I’d like to share with you some thoughts and advice on a form of SEO which seems either to be largely forgotten, or largely overlooked.

I’ve talked a great deal in the past about keyword research, social media marketing, SEO, PPC and so on, but there’s one aspect I feel I have probably overlooked, and searching online there seem relatively few fresh thoughts on the subject. I feel it’s a little like that in SEO sometimes – new ideas, new technologies and new opportunities can end up clouding the fact that some of the old stuff really does still work. In fact some of the old stuff doesn’t just work – it’s essential.

So what’s this great bit of SEO advice then? It’s simply this – if you want to make sure your SEO marketing methods are effective and successful, and you want to make sure that techniques such as on-page SEO actually work then the one thing you have to really focus on is ‘understanding exactly who your audience is’. Now bear with me, because I know that might sound a little lame, but it’s more important than you think. Stay with me, and I’ll demonstrate why.

SEO Audience

I was approached by an IT company recently who were aware that their website wasn’t performing to the same level as many of their competitors’ sites, and they wanted to know why. They’d had it professionally produced, and professionally written, and for their primary keywords such as ‘3G failover’ and ‘cloud computing’ they were doing fairly well. But the problem was that only a very small number of people who actually visited their site ever placed an order or made an enquiry, and further research revealed that very few of the people who were visiting the website were representative of their target audience. So what was going wrong?

Very simply, they knew who their audience was, but when it came to the design and optimisation of their website, they forgot. They were trying to market IT services to managers and middle managers who understood about the problems and the risks, but weren’t necessarily familiar with the latest technologies or the latest techno babble.

These were people who simply wouldn’t search for ‘3G failover’ but who would instead search for ‘backup internet connection’, and who wouldn’t search for ‘cloud computing’ but would search for ‘online data backup’. The website content also failed to meet their target audience, as it was filled with technical vocabulary which, whilst optimising brilliantly for those keyphrases in the search results, were losing anyone who might have actually placed an order or found out more because it was too difficult to understand.

By re-writing the website content to optimise both for the right keyphrases and for the right target audience interest has increased, enquiries have risen and the number of visits converted to a sale has grown. It may seem obvious, but choosing the right keywords for your audience rather than for your niche may well have a significant impact on how effective your SEO really is.


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