Like any new industry, SEO has quickly attracted its share of charlatans and dodgy salesmen. Before proceeding with an SEO consultant, it’s probably wise to ask them about their history and experience; if they’ve previously been involved selling solar panels, and before that double glazing, it’s probably best to keep looking!

Whether it’s a consequence or a cause – this means that it is an area rife with misinformation and misunderstandings, and perhaps one of the biggest misunderstandings you can come across is the belief that SEO is the ultimate goal, i.e. get the top search spot and you’re done.

Taking it back a step, for most businesses, their end goal is going to be maximising profit. To do this, businesses need to sell their products or services (with a good margin). With this is mind, for most businesses, SEO should be aimed at making sure that potential buyers find them, and when they do, they go on to make a purchase.

Instead dodgy SEO tactics can often undermine this ultimate goal.

In trade industries, and probably all industries, a good understanding of your product and your customers is vital, and most successful companies in niche industries thrive on their specific expertise and knowledge.

And yet I’ve seen these same companies engage shonky SEO practitioners to load up their sites with keywords and junk content, all aimed at improving their search results.

But what happens to their reputation when customers find them and start reading machine-written junk content on their sites?

Obviously their entire reputation for understanding their industry has been undermined. Or you’ll irritate your prospective customers by not actually giving them the information they’re looking for.

The only sustainable SEO strategy is to actually have genuine, quality content that people – and indeed your customers – are searching for.