Posts by Emlyn Hughes

SEO Experiences: A Freshman’s Perspective

29 March 2012

Journey Into The Unknown Or Silent Assassin?

When signing up for the Search and Social Media Marketing Course at the Manchester Salford Business School, I had precious little knowledge of how SEO worked – this, despite working as a freelance journalist and therefore attuned to promoting ‘brand awareness’ over the last four years for an industry-leading motorsport website. Journalists and writers tend to chase the next story and are much less concerned with keywords and search rank – rather leaving it to the organisations they are loosely connected with, or represent, to get on with task of improving results within SERPs.

improving results within SERP

Therein lay the problem – I didn’t understand SEO and how to maximise the opportunities that being creative presents. I enjoy my part-time writing work much more than my regular job, working within the warehousing and logistics sector as a forklift truck driver. At the start of this year my personal life reached a crossroads and this was the perfect time to do something about it. Learning SEO and Social Media marketing seemed a logical step forward and armed with a healthy Twitter following and enthusiasm to learn another skill, I signed up.

Information Superhighway

My eyes would be opened over the next six weeks much more than I could imagine. What became clear very quickly is that with any good business, success begins with planning, research and building the foundations to work from. Studying the competition, keyword research through Google and Google AdWords is a great place to start and can give you so much information in just a few minutes. Without a clear structure and plan of how you want to go about improving search rankings, failure to achieve the maximum is likely. In my case, I had just lost a deal to supply detailed written Formula 1 motor racing weather forecasts to the site I was affiliated with. The choice was either to stop completely and give up what I love doing – or to find another outlet to share my views and knowledge with others.

The #SSMM course – run by Aleksej Heinze – is the perfect educational tool to take your website on the road to major SEO improvements and a better search rank. Citing previous creative examples, students are guided through the do’s and dont’s of planning, keyword research, creating widgets, social media engagement and social media asset management to name but a few topics – all with you in mind. Prominent industry speakers are backing this course and give talks, adding further insight and giving information openly on how you can change things on your own site to help improve visibility and search ranking potential.

The road to success

Many people like myself, prior to enrolling on this course would be entitled to think that 99% of companies and website owners have their systems already optimised to the maximum, and therefore it would impossible to go and work as an SEO, or to create your own site as an independant. After all, SEO has been around for several years. When you actually conduct the research and examine the competition of your chosen field, you may be surprised. I certainly was. The best endorsement that I could give this course, is to demonstrate that in just 15 days from starting my own blog, I took http://f1weather.com to second in Google’s worldwide search for the short-tail keyword ‘F1 Weather’.