Who’s just read that title and gone “What’s SEO?”
Don’t worry you’re not alone. A lot of small business owners are only starting to hear the terms and that’s probably because us marketers are talking about it more and more.
If you’re brand new to finding out about SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimisation and to put it really simply it’s the process of getting your content found in search engines - Google for example.
When we put content out on the world wide web - whether that’s our website or a feature on someone else's website, we want it to get seen, we want it to be found by the people it’s going to help. The way this is done is by optimising your content for these search engines. Making sure that it is going to be picked up by the right people when they search for answers.
As a small business owner we can get consumed by thinking that Social Media is the only way to market our business online, but it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it is a really HUGE part and should be involved in your strategy and plans, but it’s not the only thing. The internet is a powerful thing.
The first ever search engine was launched in 1990 and it was called Archie. Created by a genuis of a man called Alan Emtage and there have been so many since little Archie hit the web. The popular search engine? Google.
Did you know that an average of 63,000 search queries happen per second on Google? That’s 5.5 billion a day - A DAY!
Yep, the search engine is still very much in fashion. But why should it be key for your business?
Building your business and brand
It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out in business or have been established for a while, you cannot afford to de-prioritise your SEO. You want to get brand awareness? Want customers or client to know about you and what you offer? Of course you do. We all want that, it's business. But if you’re not doing the key things to get found, how will they know about you?
You need to make sure that you have the strongest combination of SEO on your website and also outside of it to help drive traffic and increase your visibility.
- Think about the content you are creating and where you are sharing it.
- Optimise it for your ideal customers so you solve their answers when they hit the search engine.
Understanding your audience
In our businesses we are there to provide a solution and it’s different for all of us. But we need to understand what our audience wants and needs. If you spend some time looking at your stats and analytics that is going to help understand them, build a picture of who they are, what behaviour they have and get insight into what they search for. This then helps you create the content to drive them to your site.
Think of Kirsty & Phil
If you are a business that works in a particular area only, you cannot afford to ignore how important location is to you getting found. People searching for local businesses is on the up and up, the stats are increasing each year. You want to be one of these people being found and for this you need to make sure you are including local search as part of your plan.
- Think about how you include your location in your copy.
- Look at using your location in your title tags and meta description for pages.
- Make sure you are tagging it in your social media posts.
Keeping an eye on the competition
We have to think about what our competitors are doing. We would be missing a trick if we didn’t keep a little eye. The best way to do this in regards to search is to Google them and see what comes up. Look at what words they’re using in their copy. Are they appearing for the terms you want to appear for? Make a constructive note of what you can take away from what you see. It’s not a time to judge them or you, but to investigate and be curious.
It’s never going away
This is something that is always going to be around. Sure, Google might do some updates every once in a while but they don’t affect your content in the same way social algorithms do. Remember that stat from earlier? You want a piece of that pie and to continue being found in search engines, found by your customers, see your website traffic increase and most importantly your sales.
Finally, I don’t want you to see SEO as something to be afraid of. It’s definitely something you can start working on in your business to grow your business. Small steps at a time, little tweaks and changes and before you know it the difference and impact will start to show.
Digital Marketing Strategist & Consultant