SEO is critical for any small business, and can often be just as confusing. You do not necessarily need and SEO expert working on your website, what you really need is expert advice on exactly what to do.
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is the process of ensuring your website and digital presence can be found by your ideal clients. There are several factors to enhance when working on SEO. Some are related to content (articles and blog posts) while others are technical details (page speed and responsiveness).
Your SEO efforts are geared towards increasing your organic search results – those that display in the maps location (Google My Business) also known as local search and then the listing of websites (that usually display under those local results). For local businesses, your goal is to show in both.
There are three parts to Google finding your content:
Crawl: this is where a search engine crawls your site to see what you are all about. Image the Google algorithm a set of spiders that go out on the web looking for information on a top and to explore. Your goal is to catch the spiders through your SEO techniques. If your SEO work is high quality…and creates the right web – the spiders will get caught (in a good way!). Google does not crawl your site each day, but when it does you want new SEO’d content waiting.
Once your site is crawled, Google will index it – it takes note of what you have on your site and remembers it for when others go searching for that information. You can help this process by submitting your site map to Google.
Display: Based on the crawling and the indexing, Google may decide to display your search results when your ideal clients are looking for your expertise.
So, what should you include in an SEO strategy?
1. Content: Content rates supreme on the internet and should be at the top of your list for SEO efforts. Your content should highlight your expertise in a way that answers your ideal client’s biggest pain points. This includes your core business areas and questioned based blogs to ensure your website answers how your ideal clients are looking for you. Your content needs to be added correctly to your website to maximize SEO by including meta data, optimized photos, and internal and external links.
2. Technical details: This is what usually baffles small business owners who want to improve SEO but are overwhelmed by anything having to do with the back-end of their website. The important factors here are page speed and mobile responsiveness.
3. Pay special attention to linking. Google values content that is well-linked to both inside sources. Consider the following sentence:
As a social media consultant, I only employ White Hat SEO strategies when working on my client’s websites. The first link is an internal link to a page on my website (internal linking) and shows Google that the pages on my website are well connected. The second link is external linking to a reputable website, showing Google that my topic is connected to something important. I will stop here and say that backlinks are also critical – these are links from high quality websites to your site. They are obtained by earning opportunities to have a link from a credible website to yours by guest blogging, guest podcasting, directories, media appearances and answering questions on sites. A great link that is easy to get (but does require work to maintain) is from YouTube to your site.
As a side note here – you only to deploy White Hat social media and SEO techniques. Grey and black hat maneuvers can produce results in the short-term but eventually result in strict punishment from Google that will negate your SEO efforts. I will share here that any quick solutions that do not include blogging and social media are probably Black Hat.
How do you know your SEO strategy is working? You know your SEO strategy is working when your website is displayed on the first page of Google search when your ideal clients are searching for you. You can get some information from Google Analytics and other SEO reports, but the most important factor for me….”Is Your Phone Ringing?” Do you have clients calling and inquiring, are your ideal customers walking into your business.
As a business owner, you need to have a very clear idea of what SEO is and how it can be improved. Most importantly, if you are working with an outside company, be very clear on
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