I recently completed a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) training course to clue me in on all the "magic" and "voodoo" behind SEO.
Dispelling the Magic Of SEO
At work, I had SEO consultants galore telling me exactly what to change on my websites by throwing all of their opinions at me, etc, however, as most savvy of business people know, you should never just take things at face value: you should at least familiarise yourself with the topic you are, in essence, not familiar with, so that you are not blindly lead through unknown territories. This is of particular importance in areas such as SEO, which constantly changes, as it can have such a large impact on your business. Worse still, there are a lot of shady practices in the market (known in the industry as 'black hat' operators).
Naturally, after attending the course, I found exactly what I thought was probably the case: it isn't rocket science or a magic formula at all: it is common sense.
Of course, when I say "common sense", I mean that it makes logical sense after you have heard a professional white-hat trainer explain the main crux of SEO, as I did. I admit, it isn't something you can just guess at or stumble upon, but once an expert explains the main key points, it becomes quite intuitive.
SEO Is Simple But Labour Intensive
I will note that good SEO appears to be a mammoth, labour intensive task for most businesses, hence why larger businesses often (or should) employ/outsource a single person to specifically look after improving website content and SEO, as the commercial advantages are far worth it (as you will see from the SEO Cycle below).
The SEO Continual Cycle: Good Business Sense
One of the most important key pieces of information I took from my SEO training was, in fact, that effective and correct SEO activities don't just improve your search rating on engines like Google, it also improves your website for your customers- which makes perfect business sense and kills two birds with one stone. Actually, I think 'two birds with one stone' is incorrect: I think it is better to say 'go hand in hand'.
To put it simply, it is a cycle: your business has a website, you fill it with content, customers occasionally venture to your website, then you improve and update the content for SEO, your SEO ranking improves, more customers find your website, they stay longer and enjoy the higher quality content, you further continue to improve your content, customer satisfaction goes up, SEO ranking improves, and it goes on and on.
It truly goes to show how much Google intends to improve its search results to benefit its customers: all of us. After all, they are a profit-making company. But this cycle also emphasises how large a task it is to continually keep the cycle spinning. However, if a business wants to be profitable and capitalise upon their digital assets, customer satisfaction should always be at the forefront.
SEO Quick Tips
I decided to put together a quick list of SEO tips that I have been tweeting lately that some people may have missed. They are, by far, not the 'be all and end all', but they certainly were the signposts and most relevant key points that I took from the training course that I can offer in order to get readers started.
(1) Google says "Stay away from shady black hat 'rogue' SEO specialists". Be wary when using SEO consultants!
(2) Google looks for high quality content pages that are around 500 words long.
(3) Blogs are an amazing way to boost your SEO rating!! Google looks for FRESH QUALITY CONTENT that is regular.
(4) SEO tip- Make sure you know about 'back-link strategies'!
(5) Remember that Google is a 'for profit' business, so they aren't advertising its competitors like Facebook on its general searches.
Good luck everyone!
Copywriter- Melotti Media