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Optimise your website for search engines! February 10, 2008

Posted by Enchanted Gift Shop in The Business, Website Optimisation.
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Hi Peepz, Mike here…. and a tired one at that!

Why? … we’ve just finished a heavy week or 2 of reading and researching into optimising the website for search engines.

At first it was very daunting and we weren’t even sure what the term ‘Optimising a website for Search Engines’ actually meant, but now that we have read what must be about 10 books, and 50+ articles over the last week or so, we feel a bit more clued up! …. well, I say we, I mostly mean me as Christina doesn’t like all this technical stuff, but I’ll give her dues where she deserves it, she’s read alot of stuff recently!

When we first created the website, I must say that we didn’t pay much attention to ensuring that each product page would show up in the search engines, our main goal was just to get the products on the website, the pictures and the description etc …. but since then we’ve realised that to ensure that the products come higher up in the search engine results when a potential customer searches for something, then we have to do a bit more to the product page.

It ranges from something like ensuring the image you use for the product has a proper title, which basically just means a proper name. Like if we were selling a book on how to optimise the website, we would call the image ‘Optimise your Website Book’ or something similar and not just ‘Book’.

Not sure how many people search for things like that using an image, but hey, if the experts say it is important, then who are we to argue!?

Another thing we read about was ensuring that each product you are selling has a proper description — which to me was a given, but it is surprising how many people set up websites selling products and then don’t describe the item very well.

I’ve done a little research myself on competitors and true to the experts words, some of them don’t describe their products well at all, one liners alot of them, or sometimes they don’t put anything apart from a picture.

I mean come on people, if your going to create a website to sell stuff, atleast try and do it well, put a bit of time and care into it and do it properly … putting a book on optimising your website for sale up on your site and then in the description just copying the title of the book again will not give the customer a good impression, nor does it tell them anything about the book.

I’m aware too that people drop-ship products so they don’t actually hold stock of the product, but that isn’t an excuse just to copy the drop-shippers description, or put a basic description and leave it at that — if you want sales, you have to put some effort in … look at the big boys of this world and the effort they go to sell you their products …. theres a small hint somewhere there you know, ha-ha .. ahem, what’s that, we have some products with small descriptions .. yeah I know, we’re working on that this week though! ;o)

Something else I have to mention too, is the colour people choose for their websites. I mean, what is it with people when they choose a black background with white writing, aaarrrggh!! …. come on people, are you colour blind!?!

I’m the first person to hold my hands up and say that when we first thought about having a website, that we both wanted it a different colour than a white background with black writing ….. but that is what works the best, and what people can read the easiest …. for sure you can add some slight different colour changes, but stick to what people like the best, and not what you like.

That’s another thing … I’ve found that alot of people set their websites up how ‘they’ like it to look, and not what the ‘customer’ would like, or what works best for everyone else on the Internet ….. again, there’s a hint there somewhere … all the other websites on the Internet work in a certain way …. but yours isn’t working … hmmmm, what to do! ;o)

Of course everyone wants to be different and unique, but there’s plenty of ways of doing it as-long as you research into it, spend the time and effort and you’ll get the rewards.

I’m far from saying that our website is perfect and other companies who stick to certain colours etc is what everyone else should do, but from the feedback we’ve had from our customers we do know that they like the colours, the layout etc, so the time we have spent researching into these aspects is paying off.

Anyway, enough of that, I’ve got some optimising to do now, ha-ha! …. I’m off to try and put some of the things I have read about into practice ….. there’s alot I have to do I think, because for sure I already knew alot of the basics, but I want our website to be as best it can be, so I want to implement some of the more advanced website optimisation techniques …. ooh, look at me, what a big word, ha-ha!

Right, I’m off … feel free to go take a look at our website, the Enchanted Gift Shop and leave some feedback on the blog if you like it, or don’t like it …. but don’t just say ‘hey, that’s crap!’ … give a bit of detail … all feedback is taken on board, good or bad … and we do really appreciate it! :o)

Now, where’s Christina gone … funny she’s disappeared when some technical stuff needs doing….