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Susan Hallam

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

The Glastonbury festival can teach us valuable SEO tips, and here are 7 lessons that can help your business be a rock star in the search engines

Using Glastonbury as a Metaphor for SEO

Storytelling and metaphors are a great way to learn something new. And using the quintessential festival, Glastonbury, is the perfect way to share and explain the art of 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.

 

1.  Big Brands Matter

Glastonbury SEO Big Brand Barry Gibb

Take a look at the top billing of the Glastonbury artists – and it is dominated by big brands like the Radiohead, Ed Sheeran, and the Foo Fighters.

In the ultimate recognition of big branding power, the Glastonbury Legends stage features an enduring act that carries clout as a function of their legacy appeal. This year, we will be enjoying Barry Gibb.

Being a “Big Brand” is a powerful trust signal in both the real and digital worlds.  The “big brand” phenomenon is for the Main Stage, or in the case of our search engine optimisation analogy, the most competitive keywords.

But the real musical experience at Glastonbury is the smaller stages with niche artists, the musical equivalent of less competitive keywords, and the opportunity is to become successful dominating that niche, all the while keeping your eye on the goal of playing on the Legends stage someday.

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 Mobile SEO Charging Station

One of the greatest Glastonbury challenges, second only to finding loo roll,  is how to keep your mobile battery charged.

And the Glastonbury team have a comprehensive mobile strategy ranging from Charging Tents to Power Bank Swapping Services. They’ve thought about the intentions and expectations of the visitors, and developed hey have developed an award winning App with line-up planner, map, news, updates and info.

The same attention to mobile details is essential for your business. 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 an ever increasing number of mobile visitors using your website, interacting with your business on social media

Your business needs to find the sweet spot for your customers’ mobile behaviour.  If they are searching on a mobile device do they have specific needs or are they at a particular point in their customer journey? Is there an opportunity to do highly tailored mobile advertising?

 

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.

Sitemaps can now take a number of forms to help index specific kinds of content: video sitemaps, sitemaps for mobile content.

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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.

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6. Create New Content, as well as Golden Oldies

The first Glastonbury festival was in 1970, but each year the programme  is fresh and new, introducing relatively unknown and break out 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, and this will form part of your Big Brands strategy.

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.

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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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