Former fire eater who’s now fanning the flames of SEO

Former fire eater who’s now fanning the flames of SEO

The answer, of course, is on page two of Google search results, because no-one will ever look there.

It is a truth that is all too clear to any business which wants to attract traffic to its website and a whole industry of SEO consultancy has grown on the back of it.

In Cumbria, one of the exponents of search engine sorcery is Tim Marston, who runs South Lakes SEO, in Kendal.

Originally from West Cumbria, Tim first came across the power of SEO in his former life as an award-winning and internationally recognised fire juggler.

“I ranked first in search results for fire juggling at that time in the UK,” he said. “But I realised that most non-industry people called me a fire eater, whether I did it or not.

“I re-optimised my site for searches for fire eaters and I shot up the rankings. That’s the difference that getting it right makes.” 

This realisation set Tim on the path to become an SEO consultant, working with companies all over the country, including well-known names such as Whitakers Chocolates in Skipton. He says any business that wants to boost its way up the rankings needs to begin by doing some keyword research. 

“Keyword research is the process of finding out the words and phrases that people put into Google when they are looking for the product, service or information that you are trying to put in front of them,” said Tim.

“There’s two traps. One is industry terminology that people outside the industry don’t use and the other is your personal or collective company lexicon.

“You need to put this aside and think about what other people say in day-to-day life.” 

Then you have to try and incorporate the correct keywords and phrases into your website, alongside ensuring your site is operating well, is easy to navigate and does not have any broken links or pages.

Pages should be well structured with clear headings and subheadings and keywords within the body text and also within the alternative tags for images. 

“There’s certain places where you definitely want the keywords; the URL, the header, the SEO title and ideally in a file name in an image, because sometimes images show in the search,” said Tim. 

“Then you should just write naturally and then maybe add a heading once at the end to show Google it’s a nice, tight, relevant piece of content.”

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