SEO Guide

How To Use SEO For Your Business

You’re probably here because you know your business needs to be found by users online through search engines like Google. But, it is difficult to know what needs to be done to be make your website available to people through search engines. These challenges include:

  • Mysteries about how search engines work
  • Misleading and ineffective SEO services
  • Weariness about scams

Most business owners feel pressure to make sure their business can be found online. Knowing their business is not easily visible online can lead people to rush into bad deals and sign up for SEO services. Not knowing what they’re paying for or what to expect to receive are the main issues which lead people into bad commitments with companies who can’t provide the services they need.

Understanding how to use search engines like Google to make your business available to people searching for products or services your business provides puts you in control of your online presence. This presentation will help you understand how to place your website in front of these search engine users.

Search Engine Behavior

Your business is competing for visibility online. Your website needs to appear highly in search results such as Google to be discovered by people searching for businesses, products, or services similar to yours. Some statistics about search behavior:

  • The top ranked website for any given search is clicked on / visited by the user 33% of the time.
  • 50% of all clicks go to the top 2 websites.
  • 75% of all clicks go to a website ranked in the top 5.
  • Websites ranked 6 through 10 receive clicks only 16% of the time.
  • The organic search results receive 85-90% of all clicks.
  • Paid ads are clicked on by less than 10% of searchers
  • Over 90% of searches use Google search engine

As you can see by these measurements, ranking as highly as possible in Google and other search engines for your target searches is the best way for your business to be discovered. When your website is not one of the top 5 results for a search will not be discovered by the majority of users searching for a business, product, or service which you offer or provide.

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    Keywords and Keyphrases

    Keyphrases are groups of keywords people enter into Google or other search engines when searching for places, products, people, or ideas. Google searches its index to find websites which have content matching the keyphrase. The website which a search engine determines to best match the keyphrase will be ranked first.

    Writing to Keywords

    Your website needs to be able to satisfy the searcher’s quest for information. Regardless of how simple or sophisticated the request for information is, your website needs to satisfy that request. If it doesn’t, the search engine will find another website which does. The top ranked site for any search is the site determined to have the best ability to provide the requested information.

    Creating informative, well-organized website content rich with details is the key to appearing in search engine results when people search for businesses, products, or services similar to yours. The goal is for your website to be recognized as an excellent match to the keywords / keyphrases your website is targeting rankings for. The more content you create, and the more high quality information you provide, the better your website will rank for searches related to that content.

    Local SEO

    Most SEO campaigns target searches occurring by people in a specific city or larger geographical area. If your business provides goods, services, or products to customers in a specific city, or group of adjacent cities, a local SEO campaign is the most effective strategy.

    Local SEO targets city or area-specific searches. By doing this, you remove competition from websites run by companies either out of the area, or nationwide, who are targeting similar searches.

    Take these two searches for example:

    “Make up Artist”

    Because this search doesn’t specify a location, a search engine may reference any website in its index which may have content related to “Make up Artist”. That is a lot of websites! We consider this a “Broad Search” because it is fairly vague. There will be a huge amount of competition for this search, and ranking will be difficult.

    “Make up Artist in Los Angeles”

    Local SEO gets your website ranked for this location-specific search. Because the searcher is specifying that they are looking for somebody in Los Angeles, it will eliminate the majority of websites without Los Angeles specific content, and competing for rankings from this search is much easier. Registering your location using internal data helps your website appear when users in your local area search for things similar to the content on your website.

    Because search engine searches are extremely character specific (as demonstrated above), the inclusion or absence of specific words can completely change the results. There are thousands of ways that people may search for your business, and your site needs as much content as possible to match and rank for all of the possible character specific searches.

    Tracking Content

    To measure the effectiveness of your SEO and content strategy, you need a system in place to track your website’s ranking for each keyword and keyphrase you’re trying to rank for. Keyphrases are character specific. For example, Google may return a different set of results for the searches “Cell phone repair” and “Mobile phone repair”. If your website is targeting both keyphrases, then you’ll need content to cover “Cell” and “Mobile”. Because there are so many possible variations, especially for businesses with many services or products, your website needs a large amount of content to make it the best possible match for all the different searches you’re targeting.

    How To Use Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics

    Google Webmaster Tools is one of the most powerful tools available for measuring your website’s performance and identifying ways to put your website in front of as many searchers as possible. Webmaster Tools provides many in depth tools which can help you perform SEO, but it’s easy to use its basic functions to look at how people are finding your website online. You can see how we use Webmaster Tools to help a few of our clients in this presentation.

    • Channel Islands SportsFishing
    • Ventura County Now

    Sharing Content

    Sharing links directly to your content through social media channels creates links back to your website and can help to funnel users to your website. Links to your website may help to supplement your website content and increase your website’s ranking for its target searches.

    Assess Your Competition

    Identifying the top ranked websites for the searches you intend to target will help you determine how competitive your market is for search engine placement, and how much content you may require to leapfrog your competition. Content is the most important ranking factor for a website, but Google uses over 200 signals to calculate rankings. The websites which are already established with top rankings will have an advantage, so your website will have to offer more content with more information to win the top rankings. When observing your competitors, make note of the following items:

    • How many pages are on their website?
    • How much text is on each page?
    • Does the text provide you with detailed information, or is it generic business info?
    • Is their content well organized?
    • Is the website mobile responsive?

    What is bad SEO?

    Internet and digital marketers are always trying to give their business a competitive edge - they want their business to be known by everyone. Sometimes, marketers try to shortcut their way to winning search engine placement. These shortcuts can include:

    • Link purchasing / Link spam
    • Keyword stuffing / Keyword spam
    • Spammy content
    • Over optimization
    • Duplicate content
    • Spun content
    • Markup spam
    • No content

    There’s endless ways to practice bad SEO because anything that diminishes the quality of the information your website provides is a bad SEO practice. When search engine results are full of websites with weak, spammy, low quality information, search users are not finding the info they’re looking for (after all, aren’t we all looking for good, high quality, helpful information?).

    Therefore, those search engine results are low quality. Google’s goal is to provide the best quality search engine results in the world, so they barr these spammy tactics and demote the rankings of websites who use them. If your website is using these restricted tactics designed only to boost your rankings, rather than to provide users with the info they’re seeking, then your website is unlikely to rank well for most searches.

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    All attendees of this SEO workshop are eligible for a free 1-hour consultation with The Final Code Internet Marketing Firm. Building a proper content based SEO strategy is a deep process. We’ve introduced a range of concepts and exercises. Because each business is unique, developing a custom strategy is important to generate the best quality results. Please see one of our specialists or contact our office to schedule a free consultation and unlock the power of SEO for your business.

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