If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve certainly heard me talk about the importance of SEO, but you may still find yourself wondering why is SEO important anyway? So let’s chat about it today and break it down.
If you want your website or blog to generate organic (that’s the free) traffic, then you need to do SEO (search engine optimization).
A website or blog without correct search engine optimization is harder for Google to understand. If they don’t understand your website, they’re less likely to show it to people searching for information that you may have on your site because they don’t know that it’s there.
Google looks for information in specific areas on a website. Those areas are often referred to as your SEO elements. They’re the parts that you need to optimize.
Your website’s SEO elements include your Title Tag, Meta Description, URL, Header Tags, Copy, and image file names. By reading each of those elements, Google looks for clues as to what a page or blog post is about. When Google finds a keyword in the elements, it takes note of that and files it in the system.
When you use the same keyword in each of your SEO elements, you help Google better understand what your page is about by having consistent information where Google looks for clues about the content topic.
If you want to do SEO on your website or blog, there are a few very simple but very important rules to understand. You want to choose one keyword to use in all of your optimization elements on that page.
The keyword you choose is the most important factor in your SEO success. If you choose the wrong keyword, it will not work for several reasons.
If you choose a keyword that your website can’t rank for (meaning it’s too competitive and Google won’t see you as an authority on the keyword), then you won’t show up high in the search results, even if you do all of your optimizations perfectly.
If you choose a keyword that you’ve already used on more than two pages or blog posts on your website, Google won’t show this new page or post when someone searches because they limit results to 2 pages from the same website or blog for any keyword search. You limit your website or blog’s ranking possibility when you use the same keyword on more than two pages.
If you choose a keyword you use but your Ideal Customer doesn’t use, you won’t get traffic because no one is searching for that keyword.
Start by considering the keywords you could use for this website page or blog post. Brainstorm the terms that might work for the page. Once you have a list of ideas you could use, you can go to a keyword research tool and search those terms to see what the data shows – which keywords are people using? How much search volume do the keywords have? How competitive are the different keywords?
You want to choose the keyword with the highest search volume so that your website or blog has a good chance of ranking on Page 1 to get traffic to your site.
How do you figure out if you can rank on Page 1 for a keyword? Take the keyword you’re considering using and search for it in Google (in an incognito window, so your personalized search results don’t impact the results you get) and see how similar the websites are to you.
If the websites on Page 1 are very similar to you, they’re local to you; they’re similar-sized businesses; they’re even your competitors, then you’re on the right track and probably have chosen a good keyword. If the results are large brands or big businesses (ex., Realtor.com, Zillow, Etsy, Amazon, Zappos, etc.), then you need to look for a different keyword because you’re not going to rank for that keyword.
If you use a keyword you can’t rank for, you will not show up high in the search results, and you’ll have wasted your time. Don’t let that happen to you. You’re busy; you need to get results for your work.
Start the process over and look for a different keyword.
If you’ve already created content for this page or post, you’ll want to edit and optimize the piece and ensure you’re using the keyword. Your copy should include the keyword a few times. There’s no perfect keyword density score or anything like that. If you want to write to help your Ideal Customer understand the post, provide value, and answer their questions, you’ll naturally use the keyword because that’s what your page is about.
Once you’ve got your copy ready, go back through and look at your header tags (those in the bigger font that separate your sections) and see if you’ve used your keyword in them. If you have, great. Suppose you haven’t looked to see if you can edit your tags to include the keyword and still have it sound natural.
Update your image file name with your keyword. Use – between the words because Google reads those as a space. You can also add your business name to the image file name, and you’ll show up in Google Image Search when people search for your business name.
Write a Title Tag and Meta Description for your page or post that uses your SEO keyword and follows Google SEO best practices. Request my SEO Content Quick Start Guide right now to make this step much easier. It outlines the best practices and shows you how to write your Title Tag and Meta Description.
You can also include your keyword in your URL for the page or post.
If you’re looking to increase your website traffic without buying many ads, you need to do SEO to help Google understand your website or blog content. A well-optimized website or blog should easily drive 30-50% or more of the traffic from SEO. Your traffic will grow over time as you create more SEO-friendly content targeted to your Ideal Customer.
SEO is the know in your like, know, and trust factors. SEO helps people learn about your business. It’s your content that nurtures your visitors and turns them into buyers. You want both SEO and content working together to grow your business.
SEO is important to small business owners because the return on your time and effort can pay dividends for years. The blog post you write today could drive traffic to you for the next five years if you’ve done it right.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO and Content Marketing and how they work together to grow your business, get started with my free website traffic booster class and then join me in Simple SEO Content, my signature SEO content training program that will teach you how to do this step-by-step. I walk you through optimizing your website so you know it’s done right and you’ll get results. You can learn more about Simple SEO Content and register here.