Even though it’s been around for years, a lot of small business owners know little about what SEO is, and what SEO services entail. Perhaps they see it is a fad with too much technical know-how involved. Or maybe they think it’s too late to benefit from SEO services because they missed the boat years ago, when SEO kicked off.
Neither of these assumptions is correct. While the industry is in a state of perpetual flux, it is never too late to benefit from optimizing a site for searcher intent and search engine guidelines. SEO is process-based marketing. It is cyclical, relatively easy to learn, and crucial to your overall business goals.
Whether you have had a site up and running for 15 years, or you are about to launch something new, optimization tactics can help.
What is SEO, and How Can It Benefit My Business?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It refers to all the technical and content-based strategies available to help your site appear higher in search engine results pages. The best SEO companies will deploy a variety of strategies at the same time, including keyword research and targeting, backlinking, indexing pages for Google bots, designing structured content with schema.org, and publishing excellent content.
All this work behind the scenes means you can get direct conversion from customers who find your site after making a highly specific search.
But how does it work on the ground?
Let’s say you’re a carpenter who makes custom tables, chairs, and cabinets. Let’s assume you want to bump traffic to your site up from 100 unique visitors to 300.
Deploying SEO services would mean starting with one of two things:
- A website audit
The best SEO companies will insist on doing a full audit before setting out any long-term content and backlinking goals. Over a couple of months, an SEO specialist will find all the problem areas on your site and build strategies around solutions. To go back to the example: if the carpentry site had no original content being published, no keyword research in place, a poor site design that makes it hard to optimize organic search – these issues would be highlighted in a step-by-step site audit.
- Keyword research, content publishing, and sharing
The carpenter could also choose to start slow and build up traffic through blog posting and sharing. To make the most of this approach, plenty of in-depth keyword research needs to be done first, ideally in conjunction with a site re-design.
You could start by isolating specific short and long-tail keywords relevant to every product he sells. If it’s “custom maple lawn chairs,” then you could go about collecting 15-20 similar terms to make a keyword ranking list. The blog writer would then pull keywords from this list when writing about lawn chairs, and link back to the homepage whenever appropriate for added domain authority. Going one step further, a specific page could be created detailing only the maple lawn chair models. This is a great way to segment traffic by responding directly to searcher intent.
This same process should be for every product — and voila, you have the beginnings of an SEO strategy.
It is never too late to start with SEO tactics. However, it is essential to look at your optimization strategy like Warren Buffet looks at investments: with a long-term approach. Consistently optimizing a site will yield far more gains than if you start and stop periodically.
All you need is time (4-6 months) and patience and you can get that new business through digital marketing efforts. If you need results quicker, a website refresh and pay per click (PPC) program may be better suited to your needs. Contact me. We can discuss strategy on the phone or get a coffee.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consulting in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years experience in building and implementing marketing plans for small business.