Learning what Google was looking for has remained my primary focus in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) since 2006, until NOW!
SEO Journey – From Cleaning to Climbing
Having begun my SEO journey a decade and a half ago, as a Marketing Manager for a small Carpet Cleaning & Pest Control company, getting the company website to rank was considered my primary objective. Beat the competition. Reach the top. Be #1! Almost sounds like a pushy sport team coach! But yes, being number one for as many keywords and search terms as humanly possible was my Boss’s motivation in letting me re-do the company website. I had no idea what I was doing, yet I managed to work my through all the SEO jargon, the geeky tech application and the search data. Fake it till you make it as they say!
After I was made redundant from this role, then starting a business with my Dad. We started a mobile rock-climbing wall business which, for 4 years, gave me the perfect playground to leverage my Marketing + Management Degree and to hone my SEO skills.
Self-Taught SEO Sweet-Talk
I didn’t take any formal SEO courses or training. I did a little research on the topic, however I mainly learnt to to impact a websites’ Google-rank by tweaking this, adjusting that, waiting a little while, then measuring the results.
Over time, Sweet talking Google became quite easy. I realised it was simply a matter of relevance.
Example: If you want your website to rank for the word ‘Lamington’, then you better make sure that the word ‘lamington’ appears multiple times throughout your website wording. Also, ‘lamington’ needs to appear in your page Title Tags, Meta Data and Image Alternative Text Tags. Then, link your website to other websites related to the subject, like lamington recipe websites. And finally, when advertising your website on other platforms, like online directory websites, be sure to include the word ‘lamington’ in your business description. The whole objective was to make it glaringly obvious to, what is essentially a software platform, that your website is about lamingtons.
Things Have Changed In SEO!
Back in the day, typing in a seemingly innocent phrase like ‘bar stool’ resulted in a page-full of irrelevant or “not-so-kid-friendly” search results. It took typing in different keywords trying to narrow down your search. Remember when you’d click through multiple pages of search results to find what you were looking for?
Google has changed because we have. How we search has changed. As the internet got faster and search results more accurate, we no longer scroll through pages and pages of search results to find what we’re looking for.
It’s also evolved past being just a matter of relevant. Google now rewards websites that add value to the reader.
A Search Engine With A Mind Of It’s Own
Think about it. With over 70% of the search market share, Google continues to be the world’s most popular search engine. To keep this title, Google’s primary purpose has evolved to collate and present the most up-to-date list of the most relevant and most helpful search results matched to your query. If Google wasn’t successful in delivering to you the websites, articles, videos + images you’re most likely looking for and interested in, you’d move onto a different search engine.
Google is also in business! Like Facebook’s algorithms display a feed full of your friends and the pages you like and interact with most, Google delivers results that you’re most likely going to click on. Between our personal preferences and locations, you could type in the same search term and get a different list of search results that I do. While The Wall Street Journey has a slightly controversial article on the matter, I feel it’s clever to educate yourself on how the Google search algorithm works. Understanding this can allow you to make better content decisions to create a website that is considered helpful, informative, authoritative and of value.
The New Relevance + Value SEO Strategy
Without going into the behind-the-scenes specifics, when it comes to creating SEO-friendly website copy / content, it’s possibly easiest to focus on striking a balance between the following.
- Being Relevant | Including the words, phrases and associated industry terms that you want to rank for PLUS
- Being of Value | Presenting information that is helpful, informative and authoritative.
In my experience, neither one are effective on their own. Having a website that ranks well but is unsubstantiated, false or full of fluff won’t convert traffic into leads. Also, having a website that is super helpful but doesn’t rank is just as pointless.
Balancing both of these two elements means you’ll be better serving your website visitors and customers, and as they say… “What is best for your clients is best for your company”
Some DIY SEO Resources
For the DIY-embracer, here are some helpful SEO resources you can sink your teeth into.
The Wrap Up
Put your customer first! Whatever content you put out there, whether that be on your social media, an online directory or you website, come from a place of serving your customer. At the end of the day, if you believe in what it is you are offering and that it will genuinely help your audience, then focus on:
- Being Relevant, and
- Being of Value
Remember, “What is best for your clients is best for your company”
For further support on how to grow your website through effective SEO, I invite you to contact myself and my team by filling in the online form.
So let’s grow your Google Rank and your business together.