Susan Hallam

Founder and Managing Director of Hallam. Digital marketing consultant, trainer and public speaker.

Glastonbury as an analogy for SEO?

This may sound far fetched but there certainly are some very important (and funny) lessons we can all take away as we try to improve our website rankings in the search engines.

Here are Team Hallam’s top 7 takeaways that will help you to improve your search engine optimisation

1.  Big Brands Matter

Glastonbury SEO Big Brands MatterTake a look at the top billing of the Glastonbury artists – and it is dominated by big brands like the Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons.  Do a search on Google, and likewise you will find that big well-established brands fill the top positions for many key phrases.

The “big brand” phenomenon is for the main stage, or in the case of our analogy, the most competitive keywords.  But take a look a the smaller stages, or less competitive keywords, and it is awash with smaller, newer artists that are grabbing their niche.

Your business needs to have a substantial brand, and you need to be the best player in your niche.

2.  You Must Have a Mobile Strategy

Glastonbury SEO Mobile App

It isn’t just drunken festival goers who use a mobile phone to access the Internet to find out what is going on.

Your customers are using mobile as part of  their day to day access to the Internet. Take a look at your Google Analytics, and I’m sure you will find a substantial increase in the number of mobile visitors using your website, interacting with you on LinkedIn, reading your tweets.

Glastonbury have developed an award winning App, and your business needs to find the sweet spot that will help customers to discover your business with a mobile SEO strategy.

3.  Maps are the Key to Success

glastonbury mapsThink of the Google search engine like a festival goer:  it needs to be able to find it’s way around your website in order to be able to index your pages correctly.

And in the same way the audience can’t find where the gigs are being held, if Google can’t find your content, then your SEO strategy will  fail.

This is particularly true for new content, changing content, and fresh content.  A map, or more  specifically a correctly optimised sitemaps, will help Google, and your customers, find all your content.


4. You Can’t Control The Gods

Glastonbury SEO ControlThere are certain factors that are out of the Glastonbury festival organisers control, and the rainy weather is one factor that the festival organisers just have to live with.

It changes on a regular basis. It does unexpected things. It drives us crazy.

Much like the weather, we can’t control Google.  And it changes. And it drives us crazy.

We need to accept that our SEO is purely reactive to forces that are out of our control.  We need to be quick to respond, be prepared, and have contingencies in place for when circumstances change.  And we certainly need to keep an eye on the weather, and on the changes that Google introduces to the SEO algorithms.

5. The Right Platform is Key to Success

glastonbury pyramid stage SEOGlastonbury is all about music, but there is a huge infrastructure sitting underneath that makes the whole festival possible.

Massive stages, huge structures, complex technologies may be not be obvious to those watching a gig, but without them the whole show would grind to a halt.

The same is true for your website, and your SEO.  You need a robust, scalable website platform and architecture.  It may not be glitzy and pretty to your end users, but without it you can’t have great SEO.


6. Create New Content, as well as Golden Oldies

glastonbury emerging talentThe first Glastonbury festival was in 1970, but each year the programme  is fresh and new, introducing unique acts and original formats that appeal to the music audiences

Those sames words also need to apply to your SEO content strategy:  fresh, new, unique, orignal, and appealing.

There are some acts (content) that are “evergreen” and will appeal to audiences year after year.

But new content reaches new audiences, demonstrates an understanding of your audiences, and reinforces your SEO strategy as being expert at what you do and aware of audience requirements.


7. It Can Be A Dirty Business

glastonbury cleanupMud. Rubbish. A sea of filth.

The festival is great fun, but there are always those who make a mess and leave a trail of disaster in their wake.

The same can be true of SEO.  There are ethical SEO companies, and those that will do anything for a quick fix.

If you, or your SEO agencies, are doing unethical link building then you are going to have a very dirty job of clearing up the mess in order to get rid of any penalty Google may impose on your site.

If you are duplicating content, then you will have the dirty job of cleaning it all up. You will need a partner who knows how to make things good, get things tidy again,


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