Wednesday 30 October 2013

Build a Website for a Human, Not a Computer – Exposing SEO Myths for What They Really Are

Today I had two coffees instead of one so I’m feeling a bit weird. As a result, I thought I’d spice things up a bit and interview myself on the category of SEO to make it more interesting (and make me feel like an important celebrity). I call this interview, “Build a Website for a Human, Not a Computer – Exposing SEO Myths for What They Really Are”. I decided to write this blog because of all the enquiries I’ve had from clients who have received spam SEO emails, or think that being ranked first on Google will deliver a pot of gold.

“So Adam, thanks for taking time out to talk to us about the latest social trend on the technology scene. So in a nutshell, what is SEO?”

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is basically the concept of building, manipulating and strategically updating your website to ensure it has a good chance of being ranked highly by Google for certain searches. As more and more businesses go online, it’s started a whole new competitive battleground with businesses fighting for the top spot to generate more leads. And there are a lot of ‘SEO Experts’ out there looking to exploit the naivety of business owners. They offer quick-fix solutions that seem like a miracle, but you just can’t outsmart Google. If you want top rankings, you have to do it the old fashioned way with a bit of elbow grease.

”So just HOW smart is Google?”

Put it this way, if Google was one of the kids you went to school with in Kindergarten, it was the kid doing algebra at the HSC level while you’re still learning how to do dot-to-dots and building things with Play-Doh. Google has one of the most complex algorithms ever created, and it is tailored to serve the mass public. After all, if it’s not catering to its users, then those users will turn to another Search Engine that is returning more relevant search results.

“So if you can’t trick Google, what do these ‘SEO Experts’ actually do?”

To be honest, a lot of what these ‘Experts’ do, you can actually do yourself given the right tools. A lot of the SEO companies talk about adding in Meta Tags, Meta Data, back links, RSS Feeds etc. most of which are out-of-date as Google continually improves its system to prevent any shortcuts being used. Some of these features are still relevant, but only when used properly. But most of the time, the SEO Experts focus on building the website to attract Google, not customers, because that’s what they’re being paid for: getting you to the top of Google.

“But Adam, wouldn’t all that other stuff not matter as long as you’re on top of the Google Rankings?”

Close, but no cigar my friend. Having a good ranking on Google may give you more leads, but unless done properly and organically, you won’t be capturing many of these leads. Before you ask, this is because the website will be built for Google, a computer, and not for human consumption. You may have a lot of users clicking on to your website, but if the website isn’t built for humans, you can guarantee not many users will take part in a call to action.

“So Adam, what should I do to make sure I get a good Google ranking, and convert the leads I generate?”

It’s actually pretty straight forward – think of it like weight loss. You have two options: a Fad Diet that promises to help you lose 10kg in the first 2 weeks or your money back, or you can change your overall diet with the help of a nutritionist, and exercise regularly.

The Fad Diet may be cheaper and deliver immediate, short-term results, but it won’t be healthy and it won’t survive the test of time. However if you do it properly, and in a healthy manner, the sky’s the limit. A few tips and tricks:
Ensure your website coding is clean and high standard – if you have a Digerati website you can be rest assured that it is!

  1. Update your content regularly, keeping it fresh and engaging
  2. Use keywords in your content that are applicable to your industry and product offering
  3. Use social media integration, blog and event feeds, as well as using videos
  4. Be active on social media, linking back to your website
  5. Look at introducing a sitemap
  6. Have REPUTABLE websites link back to your website, and in-turn linking to other reputable websites from yours.

It’s great if you can improve your SEO in a healthy and organic way, and we can help you with some ideas of how you can improve and build an SEO strategy, give us a call, and we’d be happy to take a look at your website and let you know of some improvements that can be made.