Basic definition and explanation with a storefront and big neon sign
SEO: The Big Neon Sign for your Business
Picture your website as a storefront on a public street or marketplace. You want to get people’s attention, specifically those who would consider buying your service or product. Now, you need a way to get their attention, since there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other similar or identical stores. How do you separate from the others and attract those customers? Get a big neon sign on top of your storefront or those tube men.
SEO is the closest thing you can do to get those things in the digital sphere. The marketplace is the search engine (Google, Bing, or Baidu). Every website that wants to sell products to the masses has a storefront, and to stand out, you need to push your website higher up through the search results. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is when a search engine pushes your site through the results due to the amount of awareness of a specific topic on your site.
Here is a cheap way for you to build your own digital neon sign and make an effective SEO campaign. After all, most of your audience will be coming in from search engines compared to other ways.
Identify your audience– The first big step in starting any digital strategy is to figure out which people are interested in your product/service. The more specific your audience is, the easier and cheaper it will be to target them. Additionally, if you can’t figure out your audience, focus on the people you want to target and go from there.
For example, if I sold leather shoes made in a lab (patent pending), you’ll want to not only attract people interested in shoes (which is a large demographic and difficult to attract) but also those who want leather shoes that are responsibly-sourced (which is an easier demographic to target).
While looking on google and using the autofill technique (i.e., searching a term connected to your website and seeing what people are searching) works, we recommend heading to Keyword tool dominator. It’s an excellent tool for finding specific answers your audience is seeking. Recognizing those keywords can help you identify with your audience and figure out the best way to reach them. Additionally, head over to Reddit, Quora, or specific Facebook groups to better understand your audience.
Keyword research & planning– The way to connect with those specific audiences is by using specific keywords on your site that people in your audience might search online. These are the words on your metaphorical “neon sign,” and they’re critical. Another thing: even though you have a specific audience, they may not use the same keywords to get to you and your website. For example, customers may be into leather shoes made in a lab, but they might search “synthetic leather shoes” or “ecofriendly leather shoes,” etc.
Therefore, don’t be afraid to make a long list of keywords to consider. Look for casually searched keywords instead of shoving all of your website’s buzzwords into your phrases.
Need a good place to start your keyword research? Ubersuggest and Google’s Keyword Planner are wonderful places to research large amounts of keywords to consider. If you have the money, paid research programs like Wordtracker and SEMRush are beneficial. If you’re still exploring which tools to use, here’s a great list of additional keyword research and rank tracking tools here.
Using the information you find, make a spreadsheet of all your keywords and longtail phrases (which are even more specific keywords, usually three to four words compared to the two-word keywords used in SEO). Then, prioritize it by search volume and priority. This will help drive and organize content for your website, blog, and social media since they all require different needs.
Building up the site– This is where the neon sign gets installed.
Suppose you’re still building your actual website. We recommend using WordPress, specifically with the Yoast plugin, as it’s relatively easy to use for smaller businesses with its plethora of useful plugins to enhance your site.
Use your spreadsheet as a reference point to writing the right content for your site. For example, my synthetic leather shoe company should have content about how I make the shoes, how they’re eco-friendly, how other companies using leather could shift over to my product, etc. Make sure you have a page on your website for each of the high and medium priority keywords on your list.
Some other things to consider are all of the different aspects of the webpage. Are your keywords in the URL? Do you have social media sharing icons on those pages? Do you have pictures on the page, and if so, why aren’t you putting keywords in the photos’ ALT description? Do you have your largest keyword in the main title of your articles/content?
Your Inbound content marketing strategy– You’ve attracted people to come in through your neon-lit store. Now, here’s where you build authority on your site and keep them interested in your brand. Writing well-researched and engaging content is single-handedly the best way to attract more people to your site. That’s the point of a content marketing strategy- building authority of a topic by writing extensively about the product you offer and the industry your business resides. Additionally, you can create a loop of content into your site through backlinks, which redirect visitors to other articles on your site. Search engines favor websites with many naturally occurring backlinks in content, so don’t be afraid to reference other content on your site. Also, there isn’t some need to post on a set schedule like on social media.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]