Search engine optimisation is often described as a dark art, largely because the big search engines like Google and Bing are always changing their algorithms to avoid manipulation. But as often as they change their algorithms, so the agencies and publishers who are trying to optimise their platforms, or game the system, if you will, are adapting to keep up. 

As such they might never be quite sure of how things have changed and what exactly makes for the most optimised experience, but they are still informed and able to make decisions based on knowledge and results. This experience can be broken down into several areas and these are some the factors that have been staples of the search engine optimisation process for a very long time.

Know what to provide
Search engines are all about providing the most relevant information to their clients. As such, if you run a small organic butchery in Sydney, traffic coming to your site from New York or Lagos is completely irrelevant. So, if you are going to be working with an agency to help drive traffic then make sure that you are signing up for local SEO packages, from providers who have a good understanding of the local ecosystem and who will be able to deliver you relevant and useful traffic.

You can’t just watch a video
As much as SEO is a ‘dark art’ it is still an area where the experts have accumulated their knowledge over a protracted period of time. It is based on real results and experiences and it has genuine value. And while they might be adapting to shifts and changes in the algorithms as they go along, they are still building a very strong core knowledge. So, the notion that you can simply watch some do it yourself videos on YouTube or Google a few pointers from the internet is complete nonsense. Rather partner with an expert if you want to see results.

Google is the key
As much as there are lots of search engines that you could use, the reality is that Google is the one that has far and away from the greatest market share. So, if you are looking to optimise then pay the most attention to how you are performing on Google. Unless you are specifically focussed on territories where Google is not relevant (like China) then Google should be the go-to platform which informs the bulk of your decisions.

Content is still king
Having regularly updated content on your site is still very important. Whatever the site has been set up to do – it might be a blog or a brochure site or a special interest group page, if it doesn’t update regularly with new and original content then it will slowly but surely fall down the rankings. So, as soon as you have created a site, commit to regularly writing new content or commissioning new content. It needs to be original content as well. Simply aggregating other people’s articles and opinion will only serve to punish you and have your ranking damaged.