Archive for November, 2010

Using words and communicating clearly

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Something that interest us here at Chameleon is the use of clear, straightforward language.  So often, we read and hear examples of complex or confusing language.  So it was interesting to read on the BBC website that simple language can translate into profit!  Read the article for yourself here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11811150

I’m just off to read it again!

SEO adventures

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Like many businesses, we have a website.  It’s our shop window and, although we don’t rely on it as our primary means of attracting customers, more visitors are always welcome.  I had been thinking about optimising the site even while it was being built, but had put it off.  Then I started getting calls from companies offering to get me onto the first page of Google.  I started getting annoyed when they kept asking me the obvious questions “would a page one ranking help generate sales?”  Well, yes it might.  But they couldn’t give me a simple answer to how they would go about making my site different from all the other training companies out there.  I don’t mean specifics, I wouldn’t expect them to tell me all their secrets, but I would have thought they could give me at least an idea of what they would do. I got really mad when I told them we had no budget and they still came back with the same, “but surely you understand that a page one ranking, etc, etc…..”

So I decided to have a try at doing it myself.  Now, this is where Google truly is your friend! There’s a lot of help and advice out there!  This was one of my favourites: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/55-quick-seo-tips-even-your-mother-would-love/6760/#ixzz11UkgJeWJ

I also signed up to Google Analytics, which takes a little learning but is well worth the effort. Just Google “Analytics”, it will be near the top of the results page!

I got a lot of help from the online forums at Serif (www.serif.com) I use their software for photography, graphics and building websites. 

It took a while, but now I’m getting onto page 1 for at least some of the things I think people will search for! And there’s the heart of it for me. What will people type into Google when they’re looking for your services? We run a training company, so “training” would seem an obvious choice. But you need to be smarter than that! I’ve been looking at what appears in Google when I get onto page 1 and it’s pretty much down to the content on my pages. So I’m busy refining the page content and seeing what happens.

I suspect that’s what a lot of SEO companies do. Now, all of this may seem obvious to some opeople, but there’s a lot of hype out there.  (Yes, really!) I’m sure there’s more to optimisation that I still have to learn, but I’ve found that the basics are fairly simple – content, content, content.  And you really do need to think about what you expect people to be looking for – that’s the hardest bit.

So, if you have some time to invest, why not give it a try yourself. It does take time, but it’s strangely compelling and you can get decent results! Oh yes, don’t forget to get out there in person as well. That’s a really good way to get people looking for your site!

Even if you don’t do it yourself, you will still be better equipped to ask sensible questions when you speak to your SEO company!