Let’s face it: SEO matters
You might even say there are 6 things you need to know about SEO if your first question is “What the heck is SEO?”
The fact is if you have any interest in internet business or using the internet to market your offline business in todays world you’re going to run into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) at some point. It will pay off to learn at least a few basics about it.
SEO Netro, you dig my ride?
I knew absolutely zero about SEO once upon a time. Most likely when I first heard the word I likely thought it was a cousin to the GEO Metro.
I can see the sales pitch going something like this:
“If you liked your economical Geo Metro you’ll love the new SEO Netro.”
It’s probably marketed as the “luxury answer to all your internet transportation needs!”
Well humor aside, you might say that SEO really is about transportation. It’s about transporting search engine traffic to your website.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, the art of crafting a website through content strategy so it appears as high as possible in search results.
Driving Volume to Maximize Conversion
The more traffic you can steer towards your website the more profit you will see. This is fundamentally true even if you look at traffic on a purely percentage of visitors converted to customers basis.
A little math
For instance if you’re thinking in volumetric terms and your getting 10 visitors per day and your site is coming up on page 2 or 3 of a Google search, maybe you’ll get lucky if 1 of the 10 visitors become customers. Very lucky! Ask me I know.
In the most basic terms: Conversion = Conversions (Traffic that becomes actual Customers) / Volume (Leads or traffic) / X 100
That means if you had 1 actual customer out of the 10 visitors you had in a given day you have a 10% conversion rate.
But what if you were able to optimize the key words and the content of your website in such a way that when Google bots crawled it your website came up on page 1?
Making it to page 1, even if you were the third or fourth result, you ended up with 100 visitors of which perhaps 2 of them became customers?
“Crawl” – a term for Googles indexing of websites whereby the site is searched by “bots” for factors such as content, key words, and authority and then ranked at a certain level when someone triggers search results based on particular search terms.
On a volume basis you have just increased your business exponentially in two different ways!
- You doubled your customers. From 1 to 2 isn’t much, but you shouldn’t expect more than around 2-4% conversion rates for online sales.
- You took your exposure of potential leads from 10 visitors to 100! Yes, 98 of the click through’s to your website didn’t become customers. But those 98 leads could generate countless more leads. If just 30 of those shared your website link with 2 other leads you now have 60 more potential customers.
Your conversion rate just went from 10% to 2%. But talking about percentages at this volume difference isn’t really that helpful when you consider you increased from 1 customer to 2. This example is hypothetical, but because of its simplicity you can get the point of what the advantage is!
The win for you is you brought in 90 more leads to your website!
The takeaway is that using the principles of sound SEO principles you can significantly compound your profitably or return on investment (ROI). Simply by bringing more traffic into your sphere of influence.
So SEO can really affect my Bottom Line?
Absolutely! And there are a multitude of pros to utilizing the tactics and strategies of SEO, and some cons too.
To start off negative; let’s get it out of the way, the main negative is that if you over utilize SEO on your site it can actually hurt your search engine ranking. We’ll go into this in more detail but at this point just be conscious that if you use to many keywords or other tactics you could give Google the impression your Spam.
You don’t need to be told how damaging that could be!
But in this article I want to go over 5 positives which are very basic facts that’ll be handy even if you never read another article about SEO again.
1. It’s not that complicated
When you start to look at SEO you’ll see all kinds of lingo, acronyms, and technical jargon. You’ll hear things about analytics and other equally confusing concepts. Not to worry!
The fact is, it’s really not that complicated. Search Engine Optimization is pure and simple just a set of tools or techniques to get your website to show up on Googles first Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
This is really nothing more than setting up a good website and providing quality content. More on that in the next section!
Basically your business and your want your website visible at the top of a search results page and you want the potential customer to see your link before anyone else with a similar product.
Sometimes SEO professionals can make it appear more intimidating than it is. Yes, it can get rather technical very quickly but that’s what someone who does SEO full time specializes in. You don’t have to get an SEO certification or spend hours researching every detail about Google analytics to optimize your website.
You need to cover the basics which if you can run a business or write compelling blog content I have no doubt you can utilize SEO techniques and tools with minimal heartache! (See No#4 Do it yourself).
2. Content is still king
When you’ve been around internet marketing and specializations like SEO or SEM (Search Engine Marketing) long enough you tend to forget what this is all about. Whether you’re just doing a personal blog or running a multi-page ecommerce website it has always been about content.
Content can be your blog post about “extreme surfing grandmas” or it might be a top selling product for your start up business. Your content is what you want to sell to the consumer. And that’s why we’re doing the website and online presence thing to begin with.
SEO and content marketing strategies in general are tools we use to maximize the exposure of our products.
Before you worry about key words, link building, or onsite optimization you have to streamline your content. Ensure it has value for the consumer and it’s substantive.
It has to have substance and give the reader something worth their time.
Old school SEO, what we called website spam or trash, were fluff blog posts or websites with a 1000 keywords, tags, and internal links to advertisements. They were marketing tactics and it did work a small percentage of the time. Remember what we said about volume traffic and conversions?
That’s how it worked a few years ago! Sad but true.
Without quality content the best SEO in the world might get you ranked on Google’s first page and even increase your visitor volume… but will you get conversions? Will you efficiently gain new customers or clients?
So, you’ve got your product and your content aligned. You’re working on your content marketing strategy and you know where you want to go. You want to maximize your exposure and gain income through converting visitors.
What do keywords do and how can they help get you on the coveted page NO#1 of Googles search results?
Key words are specific and targeted terms or phrases that connect potential customers with key words and phrases in your content through search results.
“Your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. A website that is well optimized for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site. Keywords are one of the main elements of SEO.” – Quoted from Wordstream
What you need to keep in mind about keywords is that you should use things in your content, in your page meta data, and anywhere else you’re putting text to describe what your product is. Again, if you have a 200 word paragraph about how to use your cleaning product and 190 words of it are keywords about cleaning products and your product name… you’re actually going to hurt yourself.
Google’s algorithms have adapted to this type of content spam. That’s why you don’t see some of the bogus search results you saw several years ago. Google learned how to judge content from keyword spam.
Simply don’t forget to add keywords about your content naturally in your blog posts, product descriptions, page titles, etc. That’s the best SEO you can do. It’s no harder than that!
4. Do it yourself Search Engine Optimization
Onsite SEO is a necessity
Onsite Optimization is what you do on your website itself to make it as attractive as possible to google search. “Onsite” means you have total control of everything that can influence your ranking on Google because it’s already under your control.
Offsite SEO is a bit more work
Whereas offsite optimization strategies require certain techniques to influence ranking. Or they can mean flat out paying to get things like linkbacks to your site (paying for links is a bad idea by the way).
Getting a start in SEO if you have a business or blog doesn’t require heavy offsite SEO. Do the basics onsite stuff below and as far as offsite work on networking: focus on social media, cross posting your writing and content, making connections to people in your field, and just plain doing anything you can to gain exposure.
As I said earlier you should always start with content, but next or while your working on content as well get those keywords into the titles and body of your text!
DIY Onsite SEO
What else can you do yourself with little to no knowledge of SEO technicalities, without being an internet or Google guru? Take a look at the following for a list of actionable items you can implement right now.
- Run a basic keyword search by doing a Google search to see what keywords come up in results similar to your industry or topics. Craft your keywords to match or contain other words and phrase that will set you apart from the competition.
- Also, try out some of the simple to use but high quality SEO tools recommended in this ahrefs post on 8 Free Keyword Research Tools. I highly recommend Ahrefs.com for all things SEO. They know their stuff!
- Place your main keyword(s) in your page and post titles and any media descriptions such as photos and videos. Each page should have your keywords in the title information, and your blog post titles. It really will help with SEO.
- Place keywords in the body of your content, an example would be 1-2 keywords in each paragraph, with different variations like “cat” “cats” or “feline”. You never know what a prospective lead will search for. If you sell litter boxes a customer might initially search for feline waste containers! Don’t leave any variations out except the really wild ones.
- Put keywords in the meta data for your website. That’s 2-3 lines of text you see in a google search result, i.e. the description of the page. How often have you clicked or bypassed a search result purely based on the meta description? I do it all the time!
- Optimize content such as images and video to contain keyword in the title and description of the media. Don’t just put the key words in the text. The content itself should be about your product or the subject of your website or blog. This one goes back to content. I’ve seen racing blogs that post cat videos. I mean maybe there audience liked it, I don’t know!? But as a general rule keep your content in line with your subject, product, or niche.
- Using keywords link to other relavent pages on your site. This is one of the most simple trick you can practice. When you post something that has a topic or keyword that you think readers will want to look deeper into make it a link to another part of your website. That’s right, you want to keep readers or potential customers onsite as long as possible!
If you can link to another part of your site and meet the need for information that’s just one more step in keeping a lead.
There are many more onsite things you can put to use right this minute. These are only a few of the basics. For more actionable items refer to the wealth of knowledge over at Moz.com specifically their piece on On-Site SEO.
5. When you need a professional
So you’ve optimized your content, sprinkled keywords in your post titles and text, edited the meta tags, hit the social media circuit, etc. You’ve done all the basic stuff, but you’re still not seeing the traffic you need to be profitable. Now your frustrated!
I know that feeling with deep understanding. You’re not alone.
If you follow the basics I’ve covered in this article you should start to see results. The issue is usually that it takes time. Just like trying to get followers when you first started your blog about “Dog Tricks” for instance, using SEO to drive traffic for a business will take some time. You will likely see some minimal results soon but the big payoff will come anywhere between 3 and 4 months later.
However if you have that sense that everything you’ve done just isn’t working, or you’ve waited and still seen no results, that would be the point where you either put in the time to learn the more technical aspects of SEO -or- you consider hiring someone experienced to do it for you.
The market for experienced SEO professionals is pretty large. And as a warning, so is the market for inexperienced scammers, and people who will just plain take your money, possibly hurt your ranking or get you penalized by Google.
Do you need SEO? I can help!
Do you need help with SEO? I offer free Surface level onsite Audits that will tell you 1.) whether you’re already on track, 2.) need some help, or 3.) need a complete SEO content marketing strategy.
Contact me HERE if I can help in any way. I provide a basic onsite minimal audit for FREE. Just send me an email with your website address and I’ll do everything I can to get you on track with SEO.