If you’ve been ignoring that buzzword, SEO, because it intimidated you, it’s time to embrace your fear and start using it to your advantage.
SEO stands for: Search Engine Optimization. Essentially, it’s the use of keywords in copy that help you be found. These keywords are the words that, when people are searching on search engines like Google, you want to appear in the results for. So if you’re a “marketing firm in Vancouver,” you want to appear in the results when someone types that in. To do that, you need to use that same phrase, “marketing firm in Vancouver,” in your web copy or blog posts.
While Google’s always changing the rules for how it determines which sites move up toward the top of search engine results, we do know this:
- The more quality sites that link to your website, the better you rank
- The more you link to other sites, the better you rank
- The more internal links you have on your site (from one page of your site to another), the better Google likes you
- The more relevant and useful the content on your site, the more “points” you get
Now, it’s still up to Google what qualifies as a “quality site” or “useful content.” But keep these as your rules of thumb:
If you ask a site to link to you, make sure it’s one you’d be proud to have a link from.
If you’re writing content, focus on what your audience really wants to know.
They’re simple rules, but ones that will help you get the most out of SEO.
I mentioned keywords briefly. They’re pretty easy to work through. Start by making a list of all the keywords or phrases you think relate to your company. Don’t forget to include your city’s name if you’re a local business. Use a tool like WordTracker’s Keywords to look up each of these keywords to see how many people are actually searching for them. Some won’t have a high volume of searches, so you can scratch those off your list. For those that do generate high volumes of searches, you will want to use them in your content on your site.
The key in using keywords in web copy or blog posts is to make it natural. Google looks out for keyword stuffing, which looks something like this:
Promotional coffee cups for your promotional products company needs! We offer promotional products for every promotional product need you have.
Clearly, that doesn’t sound natural when you read it, so don’t do it. Instead, use the keywords to create flowing copy:
Promotional coffee cups, pens and t-shirts: make your next event more memorable with promotional products from Steve’s Promos.
Grammatically, it’s correct, and it flows easily off the tongue. Sprinkle your keywords throughout your web copy or blog post.
You can find out which keywords you use are driving the most traffic. Just log into your Analytics dashboard and click on the keywords link. This will tell you which keywords generate the most traffic to your site. Focus on those and change the ones that aren’t driving as much traffic.
SEO isn’t complicated. As a business owner, it’s one of the most important tools you have in your arsenal.