Use SEO to win new customers
Every day we come across countless articles that talk about the complexities of SEO. All of which are important – but perhaps there’s a missing piece in the SEO jigsaw.
If like me you read a lot of online articles, you may agree we don’t often see so much about the basic principles of SEO strategy. The basic building blocks that lay the foundation of SEO. It’s almost as if we should already know these, as business owners or website managers.
But sometimes that’s where the real value is added. Many companies focus their efforts on the 1% increases – mobile html, image optimisation, content optimisation. But I wonder whether sometimes the biggest wins are getting overlooked.
What is the most basic principle of SEO?
The most basic principle of all, is to consider what people might actually be searching for. Sound obvious, right?
But this simple principle is something that I think gets lost in a world of complex SEO, especially by busy business owners. I spoke to John Marlen-Summers from Fusewave, an SEO company in Birmingham, about his experiences in this area. John is a highly regarded SEO and content person from the UK – and he shared with me his thoughts on the most basic SEO strategy.
It’s all about your products and services
“A good place to start with SEO basics is breaking up your products and services into segments.”
John told me, “At the most basic level, you should look at your products and services as a starting point. Let’s say you’re a law firm. You might target law and your location as a starting point and start optimising. But what about types of law? Commercial law in London, property law in London? These are all things people might be searching for!”
John continues, “I often sit with clients and we really break down their service offering to the most basic things clients will search for – and build these into a sensible hierarchy. Sometimes people are so focused on getting links, fixing technical errors, they forget the basics of whether they have segmented their product range.”
How to take that a step further
Then you can go a step further and start looking at generic types of searches interested customers might be looking into. For example:
- What is the best law firm in London?
- How much does a commercial lawyer cost?
- How to choose a property lawyer?
John shares, “It’s about understanding your target customer, and what kind of content they might be looking for. When you do that you start to realise how many different ways you can target – and convert them.”
John says this type of content also has a good impact on the SEO of your other pages. “Get your internal linking strategy right, and you can pass the benefit on to your product pages too. Having a good content plan, mixed with a full portfolio of products and services, each with individual pages and good content, is the bedrock of SEO success,” he says.
Well, next you need to invest in carrying on producing this content. There are endless long-tail options – and it’s something you should revisit regularly to keep it focused and relevant – rather than creating content for content’s sake.
But how much content is enough? John explains, “It’s about quality more than quantity these days. 2-4 really well researched, longer posts can achieve great results in most marketplaces. In competitive niches, you may need more though.”
So, does that mean you should drop the more complex aspects of SEO? Definitely not. But by getting your basics right, you’ll be optimising for the right reasons.