Earlier this year a prestigious Government prize was awarded to a ‘unique’ new online service.
Submitted by a member of the public in good faith, the prizewinning idea was a website that tells people what they can and can’t recycle in their area. Shortly after the winner was announced on the BBC Radio 4 news, a listener emailed the programme to reveal that there’s already a website in existence that does just that. It was all very embarrassing for the Government department concerned, who insisted that they’d searched far and wide but hadn’t found anyone else offering the same thing.
Check whether your idea really is unique
The Government’s researchers probably used plenty of common sense key words and phrases like ‘recycling by UK postcode’ and ‘recycling by UK town’ and ‘Recycling by UK county council’. They probably also asked Google questions like ‘What can I recycle in my area?’. Because no websites containing those phrases were returned, they could be forgiven for thinking that the prizewinning idea was unique. Which is logical, but fatally flawed.
In real life a business can be online forever, but unless they pay some attention to SEO they might never be found. Here are the rock bottom basics:
Make sure your site is structured with SEO in mind
Once it is properly optimised from a structural perspective, make sure your content is as attractive as possible to readers and search engines