There is no fixed rule about which of the Sevens you should employ but be aware; that they are designed specifically to complement each other so the best practice is to apply each one.
Consider the consequences before you start and only apply the sevens in the correct order. There is little to be gained from promoting an error-laden or incomplete website, except to put visitors off and even have your site penalised by the very people you are trying to please!
Good Code Practice
SEO Sevens Rating: 4
Messy code will have a detrimental effect on your page performance. Statistics will show you the detail of successful visits etc, but the real story is in what is missing, where are all the other visitors I could have? Code which includes unnecessary markup will take longer for the browser/server to process, vital seconds may be lost and in extreme cases, your visitor may leave before they convert to an actual customer. Strategic SEO can ensure you keep focused on the key elements of optimisation and there are tools out there to check your code, make effective use of these and learn from your mistakes. There should be no tabular construction in a modern website, instead, the CSS-driven structure is far more browser-friendly, but you do need to know what you are doing to make the best use of this method. Consider: W3C Markup Validation Service
Engaging in Social Media Campaigns
SEO Sevens Rating: 2
Social Media is one of the most important strategies to focus on when optimising your web presence. Regular updates, posts and comments are always welcomed by search engines, and they also serve to draw attention to your site. When used in conjunction with fully optimised landing pages, they can be the lifeline of any promotions, exclusive offers, or competitions. Used with thought and relevancy will increase your footprint on the web and highlight you for all the right reasons. beware though, overuse/familiarisation and blurring of the lines between business and your own thoughts and traits can have an adverse effect on your performance. Remember: if you are promoting a business, visitors don’t need to know what you had for dinner or watched at the cinema (unless you are a chef at the local Odeon. Must-haves: Instagram Twitter Facebook Pinterest Snapchat LinkedIn and TikTok. Where all may not apply immediately, each offers unique ways to promote your content so take them on and promote, promote!
Follow the “White Hat Rule”
SEO Sevens Rating: 3
White Hat SEO is the practice of using “ethical techniques” to promote your online presence and is without a doubt the only way to go. There are on occasion blurred lines between White Hat and Black Hat, increasingly so in recent years. The best practice is always White Hat. Do not be tempted by the dark side at all costs. Feel free to use questionable techniques if you must but be aware, that you will end up being penalised for it. Google rewards ethical practices so always follow White Hat methodologies.
Don’t make me Think!
SEO Sevens Rating: 3
If your visitor needs to think about how to search your site, how to get to a particular section or worse still, you have enticed your visitor with clever marketing techniques but the page they landed on does not match the link they clicked on and to them, there is no obvious way to get what they came for, so they leave. Common sense tells us to expect certain things in certain places, and we expect that a button will be pushed not dragged, links will be relevant etc. Don’t make your visitors work too hard, trust me, they will leave. Remember: what do you do when something doesn’t live up to your expectations? Take precaution though, as building an online presence around your own logical browsing style will only get you so far, you will also need to seek advice on layout, sections, and titles, even the very images you want to use need to be carefully thought out.
Optimise landing Pages
SEO Sevens Rating: 2
These are your gateway pages, the pages which should be optimised the most to help you convert a visitor into a customer. Without optimised landing pages you will have no effective way in which to draw attention to your call to action and nowhere of significance to publish your words that will sell your products and services. In the early days of the Internet, web pages were often just that, a single page which had been crammed with everything you did as a business making the actual content about as unoptimised as it could be. The Landing Page offers you a place to promote your business, a place to drive your customers to and to convert visitors into revenue. Consider a landing page as a flyer to a great offer, the better it is, the more likely you are to take up the offer.
Target your Competition
SEO Sevens Rating: 1
Obviously, it can sometimes be the case that there is no competition to target, well done to you for choosing a unique product or service. For the rest of us, if you have more than two or three major competitors then Analyse, Analyse, Analyse. The more you understand about your competition, the easier it will become to create a strategy to overthrow their SERPs rankings and climb to the top of the tree. Remember, you don’t always need to engage in a pay-per-click campaign or utilise AdWords or AdSense, but these are always there to assist organic performance. The use of paid advertising is a terrific way to kick-start your website but without a strong ethical white hat-driven organic strategy, your website may struggle to grow naturally.
Know your competition and aim to beat them and remember, when there are two or more of you running from an angry bear, you don’t have to outrun the bear…you need only outrun the others.
Promote your USP
SEO Sevens Rating: 1
Every business should have its Unique Selling Point, which should be at the forefront of any SEO or marketing campaigns. The USP is your reason for being, it is what makes your business stand out and be noticed and if your business doesn’t stand out then ask yourself, why not? Don’t be afraid of being different, embrace what makes your business different and nurture your USP to maximise its and your business’s full potential.
The SEO Sevens most effective order of application
The below represents the best way to optimise your website and content but it can always be subject to swapping around a little depending on resource availability and other factors. There are obvious advantages to following these steps in order but remember to revisit each step as you progress through the process as often, a slight change can lead to further changes, specifically with code or white hat rules.
- Target your competition
- Don’t make me think
- Good code practise
- Follow the white hat rule
- Optimise landing pages
- Engaging in social media campaigns
- Promote your USP