I have been aware for a while now that our website is not optimised as well as it could be for Google and other search engines. We have made efforts as a team to add relevant keywords, write relevant copy and tags but in truth our efforts to date have been pretty half baked. We have seen a lot of hits coming to our site from Google but I am convinced we could achieve a lot more.

I think we are in a similar position to many organisations. I know that going through our website and spending time optimising each page is something I should do, but finding the time to do it properly is a real challenge. We have been busy working on virtual events, altering our product offering and planning an official launch night for the business so finding time to complete this project has been pretty difficult. That said, our website is our main selling tool and point of contact for our clients and last week having spent a month looking at the “DO SEO!!!” scribble on my white board, I decided to bin the excuses and actually do something about it.

That same morning I got a call from an SEO expert called Mark promising me he could get VirtualStudio.TV to the top of the Google rankings. I told him that this would be great, but I wasn’t convinced that he could keep such a promise as so much depends on what other people and competitors do. In an instant he asked me to type into Google something along the lines of “Genealogy specialist Luton” to show how having spent £500 with him, this client was appearing as number one in Google for that particular search. I didn’t mean to be rude, but I told him that I wasn’t totally blown away by this demo and suggested that having one of his clients show up at number one in Google in a market with a bit more competition and geographical spread might be a better sales pitch…

One the back of that call, I decided if Mark could make a living out of SEO, I could at least have a crack at doing our website myself. I had a look on some blogs and on Google and found a book that I recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about SEO and therefore optimise their website.

It is called “How to get into Bed with Google” and is written by Jon Smith. It is available in book shops and on Amazon and will set you back around £10.

The book explains everything you need to know about SEO and what you can do to push your website up the Google rankings. None of it is rocket science; it is written in English and not tech code and is full of great suggestions and tips. Many of the things in the book you can do yourself, while some of the more advanced stuff might require some help from your web developer.

In a market full of “experts”, false promises and expensive gambles, this book really is a tenner well spent. Some quick take away tips from the book are:

  1. The title tag (the text you see at the top of a web page while you are on it) is the most important element in terms of Google keywords.
  2. Google no longer takes notice of keywords, but other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo do. Having other websites add clickable links to your own on their site has a massive impact on your Google page ranking.
  3. Getting inbound links from sites with a higher page ranking than yours is a great way to get your site further up the list.

I have booked some time in my diary next week to begin SEO work on our site and I will keep you posted on my progress. If you have any guidance or advice for me I would love to hear it!

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Simon Malone