SEO must be one of the buzzword related to web design - and for a good reason. Search engine optimisation is incredibly important to get noticed online. But talking to my clients, I realised they had a few misconceptions about what SEO is - and what it isn’t. Here's what not to do and why:
This actually used to be an effective strategy in the early days of the internet. But today, search engines are using more sophisticated strategies to find content that is relevant to what’s being searched for. And algorithms are constantly being updated to penalise (rank down) websites which try to manipulate them. Keywords are still important, but they’re best used in strategic places, like headlines, and wherever they would occur naturally in your writing.
Optimisation should be something you do once, then it’s done. And it’s true. Your web designer will optimise your site with regards to loading speed, mobile optimisation, meta descriptions etc. But to be effective, SEO requires constant attention. The most reliable, long term strategy to make your site rank highly, is to constantly update it with high quality content. A blog is a great way of doing this. It allows you to add relevant information to your website without having to change its structure and main content when you don’t need to (it’s also a great way to add relevant keywords to your website). But in order to help with rankings, it needs to be updated regularly.
The sad truth is that SEO takes time. It may take up to six months until you see the first results. The reason being that search algorithms may need this long to become aware of your website and its content. Once this has happened and your site has been indexed, the results of your SEO are quite difficult to scale: it will be hard to know which precise update had what effect on your rankings. Don’t let this discourage you though. All the efforts you put into your SEO will pay off - it might just take a little longer than expected.