Posted 26th March 2014 | By ExtraMile

I’m 5 weeks into my Search Engine Optimisation role at ExtraMile and it’s about time for me to start practising what I preach and get blogging!

Let’s get things straight, SEO really isn’t as scary as everyone thinks. It’s something that everyone knows they need to think about, but that often gets shifted to the bottom of the to-do list.

As much as it is over-used, the old saying still applies “You wouldn’t buy a brand new car and then leave it locked up in the garage would you?” Well it’s true – you wouldn’t! So don’t let your website go to waste. But what is the true SEO recipe for success?

It’s a common misconception that Google is out to get us and is looking for ways to find flaws in a website. Okay there is an algorithm that Google uses to rank sites, but it doesn’t mean that everyone’s website has to fit an ideal SEO model –there isn’t one. 

Tantalise their tastebuds

Optimising your website isn’t always an easy job. It’s not about following a proven recipe for success; nor will it suffice to add a little bit of this, a little bit of that, shake it up and hope for the best. It’s about creating a recipe to suit the tastes of your target audience, something that will keep them coming back for more. I think it’s a myth that we have to model our websites on Google’s algorithms; what we should be focusing on is giving users the best possible experience. Make your customers’ lives easier, provide them with valuable information, and the rest will follow.

Quality key ingredients

The basis of any good recipe must involve strong quality elements that will fulfill the expectations of your audience. For SEO, it’s where the technical side of things come into play – your site structure and architecture must be sound, your development code tweaked to highlight keywords, links have to be working correctly – and that’s just for starters. We also have to think about mixing the flavours of a recipe. Ingredients don’t work in isolation, they have to complement one other. It’s the same for SEO: it’s great to have a blog or an active presence on social media sites, but all of these elements have to be integrated and utilised in the right way to reach their potential and have a positive impact on your results.

Too many cooks

It’s wise to keep your whole team on board with your SEO efforts. Inform everyone about the keywords that you are targeting, and ask for inputs from a variety of people to keep blog posts or tweets fresh and interesting. But it’s also wise to have an over-riding strategy to keep your SEO campaign on the straight and narrow. Give one or two people the responsibility of managing your SEO, to keep your content targeted and consistent. Remember that the ultimate aim of your optimisation is about building relationships with other people out there, not just sucking up to Google! Inform people about your products in the right way to make them stand out; provide people with interesting, unique and perhaps amusing content; maybe even shout about someone else’s services. All of these things should encourage people to share your content and naturally build those all-important inbound links!

A dash of business savvy and don’t leave to simmer!

SEO is not about creating forced robotic content for the sake of it. All of your content must remain focused on the overall marketing objectives of your company. That means that it’s wise to employ an SEO company that is already familiar with your business, and that will be able to communicate well with you. It’s important to top up your SEO regularly – think about being proactive not reactive. Don’t wait for the next Google algorithm change to start thinking about optimisation. Algorithm changes are ways of filtering out dubious or dated websites, not indicators of what to focus on next. 

Spice it up

Perhaps the most important element of your SEO recipe I have saved until last. Be daring with your SEO campaign by experimenting with the latest online marketing trends and trying out Google’s latest offerings. Keep up to date with all things SEO on blogs like Search Engine Watch or Moz. Search engines will recognise that you are a forward-thinking company actively participating in your online community, and they will reward you for it. 

And remember if you want to discuss an SEO recipe for your website, your ExtraMile team is always here to help!

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About ExtraMile

A digital marketing agency with international capabilities