It is often said that digital marketing and SEO, in particular, is probably the most efficient and cost effective form of modern marketing. However, due to its somewhat technical nature it is often put to one side or ignored in favour of more traditional methods of marketing which are easier to understand and have existed for decades.

In cases where online marketing activities, including SEO, do not provide the expected results, a failure to deliver is blamed either on the marketers or on the technical staff. However, the truth is that effective online marketing actually requires the collective input not only of marketers and technical staff but also the involvement of the brand team (where applicable) as well as strategic guidance and support from senior management.

Various marketing specialists and experts talk about content marketing, social media, html tags and more. But in practice, there are some basic principles which from experience I can say they are practically the most important things when it comes to ranking well on Google.

Content

Your website content has to be unique: Your content must be yours and written by you. You are the one who knows your business the best. Don’t copy content from elsewhere.

Your content also has to be useful and practical: Create value for your customer. Don’t just give them one-liners or just provide links to other sites. For example, if you are a hotel and you want to tell them how to come to your hotel don’t just give them the link of a taxi firm or a bus company. Give them real advice: where to take the bus from, where do they buy the ticket from, how much does it cost, how long does it take, what if I have pets, what if we’re a group or family. Give your customers really useful information.

Also make your also relevant: whatever you write it has to be relevant to what people search for online and the information they’re after, as well as the products and services which you’re offering. Also, ensure that each page has its own unique theme or topic. For example, if you sell, say, fruits…you may want to have a fruits page but then each fruit should have its own page. The apples page will be only about apples and the oranges page will be only about oranges. Don’t include too many different topics within the same sections of a site.

As for the technical implementation of where to put those relevant keywords, simply read the SEO Started guide from Google.

Links

The initial Google algorithm was based on the number of links on other sites pointing back to your site. This is still very much true, but the links have to be relevant and they should also come from reputable websites.

This means that links from other sites are meaningful only if those sites are somewhat relevant to what you do. So if you are a hairdresser and the link comes from a fishmonger’s site then it’s not relevant. If however, if comes from a site which reviews local businesses such as a local newspaper then this link is far more relevant, and this is the kind of link you want.

Similarly, you want links from sites which can be trusted. Just like the above example a local newspaper’s website would be considered a more trusted source of information compared to the website of a fishmonger.

You can get ideas about where you could list your website but simply looking at what links your competitors have. A simple way of achieving this is to do a Google search for: "link:www.mydomain.com".

Expose your information

Ok, so you’ve spent a lot of time getting links from reputable sites, wrote some useful and amazing content but you still may not be getting the results you wanted. Well, check that Google can actually read your content. Often changes you’ve made or even entire parts of websites are not seen by Google because your website’s programming or server settings block it from “reading” your site. To check exactly what Google has indexed on your website simply perform a Google search for: "site:www.mydomain.com".

You can also take a look at Google’s ‘Webmaster tools’, which allow you to see information about some of the information and data Google has about your website.

  

By Denis Kondopoulos MBA MBCS CITP CEng CIM Google-Certified, technical project manager, Naxtech.com


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