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SEO Details MatterIn SEO, details mat­ter. In fact, suc­cess with Search Engine Optim­isa­tion is largely built on two simple things — per­sever­ance and atten­tion to detail. The trick, of course, is to know which SEO details to pay atten­tion to. A recent event reminded me of this, and hap­pens to illus­trate a couple of basic prin­ciples of SEO, so I thought I’d pass it on.

An Unavoidable Upset

First, a bit of back­ground. As I’m a web design­er based in New­port, Wales, you might expect me to get traffic from searches for “web design New­port” — and you’d be right. I like to be on Google’s front page for that search, and often am.

Still, you may also ima­gine that I’d be com­pet­ing with web design­ers from every “New­port” in the world for that phrase, many of whom know a bit about SEO, too. Again, you’d be right. It doesn’t take much to fall from that front page. The upheav­al of rebuild­ing my site from scratch (as I did recently) could do it — and it did.

SEO Reports To The Rescue!

Thank­fully, I had expec­ted this. After all, I do provide a wide range of SEO ser­vices. So, I applied all the fixes sug­ges­ted by my favour­ite SEO tool on my new web­site as soon as it went live. Soon, my homepage was as com­pet­it­ive as ever, so I figured it wouldn’t be long before it recovered its pre­vi­ous pos­i­tion.

Of course, noth­ing is ever quite that easy — and this is where the handy remind­ers of key SEO les­sons began.

Lesson 1: Your Competitors Aren’t Sitting Still

Cer­tainly, mine hadn’t. Yours may be less act­ive online than web design­ers tend to be, but you still have to keep com­pet­ing. Oth­er­wise you fall behind, and then you’ll have to work even harder to catch up.

This is why SEO is really an ongo­ing strategy, rather than a one-off task. A con­cer­ted SEO cam­paign (like the ones on my SEO ser­vices page) run over sev­er­al months can boost your search pos­i­tion­ing, but that won’t last forever. Broadly, the ques­tion, “When will my SEO be fin­ished?” is a bit like ask­ing “When can I stop com­pet­ing?”

Soon, my site’s search pos­i­tion­ing sta­bil­ised a little lower than it was before. Most not­ably, the homepage was about halfway down on Google’s second page for “web design New­port”. Clearly, I needed to do some­thing more.

Lesson 2: SEO Details Matter — Even Invisible Ones

Turn­ing back to my SEO reports then, I examined them even more closely than before. Pretty soon, I noticed a detail that looked okay at first, but could have been bet­ter.

Right now, my homepage starts with some large text that says, “The sky is not a lim­it”. It’s big, and it’s a head­ing, so I had told the code to treat it as one. Here’s the thing, though — head­ings are import­ant SEO details, and that one didn’t con­tain any keywords. It was dilut­ing the oth­er head­ings, which did.

So, I just changed that text from a head­ing to some nor­mal, if large, para­graph text. A day later, my homepage was back on page one. Com­pet­i­tion increases the high­er up you get, so jump­ing sev­er­al pos­i­tions for a small, invis­ible change really shows how much details mat­ter. Of course, it may not last, unless I keep at it — which leads to Les­son 3…

Lesson 3: Search Engines Really Like Updates

You see, part of that boost is prob­ably just because Google noticed an update to the page. Web users want up-to-date con­tent, not yesterday’s news, so that’s what Google and oth­er search engines try to provide.

That’s one of the reas­ons why hav­ing a blog on your web­site can be so power­ful. Fre­quent updates make it clear to vis­it­ors and search engines that you’re act­ively work­ing on your site — and by implic­a­tion, your busi­ness. Oth­er­wise, you might know that you’re still trad­ing, but if you haven’t updated your web­site for a year, how could your site vis­it­ors tell?

Conclusion

I hope that illus­trates the import­ance of SEO details, and how use­ful decent SEO reports and an on-site blog can be. If you’d like more inform­a­tion on how I could help you, please check out my SEO ser­vices and SEO FAQs pages.