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SEO has a reputation of being a super-complicated, mysterious world of smoke and mirrors.

In this world live black-hatted villains trying to trick and out-smart Google and white – hatted good guys, energetically dancing to Google’s latest song. Let us unveil the shroud of mystery that hides the quite sensible and logical world of SEO. We must not forget that Google is simply a very effective indexing tool. Its success lies simply, in its ability to direct internet users to the most relevant website for their search. Watch the video to find out our 10 must – do SEO practices.

LOGIC  CONTENT  RESEARCH

Don’t try to outsmart Google

The two methodologies of SEO are ‘White Hat’, which is the ethical and logical approach and ‘Black Hat’ is essentially trying to trick and outsmart google. We sit firmly in the ‘White Hat camp’ as the long-term implications of Black Hat SEO can be catastrophic.

white rabbit in a black hat
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Well written quality content

Arguably the most important thing in optimising a site for search engines is the inclusion of well written content. Structured in such a way that will help search engines find what they are looking for.

Advanced Keyword Research

We research keywords that people are likely to use to find your site. Our techniques for doing this are cutting edge. Also, the distribution of these key words and key phrases through your site is done seamlessly.

Magnifying glass on a computer keyboard. Internet search and keywords concept

ORGANIC  LOCAL  ADWORDS

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Google listings are separated into three different kinds

The first kind we will look at are paid for advertisements, through Google AdWords’ they always say Ad next to them. It is estimated that about 70% of people ignore these. The vast majority of the younger generation do. So, for many businesses they are not particularly relevant. However, for some businesses they work extremely well.

You bid on keywords, such as ‘barbers Manchester’. If more than one advertiser is bidding on keywords that google deems relevant to the search query an auction is triggered. How Google determines which ad ranks higher is ‘your max bid’ x ‘quality score’ (how relevant and useful google deem your ad to be to the user.)

You pay per click, the cost depends on:

  1. Your max bid (the higher it is the cheaper you’ll pay per click)
  2. How relevant your site is compared to the keyword.
  3. How the second highest bidder did on the previous two points.

Google Local Placements

The next ones that always appear under the map are ‘google local placements’ i.e. something somewhere; barbers Manchester, hotels London, etc. This is by far the most relevant and is driven purely by google reviews, we have developed a feature for our mobile apps that harvests reviews automatically. It works brilliantly; after someone has redeemed a loyalty reward, they receive a review request and the app automatically fires it off to google reviews!

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The last type are ‘organic placements’

This is now only really relevant for national and international searches.

There are SEO fundamentals which are easy to implement and will hugely affect your findability. Yes, it is true that SEO is a fast paced ever evolving industry, though getting the basics right is key. Here are our ten must – do SEO practices:

10 SEO PRACTICES

There is nothing more important than your site being made up from high quality, relevant and original content. Frequently publishing blogs is extremely important as it shows Google that your site is very active. It also dramatically increases the opportunities for the relevant placement of keywords

Images and video occupy a lot of space on the server as well as on the device of the user. Slow loading time severely affects a sites SEO performance. You must compress all images before uploading them to your site. This minimises the file size without adversely affecting quality. There are great tools available to do this, ‘smush’ for wordpress works really well.

The distribution of relevant keywords for search terms throughout each page of your site is critical. Title tags are the most important of all.

Last year saw, for the first time, total worldwide internet usage being more on mobile than on desktop. If your site is not optimised for mobile it will be severely penalised by google. Moreover, not optimising for mobile will alienate more than 50% of your potential new customers

A few years back google changed how it ranked local businesses, essentially it copied Trip advisor. If it is a local search, i.e. something somewhere; like coffee shop in Manchester, or Hotel London etc, there are only two factors that count, proximity and reviews. The higher quality and more frequent the better. This makes complete sense as Google wants to send you to a good business, rather than a business with a good website.

You are rewarded by Google for sharing the quality content of others. It adheres to the non-selfish vision of the internet which Google has. Likewise, your content must be shared as much as possible, how this is achieved by make shareable content. Also like and share buttons can work well.

The interplay between social media and your website is a critical part of effective SEO. Converting your social media following into site traffic is a skill you MUST acquire. The simplest way of doing it, is a post which represents a gap in knowledge to the reader, we are hard-wired with a desire to fill these gaps, of course the answer lies within a website blog.

These are links that go from one page to another on your website. Google like them because they allow users to navigate more easily through your website.

Google loves other sites back-linking to yours; they view it as third party approval. It is also vital your website links to high-authority websites, both in your sector and the generic heavy hitters.

All they are, are small data files that digitally binds a cryptographic key to your details. When a site has a SSL certificate a padlock symbol appears in the URL. It is simple and inexpensive; it is an absolute must if you want Google to take you seriously.

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