The process of getting your sites to rank high in search engine returns is called “search engine optimising” your sites, or “SEO”, and the more you do to optimise your website the more likely it is to be returned on the first page of Google and other search engines when someone searches online for goods similar to those you are selling.

“Cheap” being good and “free” being even better, let’s consider some ideas for search engine optimising your websites without forking out for it:

Optimise your website in 5 easy steps:

1. Give your pages clear and very specific titles, including keywords people use to search online for the kind of goods you are selling. So if you are selling Gucci handbags, for example, you should get better search engine ranking with page titles like “Gucci Handbag Suppliers” and “Gucci Stockists”, both terms people actually search for online, than for pages entitled “Nice Bags for Parties” and “Fashion Bags”.

2. Use high frequency keywords as names for images on your site. That’s because search engines index illustrations as well as text, as you’ll see by keying any product name into the search box at and hitting “Images” top of the screen.

This trick for giving your illustrations specific names coinciding with keywords and phrases people actually search for online, also applies to your eBay listings, specifically long term shop listings. So give your eBay illustrations names like “History of Whitley Bay”, for example, and whenever someone keys “History of Whitley Bay” into a search engine, your illustration will attract attention to your book about the History of Whitley Bay.

3. Split your website content into paragraphs and give each paragraph a sub-title containing high frequency keywords. This helps you include numerous mentions of your main keywords without the end result looking forced or contrived. As titles for paragraphs your keywords will always look more natural than being placed irregularly across the page. But do not overdo this or you’ll be accused of keyword spamming.

4. Make it easy for visitors to navigate your site, which also makes it easier for search engines to index your website pages. Google in particular puts great store on user-friendly navigation aids, such as featuring website pages top and bottom of the screen, alongside clickable links for contact details, information about the seller, articles at the site, a site map highlighting the various pages, and so on. But if a mass of navigation buttons isn’t to your liking, then at least have a “Site Map” page containing all the appropriate clickable links.

5. Make use of meta tags like keywords and descriptions in the html structure of your website pages. This is where you add keywords you think people will use to search for products such as you are selling, and which will help Google match your site to search engine queries. The description part is where you write a tantalising introduction to your website, and its individual pages, and which makes your website look more interesting than hundreds of competing sites in search engine returns.