in the page content.
The core principle of effective search engine optimisation is very simple: decide what people you want to be looking at your website, then create pages that are useful and relevant to their interests.
Most SEO practices are just a matter of helping search engines—such as Google—to find and evaluate the relevance of your webpages for particular topics. A website's content is the essential raw ingredient of good search engine rankings.
This means that, before changing anything on your CLUB View website, you should first think about the people you want to find your website. What search terms might they use? What information will they be looking for?
The title of a webpage is displayed prominently in search engine results, so should be descriptive and unique within your website (or at least within the pages which you are trying to promote).
Do not make the title too long, however, otherwise Google and other search engines will only show the first part of it.
The meta description should provide a brief summary of what the page is about. Search engines will often (although not invariably) display the meta description in their search results.
Please note that the meta description should under no circumstances be used just to add a list of ‘keywords’ to a page, as doing this can have a negative effect on a site's ranking.
Custom URLs can also hint to both search engines and web users what the page is about; someone seeing a link to “www.example.com/membership-information-fees-offers/” has a lot more information about what is on that page than if the link is to, say, “www.example.com/info/”.
The text content of webpages is annotated with what is called ‘markup’. (This is what the ‘M’ in ‘HTML’ stands for.) Markup gives computers (including search engines) extra information about the role of individual text elements on the page. The most important distinction between the different markup elements available is that between ordinary “paragraph” text and “heading” text.
Search engines give extra weight to a webpage’s heading text when indexing it and trying to work out what subject(s) the page is about. You should ensure that the most significant terms or phrases do not simply feature in the text of the page, but do so as heading text.
(Heading text is usually associated with certain text styles, but you should still choose between markup elements with the aim of helping search engines understand the relative importance of text on the page, rather than choosing markup elements based on cosmetic appearance.)
SEO settings within CLUB View
For details of how to apply these SEO tips to your CLUB View website please see the following articles: