As I’ve mentioned time and time again, effective search engine optimisation (“SEO”) is really expensive. I’m talking thousands of pounds a month, either to outside experts or by employing someone to do it. For many companies, that’s still a decent investment, but I’d guess for almost every one of the 3,000 readers of this blog, that’s just silly money.
If you look at the articles about SEO produced by the real gurus (and please don’t, I’m here to do that for you), they know their market and that’s who they write for: companies with serious resources, and where a higher position in Google can result in serious extra profit measured by the minute. These companies are years ahead of you and I. They have to be.
But guess what? It doesn’t matter. Because you and I are not competing to be number one in Google for insurance claims or quick loans. We just have to be better than our competitors, trying to do well for searches about blue widgets. And the good news is that most of our competitors haven’t got a clue. The interest you’re showing just by reading this puts you into the Premier League already.
However, I regularly hear people who are quite switched-on when it comes to maintaining a business website ask: “What should I be concentrating on at the moment?”, and that’s a good question. What practical things can you do in 2013-2014 which will help your website maintain or improve its performance in Google’s free listings? Here are four which I think are worth tackling. During the rest of the week I’ll discuss each one in more detail.
Firstly, of course, get your titles and page descriptions right: the basic “on page SEO”. Secondly, however much new content you’re adding to your website, set up a programme to increase this. Thirdly, set yourself a target to generate new external links to your site. And fourthly, set up a social media programme, something which is less scary than it sounds, and more relevant to a serious business like yours than you might think.
None of these are hard, and all can be done in-house if the budget isn’t there to subcontract the job. Indeed, some (if not all) are better done in-house. And if you don’t have the manpower, I suspect most could be tackled by giving an eight week summer job to a student.