Month: January 2015

The single best thing you can do for great SEO…

By Steve Riley   January 26, 2015  
Awareness of Search Engine Optimisation has moved from the geek-sphere to the commonplace. Anyone vaguely in the trade will be familiar with the shift — people at social gatherings will now happily sidle up and ask 'what should I be doing about my SEO?'Collectively we've been in the trade now for well over 20 years and with Reverse Delta since 2002: we're well used to the query.Our answer has shifted over time, as the web matures and people have become wise to the smoke and mirrors of the early generation of 'SEO gurus', we've focused less on SEO as a separate activity and more on the way good practise, effective structure and great content will naturally keep the search engines interested.More and more of this can be taken as read with a well-crafted website from an established developer and built on a suitable web platform. There are many, many things you can do behind the scenes to keep the search engines interested ...but many of these now simply fall out of a good development process. Just play great football The single best thing you can do for SEO is to have great content. Just as the single best thing a football team can do to get noticed is to play great football. If you have something interesting to say, people will be interested. And if people are interested, the chances are the search engines will want to find and promote you.Nobody wants to back a loser, and that's how you should think about the search engines. They like a flutter — see Google's 'I'm feeling Lucky' button — but mostly they back the winners. And winners have great content.Make sure your website has the basics covered — useful tagging, image tags, a good rich structure that's easily crawled, headings that match the content — but don't try and be something you're not. Be yourself, and be excellent.

What does success look like?

By Dave Haygarth   January 9, 2015  
Make a New Year's Resolution you can actually keep!As we saw in the last blog update, your website is never truly finished. You need to keep on top of your website and keep feeding it interesting new content, both for your readers and for the search engines. Broadcasting on many channels If you’ve embraced social media, you can create a virtuous circle by reusing or linking the same content in different ways — your core website, your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, email marketing, etc, etc. So what can you do? Work at keeping your content fresh Search engine optimisation is not about gaming the system with clever tricks, it’s about a steady drip of interesting content. If you’re interesting to people, you’re more interesting to the spiders. Adding regular point of view content to your site — eg blog updates — helps position you as useful experts in your field and distinguishes you from the competition.   Use a tool Use one of the growing number of tools that measure how you’re doing and how that changes over time. Some examples:Woorank (woorank.com). This tool gives you a snapshot of how well your site is doing for SEO, mobile, usability, technologies, social and traffic. Clarity Grader (claritygrader.com). This tool focuses on the language and clarity of the words on you site — overuse of passive language, complex sentences and other measures. You need to register but there’s a free trial. WordPress users can use a plug-in to do a very similar thing. W3C Validator (w3.org). The W3 are the guardians of web standards. This tool focuses on the validity of your code markup.  No site is ever truly perfect (we learned some useful things about ourselves reviewing these tools). You can spend a lot of time and go slightly mad trying to optimise for every single metric, but a combination of tools can give you a good idea of how you’re doing. If you’re really interested in these, we can point you at several more resources.   Ask an expert to review your site Reverse Delta is one such resource. Others are available of course.  Take-away messages:Content. Focus on your readers — what’s in it for them? Think about how well your site is doing six, twelve and eighteen months down the line after going live. You might use a tool to help with this. Keep at it.