Did you know that searches in eBay have elements of Google search?
I used to sell 12″ DJ records on eBay. I would conduct competitor research and I saw other people on eBay would sell Michael Jackson – Billie Jean by calling their listing simply ‘Michael Jackson – Billie Jean’
My listing title was is completely different.
All of my titles would start: 12 inch vinyl.
The second part of the title would read: Funky House.
The last part would be: Michael Jackson – Billie Jean.
The amount of traffic specifically searching for Billie Jean would be much lower than people searching for the generic term funky house for 12 inch vinyl record.
Therefore my listings covered all bases.
I benefited from having specific targeted traffic for Michael Jackson fans, but I also reached a broader audience of people searching generally for house music records.
Let me use the eBay principal and apply it to your website.
There is a fictitious hairdresser in Bristol called TRIM NATION.
People searching Google for TRIM NATION will always find the website.
A bit like people searching eBay for Michael Jackson and Billie Jean will always bring up my listing.
The point of SEO is to attract visitors to your site that are not aware of your brand name.
What we need to do for TRIM NATION is to attract traffic from broader keywords, so I am going to rewrite the homepage as I often find the title of the website will be headline text saying ‘Welcome to TRIM NATION’.
I would rewrite the homepage headline (or H1 header) to read something like
Hairdresser in Bristol
Haircuts ladies and gents
If you notice I did not use the brand name on purpose. Usually your website is your brand name additionally you will have your logo and banner also saying your brand name.
The most popular question I get asked is “How long will it take for my website to be Google page 1?”
The answer is the same for everybody. There is not one SEO company in the world that can predict how soon your websites will hit Google page 1 as there are over 220 points in Google’s new algorithm that define how well a website would rank better than it’s competitors.
But it didn’t always used to be that way.
Back in 1990’s when everybody was using Yahoo and Ask Jeeves, Google first came onto the scene in 1998.
Oh, a sidenote – before Google was called Google was named Backrub. This was because their algorithm checked backlinks to estimate the importance of the site.
Back in the 1990’s the more backlinks you had the quicker you would get to Google page 1.
When this was realised by search marketers there followed an explosion in the few years after this which led to the overnight success of SEO … and ultimately its failure.
Google realised that search marketers were manipulating their results. Companies were buying hundreds, if not thousands of backlinks, overnight their website would jump up in Google, increasing their traffic – and also increasing their revenue.
Schemes like link farms and link wheels were used. People used to swap backlinks just to get further in Google no matter whether it was relevant or not. British Hairdressing websites were linking out to chicken farms in Russia. Chinese hairdressers were linking back to airport taxi companies in Bristol.
And then you can throw into this mix the repetition of key words. Google loved keywords and the keywords meta tag. Now Google completely ignores the meta tag and has done since 2009.
Repeating keywords over and over gives the visitor a poor experience, so the trick before then was to hide keywords as white text on a white background. Companies building websites with white space at the bottom and then using white text invisible to visitors, but visible to Google.
Trim nation could have done something like [white text white background] hairdresser in Bristol, ladies hairdresser in Bristol, hairstylist Bristol, haircut Bristol, and would have been pushed up in Google rankings.
SEO has evolved. The single most influential factor ranking every website is now relevance and geographical location.
Google’s mapping system shows people in Somerset searching for ‘SEO training’ my website. People searching in Leeds would not have my website returned to them in search results.
I’m number 1 in Google for ‘SEO Weston super Mare’, but if you search for ‘SEO Bristol’, even though I have the keywords ‘Bristol’ on my website I do not rank for this search term.
The evolution of Google has led to the evolution of search marketing. No longer are backlinks a primary factor of ranking – since 2012 websites have actively been penalised by Google for having poor quality irrelevant backlinks. Websites dropped overnight after the Google change in algorithm, and CEO’s all over the globe started to panic, what’s the new magic trick?
Images and Alt Tags
So let’s go back to our fictitious hairdresser Trim Nation.
The website will have images of hairstyles on most pages. Very similar to a wedding photography website which will be heavily image led.
This is difficult for search engines to rank as they cannot read images.
When you download a photo onto your computer its default name is usually something similar to DC001098 – renaming all of your images to include your keywords helps search engines attach importance and relevance to your website. These are called alt tags.
Trim nation would have a male hair stylist model images renamed
Gents Hairdressers Bristol Fishponds Filton Trim Nation
A photo of a small child would be call
Kids Hairdressers Bristol Fishponds Filton Trim Nation
So now Trim Nation has an optimised title header, images and descriptive text. What can we do next?
Most websites are now on Google places, which used to be called Google maps, nowadays referred to as a Google plus page.
On your Google plus page are you backlinking to your website?
Are the images that you have uploaded named to include your geographical and relevant keywords?
1 – Video SEO and YouTube
Your company images can be easily be turned into a YouTube video for your channel.
Why would you want to have a YouTube channel? Google owns YouTube.
Filling the ‘About Us’ section of your YouTube channel and backlink to your website.
Using the YouTube software upload your images and company logo and make a slideshow video.
Think carefully about naming the title of your video. Remember the Michael Jackson eBay theory.
2 – Google Blogger
What else does Google give us for free that would help our website?
Has anybody heard of blogger.com, also called Google blogspot?
Sign in with your normal Google account and create your first blog.
Even if you have a blog already on your website the addition of a Google blog is great for backlinks.
Think about how you would title your blog.
Upload your product or service images which have been renamed. In your text hyperlink out to landing pages inside your website are relevant.
Go back to your YouTube channel and copy and paste the embed code in your video, and upload your video to your blog.
You can also add your company logo which would link back to your homepage.
3 – Google+
The other advantage of Google blogger is that its link to your Google+ profile.
Google+ is a social media platform that’s like Facebook for people that you don’t know.
Like Twitter you can find new people and interests, and promote yourself by by using #hashtags in your posts.
This is a great use of social media. YouTube is also classed as social media, and it has great benefits of SEO, as videos will often be presented in Google search results when you are looking for keywords, I hope you have noticed this?
Using Video SEO, Google products such as Blogger and other social media channels for quality backlinking, together with an on-page relevance of keywords, page titles, headers and image Alt tags, your website will improve in Google rankings.