SEO

What is it? How to Benefit.

How do I get my website ranked in google?

A question very commonly asked, so we are here to help!

Unfortunately, there is a lot more to it than pressing a big "rank first for everything" button.
So grab a coffee...

SEO.

A question we regularly get asked by our clients is how do I get my website to rank in Google. So we are here to help you understand what good SEO is how it works and the do's and don'ts of good Google search engine optimisation.

The first thing we have to explain and you need to understand before trying to achieve any kind of Google generated traffic results, is that good SEO is not instant, nor is it easy. Something that is also very important to remember when performing any kind of search engine optimisation, is that the performance of your website in search engines is no longer measured by where your site ranks in Google, it is measured by how much traffic your website is generating.

Measuring your website presence by how it ranks in Google is no longer practical for many reasons, one of the biggest reasons is that to rank for a prize keyword/keyphrase would cost quite literally thousands. Companies like Nike can afford to invest as much money and time as needed to get the search engine results that they desire. This doesn't mean however, that small companies can't benefit from SEO work, but the best approach smaller companies on tighter budgets can take, is to focus on what SEO experts know as the "long tail" keywords or key phrases. More on long tail key phrases later, firstly for those that don't have a cup of coffee to hand, here are some quick "to the point" do's and don'ts of SEO. These are practical tips and you as a client should be able to do most of this yourself in order to save a lot of money.


First, we will start with the DO NOT'S of SEO

Many companies go around emailing potential clients, offering to sell them hundreds and hundreds of links to their website. If you have done any research, you will understand that links to your website are probably the biggest, most important factor of gaining good traffic through search engines. However, the links that these companies offer are random robot generated links all over the Internet, and lots of them end up being found out by Google then blacklisted. The fact that these are linking to your company then blacklist your own website. This is then very hard to undo and will seriously damage any search engine performance for your website in the future. So, a huge don't is do not buy links from anyone no matter how they dress it up!

Don't trust anyone that guarantees rankings. Or that claim to have any associations with Google. Google associates with no one, and will never ever serve the advertiser in any form other than Google ads. You have to understand, that Google is there to serve the end user and not the Advertiser. If Google started serving advertisers people would stop using them which would then in turn bring the end to Google and no one wants that especially not Google.

This is known as keyword spamming. Google will pick up on it and will then penalize you for it rather than reward you. You might hear lots of people telling you it's all about keywords, but it's not just using lots of good keywords anywhere and everywhere, it's how and when the key words are used that is important. If you are a plumber from Sheffield, the last thing you want in your header tag is: plumber from Sheffield doing plumbing in Sheffield for Sheffield customers that need plumbing. Google is going to be very quick to pick up on this and it will not work in your favour. Google likes to show users results that will be legible and of most use. Not lines of text that don't really read correctly or make sense, this is very bad practice.

Going back to the original mention of companies with big budgets. If you had an initial huge capital and could afford to get your site to rank for a good few “prize" keywords then by all means you could probably just rely on the websites SEO alone. But because we don't have an unlimited supply of money to budget on our website SEO, then combining it with good alternate advertising methods will benefit loads in the long run. When Google sees visitors coming to your website with direct URLs or from links from other websites, this will help Google see your company as being quite important and a useful resource for people using their search engines, this will weigh heavily in your favour.

Another big thing you mustn't do, is to have high expectations for overnight success SEO is an ongoing thing, which generally goes something like this: perform, review, modify, review, modify, review, modify, review and so on. Constantly striving to improve your search engine generated traffic.

On the same subject, something else to understand, is just because your site isn't ranking, you aren't succeeding. This comes back to measuring the success of your SEO in terms of traffic rather than ranking.

If you are going to take on the world of SEO, you have to go at it full force or not at all and expect to be doing it for some time. A good example of this, is one of my own websites taking 3 years to rank for the term "cheap web design”. Eventually it showed up in Google as third after a lot of work was done for these three years. The ranking didn't really help it at all and hardly any visitors came to the site for that particular search after all that work was done. Then just to top it off, after a bit of a website revamp, the changing of the site resulted in it’s disappearance from Google for that search query. Fantastic.

Hopefully this sets the tone for what you are about to get into!

Finally another thing to make sure you don't do is listen to anyone that is not qualified to guide you through your website SEO. We have done two fifteen hour Lynda courses on SEO and are quite knowledgeable on the subject but even we don't understand the full ins and outs of how Google search algorithms work. Google themselves will tell you and have mentioned on their own developer area, that their algorithms are now so complex, even they have no idea what the exact practice would be to gain the perfect rankings in their search engines. So getting advice from people that aren't qualified is really not practical. Let's be honest you wouldn't trust a barber to fix your cars drive belt, just because they've told you they have changed the oil on theirs.


On to the fun part, these are the DO's of SEO.

Some practical and helpful tips on things that you DO need to do when performing some SEO. Even better, most of these can be done by yourself!

So the first “do" would be, do what you can yourself. There are lots and lots of things that you can do that will help, doing it yourself will save you a lot of money, such as link building, networking, advertising, blog writing, constant analysis, and thinking of new ways to attract traffic to your website.

One of the biggest do's that we can offer, is link building. Link building weighs very heavily with Google search engines.

The reason being, is that when Google indexes websites, it can only see the type and copy that is on the site, whereas, people linking to your website, shows Google directly that someone else is happy to refer to your website from theirs. Referral links are great, so more links, the merrier. However don't forget our original point, stating clearly, that you must not buy links. Buying links is very, very bad. Finding reputable places to put your own links on the other hand, is very, very good. Getting blog writers and Article writers along with any other kind of writers from the Internet that are reputable, to refer and link to your website has an immense value to your websites presence in search engines.

Do you use other media to generate traffic? If Google sees that visitors are coming to your website from places other than Google, then this is always a good thing. It tells Google, that people are finding your website of their own free will and actively searching purely for your company.

Monitoring what keywords or key phrases are working and which keywords or phrases are not working. Again as we said before just sitting there and letting your website generate your revenue won't be very productive for you at all. Reviewing your performance and acting on the results will generate better results hopefully next time. Sometimes it doesn’t, but not to worry as in a couple of months, you will be reviewing again and finding out where you went wrong. It is all about pushing your website constantly in the right direction.

Do Constantly change and update copy on your website.

This could be in the form of a Blog or you could write articles or generate testimonials on a regular basis from your previous clients. All of this will naturally fill your website with good keywords. It also shows that your site is not just sat there going stale.

Another good thing to do is get your company regularly using social media. But do not think of this as just an advertising platform. Use these Media's wisely and try to engage with your audience rather than just setting up Accounts to spam it with adverts. Your audience will respond badly to this and render it practically useless. Use your social media accounts to ask for input, or to pass on advice, to share useful links and info that you feel your target audience will benefit greatly from, and basically try to give anything away free that you can afford to. Knowledge, offers, links, anything you can share, people will love you for and this will help. But don't forget to put your website link on there regularly in your posts. Whilst these links aren't currently counted in Google's search indexing, with the ongoing growth of social media, at some point down the line, these links could definitely become worth something in the near future.

Something that you absolutely MUST do, is research the keywords or key phrases that you are going to be targeting through your search engine optimisation. If you remember, we mentioned something called long tail keywords which we will go into more depth about very shortly.

Basically you need to make sure that the keywords/phrases you are targeting are, one, being searched for, and two, have low competition. This combination will make for good search engine traffic results.

OK, so we've read the Do's and don’ts. We want to know what these long tail keywords are!

Long tail keywords are more specific and generally longer keyword phrases that visitors are much more likely to use if they are closer to the point of purchase. These keyword, or key phrases are usually very specific to something that you are selling.

The benefits of using these keywords, is if a customer uses this particular term, chances are, they have already decided what they want and are more looking towards buying rather than just general browsing. These are the visitors we want and generally would be the easiest visitors to get hold of. The market these days is very saturated and there will be a lot of people doing the same thing you are. Again, we will use the plumber in Sheffield as an example. We can be pretty certain that the term "Plumbing Company" would be the ideal couple of keywords to rank well in Google for. But let's step back and think what the user might be searching for when typing these two keywords together. It could be someone looking for a job. It could be someone looking for general prices on Plumbing to give them an idea for what they “might” need doing. They could be looking for some kind of self-help or plumbers blog. Basically there are lots of reasons people could type this search that aren't actually looking for a particular product or service.

At this point you're probably thinking "yes but what about the large amount of those that are actually looking for someone to provide them with plumbing”. This is true, most of them probably are, so this would make a very valid point. However, the problem here, is the ones that aren't actually looking for a product specifically, what these people will do (or are more likely to do) is what is referred to as a “bounce”.
This means they will click the link to your website, be brought to your website, realise that what is on your site isn't what they were after, so will instantly or almost instantly leave your website without actually looking any further into it. This then shows Google that your site isn't actually suitable for the term "plumbing company" and so eventually weighs badly for you next time. Therefore, in time, you will start to rank badly for that particular key phrase. Wasting any time spent optimising for it.

Hopefully, this article will have started to shed a little light on just how deep “good practice” SEO is.

A lot of SEO is about trusting the company providing you with it. Results are very hard to get on a small budget, and take time. Salesmen are quick to buy your trust, so be vigilant.

Don’t trust the first person (or any for that matter) that say they are going to “rank you first” in Google. Anyone that makes this claim is lying. Well, they aren’t lying. We, could “rank you first” but it will literally be for key-phrases that are not searched. None needs to rank first for keywords that aren’t searched.

Back To Articles Added: 20/03/2019