Many small business owners will here hear the term'search engine optimisation' (or SEO) from friends in the business community or even competitions and may consider it as a path to increasing sales, but what's SEO? Alternatively, a business owner may have attempted'SEO solutions' previously and found it didn't work as well as expected or was working, but not as effective - this article explains what SEO is, and why'brand new' SEO is working better than ever.
I've been working in search engine optimisation and ranking website marketplace, before it was even called SEO. Here are the modifications in SEO because the start of the new century and exactly what you ought to be searching for in the search engine optimization services your SEO Agency offers or supplies.
We take a look back in SEO through the years and clarify what SEO is now and how best to utilise it for our website.
SEO in 2000
Back at the beginning of the Millennium that the'large' search engines that many folks were using were Lycos and Excite.
Websites were just one or 2 pages with basic information to permit them to load quickly (within 20 minutes ). Search engine optimization practices back then were to'hide' as many keywords on a page as you can, so the site was found for those searches without making the page look to spammy to people.
Back in 2002 Google launched something called'AdWords' and it had been predicted to be the passing of SEO, as individuals could pay for prominence, on the now the number 1 website for beginning internet searches.
Back in 2003, Yahoo purchased Inktomi, AltaVista and FAST, that was basically the end of all of the'smaller' search engines. Google began to stamp down on'spam' practices and websites. At precisely the exact same time Google realised that'AdWords' weren't going to kill SEO and that in fact the'natural listings' encouraged visitors back to their own search engine platform. Google started to recognise'specialist SEO' pros and encouraged good SEO instead of spamming SEO.
2004 saw the very first website'banned' from the internet as Google took actions against websites which were spamming them. In addition they took legal actions from the"SEO Company" responsible.
To rank a website in 2006 you simply desired links back to your site and so purchasing links / link building has been the rage and many sites had a web page where they would list businesses and links to their own website (I'm still amazed how many sites continue this practice).
Between 2004 and 2008 Google, was the only real"player" in the search engine world, started taking action against inferior linking practices and businesses and began tightening up on junk and purchasing links. The'Noughties" ended with all"gloomy" SEO practices being practically stamped out, as Google concentrated on rank sites based on their articles and it's significance to the research being carried out.
SEO in 2010
Between 2010 and 2015 we started to find the search engines take notice of'Social Media' websites and soon the outcomes were full of Twitter'tweets' from the results. (I can still see the surface of one of my clients when searching Google for his business, and the first page of their search results were compiled of tweets of a Twitter conversation that two members of staff were having about how terrible the firm was!)
Videos and images were also brought in to the research results with the Google'Caffeine' upgrade.
Google introduced"search results" using all the sites shown in the search results based on your previous searches and sites you had seen previously. This caused a'bit of a stir' from the search engine optimization world as customers claimed their websites had been"high in Google" for any search they did related to their industry, simply because they had visited their own site many times previously, therefore Google naturally fed them back the website for all relevant searches. This may still be a bit of an issue until you show them the brand new'Google Incognito hunt'.
The focus on rank websites was found for BIG key words. A'Plumber' in Bristol would want to rank for this search, so that has been the focus.
Google'Panda' and'Penguin' updates killed off'link exchanges' with enormous penalties for websites who'd insignificant links pointing towards them. At precisely the same time Google introduced"no follow links" to allow websites to provide pertinent links to other sites and data without penalising both party. It was the beginning of"protected linking". Quality and appropriate content was now the key to rank in search engines.
SEO 2020 and Onwards
In ensuring that consumers got the ideal experience Google started rank mobile responsive or friendly sites (where the website automatically changes its size and format to fit the display ) higher in the rankings.
The UK people were using their cellular phones for local searches, and local companies could gain an advantage over the big corporates or even'national' companies on the internet.
The debut of'semantic search', where Google brings websites at the outcomes not based on the key words, but the articles onto a webpage, again altered the manner SEO agencies looked in working on websites. Position for its'Big' key words, for example'Plumber Bristol' became important, as net users became more informed with their searches. 'long-tail keywords', and as numerous as possible, started to grow website traffic and what's more, conversions.
What is The SEO Process Now?
It is probably correct to state that the procedures or practices associated with search engine optimisation have now out grown the word'SEO'
In years gone by working the content and construction of a website was enough. Now, there is a whole lot more to do to not only rank a website in search engines, but to find customer involvement. An improved description of the service would be'digital marketing'.
Old practices, as mentioned previously, supposed'big' key words were crucial to rank. A focus on a single keyword per page or perhaps for a whole website would rank the company and back then it was about'rankings'.
Old way of doing SEO
Today there are a number of elements to think about in regards to SEO. 'Semantic search' is the main driver and conversion the main goal, not rankings.
A good instance of this is to choose the'Plumber Bristol' instance. A few years ago you'd have focused on rank the business for"Plumber Bristol","Plumber in Bristol" and perhaps"Emergency Plumber Bristol" - although this still holds true for companies offering a solution for'distress purchases' (where time plus an alternative outweigh the need for information and advice) better practice during a web site is to include content that offers advice and guidance and contains'long tail key words' (3 or 4 word searches) such as"Emergency plumber with free callout at Bristol" or"Reviews for an Emergency Plumber close me". Google needs the user to have the best experience and find the relevant information immediately, and semantic search achieves this. This is also sensible to get a company owner. Can you rather your website had been found by a searcher searching for"Plumber Bristol" where they might be after advice, looking to get a job, looking for a plumbing service which you might not provide, or for a particular and targeted search such as"best emergency Plumber near BS7″?
Concerning keywords this is the greatest change Google have made and it is here to remain. SEO or digital marketing is no more about where you rank, but the number of different search phrases you can be found for their conversion in to paying customers.
A couple of years back (and only 2 or 3 years back ) Google indicated to specialist SEO Agencies which 300 words on a webpage was adequate content.
Every day I am asked to examine a web site by a prospective customer - and most of them have between 150 to 250 words onto a webpage. There are two ways to look at this. Either Google needs to change it's expectations as most sites don't satisfy their grade or a different way to look at that is as a simple way to jump the contest by simply adding content to your site. Can you think Google will reduce it's expectations or expect sites to improve to their own standard? Google published the'mobile friendly' update knowing that somewhere around 80 percent of websites would need to be upgraded - and they did it anyhow as it gained over 50 percent of there users. Quality articles impacts 100% of their customers.
I recommend to our customer roughly 800 words each page. This is sufficient articles to be'semantic search' friendly, provide relevant content and not be too word heavy.
Great practice would be to have:
Page Title - state what the page is all about ('Big' Keyword if you must)
Headline - asking a question
First paragraph describes briefly explains the articles / solution
Picture / or video
Longer description of the solution
Take our Emergency Plumber in Bristol, as an example:
Page Title: Emergency Plumber Bristol
Headline: Are you looking for the best emergency plumber near you in Bristol?
First Paragraph: Smith Plumbing provide a 24 hour emergency plumbing service in Bristol. We don't charge a call out fee and may be with you in 20 minutes. That's why our customer reviews and feedback say we're the best emergency plumbing service in your region. Call now on...
Image of the van or the Plumber looking skilled
Longer description: What they could fix, common problems they solve, a few of the quotations from their clients etc..
This has a number of advantages.
Firstly, those men and women who just need a Plumber will read the first paragraph, see the image of this van (build authority and professionalism) and telephone the Plumber. Other people would want to have more information that they may find further down the page. Is this cheating at SEO? Absolutely NOT. You are providing relevant information to the consumer and Google will love you for this. How content is organised and composed on a webpage is your"new" SEO.
In the event that you have been a Plumber would you rather be seen for one enormous keyword or several relevant customer converting keywords?
Old practices were to make site content to the search engines. Now you need to create content to give value for customers. This is a simpler process than you may think.
What were the last 5 client enquiries to your small business? What was the problem they had been trying to resolve? Write about the problem and your solution.
This year we've a very large company contact us about their SEO and they were horrified when we suggested they had to eliminate their 1.4 MILLION hyperlinks back to their own site as they had spent a fortune over the years purchasing the hyperlinks. Inbound links, and the more you have the more damaging it's, highlights to Google the irrelevance of your website - regardless of how important it might be.
Nowadays, a couple of, relevant links is much superior than a Million hyperlinks back to your website. Nowadays, links have to be built through participating relationships. Taking our Plumber once more, a link back from the'Gas Safe enroll', a local pipes centre or toilet showroom, and a few local websites that enjoy his advice would be enough.
Though we still get a some companies like this today, a few years back when we suggested businesses ought to be on Facebook I was normally told"Facebook - which is for teens is not it? That isn't our market". If done well, Facebook can induce more traffic and paying customers to your door compared to your site. Facebook's biggest user group is 25 to 34 year olds, second biggest is the 35 to 44 years old age category.
Facebook Users UK era - courtesy of statista
Facebook enables a company to build a brand, engage customers, get customer reviews and instant customer feedback. Unlike reviews on your site which potential customer may see should they visit your website, a review on Facebook is seen instantly by all the users friends and when their buddy'likes' the comment - all of their pals, buddies. Increasingly more of our customers are getting leads from Facebook. People are asking their friends for tips on businesses to use and getting heaps of ideas back - if you're on Facebook you are more likely to get a direct link to your contact info.
What's next for'Social Media'? Live streaming! Twitter has purchased a company called'Periscope' which permits you to live stream video in the mobile phone. "What exactly?" I hear our 'emergency plumber' asking. If I had been a Plumber I would be live streaming my work since I fix a problem, together with the video going out live to all my followers and their buddies - my own television channel that is free-to-air across the entire world.
There aren't any'old' SEO methods for video since it just didn't exist and when YouTube started out it had been for showing funny videos of cats and the like.
Now that has changed. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world and is owned by Google. YouTube has over 1 BILLION users globally and every minute, 300 hours of videos are uploaded. It might take you about two years to watch all the videos which will be uploaded within the next hour. It might take you the rest of your life to see all the movies uploaded today. Google's own statistics state that by 2018 73% of searches put to an internet search engine is going to bring about the individual watching a movie. Consider it a different way, in a couple of years after 10 people hunt the internet to your product or service - 7 of these will watch a movie, two will go to a website. That is why I create videos to our clients as part of our'digital marketing service'.