“As new technologies are assimilated into our daily routines, they stop feeling like contact with an unfamiliar future and start feeling like familiar objects with their own special character
Haile (2014) discusses the impact of digital technologies since the dawn of the first computer in 1948.
As each new digital technology is introduced, it integrates itself into the everyday routines that we experience and slowly becomes a part of our everyday lives. Social Media for example has now seemingly become a necessity in every aspect of not only personal lives, but business, and specifically marketing.
This blog post hopes to provide an overview into aspects of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) that have enabled this blog to generate visits and views. It is also the intention of this post to understand the factors where SEO was not fully utilised and where it might have been possible to improve usage and increase the audience numbers.
The foundations needed to build successful SEO begin with content and an understanding into what not, and what to include on a webpage. Applying this to my first blog post it is visible that having no knowledge of using ‘tags’, ‘categories’, ‘relevant titles’ and ‘keywords’ had an enormous negligible effect on the number of views/visits to the post. Throughout the short lifetime of this blog, an understanding of digital media as a whole has been generated and more importantly, the integration of ALL digital Media. It is surprising to realise the sheer capabilities of digital and the progress that it is set to make.
Referring to the Periodic Table of SEO Success factors (SearchEngineLand, 2014) that was used in a previous SEO post, it is possible to identify areas in which this blog did not succeed within SEO and how it might have been possible to generate more visitors and reduce bounce rates.
In the interest of a limited word count, the focus will be limited to only a few areas of this table that have been identified as underutilised in the process of this blog.
Firstly, ‘Research’- “Research ‘Keywords’ that people may use to find content”. With a weighted ranking of ‘3’ this factor identifies one of the major flaws in the attempt to maximise visitors. An oversight that Ryan (2014 pp.111) also reaffirms saying that “knowing your target audience is a critical component of SEO”. Research into the types of people that might be searching for similar content as that which is in the blog posts might have revealed what prospective readers might be typing into their searches in order to find content. This could have provided better information as to what keywords or phrases to include in the post that might encourage a search engine to provide this blog as a result. It is suggested by Clay (2014) that search engines give more emphasis on the headings found on a webpage. A more careful selection of keywords to include in titles for each post would have possibly yielded better results also.
Whether or not the results of SEO would be noticed in the period of time this blog has been running is not clear; the short period of time it has been running however, could play a factor in the amount of visitors to the website. Berman & Katona (2013) argue that the effects of SEO can take months to materialise. Although the next factor further reveals how this might have been the case.
“History” -“Has the site or domain been around for a long period of time“.- Search Engines keep records of web pages and whether or not they are reputable to recommend to searchers or not. This could indicate two factors that potentially link extremely closely with one another. “History” along with “Reputation” – “which analyses respected web-users use of the content” – in other words, whether it is shared on social networks or not and how much. It is likely not possible for the pages on this blog to have generated any reputability with Google, Bing or other search-engines, with potentially the only way around this being to find a way to include links to the blog on other reputed sites.
This then, poses the question of what could have been better utilised to increase visitors and views. Simply put, a better all round understanding of SEO would have been beneficial to this blog. As Shreeves (2012) states SEO is “a process—a series of planning and execution steps”. With the knowledge that has been gained however, a more proactive approach could have been taken towards content. A consideration to what the audience may be searching for and what they may want to read whilst also ensuring that the links included within posts were of good quality.
Another important factor to consider is Social Media. Anderson (2013) argues that the importance of SEO may be declining and that of ‘Social Media Optimisation’ (SMO) is becoming a much more reliable and better placed form of web-marketing. With SEO requiring websites to follow a set of rules to ensure that its ‘search spiders’ (Ryan, 2014) can roam the pages in order to index the information, websites can lose a certain amount of engaging content for the reader. SMO however, simply encourages better content, whilst also enabling content providers to interact directly with social media users. Anderson (2013) continues to explain that SMO is “about inviting people into conversation rather than merely broadcasting a message”.
However due to the relative immaturity of this blog, it is recognised that time will be necessary to generate a consistent audience. Considering these factors it might be seen that blogging, specifically in relation to this blog, would benefit from increased efforts on social media optimisation. Whilst efforts on SEO will pay off in the long run, it is important to note that immediate benefits have been reaped from posting on Social Networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Anderson, T. (2013). SEO is dead, Long live Social Media Optimisation. The Guardian. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jul/22/seo-is-dead-long-live-social-media-optimisation [Accessed 3 Nov. 2014].
Berman, R. and Katona, Z. (2013). The Role of Search Engine Optimization in Search Marketing.Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, 32(4), p.645.
Haigh, T. (2014). We have never been digital. Communications of the ACM, 57(9), pp.24-28.
Killoran, J. (2013). How to Use Search Engine Optimization Techniques to Increase Website Visibility. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 56(1), p.51.
Lines, N. (2014). What is SEO and how can it help my website’s Google visibility?. The Guardian. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/jan/16/what-is-seo-how-website-google-visibility [Accessed 3 Nov. 2014].
Ryan, D. (2014). Understanding digital marketing. London: Kogan Page.