As we all know, Google drives the most traffic online in terms of e-commerce transactions, either through its natural / SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) positions or its paid advertising program. It therefore is an obvious conclusion that high performance in Google can make or break a business.
But that high performance is not easy to achieve, hence why many of our SEO clients have stayed with us for a decade or more as when you find a good SEO agency, they tend to be something of a best kept secret.
Google themselves claim that around 200 factors impact any given web page’s position within its search rankings and that the scores from these 200 factors impact the search engines’ very complex behind-the-scenes computer algorithms. So that could be anything from the choice of web name / URL through to where it is hosted, the speed of pages downloading, if the content is accessible and mobile friendly, right through to hidden factors within the code itself, and some not-so-hidden factors.
I could of course share with you our view on the respective importance of all these things, but then, as they say, I’d have to kill you – as that’s our intellectual property and source of profits built up over a decade and a half’s trial and error experimentation, initially on our own websites and then on behalf of many clients in multiple sectors.
What I can say though is that we estimate only around 140 factors make a demonstrable difference for most businesses in these algorithms, and in many cases only around 20% need to be routinely addressed once basic fixes are in place – just enough to keep Google interested. And by the way, keep Google interested and the other search engines will be interested too.
Clients normally put social media and blog content onto this list and in fact way up the list of priorities. In our experience they allocate way too much importance and weighting to them both – sure they can be relevant, very relevant if you are in a consumer-facing or FMCG-type environment, but for most businesses, they can be downgraded a bit.
One of the simple reasons for this is that social media companies are now competing with search engines for your advertising revenue, so whilst in the past they would give the engines easy access to all their data, and in some cases shared data, now that’s mostly stopped so all the search engines can try and do is deduce if something being featured is hot on trend topic. So it’s good to have something happening for sure.
Blogs are a little different though, particularly if they are a part of your website rather than linking off to third-party software and doing that site the favours by increasing their apparent popularity.
A blog within your website provides a valuable opportunity to talk about many things, both company and product-specific and also general interests. Better still it provides a format with more flexibility than you’d generally find on say a product description page.
We’ve been so busy with client work lately that we decided to run an experiment and didn’t add any new blogs or content to the site for EIGHT months – shock horror.
But does it matter?
Fortunately, we have a good back catalogue of varied content that has already been seen by the search engines, in addition, we have a spread of content about our services through the rest of our website, so it’s not the end of the world – and we can quickly make up lost ground by cranking out a new article each month – just enough to renew the search engines interest in spidering these pages automatically.
If we were a consumer-facing organisation selling low-ticket items, it would be a more serious omission but for us in a mostly B2B marketplace where clients are on long-term monthly retainers, it’s not the end of the world. The message for any business is to aim for one piece of unique content each month as a minimum, but don’t panic if you forget, you can always catch up next month.
If you can it’s best to put unique spins on topics down each of the available channels, so don’t for example cut and paste the same content into your blog and then over onto X, Facebook and LinkedIn. Your prospects and clients may access each of these so pay them the respect they are due with a slightly or entirely different read on each channel.
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