Admittedly, it took me a few months to wrap my head around how to get ranked in search engines. Kind of like calculus or managerial accounting, it didn’t come easy at first.
I’m not a techie. I’m just like you. A small business owner who realized it was important to be ranked high when people searched for what I sell and I dug in. I attended conferences, read books and articles, invested in education and figured out by trial and error what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s what it boils down to. Google, Bing and Yahoo have one job. That job is to provide the BEST answers
to people who search for an answer to a question online. By optimizing your web site, blog and your online activities to help Google, Bing and Yahoo provide the BEST answers, they reward you by putting your website at the top of the list when people are searching for what you sell.
It makes sense. We’ve all been frustrated when
search engines throw out crappy results. For example, when you search
for how to market my small business on Google and the #2 result is for
how to sell your business. That’s not relevant to what I’m looking for. I
don’t want to sell my business. How did that get there?
SEO doesn’t have to be scary. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1) Blog, blog, blog. When you blog, you aren’t just writing for your current customers. In fact, that’s the least of your worries. You’re writing to help the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing understand what you do and why you’re relevant. Google, Bing and Yahoo want to understand what you do so they serve you up as one of the BEST answers to someone’s question. The people you are writing for are in the market for what you do not just today, but in a week, a month, a year. Blog posts live on forever. Your most popular may have been written a year ago and it will continue to help you be found when someone searches for what you do when you correctly optimize your blog posts.
2) Put yourself out there. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas of what to write about on your blog think about what you like and what interests you. It doesn’t have to be just about your business…it can be a new restaurant or cute shop in your city whose style mirrors those of you or your clients. When you feature other businesses, you can link to their website. Then make sure you let them know you’ve featured them today on your blog and ask and if maybe they’d be willing to link back to your website (specifically this blog post) from their website. That exchange of links counts as a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes that another business thinks you’re pretty cool. It’s like when a good friend recommends a movie or a new shop. that recommendation lets you know it’s worth checking out. A link to your website from another business’s website helps Google understand that you are a legitimate business that other legitimate businesses are noticing. And that gives you more points to rank higher on Google when someone searches for what you do.
Think about what it is that you do that’s different. What is it your customers are looking for? That’s all good fodder for blog posts. Your blog isn’t a place to simply share or show merchandise, although when you do, you drive traffic from your clients’ family, friends and co-workers so that’s good, too. But your blog is a place for you to let your style, personality and interests shine. We do business with people we like. Use your blog to tell us why we should like you….because you are a crazy dedicated St. Louis Cardinals fan who would drop almost anything to cheer on your favorite team. Or because you painstakingly fold and iron your kids clothes because you want your closets to look like they could be featured in a magazine. Whatever it is that makes you tick…share it!
3) Pay attention to local search! It seems like this is the buzz right now. Because so many people are looking for businesses in their community not a business 1000 miles away, Google wants to understand where your business is located. Again, back to wanting to give you the BEST results, if they give you a result for a plumber 3 states away, that’s not a search result that works for you. By following these tips in this video, you can make sure your website and your business is associated with your local market so that when someone searches for what you sell in your business, you’re the business that shows up on page one.
Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be tough. In fact, we’ve put together 2 workbooks that walk you through, step-by-step, what you need to do to be ranked on page one in Google for your business. One is a beginner workbook and one is for those of you who are looking for advanced tactics beyond keyword research to get to the top of Google. Each is very detailed and tells you exactly how to play the SEO game to drive more qualified traffic to your website. We know it seems overwhelming, that’s why we made these workbooks as easy as it gets. Dig in and you’ll be ranked on page one in no time!