Today I want to talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There’s a project coming up in my Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing course in DCU where we need to assess and make recommendations for a real live client. I want to do a good job so I’ve been going over the sessions we’ve done in lectures on this subject and supplementing them with resources I’ve found on-line.
There are alot of things to get right with SEO, from keywords research, content optimisation, web site structure optimisation (URL, meta title tag, H1 header tag, pictures) to name just a few. I won’t be telling you how to do carry out SEO in this blog, but I will be telling who can.
As a marketer and strategist who is accustomed to advising clients at a high level, I’m enjoying being pushed way out of my comfort zone into the dark arts of web site architecture, webmaster tools and the like; all the things that are usually taken care of by IT. But of course, it’s not just IT’s problem any more is it? Depending on where you read, between 60% and 90% of the purchase journey is completed before your customers actually speak to a sales person in your organisation. Think about that. It means that marketing owns the majority of the funnel and that funnel starts with being found on Google and the other search engines. So of course it’s crucial that marketing have a solid knowledge of how to optimise a web site’s search rank.
As I said, I’m no expert (yet!) but I wanted to share with you some of the excellent resources on-line which have helped me on my SEO journey.
1. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
This is a very comprehensive and popular guide from Moz. It seems a million others have gone before me and have visited here for advice on SEO. The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an in-depth tutorial on how search engines work and it covers the fundamental strategies that make websites search engine–friendly.
2. Tutorialspoint SEO
I found this tutorial very useful. It is structured in a step-by-step approach which suits my way of learning. I’m not able to comment on the course as a stand alone piece because of course I came to it already pre-armed with alot of learning on board from both my lectures and Moz but what it did was helped me make sense of all that new-found knowledge by breaking the process down into logical steps.
3. SEO Ireland
Closer to home for me, I found the advice from this SEO specialist very helpful. (I have no connection.) There are general tips, mistakes to avoid and a post with useful local SEO tactics for small Irish businesses. Well worth a visit.
4. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
It’s important that you stick within Google’s guidelines in order to avoid being penalised. If that happens, you’ll find your website languishing in the depths of invisibility far from where your visitors can find you. They say it’s better to do no SEO at all than to do bad SEO so it’s crucial to stick to best practices.
5. The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors
I love this infographic from searchengineland.com because it pulls all the factors of SEO together in one place and attributes a weighting to each helping you to see where gains can be made.
If you need to understand SEO, these are excellent resources. SEO is not a quick topic, nor is it a quick fix but if I had to give one piece of advice on SEO based on everything I’ve read, it would be to carry out SEO with the human visitor in mind and in doing so, you will likewise keep the search engines happy.
These are my 5 suggestions. Have you others?