Published on the 24/09/2016 | Written by Richard Conway
Is the world of search engine optimisation (SEO) a mysterious place populated by snake oil merchants and incomprehensible jargon? Not necessarily, says Richard Conway…
The perception of SEO as arcane hoodoo is exacerbated by a slew of practitioners who want it to seem incredibly complicated. The truth is very different; the real world of SEO is in fact a place of good old research and marketing. It involves understanding what your customers are searching for and then delivering and promoting relevant content online.
To illustrate the point, here is a short list of easily understood yet highly effective tips that anyone can implement to help with SEO:
1. Who’s the most popular?
Believe it or not, off-page SEO (things you do off your website) is really like an online popularity contest. The more people who talk about and link to your website, the more ‘popular’ and authoritative the site will appear to Google. Over time, this will help your website rank higher in the search results pages.
To create this online popularity, be active in your industry; write for industry publications, comment on industry social media and connect with other influencers. Although the benefits will take some time (typically many months) to become evident, these efforts are cumulative and long-lasting.
2. Keyword research
There are lots of tools to see how many people are searching for a given term on a monthly basis. The best (free) version of this is the Google Keyword Planner. You do need to sign up for an AdWords account first, but it isn’t necessary to run an AdWords campaign to use the tool.
What you need to identify is the following: search volume, competition and relevance to your business webpage. These are easy to establish using the keyword planner and your own knowledge of your business. This research will enable identification of what the target market is searching for, and may even reveal gaps in your website’s content.
3. Leverage existing relationships
We all have these, whether with suppliers, customers, industry bodies or others. Identifying these contacts and asking them to place a link on their website pointing at yours will be beneficial. Such links are like a ‘vote’ for your website and, like the activity in the first tip, will help your site rank on Google.
If implemented consistently over time, these three simple tips will have a big impact on your website’s rankings. And they’re not only great for SEO – they’re just good business practice. As you go on, there are many more measures that will benefit your website from a search perspective, but begin with these to start reaping immediate and cumulative rewards.
Richard Conway shares the good oil on all things digital marketing from SEO to Google to social media. Richard is CEO at the search engine marketing agency PureSEO and is an advisor to several online businesses. Richard is a global online citizen residing in Auckland, New Zealand.
*The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the publisher or editor of iStart.