By Alan Perkins, Managing Director of SilverDisc
WITH International Women's Day coming up, it's fitting that the woman who has been Google's Tech Lead for the past 11 years, Maile Ohye, has released a Youtube video describing how to hire an SEO firm.
Digital marketing is an industry in which women are very well represented, for example by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO; Marissa Mayer, formerly of Google and now Yahoo's CEO; and Maile herself, one of many senior female Googlers. All are great role models.
Within SilverDisc, half our staff are women, including our Operations Director, Nicola Richards, and our Head of Client Services, Lorna Wills.
Back to Maile's video. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving your website's presence in search results, usually with the aim of improving the business you do as a result of that presence. A whole industry exists to offer this service and, unfortunately, it's an industry whose reputation is very poor. There are some charlatans and very shady operators around, and Maile's video is designed to help you determine the difference. I have spent many years in the SEO industry doing the same thing.
In the video, Maile refers to Google's webmaster guidelines. I helped Google's first employee, Craig Silverstein, and then-head of webspam, Matt Cutts, write the guidelines back in 2001, and they're still there today, 16 years later!
Maile's video is superb and is the exact advice I would give to anybody looking to hire an SEO. Start by conducting a two-way interview, check references, and ask for a technical audit. Done properly, SEO is a combination of technical work to create an architectural framework that is search-friendly; high quality, relevant, unique content layered onto that framework; then links from other good quality website to that content; all repeated on an ongoing basis. If you get the architecture wrong then all your future efforts will collapse.
Maile and I go back a long way, too. The photo shows us sharing a platform at a conference a couple of years ago, where we gave a "tag team' performance, presenting information from a search engine and webmaster perspective. It's great to see inspirational women like Maile blazing a trail in online engineering and marketing for others to follow, and I'm proud of the women (and men!) at SilverDisc who are blazing that trail here in Northamptonshire.
Find out more about SilverDisc by calling 01536 316100 or visit www.silverdisc.co.uk