15th May 2017
By Lawrence Greenlee
Optimising websites for search results can be as confusing and convoluted as 2001: A Space Odyssey, with all of the emotional pain of Bojack Horseman Season 3. That doesn’t mean I don’t love it. Hi, I’m Lawrence and I’m addicted to SEO.
When I first started SEO, I remember being both interested in and overwhelmed by the in-depth thought and strategy that went into targeting users who searched very specific terms on Google. I was fascinated by the mathematics and logic behind algorithms, and how a very human interaction with a website could affect a brand's visibility. While old-hat SEO tactics are very numbers based, newer SEO techniques focus on usability, conversions and results. Not just rankings.
As a result, 'SEO' is not just one overriding skill that can go on your CV. Natural Search, like all other channels of digital marketing, involves a varied set of skills and ideologies. I'm going to talk about a few I've picked up along the way.
I first started my career in digital as a keen content writer. While meta descriptions have little room for poetry, there is still a lot to be said for writing interesting, engaging and provocative content and calls-to-action.
Numbers, Data and Mathsy Bits
Being data driven when strategising is key. A lot of mathematical logic goes into optimising a site, along with projecting what searches will help grow visibility. Not a day goes by where I’m not hammering away in a spreadsheet – and even if maths and statistics are not your bag, spreadsheet formulae will soon become the love of your life.
Not all CMSs are created equally, and not all websites are created in the same CMS. When it comes to making onsite changes, whether they are meta tag optimisations, or well-tested usability changes, it might take a little bit of HTML or CSS know-how to find your way around. Learning the absolute basics can save a lot of time contacting a developer to make simple changes.
That said, there will always be some development work involved. You might need to contact a developer about a glitch or bug on a site, or to make a suggestion to improve the site's indexation or how a website crawls it. Sometimes, a little diplomacy is needed.
Explaining The Details
While there's a lot of talking to techie people involved, there also comes moments when you speak to someone not up-to-speed on the latest SEO best practice. Sometimes a client will be confused by the technical jargon. I don't blame them! 'Robots spidering the site', ‘improving indexation’ and ‘domain authority’ aren’t everyday phrases. The people who grasp how modern SEO works are the ones who will understand the overall strategy and the benefit of SEO.
According to the whims of God – I mean Google – SEO could change tomorrow. SEO five years ago looked nothing like SEO now. Keeping up-to-date with the industry is essential if your strategies aren’t going to get left behind. My week usually starts with checking for updates on the biggest search engines by reading industry-leading blogs and resources.
Some websites are born with great search visibility. Some websites achieve great search visibility. And some websites have great search visibility forced upon them by a keen optimiser who knows their stuff. Give us a call or pop in for coffee and let us discuss how we can make the wonders of SEO work for your business.