If you’re a business owner (big or small) you’ve probably heard of SEO. You may have had targeted ads selling you SEO packages for your website or agencies pitching their SEO efforts. But, what exactly is SEO and why does it matter so much?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” To put it plainly, it’s how people find your business online. SEO helps you show up on search engines (primarily Google). For example, say you own a jewelry shop selling customized stamped bracelets. If someone searches “personalized bracelets” on Google, you want to show up in the search - and high up in the results.
Word of mouth and customer referrals are a great way to expand your business, but with the right SEO practices in place, you could access the whole internet. You could find new customers who are searching for exactly what you offer.
SEO and Organic Traffic
Another phrase you may have heard thrown around in the web world is organic traffic. Organic traffic is used to describe website visitors that you’re getting from search engines.
Almost everyone’s online journey begins with a Google search. But, there are millions of web pages, thousands of companies and endless blog posts living on the internet. Having an effective SEO strategy helps someone’s online journey end on your website. Anyone who lands on your site from a Google search is categorized as organic traffic.
If you have your website connected to Google Analytics (if you don’t, we can help!) you can see exactly how much of your overall traffic is coming from organic search. Simply head to the analytics, hit “acquisition” on the side menu, and hit “overview”. You will see a pie chart breaking down your web traffic between direct, social, organic and a few others. A great range for that organic traffic percentage is between 25-40%. If it’s not at that level, you may need to enlist some SEO help.
SEO Works Smarter, Not Harder
Optimizing your website for SEO is the epitome of working smarter, not harder. To really utilize the powerhouse that is SEO, you don’t have to create new content or overhaul your design. You need to reevaluate your existing content and make it the best it can be. SEO is a strategic game that takes an expert to truly implement the right methods. But, as a business owner, here’s a few things you can do on your end:
1. Make Product Names or Blog Post Titles Relevant
This may seem like a no brainer, but your product name should be easily searchable. Same goes for blog post titles. Of course you can add your own personal take, but that keyphrase should be in the title. For example, say you sell children’s board books. Instead of just saying the title of the book like “Let’s Go To The Mountains” , name the product “‘Let’s Go To The Mountains’ - Children Board Book”.
2. Include Your Target Phrase in the URL
Most online platforms (Wordpress, Wix, Shopify, etc.) allow you to choose the URL for any post or product. If you’re a content creator making a post about the 18 secrets to a perfect chocolate chip cookie, you can make the post URL something simple and basic like “.com/best-chocolate-chip-cookies”.
3. Put Your Target Phrase Early in Copy
Search engines like when your topic is made clear early on. Using the two examples above, here’s how to do this. For the children’s board book, use that phrase in the first sentence or two of the product description. For the cookie blog post, use “best chocolate chip cookie” in the first sentence or two of the blog post.
There are about 100+ things that Google crawls your site for to help it show up in the search results for any given topic. But, updating these 3 things above is a great start.
Something you can try is searching for a phrase that you think fits your website in Google. If your website, product or blog post is not showing in the first two pages of results, you have work to do!
Why SEO Matters
SEO needs to be a key part of your marketing plan. You can be doing everything right - creating clean imagery, killer products and beautiful branding, but none of this matters if people can’t find your website and business.
Getting new customers to your website from web searches is vital to the success of your business. Once you have your website optimized for SEO, your sales and web traffic will sky rocket.
Owner/Founder STAK Marketing
Michelle Johnson is the owner, founder and Chief Marketing Guru at STAK Marketing. Our passion at STAK Marketing is to create beautiful STAKs of marketing strategies that help small and mid-sized businesses grow and reach their goals. STAK Marketing's expertise ranges from SEO to branding, e-mail marketing to website design, PR to advertising and much more - making STAK Marketing a one-stop-shop for all your small business marketing needs .