Let’s not fool ourselves, search engine optimisation and getting listed in the natural listings of Google for keywords related to your activity is a tough process. Or at least a long-term one. And it’s sometimes difficult to predict what the outcome of any ‘optimisation’ will be.

First of all the term natural listings should be preferred to Search Engine Optimisation which literally means you’re optimising your site for search engines and may sometimes imply you’re trying to work around having a good website with relevant content that visitors like. Or that you’re just trying to trick search engines into believing your website is good enough to be listed for certain keywords when it’s not. Which is why when you’re working on your website you shouldn’t think about SEO but about your users and how you will engage them. How they will want to come back for more. Don’t think about how robots will view your website but how users will view it first. Being listed in search engines will come later. There are of course some basic rules you should follow when it comes to creating your website and we’ll come to this later in this article.

But to start with, let’s reiterate that having a good website that your users like takes time and effort. A lot of copywriting will be required and work never really stops as you will need to add relevant content regularly.

Most SEO agencies will trick you into believing they can make your website No 1 in Google for keywords related to your activity. They usually all offer the same standard package which is rarely tailored to your business needs. The most important thing before starting any SEO optimisation is to make sure the SEO agency understands your business activity thoroughly. What sort of products or services are you selling? Do they appeal to a big audience? Do you sell to businesses or consumers? You’d be surprised at the number of plans I’ve received from SEO agencies where I realised they had no idea what my business was about.

And unfortunately SEO is not an exact science because first of all, all businesses are different and an SEO approach that worked for one won’t necessarily work for another. No one can guarantee you a first page on Google for the keywords you want. Which is why you need to stick to what you know best: create a website that your users will like. And avoid a few pitfalls to make sure it’s SEO friendly. Since Google gets almost 90% of all searches in the UK we will focus our approach on this particular search engine. But as far as SEO is concerned the same will apply to all the other ones.

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