So what’s changed?
I‘m Scott Evans AKA ScottEO (too confusing having two Scott’s in the office); if you haven’t guessed already I look after our clients SEO and search marketing interests. I want to explain why the recent algorithmic updates by Google have shaken the SEO industry, and why now, more than ever it’s important to get your site built ready for an SEO campaign.
You’ve probably read lots of chilling articles about the penguin update, but I’m not going to ramble on and give advice how to counter this, for the most part you have to go with the flow. One of the main reasons I joined the Blueleaf team was because I believe that optimising and achieving results for a site that is unprepared for SEO is becoming increasingly difficult. By unprepared I mean such key aspects as URL structure, site structure, content and website depth. Historically SEO companies used manipulation techniques through heavy anchor text link building to force Google to rank a site. The penguin update has changed all this, no longer can SEO companies take any random website and start throwing links at it, then sit back and expect results. No lazy SEO man, NOT FOR YOU!
Preparing for SEO
Over the course of my career working with marketing directors and managing directors I have noticed one common theme; many have a backwards approach to digital marketing. Often the basic plan for launching your new website online looks like this.
The Stressful Approach
The Smart Approach.
The push and the pull
It’s often pressure from above to hit a website go-live date which causes SEO to be overlooked at development stage. Now more than ever it is vital. You cannot expect an SEO company to rebuild your site structure, and if they did they would struggle with designing it with the user in mind. We combine two simple methods, push and pull. The push relates to pushing visitors to the relevant pages, guiding them with simple site structure and navigation. While the pull is utilising search marketing methods such as SEO and PPC; you want to build optimised pages ready to help the site pull people in. You do this through ensuring your primary SEO landing pages are not 4 or 5 levels deep in the site directory, while ensuring other important factors like URL’s are clean and include keywords. This is a pretty big part of the jigsaw, and often when building your website you have one chance to get it right.
It’s the balance between the push and the pull that has always been important, but often ignored. People expect their website to be found with no SEO campaign and don’t incorporate this in the development stage. Cost cutting usually means that SEO doesn’t factor into build. Its only when the website needs traffic then SEO is considered. This is a backwards approach which is thankfully now starting to change. Smart marketing managers need that assurance, and are switching onto the fact that their site needs to be optimised and built for pulling in traffic.
Google keeps us guessing
The penguin update changed the face of SEO, it was a killer for manipulation methods and aggressive link building, but it was the rebirth of well optimised websites which produce great content. Before you could take a poorly optimised website, tweak a few little things and start some heavy link building activities. Now the penguin has arrived and while link building still works, SEO companies cannot push as hard as they once did and cannot rely on their formerly trusted manipulative techniques. This means that the site's structure and on page SEO is now more important than ever.
So ensure you find a web agency that does cater for SEO and search marketing, as at some stage you’re probably going to need it. You have to schedule time for SEO in the development stage and your web agency should offer and provide keyword research and planning. Be forward thinking and take advice on how SEO forms a part of your website.
Image source: https://seogadget.co.uk/beware-of-the-google-over-optimization-update/
Written by Scott Evans