Marketing Expert: Lori Lyons
When marketing your business, SEO is often talked about but it still seems to be a big mystery. What is SEO and why does it matter to a small business?
I will answer these questions and more with some of the top asked questions about SEO and you can easily and simply integrate some of these techniques into your own website.
What Exactly Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the method to improve your website rankings in the search engines. There are several different search engines out there, but the GrandDaddy of them all is Google. Google sets the rules and the tone for all the search engines out there. How Google ranks sites is a well-kept secret and the algorithms change daily, sometimes hourly. But, in recent years, Google has made it simpler and easier for small businesses to achieve success with their rankings. We will explore these in just a moment.
“Paying attention to your website and how Google sees your website will give you a bit of an advantage when a potential client is searching for your services.”
Why Is SEO Important To A Small Business?
Think about it. We search the internet today for everything. We no longer look in big yellow books for services and products when we want to buy. Television ads are rarely local anymore. Instead, we look to the internet and search for everything for the best Chinese restaurant to where to find a new plumber. Paying attention to your website and how Google sees your website will give you a bit of an advantage when a potential client is searching for your services.
How Do I Get Started?
For a small business, the first step is to think of what a potential client might search for when looking for what you offer. What are the “keywords” they may enter into the search bar – or the key phrases? For example – if I’m looking for a plumber, I may enter just the word Plumber into the search bar. That word may give me thousands of choices. If I enter Plumber near me – I’ve narrowed down my search considerably. Now, because Google knows where I’m located (yes, they do!) they will only show plumbers within a certain radius, not plumbers all over the state or country. Finally, if I need a plumber for my hot water heater replacement, if I enter that into the search terms, that will give Google more specific “keywords” and will direct me to a plumber who can replace my hot water heater.
Identifying the keywords or phrases that your clients look for is one of the first steps for you to think about when starting a SEO program.
What Do I Do With These Keywords?
Keywords are used in several places on your website. This is very high level but will show you some places to put the keywords.
- Place the keywords in the titles of your website pages. This will clearly identify to Google what your website and the specific page is about.
- Place the keywords throughout the content of your website. Strategically placing the keywords – in a natural flow of verbiage – is another important strategy in SEO.
- Add keywords to the “alternate text” on the images on your website. Images are not readable by Google so they must be described (this also aids in ADA compliance – another topic!) so adding a keyword to the image description further solidifies your keyword on the page.
- Use keywords strategically in subheadings in the content. Subheadings allow your content to be scanned easily by your viewer and break up long areas of text. Your potential clients today scan – they rarely read and this helps direct the eye.
“New content does not have to be 3000-word essay blogs – although that is great if it’s valuable content.”
What About Content For My Website?
Google loves new content on your website. Adding new content to your website is key to keeping your website fresh and interesting to Google. New content does not have to be 3000-word essay blogs – although that is great if it’s valuable content. New content can be a new Frequently Asked Question and answer about your business. It can be a new image or it can be updating a several-year-old blog post with current information. Or it can simply be engagement on your blog.
Content should also be readable. Keep in mind Jeff Foxworthy – your content should read so simple a fifth grader can read it. Use language that anyone can understand, not industry jargon. Little Google Robots (the bots that scan your website) can distinguish words that are understandable and readable so keep the content within the fifth-grade range. You can easily find this by looking in the Tools section of your Word for the Flesch Kincaid Readability Score. This will give you a pretty close estimate of the level of your writing.
How Do I Know If My Website Is SEO-Friendly?
Google has wonderful analytic tools that are very user-friendly to use… and they are free. Any business owner can sign up for Google Analytics and have their website reviewed by Google. The analytics will give you great insight into some priorities to update your website for more favorable rankings. Search YouTube for great videos on beginning SEO and additional steps you can take to start ranking your website.
These questions and answers are certainly only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to optimizing your website for search engines. They are, however, easy tips that any business owner can do without spending hours researching and trying to figure out how to “do” SEO.
Feel free to ask any questions below or let me know how these tips have helped you! (And bonus!! You’ve just added new content to the Kuel Life website! See how easy that was!!)
About the Author:
Lori is America’s Midlife Marketing Maven helping GenXBoomers take the frustration and mystery out of marketing their businesses. She owns a digital marketing agency, Igniting Your Business and specializes in website design, branding and marketing strategy. She loves teaching Encore Entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses so they can concentrate on following THEIR passions and THEIR clients. Lori thinks there is nothing better than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they “get it” and then they take it and make money, easily and simply and without the stress they had before.
Lori will be launching her podcast, The Encore Entrepreneur Podcast this summer where she will be interviewing entrepreneurs and talking about how they market their businesses and the tools and techniques they use. She lives in Atlanta with her husband of almost 30 years and helps her 22 year old entrepreneur son with his marketing. She is a sports fanatic and loves her Atlanta Braves baseball!