Search Engine Optimisation
When it comes to your online presence, search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is probably the most important you should work on understanding to ensure you rank well on the search engines.
Unless you have a pile of cash to throw at Google constantly, SEO is the best way to get people to find your site, by getting an organic ranking.
SEO is actually harder to understand than it is to implement, as there are many factors involved, however once you understand how those factors work it’s actually not rocket science at all, and ANYONE can get a first page ranking if they follow a few simple steps.
Now, that might sound like a marketing spiel, but it seriously is that easy, if you take an easy, non-technical approach towards it.
Simple Steps to Search Engine Optimisation
We all hear that Google changes it’s algorithms almost every day, but in actual fact very little has changed over the past 8 or more years. In fact the only thing that has probably changes is that Google is getting smarter, and actually making it easier for you to rank well, if you follow their simple rule…which is imitate life.
Treat the Internet Like a Person.
What makes a person popular in real life? Is it their authority, how much they know about things, that they look good and are easily approachable, or that they hang out with a bunch of A-listers?
There could be a few other reasons as well, but in short, if you want to be like the popular person, your website should also act like one.
So lets say you’ve turned up at a morning breakfast meeting, and there are two other guys in the room in the same area of expertise as you. what would set you all apart? It’s not how you dress, or how many times you all say what you do for a job,…it’s who is perceived as the authority. And how do you build authority? by giving unique information of value that can benefit others. If we had three guys at the breakfast meeting that all sell carpet, the one that eould probably get the most interest wouldn’t be the one that tells you he sells carpet and how much it is, it would be the guy that tells you the advantages of the carpet, how stain resistant it is, the best way to care for it, etc. This information makes him an ‘Authority’, and Google want sites that are not filled with keywords, but filled with useful information.
filling your website with great content rather than a bunch of keyword rich text taken from another website is not going to give you authority, in fact it will probably see your site penalized.
Many SEO specialists will tell you backlinks are dead, but in actual fact, they are still a very important part of a website, providing you are linked to the right sites. Taking that personal approach again, remember your first day of school and you would give anything to be hanging around with the popular kid at school so that you would look popular, well thats how backlinks work. By being directly associated with popular high ranking and high authority websites your website has a perception that it must be popular too, so it increases your rankings. Howver if you link to sites that aren’t popular it can have a negative effect.
SEO Tools & Services I recommend…
There are a number of great SEO tools which can help in determining where you need to work on your website and also measure your rankings versus your competitors. Some even provide information on your competitors ‘weak spots’, which enable you to work on a strategy that can help you outrank them.
Here are a few I recommend you check out:
One of my favourite professional SEO tools, and the most affordable in terms of bang for your buck, SEO Profiler has helped me get hundreds of clients on the top of Google over the years. It offers competitor analysis and a very thorough website audit as well as plenty of other very handy tools and reporting to show you exactly where your site needs to be improved, and the results after the changes are made.
Possibly the world’s most respected SEO software, with over 1.4 million users, SEM Rush gives a massive amount of value to those looking for serious SEO results. You’ll find SEM Rush is used by many search engine optimisation specialists as their tool of choice.
SEO Clerks is a great place to find SEO specialists for a per-project basis. It pays to read the reviews on each one carefully as they all have their own specialties.