Thursday, 5 October 2017

#272 Introductory SEO

When I first heard about Search Engine Optimisation, the process of altering a website to improve its Google search ranking, I didn't like the thought of it. It sounded underhand.

When I searched for a pizza restaurant, a travel insurer or a media player, I wanted the results to show websites with the best product or service, not the websites that had been tinkered with the most. I found the very idea annoying. I also didn't know much about SEO.

To get more of a feel for the process, I watched an hour long Youtube video describing some of the basics. I usually watch Youtube videos on x2 speed, so half an hour later, I had my SEO basics checklist.

The first section of the checklist was what I'd call common sense user-friendliness. Include regular images. Make sure they're good quality and well-positioned. Feature lists clearly using bullet points. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Check out your competitors' sites for inspiration. Make sure your site loads fast.

I'm not about to start using SEO on this site. For one thing, sourcing an original image that was relevant to each post every day would be time-consuming and for another, they'd get in the way of the writing.

The second section was more tricksy. Use keywords. Include a blog. Make your posts at least 1,200 words long if possible. Use a headline analyser. With these kinds of tactics, my natural reaction was that the key would be subtlety. Trying to outsmart Google or even the clients wasn't likely to work. There had to be a balance there to make sure the web site was well-presented, rather than slutty.

The third section, which was about getting other websites to link your site, seemed the most difficult. It was known as "off-page SEO" and might include asking known suppliers to make sure they had a link up, or taking other steps to get more traffic onto the site, which would in turn get Google's attention.

I'd found out some other tips too but that was pretty much as far as I'd got for now. It seemed like there was a whole library full of information on the subject. There were entire courses and even jobs that revolved around it. So much for my humble research but it was better than nothing. I had a feeling I'd come across the topic again. Maybe next time I'd approach it more positively.

8 comments

Running on empty said...

I'm happy to put your blog link permanently on the side bar of my blog along with Nancy's Avon one, if you can teach Acerules how to do that.

Dan Copping said...

If Acerules goes to the main blogger menu, where all your posts are listed and selects "layout" from the menu on the left-hand side, she can scroll down a bit and see "sidebar-right-1" with "Add A Gadget" written beneath it in blue.

You'll already have a couple of blocks there for "About Me" and "Blog Archive" and these can be kept in their current order or re-ordered by dragging them up and down. The positioning of any new blocks (gadgets) that are added can also be changed from this screen in the same way. If she clicks "Add A Gadget", she'll be shown a list of different "Gadgets" one of which is called "Link List".

If she selects "Link List", she can give the list a name like "My Favourite Blogs" and enter the details of any sites that she wants to link. Once she's done, she can click "Save" and the link list should show up in the right-hand menu on your blog.

Dan Copping said...

If you have any questions about the above explanation or you're curious about making other changes to your blog, you can drop me a line and I'll see if I can help.

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Right now you are not using any kind of intelligence.

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