Marketing 101.3 - Two Key Concepts for Smart Business Owners Who Don't Know a lot about SEO
SEO for Smarties Who Need to Learn Some Crucial Basics
Ah, SEO. For most business owners, it’s a foreign language. We understand the overwhelming feelings about it and the apprehension to embrace it into a marketing plan. However, getting on board with SEO is vital to the success of your business. It truly isn’t as scary as you might think, either. In this article, we’re going to break down some basics for you, which should give you the confidence you need to begin implementing it into your marketing strategy.
If you’ve been following along with this special client education series, then you’ve already learned a ton about social media best practices and content marketing. While both are extremely important, having a solid grip on both your website’s SEO copy and your local search listings is a make-it-or-break-it piece of the marketing puzzle. If either of these pieces sounds new to you, read on and we’ll quickly catch you up to speed.
How to Craft a Successful SEO Copy
If you’re new to all things SEO, you should know that it’s what enables your customers to find you on the web. So needless to say, it’s critical that your SEO efforts are strong. If you’re looking for a quick and easy-to-digest talk on the subject, we recommend checking out this one linked here, with MojoMediaPros’ CEO, Steve Lomas.
Even if you’re a naturally gifted writer or you went to school for journalism, SEO writing is a totally different ballgame. It requires strategy and general awareness of “rules” that search engines (ie: Google) have set. In the article linked below, Steve provides several tips to help you get started with writing SEO blog posts and general copy for your site.
He explains that Google, amongst other search engines, is suspicious of certain SEO “tricks,” so you shouldn’t ever force lengthy and unnatural keyword phrases into website copy, use irrelevant links, or stuff keyword lists into the meta descriptions. From there, treat every page uniquely, using a strong keyword phrase only where it belongs. He also suggests using natural language and integrating synonyms for your keyword phrase so that search engines will better understand the purpose of your page.
Some other cardinal rules are as follows: be mindful of copy length, write product descriptions with a single and unique keyword phrase, use unique headings that fully capture the content of the page, optimize your copy by using keyword strategy, use alt text for images and graphics, never duplicate large sections of copy across your site, and finally – always, implement meta descriptions for page titles and URLs.
How to Manage Your Business’ Local Search Profiles
As a business owner in today’s world, maintaining a strong digital presence is everything. You can think of your digital presence as billboards and city bench advertisements – but on the web. Ensuring a rock-hard digital presence first involves understanding the importance of local search and how it’s used. As outlined and reinforced with specific stats in the article linked below, local search queries are how the general public is finding their products and services and also how we’re making appointments, securing restaurant reservations, and getting directions to storefronts.
A thorough digital presence means having a detailed Google My Business (GMB) profile, a website optimized for local search, consistent social media activity, an organic search ranking, published customer reviews (the more the merrier, of course), and most relevant to this article – online directory listings.
The problem with online directory listings is that the information your potential customers are seeing is often wrong. From incorrect hours to a bad website URL, phone number, and even description of services, these third-party directories are sharing false information about your business to many of your potential clients. To make matters worse, this inconsistent information winds up affecting your search ranking with Google!
So guess what happens? More times than not, these would-have-been customers lose interest or trust in your business and go elsewhere.
There’s only one resolution for this – you simply must take full ownership of your digital presence with what’s known as local search identity management (IDM). This means finding all of your listings (a daunting task, no doubt) and updating each and every one of them so your information is shared correctly across the board. It doesn’t stop there though – you’ll need to continuously monitor your listings to ensure information doesn’t get changed along the way.
Yes, we know this is quite the task. Lucky for you, there’s an easy-to-use platform we have fully vetted and trust called YEXT, which will successfully manage IDM for you! YEXT creates a single, consistent profile for your business that simply replaces all of the information found on your profiles on 70+ third-party directory sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo, Waze, etc. It’s a very neat tool and we cannot recommend it enough.
As you can see, SEO really isn’t rocket science. Time-consuming, yes – but certainly doable. As with anything, it’s better to start somewhere. So even if that means spending 20 minutes a day scouring your website for SEO copy improvements and implementing necessary changes, that’s a wonderful start. As far as your digital presence is concerned, we cannot stress enough the benefit of using a platform like YEXT to do all of the local listing management for you. If you have the marketing budget, don’t sleep on the idea of hiring an outside agency to help you with your SEO efforts. After all, SEO is what many digital agencies deal with day in and day out. They’re experts in its ever-changing landscape.