Owning a well-designed website is nice.
But having a website that generates new customers...
...that's ultimately what we want, isn't it?
This is the power of SEO or search engine optimization - having your business being found (typically via Google) when customers are searching for products or services you offer.
...and more directly....being at the top of Google search results.
When your website reaches the top of Google results, it makes a huge impact on your business.
How so? Well, it makes your business visible to people that didn't know that you existed.
Thinking about your search habits when you want to find information:
- You search on Google
- You check the first 3 search results
- You never go to page 2 of search results
- And if you don't find what you want, you search again with a different search query until you get what you want
This is how we people search and by understanding this, you can create opportunities for your business to be found online.
SEO is a great strategy for you.
SEO is your long-term strategy that doesn't involve you dancing in front of your phone on social media.
SEO doesn't cost money in producing random ads.
"real estate attorney in [city]"
"chiropractic for infants and newborn moms"
You can rank for these things!
And people type in queries like this every day. Write content around these topics, then Google can help you be discovered.
Being a small business myself, I wanted to share a few SEO tips to get started. SEO isn't hard to understand nor is it a mix of dodgy actions. It's simply about being aware of how Google works and how you can help Google direct relevant people to your website and benefit.
Understand how Google Works
Hear from the source! Thankfully Google recently released a simple explainer video on how search works. Check out their 5-minute video explaining how Google Search Works. It's fun and easy to follow.
Does it make sense how Google works?
Google simply uses various signals to help determine what website is most appropriate to present to the people searching.
And, it doesn't stop there. Alexa, Siri, YouTube...we pretty much use a search engine as our first stop to find answers.
And so acknowledging, this can provide ideas of what type of content you should have. If you're a local restaurant, clearly people are typing for things like "best burger in [city]." Or "biggest burger in [city]"
When you identify what people search for, you can develop relevant content around that and Google can see you as a relevant website to display.
Prove that you're the best website for that particular search and you can win the top spot in search.
Do Simple, Relevant Keyword Research to Find Keyword Strategy
Keyword research is the process of finding out what customers will likely type into Google to find answers to their questions.
To get some ideas here's a great FREE tool that helps to generate a list of common search queries around your produce or service https://answerthepublic.com/
Keyword research is also about you finding out which competitors rank for certain search keywords that you might want.
For example, when you Google your product or service, you can see who is currently ranking for those keywords. And you can get an idea of if you should compete head-to-head or come up with a strategic strategy.
To improve your search engine ranking on search engines like Google, you should include keywords in your site content, you should make sure that your site has the correct title tags, and that you use an appropriate site structure.
When you have a good idea of what keywords or phrases people are using, then you can create content around that and get your website ranked for meaningful things.
I tried to explain the difference between small and large businesses with SEO strategies in this video:
I'm arguing that instead of trying to go head-on against large companies, small companies can create more specific, unique content that large companies won't cover because it doesn't appeal to thousands of people.
This is your niche opportunity and for small businesses, this can be your sweet spot.
Use Keywords in Your Content (Readability Search Engine Friendly)
Once you have a keyword strategy, you know what content should be created for your website.
Get your writing on!
With keywords in mind, your next action, and your ongoing action as you continue to grow your website, is to create keyword-rich content.
This is the part that gets confusing for some. Keyword-rich content doesn't mean that you write content in a robotic way that isn't user-friendly for people.
Instead, keyword-rich content is about making sure that the term people search with is part of your content. It should read naturally.
As a way to help with your writing, try to think of a one keyword per page strategy. What I mean by this is that you identify a single keyword phrase you can rank for and write content around that.
As an example for myself, I'm a web designer that uses a platform called Webflow to build websites. And so I create a specific page around my location (Paris, France area) and the tool I specialize in.
Within the page, I try to explain how I can help people searching for solutions around this and make sure to use keywords in my content
Build Relevant Links
Content is the basis of SEO. Without it, then you can't optimize for search.
But once you have content, the next big thing you need to do is to get other sites to link to your website.
This is called link building.
Essentially this is just a trust indicator to Google. If other websites are linking to your website for a particular topic, then Google sees that you might be relevant in offering certain information.
It's just like in the real world, if tons of people recommend that you go see a certain movie, you'll likely go see it.
If a lot of sites are linking to your website, Google will more likely refer people to it.
If you're a small local business, try to find local directories that might offer a link to you. Another option is to write a "guest blog" on their website in exchange for a link to yours.
When you can get other relevant websites linking to you, then this will help your search ranking.
Promoting Your Website
One of the biggest mistakes that website owners make is that they don’t promote their websites enough.
Whether too busy or not wanting to come off as desperate, you're doing a good thing in communicating about your product or service when you truly believe it can help someone.
Marketing doesn't have to be about disrupting someone's day.
Instead, marketing can be about helping a great solution become known to someone is can assist.
So don't be afraid to talk about your business. Your hard work is valuable to the world and so let people know about it.
SEO will work for you
I hope this writeup gave some quick ideas to turn your website into a marketing tool.
Search engine ranking is one of the most important elements to consider when creating a website. When your website ranks high, it sort of becomes your ultimate sales machine. You are being found by people when they are proactively searching for solutions, and so that's a great time to capitalize on starting a conversation.
Remember Google's goal: to direct people to the most relevant web page possible. If Google doesn't do this well, then they will lose users and so they have to be our best wingman to find info.
Thanks for reading a wish you a great day ahead!
Rock the day!