No one told me how important SEO was, or even what the term meant. Instead, I learned about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through lots of self-study on online marketing. I want to save you some time and offer you the fruits of my learning curve if you’re just beginning your journey to increase your Google ranking. So let me pass on my a-ha moments. Before you brace yourself for amazing proclamations, know that my insights are just simple findings that most entrepreneurs who are proficient in online marketing probably know, but for me, the knowledge really hit me over the head – and I want to save you time as you work to get your business to the first page of Google.
Ok, so quick tutorial: The goal of SEO for most is to increase your search engine ranking, or get to the first page of Google when people are searching for your business type, product, or service category. Studies show that people rarely look past page two when they Google an item, so being on page one is key. Here’s my learning on that journey.
It’s all about the right keywords – search and placement.
Do you know the 80/20 rule? Well, I say it applies here in that 80% of your SEO success is finding and embedding the right keywords into website copy, blog posts, images, etc. That’s a pretty strong statement but I’m going to stand by it. SEO is about positioning yourself to be found. Keywords are the terms that customers will type into their search engines to begin looking for answers, results, and businesses. If you build an entire SEO plan on the wrong keywords, you won’t see the return on investment you’re looking for.
Important Tip: It’s important to know that this work is deeply connected to how well you know who your customer is and what their needs and pain points are. So doing quality market research, a customer profile avatar, and mapping your customer pain points can help you find the right keywords. You can get our customer avatar for FREE along with an entire ideal customer kit here.
It’s all about relevant content and a quality website.
At the end of the day, Google likes you if readers like you. Having content that web readers enjoy and a site they want to explore, helps boost your ranking and drive traffic to your site. Check out my blog on website shenanigans to get your high-quality, traffic-jammed, revenue-generating site up and running. If you’re not a techie, and not sure where to start, I also shared a little about conquering your website fears on our blog.
There’s a lot of FREE stuff you can do.
Figuring out what keywords your clients use to find you or changing the copy on your site for SEO improvements can be done at no cost, other than your time. Yes, it takes time to find and learn how to use free keyword tools, to sort and research different keywords.
There are FREE SEO tools you can use.
Yoast has great resources and a free plug-in that guides you in making key changes. There are free keyword search tools. Google Analytics is free. It is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Answerthepublic.com is a cool tool for mapping keywords, phrases, and questions.
It’s not complicated, it’s just A LOT of work and tiny details.
If you’re going to do SEO right, there’s a lot involved. You’ll have to consider everything from keyword research, keyword mapping, embedding your keywords to developing a site map, naming all of your images and videos, formatting for readability, adjusting meta tags, managing your directory listings across the web, and more. I haven’t really found any of those jobs to be complex– but they sure do take time and it sometimes it feels like you’re installing a hair weave – one strand at a time. Ok, ok, it’s not that bad. I actually like it. It’s like knitting. Once you get a rhythm, it flows.
Here’s an example: I had to go into my media library and provide a title and alt title for each image that included my keyword. I have like 60 images in my media library. Now imagine a list of 100-minute details like that. Yes, chile’, that is that SEO life. Are you “bout” it? If not, never fear, that is why outsourcing is here.
SEO will likely require testing and constant maintenance, so just get committed.
Unless you hire an expert and invest in high-quality outsourcing, you’ll likely be playing with and testing your SEO strategies on an ongoing basis. The more you connect with your customer and their evolving needs, the more informed your SEO strategy will become. Sorry, Sis – if you’re a bootstrapping solopreneur, accept that this is a part of online marketing that you need to commit to. Side note: I’m a rapid improvement coach because I’m here to share with the world that your entire entrepreneurial journey is about testing and constant maintenance. So if you’re looking for success, embrace this concept of ongoing improvement, across all areas of your business.
SEO matters. It actually helps bring more traffic, prospects, and ultimately sales to your business!
So don’t sleep on SEO. Hire out or do it yourself, but get it done.
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