SEO Part 1. Decentralize your SEO Strategy

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Firstly I would like to introduce myself, my name is Paul John Gioio and I am the SEO strategist and operations manager at Beyond Design. I decided to write this article to lend some insight on SEO and how you should approach your SEO strategy for driving traffic to your website. Although the terms used in SEO can be confusing at times, I've decided to keep them as simple as possible so that even entry level online marketeers can understand and use the information to formulate a simple SEO strategy for their website or websites. So before I get started I would just like to say thank you for taking the time to read and I hope that you can gain something that can used in your SEO strategy.

 

In order for us to get started on the topic of SEO, we need to briefly discuss the topic of Google as a search engine and where it stands today. As you may or may not know Google is the most comprehensive, relevant and user friendly search engine today. Seventy percent of the of the online search industry use Google to find information on topics of choice, so it is of great importance to both users and Google that results displayed are both relevant and that user are satisfied with what Google has put forward. It is for this reason that Google constantly strives to ensure that user are kept happy and will return for yet another search. For the most part users were quite happy until we reached a point where the number of websites being created became too much and having a single search engine(www.google.com) just wasn't cutting it anymore. Google quickly realized this and therefor we can safely say today when using www.google.co.za, we can now achieve desired and relevant result. Now before you start asking what this has to do with SEO, indulge me for just a bit longer. Having multiple search engines servicing smaller geographical area's means that results are now relevant to that area. I will make the following example in case this sounds a bit confusing.

Last week I was contacted by a car rental company seeking my SEO services. Currently when performing the search query under the keyword "car hire cape town", the company in question was already listed in position one of the results page. I asked what he would like me to do about it to which he replied, 'we would like to be position one when performing various other search queries namely, "car hire JHB", "car hire Durban" and much more, in fact all the cities in South Africa'. My first question to which I already knew the answer was why? He replied, 'we want more traffic and more business', which is understandable. Just a quick note: The online car rental market is a cut throat industry and the competition for business and the SEO needed to compete is fierce.

Nonetheless, my advice to him was that in order to affectively target the keywords of that industry in the different cities, I suggested that he decentralized his SEO strategy by building a new website for each city, websites with relevant content to each city and a relevant SEO strategy to the online competition of each city. I'm pretty sure his first thoughts were that whatever I smoking I should share it with him. He insisted that they would rather want to keep one website to service all their needs. I politely told him that this would be my SEO strategy and if he really wanted to have one website to service the entire country then maybe it would be better if he consulted with another agency to take on the task. The reason that I maintained that a decentralized SEO strategy would suit his needs better is that Google places more emphasis on relevant results and when dealing with an online industry that is so competitive. 

If you believe that having one website to service an entire country is gonna cut it, you can forget it. If it were a mildly aggressive online industry then yes maybe it could work but remember this, every online industry will grow and if you don't plan for the future you will fall behind. This brings me to my first rule of SEO, "Rule 1. Don't try to be the one stop for everything shop! Let me put it to you in another way, if there are only ten car rental companies in South Africa, then Google will display all ten companies on the first page when searching for "car rental in Cape Town" even if those companies are spread out across South Africa. Now because we all know that there are much more than ten car rental companies in South Africa, when you perform the same search query "car rental cape town" you will most likely end up with results displayed which Google feels are most relevant to Cape Town. When performing the search query "car rental Durban", all results displayed will be more than likely car rental companies in Durban. 

Now before you run off to your web designer telling him to list fake office address's for each city as well as fake telephone numbers in an attempt to fool Google into believing that you can service the entire region of South Africa, don't even waste your time. For Pete's sake people this is Google we are dealing with here, not Julius! You have to give Google a lot more credit than that. Anyway, the SEO strategy on how to get around that will be dealt with in the coming articles but for now let me summarize.

If you are planning on spending some money on a SEO strategy (which should be considered well before you build your website), it is of great importance that you carefully examine your chosen target market along with the keyword search terms under which you would like your website to be listed. An aggressive target market means that your SEO strategy must be decentralized and focused. There is nothing wrong with having multiple websites to cover the entire region of South Africa with individual SEO packages for each. You potential customers won't be offended, trust me. Oh and don't forget Rule 1. Don't try to be the one stop for everything shop!

Warm regards,

Paul Gioio SEO strategist and Operations manager for www.beyond-design.co.za

Comments

  • Anthea Hartzenberg
    Anthea Hartzenberg Thursday, 13 October 2011

    That was great. No how about Part 2

  • Kees Meyer
    Kees Meyer Monday, 31 October 2011

    Hi,
    Very good info for all , now how about part 2 so that we can also compete in this difficult and competing market

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