What a journey! We’ve had an amazing reviewing each step of our 9-step online marketing program with our podcasts, and today we’re talking about the final setup, working on SEO (search engine optimization). But first, a quick look at the news!
There’s a cheap little Christmas ad from a small hardware store in Wales that has gone incredibly viral this month, racking up more than a million views for a two-minute ad that took around 100 pounds to make. In other words, if you think your online video ads can’t make much of a difference, this is what they can do! Watch the ad for more ideas, but note that it’s a very simple Christmas video with a very strong emotional beat that’s not necessarily related to products, but still helps grow the brand.
Second, Google Maps is introducing a cool little change – an additional layer that will showing lighting on it’s maps – basically what streets and neighborhoods have the most (or least) lighting. From planning a walk home to looking for the best spots to hold evening events, this feature has a lot of potential. It isn’t live yet, but watch for it to come soon!
There’s also an excellent article on how to do local SEO over the holidays, with great advice on how to see what holiday keywords people are using and how to incorporate them. While it may be a little late to put all these tips into practice right now, keep them in mind for future holidays – and not necessarily just for Christmas.
Main Segment: if You Have a Website, You Need SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is fairly infamous for being a nebulous term that businesses struggle to understand – even after years of working with it! The goal of website SEO to create and position content online that makes it easier for people to find your website or business information. Good SEO results in:
- Better traffic: You want the right audience to find your site, not just any searchers. Good SEO helps make your online information more visible to people who are actually potential customers.
- More traffic: More traffic means more potential leads that you can access! Good SEO increases your page ranking in search results and makes it more likely that people will notice your brand!
- Organic results: Organic traffic comes from people who are naturally searching for solutions or products – the only really effective way to reach this group of customers is through SEO, since ads don’t have much of an affect on new organic searchers.
But what does good SEO mean? There are a lot of answers to this question, but to make things easier we’re going to break it down into a few key parts.
1. Building an SEO-Friendly Site
Search engines use “crawlers” that analyze all the data they can find on a site, then store it and analyze it via a complex algorithm that assigns that site visibility based on it’s information. A SEO-friendly site is one that makes content accurate, high quality, and easy for algorithms to understand. That means working on the basics like a friendly URL, avoiding duplicate content, making sure content works on mobile devices, have good internal linking, optimizing images, having clear headers for your text, and avoiding mistakes like keyword stuffing. Tools like the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress can be a huge help here if you don’t have much experience.
2. Working on Content and Related Markup
Markup refers to how your content is structured to better assist crawlers. SCHEMA markup is quite popular for the way it helps search engines, but there are other options you can consider here, too. Basically, have a plan instead of just plugging text into a web page. Your content should always fulfill some sort of need, and it should be as easy to link to as possible.
3. Creating the Right Metadata
All content should have proper title tags, meta descriptions, and other metadata that search engines can use to properly define and represent it. This can get a little esoteric! In-depth metadata work means using robots.txt files for easier crawling and other approaches that webmasters know all about…but are usually beyond the average business owner. That’s why it’s important to get some outside help whenever possible, like consulting with your favorite marketing agency!
4. Link Building
Search engines carefully watch how a webpage is linked, and to where. Links to and from high quality sites are great for SEO – think of them like endorsements or referrals, except in web code. These links also help people discover your site more easily in addition to improving your page ranking. Good linking doesn’t happen on its own – it takes a lot of work to find the right links on very high quality sites and use them regularly. You also have to remember to maintain links and fix or remove any links that become outdated. It’s very important work!
Remember, website SEO does constantly shift and evolve as platforms update their algorithms! If you need help for future SEO work, we can provide assistance! In fact, that’s what our 9-step plan is all about! To learn more, we encourage you to sign up for our totally free webinar that goes over the 9 steps, how they work together, and why they’re worth your time.
As always, if you enjoyed the episode we would love it if you took a moment to like, subscribe, and may share with someone else who would enjoy it!