At SEO Liverpool we like to answer as many questions from our readers and clients as possible… so here goes.
In general, what should I concentrate on with SEO to get the most value out of my time?
The golden rule is that content is king! This will never change. Content shows the search engine that a website is still alive. You’re very much mistaken if you think Google is all knowing. Just because you’ve registered a domain name for a year or so, Google has no idea if the company is still trading or the information on site is still valid? Remember Google is essentially an academic tool. It’s core belief is to deliver the most valuable and up to date information to the searcher, therefore, having fresh content on valuable pages is essential. I’d always suggest a blog, with snippets around a paragraph long on a websites key-pages.
Depending on the content, this is also how you generate links. Good/valuable content is natural link bait, which is arguably the second most important SEO consideration. Viral content, or content that is easily shared, fun, interesting or even provocative (polarising) is also great for links. The Daily Mail are the masters of the universe on this one.
New content is also a great way to include keywords and back-links. You don’t want to spam your regular content with lots of keywords you’d like to be associated with, but a regular blog can help reinforce the keywords you already have. Just create a hyperlink to a particular site page using the keyword as the ‘anchor text’.
e.g. type the words ‘click here’ into Google. This illustrates the power of a link, as almost every site that has an adobe download uses ‘click here’ as its anchor text.
Are their any legitimate spam techniques?
Nope, spam is spam is spam. If it hasn’t already got a penalty attached, the likelihood is that it will. Inappropriate link spamming is the most recent aspect to get webmasters and SEO’s into trouble. Put yourselves in the situation of consumer and the search engine, if it looks dodgy, then it probably is. If you’ve been getting away with it so far, then the chances are you’ll fall foul in the future.
Case in point – purchasing lot’s of Page Rank 3 links. If your link profile (the types of links you have) looks artificial, then the search engine will penalise you! If you think about it, how can any business regularly get 25 Page Rank 3 links month after month. Well they can’t, you’re more likely to get rubbish links than good ones.
What is the best tool you’ve got for SEO?
I had a really good think about this one. It’s a dead heat between Firebug and my back-link checker. I’ve done this purely based on the amount of value I get out of an hour or so.
This is a plugin for Firefox that lets you easily see the HTML of website whilst the website is still visual in the browser. It has an inspector tool which is vital in checking over your own sites and those of your competition. You can check for various things such as H1 tags, alt image tags, frames, java and sometimes the dreaded hidden text.
If you want to investigate a site for links, then a back-link checker is a great tool. You can quickly look at competitors to see who links to them, the value of the link, the anchor text and even the value of the root domain it has come from. Any SEO worth his or her salt is using this on a regular basis.
How do I become an SEO?
If you wanted to become an SEO in Liverpool I’d recommend this is how you should start. Read the basic books on search engines and SEO, then move on to more advanced books on search. You’ll need to understand a little about webdesign and a lot about UX (user experience) design.
The next stage is to take on a project, something small and local, that you can’t do too much damage with. So I wouldn’t mess with anyone who relies on a passive web income that you could potentially jeopardise. Local is good, work for free and give it time. The best way to learn is to give it a try, understand why something worked and why something didn’t.
Start learning Google Analytics and have a regular set of daily blogs that you can read keeping you on the straight and narrow.
How do we prevent being penalised in the future, as we have done with the Panda and Penguin updates
You can’t! You need to be proactive, practical and quickly adapt to change. If you spam, you will get caught, but if you’re static you’ll get left behind.
Hope everyone found this useful.