As someone relatively new to the world of SEO getting the opportunity to listen to the experts lead sessions on their favourite topics was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.
BrightonSEO is a bi-annual conference celebrating all things SEO. The world’s experts convene in sunny Brighton to network, share their ideas, and listen to the best speakers give practical and engaging talks.
Whilst I attended around 18 talks on my visit, there was one that stood out and I feel needs to be shouted about.
EO Process Challenges and Wins
Nadia Mojahed of SEO Transformer, a Swiss-based SEO consultancy, proposed the notion that to effectively manage the SEO process we need to be acutely aware of the challenges and wins that face us along the way. As a newcomer to BrightonSEO discovering the major pitfalls to avoid and the wins to chase was gold dust.
However, Nadia’s first point was what really got my ears pricked. As an advocate of the Inbound Marketing Strategy, a part of our DNA at Insynth, it was a real glass-shattering moment for me.
Nadia explained how the typical starting point for SEO strategy is based on competitor keywords. This approach can be a challenging route to success because you’re trying to wrestle keywords away from the competition.
Nadia suggests we should begin our strategy with customer research. Start with their needs and patterns and then match this with our own products and services. Look for the keywords phrases that pair these together and write your content based on this.
That’s the Inbound approach tied directly into an SEO strategy. Help and empower consumers first and foremost and they’ll reward you with their business.
By focusing on our user we’re looking largely at intent over driving traffic. Ranking for high traffic keywords might look great in an end of month report but if the intent to become a customer isn’t there then the traffic is being wasted. Additionally, competition can change, SERPs change, however, your business’s unique value doesn’t. By targeting keywords which are being actively searched by the people who’re interested in your unique value, they’re more likely to become customers.
Here are some tools that can help with User-Based SEO:
- Focus on answering questions and being useful, not on keyword volume, even if it’s 0
- Integrate storytelling into your copy
- Read reviews and address their compliments & concerns
- Use autocomplete and other search suggestions to find topics
- Read and interact with online communities to discover their intent
- Use FAQ pages
- Look at your internal data to identify patterns and behaviours
Taking a user-centric approach to SEO can seem daunting, we’re typically told not to go after low or zero volume keywords. But if we separate ourselves from the overcrowded spaces where the competition lives and instead operate in an area where new demand exists, we can find new opportunities and therefore dominate an untapped market.
To summarise, the process begins by locating our desired audience, once we know where they are and what they’re talking about, we create content to serve them. After enough time has passed to analyse performance we then revisit and optimise our content with creative keyword ideas, using keywords that we know are driving qualified organic traffic.
So, as Nadia put it, forget about the competition and let your own users be the backbone of your SEO strategy.