Dark Art of SEO - Smoke

24th February 2016

The dark art of SEO

Leo Mercier

Leo Mercier

As an internet age company, we frequently get asked this question: “How do we get to the top of Google?”

Like (probably) most of you, we receive endless emails from overseas internet companies promising to get us to page one. Fact: there is no hard-and-fast method for achieving this and you should be wary of anyone purporting to guarantee it. But it is definitely possible if you’re ready to take a few targeted, intelligent steps.

The oldest (and least effective) trick in the book is keyword jamming – intentionally increase the keyword density for desired terms. This might have worked in the early noughties, but Google has since grown and wisened up to this. In fact, doing this will damage your search reputation and you’ll certainly see an negative effect – avoid it.

Backlinks still have merit – from the analytics of our own site we see a good chunk of our traffic come through the weblinks we tend to place at the bottom of the sites we produce. This is a great example of the system working: the user has been interested by our content and has actively engaged with it, which we are then rewarded for with a higher search position.

On our Analytics account all our sites show up as backlinks. This works as a verification method to let Google know that the site is genuine. Each site has a pagerank on Google, which you can check here. When a site places a link to another site it is effectively recommending it, and part of the pagerank is passed on. More high-quality backlinks build up a pagerank, which improves your appearance on Google.

Social media has an influence on SEO. The greater the followers, the more verified a website is. The more an article is shared, the better it will perform, not only on Facebook or Twitter, but also on Google.

Don’t buy followers. It’s really obvious when you do and doesn’t look like the organically grown audience that will help your search ranking.

Make sure you link your social media channels to your website and vice versa, there are a couple of html header tags to place in the page to complete the link (sorry for the developer speak!)

Facebook advertising is expensive but does tend to pinpoint the audience you’re looking for. It allows you to upload mailing lists of your followers and it will analyse this segment for ‘like interests’ to build up your audience, to then advertise to similar individuals. Even a small budget will really boost a post. So it’s worth it. Without pushing a post it is likely to get lost in the mess of people’s news feeds.

The message to take away from this: there is no clear way to get to page one of search engines.

There are only best practices, and innovative thinking is key to getting your page out there . Start with a well structured social media campaign or some cross brand promotion, harnessing the audience you’re looking for.

If search and social exposure is something you are struggling with, get in touch and we’d be happy to give you some tailored advice.

Crowdform is a digital agency based in London. We’re a multidisciplinary team that builds websites, apps and digital products.