I am seem to have ghost written a lot of blog entries recently focussing on Search Engine Optimisation and how it's a fabulous way to boost a website's traffic.
But as Google's algorithms move away from rewarding SEO principles and towards sites featuring the best content - is SEO dead?
In 2013, Google stopped providing data about keyword popularity, which critics were swift to claim signalled the first blow to SEO. Google are concerned that users may get underwhelmed with their search results if the only links they see are those not with the best content, but those using clever search engine optimisation methods, such as repeatedly shoehorning in phrases with top keywords that they know are popular in the search rankings.
So is SEO on its last legs?
In short, no.
The principles of SEO are just as relevant today as ever. A well-organised, content-rich website is a must to get the rights users on your landing page, and clicking through your site.
Also, try looking at Google's missing keyword rankings in a different light: this actually gives SEO companies the ability to report on true metrics, rather than be dictated to by a keyword position.
It's not just about the clever use of keywords: an experienced SEO company who has kept up with the algorithm changes from Google and can promote your website with a full marketing strategy will be worth its weight in gold. Proof of the pudding will be a solid return on investment and burgeoning web traffic.
One key area where SEO companies can add value to your site is by creating content that converts readers into actors; in other words those people who do something on your site. You may want them to sign up for a newsletter or to share a video on their social media outlets to reach more people and gain more followers, the implications of social media marketing are endless.
How can you get readers to stop browsing and start acting? Here are a few tips:
1. Review your blogs
Go back through all of your old blog posts and see if they can be linked to newer posts. Try to prioritise your most popular older posts when you do this as this can help readers find your newer posts. Google also loves it when inside links do this.
2. Revise your calls to action
Check to see what links are generating clicks and change the calls to action on pages where few people act.
One of the main reasons why a page has a poor click-through rate can simply be impatience, so make sure your page load is no more than three seconds. Long loads mean that people will just leave without clicking the call to action.
3. Reinvent your content
For example, turn your blog into an e-book or series of case studies. If you have a lengthy blog post, rewrite it into multiple blogs to increase those inside links and click-through rates.
It's pretty clear that SEO isn't dead, it has just changed, and for the better. Google has just forced marketers to provide engaging, informative and trustworthy content to create the best website possible.
Something that caught my eye on my expansive Facebook feed the other day was a jolly interesting video on Van Gogh's Starry Night and how this prominent piece of art accurately represents an incredibly complex scientific principle.
In 1889, inspired by a famous astronomical drawing that had been circulating in Europe for four decades,Vincent van Gogh painted his iconic masterpiece "The Starry Night", one of the most recognised and reproduced images in the history of art. At the peak of his lifelong struggle with mental illness, he created the legendary painting while staying at the mental asylum into which he had voluntarily checked himself after mutilating his own ear.
But more than a masterwork of art, Van Gogh’s painting turns out to hold astounding clues to understanding some of the most mysterious workings of science.
It turns out that "The Starry Night" sheds light on the concept of turbulent flow in fluid dynamics, one of the most complex ideas to explain mathematically and among the hardest for the human mind to grasp. From why the brain’s perception of light and motion makes us see Impressionist works as flickering, to how a Russian mathematician’s theory explains Jupiter’s bright red spot, to what the Hubble Space Telescope has to do with Van Gogh’s psychotic episodes, this mind-bending tour de force ties art, science, and mental health together through the astonishing interplay between physical and psychic turbulence.
This got me thinking a little bit more about science and art. I'd always, rather arrogantly, assumed that for all intents and purposes the two subjects crossed pathes very rarely. And how very wrong I was.
Flair, creativity, inspiration, and interpretation: science and art share similar vocabularies yet are often compartmentalised into their own mutually exclusive worlds.
For art, the chance to gain inspiration from science's insights into the natural world; for science, an opportunity to view an entirely new perspective on research. Science and art serve humanity in complementary ways. Both involve creative thinking and problem solving. Historically, art and science arouse out of the same ground. Science look for answers to questions about external natural phenomenon forming the bases for the development of technology. The art force the development of our inner world, our spiritual, emotional and creative of our personal word.
Nowadays, there's a plethora of collaboration between the worlds of science and art. This includes an Art and Science Journal, which focusses on artworks that are based on scientific themes and developments and this fascinating article in The Guardian highlights some of the collaborative work between scientists and artists.
Finally, I think that "art and science" is a hot topic and one that's open for analysis and questioning. As Albert Einstein said: "Where the world ceases to be the stage for personal hopes and desires, where we, as free beings, behold it in wonder, to question and to contemplate, there we enter the realm of art and science. If we trace out what we behold and experience through the language of logic, we are doing science."
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I'm the freelance writer who gets tech. So, I blog on three core topics:
Science and Technology