Action you can take on your SEO right now

Basic SEO

Basic SEOAs a marketing agency, I get to see a lot of clients’ websites.  As part of our research when we take on a new client, we always look at their website, not just to find out what the client does, but also to see how well their site is put together.

I have to tell you that I’m often amazed that an awful lot of websites don’t have even the most basic SEO. What I mean by that is that the website pages don’t have any meta titles or meta descriptions – all of which are very easy to put in when the website is built, and should be easy to put in even afterwards.  To leave them completely empty is just a no-no.

How Google works out what your website is about
Why is this so important? When Google (and other search engines) is crawling the web, it has to decide what your website is actually about. It reads the text on your web pages, but it also takes a great deal of notice of your meta tags, eg Meta Title, Meta Description.  These are your way of telling Google “When people search for the terms in my meta tags, I want you to put my website in the search results (SERPs).”  if there’s nothing in the meta tags, Google won’t know what your site is about and is less likely to bring it up in the SERPs, or will rank it lower.

Meta Descriptions
The meta description is also important, because although it is not used for SEO, it is the text that Google displays in the SERPs when it returns your page in a search and so it should contain marketing text that persaudes people to click on YOUR website and not those of your competitors. You should have a different meta description for each page. Amazingly, an awful lot of websites have exactly the same meta description for each page.  So how are people going to be persuaded to read your page and how will they know which page to read in the search results if they are all the same?  Many websites don’t have a meta description at all, in which case Google will just display the first text it sees on the page – which may not be the text that you want people to read.

Action you can take on your SEO right now
Don’t despair!  There are actions you can take on your seo right now. Check your website now and do something to put it right. You can check if you have meta tags by displaying your website, click “View Source” and search the code for “meta”. Then look at the text next to the “title” tag and the “description” tag. If it doesn’t look right, talk to your web agency about adding in some basic seo, or if you can edit your own website, go into the CMS and add in different titles and descriptions for each page. Do it now, it’s important!  If you don’t know what to do, drop us a line and we can help.

Do you know how to set up SEO?

How to set up SEO

How to set up SEOIt might sound like a strange question when we’re the ones offering SEO services! But we exhibit at lots of business and networking seminars and in talking to visitors about SEO, when we ask that question we often hear the answer:

“It’s all right, I know how to set up SEO – leave it with me!”

But all too often their knowledge is just outdated. Lots of people have content managed systems (CMS) to manage their websites and see the section called ‘SEO SETUP’ which has a few fields to enter information such as META TAGS, META DATA, PAGE TITLE and URI. They quite rightly enter these details and then assume that’s all there is to SEO and away they go expecting their sites to be ranked on the first page the next day. If only it was that simple!

SEO management covers a whole host of areas, is an ongoing activity and needs to really inform the search engines about every aspect of your website and your business:

  • detailed analysis of how you want to be seen;
  • how on-page content is related to underlying website SEO information;
  • how to create a unique focus on the information on each page;
  • the correct way to submit your website to each search engine;
  • updating information regularly;
  • ensuring videos are managed correctly to avoid down grading by search engines;
  • image tagging for performance and recognition;
  • site structure levels and the money pages…

There’s so much to do to setup and then manage regularly to get that search ranking and to maintain it.

SEO Top Tips – Download this guide now

The list of activities and requirements is extensive and is more than just entering the scant data into the SEO fields that may be available to you. So we’ve put together some SEO Top Tips to get you started that touch on some of the key areas to look at when starting out on SEO.

 

Fact: Our website is #1 on Google and SEO only cost us $99!

That was the comment I was confronted with when I went to see a client recently.

“See this? See this!” said my client. “There we are, our website is right up there at number 1, and it happened overnight after I paid my $99. How simple was that? And I have a cast-iron guarantee that it will stay at that position for that single payment!”

Now I had two options here:

  • Hit him hard with the facts i.e. there is no way you can go to #1 overnight

or

  • Let him down gently and explain what’s happened and that he’s just wasted $99

I have to admit I was so annoyed that he’d gone off and done this that I wanted to take the first option, but I decided that our long term relationship deserved more than that – my annoyance is my problem!

How Google indexes websites

So I explained that when you type your own website url into Google search, Google will return all instances of the pages it has indexed. So yes it appears to be number 1 (and 2 and 3 and 4….). And yes every time you do that it will be the same, but actually that’s not what he wants or needs – if someone knows his url then SEO is not needed, people will just go straight to his site anyway – a fact that he had forgotten during the sales pitch.  I expanded on ‘real’ SEO and what it meant, what people search for, how his competitors are defined and how to set up his USPs. We talked about all the different areas that needed to be considered, from search terms, on-site content, domain authority, meta data, video and PDF optimisation through to Google Search Console, articles, blogs and on and on. It was then that he realised just what a mistake he’d made.

#1 on Google for $99? No way!

Don’t waste money on the wrong sort of SEO

Next, I showed him how it worked for any website by entering website urls at random. He saw that they were also #1 and the penny dropped big time – yes he’d been duped. What came next was more embarrassment for him and shock for me. He’d been so impressed by what he’d seen that he’d paid out another $199 to do the same for his site on Bing (because, as the sales pitch went, “Bing is so much more complicated to get to number 1 than Google”). He’d also paid out $248 ($49+$199) for 3 other sites he runs plus a general overrider fee of $499 for a whole host of secondary search engines that “we can get you to number one on as well”. So in total he’d handed over $1,491 for absolutely nothing.

Giving SEO agencies a bad name

While I am fuming that there are con artists out there that play on the innocent (and give real SEO agencies like us a bad name) I was more annoyed at his naivety – but part of me can’t blame him. Everybody (and their dog!) must get the same emails that I do “$99 to be #1 on Google with instant SEO techniques”. These emails scream that they can achieve the impossible. But when you want to drive people to your site it does seem attractive and low risk. To give him his due, he then said “OK – I was stupid” and proceeded to give me an order to carry out ‘real SEO’ for him – I just wish it didn’t have to come on the back of wasted money.

SEO – where to get help

My plea to anyone reading this is – don’t be duped and fork out money for nothing. The old adage is worth remembering more than anywhere else at this time:

“When people expect to get ‘something for nothing’ they are sure to be cheated.”

By PT Barnum (that great showman who knew a thing or two about convincing people to part with their money)

I rest my case.

If you’d like help with your SEO and want to work with a white-hat (ethical) SEO consultant, please get in touch.

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