SEO is just common sense!

If you spend any amount of time on the various online business forums and discussion boards, you would notice a number of people who are actively launching new businesses and becoming increasingly frustrated by the fact that their new business websites are not attracting much traffic.

We all know that the secret of successful website and mobile apps is that they need traffic, because the more visitors you attract increases the chances of converting them to paying customers.

The most common questions about how to increase traffic to websites,  revolve around trying to find the secret SEO hacks, that will just suddenly propel your site to the #1 spot in Google, resulting in an over night success.

The truth is, this couldn’t be further from the truth!  SEO is mostly common sense, and the trouble with common sense is unfortunately it is not all that common!

Common sense is not so common.

In my opinion the reason why most people don’t understand or grasp the basic concepts of associated with SEO , is due to the fact, they obviously haven’t visited a library or even conducted the basic elements of research.

As an example, my 6-year-old daughter is able to grasp that when she visits the library, and keen to get her hands on Daisy and the Trouble with Chocolate, is that she should obviously start her search in Children’s Fiction section.

Once there, she’ll work her way to the D, and she’ll find a Daisy book in no time.

The Dewey Decimal System

The primary reason why libraries are organised in such a manner, is by no means an accident. Human beings like to have things organised, in order to make it easier to find things when needed.

Libraries are typically organised to Dewey Decimal System – A Decimal Classification introduced the concepts of relative location and relative index which allow new books to be added to a library in their appropriate location-based on subject.

A library assigns a classification number that unambiguously locates a particular volume in a position relative to other books in the library, on the basis of its subject. The number makes it possible to find any book and to return it to its proper place on the library shelves.

If you walk into a library, keen to find a book on search engine optimization, it’s probably highly likely you won’t start your search in the Daisy section! Unless of course you’re desperate to find Daisy and the trouble with SEO – a title I’m not quite sure is available as yet.

The chances of finding a book on SEO,  are obviously  going to dramatically increase,  if you start your search in the Non-Fiction section.  Even more so when narrow down to Business then to Marketing and yet more once you refine it too Digital Marketing

Have you spotted the trend yet ?

SEO is simple stupid!

Yes, that’s right, SEO is so simple even idiots can do it!  There is even the The Complete Idiot's Guide to Search Engine Optimization by Michael Miller (2009-02-03) and for those that like their reading material a little more high brow Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies, 3rd Edition.

If you hang around SEO forums for any length of time, you may be convinced that the world of SEO, is unbelievably complex, fast-moving adrenalin fueled world where things keep moving at a 100 miles an hour and constantly changing.

A world where, people seem to want to discuss Penguins and Panda’s, web crawlers, link juice, bots and the unbelievably complex sounding latent semantic indexing. In fact, back in 2007, A complete glossary of Essential SEO jargon was published, and to honest the jargon hasn’t really included anymore useful terms since.

Despite all this jargon and hype, the advice any of these so-called SEO Professionals boils down to just a couple of lines

Write well researched, relevant, insightful, remarkable and easily digestible quality content.

Once you’ve worked on and crafted your content until it has all of those attributes then you need to ensure that it is shared so your target audience can find it.

How do you make your content find-able

This is where most SEO Guru’s stop short, in telling you the secrets of actually making your context index-able by Google, so that is can be discovered by the person who’s searching for it.

They will all tell you, that it’s got something to do with Keywords and the number of links to your site!.

Yes, I know right! Just like to secret to losing weight is Nutrition and Exercise. It’s hardly rocket science!

Any fool can work out that they are not exactly going to lose weight by eating their own body Weight in Pizza and swimming in the bath! Although I am sure there are some out there trying this formula!

Yet, when it comes to SEO, many people believe that all they need to success is a high volume of links to their website, and once Google notices these links it’s going to catapult their website to the upper echelons of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)

The secret Google Code

Just like Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Coca-Cola company, Google has its own secret recipe. Apparently it’s having the ability to crack or foil this secret winning formula, known as an algorithm, is the key to web dominance.

Despite the fact that Google is known to only employ the finest engineering and mathematical minds money can find, yet apparently there is somebody in downtown Islamabad or a one bedroom apartment in Vladivostok that has the key to cracking the Google code, all for the price of a few take away pizzas!

There are also countless SEO strategists, consultants and self-professed experts who claim they can boost your site into the Golden Triangle, commonly charging £200 per hour for consultation.

There are also unscrupulous SEO agencies who make promises they can’t keep and charge retainers for months at prices as steep as £8000 a month. Yet they employ shady tactics and often only farm the work out to those guys in downtown Islamabad or some other third world economy. They will often boost your site with traffic, but unfortunately not the kind of traffic that actually pays the bills.

What you need to know about SEO

You can learn the basics of SEO, on a quiet afternoon with a nice latte. It really is that easy. There is no deep technical programming knowledge or understanding insanely complex mathematical formulas required.

The only trick required is to be hyper-conscious of your business keywords. For example, if you want to rank for Digital Marketing and Growth Hacking, then you will need to weave the phrases that relate and include Digital Marketing and Growth Hacking into each page, blog post and other static pages across your website, ideally multiple times.

Before you start writing your content, you should ideally plan your content marketing strategy, research which keywords and phrases relate to your business.

Ideally you should also try to identify where your ideal customers live, after all is totally pointless promoting domestic plumbing services to residents of Sydney, Australia when your business is based in Perth, Scotland!

You will have no undoubtedly realised the one of the key points you need to take into consideration when you put a site on the internet and seeking to promote it.

The global population of the internet is 3.7 Billion people, with less than 5% of which is from the UK.

This should highlight the importance of targeting.   You can’t possibly sell to all 3.7 Billion people, realistically you  can’t even sell to all of the 70+ million people in the UK.

Target, Target and Target some more

SEO is fundamentally about targeting.  It’s about finding out what people are searching for and then finding ways to satisfy their search  criteria. You  do this on the internet by ensuring you have content that helps educate your users while all the while ensuring they become familiar with and learn to trust your product or brand. Ultimately leading them down the path to purchase.

The important thing to bear in mind, is I know this is difficult for some to understand but not every thing needs to sold over the internet, along with not everybody uses the internet to educate themselves about a product. So there is a good chance that you won’t sell anything via your website. In fact, there are millions of businesses that it is quite literally impossible for people to purchase their products via a website.

This doesn’t mean, you shouldn’t have a website. What it does mean is that you should think carefully about the purpose of your website and what need of your customers it is going to fulfil.

Once you have identified that need, then you need think about what are the search terms your customer is going to use to find it. More often than not, your customer is not going to be thinking about your product in the same way you think about it.

For instance, you might sell the finest tinea pedis ointment on the market, but your customer base is not going to call it that, and won’t be searching for that. They will however, more than likely be searching for Athletes Foot cream or even itching between the toes.

It is highly likely that you will have different target customers who will know and identify your product with different names and search phrases.


Search Engine Optimisation has very little to do with any clever computer hacks, rather it is more about clearly understanding your customers and delivering internet products and services to satisfy those needs.

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Gary Woodfine

Helps businesses by improving their technical proficiencies and eliminating waste from the software development pipelines.

A unique background as business owner, marketing, software development and business development ensures that he can offer the optimum business consultancy services across a wide spectrum of business challenges.
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