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(Search Engine Optimisation)

Search engine what?!
Is this a new 21st century black art?

My Suggestions

It may sound like gobbledegook but it's straightforward.

Google is the search engine, which everyone with a personal computer uses to find, well almost anything, and although there are others (Bing, Yahoo etc) 90% of searches are with Google. And frankly, whilst the advice below is aimed at Google it will work equally well for the others.

The aim is simple - we want to put a search term into Google such as film making Anytown and ensure that the list of results includes your Anytown club website. Also, you want to ensure that the club website always appears in the first Google page of 10 results. There may be another 300,000 results but they don't count, no one looks any lower than page 1 or maybe page 2 max.

"Great objective," I hear you say, "but surely it's up to Google and there is nothing I can do about it."

Not true! Google is not magic and although its exact methods are secret it still works to a set of mathematically definable rules which are affected by aspects of your website. This means that the search result you get with Google can be influenced by things you do with your website. This process of attempting to improve your search rankings is described as 'Search Engine Optimisation'.

Offering this kind of help/advice/guidance is a fast growing commercial business. For anyone selling online being in the top 10 or not is the difference between fortune and famine, so there is the aura of the Holy Grail about all this!

Major suppliers of online services and products battle it out to get a good Google ranking. Fortunately film making clubs do not compete with any large enterprise which could blow your club listing down the rankings. Therefore optimisation is worth doing and by no means a futile ambition.

The rules outlined here have been pieced together from what Google does say and what outsiders conclude from observation.

Google can only decide its rankings on the basis of the search terms. Your first consideration must be what search terms someone looking for your club is likely to use. This is really a matter a judgement but if you are stuck, Google analytics can help you identify suitable terms. These are my suggestions:

  • No one remembers web addresses any more - the universal advice is 'Just Google xyz.' So our club must ensure that Googling Finchley Film Makers gets to our address. Try it!
    The google search bar with 'Finchley Film Makers' typed in.
    We are the first six contact addresses.
    But if you think that this automatically works for any club I can assure you that it does not. I googled a well known IAC club near us in North London, using their exact name. I did not find them at all in the top 10 but instead found the IAC site twice, three alternative film making clubs in north/west London including Finchley, one club in Surrey plus a local paper and a folk festival. If we were bitter rivals I'd say thanks very much.
  • Most people do not search for the exact name. They search generally - e.g. film making Sheffield or video making club Exeter. Our aim is to capture these people and that means getting a top ten ranking
  • Use something to do with video or computer editing - this area is such a mystery to many people that any source of help is most welcome.
  • Use something to do with choosing camcorders - one of our most regular hooks is people coming along to pick our brains on the best camcorder to buy.

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Go to Search Engine Factors A right arrow.


Website Makeover Guides - Introduction

What Should the Content Be? | Navigation | Planning Navigation | Anchors & Links | Words | Getting Pictures | Getting & Using Pictures
Processing Pictures | Video | Presentation Pictures | Colours | Layout Principles | Layout Schemes | Fonts | What is SEO?
Search Engine Factors | Check Your Search Ranking | Stay Legal | Website Health Check | Website No Goes more to come ...

A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Club Website with Weebly

Don't Panic! | Signing up to Weebly | Making your first (elegant) page | Adding more pages and navigation
Adding pictures and words | Creating a complex Coming Soon Page | Adding Forms, Emails, Maps and Videos.

IAC Competition to find the Best Club Website 2011


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Page updated on 16 January 2011
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Company Limited by Guarantee No. 00269085. Registered Charity No. 260467. Authors' views are not necessarily those of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers. Website hosted by Merula. JavaScripts by JavaScript Source. Menu by Live Web Institute. Art work by Tony Kendle.