SEO can take a fair bit of experience to get your head around completely – while it’s essentially the ‘science’ of getting your website as near to the top of Google’s search rankings as possible, it’s never really that simple (no matter what some Guru’s are telling you). The fact is – and this might come as a shock to anyone that’s been told they can sit at the top of the pile and lord it over their rivals from a throne made of amazing SEO magic – Google rankings vary from person to person. SEO is more about increasing your chances of being seen by the right people, never a case of simply climbing your way up past every other website to plant your flag at the top of Mount Google search.
Why is this? Simple. Google tries its hardest to personalise the search experience for every last user (at least if they’re logged in). This means that their search history will influence the searches people make – no matter how embarrassing – their location, and even their IP address. Google archives all of these things for logged-in users so that it can, in any hope, find the most relevant sites for each person. The only way you’ll ever see a ‘bare bones’ Google ranking is by actively logging yourself out of Google, wiping your cookies and browsing in private mode. (They still track your IP though)
This is a worrying trend with unskilled, sideline ‘SEO’s’. Some small businesses may find themselves throwing money at hollow promises to ‘get them to the top of page one’ without actually knowing the implications of how the process works. SEO is much more complicated than many people give it credit for being, and even the most experienced SEO professionals will agree. With this in mind, let’s face it – any firm telling you that they can guarantee you top billing for your given keywords isn’t giving you much credit. Just because you have a beautiful website, it doesn’t mean people will find it, ignore web designers when they say such a thing.
Good SEO practice takes into account the fact that Google personalises so much of its experience – anyone tackling it properly will be well aware that a Grandmother living in Scotland will have vastly different search preferences and habits to that of, say, the lead singer of a Queen tribute band based in Sheffield. They may well be searching for the same things, however, despite their differences – and the aim with good SEO is to ensure that it enables a website to be seen by as many people as it possibly can. You can’t please all of the people all of the time – it’s an old one, but a good one – and it’s worth bearing in mind when it comes to search rankings.
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What should you focus on?
Check your Google Rankings, no more than once a week – They change hourly, per person, don’t get too caught up. You can spend your time promoting your website instead.
Log out of Google – Don’t believe your ‘SEO Ready Web Designer’ when they keep claiming they’ve got you to number one. Wipe your history, even better use a private web browser. We’ve seen a pattern of self-taught ‘SEO Ready Designers’ running reports on incorrect rankings. Some don’t even do keyword research, or look to see who is ranking already, i.e., competition. Sorry but that’s not doing SEO, that’s guessing.
You can either improve your conversions or keep checking your keyword rankings every five minutes…..which is more rewarding? People leaving your website within a few seconds will cause your keywords to go down over time, so get the traffic and keep it and then get more.
You know you can gather traffic by good old fashioned blog posts? How about a video? Even thought about sponsoring a local charity? Think more than just keyword rankings, think of ‘real SEO’ as gathering traffic from as many places as you can…..quality traffic, the right traffic that you can actually convert into a sale.