Sales calls canvassing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services seem to be more frequent than cold-calls from recruitment companies these days. This article explains a little about SEO and search engines, why they’re important and how to make the most of them.
Let’s imagine that you:
You want to make sure that:
…in other words, you want to optimise your web site(s) for the search engines.
1. Identify your keyphrases
This is the process of picking key words and phrases that become the measure for the SEO success of your site. The best way to get started identifying keyphrases is to put yourself in the shoes of the potential customer and try to imagine what they would type into Google.
As I was writing this article (evening of 6th June ’06), I thought it would be a neat trick to give you a measure of the speed of search engines. I picked a topical but totally random word – getwellrooney – I checked that Google had no results for it, and put it at the end of one of the pages on our website. Check back usng the links below to see how the 3 top search engines stack up:
Lesson: Content is king. Your site should say everything there is to say about you, and everything significant that you’ve done. Then every relevant term that could be used by your target audience will be featured on your site. All news is good news!
Health warning: Don’t expect such instantaneous miracles! SEO should be measured in months and years. If you want better ranking next year, start SEO now. If you want better ranking next decade, start SEO now.
This is important. Really important. You can live without linking, but life is so much easier with.
Here’s my take on it:
Google (and since then, the other search engines too) use your inbound and outbound links to build a theoretical network reflecting real life.
If the world’s leading authorities on widgets have hyperlinks to your site, Google concludes you’re respected in the world of widgets, and pushes you higher up the rankings.
If there’s a sudden global widget crisis, and the https://newc.bbc.co.uk does an article that has a link to your site, again Google concludes that people searching for widgets in future should be told about you.
In Google’s eyes the BBC ranks very highly. (And happily, that is reflected in global reality). While they may not be an authority on widgets, if they write about it, Google knows it’s important. So the link from their article on widgets to your site does you the power of good.
If your best friend happens to work at the BBC and sneaks in a link to your site from some obscure recipe page, it won’t be anywhere near as good, because Google knows that the recipe page has no mention of widgets. (But from bcc.co.uk it’s still good!)
So get inbound links from anywhere, but aim for contextually relevant, high ranking sites.
My Google-reality-analogy also applies to outbound links. These are links on your site that take the visitor elsewhere. Perhaps to widgetworld.com or to that news article on the BBC site. Google sees that relationship, and it’s healthy.
However what is Google to think if it sees a link from your site to a dodgy porn site? It’s the SEO equivalent of a Daily Mail front page photo of you emerging from a late-night brothel.
Google’s more scientific explanation of their algorithm is here, but I think you’re more likely to remember mine!
Is that it?
No – there’s lots more to think about!
But you stick to making those widgets, and we’ll be happy to help with your SEO.