Should you [re-]consider Search Engine Optimisation?

May 22nd, 2020 by Heather Maloney

It was around 1984 when flaming logos and animated ‘under construction’ images were a thing. Someone realised that if you stuffed your web page with words about scantily clad females and their large anatomy, that you would get found by more people searching the ‘net and that you might get more traffic to your website and therefore customers. Thus was born the industry of search engine optimisation (or ‘SEO’ as it is commonly known).

Yes, we know you get inundated with unsolicited emails and phone calls offering SEO services, and telling you that your website lost visitors over the weekend due to lack of SEO, from local and overseas organisations guaranteeing amazing results in a short time.

We know you get these, because we get them too!

But please don’t be turned off this very valuable marketing tactic, just because of the number of shonky service providers.

tailored search engine optimisation Melbourne

There are 4 pillars of SEO activity which we employ across websites for which we are carrying out search engine optimisation. These 4 pillars work together to deliver high ranks in the search engines, particularly Google:

PILLAR 1: SEARCH TERMS
The selection of search terms for your website is a critical step in optimising your website for search engines. There will likely be many words that you can use to describe your products, services and industry. However, not all of these will be commonly used by people who need to find you. And if there are too many such words, you won’t (at least initially) have enough content to support them from an SEO point of view.

The critical nature of this step is why we start all our new SEO projects with a Competitor and Search Term Analysis to identify commonly used search terms, for which your website has the greatest opportunity to rank fast. We then allocate the selected search terms across your website so that if you are editing content on pages of your site, you know the focus search term for that page. Over time, as we see positive rank changes for the selected search terms, we will work with you to add more terms into your website. Search term reviews are also important to ensure that we identify new terminology and changes in search behaviour, over time.

PILLAR 2: CONTENT
Once appropriate search terms have been selected, then these need to be utilised throughout your website, in an appropriate way (not stuffed into your site in white on white text – that’s black hat SEO, and doesn’t work / gets you banned). Our SEO tactics include ensuring appropriate frequency, and placement, of search terms and related / semantic terms. A content strategy may be required with regard to your use of blogs, and interlinked web pages, white papers, and social posts to help your website appear high in the search engines for the selected search terms.

PILLAR 3: TECHNICAL OPTIMISATION
How easy it is for a search engine to crawl your website using the code that is found behind the page, combined with how easy it is for a visitor to use your website, are the drivers of technical optimisation. Implementing technical optimisation can involve a wide range of activities, from reducing the size and number of javascript functions that are required for your website, to reducing the size of images, or implementing caching. Our experienced web development team will carry out the technical optimisation, ensuring that your website is protected during this process, and appropriate backups and code source control is implemented.

PILLAR 4: WEBSITE AUTHORITY
Google’s determination of how to rank your website on a search for a particular word or phrase, compared to other possible results, is also heavily influenced by its private ranking algorithms. The closest we know to this secret score is Moz’s Domain Authority score, however we know many of the factors Google assess.

Authority can be attributed to your website by the number and quality (domain authority) of links to your site. Links can be part of advertisements, guest blog posts, news articles, directories, and more. Building inbound links (also known as ‘backlinks’) over a period of time is very important for your website authority, and increases the likelihood of achieving high ranks. As part of our SEO service, we will help you to build quality links, and disavow dubious backlinks which may arise due to the behaviour of black hat SEO.

The way Contactpoint carries out SEO is a bit like the person working in the commercial division of a large corporation, who continually turns over the same rocks (supplier contracts) trying to extract a bit more value month after month. Every month we spend a few hours concentrating on activities within the 4 pillars, to glean just a bit more value, just a bit more optimisation. We do this over a long period of time, rather than all at once, for the following reasons:

  1. Google values a natural change in your website content. When your website’s suddenly gets a raft of changes (except when you have launched a new site such as our recently launched project Sound Cartel), Google perceives that as you using black hat or grey hat techniques from a dubious SEO company who has attached your website to a link farm or similar. Remember those companies who offer to get you ranks in no time? That’s likely what they will be doing. Having Contactpoint carry out a small number of changes to your site, each month, ensures that the search engines perceive your site as being regularly updated, and any SEO work is considered organic and natural.
  2. Google’s search engine algorithms change on a regular basis. As part of our monthly work, we have the opportunity to adjust your site optimisation accordingly.
  3. Your competitors may change their site or SEO tactics, causing your ranks to drop. Each month we check your ranks, in comparison to selected competitors, allowing us to adjust our tactics if your ranks start dropping. If you are not paying attention to the numbers, you won’t know to take any action.
  4. Depending on your industry, search behaviour of your potential customers may change. For example, a new buzz word is introduced into your industry, or the current news means people are searching for a different type of service more frequently. At an appropriate frequency for your website, our SEO service also includes reviewing the search terms used to optimise your site, to ensure that they are still the most popular search terms, for which you can achieve a high return on investment.

We have found over the decades during which we have been performing search engine optimisation for our clients that we have been able to achieve great ranks and increase traffic to their websites, often on very small budgets.

On the rare occasion where we haven’t been able to achieve high ranks and increased traffic, we have stopped out service so as to not waste our clients money.

What is black hat / grey hat and white hat?
What constitutes safe SEO is really just a matter of not trying to trick Google into giving you higher ranks then your content actually deserves by providing high quality content and making that easy for the visitor to find.

More recently we are also seeking to provide answers to questions that searchers are like to ask, making it easy for Google to find the right answer. Anything added or implemented within your website in an attempt to trick Google into ranking you highly, is likely to be circumvented by Google in a future algorithm update, and at that time your website and any ranks you may have achieved will likely be penalised.

Link farms are a common approach to try and trick Google. A link farm is a pretend directory or website – often with a high domain authority – that has many links to other websites. These have come and gone over the last decade, in various forms, getting better and better at tricking Google, but ultimately Google always identifies and remove the offending pages from its ranks. It’s just not worth it, and there are more legitimate tactics for ranking higher in Google.

Contactpoint has been providing SEO to our clients since 1999. We have only ever employed white hat tactics, and will always follow that principle. That way you can be assured that when Google performs an update of its search engine algorithm, that your website will not be penalised for black hat SEO tactics. Sometimes we will see sudden drops in ranks, but in such a situation, the ranks improve again very shortly thereafter.

So why would you consider doing SEO (or perhaps reconsider SEO)?

  • Whilst SEO is a medium-term marketing strategy (you can’t just start one day and receive the benefit the next), it is very cost effective. It is much more cost effective than pay per click campaigns, even though increasingly it is obvious that what Google want you to spend your money on a Google Ad campaign!
  • SEO has a longer lifespan than PPC or social media marketing. Your efforts in SEO can have an impact over many years; PPC ads are only present as long as you are willing to pay for their appearance in the search engines. Social media posts have the highest likelihood of being seen only within a few hours of posting.
  • Being found in Google is now even more important than ever before!

Our SEO service starts with an initial analysis to determine the best search terms to choose for your website and determining how competitive your area actually is online. We then provide SEO on a budgeted hours per months basis starting at just 4 hours per month (determined by the extent of your content and how much content you are likely to produce requiring optimisation).

Wondering how Contactpoint’s SEO might benefit your business?

Call us today or request a meeting for a no obligation chat regarding our SEO services, and how we can improve your websites ranks in the search engines.

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