WHAT IS SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is exactly what it sounds like. Its about optimizing your content to get found in search engines, whether that be Google, Facebook, YouTube or another platform.
When your customers, or potential customers go looking for a product or service you sell, will they find you?
When digital marketing agencies spew out their websites and lead pages, they often include SEO as a service, but what is it and how can your business gain any kind of increase in sales or leads from it?
To get sales leads from the internet, people need to first engage with your content, but if they do not see your content, how can they engage?
Web Ads vs SEO
So lets first look at digital ads like Google and Facebook advertising. You pay money for each click or impression, and hopefully you have this leading to an effective call to action or landing page. When you stop adding budget, the ads stop, and so do the leads and traffic.
SEO campaigns on the other hand are about building up your brand’s presence online. This could include local directory listings, pins on Apple maps and Google maps, search results in Google, video results on YouTube, likes and followers on Instagram and Facebook and more.
It is about optimising your brand and building these things up. The best part? When you stop throwing money and budget at SEO, it doesn’t disappear, the content you created stays there, it just ages.
The idea with ongoing campaigns, is to make sure the content is kept fresh and updated, especially if you want to show up well in directories and search results.
Sounds Easy, Right?
The complexity in this comes from the fact that search engines like Google are regularly updating their search algorithms, websites need to be kept updated to match these requirements, social media traffic changes, listings get updated and stale, and most importantly, your competitors don’t often stand still either.
That is where an ongoing SEO campaign with an SEO agency or Search Expert is essential to growing and scaling your brand online. They can ensure your site has the correct metadata and links, your identity is trusted online, your socials are linking correctly, your directory listings get updated with new changes in your business and photos, and your UGC is kept under control.
UGC is user generated content, and it plays a big part on search results. Why?
Because as I have touched on multiple times in my podcast, you telling everyone your brand is awesome is like you blowing your own trumpet. Alternatively, if your customers are giving you positive reviews, sharing your information and tagging you in photos and social content, it becomes even more valuable than anything you can say. People are looking to trust a brand before they buy, and feedback from other buyers is very advantageous.
Search engines know this, and that is why we are often working hard with our SEO campaigns to reachout to other blogs and sites for guest blogs, press releases and reviews. All of this leads to your brand getting a better reputation on line.
How to get started with SEO
I recommend getting someone who knows what they are doing if you want the fastest results. If you are happy to learn and do it yourself, its just a matter of time.
First things first, make sure your website is SEO friendly by using correct meta tags and text content. This is very important, and once done, submit it to search engines like Bing and Google using webmaster tools. Just Google it to find out more.
I would then look at your directory listings if you are a service based or local business. There are hundreds of directories, not just the Yellow Pages and Local Search.
Get your business listed in as many as possible and be sure to use the same N.A.P. or Name, Address ad phone number.
Next step, get on to Google and Apple Maps. Both require you to verify your business.
Now, make sure you also fill in your Google business page with all your relevant info like trading times, contact details and more. You will receive reviews here, and you can also list your closing times for special dates like public holidays.
This is what shows up on the card Google shows when you search for a business or service.
From here, once a lot of the basics are done, I usually start focusing on the content I create to build authority in a field. This could include press releases for journalists to pick up, blogger outreach for guest blog spots, online news and magazine site entries, and link building with major authoritative sites.
And this is usually all within the first 30 days, as some links will slowly feed out over the next 30-60 days. This helps ensure your brand is not all of a sudden hit with loads of links and traffic. This can be bad as Google and other search engines might see it as spam and ban or blacklist your site from listings.
That is why I often recommend using a professional rather than doing it yourself. I have worked with many brands building up their online profiles. If you are looking to create a better brand presence, increased rankings in search results, or build up more leads and enquiries from your web assets, be sure to get in touch.