SEO – The Unsung Hero of Online Business
Montpellier Creative Director and SEO expert Roger Taylor spills the beans on everything SEO Written by: Kate Nodwell, Montpellier Public Relations
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an important tool for any business. This is the tool that drives traffic to your website which boosts brand recognition, gains you credibility and can increases your sales. The key to successful SEO is good, genuine text content, and while there are always tricks to improve on things, you can’t beat genuine content. SEO has also, on occasion, received bad press through some old school tactics that shrouded the techniques in a dark art, but I’m here to give the stripped back guide to the why SEO is so important for your business and how to make it work for you!
Most often SEO is monitored through a system called Google Analytics. This is a system that tracks a website based on a variety of things. The higher a ranking, the more likely the website is to show up first when someone ‘Googles’ something relating to the brand. The key to getting the most website clicks is to be on the top half of the first page. This piece of software can also tell you how many people are on a site at any given time, where they are located and what exactly they are looking at on the site, to name a few. The longer a person stays on a page, the higher Google ranks the website, as it views it as credible information. One trick to keep traffic on a page longer is through video. If someone was to watch even one short video of 30 seconds, this would be enough for Google to see that the site has relevant content.
Keywords are the main player when it come to SEO. Having certain words or phrases spread out over a site within titles and content will allow Google to see the website as being what it says it is about. With Google Analytics, you can see which words are best used in a particular industry and how much traffic the phrases you are using are generating. A great function of this is that you can also track your competitors, compare their phrases to yours and see where you and they sit on Google’s ranking system with those particular phrases.
Other ways you can get your keywords into your website is through photos and videos. If you save files to your computer under a name with the keyword, then upload it to your website, Google recognises this. The same can be said for captions – Google will recognise the words used in a photo or videos caption. Another way to insert your keywords is to enter them into what’s called a “Meta Tag”. This is the two line website summary you see under a web link on a Google search. Additionally, adding articles and blogs to a site puts more keywords into the mix without being sneaky.
Trust is key
Google needs to trust that your information is relevant to what you say your topic is, so building that trust is very important. A website that has been up and running for say 5 years will have more trust than one that is new on the web and will therefore be more likely to be higher in the rankings. A good way to build trust early on is by doing what’s called “backlinking”. This is where you have a trusted, high-ranking site post an article of yours which links back to your website. Google will have developed a trust in the site that has a high ranking, and if they are posting your content, then Google will begin to trust your site too. If your site has developed trust with Google, you must maintain that trust. Google constantly changes its algorithm, so not posting content and leaving your website stagnant will not do you any good.
Just as any parent disciplines their children for being bad, Google does the same with its content providers. Trust is very important to Google and it only trusts those who exhibit experience in what they are talking about. There are many people who try to cheat the system and get sneaky with Google, but it is not a force to be reckoned with. Things like invisible text (black text on a black background), repetitiveness and lists can all get you punished and knock you down in the rankings.
At the end of the day, its really not that difficult – be honest, be creative, and produce genuine content. And, if you’re happy with the search results that Google has provided you with, then Google will be happy too!