SEO: The Long & Short Of It

Modern Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) isn’t about quick tricks and wins, those days are gone.

The concept and application of SEO has matured, bringing changes that will impact businesses both in the short and long term. One person who knows all about this is Sam Clarke from Shooting Star, who delivered his insights on how SEO has evolved in recent years during his Main Stage talk at OW19: Focus on the Future.

An experienced advertising and marketing professional, Sam has worked for international clients in various sectors for over seven years. During his session at OW19, he analysed with the audience what is overhyped when it comes to SEO, and what is now redundant:

“The first thing that needs to go is keyword stuffing; the idea that businesses can puff up a blog post or article with keywords is dead. It’s an old-school technique that doesn’t provide value to readers and it’s too obvious to crawl bots that read websites for Google. If it reads poorly for potential customers and is frowned upon by Google, then it’s a no-go.

Another more dangerous tactic is the use of advertorial which is also known as native advertising. Like with many things in marketing, the US dog wags the UK tail and people blindly accept standard practice over there as being totally legal here too. That is simply not the case; our laws are stricter, and Google has clamped down on this easy link-building method as well. Don’t think you can fool people by paying for what are essentially fake endorsements. If the Advertising Standards Agency catches you, you could face a significant fine.

The key to SEO success is the same as all marketing. Once you understand that outputs and results regarding SEO are linked to other parts of marketing, everything will work together. If you have a piece of strong creative advertising or a significant award win that is publicised in the media, the likelihood is that it will contribute to an increase in web traffic.

Google’s goal is to create a system that can mimic human judgement and use tried and trusted signals. This includes age of websites, user experience, inbound links from high quality websites such as national and trade media.

Getting the basics right of technical SEO is important, but also bear in mind that success in SEO is often a by-product of good overall marketing. The effects are integrated and like a house of cards, one weak card means the whole thing won’t stand up.”

For a full recap on OW19: Focus on the Future, read our dedicated blog.

For more on Shooting Star, visit their website.

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