Thanet Star

Thanet SEO, SEM and Snake Oil

Ranking well in the competitive Thanet search listings is not easy. One minuet Google seems to love you and the next...

The subtle art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and it's more level headed brother Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are a topics that seem to bring all the cranks to the field. For every one or two SEO experts in Thanet you will find as many as thirty snake oil salesmen. Sadly this is about average.

So how can you be sure to find a good SEO in Thanet and how can you be sure that the money you pay will be money well spent?

Keep reading for the secrets of SEO in Thanet.

The problem with competing for web traffic in Thanet is that the very first results page that everyone wants to show up on is "Thanet" where the likes of Thanet District Council and the Wikipedia generally dominate the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Trying to muscle in on the well established Thanet SERPs via SEO or any other method is going to get expensive.

Worse still the results page for "Thanet" as a search term might not be your best target anyway. Unless you in some way embody the idea of Thanet (such as being the council or the authoritative documenter) then the traffic you get will be unfocused and you SEO effort to rank for the term Thanet are going to be costly and ineffective.

The trick is to select target key phrases that relate to what you are offering and then to optimise your content around this target. For example as an SEO adviser I would not suggest that a green grocer try to rank for "Thanet Butcher" but rather for "Thanet Veg", "Thanet Grown", "Thanet Fruit" and related variants. Content that strongly embodies these topics should naturally occur on a Thanet green grocers website.

If you are going to employer an SEO expert for your Thanet website then you need to check a few things:

1. A local SEO. An SEO from Thanet is going to be aware of the needs and quirks of local search and have the right contacts to help you get established.

2. A person that ranks for their own chosen keywords. Does you SEO expert rank for organic search terms such as "Thanet SEO" or "Search in Thanet" and not just for their own name?

3. Are they aware of the hyper-local Thanet search and do they also rank well here?

4. Ask them what methods they use. If you hear words such as "On Page Optimization", "Link Building", "Copy Writing", "Link Bate", "Targeted Articles" and so forth then you may have a quality SEO

5. If, when they tell you about what they do, you hear words like: "landing pages", "doorway pages" (search engine spam), "PPC" (Pay Per Click or other advertising talk, "forum marketing" (mostly spam), "automated content" (search engine spam), "SEO Software", "robots.txt" (a minor tool), "Meta tags" (outdated and mostly worthless), "cloaking" (search engine deception), "engine specific content" (search engine deception) and "comment marketing" (comment spam) and a little too much talk of "page rank" (a minor issue) and "link sculpting" (a fine tuning technique of limited value) then run away and never come back. Such an SEO has no idea what they are doing at best or at worse does not care that they may very well cost you your current placement in the Thanet SERPs.

6. Ask them about previous clients and ask what business sector those clients are in. Search for these past SEO clients not by name but by topic and see how well they show up (if at all). For example: the imaginary "Rockfords Tires" in, say, Margate, should at least show up for "Tires Thanet", "Margate Tires" and "Tire Specialist near Margate" if the potential Thanet SEO could not help their clients show up in the top 3 results for the clients main key words then they are unlikely to be able to help you.

As you can see SEO in Thanet is as much art as it is since and it pays to hire an expert and not a pretender. A pretender will more than likely cause your site to break one or more of the engine's inclusion rules resulting in your entire site getting black listed leaving you worse off than ever before and out of pocket for the privilege.

If you pay for SEO in Thanet make sure you do not buy Thanet's local Snake Oil instead.

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Public Comments

This Normal comment was left by Sir Head [score: 0]:

Nice article although i do tend to disagree about the meta-tags (lots of search engines still use meta-tags to find and rank pages).
I generally don't use "On Page Optimization", "Copy Writing", "Link Bate", "Targeted Articles"
and have only failed to get one website i have built into the top 20 in google using specified search terms. That was because of the abundance of other films,games, teams, music etc with the same name but that site sits at 27 in the rankings so not too bad. SEO is not the be all and end all to help ranking - page links are high up there and so still are meta tags. Keep up the good work
18/02/2010 12:17:17

This Normal comment was left by Peter Checksfield [score: 0]:

Interesting comments Matt. As you know, my Naked in Thanet site was placed very high in Google searches for "Thanet" (4th or 5th place during recent weeks) but has now suddenly disappeared from view for no apparant reason! It's still on Google though, & comes up high in other more specific keyword searches. Strange...
18/02/2010 22:48:20

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

The question is not how many search engines use meta tags but how much traffic can you get from them? If the answer is little or nothing then the value of the meta tags is limited or nonexistent.

Engines are fickle as Peter has seen and keeping up with the minor details of SEO is hard work but as Sir Head has found just providing valuable content is most of the battle.

You are right that SEO is not everything but the amount of companies that sell actual damaging services as SEO shows the need for quality information to be available to the Business people of Thanet. If I can help even a few companies paying for rubbish then I am happy.
24/02/2010 23:00:23

This Normal comment was left by TROLL [score: 0]:

Disemvoweled! (116.73.129.12)Wbspchstng

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05/03/2010 11:27:16

This Normal comment was left by TROLL [score: 0]:

Disemvoweled! (116.73.129.12)Wbspchstng

Wb Hstng ND

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Th Prfssnl S Cmpn wth dcds f ndrg n S cnnt vrf crwnng S srpss n nnsnthtc s ngn ptmztn. Bcs, th snr crtr s nt prtd mnll nd t s hndld b rbts f s ngns. Srch ngns mdf th lgrthms f ths rbts frm nstnc t nstnc bsng n thr rdrd f prcdrs. Hnc, ht t s tht mch cmpns r mt t blnk pckts nd nt fr sm bstrct ls. T ftr frnkl, th mdf cnnt mdf strt r crsd prprl.
05/03/2010 11:36:16

This Normal comment was left by TROLL [score: 0]:

Disemvoweled! (41.117.72.154)Vr cl rtcl, kp p th xcllnt wrk. hv t mntn tht r blg lks vr cl. Cntct m f nd hlp wth r < hrf=&qt;< hrf="http://www.smplgrtdsgns.cm/" rl="nfllw">http://www.smplgrtdsg...>&qt;>Wb Dsgn</> nd grphcs :)
05/03/2010 22:33:24

This Normal comment was left by James [score: 0]:

This is an excellent article and I just wanted to say that Google announced that they will not care for meta tags. I mean I know it is important to come up for other search engines but everything revolves around Google. I mean by all means you should set your meta tags but Google is not looking for that anymore.
08/03/2010 20:03:12

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

I agree with you, James, that Google is powerful and important but to see them as the only game in town might be to miss out on what the others can offer. It is not going to be in the same class but when it can be had for just a few moments work...

Google have set their entire method to go only on the manifest content of the page so for Google what is shown tot he user is everything. To have them place little or no value in meta data seems fairly logical.

Thanet said title and description are fairly important meta data and will continue to make things nice with the likes of facebook links and so forth.
09/03/2010 12:34:45
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