This is a summary of the 'SEO Demystified: It's not rocket science' seminar hosted at the Great British Business Show, Excel 2012.
Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most cost-effective, sustainable forms of digital marketing and when you understand how the search engines work and what they are long for, you will understand what you can be doing a bit of every day to improve your websites search engine positions.
Everyone who owns a website that doesn’t rank well, you are not alone.
By understanding exactly what Search Engine Optimisation is, you can begin to understand how the search engines work.
Search Engine Optimisation is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimisation (both on-page and off-page).
The goal of the search engines is to provide the most relevant results to the person searching.
The search engines number 1 priority is the people that don’t pay them any money; it’s the surfers, not the advertisers. The reason is that without the surfers there would be no advertisers, so by providing the most relevant results, more people will use them and that will lead to greater advertising revenues, it is all very logical.
By relevance we mean how closely the website matches the search criteria, this is a process of on-site SEO.
On-site SEO means structuring your pages to suit what the search engines are looking for, that is and there are many basic principles that should be followed including, each page having a different title, each page having a unique description, but is written in a natural way (conjunctions) and each page has good unique content.
So when you get the content right, how do you get the search engines to visit the website and rank it? This is done by links which act like votes. Every link to your website is given a score, the value of which is the search engines secret. The combination of which gives the website its positions.
Votes (links) can be obtained from many sources including other websites (by contacting other website owners in a similar industry to exchange links), from directories, from social platforms, from video networking and from blogs and journals.
For a long time the search engines just added up the value of the links, they had a quality score which helped them to do this and website positions were generally very stable. There were basic rules that were understood such as links on pages with not many links were classed as better than links pages etc Link farms had become the norm and outsourcing back-link building was the easiest way to get websites up the search engines and keep them there. This was clearly open to abuse.
Last year Google released its Panda algorithm update that shook up the results. To summarise Panda, Google began looking for more variety in the sources of the links. If all the links were from the same type of place, ie all directories, or link farms or video then Google judged this to be manipulation of the results or spamming. This means that as well as relevance, quality and quantity, Google began to consider the range of different sources of the links.
On the 24th of April 2012 Google launched the Penguin update. This has been billed as one of the most aggressive algorithm changes in Googles history and it has shaken up the results so much that there is a petition to try have it reverted back, and the internet is full of stories where businesses have gone bust over-night.
The Penguin update basically takes into account balance, so before when the search engines looked for as many links as possible from as many sources, every link was counted.
Now Penguin looks at the volume of non-specific links, ie the links coming into websites that are not valued, to demonstrate the value of those that are. An example would be:
Keyword Link: Click here to visit Ascensor web design
Non-contextual: Click here to visit Ascensor web design
The first example is a link that would add value, the second example is a link that adds value in-directly, ie the volume of links that are not there to add value gives value to the links that are.
How can you make the Search Engines love your websites?
What do you need to do to keep the search engines happy and advance up the search engines and stay there, regardless of whatever the next update is? The key is to be natural and consistently random in your linking.
These are the things that you can do every day to boost your website positions:
- Address your web pages and make sure the on-site SEO is strong
- Produce lots of content and preferably write a blog
- Content should include a main keyword in the first and last sentence
- Content should not have any keywords repeated more than 3%
- Content should be a minimum of 300 words, better to be 500 words as some sites now insist upon this.
- Spin your content (content professor.com /thebestspinner.com) but ensure you re-read it.
- Have no more than 3 links in an article
- Use non-contextual links as well as contextual to get the Penguin balance
- Use micro-blogs to get your content out there.
- Use Social Media to recommend people to your blog – this creates a viral effect and generates a lot of back links from multiple sources and by multiple people
- Use a Video creation tool to add video to video sites
- Submit your articles to eZines
- Use analytics to report on your progress!!
This is a summarised version of the recent SEO Demystified seminar that we presented at The Great British Business Show in May 2012.
For more information on our SEO service and the real results we generate for our clients, contact Ascensor today.
Ascensor provide SEO Leeds and London