I am an author, podcaster, speaker and trainer in SEO. I work as a freelance SEO & organic marketing strategist. I started in SEO in 2010 at one of the largest travel companies in the Netherlands. Since then I worked on both agency and client side.
In 2022 I published my first book (Dutch only) about creating better content to rank in search engines, not content created around keywords but for your ideal customer. This was way before Google released the Helpful Content Update.
I then called my approach Horizontal SEO: not ranking as high as possible but as widely as possible. A few months later Google introduced the concepts of People First Content and Helpful Content.
I don’t think SEO is a checklist. You won’t get there with some simple optimizations and keywords are not a good basis in my opinion.
Since 2010 I have seen the SEO world change dramatically and, above all, become busier: everyone now wants something with SEO. If you also want to do something with it, you will have to do things better and differently because you know: Google’s bar is really high by now.
A possible option is to search for more visibility in SEO through Horizontal SEO. This approach is especially interesting for small players, the idea is that you look for niches and gaps in the market that are not interesting for the big players. Your ideal customer is the starting point and not keywords that you find in keyword research. It’s not about longtail or your products but about your customer’s questions, pain points, fears, frustrations, concerns, goals, interests, etc.
In addition, it is necessary to get started with organic marketing and do branding: put your company, your knowledge and your experience in the spotlight, earn online attention and build a reputation: thought leadership. In times where everyone can create content with the help of AI it will depend on who the source is whether the content will have reach, both in search engines as other platforms. Thought leaders will manage to cut through the noise and get there message out there.
“De Jong & Laan are depending less on their brand name because the are largely visible on non-branded search terms”.
“Relatively taken the Hypotheekshop.nl turns out the be the company with the most effective SEO strategy”.