Like the tree that falls in the forest but no-one can hear, if you aren’t found in search you don’t really exist. Search engine optimization matters, but it will only be truly successful as part of a wider digital strategy. So what you need is a clear understanding of search, social and content.
First, surprise surprise, is what you put on your website. Its copy and content. No tricks, no technical wizardry, just well written, informative copy on your subject with some great imagery and other visual content to back it up.
Your sector’s high ranking key phrases must be there. But they must be natural and relevant. Stuffing keywords into the copy is unhelpful and could get you penalised by Google.
The next is backlinks. People linking to pages on your website from their website, blog or media site. Google likes that.
But not just any old people. And not necessarily people relevant to your subject and who have a bit of clout. The jargon is ‘authoritative’.
To achieve this you need some, here we go again, great content on your site and a PR ability to get it in front shedloads of them. Google Penguin 4.0 looks for ‘quality’ links from the right media.
Then we’ve got social media. Google really likes it if people share your website content on their social networks. It loves likes, comments, retweets, shares, repins, blog comments – all that stuff.
And if they come from ‘influential’ people and places they’re even more impressed.
So that’s another thing you need to be good at.
Google recently announced that they are moving to crawl the mobile version of your website not the desktop. With this change, Google will primarily index mobile content and use that to decide how to rank its results, regardless of whether you’re on desktop or mobile. There will no longer be any type of “mobile-friendly” adjustment done just for mobile users. Effectively, if you’re not mobile-friendly, that will have an impact even on how you appear for desktop searchers. So this is where your SEO efforts must be focussed
Finally we’ve got the back-end of your website. The bit that no-one except Google really cares about. The bit you see on Google when you do a search. But it’s very important.
Whatever platform your site has been built on it will have the capability to be optimised for your key search phrases in the page titles, meta-descriptions, image titles etc. It’s simply a question of knowing what you’re doing.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
I’m Steve Downes, Digital Marketing Consultant, strategist, wordsmith, SEO practitioner and content creator. I’m also a Director of the Manchester International Festival,
Eternally curious and always learning. Lover of BIG ideas.
Otherwise bewildered dad, rugby nut and happy.