SEO: Where to Begin

Whether you’ve begun developing an SEO strategy or you’re not entirely sure what SEO means for your company, there’s definitely a learning curve to understanding how to optimize your content. People talk about the importance of ranking number one, but how do you get there and should that really be the end goal anyways?

Reading Time:5 mins December 16, 2014

Whether you’ve begun developing an SEO strategy or you’re not entirely sure what SEO means for your company, there’s definitely a learning curve to understanding how to optimize your content. People talk about the importance of ranking number one, but how do you get there and should that really be the end goal anyways?

First of All, What Is Seo?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving the searchability and visibility of your website on search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. You’ve got great products and services to offer, but what good is your expertise if people can’t find you?!

Let’s Strategize

Now that we have defined SEO, let’s discuss the steps you can take now to make your website easier to find:

  • Define target audiences or buyer personas for your products/services

    • Who is most likely to be interested in your products/services?
    • Are these individuals a key decision-maker in their organization?
    • Where do these people live?
    • How much money do they have to spend?
    • Most importantly, what are their needs or pain points?
  • Select Keywords That Best Describe What Your Company Offers

    • These can be individual words or phrases.
    • Only use keywords that actually relate to what you offer. No one wants a shoe store to come up in the rankings for nail salons.
    • Use webpage headers or your “services” page as a first stop for keywords. Be careful though; if your website headers haven’t been optimized correctly, you could be leading yourself astray when selecting keywords. Really take the time to focus on choosing the best words for your page titles so prospects can find the appropriate resources easily.
    • If you were looking for what your company offers, what would YOU look for?
  • Edit/Update website content to reflect these keywords

    • If your keywords aren’t used relatively frequently throughout your website, then it is exponentially more difficult to improve your SEO.
    • Don’t go overboard though; would you find it enjoyable to read something that used “catering services” in every sentence, for example? Google has a setting to recognize this type of activity and can actually penalize your website if they see that you’re “stuffing” keywords throughout your content.
  • Start a Blog

    • If you don’t already have one, make one! I cannot stress this enough.
    • A blog is a great way to use keywords  and make your website easier to find,
    • But do not blog with the intention of ranking higher in search engines; blog for your readers.
    • Write about topics related to what your business does, provide tips/tricks; do NOT outwardly sell something! Make people recognize a need that you can provide for.

Can SEO Really Help?

I suppose I wouldn’t be writing this post if I didn’t believe in SEO, but there really are tangible benefits to optimizing your website. Nearly 9 out of 10 people use a search engine as part of their decision-making process before making a purchase. That’s a lot of people! A lot of people that you could be visible to, but only if they’re able to find you.

There’s also a trust factor when it comes to Google and other search engines. People generally assume that companies ranked higher in a search are the best of the best, or they wouldn’t be allowed to be placed there. So along with increased exposure and hopefully conversions, there is a level of trust and reliability associated with where your business is found in a search.

Seo Is Only Part of the Puzzle

The most important thing to remember is that SEO is only one part of your marketing strategy. It’s essential in that companies can only be successful if customers can find them, but again, don’t focus solely on where you rank. Companies can rank number one for dozens of keywords, but that means nothing if people can’t find the information they’re looking for on your website or you haven’t established trust with them.

This is where content like social media and blogs can play a huge role. Social media is a great way to develop your brand, show your company personality, and address any questions or concerns customers may have. Blogs also help show that company culture while focusing on the expertise of your organization, and if all goes according to plan, a blog can potentially bring a previously unknown need to the forefront of the reader’s mind.

To Summarize:

  1. Focus on writing impactful text with keywords distributed throughout.
  2. Keep your content up-to-date and relevant to your target customers.
  3. Use the other tools in your content toolbox, like social media and blogs, to create a well-rounded marketing strategy.
  4. Do what you do best: provide the best products/services your industry can offer!

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About The Author:

Kim is a former Inbound Marketing Specialist at Mainstreethost. She loves watching sports, especially the Bills and Sabres, skiing during the long Buffalo winters, pop culture, and following the latest trends on Twitter.

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