The secrets of search engine optimisation are 2000 years old.

It was in the spring of 216 BCE that Hannibal Barca used the predictability of the Roman Army’s war tactics to defeat them.

The Romans were known for their front-on assault, and Hannibal used this unimaginative move to surround his enemy by sending troops to flank the oncoming Romans. He all but destroyed them.

It might seem like a violent way to start a discussion about search engine optimisation and content marketing, but the lesson in this tale that is now well over 2000 years old is still relevant: A good strategy exploits the predictable nature of the world.

And a good search engine optimisation strategy exploits the predictable nature of the end consumer, thus the key is knowing the “nature” of your customer.


My colleagues here at Lush Digital have great advice on how to identify your core values, establish your message and create kick-arse content for your brand. In terms of Hannibal’s army, they’ve come up with the strategy, got the troops along the border and are ready to start the attack.

We consider this part of a three-step program:

  • original content
  • distribution
  • amplification

Amplification by way of search engine optimization is one of my passions. It sounds complicated and lots of Gen Y punters out there are building companies claiming to be ‘SEO-experts’. But don’t let them fool you:  SEO is just not that complicated. Like Hannibal’s attitude toward the Romans, it is ultimately just exploiting the predictable nature of the end-consumer.

Ask yourself: What will your target customers type into the Google search box? Those are the words you need to use.

As a recovering journalist, this is what I love about SEO: Words matter.

And I reckon there are only two key parts to the game:

1. Be obvious

We used to use ‘captain obvious’ as an insult in high school, but there is nothing insulting about it in SEO-land. If you are an aged care provider, you may need to embrace the fact that people will Google the phrase ‘nursing home’. You might not like the colloquial nature of it, but you’re up against it if you’re trying to change the language around you.

2. Be clear

What does your company do? Whittle it down to as few words as possible. Shoe repair. Dog walking. Hot water system repair. Solar panels in Perth. What is the problem people will search that you would like them to find you for? And if someone links to your site, how will they describe your company?

Words matter; they are your swords in the battle of grabbing the attention of your target market.

3. Have a strategy

And finally, I’ll let you in on a secret. SEO does not work in isolation. It needs two absolutely critical things to back it up:

  1. A documented strategy
  2. A really brilliant customer-focused service

There is no substitute for being awesome at what you do, no matter where you rank in the Google search results.


If you want to create a strategy that will help your customers find your content, contact the team at Lush Digital Media.