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I always figured that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was a waste of the R60 000 to R100 000 that the specialists wanted to charge. Surely not everyone can be on the front page of a Google search?

Take a typical search. It comes up with 6 adverts and 10 articles.

If you want to be one of the ads, learn how to use Google Ads. Google offers excellent free training. Alternatively, pay someone to do the job for you.

If you want yours to be one of the 10 articles, then you need a brilliant SEO campaign, and no amount of money thrown at it will get you there, whatever the experts tell you. But it can be done. Try Googling a question on trusts. I bet at least one of my articles will be right there.

First you need to understand how Google thinks. Put simply, they want to show the best, most relevant, information in response to any query, so that people continue to see Google as the go-to source of all knowledge.

So here’s how I did it.

Way back in 2010, I started writing articles on subjects that I thought people would be interested in. I kept them informative and light hearted. I now write them in batches, and schedule them to be published weekly over the next month or two. I write less general interest stuff now, and focus on answering the typical questions that people might ask, like “How do I form a trust in South Africa?” I make that the title of my article, and describe the content in the Meta Description making sure that words I use in the Meta Description are also words in the title.

I subscribe to Shutterstock, and get 10 images a month for my subscription. I open the images in PIXresizer (which is free), and down size them from typically 13MB to 400KB. I attach an image to the article to catch the interest.

Then I mark the article as featured. My web specialist fixed it so that the featured articles appear on the home page (you can check this out on our website).

This way, I keep my website alive and constantly changing. Google loves this. Google also tracks how many people click on and read my articles, so thank you for clicking on this one!

The articles also get pumped into Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, because readers there will find themselves on our website, and Google loves to see lots of visits to the site.

There’s also a monthly email that lists the month’s articles. It goes out to over 1 500 addresses of people who have been in contact with our company for one reason or another.

Sure it’s taken me 10 years and some 600 articles to get where I am, but man, it has been worth it! You can get there far quicker if you stay focused whereas I wrote about life, the universe and everything which, although fun, was of little value for SEO. This article, for instance, does little for my business of forming trusts, but I also need to relax occasionally and write just for the fun of writing.

Oh, I also invite people to write a Google review after they have met with me. Over 50 reviews of which 3 are 4 star and the rest are 5 star. Google knows that people rate me, and that also pushes my SEO.

My best advice to you? Get started.


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