How to use SEO to help your business scale organically even if you have no experience.
SEO is a popular term thrown around as common jargon amongst marketers, web developers, and even some business owners if they’re tech-savvy. But if you have limited experience with SEO, then you might be wondering what it is and how SEO helps your business. In this article, I’ll break it down into layman’s terms as best I can and explain why every business looking to take themselves to the next level needs a strong SEO foundation.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO – or Search Engine Optimization – is a practice of which business owners use to leverage search engines in a way that displays their products and services to the consumer. So what are we talking about here? Traffic. When I ask business owners what their number one problem is with their website, people often tell me, “traffic.” I hear it all the time, “if I could just get more traffic to my website or funnel, I know I can sell more. I just can’t seem to get enough people to visit my pages to make the sale.” Or “if I could just get more people to visit my opt-in page and sign up to receive my emails, then I can build my list and sell more through my email campaigns.” Traffic is a common problem and there are generally two methods to fix it; paid and organic.
Paid Search Results & Advertising
If you don’t have any experience with SEO and never optimized your website when you built it, you can still take advantage of appearing on the first page of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and bypass doing the SEO yourself. Is this effective? It can be, but depending on the keyword you’re using, it can get pretty expensive. A lot of businesses use PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising to list themselves at the top of the SERP. Sometimes it’s cheap, sometimes it’s not. I’ve seen some pay as much as $265 per click to rank for the keyword “emergency flood repair.” So if you don’t have the kind of capital to pay that kind of money for a single click and no guarantee of a sale, then organic might be your way to go. But let’s be honest … there is NO reason you should pay that kind of money just to rank for a keyword unless you’re a highly competitive business and you’re using PPC to advertise a lucrative promo or deal that others ranking for the same keyword don’t have. Be smart about your advertising and don’t pay for something you don’t need. Especially when you can do it organically.
Organic Search Results
Organic is the way to go! There are a lot of factors that contribute to a good SEO strategy, which I’ll get to later in this article. Before I do, I want to discuss the keyword “emergency flood repair” I discussed earlier. The image in the last section shows a screenshot of two data blocks pulled from the software we use called Ahrefs. The first block shows how difficult it is to rank organically for that keyword. The second shows the volume (an estimation of the average monthly number of searches) and the CPC (Cost Per Click). The number 7 in the first block shows that this is an easy keyword to rank organically for. If you read the text just below it, it says that you only need backlinks from 8 websites to rank within the top 10 results! That is pretty easy to do! Lots of people just don’t do it and instead pay the $265 per click to achieve the same result. That’s ridiculous to me!
Now I’ll break down the components for a good SEO strategy that will help your business.
Backlinks are important to search engines like Google because it tells the engine how credible your website is and whether or not you’re a reputable source. The more backlinks, the better your reputation. Think of backlinks like it’s the word on the street about the new business in town. Only the word on the street doesn’t come from people; it comes from other websites. When someone shares your link on their website, it’s a backlink back to you. So if you do a ribbon-cutting for your business’ launch and the local news does a story about it and shares a link to your business in the online news article, that’s a backlink and Google sees it.
SEO is not just something you just plug into your website and all of a sudden you’re good to go. It requires a good public relations strategy and networking. If you’re able to build meaningful relationships with people, they’re more likely to give you a backlink on their website if you politely ask for it. The more you have, the better your organic rankings will be.
Website User Interface
Your website design also plays a BIG role in how well your SEO performs. Search engines look at the readability of your website. If you have a beautiful website that’s easy to read and understand, your website visitors are more likely to stick around longer and look through your content. A positive user experience is something that Google rewards you for … and yes, Google knows when people aren’t having a good experience on your website.
This might sound like an easy step to accomplish, and I wish it were, but it’s far more complex than you might realize. Did you know Google will punish your website if you have too many H1 headings? It sure does. So just because it looks pretty, doesn’t mean it will perform well. You can make a pretty website, but you also have to make sure that it is designed well on your backend. Make it look pretty, but use the right tools to do it!
If you just toss a website out into the ether without compelling content for your users to interact with, it’s like stepping on a garden hose while you try watering your plants. Sure, some water will come out and you’ll be able to water your plants, but it’ll take you a decade to do it and many of your plants will die. Unkink the hose by updating your website with compelling content regularly. Share-worthy content is also another way for you to earn free backlinks and further establish your credibility!
All of your content should be produced with targeted keywords and phrases in mind. Every time you think of publishing something, you should think of what keywords you’d like to rank for and include them in your content. When search engines index your page (meaning a search engine downloads the content from your site and adds it to its index), it is much more likely to show your content to your dream clients if your content includes the keywords they are searching for. Always have an SEO keyword strategy for your content!
I skipped to the bottom … how does this help again?
SEO isn’t just a plug-and-play fix to getting the web traffic you desire. It’s a discipline with a LOT of elements that requires you to optimize the user interface and design of your website, produce compelling content, establish credibility with backlinks, and infuse targeted keywords throughout your site that search engines recognize and reward you for. The better your SEO performs, the more traffic you’ll be likely to receive. The more traffic you receive, the more dollars you’ll see.
SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media with 68% of online experiences beginning with a search engine. (BrightEdge)
It’s not that easy
Can you develop and implement an effective SEO strategy on your own? Of course you can. That’s why I’m writing you this article; to give you the tools so you can make an informed decision that’ll impact the number of people who visit your website. But I’d be a fool to just hand over this information without providing you with some additional support. It may be difficult for a lot of small businesses or single entrepreneurs to carve out the time and stay on top of their SEO. If that’s you, and you’d like us to help you with your SEO so you can focus on scaling your business in other ways, just fill out the form below! We’ll provide you with a FREE SEO audit that’ll show you exactly where you stand with search engines. And if you want us to take it off your plate, we can do that too!