Are you wondering about SEO and if it’s still worth doing? Here’s just the kind of conversation we might get involved in on that – with the kind of answers we might give if we could be this wordy on the spot:
So, is SEO still a thing then?
Of course it is. And why wouldn’t it be? SEO is about the tactics to get your website to appear at the top of the results when people use search engines like Google, so it’s still going to be around while people still find things that way. Over the years, search engines have tweaked their algorithms and how they choose to position pages but don’t let that put you off. There are still things you can do to please them and get found by more folk.
SEO is different now but for a lot of brands it’s still important.
You say ‘different’, in what way?
In many ways. SEO used to be a bit nefarious. People practising it used to stuff keywords onto pages to get high rankings, creating gobbledygook content at the expense of users. Or do arcane ‘black hat’ tactics to trick silly search engines into ranking pages in top positions.
It used to be seen as a bit of a dark art. Still is.
Now though, SEO is a more rounded beast. To rank well you need to think about the bigger picture. You need to stop thinking about robots and start thinking about people. So less sorcery, more empathy.
That’s not to say it can’t be technical and a little esoteric – I mean, adding structured data’s not for a beginner – but to get your content in front of the people who’re looking for it, you need to provide great content.
Actually, ‘great’ is a little vague. Let’s say, useful, accessible, authentic and truthful – or even entertaining.
Is it any good for my sustainable brand?
Oh yes! There are loads of people searching for all sorts of sustainable bits ’n’ bobs these days. Just look at how these Google Trends graphs are shaping up over time.
And calling it a trend is taking it too lightly. Sustainability’s important, so this searching’s going to continue. For you, this means there’s the opportunity to appear for these searches and get more folk to your website.
Where do I start though!
Well, the first thing is to get your sustainable service and website spot on. Here are some top tips for your sustainability storytelling to help. But assuming that’s in place, a good starting point is to research the keywords that people are searching for around your service – there are some good tools for that. Then you need to get these words in the right places.
Your meta data is one of the first places to get to work on.
Sorry. Meta data is some text that doesn’t show on the page but shows up in Google’s results. It’s important to put keywords there.
Here’s our meta data. You can see from the title that we’re focusing on ‘sustainable agency’, and related words and phrases.
Got it. Meta data. But can I also put a box on my page that’s got thousands of keywords in it and is hidden from users? I know someone who did that and it….
Just a little one?
So once the keywords are done then that’s it. I’ll be top of the charts!?
Unfortunately not. You do need to get the basics sorted but SEO takes time. A way to think about Google’s cleverer algorithms now is that they reward the best brands for a given search – not the brands that are best at keywords. So to rank well you more or less need to be one of the best brands with one of the best websites and some of the best content.
That sounds broad. So SEO is not just about SEO then?
No. SEO hasn’t got much to do with SEO now. Or at least, it’s a part of a wider plan. To do SEO well, you need to also do other things well – like create great content, be mentioned by experts and leading publications in your field; focus on the UX of your website. Stuff like that. It’s not just about keywords.
Now, that’s not to say there aren’t things you can do that are SEO only. But the approach that’s going to work over the longer term is a way that integrates SEO into everything else you’re doing online – as part of a whole.
I see. Am I at any other advantage by focusing on sustainability?
Yes. I’d say you are. If SEO is about building brands then sustainable brands have great stories to tell that people want to hear. You’re at an advantage when doing the things that will affect SEO, like creating content and growing social media.
And from a competitive point of view, doing something new that might be a little niche now but is in a growing sector, means that you’re up against fewer competing pages. You’ve got a better chance of getting onto that lovely first page where folk will find you.
Just look at us. We would’ve had no chance focusing on ‘marketing agency’ but we’re already doing pretty well on ‘sustainable agency’ and more people are searching for that over time.
Sounds tops! Can you help more people find my sustainable brand in search then?
Of course. In a plain speaking way that’s linked to the rest of your plans – and only for sustainable brands like yours. I’m about to head off but think about it and give me a shout on the contact form later if you want.