I just need SEO!
I hear this from my clients time and time again and it drives me crazy. SEO is NOT the be all and end all, or the answer to your business success. Being ranked #1 on Google is awesome, but it’s certainly not the ONLY thing you need to be doing in your business. I always teach my clients that a blended marketing mix is important. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Also important to note is that you might be ranked #1 on Google and getting loads of hits to your website but you are not seeing them translate into dollars. I can bet my right arm that it’s because your website is not optimised for conversions and your branding is not consistent.
In light of this, and given that ALL my clients ask me about SEO first, I thought I would give you all a quick rundown of the SEO world, what to look for, what to do yourself and how to recognise when it’s time to call in the experts!
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Basically, it is things people do to their website so it is easily found by Google.
This may or may not help, my guess is, if you haven’t worked with SEO before you are probably feeling even more confused. Where to start? Let me explain in a few easy steps.
1. What is your industry or niche?
Defining your industry of nice is important because it will help you work out what potential readers will be searching for. Be specific, if you have a point of interest make sure you include this. I do an exercise with my clients called the “buyer personas” – it’s a quick 15 minute exercise and it helps them get clear on their niche very quickly. I recommend you find something similar or just shoot me an email and I’ll send you my one.
2. What are the keywords associated with this industry or niche?
Write a list of the keywords you think your target audience would likely search when looking for a solution to the problem that you can solve for them. Use services such as the Google Adwords Keyword planner tool (free) or Market samurai (paid service) to help you with your keyword research. This will help you to make sure you are not targeting keywords that are too competitive. It will be an upward battle if other more reputable, older, bigger budget companies are using that keyword.
3. Focus on finding long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are the more specific keywords that users will type into Google when they have more information about what they are looking for. This is particularly useful for ecommerce as it means the individual is likely closer to purchase point.
Three or four may also be less competitive. For example, “Reduce credit card debt” or “SEO services in Melbourne.”
4. Get you Backlink on
Backlinks are also known as “incoming links” and are essentially any time a website has a link to your website. Google is smart (if you haven’t already worked that out!) and constantly trying to crack down on anyone who tries to game the system. So try to get reputable websites, directories and blogs to link to your site. There was a time when the more backlinks you had the higher you would rank in Google, this is NOT the case anymore. It’s all about quality over quantity these days.
5. Keep it natural
Provide good quality content, guest blogs, write high quality articles. Blogs of around 1500-2000 words are great and will do wonders for your SEO when they are optimised correctly. You will need guidance from an expert here, don’t try to do it yourself!
6. Be authentic when writing blogs
Google will be able to tell if you start “keyword stuffing” so aim to use your keywords naturally or use alternatives. Make sure your blogs are relevant, don’t write for the robots, write for the humans and for what your audience wants. Include your keyword in the title if it is relevant and sounds natural.
7. Use a variety of mediums
Use images with tags to tell Google what they are so that when people search for images in Google, yours will come up! Use videos from YouTube (Google own this so they will be impressed and see this as high quality content.)
8. Be committed
If you decide to start a blog, writing once in a blue moon probably won’t get you the SEO results you are after. Yet however often you can blog try to be committed to that. Blogs that are 2000 words, linked to related resources from high authority websites will be seen as powerful to Google. It is absolutely about quality and not quantity as well as a consistent flow of content.
9. Smush your site
No one likes to wait around for a slow loading site. It is really important for your site to load quickly. If you are using Word Press try a plugin such as WP Smush, it rocks because it reduces the size of all your files by 15%!
10. Tag away!
Now this bit is a tad technical, but it’s important you understand it. Ensure you have your “Meta tagging” sorted. Meta tags are basically your keywords placed into the code of your website in strategic places so that Google can find those particular pages on your website.
The more specific you can be about what is on your site, more traffic you will get. If you are ranked #4 for a particular keyword and you are getting more clicks and people are staying on your website for a while then it reports back to Google that people are using your site and it is a good and useful resource.
Is this all too much?
I don’t blame you. It can be A LOT to get your head around but the important thing here is that you UNDERSTAND a bit more about the SEO world. When you don’t know what you don’t know can be really hard to find the right people to help you and you can easily get taken advantage of. So I hope that my tips today have helped you to be more aware so that you can make a more informed decision when choosing your SEO partner. There are some great SEO specialists available who can help you out and if you want I can even put you in touch with the specialist who helps me to keep my site search engine optimised!
But don’t forget, SEO is NOT the only thing you need to build a successful business. It all starts with your brand, your Tribe of Raving Fans. Find out how I am currently helping my clients to build their Tribe here >>