SEO: everyone wants ‘better SEO’, but what does that actually mean? SEO building blocks and basics doesn’t have to elude you. In a world where everything is summed up into a little 3 letter acronym, the true meaning of SEO may have gone in one ear and out the other. But, one thing that is pretty much universally understood is search engines, more specifically Google. So, let’s start there.
Google has all the answers to the world’s most thought provoking questions:
To its least through provoking:
And everything in between! But, in all seriousness, if you are a business owner, the most important thing to note is that customers trust their Google results. And who needs to end up in their customers’ search results? You do!
What Is SEO?
To begin with the SEO building blocks and basics, we have to start at its acronym. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a key component in how Google, or any search engine, provides trustworthy and pertinent results to its audience a.k.a your customers! By creating content, increasing your website’s authority, providing and supplying backlinks, and maintaining a healthy online presence, your company can reach the number 1 slot on Google’s search results when certain keywords or phrases are asked by your consumers.
The Key to Keywords
The keyword concept may not be too hard in theory, but that’s where many companies tend to get confused. For example, have a company that works with supplying healthy dog treats? Then you would naturally want to rank on Google for keywords like healthy, organic, dog, and treats. But here’s the tricky part in keywords- you aren’t the only company trying to rank for these results. How do you compete especially if you are a small business? Think about your audience and the keywords they will use to find you.! If you are a local brand, then your keywords should be specific for local spots. Have something unique about your product? Let’s bring back our dog treat example. Let’s say your dog treats use natural, home-grown ingredients. You would want to include your uniqueness in your keyword list. Keeping your keyword list concise and specific can increase your chances, but you also need to be doing more than optimizing your site’s keywords for the best SEO results!
But, you may be thinking that keywords can’t be the only reason Google picks your company over others- and you’re right! Another driver of SEO is content, and you cannot know the SEO building blocks and basics without knowing how to create interesting, helpful, and viable content. Have a blog that’s your go-to? Watch Youtube every other minute? These are all forms of content that increase your customer range and their interest in your services or products. The more you can increase the engagement of your consumers, the better your company will rank with Google’s search results. This may seem hard at first to fill content and increase engagement, but remember that your business has many things it needs to let its consumers know. Write out a list of topics using the keywords you already have as help. Create content surrounding those keywords and watch your traction skyrocket as your company soars to the number 1 spot!
Social Media Takeover
Understandably, you may be wondering how to direct customers to your website once you have your content. Welcome the wonderful world of business social media! Social media is no longer an intricate network for friends and families; business has its place here, too. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have all made strides to better help business owners reach their target audience and create leads. While being on every platform is a plus, it’s much better if you master one social media platform at a time. Being on all platforms with minimal content can drive customers away from your business instead of to it. Pick one platform that you think is best, create a space that invites customers, then move to another platform. This will help you stick with the customers, gain the reviews and following you desire, and generate leads that will equal money in your pocket!
Google My Business
Speaking of social media platforms, have you heard of Google My Business? Google My Business is a Google application made for business owners to increase visibility on the Google page. Ever see this in your Google results?
This image and these results are generated by Google My Business. It’s one of the best and easiest ways for companies to get put on the map- literally. With a Gmail account, anyone can become a Google My Business page owner by following some easy steps that Google lays out, filling out the information on your business, and by verifying via phone or mail your business with Google. No, it’s really that easy. From there, you can increase your chances of being higher on the tier list by asking customers for reviews, making sure your location and contact information stay up-to-date, and by including your website on the Google My Business page.
Lastly, and one of the most underutilized tools, is link building. Link building is just a fancy way of saying that you want your website link on other people’s website pages. As discussed earlier, you want your website to have the most authority. More authority equals higher rankings. And according to Google, links are the top factor in gaining that number 1 spot. As you may have guessed, however, link building isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes careful strategy, maintenance of your content, and relationship building which all take time and patience to implement effectively.
Also, not all link builds are the same. It should be said that buying your links can end your website in hot water. Not only do these links not equal leads, but they also will get flagged by Google’s spamming system. This leads to the opposite effect you want. The more Google thinks you are spamming, the less likely your website will end up in search results. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines…Additionally, creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.” Remember, link building is much like the whole concept of of SEO – it takes patience and consistency to be successful at it. Do it correctly, and your rankings will continue to increase!
Please and Rank You
So, feeling a bit more confident about the SEO building blocks and basics? Or, are you just feeling overwhelmed? Trust us- we get it. It can feel very overwhelming at first, but just taking it one step at a time can really pay off in the long run. You don’t have to be an expert, and SEO building for your website isn’t done in a day. Hard work, patience, and a little know-how is the true master for SEO and gaining those important leads that you want. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to stress about your search engine results. Stay true to yourself and your products. Add helpful content for your customers. And lastly, be patient with your results.
And if sitting down, planning out SEO strategies, and creating content isn’t the work you want to do, don’t sweat it. Hire the neighbors you know and trust to get the job done for you.