Here at Tulpa, we’ve been doing a lot of SEO re-vamping for various clients over the last few weeks. That’s nothing new of course – we’ve been optimising websites for search for over a decade and we’ve helped tonnes of businesses and freelancers to climb Google’s ranks.
Still, a discussion with a prospective client got me thinking about how SEO is approached by businesses, and how some unscrupulous agencies use it against them.
The “Be Afraid” Pitch
SEO is still something that the majority of our clients find scary. In some respect it is, but not always for the reason you might expect. A good proportion of them, and even my Co-Founder Tom and I have had bad experiences when it comes to outsourcing SEO.
When I first started out in my digital career, I was approached by a number of SEO agencies using fear tactics.
You might recognise the approach, it’s still widely used today.
“Hi Demy, I’ve run a free report on your website and it has critical technical errors which are preventing your site from ranking. These errors are CRITICAL and need to be fixed ASAP!”’
These calls are designed to rattle you. They’re using fear tactics to sell – “critical technical errors” aren’t exactly soothing words that fill you with confidence after all.
The reality is that I can run you that automated report too, but without correct analysis and context (including an on-page website audit, a content audit and a good look at your competitive landscape), it means absolutely nothing, nada, zilch.
Every website has its issues…
I’ll tell you a secret – every website has errors, even the ones that dominate Google searches, and many of these issues aren’t a scary fix. It’s often issues such as missing title tags, missing meta-descriptions, slower than average site speeds, dead links, etc. that are contributing to those errors.
All of these issues are easily fixed with a little time and effort, but of course, they won’t tell you that.
Instead they’ll make you a reassuring promise of ‘I can absolutely get you to the top of Google in 6 weeks.’ This is one of the biggest SEO lies ever told, and it’s been doing the rounds (and debunked) so many times over the years, it’s wild it’s still being told in 2020!
Nobody can make you the promise of getting you to the top of Google, all we can do is try our best working to the knowledge acquired by our first-hand experience and advice from other experts. But the reality is, it will take 3-6 months to see the benefit of your SEO work. Remember also, that SEO isn’t a static process, so once you’ve bagged your spot on page one, you’ll have to work to keep it.
The best way to master SEO is with a solid content marketing strategy
In 2020, getting to the top of Google doesn’t mean as much as it used to. The way that customers search has changed as digital platforms have evolved. Google no longer only pulls web pages as results, users are presented with answers to questions, videos, news, shopping results and a host of paid ads.
Simply writing web pages to get to the top of Google isn’t enough anymore.
So what is? A realistic and measurable content marketing strategy.
Why? Because a content marketing strategy naturally looks at:
- Your key messages
- Your audience behaviours
- The competitive landscape
- Your website content, keyword research and ranking positions
- Your social media content
- Your email content
- Past analytics
Creating a human focused content strategy ensures that you’re filling your website with the content that your potential audience wants to see. After all, it will be a human consuming that content and deciding whether they should buy from you, not an algorithm.
By designing your website content around the User and filling it with genuinely helpful content, you’ll see ranking improvements.Why? Because your content exists for a reason and is offering value to help people along the buying journey.
Where you’ll optimise your content for SEO is by using the right keywords for the piece, ensuring your title and description is fully optimised and that your page is laid out appropriately.
If you want to tackle SEO and come out on top, first and foremost, you must think very carefully about your content adding value, solving problems and engaging your audience. The keyword research and optimisation comes after that.
And don’t fear technical errors, they’re normally easily fixed.
Need a hand with SEO? We’d love to help! Drop us a message or give us a call on 0121 406 0263.