What is SEO? My insights.
Every business wants visibility for their products and services. The sad truth is most businesses have a website with no visibility. They purchase a website or create the website themselves, put up a few products, a few images, some descriptions and then leave it, abandon it. And then for the next x amount of years, it just exists out there in the Internet wilderness, alone, unloved and unproductive. This is why a website needs SEO.
Purpose of a website
I think that the purpose of a website for most businesses is to be a portal of information and sales, a platform that will give potential customers access to their products, services and information 24/7. If this is true, then a website can be your best investment or your worst. It can be your best employee or your worst.
So what is SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it is a skill set that has been developing for the last 30 years, since the very first website went live in August 1991 : Check it out !! http://info.cern.ch
As the internet developed, so did the websites which populate it. As the number of websites grew, new technologies were developed to index them. These search engines that we all know and are familiar with, index each website with a secret set of parameters ready to display the correct one when you ask your question. It is widely known that Google uses over 200 key factors in ranking each website. Many large data companies have conducted field studies and compared their findings with google’s own documentation and conclude that.
Speed (Mobile first), Security (SSL, https), Quality & beneficial content (has value), Trust factors (brand, social signals, reviews), reputation (backlinks, authority) and technical seo (On page structure, descriptions, Header Tags, Alt tags, Image size etc) are among the top factors that need to be implemented on your website for it to rank competitively. And all of these factors are looked at in my Digital MOT, it applies over 30 audits with over 500 individual items tested. To be the best you have to beat the best.
4 steps to a successful website
Build the website around key SEO factors (Speed, Keywords, Technical on page SEO ).
Build a website with the user experience at the centre (navigation, colours, mobile responsive, secure)
Populate the website with great content, descriptions, images, video (make it worthy of someone’s time, give the viewer value)
Finally, keep it updated. New blogs, images, descriptions, products, services.
And YEs I make websites!
Getting traffic to your website.
A new website will have little to no traffic!! Yet a website needs traffic, it needs visitors and when it has these 4 steps to success covered, traffic should start to trickle in. There are two ways to get visitor traffic to your website, that is Organic traffic and Paid traffic.
You pay and the traffic flows, it is as simple as that. You pay for adverts and these appear all over the internet in search results, on websites, on videos, in social media timelines etc.
You pay Google, FB, Instagram, Amazon etc and they push your content to the demographic you pre-selected and if your advert content is enticing, the advert will push traffic to your website. This is like an instant hot water tap, you pay the water turns on, you stop paying the water turns off.
Organic content I believe is better value for you and your customers, it’s about products and services and creating lots of content around that. The key to the new content is to follow the rules, make it of value, make it interesting and make sure it is listed on your website with good technical SEO. ie You’re letting Google know what it is, using the tools it best understands. Make sure your content is also thoroughly researched, allowing for a good range of competitive keywords to secure the subject matter.
Further content like images, video, blogs, product how-tos, reviews, testimonials, etc will complement the content you currently on your webpage. More content allows you to link from articles and blogs to your product pages via internal liking another good SEO must do.
All this content has to be optimised, tagged, and embedded in such a way that it makes it fit with the best practices.
Ie a new image of a new product that is shot with a DSLR an uploaded raw to the website with no tags, no alt tags, no compression is of no use. The image looks amazing, yes. However, it is ten times the width of the website, the image file is ultra-large and slows the website down, no alt tags means both google and blind users have no idea what the image is about. Some text, a header and tags put the image into context, so when google indexes it will know where to store it.
Paid Traffic Vs Organic Traffic
Both have their advantages, the reason I favour organic traffic is when the tap starts flowing it continues to flow. If I spend £1000 on paid ads the tap will come on instantly and as the credits run out the tap will shut off. If I spend £1000 on SEO, ie I have my site optimised, the tap will be switched on but just a trickle at first, but over time as more SEO optimised content is added, the trickle will develop and eventually the tap will flow with good volumes consistently. SEO takes time but it works.
The other downside to paid ads is your website. If you have just made it yourself or purchased a website and neglected all key SEO practices, forgotten about it then it will drive no traffic, ie your website sucks!! Then throwing money at it via paid ads is not going to make your website suck less! The poor UX, bad navigation, slow site speeds, poor descriptions, large slow images etc are not going to magically change. So when people arrive via paid adverts they most probably will just bounce.
Build your website on solid foundations before implementing anything else. Implementing good SEO practices could be likened to a librarian that cares. Books get categories, qualified and indexed correctly. A book on SEO would be under computer books, websites and the internet, SEO and due to this, the librarian would label it so with the correct colours and symbols and then store it on the right shelf. And when someone asks for an “SEO book” the Librarian can locate it swiftly, accurately. If the librarian just put a book on SEO in the technology section with no indexing, no labels, no system, they would be lost. Apply SEO and have your website be found, it is as simple as that. Consistency over time is the key to SEO.
Check out my SEO services.