Breaking Down SEO and What it Means for a Growing Business
When discussing marketing with small or large business size owners in Kingston, they usually get what we mean when we say words like ‘strategy’ or ‘print materials’ or ‘social media management’ but in our experience when we bring up SEO, they look at us like a deer in headlights. Why is this? It’s because Search Engine Optimization is complicated. There are so many elements and levels to it, it’s a science really. Our SEO experts on the Kingston Webworks team are helping us break it down for you, so you understand what it does, why it works and why you need it to grow your business.
Let’s start with the simple stuff; Google. Google is a search engine that reads through content on websites to bring up these websites in a list style when someone searches for a relevant word, that the content on that site contains. Example, I go onto Google and search “Kingston teeth whitening,” and I get results that show where in Kingston I can go to get my teeth whitened. These lists are created from Google scanning through websites that contain the words “Kingston” and “teeth whitening” along with seeing my location through the computer’s IP address. Seems simple enough, right?
Wrong. There are a TON of other factors that go into SEO. Let’s break it down and keep it short and sweet.
What matters for SEO in 2018:
- Competitor research and analysis (what is your competitor doing/saying online? Where are the missed opportunities you can take advantage of?)
- Keyword and SERP analysis (Keyword Research – understanding what consumers are looking for/what you want people to find you for)
- Technical and site-wide analysis (if your website doesn’t load fast enough if there are broken links, anything wrong with your website from a technical standpoint this can hurt)
- Page and content-level analysis (what are the most valuable pages on your website? What content is converting people? Do you need new, fresh content to grab people’s attention & convert people to visit your storefront or make a purchase online?)
- User Experience (UX) analysis – if the overall functionality of your website doesn’t appease users, they will leave your site. Can they navigate throughout your site with ease etc? We have to remember you need to take Google into consideration when building a website, but consumers are equally as important.
- An Easy to Crawl website. If search engines like Google cannot crawl your website, or go to a page and not understand what the page is about, (if it’s not in a readable format), easy to understand visuals videos, etc then they won’t add the page or site to their website index.
- Keyword research: First and foremost, you need to know what consumers are typing into search engines to find the services you offer. There may be industry-specific terms you think are valuable, but if those are not what your consumers use, you need to change up your content. Do your research, see what is popular, how you rank for those vs. your competitors, and adapt your content. The goal here is to discover your primary keywords and a set of related secondary keywords for the searcher’s intent.
- You need to understand what Google is ranking for the search query. If you type in the keyword/phrase, what appears. Where are the missed opportunities? Who is dominating and why do you think they are? If there are missed opportunities here take advantage of that and adapt the page on your website dedicated to the searcher’s intent.
- CONTENT!!!! You need content on your website that is captivating, that will convert consumers into customers, and make sure it is not only there to serve the searcher’s goals, but that it is optimized for Google as well. Now keep in mind Google LOVES user-oriented content. So don’t write for an algorithm, write organic content targeted with your keywords consumers are using. Content can be infographics, videos, and images.
- Make sure all your content, titles, descriptions, and images are optimized!
- Link building – internal and external links to your website are important. They are only valuable when they are from credible websites. Bonus points if you can get links from relatable websites (example – Kingston WebWorks has a backlink from Kingston Downtown Business Association.)
- Technical Components: make sure your site has no broken links, missing meta descriptions, 404 pages, etc. You can make note of these errors in Google Search Console and by running a technical audit from an SEO program.
Believe it or not, that was ‘short and sweet’ It’s a lot of information and a lot of buzz words that you may not understand. There is SO much work that goes into an effective SEO program, companies that offer cheap SEO services often come with low-quality content, black hat techniques that will lower your rankings and hurt your business. Be smart about what you sign up for, but in all honesty, investing in a good SEO program is cost-effective as it’s a measurable, effective way to market your business.
Join us in our April workshop to dive even deeper into the SEO world with our free workshop, “Google Ranking 101: What is Search Engine Optimization & How Does My Business Rank #1?” on April 26th at our office downtown Kingston. Register for the class before it fills up here: http://bit.ly/2oDb2hZ
Thanks for reading!