I get many clients who don’t know what SEO is. They hear they need SEO and that it is important. They might have even been recommended to hire an SEO, yet still don’t really know what they are hiring an SEO for. People often approach me for advice and consultation, with absolutely no idea what SEO even is and why they need it.
I am never going to be one of those people that take your money and say that you need SEO services when you don’t. My approach is always very honest, and I explain what I am doing and why I am doing it to help educate my clients along the way. Working together gives my clients a much better understanding of SEO. This approach really works and with clients understanding more, we get better results.
If you met me in a pub and asked me what I do? I would reply “Search engine optimisation”. It’s at that point, I get the blank looks, the polite smiles and the little nod of the head, when really, they have absolutely no idea what that means. For the time being, no one is in the pub asking what I do, so instead I’m turning to my blog to give you a really simple guide to SEO and Link building.
I’ve been working in SEO since 2010 so have several years of experience under my belt. I want to break SEO down into really small bitesize chunks for my clients to digest and understand.
It’s easy to spend hours reading hundreds of articles all explaining SEO, which is a huge and varied topic in itself with several elements that all contribute to maximum optimisation.
You might find articles on
Negative SEO, black hat, white hat, penguins, pandas, hummingbirds, Bert, SEO algorithms Schema,
The list goes on.
Today I want to talk really simply about very basic SEO and what that is.
Search engine optimisation is a process of making sure that your website is shown on search engine results pages when a user types in a query that your website helps to answer.
i.e If your website sells shoes, you would want your website to appear on search engine result pages when someone types in ‘shoes.’
On a side note, well done to Debenhams for ranking in first place on Google for the keyword ‘Ladies Shoes’ beating actual shoe stores to the number one spot. Well done on your SEO.
One way you might have heard about doing SEO is to use a form of link building.
What is link building?
Think of links as a vote of popularity.
The more votes you have, the more popular you are.
The more popular you are, the higher the search engine wants to show you.
However, it’s not as simple as the more links the better the rankings.
It’s about authoritative links, natural links, it’s about quality not quantity.
Think of it as a popularity contest. If you get hundreds of votes, from hundreds of people that aren’t that popular, you will barely shift the ranking needle. Whereas, if you get a mention from a famous celebrity or person of influence, that must mean you are popular, the search engines see this and therefore rank you higher.
The same applies to websites. If you get hundreds of quick and easy to build links from hundreds of low quality websites, totally unrelated to your website, you’re not going to do your SEO any favours. Chances are, you might even do more harm than good and lower your search result rankings or get taken out of the index altogether. If the search engine algorithms think you are trying to use spammy tactics to rank, then you will certainly see your results plummet.
However, what if you wrote a really amazing piece of content on your website and it was so useful and helpful, that websites like the BBC and The Guardian picked up the information and linked to it from their website? These high-quality links are far more valuable than hundreds of links from low quality websites.
What is link juice?
The best way that I have found to explain the theory of SEO link building, is to explain it through juice or wine, depending on how the current lockdown is treating you.
When you launch a brand new website, think of it as a empty glass ready to be filled.
When someone mentions your website online and links to you, they pass a little of their SEO juice to your website and this starts to fill your glass.
If a hugely popular website links to your website, they pour juice into your glass and really help to fill it much quicker.
If however, you link to another website from your website you give some of your link juice to them and the process continues.
As your glass of juice fills up your SEO improves, as it decreases, in theory so does your SEO.
Remember, it is all about quality, If you decide to build hundreds of low quality, poor links to your website, this gives you little droplets of gone off juice. A little bit of something bad doesn’t usually do you any harm, but getting too many low quality spammy links giving you bad, poisonous juice, can actually turn your whole glass of juice mouldy. If you get too many low quality links, you can actually get your website banned from showing in search engines completely, meaning you might have to tip out your glass of juice and start again!
The simple theory is, when your glass is full of good quality link juice, you should do well in the search engines.
Remember, link building must be natural and real. don’t try building links and pulling the wool over the eyes of the search engines! If you use a spammy tactic to try and play the game, you will likely do more harm than good and potentially even get your website penalised. Then you’ll certainly find yourself needing to hire an SEO to get your website back on track.
If you want to learn more about SEO or want to hire an SEO in Cornwall then you are certainly in the right place.
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