Demystifying SEO

You may have a fantastic website that ticks all the boxes, but where do you rank on Google?

10 April, 2017 / management
 Susie Anderson-Sharkey  

In my previous article, I wrote about setting up a new website for the practice, and my experiences of this along the way. Having set up a website, it would be easy to think that all we have to do is sit back and “let it all happen” but, in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

If we take that approach then let me say, precisely nothing will happen. You will have a shiny new website that may tick all the boxes but this will be short-lived if your website is not regularly updated and relevant content added to it. That’s where this mysterious acronym SEO (search engine optimisation) comes in. Put very simply, SEO is making sure that you get a website that ranks well in search engines.

So, your new website has been created, and this has probably taken many months and many rewritings along the way. Now it’s out there for all the world to see, that’s exactly what you want to happen… you want all the world to see it. But in order for you to ensure that this in fact happens, you will probably need to enlist your very own SEO guru who will work his/her magic and have you ranking up there with the competition (and even in front of the competition).

This is not DIY. Do what you do best and hire someone who knows their craft

SEO is always evolving. You don’t launch the perfect website and feel you’ve nailed it. A few months down the road, Google changes what it’s looking for and suddenly you find that, instead of being ranked say, number two on page one of a Google search, you inexplicably find yourself number nine on page four. And, let’s face it, who ever goes as far as page four?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned along the way it’s “do what you are good at, and pay someone else to do what they’re good at”. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Let me give you an example. Way back during the first few years of my marriage I was determined to save money by painting and decorating. Nothing to it, easy, or so I thought. When I look back and think of the hours upon hours I spent with a paintbrush in hand, hanging wallpaper, living in a mess for days on end, being utterly frustrated and not even happy with the end result, you’d think it would have dawned on me sooner that it would have taken a professional a tenth of the time, they would have done a much better job and there’s more to life than saving a buck. What price sanity?

It’s exactly the same with SEO. We think we can save money, add some relevant key words to our text, or pay a pal who knows “a bit more about computers than I do” and, hey presto we’re there. Not.  This is not a DIY area. Find a reputable company that does this SEO thing day in and day out, has a proven track record (ask for names of a couple of their clients) and leave them to get on with the algorithms, keywords, meta tags and all the other jargon associated with keeping you at number one, page one.

It’s important to have regular meetings with your SEO provider and they should be advising you on what changes need to be made to your website to keep it functioning optimally. An important aside here – I have found that it’s better to keep the building of a website to a company dedicated to the creation of websites and outsource the SEO to a company dedicated to SEO. Although your website creation company may do an excellent job in building your website and they will know a certain amount pertaining to SEO, in my experience I’ve found it better to keep the two separate.

On saying this, your website creation company will need to work in close association with your SEO company to ensure that your website is fully optimised. The website which has been created will evolve over the days, weeks and months to come. It won’t be whole pages or whole chunks of text that will change, it will be key words, phrases, headlines, banners that will be regularly changed to keep your rankings high and it’s your SEO guru who will provide you with the information you need to make these changes.

So, to summarise, SEO isn’t a DIY affair. Do what you do best and hire someone who knows their craft and who will get your rankings high… if they haven’t made a difference in six months, hire someone else. You should see a difference well within six months.

Have regular meetings with your SEO guru and ask to see copies of Google Analytics which will show your performance on key words

Keep your website fresh with updated content, banners and headlines.


About the author

Susie Anderson-Sharkey is the practice manager of Dental fx in Bearsden. She previously worked as a dental nurse and an oral health educator.

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