Every business has a website, and many take SEO advice in an attempt to be in a good position in the Google, Yahoo and Bing search listings.
SEO consultants are like used car salesmen, only worse – their hourly rate is like that of a solicitor. They try and blind their customers with jargon and science, and spout the latest Google update thinking, which means you have to spend even more money with them.
In my experience, 95% of all web designers do not understand SEO, and do not create websites that are SEO friendly or ready. And 95% of all SEO consultants don’t understand SEO advice either. They read the latest blog on Google’s ‘God-like’ thinking, send a report to their customers about the latest Panda Update (I am waiting for the Red Herring Update), and outsource the nuts and bolts of SEO advice, often to India.
And that is the heart of the problem; expensive stuffed-suits who charge a fortune and outsource to India.
There are 3 simple things that will boost your website’s position in Google; the on-page wording and meta tags, backlinks, and traffic. This is very simple but highly effective SEO advice.
SEO Advice -Wording
If the wording on your site is ‘relevant’ to the industry that your business sits in, you will do better than those operating a website with scant wording and lots of graphics. Your title, description, keywords should all repeat your main search phrase, such as ‘Cardiff carp fishing’. That phrase should also appear in the wording of the front page, and your front page should have at least 300-400 words, not a few clichés and slogans.
One frequent piece of SEO advice you will often hear these days, amongst the so-called experts, that Google no longer uses meta tags and that they are not relevant. This is simply not true, it is ‘deliberate misinformation’.
Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades with your wording, concentrate on what is relevant. If you sell 20 products, don’t try and list them all, pick 1 or 2 and focus on them, or have separate keywords and wording for each page, where each page focuses on a particular product.
Note, a bit of obvious SEO advice but it pays to be specialised rather than general. A particular product page may end up No.1 on Google, whereas your front page may be No.20.
SEO Advice – Backlinks
If someone kindly mentions your website on their website, and they display a link to your website, then this is known as a ‘backlink’, and it works like an endorsement. Google gives smarty points for those sites with many backlinks, and the number and quality of the links contributes towards Google’s PageRank. Youtube has a PageRank of 9, a local welsh business doing well may have a PageRank of 2-3. (Google is phasing out PageRank, so the rumours go, because Microsoft will no longer allow a site’s PageRank to be displayed in an Internet Explorer toolbar, version 10 onwards).
If you are a local Welsh business, a small company, then having 10-20 backlinks makes a huge difference, especially if they are quality backlinks, and from websites that are either local or are in a similar industry. If you are into carpet cleaning, then having 10 links from other local carpet cleaning companies would be a significant boost. Most small business websites have less than 30 backlinks, and quality ones are good SEO advice.
In the past, people paid dodgy American or Indian SEO advice companies to create cheap backlinks. Those links were placed in low-quality directories and blogs, and disappeared after a few months. You can sometimes buy 10,000 backlinks for $10, which tells you everything you need to know about the quality of who you are dealing with. A quality UK backlink typically sells for around £2.50-£5 each. The higher the PageRank of the site it sits on, the more you pay.
Get out there are persuade your friends and customers, suppliers and the in-laws, to put links to you website on their website. Alternatively, you can buy quality backlinks for around £35 per 10.
Note, there are few backlink sellers still out there, Google likes to kill their websites. Why? Because Google is a dangerous monopoly for one, and because Google wants you to pay for Adwords advertising.
Advertising banners are also backlinks, but they have a dual purpose. If you have a banner on a website, advertising your products, then that advert is a backlink in itself. But, when people click on it, you get a ‘traffic’ benefit – plus of course the chance to sell something. Placing a banner advert on a local Welsh site could cost you anything from £10 a month to £100 a month, depending on the volume of traffic that the host site attracts. Banners are a triple benefit and are good piece of SEO advice.
SEO Advice – Traffic
If someone searches on Google, finds your business’s summary in the listings and opens your website, then that is called ‘traffic’, and each click counts. If they leave your site after just 3 seconds you get less smarty points with Google than if they spent 3 minutes poking around the site. This is known as ‘stickiness’ by people who should stop playing computer games and get out more often.
The more traffic you have, the higher your PageRank and the better your position in Google. There are companies who sell ‘traffic’, usually American or Indian, and they create false clicks on your site. Don’t waste your money. You could even have your site de-listed by Google. This is a bit like a priest being de-frocked, but less of a scandal.
Advertising banners are great ways to increase your traffic, and the only effective and genuine way to do it. You need your banner adverts on local and relevant websites.
Blogs, RSS feeds, video – and ‘quality’ content.
Bob – “My site has quality content, regular blogs updates, RSS feeds, games, the works.”
Joe – “What use is that if no one is finding your site to start with? You’re on the 3rd page of Google.”
Bob – “But my SEO advice guru says that’s the way to go, to get higher.”
Joe – “My site is pretty plain, but it’s No.3 on Google, and I get plenty of business. So stuff your SEO advice guy.”
If no one is finding your website, then having a fantastic website does not matter. It’s like having an advertising hoarding on the side of a country lane – who’s going to see it? You need people finding your site, then you need to keep their attention with quality and regular updates. First, you need the eyeballs reading the site, then you can worry about the content. Get the bums on seats first!
SEO Advice -Summary
There is no way to beat the system, and you get what you pay for, and experts are never to be trusted. There is only one ‘proof of the pudding’, and that’s if your website moves higher for what you are spending, and it is a lie to suggest that it takes 3-6 months to get anywhere, that you need blogs and RSS feeds and video – you don’t.
I use an SEO advice guy who checks my wording (meta tags), waits a few days for one of my websites to settle after launch, then he gives them a few quality UK or Welsh backlinks or banners each day until the various websites get to the top slots, and it costs very little. That is the only thing that matters, the result, the rest is just jargon and froth to allow so-called experts to make a killing.
For great results, try www.cardiff-website-seo.co.uk, who I now work closely with for my lead generation websites.