With apologies and condolences to our Scottish clients, I have to admit to being a teeny weeny bit excited about England coming out on top of Group D. Whilst enjoying the game last night, I must have been subconsciously thinking about today’s blog writing task, so for your enjoyment I have combined both.
Here’s why, SEO is just like the Euros (with a little creative license applied!)
1. It takes a team
You can have the best website manager in the world but the task of making a website work hard from a SEO perspective, usually requires a team approach. It’s fine having a digital ‘Gareth Southgate’ up front but you need buy-in from your PR, social media, content writers, in-house industry experts and senior management team to take your website from being something that just looks good to something that delivers the goals… I mean, goods.
2. Everyone, yes, everyone will have an opinion
Everyone uses a website so you’ll find that everyone is an armchair pundit when it comes to your site. By deciding what metrics and KPIs are really important to your business you can maintain a clear vision of whether it’s working and not get distracted by too many opinions. Data is key in being able to justify decisions and prove success.
3. Set pieces are crucial
When a corner or a free kick is given, it’s important that all members of the team know exactly where to be, and the same can be said for meta content. Knowing it’s in the right place on every page and optimised to perform as well as it possibly can, is vital to SEO efforts. There are always other factors at play but meta, like a set piece, is something you do have control over, so make the most of it.
4. What you do off the pitch is as important as what you do on it
The England player’s use of hot yoga pods has been well documented in the media but in terms of SEO, we’re talking link building. Focussing on your own site will only get you so far, to really make a difference to your SERP rankings, you need to be thinking about activity off site as well as on it.
5. PR is helpful
All of the spokespeople in the England camp will have received media training in an attempt to say just the right thing at the right time. PR tactics should not be overlooked for SEO purposes either. Often you’ll find your own site competing with news and other media outlets in SERPS – not just your known, direct competitors. In this case, a well placed product mention or namecheck on the website of a high profile national newspaper, can be just as effective for brand awareness and trust building.
6. Creativity is required
You can at least draw a football match by being solid in defence but some sort of flair, creativity, or panache is required to deliver a win time and time again. With SEO, it is possible to tick many of the boxes that apparently meet Google’s algorithm criteria and still not be generating the levels of traffic in either quantity or quality that you’d hoped. When the basics are covered, it’s time to apply some fresh ideas just as Southgate has done with the likes of Jude Bellingham. SEO is not just a mathematical or technical exercise but requires some blue sky thinking too.
7. Take a long term approach
I’m slightly hedging my bets here and whilst it would be great to reach the quarters or semis, the long term goal is in having an established team for the 2022 Qatar World Cup surely? SEO success takes time too, not just to undertake great work but for search engines to notice and then make changes based on this information.
8. Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals were combined with Google’s existing search signals into a broader ‘Page Experience’ set of criteria back in May 2021. Some of the new ranking factors include speed, interactivity and stability, skills which, some might say, may also be useful on the hallowed turf at Wembley.
9. Bounce rate
Ha! Sorry couldn’t resist! Hats off to Bukayo Saka last night who generally gets the ball and runs with it – no ‘hoofing it up the pitch with your fingers crossed’ for this player. I get very cross with ‘hoofers’ as a midfield tussle around a high bouncing ball is just a lottery. Of course, you want to try to control your bounce rate for SEO purposes and in general, low is good, but be aware, there are circumstances where higher is okay too.
Come on – I’m writing about England – I could hardly miss this beauty out.
Google’s always had its own VAR. If you’re not playing by the book, you will get found out and recovering from a penalty is always painful, as every England fan knows.
And there you have it. I obviously had to get this blog post in relatively early as by next Tuesday, the dream may well be all over!