THIS BLOG WILL CHANGE YOUR FREAKING LIFE!
Honestly, if you read that and got excited you need to read the title again so let us reiterate: Do not believe everything you read.
These days we are inundated with promises for quick wins, simple solutions and life changing answers. Social media ads and email marketing are peppered with these claims and for us one area stands out more than any other: SEO.
Now if you know SEO and understand it you won’t bat an eyelid at these sorts of adverts but if even seeing that acronym has made your eyes glaze over and the panic set in then you’ll be the ideal target for companies that will promise the actual earth and deliver a miniature stress ball version in return.
So today we are going to attempt to show you how important it is to not believe everything you read and buy into the quick win promises that SEO ‘experts’ make as well as understanding the need to employ someone with experience and a proven track record in an area you don’t necessarily understand or have time to learn about.
Let’s start with the basics. SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. At its most simplistic level you can think of a search engine as an army of tiny robots. When an end user enters a search term such as ‘website development’ these tiny robots search through a filing cabinet of stored data (the information that the search engines index holds) to find any reference to that topic. They then collate, sort and return a set of results that they think the user wants to see.
Sound simple enough? Well yes, it is, although there are a number of factors that can influence these results and the order they are shown:
- Paid Google ads for example rank higher in the returned results than organic ones;
- It’s not just your website that search engines look at but a range of locations where your data is held;
- Factors such as domain age, URL, authority and web page security all play a part;
- The efficacy and reliability of links into and out of your website are important;
- As well as a myriad of other factors such as social signals and mobile friendliness
Many people think, therefore, that SEO is just about keeping your website up to date and paying for a few ads but in isolation that tactic will never be successful.
Let's look at an example. You operate a dog grooming business, targeting people looking for the very specific service of grooming white dogs. Calling your site whitedoggrooming.com and saying that once in your about us page on your website will not be enough for a search engine army to recognise you as a credible result. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are peppering your site (and ideally other independent locations) with the services you offer in an organic and natural way... blogging, meta tagging, header code and so on can all contribute to this.
However, do you know the exact words to use, the ones that your ideal clients are searching for? No, because you can’t know everything and there are some great tools out there to help you. But (and we’re being brutally honest here) it changes all of the time. Understanding and keeping up with trending keywords is a full-time occupation, one that most business owners do not have time for.
There are so many companies out there offering an SEO service that you need to be careful whom you chose to work with. When looking for the right supplier look for a proven track record, knowledge of your industry and the changing nature of the internet ‘rules’ and someone whom you trust. What not to look for: anyone who makes wild promises about getting you to page 1 of Google in a month, one-off solutions to get you ranked, a DIY guide as all you’ll ever need to sort your SEO...
And this is why...
- SEO takes time, it takes experimentation and work and often it can take 6 months to a year to get your page ranking highly in the search results
- SEO and the marketplace change constantly, just because you are number 1 today does not mean you’ll stay there. Things must be constantly revised and tweaked and updated to maintain your rankings
- A DIY guide is only good for as long as it is accurate and with the pace at which things change on the internet it is likely to be out of date within months
And those are our biggest tips for SEO:
- SEO can only be successful as part of a holistic marketing campaign
- If you don’t have time to be an expert, employ one
- And, please, don’t believe everything you read