C4 How to optimise your site
1. Search engines general
Search engines provide a remarkable marketing opportunity for anyone with a website, especially Google who have a massive 87%+ UK market share. Whilst we can’t promise you top rankings - nor turn you into an online marketing specialist - we can assure you that our system and templates have been especially designed to maximise search engine potential. So here are some basic guidelines to help you optimise your site.
2. Your settings
2.1 Tick our “Publicise site” button
Your site will automatically be submitted to the major search engines as soon as you tick Publicise site, which can be found by going to Site management Site details Tick Publicise site. Leave blank if you do not want your site to appear in search engines. Please note:
Once ticked the process can’t be reversed.
It can take around 8 - 12 weeks before it will start to appear in the rankings.
2.2 Tick the “Mobile friendly” button
To maximise your site’s chances with Google searches made on smartphones, tick the “Mobile mode” check box at Site management Site details. Your site will then be displayed in a more “mobile friendly” way when viewed on a mobile device and Google will therefore rank it more favourably. Please note, however, this is currently an experimental feature and the effectiveness of how your site looks on a mobile device can vary depending which template or style you are using. We recommend you read Cliktips Guide C9 Making your site mobile friendly before enabling this feature.
2.3 Complete the “meta tag” fields in the admin system
The following fields in the admin system are written out into a “meta tag” which means they are especially likely to be picked up by search engines, so do make sure they are completed.
In your Home page section record, there is a field entitled Description. Enter a maximum of 160 characters (including spaces) describing what you do and have to offer. This won’t show on your site but will be picked up by Google (this can be found at Content Sections) and may appear in their search results.
The Intro field of all other section records (again, Content Sections).
The Strapline in all article records (Content Articles Articles).
The Description field for all galleries, images and product categories and the Short description field for all products (please note, only certain Clik.com systems include Products and Product categories).
2.4. Name your images and add captions
This is especially relevant to our photographer customers and can have a considerable impact. Search engines can’t find images but they can work with text. So if you have both an image caption and your file name is saved with the same/similar caption, then it is more likely to have an effect. Name your image files with words and underscores, eg Flying_osprey.jpg and ensure the caption and description match this. Don’t forget if you name your images this way, our Image bulk upload system (available to all of our customers) will automatically generate a caption for you based on the file name. This can save hours of time!
3. 12 do’s and dont’s for better rankings
1. Ensure you only have one relevant domain pointing to your site. If you have multiple domains, make sure one is set to be the default and the others are set to Redirect. (This is done in the Domains/email section of your admin system.)
2. Ensure your site name (the header at the top) has a good, relevant title. Don’t use your domain name for this and don’t leave it blank, even if you have uploaded a header graphic to replace it.
3. Adding keywords and phrases (eg in the Keywords fields throughout the Clikpic admin system) will harm your rankings if they don’t match text on the page. A site with no keywords/phrases and lots of text will always outrank a site with lots of keywords/phrases and little text. Limit the number of keywords to 10, although it’s much better to use phrases and/or write a description which flows.
4. Use target specific, niche phrases. Don’t try to outrank big sites on generic phrases as you won’t be able to compete with the full time staff big sites employ for Search Engine Optimisation. For example, “Landscape photography” won’t get you anywhere, “Landscape photography the peak district” may fare better.
5. Build links to other sites and get them to link back to you. The more relevant sites you can get to link to you the higher you’ll rank. But keep those links up to date as you will be penalised for having broken or out of date links.
6. Be clear who your target market is. It’s all very well getting people to your website, but you’ll only be wasting your time if they’re not who you need them to be.
7. Be patient. Google only comes through about once a fortnight. It also gives preference to established sites.
8. Apply Google Webmaster Tools to your site at https://www.google.com/webmasters/. This will automatically generate a sitemap for you to upload to Google, and also make sure that Google will find/index your site much faster.
9. Avoid spelling mistakes and other grammatical errors.
10. Don’t try to be too clever unless you really know what you’re doing. Google employ some of the brightest people on the planet to ensure that when people do a search, their system returns the most relevant and applicable websites. If you try to beat their system, you can be penalised, so aim to be as relevant and straightforward as you can.
11. Do not use 3rd party “submission services” or indeed submit the site yourself as you may risk being penalised by Google for “submission spam”.
12. Keep your content up to date and fresh. Blogs are particularly good for this.