My goal with this article is to help small business owners in Bakersfield like you understand SEO and how you can implement it in your business. We’re going to talk about what SEO is, how SEO can help your business, how you can set up your site for SEO and how to practice ongoing SEO. By the end of this article, you’ll have a basic understanding of SEO and you’ll have a better idea of how important it can be to your business in 2019!*
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is one way to increase the traffic to your website in both quality and quantity visitors. You can also increase traffic by using paid advertising through search engines like Google, but SEO is an unpaid (or organic) way to grow your website traffic online. The goal with this tactic is to provide highly valuable, relevant content so you rank on the first page of the search engine page results (or SERPs).
Both paid and organic solutions are excellent ways to earn visibility online, and we find it’s best to do both! However, if you don’t have the budget to invest in Google Ads (or Bing ads, if that’s what you’re into… we doubt that, though), you can start optimizing your web presence today without spending loads of cash on ads.
To help, I made this handy guide to some of the common terms we use in digital marketing when discussing SEO. With these terms under your belt, you can get started in this space with confidence (and not sound like a total rookie)!
How SEO Can Help Your Business
“So, that’s all great, Maddie, but how is that gonna help me sell widgets?”
Glad you asked.
At the heart of all marketing is one simple desire- connecting people to other people that can help them with a specific need.
You sell a product, or a service, or an idea, or… whatever you sell. There are people out there that need and/or want what you sell. It’s marketer’s job to bring the two of you together. And that starts with getting the word out there about what you do!
You wouldn’t open a brick-and-mortar business without putting up a sign outside- no one would know you’re there!
In the same way, you shouldn’t build a website without SEO or no one will know how to find you! SEO is just a way to signal to other people (and the crawlers) the value you can add to their lives. It’s putting up a sign that says, “Here I am and this is what I do!” so that when people are searching for help they will know how to find you.
If that illustration didn’t do it for you, consider it this way: It’s like the Dewy Decimal System at the library. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to find the books you’re looking for and the library would be cumbersome and not very useful.
SEO is just a way to help the Google crawlers index your site so that people can find your book on the shelf.
And that is powerful.
You want people to find you, especially when they are already looking for the kind of products/services you can provide. And they are never going to find you on the second page of Google.
Seriously. It’s like the wild, wild west over there.
Your business needs to be on the first page of SERPs.
Setting Up Your Site for SEO
Now, here is where things get really fun.
First, you want to consider what your name is and how you will identify yourself online.
Enter: domain names.
Your domain name is where your site lives online… it’s your digital address!
When you purchase a domain name, you need to make sure you’re considering how your ideal customer will interact with your site. What will they look for? What will speak to their needs?
You wouldn’t make a site called iloveicecream.com to sell pool supplies, for instance. So, just make sure you get a domain name that accurately reflects your business.
For more on domain names, read this. They are way better at explaining this stuff than I am.
Next, make sure your site is user-friendly and well organized. Make sure you’re properly using your headers and your copy accurately reflects your desired keywords. Always remember that you’re speaking to both humans and robots, and you need to serve both to have a successful site.
Finally, one of the best things you can do is download a plug-in that will help with your SEO. For all you WordPress users out there, I recommend Yoast. It’s user-friendly and it helps simplify the process, especially as you dive deeper into your ongoing SEO journey…
Now, we’re getting into content. In order to build a valuable, relevant site, you need quality content. And you need quality content that is optimized for both users and crawlers.
This, honestly, could be an entire article on its own, so I’m not going to dive too deep into this here. But just trust me when I say that the copy and the meta-tags/descriptions will make or break your site.
This is where you call the experts!
There is so much that goes into this, and I’d love to help beyond this short article. Give us a call and let our team help you with your SEO needs!
Let us worry about the crawlers so you can worry about your business.
Question: How many times did I say SEO in this article?
Answer: 23. There are 973 words in this blog post and 2% of them are the word SEO. Wild.