If you follow any modern-day business publication, chances are you’ve seen or heard about SEO. Although some older folks might mistake it as a typo for “CEO” (Chief Executive Officer), SEO is a super important tool and concept that every business should know how to utilize.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization… but we aren’t directly optimizing Google or Bing, rather our presence on those search engines. SEO is made up of 4 key elements and in today’s post, we’re going to make sure you leave with all the information you need to start optimizing your business’s presence online.
Why Bother With SEO?
SEO will allow consumers to find your web page/business more easily. When someone Googles “Dentists near me”, you’re going to want your practice to pop up before the other dentists in your area. Having a high-ranking website will increase potential sales, clients, and overall profits.
SEO: The Tools of the Trade:
Ultimately, when optimizing your business’s website for SEO you’ll need to focus on the four principal areas:
- Utilizing Effective Keywords
- Obtaining Relevant Backlinks
- Delivering Quality Content
- Search Level Advertising
These are the four main sections covered in this post. If you feel that you already know one section better than the others feel free to skip around. However, if this is the first time you’ve ever seen SEO, take out a pencil and some paper!
- Utilizing Effective Keywords:
I cannot stress just how important this section is to someone learning SEO. The reason being is because this is the #1 section where people mess up the most. Utilizing effective keywords simply means creating content that includes specific keywords that someone might search for on Google.
For example, with this article, effective keywords might be:
- Learn SEO online
- What is SEO
- Can SEO help grow my business?
You probably noticed just how “searchable” those terms or keywords are by simply reading them out loud. But okay, that seems easy, why do so many people miss this stage up when optimizing for search engines?
Two words: overdoing it. Many small businesses and high-end companies will strive to create low-value content that spams keywords in hopes that Google will pick it up and rank it higher in search results. This is hardly ever the case because the content isn’t high-value and consumers don’t want to spend their time reading it. Take a look at the following example:
An Example of Ineffective Keyword Usage (It’s Supposed to Suck):
“Are you looking for fashion tees for men? You should come to shop our fashion tees for men because our fashion tees for men are very fashionable fashion tees for men. We have a nearly unlimited amount of stylish fashion tees for men for you to pick from here at SpamCity.”
That wasn’t a real company, but it might as well be the type of content that businesses used to push their rank higher on Google. Ironically, it did work back in the day. Despite a lack of interest from readers, Google still recognized the keyword usage and ranked the website higher. This is probably why so many uneducated business owners and content marketers fall victim to this unsightly strategy today.
The appropriate way to use keywords is to use them naturally and sparingly. Your end goal should be to deliver a piece of content that is high in quality for someone that might search the keywords you used. Google’s website crawler has improved over the years to recognize when someone is attempting to abuse keywords; so, the next time you’re writing website content, remember to keep it simple and natural.
An Example of Effective Keyword Usage:
“For some men, showering is a ritualistic time to relax and unwind. Why not enhance that shower experience with ManlyManSoap’s naturally scented body oils for men. We strive to provide men with a healthy soap option that moisturizes their skin and leaves them smelling fresh, without any chemicals.”
Again, this isn’t a real company, but notice how I gave a website crawler enough information to realize what my product is about and who might buy it. This text is also good for a reader because they won’t feel like I’m trying to shove ManlyManSoap’s products down their throat.
Remember, keywords should fit in naturally and simply… don’t try to force it.
- Obtaining Relevant Backlinks:
Most of you might not be entirely familiar with what a backlink is. A backlink is when someone links back to your piece of content on a different website. Think about it, whenever you or someone shares something, it’s generally because they like that piece of content and want someone else to see it.
This will of course lead into my next key point, but the idea is to first create shareable content. It doesn’t have to be the best content in the world when you start, but at least make something that can generate some buzz within your niche.
Some tips to accruing positive back links involve:
- Guest posting on blogs and news mediums that are relevant to your business.
- Creating helpful videos and info-graphics that someone from your niche might benefit from.
- Reach out to famous influencers or public figures in your niche to review your service/products.
- Wherever possible, link back to your website from social media accounts.
Now, the golden rule to follow is that you make sure that these outlets backlinking you are relevant to your product or service. If the backlink itself is already quality, simply making sure that it is relevant will drastically increase your SEO ranking with Google. The next principle will show you how to rack up backlinks like crazy if you put in the time.
- Delivering Quality Content:
The first two principles build on this one, so I hope you took the time to understand their importance and can use that understanding to want to deliver quality content. At the end of the day, content is king. Your keyword usage will not matter if the content your selling consumers sucks. No one will have the slightest desire to shout you out and backlink to your website if your content lacks value.
Each new day births a huge amount of strictly online businesses that will inevitably fail due to the absence of quality content. So, make sure that each video, blog, picture, or update that you post is something that someone can truly profit from without needing to pay you.
This concept is called delivering value, if consumers see that you give out valuable content freely, they will be more likely to shop and do business with your brand.
Remember, you shouldn’t be posting content to improve SEO. You should be posting content to improve the lives of your consumers. If a true benefit is offered, the positive SEO score will follow shortly after.
- Search Level Advertising:
In terms of showing Google and consumers that you’re serious about showing up as #1, the paid route of SEO is always an option. It helps to already have a high-ranking but using services such as Google Ads will help increase your early presence in search results.
Although, this route can get costly and it is somewhat of a cop-out to simply providing quality content in the first place. Think of it this way, you can’t just slap an advertisement on a trashy website and expect it to immediately begin rolling in sales. The best form of advertising is passive advertising, this is advertising when consumers don’t even know they’re being advertised to.
Stigma will be created with your business the second someone searches “Pediatricians near me” and your practice pops up with “Ad” beside it. This isn’t inherently bad; it just puts the customer on edge to make sure your business has the potential to live up to their standards.
They might be thinking, well if this is the best pediatrician in town, why do they need to advertise? Am I sure I want to take my daughter there? Is it starting to make more sense?
Companies like Nike and Adidas rank #1 on their search results yet still show ads because they’ve earned the right to dominate the page. They know that their webpage is a well-oiled machine selling quality products and offering quality content.
Make sure that your website is already excelling at delivering quality content before you decide to begin investing in search level advertising.
SEO isn’t a very hard concept, but it might crush a lot of people’s dreams if they thought it would be easy to implement. Rome wasn’t built in a day and that goes the same for your six-figure drop-shipping business.
Make sure you take time to understand your business’s value chain and how it can be communicated effectively to your consumers. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your content because that’s what makes it to #1.
If you want to be a master of SEO let’s recap everything we talked about today:
- Implement your keywords naturally and only when necessary.
- Find relevant areas of your niche to accrue positive back links.
- Only deliver QUALITY content.
- Once you’re at the top of your game, lock it down with search-level advertising.
If you practice each of these steps with the consumer in mind, you’ll be top of the page in no time!