Search Engine Optimization, also commonly known as SEO, is such a buzz word in the entrepreneurial scene. Many say that you must have it, but what exactly is SEO, how does it work and how do you apply it to your business?
Today on the Unconventional Life Show is Sam McRoberts. Sam has extensive experience with Search Engine Optimization and loves solving the ongoing puzzle of algorithms that search engines like Google keep secret. Although the layers of SEO can be quiet complex, He shares some simple steps on the in’s and out’s of SEO’s and how to make Google LOVE your website.
Search Engine Optimization 101
Simply put, Search Engine Optimization is making changes to your website in hopes to increase the quality and quantity of organic, non paid, traffic that is driven to your website through search engines like Google.
The way Google works is that “they start by crawling through a website and extracting all the website data.” Google looks at the quality of your code, your content, if other sites are linking back to yours and your website structure to determine what your site is about and how it relates to others with similar content.
Google’s goal is to provide the most accurate information to its users so in order to rank in the top pages your website needs to be superior to other websites in the same niche.
So, let’s dive in and explore how you can optimize
Users should be easily able to navigate around your site and should be able to instantly understand what your message is and what products or services you are selling. If users can’t find answers to their questions or products that solve their problems it’s unlikely that they will come back to your website or become a customer.
Keywords are words and phrases that describe what your content is about. “Put keywords in the right places such as your URL, your title, the heading tag & in the content itself.” You will also want to be specific with your keywords. Take a look at the graphic below from Backlinko.
If you write ‘t-shirts’ as your keyword it is highly competitive and has low conversion rates. When you get more specific and descriptive you experience higher conversion and low competition.
You want to have the theme of your keywords all over your site. Think of your childhood birthday party and how the theme was on everything… napkins, spoons, balloons, good bags and do the same on your website.
Speak your customer’s language, not yours
Know your customers really, really well. I know you have heard this before, its the holy grail of any marketing tactic. “Understand your audience and make sure that you’re creating rich content that answers the questions they’re asking from as many angles as thoroughly as possible”
Sam shares that he is constantly surprised by how many people put up minimal content or product description on their site and this is a red flag for not understanding the audience well enough. If you really understand your audience, the problems they are going through, the way they want to feel and what they are looking to do then you can create much better content. “At the end of the day, Google’s in the business of answering questions and solving problems, the better you are able to solve specific problems, the happier the people who search on Google will be and the higher your site will rank.
Great content deserves a great ranking
If you are a business selling diving trips in Bali, think of some phrases that your customer would use to search for a dive trip in Bali. Some would be, top activities in Bali, best dive spots in Bali, places to stay, best places to stay in a specific month, diving tours in Bali, Bali adventures, etc.
“The customer will start off with informational, trying to understand what’s possible. Once they know what’s possible, they’re starting to look for specifics. Then once they feel like they have more details, then they’re going to start looking to take action. Understanding the full cycle of that customer journey, that before the middle and the after, can help you to do a lot better job of providing content for your site.”
Google would rather send someone to one site that has all the information and outlines the complete customer journey in one place rather than to three different sites for questions that are related.
Google is very transparent at letting you know what sites get good ranking so you can work backward and see what the top-rated content is within your niche, what it covers and taking notes along the way.
‘Back Linking’ to your site
Google gives you major kudos if multiple different sites link to your content. This validifies that the content is trusted by the public as many people are sharing and including the content on their sites.
Some ideas for linkbacks are reaching out to other people who are in a similar niche and offering giveaways or discounts on your site, setting up an affiliate program, do podcasts and host on their website, targeted facebook ads to similar audiences.
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Sam McRoberts is the CEO of VUDU Marketing where he specializes in SEO audits, strategies, and consulting. He has solved problems or puzzles as he calls it for hundreds of companies such as Amazon, HTC, Microsoft, Nokia, HostGator, Scholastic, and Goodreads. Sam also wrote a little book called Screw the Zoo (#1 Amazon bestseller in self-help). The book about finding, bending, breaking rules and the nature of reality.