SEO - A Dark Art?

If you get this bit right, you'll be swimming in business within minutes!
#seo #webdesign #teamnerd #darkarts?
July 29, 2021

Search Engine Optimisation - What's that then?

Getting to the top of Google search rankings is essentially the holy grail. Why? Because it means you gain web enquiries in an organic way. This has nothing to do with growing vegetables, it means the following:

You run a business called TDS Design (well we do anyway) and you google' TDS Design' - of course it comes up as you've googled the very thing you already knew about. If people don't know you exist you need to set about getting organic traffic. This means the results of a search term in and around your business sector show you at least on page 1.

So in our case you would Google 'Web Designers near me', or 'Web Designers in Berkshire' and we'd come up on page 1. People think 'ooh they must be good or they wouldn't be there and voila! More business. Sounds simple doesn't it. here's the tricky bit:

This beach is the internet and the people are all the different companies vying for top spot in your chosen industry. Crap.

So how does Google decide who comes out on top? First up is the site structure and metadata. All headings need to be in order ranging from H1 to H6. What this does is show Google what to look for as its spiders crawl the page. It finds H1 that says 'Welcome to TDS Design' and then H2, H3 etc and if the page is structured properly Google will understand the page content and fit search results accordingly. Metadata is the small piece of text you see under your Google search result. This is a very brief description of what the page contains and again, describes what your site is showing.

So that's our side taken care of, what can you do when running a business to boost page rankings?

You need to boost traffic. Get people on to your site and try to ensure they don't 'bounce'. This is the practise of landing on a homepage, you don't like it and leave instantly = bad for business! It's generally regarded that you have 3 seconds to impress someone to keep them interested. Do that and you have won half the battle.

Free ways to drive traffic

Social media posts are a good start. Try to build an audience and engage them with something interesting and at times, amusing. How many time have you scrolled straight past a paid advert as it looks sooooo boring with 2 businessmen shaking hands. Yet you see a montage of cats asleep on hoovers and you stop to look. Maybe cats on hoovers is the way forward! You get the idea. These need to include links back to your website or no one will visit.

Run a competition or giveaway where people need to like and share. New? Course not but it does tend to work if people get something out of it and builds both your site audience and social following.

Blog posts like this one will also help. This is an article about SEO and there Google will pickup the various terms we are using. It won't ever end up at the top of the rankings as there are 58 trillion other articles being written about it at the moment. But in your industry it might just make the difference and does a majorly important thing - keeps your site evolving with new content.

Paid SEO?

Back in the day you could just pay your way to the top. Doesn't really work like that anymore. Everyone knows that almost all search results will have 4 or 5 paid options first. We tend to scroll straight past these to look for organic, relevant links. But a lot of people don't and see it as the 1st result. It's one way to do it for sure.

Backlinks are links back to your website from other places. These can be very important and they help with 'domain authority' (are you for real or a bot/scam/advert in layman's terms). A few good backlinks are better than thousands of dead ones but they aren't that easy to stumble across unless you make it your life's work to conact all the web admins for your desired sites. So you can actually pay for them and it drives traffic.

What Next?

Let's make a plan of attack. Which areas of what we've described shall we target? All of them will be a good idea but you might not want to spend money on Google and Social ads straight away. A solid social media following is a great way to start advertising your business for free. One of the main points we have learned over the years is that people might see your posts and never engage, just get 1 or 2 likes, but they HAVE seen it. And when a friend or contact asks for recommendations for someone in your industry - they will automatically go for you. Probably the best and most powerful way of getting new enquiries.

Unless they don't like you in which case you shouldn't be social friends in the first place.

Decide on the techniques > setup a plan > keep at it.

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