… and does it really work?

When the internet broke free of the universities and defence networks, people quickly realised the benefits of having their information freely available on line.  There was an explosion of websites but no easy way to find them.  Enter the search engines!  The big ones used to be AltaVista, Lycos, Ask Jeeves and Inktomi.  They did a good job for their time and none of them dominated the search industry. You might rank well in one of them and not another because their algorithms and methods for ranking were all different.

Enter Google and the game changed.  Google were just better! At one time Google was responsible for around 85% of all searches outside of China.  Yahoo and Bing have been eating away at this number And Google is now only responsible for about 70% of the organic traffic.  That’s still a huge number.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is all about helping Search Engines to know that your content is what your clients want to find.   Sounds simple but in a world where there are now over a Billion websites and 4.46 billion pages online.  That’s a lot of pages for Search Engines to review and decide what is important and what isn’t.

The good news is that there are many tools and techniques that can help and a big part of SEO is making sure you use the correct ones.  When SEO is implement properly, search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are far more likely review a page, and award it a more appropriate ranking on an organic search engine result page (SERP).

Some SEO strategies are quite straightforward, but others can be extremely complicated.  The really important thing is to have a strategy and follow it. There are dozens of tactics and methods that can be used and one size doesn’t fit everyone.  Fortunately, the secret to SEO success is simple – great research, an achievable strategy and persistence.

Persistence works.  There are those that will promise shortcuts and miracles based on the dark arts of ‘black hat’ SEO.  The chances of these working with modern search engines is small and the risks of being penalised or even banned by the search engines is huge. At Hot Source Creative, we focus entirely on ethical “white hat” SEO practices.  Why? Because the results are always much better in the long term.

Great SEO is like a great meal.  It starts with the right recipe, the best ingredients and a skillful chef to put them all together.  Then … it’s about patience as everything merges together to deliver a banquet of success.

In a nutshell, SEO is about truly understanding what people are searching for and how they are doing it.  Once this is known, it is about making sure that the pages are matched to those searches – just like a CV should always be crafted to match a job application.  You may have heard that when it comes to the web then ‘content is king’.  The truth is that good content is king and bad content can be a site killer.  Quality content development is now a critical part of the SEO process. Once the page is live it is then even more important to make sure that it is accepted as good and credible.  This is achieved by making sure it is recognised by other authorities and that the structure of your website guides visitors right to it.  Finally, in a digitally social world it’s critical that it sits at the heart of a positive network of social media, news channels and digital influencers.

Read more here.