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A layman’s approach to SEO

I occasionally get a request to do some SEO work. I'm far from being an SEO expert, though most of the things I make do pretty well on our favourite search engine. I usually offer the following tips.

The way to look at it: Google is a company that makes it’s money though search by connecting people with the information they’re looking for. There aren’t really any tricks, and Google has occasionally hammered down on SEO approaches that try to manipulate their results. Which wasn’t great for your marketing if you relied on shady tactics based purely on keyword optimisation.

Fancy SEO isn’t a science, and never has been. The staff at Google are probably smarter than me or you, so there’s no point trying to outwit them with shortcuts any more.

To rank highly on Google, it comes down to building something that’s:

Easily crawled – this means properly marked up content and tidy URLs. Well written meta data, alt tags and titles are part of a good html document – not an SEO trick. But you might benefit from a few tweaks.

Well performing – this points to a responsive ‘mobile friendly’ design with fast loading and optimised assets.

Engaging – content that is meaningful to your visitors. Focus on providing quality content or service that both fits in with your marketing strategy and engages your visitors over time. Do marketing in a digital world, not ‘digital marketing’.

If you want Google to like you, be likable and forget the party tricks. Good web design means good SEO.

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