If you ask anybody to name a search engine (he or she doesn’t have to know about SEO and ranking local websites or for that matter live in London), there’s a good chance that the first one that they will mention is Google. Let’s face it: Google has become so much part of our daily lives that we’ve got the verb “to google” (notice the small letter G) that means “to run an internet search for something”. It takes a pretty innovative product to become a generic verb, meaning that Google is up there with hoover (meaning “to vacuum” from the company Hoover), trampoline (yes, this was originally a brand name), yo-yo and zipper. I’d be willing to bet that if you asked someone to name a search engine that wasn’t Google, they might scratch their heads a bit.
Given that Google is the High King of the Internet, if you want to do well in the world of online marketing, website design and local London SEO campaigns, then it’s probably a smart idea to listen to the advice handed out by the team at Google. After all, they’re the ones who know how the ranking algorithms work. If you think reading through millions of words on the subject of “how to rank on page one of Google” is a bit too much for your (already) stretched work schedule, you can always outsource your digital marketing to the experts from https://londonseoguy.co.uk.
So what is the best from the top that’s easy – or at least straightforward – to implement to help boost your London business page rankings?
Content Rules for Good SEO
This is the absolute most important thing for any internet marketing campaign to have in mind. If Google is the king of the internet, then content is the queen. The days when the Google algorithm PageRank simply looked at the number of keyword matches and the number of inbound links are long, long gone. And we’re all very grateful for that! We’re all very happy to kick out those horrible keyword-stuffed link farms written by poorly paid (paid by shady SEO companies) people in developing nations with rudimentary English (definitely not Londoners). Today, Google has a ton of algorithms to ensure that the good sites that people actually want to read are rewarded and the rotten stuff isn’t.
Some of the SEO advice handed out by the Google team include avoiding things that people find very annoying, such as
- Having a block of commonly misspelt keywords. Google’s smart enough to have a list of these somewhere and will do this job for you. Try a little experiment: type in a keyword but spell it wrong on purpose. Chances are you’ll be directed to something with your keyword or key phrase but with the spelling corrected.
- Shoving in far too many keywords in just a small block of text or otherwise known as “keyword stuffing”. You don’t need to mention your keyword or some variation on it every single sentence! This just annoys the reader. This is a so 2003 local SEO technique.
- Having large chunks of text that are visible to search engines but not to the readers. This is penalised quite heavily. Metadata is one thing; deliberately fooling search engines to bring people to your site is another. It’s a form of lying and didn’t your mother tell you that telling lies was bad?
- Posting poorly written content only for the purpose of gaining some SEO benefit. If it sounds like it was written by a five-year-old or if it sounds bizarre, avoid it. Unless you’re doing small amounts of this for humour, without any search engine optimisation purposes – see below.
- Being repetitive. You don’t really need 20 posts or pages all saying the same thing but with just a few words changed here and there. Google looks out for repetitive content and rewards original stuff. If you have to have multiple variations on a theme (if you’re trying to create a bunch of pages for local area searches), then at least find a fresh way of wording your information.
Organic Applies (SEO) To More Than Just Fruit & Veg (PPC)
The buzz word for link building and SEO is “organic”. This doesn’t have anything much to do with the produce section of your local London supermarket or local health food store and has everything to do with the human factor (because they’re living things and therefore organic rather than artificial). Ever since people started buying and selling things, word of mouth has always been the very best form of advertisement. It probably goes back to when Thag the Mammoth Hunter told Tola the Bison Hunter over the campfire that Noog did very good cave paintings in exchange for a few good hides, and Tola told Thag that Bikki had a great new idea for flint knives. Today, the same principle applies, even if word of mouth comes in the form of shares and likes. And, of course, old-fashioned face to face word of mouth still works as well as it ever does. Hey, just last evening, I told a friend about a good app after discussing whether or not particular craft and DIY ideas on Pinterest and YouTube actually come out as well as the videos or pictures suggested.
What Makes Things Go Viral
If anybody discovers the magic formula for making something go viral, he or she will probably become a billionaire very quickly. However, there is no guarantee that something will go viral. However, there is one thing that all internet sensations have in common: content that appeals. To get the buzz going and to get those organic links going (the foundation of good SEO), you have to create the sort of thing that people like or find interesting or fascinating, etc.
The closest I can come to the magic formula for organic link building is humour. This is about the only factor that Gangnam Style, Grumpy Cat, Charlie Bit My Finger, Pen Pineapple Apple Pen and the Instagram Egg have in common. It also explains the popularity of funny cat videos and cat memes – in fact, the closest thing to a magic pill for going viral is a cat or any other animal doing something idiotic. There’s a human need to share things that we find funny and to pass the laughs along. Remember all those forwarded email jokes and faxed jokes? However, as any comedian will tell you, humour is quite hard to pull off successfully and what works for one person can bomb for another.
However, not all viral content is funny. The MeToo phenomenon definitely wasn’t funny. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo isn’t out there to make you laugh (although I’ll confess to a few bitter and ironic laughs of disbelief). These do, however, tap into human emotions, human desires and human needs. Things like the following all seem to create a bit of a buzz:
- a challenge or a dare, ranging from the ice bucket challenge through to those irresistible clickbait items that say “I bet you can’t…”
- life hacks to make daily life simpler
- controversy (well played, Gillette razors for polarising the public – your marketers deserve some sort of a bonus for that campaign)
Great SEOs Know that People Matter
The lesson here for those of us who are out there to build a great website in a competitive market such as London, UK, is that although we need to do our SEO homework and find the trending keywords and run the analytical tools to see how mobile-friendly our site is, etc., we also need to think about the people who use our sites. In other words, we need to get out from behind our computers a bit and think about people. Look at the people around you at work, at home, at school or at your sports club. Ask yourself what they’re interested in. Listen to what they talk about (yes, you have my permission to eavesdrop on the bus during your commute).
At the very least, you should ask yourself “What would I like to read or watch online?” Try observing your own behaviour. What do you share via social media? What links do you click? What videos do you watch on YouTube? What piques your interest? What do you search for during your spare time? Take these as your cues and see if you can apply what you’ve learned to creating a great SEO optimised copy for your London business website.
If you want your information straight from the horse’s mouth (and there could be a horse involved, depending on what the current doodle of the day is), then you can find all this and more at the official Google site.
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.