Like a creature from the depths of your imagination, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a shape shifter. What held true a few years ago may penalise you now. You may know about SEO. I may think I know about SEO but it's often what we don't know that hurts us.
Down with spammers
Title tags, nice clean URLs, text based design etc but what else? Well, website designers were hit in 2011 when Google updated its search engine. Websites once relied upon dodgy link building tactics such as those pages stuffed full of links and people offering to include your website on them. These websites were penalised and rightly so. The internet is a place where we as searchers of information should be able to find what we want without coming across irrelevant and sometimes offensive content.
The SEO industry
A phrase I've used on this site is 'content is king' and search engines such as Google continually find new ways of filtering out the junk, and reward those who go to the effort of creating high quality, relevant content.
Whilst I a good website designer will put in place a good SEO framework, the website owner will need to put in place a content strategy, create the content and continually look for new ways of keeping their audience interested.
Have you been contacted by these charlatans?
- Fredrick Parker
- Susan hill
- Donna Gabriel
If you haven't got a website yet but are in the process of getting one then you probably will be contacted by them in the future. Their mails come from various email addresses and often by other names also. They put you in touch with questionable SEO practitioners, one of them is a technology company based in India - don't trust them! Their offering when I contacted them was nothing that I would give them money for.
SEO is not some kind of 'black magic' which 'tricks' search engines. It's about creating relevant content, getting it indexed, and making use of rules specified quite openly by Google themselves.
Google SEO guidelines
Be ready to answer the following
The product owner (the client who is responsible for determining the features that will be in the product / website release) as the expert needs to be able to generate business use cases and answer questions such as:
- What does your user want to do?
- How might they look for it?
- What can you provide your user with to help them?
- What can we offer that they might not know to ask for?
- What are we trying to get them to do?
- Why will they do it?
- How do we measure our success?
If a client can provide this information then the chances of success will be greatly enhanced.