August 30, 2019
You may have heard people talk about how much “you need SEO to grow your business,” but it’s sorta like saying, “you need sunlight to grow your plants.” You know theoretically it’s important, but aside from putting your flowers near a window, you have no idea how it actually works. (My 8th grade biology memory says it’s something about photosynthesis, right?)
Never fear: SEO may seem complex, but there are some little things you can do today to improve your website’s SEO and start bringing in new search traffic… and you won’t have to draw any diagrams like this to understand it:
“SEO” stands for “search engine optimization,” or making it easier for search engines like Google, Yahoo & Bing to find you.
But the list of search engines doesn’t end there! If you’re creating video, you want to show up in YouTube search results. If you have visual brand assets, Pinterest is a great search engine for you.
If somebody is searching for what you offer, SEO helps you show up in their search results and drive traffic to your page.
And you know the best part about SEO? Once you establish yourself as an expert on a particular subject, it’s relatively easy to get consistent traffic to your site for that topic. You don’t have to push new posts out every day to stay top-of-mind… instead, your website information shows up on-demand when people are searching for what you sell.
Sounds great, right? Well if you want to benefit from SEO, here’s how to get started.
I have a secret: The way you talk about what you do is not the way that your clients talk about it.
Here’s what I mean: Kim, Britni & Andrea are experts in their respective fields. Their titles within House of 334 are “the designer, the wordsmith and the strategist.” And when people land on the about page & see that, they can understand at a glance what each of these amazing women can do to help them.
But nobody is going to Google and typing in “I need a strategist, please.” Instead, their ideal client might be searching for “instagram stories growth” (which would send them to this post) or “instagram feed planner” (which would send them to this product).
When it comes to SEO, think less about your title and more about how you can help your customers solve their projects.
As an SEO strategist, I spend my days buried in jargon as I track my clients’ backlinks and page ranks and site impressions (oh my!).
But I know that until they start working with me, most of my clients don’t know what those are … so if I want to show up in their search results, I have to use less-jargon-y phrases in my writing, like, “How to show up on the first page of Google.” It’s something that they understand and know would benefit their businesses.
So how do you find those phrases that your clients are searching for? Google shares data about what phrases people are searching for, and who else is talking about those topics. Reviewing this information is called keyword research.
Wait! Before you run away screaming in fear… keyword research isn’t as scary as it sounds! Check out my 5-minute guide to keyword research to learn how to use these tools to find the words your customers are looking for.
You already know that blogging for your business is a good idea to increase brand awareness & share your expertise. But it’s also a great way to get new people to find you through search!
So think of every blog post as a potential introduction to people who are searching for that information. Find the keyword that those people would be searching for if they needed that resource, then integrate that keyword throughout the post.
Let’s use the example of 7 Small Business Tips To Increase Holiday Sales. The goal is to attract people who want to boost their Q4 earnings, so the keyword for this post would be “holiday sales,” and the post ranks #68 for people searching for “holiday sales tips.”
But just because their keyword is “holiday sales” doesn’t mean they have to use that word-for-word phrase on repeat! In the post, they use the exact phrase “holiday sales” twice (in the title and the image alt text), the word “holiday” 25 times (see the yellow circles), “sales” 3 times (dark green circles), and related keywords like “revenue” and “Christmas” and “profit” 3 more times:
In all honesty, when Andrea wrote this, I bet she wasn’t actually thinking that much about SEO — she just knew she wanted to talk about the topic, and the target keywords showed up on their own!
So I recommend you know what your keyword is and keep it in the back of your mind while writing and try to work it in a few times … but don’t stress about trying to get it into every paragraph! Write something that people want to read, then go back and try to work your keyword into the title, one subhead, the image alt tag, and every 250-300 words.
Those 3 simple steps should help your blog posts get found more easily.
And if you want to learn more about SEO, come check out my SEO Starter Kit!
About the Author
The preceding is a guest post by Meg Casebolt, an SEO specialist, digital strategist and founder of Megabolt Digital. She helps female entrepreneurs succeed online by helping them get found on Google then turning readers into customers, all by using custom strategies that fit them better than Catwoman’s suit (without the wedgie).