I often suggest Evergreening, a bootstrapped SEO method.
The typical SEO method works something like this:
1. Do keyword research and figure out a sweet spot between a) what you want to rank for, b) what you have a fighting chance to rank for, and c) where there are large enough query volumes to target.
2. Use your chosen keywords according to best practice in a cornerstone post, practice internal linking, and generate backlinks to your content.
Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this SEO method; it just works — and that’s why it’s such a popular approach.
The Evergreening SEO Method
For such clients, I instead suggest the Evergreening SEO method:
1. Publish something useful, evergreen, or noteworthy that stakeholders can only find on your website.
2. Optimise and promote that content for what it is—regardless of its actual chances in terms of SEO competitiveness.
3. Move on and publish something else that is useful, evergreen, or noteworthy—that can only be found on your website.
With my SEO method, the brand will sometimes publish, optimise, and promote content for queries that are impossible to win. And the client might also be missing out on some low-hanging keywords every once in a while.
But that will have to be okay.
With evergreen and not-to-be-found-elsewhere content on your website, combined with bootstrapped efforts, the client’s website will do an excellent job in attracting and converting returning visitors — which in many cases is more important than attracting new traffic.
Additionally, the client’s efforts will build a website consisting of useful, evergreen, or noteworthy content. Search engines do like this approach, too!
And if the client decides to attack SEO more vigorously, their existing website and loyal visitors will prove a real asset.