SEO? What’s the point? I’ll always rank below those huge companies with bottomless marketing budgets.
Yes, that’s true, but they are there because they’ve paid to be there. You can still be up there with them by playing by the SEO rules and mastering the organic search results.
Let’s face it, I’m a consumer and when I’m looking for a product or service I NEVER look at the paid search results; I always start with the organic ones because I know how hard those companies have worked to be there. And I can’t be the only person who thinks like that.
So, yes, SEO is important to every business regardless of size or budget.
The next question is what do you have to do to be successful in the organic search results? Well, you’re going to be fighting against some tough competition, so here are a few tips to help you out.
Before we get started there’s a caveat – your success will come down to your choice of keywords and the power of your content. Target the wrong keywords and you won’t get the customers you need. If you get your keywords right, but your content wrong, you won’t convert those visitors into customers.
Here we go.
This and the description are what tell Google (and your reader) what your page is about. The titles of every page on your website must be unique, preferably starting with your keyword and can only be 55-60 characters in length.
Your keywords also have to be present in your URLs (should match your page title), Meta descriptions and image ALT tags – that doesn’t mean stuffing your keywords into them, it means using them in a meaningful sentence.
Looking at the outbound ones (i.e. the ones that go away from your website), hyperlink a word or phrase that’s relevant to the page you want to take the reader to. Only use them to direct people to quality webpages that you trust. Never, ever pay for them.
Looking the other way – internal links should be used to hyperlink words and phrases to other pages within your own site. The more you have the better, but make sure your content isn’t littered with them because you’ll end up confusing your reader.
Looking at your content for a moment, it’s very tempting to use the same phrases over and over in your content. Resist the urge because that’s seen as duplicate content. Your content must be unique.
Staying on the subject of content, make sure your blogs etc. are suitable for your audience in terms of subject matter and length. In general, I find blogs of about 400 – 800 words are ideal; long enough to get your message across and short enough to maintain interest.
One final word on the content side of things – make sure everything you write is aimed at your reader.
What do I mean?
Well, stay away from talking about your company. That means saying good-bye to ‘we’ and hello to ‘you’. Every word you write has to convince the reader that you understand their problem and that you’re going to make their life easier by taking it away. That means focusing on the benefits your product or service offers.
SEO isn’t as complicated as you would think. You just have to remember that despite what you might hear there are no shortcuts. You can only achieve great organic results through hard work and playing by Google’s rules.