Entries Tagged 'seo' ↓

Old Hat SEO That Should be kicked into Touch

Search engine optimisation is one of those marketing techniques that changes more often than a teenage girl trying to work out what to wear on a night out.Old SEO techniques

You’re told one thing, then Google adjusts its algorithms and then you have to do something else.

Because of that SEO marketers tend to fall into one of two categories: those who continue to do what they’ve always done and begin to see their website’s fall, and those who embrace new techniques and flourish.

This post is aimed at the die-hards who believe that the old techniques are the best even if they are no longer working.

Here are 4 old techniques that should be shown the door. So if you’re still doing any of these, stop right now.

1. Keyword density

Wash your mouth out with soap.

All your content should be written naturally and with the reader in mind – not the search engines.

It’s hard to believe that there are still people out there fixated by the number of times a word or phrase should be repeated within their content. If you’re writing about a specific subject, the keyword (i.e. the topic) will be naturally introduced into your writing without you being obsessed by inserting it into every nook and cranny you can find.

As soon as you start to think about search engines you lose the ability to write naturally so cast them from your mind and forget about keyword density.

2. Press releases

Another firm favourite is writing press releases for absolutely everything and blasting them out to umpteen online outlets.

On the face of it you may think that’s fine, as it will generate loads of backlinks for you. But the problem is that the press releases aren’t newsworthy and can damage your reputation just as a poorly written piece of content can.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t write press releases, just make sure you only issue them for a real news story.

3. Spinning

Once upon a time, marketers thought it a great idea to write one article and then stick it through some spinning software to generate umpteen versions of it that were then blasted across numerous article sites.

The result was a lot of very bad articles.

Although that type of article marketing is a no-no, you can still write great, unique content and publish it to grow your reputation as an expert in your field.

4. Meta Tags

In this instance I’m talking about keyword Meta tags. They are meaningless and about as much use as a chocolate teapot, so don’t use them.

If you are using any of these ‘techniques’ stop right now.


Sally Ormond, copywriter, tweeter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd.

The Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency

You already know that search engine optimisation is one of the best and most effective long-term marketing strategies for any business that markets itself online.Finding an seo agency

But you also know that one wrong move and Google will be down on you like a tonne of bricks, so if you decide to outsource your SEO work, how can you be sure you find an agency that actually knows what its doing?

A lot of agencies will try to blind you with science and then take short cuts that, although may produce immediate results, could harm you in the long-term. Or you could end up with an agency that has no idea what it’s doing and simply won’t deliver the return you want.

So how can you be sure you find a good agency that actually knows what it’s doing?

Here are a few questions you should be asking when meeting with potential agencies.

1. Algorithm updates

What do you know about the latest Google updates?

Any agency worth its salt will be up to date with all of Google’s latest algorithm updates. You’ve probably heard about Penguin and Panda, but a good agency will not only have heard about them, it should also be able to explain to you what they mean.

2. Penalties

Can you tell me why I have been hit with a Google penalty?

If you fall foul of Google’s rules you will be slapped with a penalty, but in order to make good the situation it’s essential you know why you got the penalty in the first place.

3. Expertise

Now this one covers a lot.

You need to be sure of the agency’s technical experience and knowledge and that of their content writers.

There are loads of companies out there that can produce shed loads of content for not a lot of money, but if it’s not high quality you’re going to do a lot of damage.

On top of that, as social media is a huge part of SEO these days, the agency also needs to demonstrate it has a working and in depth knowledge of how to use social media to build influential relationships, promote your content, encourage sharing and generate customers.

4. Link building

What link building strategies do you use?

Link building, if done incorrectly, will damage your website. Avoid any agency that answers this question with things like, submitting your website to directories, placing articles on article directories, buying links, automated link building etc.

Instead you should be looking for ideas such as guest blogging on influential sites, increasing exposure on social networks and forums and other creative ideas.

5. Tools

What tools do you use?

There are certain tools that the agency should be using and some it shouldn’t. If they say they do everything manually, you’ll end up paying far more than you need to.

However, if you hear things like they use tools for link building, content production, social media etc., run for the hills as fast as you can.

But, you do want to hear they use tools for measuring their effectiveness, potential link opportunities, tracking your ROI and for the discovery of influencers etc.

6. Guaranteed results

Do you guarantee results?

If they say “yes” run away.

The true answer is “no” – no one can guarantee results when it comes to SEO.

Other things to ask

You should also be asking:

  • Who else they work for – can you speak to their clients?
  • How do they measure success?
  • What happens if they fail to provide results within the give time frame?
  • How will they report progress?

There are a lot of elements to your marketing strategy – finding the right professional copywriter to work with, the right design company, the right email marketing software etc.

But finding the right SEO agency is one of the most important aspects of getting your online strategy off the ground.

The Reason Why SEO is Expensive

Google is constantly changing the criteria it uses to rank websites – we all know that.

That means SEO companies have a tough time keeping up with the changes whilst still delivering the results their clients want.

To help you understand a bit more about what is driving the cost up, take a look at this inforgraphic from SEObook. The print is fairly small so you can see the full size version here.


Why SEO is Expensive.

Online marketing infographic by SEO Book

SEO Copywriting Had Changed Not Died

For many years now, businesses have turned to their trusted copywriter to create their website copy.SEO copywriting is dead


Because they knew that the way their content was written would have an effect on their search rankings, in other words they needed SEO copywriting.

Now for me ‘traditional’ SEO copywriting is no more, especially in light of Google’s recent algorithm changes that has put more emphasis on good quality writing as opposed to that which is over optimised.

Let’s face it, that’s not a bad thing as finally, we might be able to say farewell to those awful web pages that are completely incomprehensible because they are stuffed to the rafters with keywords.

So are copywriters now redundant?

Far from it.

Google adores good quality content. That means stuff that’s:

  • Well written
  • Adds value to the reader
  • Interesting and relevant

And that means it should still be written by a professional because they do it every day and therefore are really rather good at it.

You see the misconceptions that SEO copywriting is all about including your keywords at least 15 times in your copy, or stuffing them all within the first few lines of your page, or just getting copy out there that the search engines read because people don’t read it anyway are exactly that, misconceptions.

SEO copywriting is and always has been about writing good quality content that’s focused on the reader and communicates with them in a conversational, simple to understand way.

Basically, the copy should always be written for the reader and not the search engines. Google or Bing aren’t going to come knocking on your door, credit card in hand, looking to buy your products or services so why write for them?

If you produce great content that entertains, educates and engages then customers will walk through your door because it shows that you ‘get it’.

Sadly, SEO copywriting has a long way to go before the myth of keyword stuffing is debunked for good. In fact, I was working on a web copy project recently for a client who, unbeknown to me, was working with some ‘marketing experts’ to get his business on track. He’d asked me to produce his web copy, which I duly did, focusing on the benefits and reader. After reviewing it and agreeing it, he then sent it to these ‘experts’ who came back saying ‘this is not SEO copywriting, there is no optimisation…’

Was I fuming or what?

After explaining once more about SEO copy and offering to send his ‘experts’ some information from Matt Cutts that backed up my work, they went quiet. It’s a shame, but that just goes to show how indoctrinated people are about SEO copywriting.

Over to you

I could bore for England on this subject, but rather than do that how about having your say?

Whether you’re a copywriter, marketer or business owner, what are your thoughts on this?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your views.

Negative SEO – Matt Cutts Tells All

What is negative SEO?

Well, you know what SEO is, right? It’s a way of optimising your website so that appears in the search results.

Negative SEO is a way getting your competitors websites penalised by Google by various means, including poor or downright bad links.

Since Google’s last updates (Panda and Penguin), the search engine has been placing more emphasis on the quality of links pointing to a website. So, in theory, it’s possible to get sites penalised by creating loads of ‘dodgy’ links.

Before you start having sleepless nights, here is a video my Matt Cutts to put your mind at rest.



Sally Ormond – Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd