SEO Is Way Easier Than You Think
Over the years, SEO has gone through many reformations and transformations. Black-hat techniques like keyword-stuffing and keyword-based optimization strategies were the acceptable forms of SEO. These days however, it has way more to do with user experience than just simply what buzz words you incorporate in your coding. The bottom-line is that SEO is very important and can be done in a cost-effective way for your business.
Unfortunately, business owners still are intimidated by the thought and concept of SEO. The hardest part is the commitment it takes to stick with the process. SEO results and benefits are not seen overnight they take months of consistent work and discipline, but anybody can do it if they learn a few basics and stick to their plan.
The SEO Misconception
You do NOT need to know anything about Google’s algorithms or the complete ins-and-outs of web programming and coding in order to implement good SEO tactics. Yes it is good to be aware of any policy shifts Google implements (like the most recent one dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’) with regards to its algorithms, but worrying about the details will only drive you further away from wanting anything to do with SEO. Just because the backends of Google algorithms and coding may be beyond yours and most individuals understanding does not mean that on the front-end you can’t harness the power of the Internet and search engines. Just remember, Google’s ultimate purpose is to provide its users with the most enjoyable experience which correlates to relevant and easily found information.
The Simple Basics of SEO
Google has never fully released information revealing exactly how their search engines rank websites and many of the world experts in search engines still haven’t figured everything out. However, there are two solid and well-known reasons a site will show up at the top of Google search results.
- They are seen as an authority in their subject matter, industry, or field.
- They deliver value to their users by giving and sharing valuable information.
In a nutshell, the more you implement these two ideas in your website, the better. And not just once or twice, but consistently and consistently, over time.
NEXT, you will want to make sure the content of your site is optimized. Optimized here means that your content makes it obvious to Google and users what your site is about and what industry you are in. It is important to feature the most important pages of your site (“Home” “Products” “Contact Us”, etc) with strong headlines and good body content with industry-specific and traffic-rich words, keywords, and phrases. Make sure to write naturally and accurately describe your business. Do NOT over-stuff your content with as many buzzwords or keywords as possible however because this will actually do you more harm than good. Also, make sure to optimize your title and meta tags which Google looks at favorably.
You will then want to blog weekly, writing a blog with at least 1,000 words, and writing about topics that your users, customers, and followers are interested in. The goal here is to start gaining traction and to start really connecting with people visiting your site for answers to their problems or issues.
Inbound links are the next step in the process of SEO. Inbound links are outside links on other websites that link back to your website. An example of this is say for instance you wrote a blog on a colleagues website that works in the same industry as you do. You write the blog and they post it on their site. At the end of the blog you would include a link taking the user back to your website when clicked. If your friend is viewed as an expert or knowledgeable in your chosen industry then the fact they are linking to your site will build your sites’ authority. Inbound links are thus important because they help build your authority online. It’s a bit like someones reputation, the more inbound links you have from reputable sources the higher your reputation becomes as being an expert and thus your site’s authority increases.
A third major aspect of SEO is social media and online business directories. If you don’t have a social media presence then you are missing out on huge opportunities, let alone the many SEO opportunities. Make sure to claim and or create your business Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Yelp pages. Also make sure to post often and interact with your audience. Lastly make sure your business name and information is accurate and up to date with all major local online business directories because search engines ding you if there are discrepancies in your business listing info.
The Challenges of SEO
Don’t get me wrong, all of the above “sounds” simple enough but implementing it does come with its challenges.
For one: Finding the right target audience. This can be tricky especially if you don’t know what topics to blog about or who you are talking to directly. One way to jump this hurdle is to honestly ask your customers what their issues are and what they like to read about. Also, it is good to write out what exactly it is that your business does and analyze what you write in order to dig deeper into what problem you actually solve for your customer. You’d be surprised at what information and ideas you come up with the more you dig into what you do and why you do it.
The Time Factor. Running your own business takes up enough of your time as it is so contemplating an SEO campaign probably sounds like an insane idea to most. What’s good is that there are plenty of companies that specialize in SEO and for affordable rates. At The Chase Design we can offer you an assortment of SEO services within any type of budget. Click here to request an SEO quote.
Tips to Implement
Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep it simple. Make sure to stay “in the know” when it comes to SEO best practices and its constant evolution. Make sure to also watch your competition for what they are blogging about and what tactics they are using in their SEO campaigns. To see what type of links they are building use tools like Open Site Explorer and SEMRush. Also make sure you check up on your campaign on a monthly basis or make sure the company you hire to do SEO for you provides you with a monthly report (this is the industry standard). Install Google Analytics on all of your pages and check up on the reports to see valuable insights on keyword ranks, organic traffic, and visitor behavior.
Just like anything, the more energy you invest in something the more you will get out of it so don’t expect the world if you are only putting in a few minutes a day on your SEO campaign. In terms of ROI I suggest starting off small and building it up until you feel comfortable with the results you are getting and the expenses you are putting in.