The term SEO is thrown around a lot in the online space and business owners are aware of it but just aren’t sure where to begin.
It can also cause a lot of deer in headlight moments when you start to talk about it. Which is natural as it’s a bit more involved and requires a good strategy to be effective. Overall, having a good SEO strategy or practice in place can increase the visibility into your business.
Helping to create traffic on autopilot, which is a goal for a lot of business owners.
So let’s dive in and I’ll try my best to make sure you understand SEO the easy way.
What is SEO
Starting with the basics, SEO stands for search engine optimization. When a person types a question into the search box they are looking for an answer.
For example, recently I was searching for more information about potting soil for plants because mines has some white specks on the dirt. (Plant mom over here)
So the first place I went to was Google and typed: White spots on plant dirt.
In this case, I’m the user (or searcher according to Google) and my intent is to find an answer to my concern.
Google then, using its technology reads through the articles to find the closest match to my question.
How Google finds that the answer is based on the author’s use of keywords that are included in my search question.
Google’s job is to display the best answer to my (the searcher’s) question.
The article(s) that has the best response to the question is going to show on the first page (we’re not counting ads) of search.
Here is what the Google SEO Starter Guide has to say about creating content for your readers:
“Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a long-time football fan might search for [fifa], an acronym for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, while a new fan might use a more general query like [football playoffs].”
Pages or articles that do show up on the first page are then considered “well-optimized”. They are going to get the most traffic naturally because they are on the first page.
This is where business owners are like: Yes, I need that.
Because being on the first page means you get more traffic to your website giving you the opportunity to then convert them into a new reader, customer and/client.
What are keywords?
Now that we have a better understanding of what SEO is let’s discuss keywords.
Keywords are words or phrases a searcher types in to find an answer. In my example above my phrase was:
“White spots on plant dirt”
The top well-written response article for that phrase was the first one I saw and clicked.
When you are choosing keywords be sure to research them to see if they would be easy or difficult to rank for.
You wouldn’t want to choose a keyword that major brand already ranks for because the chances of you taking their spot would be slim.
So what you’d want to do is go after “long-tail keywords” they get more specific. For example:
- Ice cream (simple keyword)
- Ice cream for Vegans (a great long-tail keyword)
By going after long-tail keywords you have a higher chance of ranking in search of that phrase. Naturally leading to more traffic to your site, where you can then convert people into customers.
Writing an SEO friendly article or post
The first thing you want to think about before you write your article is who is it for. Who is the intended reader and what promise are you making to help solve their problem.
Then find natural keywords they would use to find your article. Think about the way they search for information.
Sticking with my plant example from above, my search was: “white spots on plant dirt”
After I typed that into Google, I was then shown an article titled: “How to Get White Stuff Off Houseplants”
The author included keywords in their article to rank well for the topic.
When you are writing your own article, post and/or page here are some places where you’d want to add in your keywords.
- The title of the post
- The URL of the post
- Throughout the content of your post
- In the sub-headings of your post
Make sure they flow naturally and don’t look spammy otherwise Google will penalize you for keyword stuffing.
What should you do for SEO right now?
You’ll want to submit your site and content to Google so Google knows you exist. The way you can do that is via the Search Console once you have your site submitted. Google will know to examine your site and start to pull out relevant keywords and phrases to rank your content.
Setup Google Search Console
You’ll want to set up your Google Search Console account first before you submit your important details.
Sign up for your free account and you should be asked to fill in some domain details.
Add in the details and you’ll have to wait a bit until Google verifies your account. Once that is complete you can move onto the next step.
Adding your Sitemap to Google
On the left side, you’ll see a link to Sitemaps click on that and you’ll be able to add the URL of your website’s sitemap.
This is important for Google because your sitemap tells Google which content to index from your site. If it’s on your Sitemap Google will index it or make it available to search engines.
Here is how to find your Sitemap for Shopify or WordPress
Inspect Your URL
After you have submitted your sitemap to Google and you see a success status. Inspect your URL, this will tell Google to index your site a bit faster instead of waiting for it to naturally happen.
With the right strategies, you can create more opportunities for your business to get found more naturally for free. I want to preface to say that a smart SEO strategy is a long-term game if you are needing immediate results you’d want to try a different strategy.
Driving potentially thousands of new traffic to your business each day can make a dramatic difference in your bottom line. Definitely, work on putting together a plan to maximize SEO for your business.
Interested in having an SEO strategy put together for your business? Get in touch about SEO services for your business below.