SEO – the ugly duckling of online?

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) has been around for decades. Officially beginning back in 1990, it wasn’t until 2001 that many saw the real value of SEO. However, 15 years on and this value is doubted by some, refuted by others and the rest have merely given up.

But should this be the case? Personally, I don’t believe so.

SEOphoto credit to http://www.bullhorn.com

It seems SEO has become misunderstood. The forgotten toy of the digital arena.

When you first had it, it was exciting, intriguing, you couldn’t get enough of it. But as time wore on your interest wavered. Newer toys were coming out, making yours seem less shiny and perfect, you spent more time with  the newer toys, and so less time with the old one. As time with the old toy dwindled, you forgot about it more and more until suddenly no one was playing with it at all.

So, when you came back to it after a while, remembering that toy you used to be so fond of, it seems even more dilapidated and unappealing than you remember. You look back fondly on how you once thought it was top notch but figure that as time has gone on it’s now outdated. But really, time away from it has made it dusty, its quality diminishing as it has gone unattended to, until all that time you played with it becomes a distant memory to you both.

After that, you do a big clear out and deciding the old toy is only taking up precious space. It’s best just to throw it out, it wasn’t any good anyway. SEO is boxed up and sent away, but that nostalgic feeling remains – and one day you will look back and regret ever giving it up.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Many believe SEO is difficult, provides little value or costs a tonne, but this just isn’t the case.

It takes some work, yes, but anything worth doing will take time and it really doesn’t have to cost much if you know what you’re doing. If you find it’s providing little value or appearing ineffective perhaps something isn’t quite right and you need a bit of extra guidance.

Below I’m going to dispel three common myths that are hindering your SEO, to start you on your way.
  1. Many believe they can just stuff numerous tags and keywords and that will make their SEO effective because more really is more right? Wrong!
  2. The same ‘more is more’ idea is also being applied to link. Companies are continually linking to other sites and their own but not thinking about the quality of these links. For instance some blogger on page 2 of Google is unlikely to provide the quality link you need. Equally, if you’re linking an ‘SEO’ story to a story about your favourite recipe this is not going to do much more than annoy users – keep it relevant, keep it factual and keep it quality. But also, keep it in the text – don’t just add in random links wherever you want – figure out a way to keep the text flowing and hyperlink in the text. Don’t break your flow just to put in a link, it won’t be recognised as important or relevant.
  3. Just create content and, if SEO is good, it will all be a success. That’s just not true – you need to know your audience otherwise the content will be unappealing and quickly people will be turned off. If people are turned off, guess what? Google will be too.

If you’re still in doubt over SEO, or would like more information, there’s going to be a great, free event in Guildford, Thursday 7th July, where top SEO expert, Simon Schneiders, will shed light on SEO and how property company, Zoopla, went from zero to £1 million in just seven years with SEO.

Full disclosure: DigitalSurrey is a subsidiary of theblueballroom – an internal communications agency I work for. However, I am under no obligation to promote this event outside of work or across my own channels and am not paid to do so. This blog has been written of my own accord and with no payment, bribe, cohesion or request.
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