It may sound obvious, but SEO is more than keywords, tags and meta descriptions. It's a balance of several different marketing disciplines. While this makes it sound complicated, it all comes down to the same basic principles: what do you want to achieve? Who are you trying to speak to? What do they want to see? Marcus Miller, SEO Consultant at Bowler Hat, explains what you need to consider before planning your SEO strategy and illustrates his points with a local case study.
Search, now, is hugely complicated. There are so many factors within this, you know, relevance and popularity and authority. There is a science to certain elements, but there’s also an art to it as well and it’s also sort of a glue pulling together things like marketing disciplines, and creative disciplines, PR. All these things need to be connected by SEO to ensure maximum benefit within search.
A specific approach for any individual business really depends on their goals and requirements and on the search landscape. The big thing is for people just to understand the environment that they operate in and there’s really no better way to do that than to google the terms that you think your potential customers will use. Look at those results. If paid results are the most dominant part of the page then you probably need to consider being in the paid results. For a local business, where you may have paid results and then local listings, you know the local results, local SEO approach would probably be best for you. It’s very important to understand the approach that’s going to be best for you, before you just sort of dive in.
The most common mistakes are that people don’t get the basics right. It’s very rare that we see a site that’s got even well-structured page titles, or well thought-out meta-descriptions which basically provide the advertisement text in your search engine listing.
Search ultimately provides us with the insights. It provides us with the tool to put content out there and when it hooks into social, it provides us with the tools to build a relationship with people and to keep in front of them.
A good local example would be Fazeley Studios. If someone googles "wedding venue", "wedding venues Birmingham", you tend to see there’s three kind of distinct results on that page. We’ve got paid results at the top of the page, you’ve got traditional organic results below them, then we’ve got sort of localised results.
Well, Fazeley have an advert, they have an organic listing, they have a local listing, then they have another organic listing. So if you’re looking for a wedding venue in and around Birmingham or the West Midlands, it’s not possible to find Fazeley - it’s just impossible not to come across them!
That shows an understanding of the kind of search landscape of the various options within that page. They use social channels well, they’re creating content to bring people round for interesting wedding venues, kooky wedding venues. They’re not just tackling it from one specific, "okay we wanna rank for this one keyword". Think about all of the different ways that our potential customers can find us or become aware of our business.