Telegraph Releases List of Top SEO Tips

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SEO Tips

The Telegraph, a respected UK news site, has compiled the suggestions of some top SEOs in the UK. While the list touches on several vital points, it also makes a couple miss-steps. Here are the specifics.

The SEO Tips List

I’ll go ahead and bring the key points of the list over, and make my own comments after each item, noting where Telegraph got it just right and where they slipped.

  1. Produce unique, dynamic, and authoritative content.

    We can all agree that this is a key to getting a website into a successful position. Beyond avoiding the “spam flags,” quality content also increases social sharing and the likelihood a site will be linked from off-site.

  2. Utilize long-tail keywords.

    While it’s absolutely true that long-tail targeting is an important tactic (especially for small- to medium-size businesses), it’s important to keep in mind that organic CTR is also dramatically lower for long-tail terms.

  3. Optimize meta tags.

    Yes and no. Don’t optimize all your meta tags (meta keywords are dead, and dozens of extra meta tags exist for specialized purposes), but optimize your meta title and description.

  4. Run a blog.

    It’s definitely a good way to build reputation and communicate with people, and it’s a great place to put content, but this is more a social tactic than an SEO. The amount of link juice a blog will generate for the main portion of your site is nice, but certainly doesn’t deserve the #4 position on a top ten list.

  5. Optimize for local search results.

    That’s definitely true, especially with the rise of smartphones and the “blended pages” from Google that provide Google Places pages on the home page.

  6. Invest in an SEO and user-friendly domain.

    Domains are certainly important, but note that they’ve continued to decline in importance over the last few years. Aim to have a keyword present while keeping the domain memorable and professional.

  7. Analyze your competitors.

    It’s definitely a good springboard into other tactics, and helps you learn how your own industry performs.

  8. Use content as a platform to build links.

    Pushing for organic links by sharing content is by far the best way to get effective, honest links. Just remember to post it on your main site (i.e., not on an article site, not on a sub-domain, etc.).

  9. Set realistic goals.

    While being realistic is important, it’s more important to focus your goals on maximizing ROI. Your objectives shouldn’t just be “increase traffic by X amount,” but “increasing profit by X amount.” The traffic is just one of several important elements of this.

  10. Invest in social media marketing.

    It’s certainly true that brand awareness, link-sharing, and increased visits to the website will help. It’s also a great way to build relationship. Of course, social media marketing – while it belongs to the “web marketing” category in general – isn’t exactly SEO.

Anything They Missed?

Telegraph touched on some of the key points in the broadest possible sense, but they didn’t go into specifics. Things like how to make content shareable and how to write quality content are far more important than knowing that those are your targets. They also didn’t mention any of the ways that websites so often shoot themselves in the foot – especially in the post-Panda world.

If I were to add one thing to the list, it would be: “Add value with everything you write.” It’s at the root of quality, user experience, shareable content, and being social. It’s a vital element to SEO for any company.

What would you add to the list?

Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in... Read Full Bio
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  • I would add to this list to “always be testing”. SEO is a process and takes time. You get more of out learning and adapting to changes in the SERPs than from the first stab at it (usually). Patience, understand the metrics, and keep testing. Good critique of the list though!

  • When I had an ecommerce business my best links came from PR (including The Telegraph!). If you can get a mention on a major media website it’s worth a lot in terms of SEO.

  • One thing they missed or perhaps they don’t consider part of SEO is the ‘user experience’ or usability of the website/ user metrics – time on site, bounce rate, etc. They are increasing in importance for ranking.

  • David Sewell

    Shame on the Telegraph for stooping to pull the cheapest, spammiest SEO trick of the lot.  A Top 10 list, fait moi un favour…
    Anyone in this field will see this list and laugh out loud.

  • You’ve nailed all the usual suspects with this article.

  • If you look at the URL, you can see this is a sponsored post. So I wouldn’t exactly say “has compiled the suggestions of some top SEOs in the UK”

  • I would definitely agree that they simply skimmed the surface of a very deep body of water.  Of course, their target was most likely not the SEO professional, who would see this list as somewhat sophomoric.  I guess it’s more of a bulleted list than a in depth discussion.

  • Thanks for sharing it.

  • seo company

    Article submission, participated in forums, social bookmarking and commenting are best method of increase backlinks.

  • wow… Meta tags.. good to see they are up to date .

    But I do agree a little more than the author regarding url’s.. I have found with Googles brand obsessions and authority obsession, sometimes the url is what car still bring your rankings.. maybe not so relevant for older domains but for the new ones I see it as getting mroe important.

  • Looks as if it is a bit of out dated especially the one about meta tags.

  • A definite list for those new to the industry, but with so many great articles (like SEOMoz’s Ranking Factors for 2011, or their beginner’s guide to SEO, etc.) this one seems a bit…lacking.  I’m surprised to find it here in the SEJ, if it was anywhere else it wouldn’t have been received with such a parade of criticism…

  • The tips were a bit too generic for my blood.

    It’s like having a title saying: The Latest Top 10 Health Tips:
    1. Get 8 hours of sleep
    2. Eat a balanced diet
    3. Drink fresh water
    4. Etc.

    • DangerD

      It’s probably not aimed at pros!. At least if site owners read it, they may have a head start in understanding what the pros are talking about…

  • Ymil

    Oh wow… I didn’t know the Telegraph is selling links… Shameless! =D hardwood flooring, online MBA, personal loans? Those are some QUITE interesting posts they have in the sponsored section =)

  • PalmGeo

    The article covers the basics pretty well. There are a lot of things that can be added some of them are like these…choosing you preferred domain (canonical element), XML sitemaps for crawlers, alt tags of images, Video sitemaps etc.
    One more thing if you are placing the content for the purpose of SEO, it will hurt you!
    Make sure you place some content that is interesting and user might share it across the web.

  • PalmGeo

    The article covers the basics pretty well. There are a lot of things that can be added some of them are like these…choosing you preferred domain (canonical element), XML sitemaps for crawlers, alt tags of images, Video sitemaps etc.
    One more thing if you are placing the content for the purpose of SEO, it will hurt you!
    Make sure you place some content that is interesting and user might share it across the web.

  • Anonymous

    SEO is one of the best source for online business. For increase website visibility there are many techniques in SEO. But for get higher ranking and to get more traffic one should have to provide fresh content and one should have to taken care about keywords , tags , page look and many factor. Observe people demand day by day and according to it choose keyword. So this will help more to get higher rank in less time.
    social bookmarking service

  • Very basic stuff but it’s not The Telegraph saying this. It’s a sponsored article by SEOConsult (wonder how much they paid for it?). Not the best advert for an SEO firm is it?

  •  I just read an article focusing on the Google +1 button, claiming SEO is now really just about how many +1’s you have. I’m sure that type of article is just to stir things up and get noticed, but it’s annoying how wrong it is. Yes, social is very important. But it’s not destroying SEO. So I was really glad to see good content at #1 and social at #10. 

  • Howdy here’s my take on this list:

    #10 I gotta disagree about #10 where you say ‘social media isn’t exactly SEO’… I have seen cases where 1 tweet from twitter can actually move a page up in serps. I’ve also read that with the Google Panda update they do take Social Media more importantly…

    Of course it’s not the be-all-end-all.. On-site SEO is as important as ever, and there are some nice wordpress plugins that help with that such as EasyWPSeo, and SEOPressor.

    It’s also important to have a real goal for EACH page.. I used to blog nilly willy and I would actually get ranked here and there for some long-tail keywords.. but 10 nilly willy blog posts may result in a page 1-2 listing on google.. BUT one on-target, highly optimized page or blog post is almost guaranteed to rank higher.

    I no longer write any content without an SEO purpose, and without going through my checklist of SEO actions for each new page on my site.
    #9 I agree with # 9, maximizing ROI is VERY important, one thing I’ve noticed has tripled my success is adding lead capture to almost every page… on my affiliate marketing sites I use a inline popup to get more subscribers… Money is in the list as they say, so if you can’t make an immediate sale an email is just as good, sometimes it’s even better because you’re more likely to close sales if you can follow up.

    In doing research on competitors I often notice adwords marketers who’s page doesn’t even have a lead capture, — and I’m totally amazed they can still afford to advertise via PPC. I know for a fact that giving my clients some sort of free white paper on SEO to all my PPC traffic GUARANTEES higher conversions, and more bang for my buck.. I know I wouldn’t signup for a company that doesn’t know how to capture leads, it shows their naivete in internet marketing.

    #8 is good, don’t have much to comment on that one…

    #7 Competitor Analysis should be #1 on the list, I get a ton of ideas by thoroughly examining every little thing my competitor is doing, it’s a pretty safe bet that if you can manage to get links back from the same sites they are, + a few extra authority sites via guest blogging + have killer on-site optimization and keyword density that you will outrank the competition in no time flat.

    #6. I tend to like to use aged and exact match domains a lot when optimizing for some keywords. I don’t care what you say, but GOOGLE still loves exact match domains. The trick is making the domain an exact match, but not spammy or too complicated. I like to build info hubs on exact match domains related to that keyword and sub keyword phrases, then link those back to pages on the company’s main site.

    #5. I agree that local optimization is very important, especially for brick and mortar shops. It’s also important for national companies to where possible build local hubs and offices in major cities to get more traffic from local search.

    #4. Blogging is important, but to me it isn’t so much the importance of the blog, but I love building my sites on the WordPress platform because of all the amazing plugins out there that make life 10x easier.

    #3. Metatags are so 1999, BUT it is still a good place to stuff your keyword phrase in a couple more times to gain more on-page keyword density.

    #2. Long-tail keywords can bring traffic, but… they shouldn’t be the focus. Sure you can rank #1 for “some crazy widget that gets 1 search per month”, but if there’s only 1 search per month for that kw, you might get 12 hits a year from it… that’s presuming that your link title is attractive enough for the searcher to click-through, instead of modifying their search… The goal should be to find little keyword ‘gems’ that could be 2, 3, or 4 words long and get a good amount of monthly searches. Ranking for these terms will guarantee good monthly organic traffic volume.

    #1. Agreed. Writing just for SEO ranking factors can make for UGLY pages. If a potential customer clicks onto an ugly page it doesn’t really matter if you rank well for a specific keyword, cause you just lost the customer – make your pages pretty but also make sure that they convert…

    That’s my two cents … wow this may be the longest comment I’ve ever posted before! LOL.

  • One more thing… for some reason your comments are blocked when I have the Adblock Plus Google Chrome Extension enabled….weird…. you might want to tell whoever’s in charge here..

    • Hey thanks for letting us know! We’re looking at this issue now.

      • No problem – I clicked on the “23 comments” link like 10 times to see my if my comment showed up, and couldn’t see any comments… then I decided to disable Adblock Plus for this site and now they’re showing. Bit of a hindrance to users, IMHO.