Thinking Outside The Search Box

Thinking Outside The Search Box

By Sadie on May 1, 2010

thinking outside the google search box

SEO is evloving, I have said this a number of times, and SEO is no longer the secret society of people working out keyword density, META’s, Titles and links, but is becoming a skill and an art.

When I was at University my tutors would constantly push me to ‘think outside the box’ and work out a problem from the brief to find a creative solution. Although I have very little to do with the design side of SEO Creative anymore, the concept of problem solving to find a creative solution is becoming a valuable skill in SEO.

A lot of people start a campaign (my self included) and work out the main competitors, from that I can see the amount of work necessary to compete on certain keywords. Depending on the competition, you can work out the amount of spend a client needs to invest, to do as well as their competitors and be fairly confident on the results. This is a limited way of looking at a campaign, although sometimes a necessary starting point, as your client doesn’t want to merely do as well, they want to smash the competition out of the water. And if the competition is a big brand, then you are looking at a lot of investment for particular keywords.

Many good SEO’s know there is a lot of reverse engineering, and problem solving involved in the SEO of a website, what will work for one website may not work for another website. There are a lot of factors to consider and the development of the site can cause issues as well – which may be out of your control.

I often find websites that do well for one or two terms, 1st page results, for very competitive keywords, but they are nowhere for anything else, even variations of their keywords. This is because they are focusing their SEO campaign on exact match keywords, if these get enough searches and conversions from the site then you can get a good ROI. However if you have more than just a few things to offer you are limiting the capabilities of the website.

When I was at SASCon in Manchester this week, I got to thinking about all the other ways of promoting a website through the search engines. Social Media can play a big part in SEO, especially when you look at social media platforms other than Facebook and Twitter. Social Media can also play a big part in link building, reputation management, brand awareness etc I could go on …

Links are surrounded by controversy, but there are other ways to aquire links than link farms, spamming and paid links – and you don’t have to beg webmasters either! Good content is rewarded by links, and finding a different and unique way to interpret content will help your brand, help get you noticed, get you traffic and links; you will find the SEO will follow.

What I’m saying is that SEO and Search isn’t just about where you come up when you type your main keyword into the Google, Yahoo or the Bing search box, but how you get targeted traffic to your site using the search engines. Local search and Videos look set to play a big part in Universal Search over the next few months, traditional SEO can do very well but you need Creative SEO to really stand out.