The pivotal influence on your SEO – and therefore how easily and quickly potential clients find you – is the text you use on your website.
At one time, this consisted largely of packing websites with as many searchable terms (keywords) as possible. And building in multiple links – often to websites set up specifically to be link “warehouses” – with no credible merit beyond being an SEO tool.
Therefore, you would get website content along the lines of: “This Manchester luggage shop is where you can find quality luggage in Manchester. So, for Manchester suitcase sets, visit our Manchester bag store.”
This is packed with searchable terms but is hard to read and rather nonsensical. Something that the search engines got wise too. And tackled.
Google changed the algorithms it uses to measure website value and ranking. The Googlebot (also known as a spider) crawls around not just assessing links and keywords (or searchable terms). It is now far more sophisticated in appraising and ranking content: readable articles, blogs, news stories, website body text etc.
Well, of course, keywords still count and should always inform the content of your website. This includes putting yourself in the shoes of customers and thinking the same way they might. For example, a title “How to choose the right suitcase” would be more easily found than a heading such as “Luggage logic”.
However, it is now just as important than ever before to have content that makes sense and that actually provides value in itself.
SEO-rich material needs to be well researched, well written and meaningful.
Added value is great for your customers, as when they search for a specific term – like “luggage shop in Manchester” – they actually might want to be spoken to in a cohesive way.
When they land on a website selling luggage in the city centre, having some useful information about different styles, options and price ranges could well be persuasive. It is certainly more attractive than a nonsensical joining together of searchable terms.
This is also the point at which public relations and SEO have become integrated marketing processes. Sending out press releases, submitting articles to trade magazines and creating shareable social media posts, will all improve your digital footprint in terms of quantity and quality.
And that contributes to SEO. Someone clicking on a link in an interesting article will be directed to a website full of meaningful, added value information. It’s a mix that brings your rankings up, and helps even more potential customers to find you.
So if someone offers you SEO services that involve stringing together keywords or creating random links, approach with caution. Look instead for a service that provides well managed and quality content, that also happens to greatly improve your SEO.