SEO – A very interesting subject. There are hundred of companies out there offering ‘first page on Google, guaranteed’ and I should know as about 50 of them call me every week. I have witnessed, first hand the change in SEO over the past 10 years. The days of adding hundreds of metatags to your pages are gone, Google and the other leading search engines are getting wiser to these historic tricks of the trade. In my opinion SEO has actually got easier over the past 5 or so years, only being made more difficult by 1 factor, an increase in competition.
Now having setup, launched and managed around 10 new website projects I have experience of working with some of the best SEO consultants, right through to doing it myself. And if I am honest, there has not been a big enough delta between the two to justify the cost of hiring an external agency to manage it.
The reason I say ‘in my experience’ is that I have worked predominantly in the B2B technology space and the products and solutions I am used to selling, highlighted here, are relatively niche. A B2C, or a B2B that sells commoditised products may have a very different strategy as the competition for rankings is usually greater and the chance of converting a ‘visit’ into a ‘transaction’ are more prominent in these areas.
So, back to my SEO efforts. I am currently working for ONI, Cisco’s fastest growing Gold Partner in the UK, who have just invested in a £3M data centre facility. We wanted to promote our ‘Hosted Data Centre’ solutions so I went about playing with our website. Using only a basic CMS I did the basics:
1. Changed our page name to ‘Cisco Hosted Data Centre’
2. Changed the P1 tag (header) to ‘Hosted Data Centre’
3. Wrote some relevant copy for the page
And guess what happens in Google land within two weeks (having previously not appeared in the top 20 pages!?) Well see for yourself by clicking here
For a company that in relative terms is quite new to this technology and solution offering I was amazed by the results. Now I should point out that there are some other factors that need to be taken into consideration apart from the 3 basics I listed above. You can further increase your chances of a good ranking by doing the following
1: Build authority – reciprocal website links with well subscribed, relevant web sites (Cisco in our instance)
2. Submit a site map – Make sure you submit a site map to Google so it knows the structure of your site
3. If available, purchase domain names that match your desired keywords and forward them to a mirrored page on your site.
The ‘experts’ and ‘consultants’ will baffle you with algorithms and strategies to convince you that your limited knowledge on the complexities are not sufficient to make it work. My advice? I urge you all to dive right in and give it a go because great results can be achieved with little effort in some instances. Many of you will go down the external agency route as it suits your company, strategy or even your internal resource, but do you really want to pay £300, £500, £1,000 or £3,000 a month on SEO? No… nor did I.