All businesses that want to attract customers online, no matter the business size or age, have few options other than Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are roughly 1.8 billion websites online, and basic SEO allows Google to find and index or catalog your webpages. After that, Google serves you up to searchers in the organic section. The question remains: where they list your site, on page one or page 22 or further back? SEO controls your positioning.
Do you want to be found online or not?
If your business is online or you want your product or service to be found online, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must, and knowing how to use SEO to leverage the power of the internet is vital.
Arguably, an effective SEO strategy gets you on the organic results section of the search engine results pages (SERP). Organic traffic is highly valuable and requires high-quality SEO. But even businesses that use limited or basic SEO techniques will benefit.
It doesn’t matter if your business is small, medium, or large or if you are a startup or an established business. It really doesn’t matter if you do business locally, nationally, or globally. SEO is the only way to show up on the organic search section of Google, Bing, etc.
Getting around Search Engine Optimization
You may be able to get around SEO, but to do so requires that your site or webpages are designed and developed using basic quality SEO techniques.
Once basic SEO is in place, you can periodically run tests using free SEO tools to maintain what you have done. Even if you just purchased a website, not every web designer, developer, or builder is up to the challenge of providing competent basic SEO, and they may not even understand how to position SEO for your business.
Unfortunately, Google regularly changes the SEO rules. While basic SEO is usually stable, it still requires proper meta descriptions, meta tags, title tags, page titles, page speed, XML sitemaps, alt tags along with robots.txt allowing spiders or crawlers to index your webpages. If the basics aren’t completed the right way, your webpages or site won’t be found or served up organically on the SERP.
If you are lucky and have very little competition, you have a domain name that matches a well-searched query you might have a chance to be shown organically to searchers. You may not have to worry about search engine rankings or the correct page SEO. Searchers that use URL to your homepage or a piece of content or specific webpage will find you, but searchers typing your company name and address may also find you, but that is not assured.
Google My Business (GMB) pages, along with the map section of the SERP, need to be appropriately optimized, too, but this is not a difficult task.
Some businesses don’t have webpages, but they effectively leverage social media sites to drive local traffic.
Basically, they live and prosper and may even thrive using reviews and social shares, but they only do business locally.
A roofer that I know, whose company does excellent work outside of Philadelphia, has no website, but he gets tons of business from Social without paying for advertising. Unfortunately, they are the exception and not the rule.
Paid Advertising an SEO Workaround
You could buy some advertising using Google AdWords or Bing Ads, but that can be costly. A searcher may click on your ad, and you are charged whether the searcher buys or not.
Charges for AdWords or ads can be costly. For example, Philadelphia attorneys often pay over $175 per click, and they may not get the business, but they still must pay. In that scenario, ten clicks can cost $1750, yielding no clients or customers.
Adwords or ad professionals know what keywords or terms searchers use to see their ads. But the competition is fierce, so relevant keyword research and search queries need to be taken into account.
After an ad is clicked, the web page where the users land from the ad is critical. If the page isn’t just right, the searcher may quickly leave, and you just wasted your money.
How to use SEO to your advantage requires an SEO strategy that is crucial to your success, having Google, Bing, and the others to drive organic traffic or searchers to your webpages or landing page.
Being displayed on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERP) is extremely important. Ask yourself, when was the last time that you looked beyond page one of the SERP when you were looking for the answer to a question, or a product or service?
SEO Strategy can be an involved process, but ultimately if you are turning clicks into clients®, it can be worth the time, effort, and cost.
Performing high-quality technical SEO, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization are not easy tasks.
There are beginner’s guides or SEO guides available for the newbie or those that want to learn more.
Understanding the correct search terms, anchor text, keyword research, long-tails, link building, and providing high-quality content that answers the searcher’s question, along with good user experience, are vital to your success.
SEO and keyword research help to develop anchor text, providing search engines like Google ways to understand and promote the content of webpages.
Unless your company or business is much like the roofer outside of Philadelphia, to attract business online will require some level of SEO. To stay competitive, businesses in almost every field must stay abreast of SEO trends.
As new consumer technologies emerge, and updates to the search algorithms attempt to serve those emergent technologies, investing time and capital into dated, flawed SEO tactics can quickly prove wasteful. But the basics rarely change.
TIPS on how to use SEO as a beginner
Here are ways to take advantage or SEO now that are relevant now and most likely long into the future.
- Maintain and update your Google My Business (GMB) Page. Change and add pictures. Results rankings are positively correlated for businesses with well-maintained GMB pages. Every single GMB page is hooked into industry-specific searches for the Google map.
- Make sure to verify your GMB page with Google. Encourage user reviews. All of this will have a direct impact on improving your business’s results on searches people do in your local service area, especially from their mobile phones.
- Make sure that social media icons are prominently placed on every page of your website. If you are using WordPress, then plugins are available to do this for you.
- Work to get other websites to link back to your site. These backlinks are a vital element of SEO, and Google looks for them and rewards you for them.
- If your business is a member of a local chamber of commerce, make sure that they have your website listed in their online directory. If your friends have websites, make sure that they link to your site.
- Find and get listed in online directories that provide backlinks or local citations. Many free directories provide relevant backlinks. Work hard to find places that can provide you with quality, authoritative backlinks.
- Make sure your content answers questions. Google provides answers to searchers’ queries. Answering questions that searchers look get you on page one of the SERP.
- Make sure your website is modern in look and feel. User experience is another item that Google will reward you for. Quality website design and development are a must for encouraging links back to your web presence.
- Leverage relevant keywords. Besides using free SEO tools for keyword research, you can just ask Google or Bing. How? Start typing a search that you would run to find your business. Watch the string of words that is auto-populated. These are some relevant keywords that you may want to have embedded into the content on your website. Ask your friends what they would type into the search bar and use those as relevant keywords.
- Maintain an engaging social media presence. Active Social Media Marketing (SSM) is one of the most significant changes over the last decade for SEO.
- You never stop hearing about social media, and it’s for a reason: the more engaged consumers are online, the more mentions and links to your content you build up. An engaging presence also encourages users to submit comments and reviews related to your business, all of which contribute to your SEO plan.
If this seems like a lot to handle, well, that’s because it is! But you can do this. Find basic SEO guides and read them. Follow the instructions. Backlinks especially are the backbone of any solid SEO plan, and they tie into each of the steps above.
Good SEO isn’t about getting as many clicks as possible; it’s about getting the most efficient ROI as a direct result of your SEO approach. In short, it’s about turning clicks into clients.
To learn more about how an SEO plan could help your business grow, let us help. Some FAQs are listed further below.
Results Driven Marketing is a client-driven full-service digital marketing agency that excels at customer service and turning clicks into clients, daily. From our Philadelphia area offices, our Google Girls and Guys develop and implement highly successful SEO strategies, Social media strategies including reputation management, Pay per Click advertising, content marketing services, blogging services, and more for our clients. We do not have a once size fits all approach. Our SEO experts and strategists provide complete internet marketing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. Our website designers and developers work hand in hand with our SEO team.
To see what a tailored Internet marketing strategy can do for your business, contact us for a free 45-minute consultation today. Call 215-393-8700 and ask for Janeene, who owns the company. Her clients have been working with her for many years.
Can I test the waters so to speak with The Google Girls and Guys?
Absolutely! We have clients where we run one aspect of their digital marketing while coordinating and working with other agencies running other parts of their marketing. We even have clients where we provide detailed and relevant keyword research for their own use.
What website platforms do you use?
WordPress and Duda are our standard platforms. We also manage websites hosted created using GoDaddy, Wix, and others.
Does your content marketing include blogging and press release strategies?
Yes, not only do we provide this service, all content, blogs, and press release are provided with relevant backlinks.
What Tools does your agency use and that are purchased?
While we do use free SEO tools or Webmaster tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, we subscribe to Ahrefs, Moz, Semrush, Yoast, and other keyword tools.
Are your backlinks external or internal linking?
We provide both, and we also provide do follow and no follow backlinks.
Can you provide webinars or training sessions for our team?
Yes. We also meet monthly with each client to show them the progression of their SEO and return on investment (ROI).
Do you own any patents or trademarks?
Yes, in fact, the company name is Results Driven Marketing®. We also own Turning Clicks Into Clients®, which is a registered trademark with the United States Patent and Trade Office of Results Driven Marketing.
Does your team have specialty coders?
Yes, besides HTML, we also provide full schema markups for structured data. This is hand-coded and not just a Yoast type plugin.
What happens during the free consultation?
We gather information about your company and your current online marketing strategy. We ask questions to learn about what is important to you. Do you want people to fill out a form on your website? Are you collecting names and emails for a newsletter? Do you want people to act immediately and call your business? We learn what you value, want, and need to make your online presence effective in helping you grow your business.