The Internet is not the friendliest place to generate traffic and be seen.
There are thousands of companies in your niche. If you don’t have a good SEO campaign, they’ll never find you.
The online shopping market is a harsh world, especially since consumers have more choices than they can imagine. If you would like your product to be among those they consider, you’re going to need to work on your SEO campaign.
Companies with successful SEO campaigns are those that pop up first on search engines.
They then get the majority of clicks, since consumers do not want to search through pages and pages of Google listings.
The average consumer will only click on links on the first page. If your business or blog isn’t listed on the first page, then you’re missing out big time on views. Your goal for a successful SEO campaign is to get on that first page, your company and revenue growth will follow.
If you don’t know what SEO is or you’ve heard of it but don’t know how to apply it, don’t worry. We’ve written up an SEO introduction as well as how to use its components to scale your business.
What is SEO?
Unless you work for a search engine company or within the SEO market, you probably have never thought much about how Google chooses which links it puts where. SEO is how pages get ranked on search engines.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is very complex and ever-changing. To understand SEO, you need to understand the basics of how search engines work. Think of big search engines like a scanner.
They scan every page so that they know what is on it. After it’s scanned, the search engines organize those pages into categories based off of keywords. The way they pick those keywords has to do with what their users search for.
Once they know what a page says and who it will eventually help, then the engines assess the site’s worth to its readers. Sites that it deems worthy or helpful, will get ranked first. Those sites are the best match to what the user searched for.
The way it deems worthy when sites have the same types of keywords or match the same amount to a search is where things get complicated. Essentially, the search engines play favorites to those websites who know how to play the game.
By the end of this article, you will know the rules and will be able to enter your website into the game.
SEO Campaign Components
There are three components of SEO strategy you need to know before you enter the SEO game. There are other things you can do to up your chances of being an MVP, but you need these three building blocks to qualify.
There are two types of SEO keywords. Short keywords and long-tail keywords. Your site needs both types to be successful. Both kinds of keywords help the search engines categorize your website for future searches.
These are the types of keywords that you are probably already thinking about. They’re descriptive of what you do within your industry. For example, if you had a pool company, the short tail keywords you would want would be “pools, custom pools, pool maintenance.”
However, getting those keywords would be almost impossible to rank with due to existing competition. For SEO purposes, only the first ten results on the search engine count. At all.
Those are the ones that customers will consider. If they don’t find what they’re looking for on the first page, they’re much more likely to change their search terms than to go to the next page of listings.
Companies know this. That’s why it’s so hard to get those keywords that would be the simplest choices for your business niche. Everyone in your industry is competing for ten spots.
Thankfully, there aren’t just ten spots per industry, there are ten spots per keyword. There are lots of ways to help your site score one of those spots, and one of them would be to work with SEO experts like Mike to get you on and off site SEO aligned with latest Google guidelines.
Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords get less traffic than short tail, but the traffic they do get is much more specific and targeted. If we stick with our pool example, a long tail keyword for your business would be, “locally owned pool company in Los Angeles.”
Since we’ve reduced the market down by location in this case, though you could also target other identifiers like “salt water pools,” since there is less competition. Now, you only have to compete with your local/specific competitors — not the whole industry.
It would seem like listing your keywords as many times as possible per page would up your chances in SEO rankings.
However, search engines see right through that. If they pick up on the fact that you’re using too many keywords in your SEO campaign, then they will list you lower in their results.
Use your keywords naturally. Also, try to use about one per every 150 hundred words — anything more than that is called keyword stuffing and will hurt your rankings. Once you understand even a little bit about the SEO industry as an individual, you’ll notice keyword stuffing.
If people notice a site is stuffed, then they automatically do not trust it as much. It’s obvious that the brand didn’t do their research. It seems simple to not over-do it on keywords, but you’d be surprised how often it happens.
If you had two companies who were exactly the same in every way, it would be the difference between being ordered randomly and coming first. Using your keywords correctly in your SEO campaign is the first and simplest way to start scaling your business.
Links to and from your site are the third component of a sound SEO strategy. They are easier to control, since you create content (as opposed to already created keywords.)
A site that uses links successfully will link out to other websites and internally back to their own site. When you link to other sites, they can be sources that helped you create your content. They can also be other businesses that you trust or are working with.
In the language of a search engine, links are like those people who have big networks. If you needed something, you’d be more likely to ask someone with a large network if they knew someone who could help, than someone who only knows a few people.
When other sites link to you and when you link to other sites, it grows your network and you become more trustworthy.
There are services that you can buy that will link to your site and most of those are great, but there is a free way to do this as well.
Think about other businesses in your area that are related to your field of work. Whose “pool guy” would you want to be? The original business would want to be your “landscape guy” in exchange. You can do this on your website by linking out.
If you talk to other sites about this, you can most likely strike a deal where you work with them and don’t pay anything for them to link you as long as you do the same.
This is a strong SEO campaign strategy for local businesses and for companies that have very specific niches, like in the tech industry.
SEO Campaign Trends
Like we mentioned before, the ways that search engines decide to rank pages changes quickly — and sometimes without notice. Once you’ve concreted your linking and keyword strategy, it’s worth the work to play into these trends.
Lately, video content or images have been big for SEO ranking. Why? Because it creates links to you. If all goes well and you create a viral video, your link will get shared each time that the post does.
With each share, the search engines see you getting more and more trustworthy.
Another trend in SEO is to engage with your customers, instead of getting them to engage with you. The consumer is much more likely to take interest in you if you show interest in them.
This doesn’t have to be complex conversations. If a customer says something nice, thank them and make them feel special. Give them something to talk about which translates to them eventually linking to your services.
Some companies use their Instagram as a way of finding new customers. They do some research into who is liking things in their industry and follow them or like their posts. Generally, likes come from familiar people, this will spike their curiosity.
Campaign planning is hard since you never know what the search engines are going to do. The best you can do is have a solid foundation for your SEO strategy, and pay attention to trends.