Lessons in online marketing gained at an Exeter networking event

Yesterday I was chatting to online marketing expert Alistair Gleave (www.alistairgleave.co.uk) of Optix Solutions at a networking event in Exeter and he suggested that I work on the titles of my blog posts to make them more SEO friendly. He told me that I need to focus on my keywords (the words my target audience will be typing into the search engines to find me ie marketing consultant in Exeter) and weave these into the titles of my blog.

So this morning I sat down at my desk, opened WordPress and started to review my blog posts titles.

Now this is where I got stuck. I get the whole concept of SEO and understand that the main purpose of blogging is to improve rankings and drive traffic to your site but I tend to blog about things that come up in conversation during the week or where I think I can add some value and demonstrate my knowledge. I don’t think about what my target audience is searching for and then draft a blog accordingly. That just doesn’t work for me. Equally I feel silly posting blog titles such as “Business ideas to make networking a successful part of your marketing mix by an Exeter Marketing Consultancy.”

My view is that I want visitors to my site to find articles of interest and relevance to their business whereas Alistair’s argument is how do I get them there in the first place? He has of course got a very valid point!

A few weeks ago I posted a tweet on Twitter “Today I’m working on SEO for my website. Any tips please pass them on!”

Out of the various replies, the tip which I found most pertinent was from Sarah Gibson at The Writing Hut:

“The most important tip of all is that you shouldn’t employ any of the tactics I have outlined above to the detriment of your content. Remember that it’s the human visitor who will pay for your services, not the search engine – and if the copy doesn’t grab the reader and persuade them to buy, then there’s little benefit to achieving a high ranking.”

I think her comment sums this all up very well.

If you are selling a service rather than a product there needs to be a balance between getting people to your website in the first place and writing copy which is attractive to the reader and makes sense. I think I’ve got the second bit right. Now I just need to work on the first part without detriment to the second!

This a really interesting subject and I would love to hear from fellow bloggers about their blog strategy. Are you like me and just post about things that interest you or do you apply more SEO strategy? Please post your comments below.