How Can SEO Help My Small Business?
You’ve built your website, you’ve sorted your socials, you’ve even written a blog or two and now you’re waiting for the emails to flood in.
Instead, there’s a big, scary silence.
You’re spending all your time on Facebook or Instagram trying to generate likes and interest. But it’s exhausting. Like running a marathon, juggling knives kind of exhausting.
So let me tell you a bit about SEO (that’s Search Engine Optimisation if you want to be fancy) and how it is the number one way to get the right people, at the right time, to interact with your amazing business.
Back Up! What is SEO?
The clue really is in the title here. Search Engine Optimisation ‘optimises’ your websites copy and performance to be found by search engines. Personally, I think that answer misses the real heart of SEO for small businesses.
SEO isn’t about making Google ‘find’ your site, it already knows where it is – Google knows all, right (creepy, but let’s face it true). Using SEO in your business is about helping people find your website and more importantly connecting with your brand.
Google doesn’t buy your shit, people do!
SEO is marketing and understanding who your ideal client is and how to connect with them. Yes, there are some super technical rabbit holes you can go down with SEO. Yes, there is a whole industry out there trying to make SEO sound more complicated so you’ll pay the big bucks for someone to take care of it for you. But getting more people to your website and doing the thing you want them to do is what matters.
Nailing a good SEO strategy can be broken down into three main groups:
- Keyword rich content that is useful, educational, or entertaining for your audience
- A fast loading site without annoying distractions like popups
- Links from relevant sites in your niche or larger news/blogging sites as proof your site is an authority in your industry
Good content uses your key words and phrases naturally and adds value to the user. It will answer a question, inspire them, solve a problem or entertain. Old school SEO tactics were pretty simple. Add lots of the keyword you want to rank for over and over again. We’ve all read those websites claiming to have ‘the best coffee in Perth, because people in Perth love the best coffee in Perth served in Perth’s best coffee shop’. It’s called keyword stuffing and just like trying to get into a too small pair of jeans, ain’t nobody wants to see that.
Your content should naturally contain your keywords and supporting phrases. Imagine writing a blog about Perth’s best beaches and using the phrase ‘Perth’s Best Beaches’ over again without mentioning Cottesloe, Fremantle, Scarborough or City Beach. It wouldn’t make much sense and it wouldn’t answer the users initial query which was probably, what’s the best beaches in Perth?
Once someone has found your page and (hopefully) clicked on your website, they want a fast loading site that’s easy to navigate, Ever clicked back to the results page because the website is taking forever to load? Yep, you and lots of other people. It’s estimated that every second (yep, second) over three seconds a website takes to load it loses traffic. Big images, badly coded websites and your website’s host can all cause your site to load slowly. For most people, this is the most daunting part of SEO (don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be).
Finally, backlinks from relevant sites in your niche tell Google you know your stuff. Like keyword stuffing, adding lots of backlinks from anyone used to work. But it didn’t always return a great result for the person searching for an answer to a specific question if the top one or two results are ‘clickbait’ or didn’t really answer their query because the website had thousands of spammy links (i’m talking about the ones from Russian porn sites or Canadian pharmacies). Many of the SEO services you might get a cold call email from will create links from dodgy websites or ‘link farms’ and tell you that’s how you rank.
NO! It’s 2019 and those tactics don’t work the way they used to back in the day (I’m talking all the way back in 2009, not exactly in the era of the horse and cart, but kinda feels like it from an SEO perspective).
There are over 200 ranking signals used by Google to rank your site and they make minor tweaks daily. But somethings don’t change, like delivering good quality content people want.
Is SEO About More Traffic?
Um, yes – kinda sorta. Here’s a little home truth for you and it’s valid for SEO, social media or even retail;
Traffic is for vanity, conversion is for sanity
Let me say that again and break it on down. Traffic is a vanity measurement. We’ve all seen social media accounts with lots of likes and followers and wondered how many are real but if people are not interacting with your brand then it’s all for show and those ‘followers’ aren’t putting cash in your bank account.
Conversion is where it’s at and conversion happens when the right people find your amazing business, when they need it. Yes, you need traffic to come to your website and yes, you need people to see your offer. But you need the people who want what you’ve got. Getting more people to your site by any means possible with the vague hope someone will buy is like the guy at the bar asking every single girl if they want a drink. Sure, it’ll probably work on someone, but it’s soul destroying and takes a lot of effort for minimal reward.
So, how do you get the right people to find your website in a sea of websites?
SEO Is Only A Part of Your Marketing Strategy
If you don’t understand your ideal client or what benefit your business can bring to your clients life and why they need you, not your competitors, your marketing is less likely to resonate with potential customers.
Being able to clearly articulate how your business benefits your clients will help your clients find you. For example, when someone asks me what I do, I can answer them two ways;
1. I help small businesses with their SEO
2. I help small business get found on Google by their ideal clients
Knowing how your product or service helps your potential clients will help you build a strong, consistent marketing strategy across all platforms.
It’s also the key to getting found on Google.
When you know who is searching for your business and why, it becomes easier to craft your message. And for SEO that means being clear about what you offer on each page of your site. Being clear about what each page is about, from the page name, the main headings to the context of the text will help you rank for key words of phrases.
It also helps your user and that’s even more important than pleasing Google.
No amount of money spent on SEO, or any other marketing, will result in long-term results without being consistent with your message.
Why SEO Has The Best Return-On-Investment (ROI)
When implemented correctly, SEO has the best return-on-investment than any other marketing channel. It’s estimated the average conversion rate from organic search is between 12-15%. That’s higher than Facebook ads, Instagram, email marketing or the dreaded cold calling.
That means for every dollar you spend on SEO, you get more back. Awesome, right? It’s especially important when you think of all the time you invest in social media, and time is money, just to generate a few leads. Exhausting!
One of the key reasons SEO delivers a high rate of return is how and when people use search. People use search when they are in ‘buying-mode’. Think about the last time you wanted to buy something. It probably started with a quick look on Google. Maybe you were researching holidays (you lucky thing) or it was something more mundane like a new air conditioner.
You went to Google. You want something, you need something. You searched maps for a coffee shop, or looked at reviews for plumbers. You used Google when you were in the ‘buying-zone’. And your customers do it, too.
Sometimes, your clients are simply looking for advice and that’s a great time to target them with your email list or retarget them with Facebook.
Want To Know How To Do It?
The next blog in this series will show you my Top 5 Tips for Getting Your Business Found on Google. It’s a broad overview of the basic steps you can implement to help Google rank your site higher and higher in the search results.
Or you can book in for one of my 1:1 SEO Strategy and Training Sessions and we can review your business goals and what you need to either learn to manage your own SEO or to oursource without getting ripped off.
I also run regular workshops, so click on the link below to see if there’s a workshop near you, soon.
Google doesn’t buy your shit, people do
Don’t write for Google, write for the people using Google.
Optimise your content with clear headings, strong page titles and compelling copy, but for the love of unicorns make sure your audience loves your work.
SEO Workshops & Webinars
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