Don’t use SEO to paper over the cracks – Five ways to help fix your rank

With the amount of activity on the internet these days its only natural for companies to wonder about SEO and how they perform during a search.

At OPEN there has been a marked increase in the number of queries relating to ranking and generating SEO reports for websites.

I attended a Google Breakfast Briefing this morning that got me thinking… there is still a lot of ambiguity around what it takes to rank well in searches.

We need to have a discussion about SEO and what it actually involves.

SEO is not a silver bullet

Let me explain. SEO is a good thing to do but it relies on a few other things being in place in order for it to really have an affect.

Firstly, search is only about 5% of a users daily activity. We don’t wake up in the morning and start plugging in random search terms to Google before we get out of bed.

Search accounts for a fraction of online activity

Invariably a search is a response to a stimulus – an ad, a conversation, a knowledge gap, a moment of envy or a general wonderment. Regardless of the origin, when a user performs a search it’s to satisfy a specific need.

Secondly, Google ranks webpages not websites. There is no amount of SEO that will shoot a static website to the top of the SERP. Unless you are Wikipedia, a boring static website will not rank well over time. Actually, that’s a little harsh on Wikipedia. Its boring to look at but the content is being constantly refreshed and added to.

Google search rankings have evolved from being about quantity of keywords to being about helpfulness, relevance, security and trustworthiness.

In the case of Wikipedia they execute SEO perfectly. As an online encyclopedia they want to score well for reference type queries.

Don’t be Wikipedia

If you type in a search term, generally if Wikipedia has a page on that topic, it ranks well. Why?

The first line of any Wikipedia page has the search term, what is, what it does and how you’ll find it type information. For example if you search for Johnny Depp, the #1 on the SERP is… his Wikipedia page.

The opening paragraph of the Wikipedia page is “John Christopher “Johnny” Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, producer, and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. He rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol.”

The first sentence has the search term, what he is and what he does.

But unless you are an encyclopedia… Don’t do a ‘Wikipedia’ on your website.

If you look at this visual, again from Google Breakfast Briefing, there are plenty of things you can do to get noticed online.

Here are five things you should do to make your website engaging and provide some SEO indirectly.

Create an email marketing list, grow it and get it humming. We don’t perform search before getting out of bed but we do check our email.

Create a blog and fill it. You are over 50% more likely to pick up a client through your blog if you post monthly. This rises to over 80% if you blog daily.

Do social. Decide what social channels work best for you and push your blog posts out through your social media. We look at these in bed too.

Use Display Ads. The ‘Click Thru Rates’ associated with Display Ads are tiny, on average less than 1% . But, they play an important role in brand awareness. By using targeting and re-marketing you can get serious bang for your buck.

Create short videos. YouTube is the second most popular search engine. A YouTube channel with commentary, comparison, review or explainer videos on your product and service can also be used as video display ads. Check out previous post for more on video HERE.

By doing all of the above you get a double whammy benefit of creating meaningful, engaging content for your audience and all of the above will also create SEO juice for your website.

Creating Killer Content is the best form of SEO

Before you get concerned with you page rankings you should be asking yourself things like who are my audience? What are their pain points? How does my product/service provide a solution? How can I meet them when they search?

Answering these questions should be the goal of your content.

SEO is a ‘best practise’ for good websites but a little misunderstood as to what exactly it is and how its done. Creating killer content is the best SEO exercise you could perform.

About OPEN Design and Digital

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