FAQ: How to start a future-proof, ethical, “white-hat” SEO strategy

Start by defining your “value proposition”

If you don’t have a value proposition, then as far as search engines are concerned, you should not be in business, and they do not wish to send people your way.

Continue to develop

Keep developing your value proposition (you can always be more useful) and expand your website with this in mind, so as to expand your relevance & reach without being “spammy”.

Apply conversion optimisation

As far as your resources permit, apply conversation optimisation to every stage of your customer’s journey. From the moment they hear about you — be it by word of mouth (think about how you can affect your word-of-mouth reputation) or by your appearance in search results (optimise your titles, descriptions, rich snippets and widgets etc for best display in search results) — through to their first impressions upon landing on your site, and their journey through your site, right the way through to them completing a major goal such as buying something or bookmarking your site, telling people about you, linking to you from their own website or social media profiles, and ultimately (all being well) becoming a returning visitor, frequent buyer and brand ambassador.

How to begin conversion optimisation, with value proposition development in mind

You may wish to begin the process of conversion optimisation by first defining your site’s user personas. Categorise all types of people who may potentially visit your site. For example at SEO London we cater mainly for SEO service providers (agencies & freelancers), SEO service buyers (website owners) and students (anyone interested in learning SEO – these can of course be agency staff and website owners too!).

Then define your value proposition for each persona (you can see ours on our homepage!) and map out their potential & ideal journeys through your site, then pinpoint all the goals and microgoals along the way. Then analyse & optimise call-to-action placement and incentives for them to follow the ideal journeys and score the ideal goals, while also identifying & minimising barriers, deterrents and inappropriate distractions along the way.

In Summary, how to adopt a white-hat SEO strategy

Start by defining and developing your value proposition. Break down your audience segments. Understand what each type of person wants and then match all their wants with what content, tools, products and services your business can offer to help them.

This is core business strategy work and isn’t likely to produce many backlinks or competitive ranks any time soon, but in the long run the sky’s the limit so long as you are comfortable with changing your products and services to meet your customers’ needs, don’t mind spending forever developing your services, and truly believe you can offer outstandingly better products and services than your competitors.

This is pure white-hat SEO and there’s no harm in having a think about this while also doing other work – it will only do you good so long as you have plenty of time for it.