Thursday, 13 September 2007

Scotland 1 France 0 now Scotland knows what SEO guys feel like!!!

It was an amazing night last night for Scotland, beating one of the best teams in the world on their turf!!! Well done Scotland. Today people in Scotland are feeling what can only be said, what a SEO person feels when they eventually move up the ranks in google search results.

There is nothing better than seeing your site move above competitions after months if not years of blood, sweat and tears. SEO guys are a bit like plumbers no one really appreciates, what they have had to do to get websites up the search engines, this normally because you cannot see a lot of the work being done. Also like plumbers the client knows its working or not.

SEO is a funny old business, rather like sport. As Liverpool Manager Bill Shankly once said -'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.' Well sometimes it feels as thou SEO is the same as you watch google frantically for signs of change. SEO is like being the manager. You can tell everybody what to do, you can shout from the touchline but you never tell whether they are going to perform. Is your goalie (aka webmaster) going to let a sitter in ie change the way the server works without telling you. Is your striker (marketing director) going to get into his head some strange new strategy that he doesn't tell you about. Every so often it just happens you wake up one morning and you have shot to the top of the rankings... just like last night when McFadden turned and shot it straight over the goalie. Perfect. It only happens once or twice.

So my advice if you want to feel like a champion and walk down the street with your head held high when you have reached the number one slot then remember these simple rules.

  • Right good unique content
  • Try and add new pages to your site daily / weekly
  • Use bloggers on your own site
  • Make sure your site is well designed and easy to navigate for surfers and search engines
  • Get inbound links from good quality sites
  • Don't link to any old site be careful
  • Don't try sneaky tactics like hiding text, buying link etc Google knows all the tricks
The best sites tend to have been well thought out and have lots of great content which is ideal for the Long Tail theory. Sometimes you will find you get more traffic off all the 100's of pages you've been adding rather than worrying about getting to number 1 for a specific search term. Remember one thing when you do reach number one there is only one way to go so be prepared to fight to stay up there as you will become the one to beat.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

All Small Business Owners Should Learn Basic HTML

Nowadays with so many content management systems and software like Dream weaver making it much easier for people to learn how to update websites, all business owners (SME's anyway) should have basic HTML skills.

One of my pet hates is people who use the excuse they hate computers or won't take the time to understand the internet. The internet is crucial to so many SME's these days, for example getting your website on the first page of Google for a certain search term could be like advertising your business on Television around the world, which of course you would not be able to afford.

My other big pet hate is when business owners allow their cousins or nephew to build their site in a bedroom. Now I am not saying there aren't talented nephews or cousins out there but 9 times out of 10 these are the same SME owners who get a poor response from the Internet and wonder why...

My advice to any business owners is take time out and learn as much as you can about the internet and what it can do for your business. Just because you ignore does not mean your competition does. I never thought I would be selling half the stuff I do today through the net.

The net in simple terms can let a business tell the world instantly about any special offers or services you may want to offer. You can use it to update information, play around with prices and also the best thing about the net is you can go to bed knowing that your business is still available and interactive with the rest of the world. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning a couple of grand richer!!!

Here is an example : I have been working hard on one of my businesses Self Catering Cottages in Scotland to get it up the search engines for keywords like self catering Scotland. Now that I have achieved high rankings I have saved myself about £7k in commissions and more importantly increased my revenue. See my self catering cottage in the North West of Scotland I have only got 2 weeks left to sell, this is a massive improvement on last year when i relied on agents to sell my cottages.

So please all business owners learn as much as you can about the net, it could change your business over night...