Search Engine Optimization is the elephant in the room that you know you need but are afraid to ask anything about.
Or maybe someone offered to put you on page 1 of Google only for you to find that they had no idea what they were doing.
So, what is SEO?
In a nutshell, SEO is focused and dedicated work to getting your website to rank higher in the SERPs (search engine results page). For example, let’s say that you own an e-commerce website that will ship anyone you designate a potato in the mail.
When somebody searches Google for “Funny prank ideas,” you want your website and products to appear at the top of page 1 of Google.
Note: In most cases, the difference between the first and second search result is thousands of dollars, and 75% of buyers never scroll past the first page!
Pros of Search Engine Optimization:
- 100% free leads
- SEO efforts have the potential to convert years down the road
- Higher conversion rates
- Establishes credibility
- Builds your brand
- Increased website traffic
- Increased business evaluation
Cons of Search Engine Optimization
- It’s not easy
- Takes time (Minimum 3 months depending on the competition)
- No guarantee of results
- Search engine algorithm changes could make all SEO efforts mute
Why you need SEO
Most traditional marketing efforts are outbound. This means that you are having to go out and bring the leads to you.
With SEO, inbound marketing is utilized. This means that the leads come to you on autopilot!
This is a game-changer.
Can you imagine what your life would look like if you had a steady stream of automatic leads every month?
So, how do you get your website to show up higher in search engines?
At the most basic level, search engines take a 3 step approach to finding and vetting your content:
- The search engine crawls your website.
- Then the website is added to the engine’s database. Google’s is over 100,000,000 gigabytes.
- Based on over 200 signals, Google’s algorithm will decide on where to rank the page.
Additionally, here is a quick video explaining how search works:
What are some things you can do to help your ranking:
Optimize for mobile. Google now prioritizes mobile over desktop versions. If your website is not mobile optimized, you will receive decreased rankings.
Page load times. If your website loads faster than your competitor, you will likely be shown first in the SERPs.
Content is king. At the end of the day, Google is looking to provide the best information to most people. If you do that, you will be shown to people in the SERPs.
Backlinks/Link Building. Do you have real and authentic links from other high-quality websites posting back to your website? Google sees this as improving your trust and will improve your ranking favorably.
Keywords. Do you have keywords that people are looking for in your pages? Is the title of the page a keyword that people are looking for? Be careful here; Google is very conscious of keyword over-optimization.
So, what does all of this mean for you?
I am glad you asked!
Here are some action items you can immediately start doing:
Publish kick-ass content to your website’s blog!
Don’t have a shitty website!
Scan your website
If your “Grade” is an A or B, you are good to go.
Do some low-level research to find what people are searching for in your industry and establish some keywords(one article per keyword)!
My favorite tool for this is Answer the public
Note: You only get a couple of searches per day
Spend a couple of hours per month asking people in your industry if you can add value to their website. Note: I said to add value, not post your spammy link on their website. Write a fantastic post on their website and, if permitted, put a link to your website in your signature, etc.
A few notes on link building:
- Quality matters. If you sign up on a forum that isn’t related to your website and comment on posts with your link, it won’t work.
- Stay within your niche. If you are shipping potatoes, don’t get a link on a dog grooming website.
- It’s a lot of work, so you may be tempted to outsource the work. I would encourage you to be extremely selective in this. Don’t just go to Fiverr and hire somebody. They will screw it up.
I would highly encourage you to get out there and, at the very least, put some words on your blog. Everything above has taken us a long time to get streamlined, so don’t expect to get it perfected right out the gate. With patience, dedication, and persistence, you’ll get there.