Engage Web August 2008 - Engage Web

What Is SEO?

Posted on August 24, 2008

Often when telling people what I do, they then ask for an explanation of what SEO is.  Admittedly, since SEO has become more and more mainstream, this doesn’t happen as much.  However, I still struggle with explaining what SEO is, as in my opinion it covers a lot of stuff.   Search engine optimisation isn’t just getting keywords ranked highly, or getting the site indexed by the search engines, there are a lot of other parts to SEO as well.  For example:

  • Link building
  • Site architecture and coding
  • Content creation
  • Competitor analysis
  • Research and testing
  • Keyword analysis
  • Use of universal search

These are just a few that I pulled off the top of my head.  SEO has to take into account all of these things and more.  Sure you can concentrate on some parts more than others, but they all need to be looked at to some degree – your competitors will be!

You should not plan for SEO until you know what it is you want to achieve with your site.  Do you want to increase sales?  Leads?  Increase brand awareness?  Beat a competitor to rank number one for a keyword (this has been asked before!)? SEO can help with all these goals, but it is important to have a goal, so that the SEO that you do have can be tailored to achieve it.  There is no one size fits all SEO, all websites are unique and can have differing goals, so any SEO carried out must take all of this into account.

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

A Basic Web Strategy

Posted on August 15, 2008

One of the things that I deal with a lot is web strategy for larger companies – we are talking those whose yearly spend online is closer to the millions than the thousands.  However some of the basic principles that I recommend to them are just as applicable to companies with a spend of almost nothing.

The main thing that I would recommend no matter the company would be the increase of content and pages on the site.  This can be really basic – for example the addition of extra pages of information about the company, to the more complex – adding industry news, or frequently asked questions or even an advice section.  The fact is that it doesn’t cost very much other than time to add new pages to a website, which means that all websites should be doing it.

As well as this, all companies that have websites should have some sort of idea where they want their website to be in a couple of years.  even if the website is just an afterthought, people will look at it, so time and effort does need to be made to keep it up to date and relevant if nothing else.

As I have said before and I will say again, web strategy is not about the money, but about who has the best plan and implementation.

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Avenues to market – a strategy using content

Posted on August 14, 2008

Very recently, for one of our clients, we have been testing many different avenues to find them even more success.

We have done this with several content solutions – video, images, unique content (of course), and external content placement.  What is external content placement you say?

Well, lets take an industry.  In that industry, several sites will be competing for the top 20 positions, just like any other.  However, in a lot of industries, there are several sites such as Gumtree and VivaStreet to name two, that regularly appear in the rankings. (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

Content Research

Posted on August 13, 2008

One of the things that we like to do at Stuck On in research.  It helps us to evolve our current offerings and allows us to come up with new products as well.  I have said it before, and I will say it again, I think that it is one of the more important things that any company involved with an unknown entity (in our case the search engines) can do.

You cannot rely on what some guy on a web forum tells you, but must question and test everything yourself.  I have seen things that haven’t made sense with some SERPs (search engine results pages), until I spent quite a lot of time and effort trying to recreate what I had seen in a different SERP, and only when I achieved that did I understand what was happening fully.  The search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, and none are perfect, bugs can be introduced and all sorts, and it is up to us to keep on top of these changes.

In a totally different note, does anyone see a difference between the SERPs for Rug and rug?  Explain that one to me.  Rugs and rugs don’t have this issue, it isn’t a big thing, but it is interesting, and is the sort of thing that research time should be spent on so that we can all increase our understanding of SEO.  No matter how many sites you have worked on, or how many years you have been in the industry, things will always surprise you.

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Online markets ready for content

Posted on August 12, 2008

We have been speaking to a few companies recently that really are in markets that are desperately in need of content.  One of those markets is the ‘loft conversion’ industry after speaking with Loft Plan.

But how you define what kind of sites would do well from an influx of content?

Well, we use an in-house tool that shows us how many pages each site in the top 30 of Google results has.  This is just a starting point, but from this and viewing particular sites in the rankings and how they are built, we can determine how effective Stuck On content for a site can be. (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

Research And SEO

Posted on August 10, 2008

Search engines are changing all the time, and it is important for that anyone practicing SEO keeps on top of these changes.  For some this is seen as a necessary evil, something they have to do so that their SEO methods do not become outdated.  Changes only happen when they have to, not to improve their SEO.  For others, it is the opposite – they see it as the best part of SEO, as a game where they are trying to keep on top of the changes that the search engines are making.

At Stuck On, we are definitely of the second persuasion.  We love the research aspect of SEO, and we are good at it.  I think that it can separate the good SEO companies from the excellent ones.  If your SEO company aren’t updating and changing things on your site every now and then and adding new content, then how can you expect to compete with sites that are?

You can’t.

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

What is the end goal for your website?

Posted on August 9, 2008

Why do you have SEO?  Why do you create lots of content?  Why do you spend what seems like every waking hour link building and checking your meta tags?

Is it to increase rankings for certain keywords?

No.  This is something that needs to be done, not the end goal.

Is it to increase the visibility of your site on the Internet?

No.  This also is something that needs to be done, but still not your end goal.

Is it to become an authority site?

No.  This you should work towards, but it is not your end goal.

Is it to generate as many sales / leads as possible from the website?

Maybe.  This may be your end goal.  Face it, you probably run your site to make money.  Whether it is via advertising, or sales or lead generation or any one of a million other things,  your site is there to make money.  It is important that you stay focused on your goal, and that you don’t get distracted by things that don’t matter.  Rankings are important, if they help you towards your goal.  Same with becoming an authority site.  It is important to realise that with the internet, vanity is a very expensive thing.  If you want to be number 1 rather than number 2 for a keyword, it can cost you tens of thousands to get there.  Is it worth it?  If it helps you to achieve your end goal then do it.  If you only want to do it to be above your competitor for one keyword, then surely the money required is better spent else where?

We don’t know what your end goal is.  We can guess based on what we have seen from countless other companies and websites, but you are the only person who knows exactly what you want to achieve with the site, and you need to tell us what this is, so we can work out how best we can help you.  One thing I promise, is that Stuck On will quite happily tell you if we think you are wasting your money – we would rather you spend it where it will best help your web site than on something which we feel wont be as effective or useful.  We want to help you by providing a solution that helps you to achieve your end goals, rather than just reach an intermediary goal.

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Where do new Search engines come into play with Content?

Posted on August 8, 2008

With new search engines cropping up, such as the much publicised Cuil, you may wonder what this means for your website? Do you need to do anything different to cater to them, should you optimise in a different way, will they send you more traffic than Google?

The fact of the matter is that you don’t need to consider new search engines such as Cuil, because the essence of a successful search engine is the search engine that gives users the most relevant results to their queries, that’s why Google has become so successful in the first place. (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson
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