Yesterday I looked at the ignorance surrounding SEO and the obsession with “getting to number one” for generic search terms. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s fair to say that ten years ago, investing in driving your website to be the first item on the results page for “blue widgets” might have got you more traffic for your money than anything else you could have done. However, I’m confident that today you’ll get a better return on investment from appearing “there or thereabouts” for lots of less glamorous searches.
Why is this? Firstly, it’s way harder than ever to “get to number one” for generic search terms. You won’t find any SEO experts out there offering to get you to the top on a no-win, no-fee basis nowadays (if you ever could). Secondly, the length of searches (in number of words) which people are making has been increasing for years. There might be plenty of searches on “blue widgets” still, but there are an increasingly larger number being made on longer searches with “blue widgets” in them. Many of these will be more commercially useful to you as well.
So, if search engine optimisation is about “setting up your website to get as much traffic as possible from the search engines”, what do you need to do, in 2014, to achieve this? I believe there are three things, and I’ll go through them them tomorrow.