SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
Defining how to use SEO with reference to the procedure regarding a company called Mainston House.
Mainston House is a company offering Bed and Breakfast facilities in Northern Northumberland which is situated on the coast of North East England. The contact website used by the company is a five page mostly static presentation; the remaining four pages apart from the home page are dead links. The initial front page comprises a set piece of three photographs in an angular arrangement depicting the main building, one of scenery and the other of wildlife. Above this is the contact telephone number and below this is a textual presentation describing the location, amenities and sundry sightseeing opportunities. The contact number is again repeated immediately below together with an email address and a link to the Seafield Ocean Club. When this link is followed it continues to a parent company that collects emails for the purpose of sending a prospective subscriber a newsletter regarding holiday and booking opportunities in various other Bed and Breakfasts under its auspices.
As it stands, the website achieves its basic operational requirement. It gives a depiction of what it has to offer, a means of contact and its location. Our objective is to give the website and therefore the company greater visibility online. This greater visibility will increase yearly revenue due to increased visitor traffic to the website resulting in more bookings. After the achievement of greater site visibility the other objective would be to create a site that is also more user-friendly where customers can choose room sizes and facilities with comparisons in pricing and room aspect. An easily accessible booking form should be provided with the option to pay online 24 hours per day, or by supplying their credit card details by phone.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) will be initially utilised by changing the wording in the website’s URL address. URL means ‘uniform resource locator’ and is important for search engine location by prospective customers as this will direct customers to the keyword that they type into a search engine and it is more effective when the customer is searching for a specific topic. ‘Mainston House’ alone is too vague a keyword in a website address unless the customer has used this Bed and Breakfast before. Therefore we suggest the new website address be changed to ‘www.bedandbreakfast-mainstonhouse.com’ because the customer will likely type in the term ‘bed and breakfast’ when searching for this service and if they search for this term wishing to book it in Northumberland then Mainston House will appear in the organic results. The home page of the website will contain a new textual description of the services offered, descriptions of the facilities, local attractions and road and rail directions to the establishment itself. The new text would be optimised for higher search engine visibility by including the words ‘bed’ and ‘breakfast’ in the text not occurring more than 7% within the entire text. To increase this value the use of LSI keywords, meaning ‘latent semantic indexing’, will be employed. This is when the percentage of keywords used have reached their maximum therefore to increase them then words like sleep, meals, stay, small hotel etc. are used to suggest similar terms when customers are searching for keywords similar to bed and breakfast on a search engine.
Within the creation of the website all photographs will be given titles known as ‘meta tags’ and these titles will include the relevant keywords such as bed and breakfast, room, 1-2 bed etc.. This is another method to increase the keyword ratio of a site without it occurring in only the textual description section of the website. The number of pages on the website should ideally not be over five pages as all relevant information should be accessible to the customer above the fold. The first page should be the home page, secondly a room search page, a booking page and then a comments and feedback page, within this page could be included the company’s terms and conditions and also a disclaimer. Page quantity is useful for a website’s content ratio. Search engines penalise websites that contain relatively small ratios of content and also their keyword relevancy. Each page would also be keyword optimised using the methods described above. Above the page titles and below the title of the website would be situated the contact telephone number and email address. Toward the bottom of the page should be visible logos depicting various social media access buttons such as Facebook, Twitter and a blogging platform of choice. The creation of a company Facebook page will be used to increase awareness of the company and will invite customers to view previous customers’ reviews together with regularly updated posts on Twitter and the new Blog page which will all gain valuable backlinks to the company website further increasing search engine ranking and visibility. The contact number of the company should also be repeated below the fold when scrolling to the bottom of the website though this is merely pertinent for informational accessibility and not directly linked to SEO.