What a New Business Needs to Know about SEO
When a new business owner decides to set up a website he may look for pertinent websites similar to his, read a little about SEO, and concentrate on finding a web designer.
When it comes to content he may take the opportunity to "borrow" content from similar businesses rather than interpret the concepts behind what that website has to offer.
Recently, a website developer asked me to create content for a new business owner. The business owner provided content grabbed from other websites as the basis for my writing. Rather than tell me what was unique about his business, how he helped customers, or any important and relevant information about his business he wanted me to fabricate content for his business.
Before I started writing anything, I wrote a letter to the business owner.
What Search Engine Optimization Means Today
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means your website is optimized for search, ideally to return your business as the solution when someone asks the search engine to find an answer. You want to be the answer.
You want your website to show up as the answer to a query by a person. You help search engines discover you by establishing trust, authority, and reputation.
Search has changed and is constantly evolving. What was true two or three years ago, or in the case of Google Local, last month, is not true today. The information you produce on the web has a life of its own. Today search engines rate (rank) website data (the information on your site) on
- Volume - how much information is created
- Velocity - how fast it travels, who interacts with it, blogs about it, reshares it
- Variety - how it’s reshared in a different places (context)
- Veracity - how trustworthy is everyone involved with the information
From a search engine point of view your quality will come down to your website meeting the following criteria:
Uptime - make sure your website is on a stable hosting platform with zero or near zero downtime.
Loading speed - Lightning fast is optimum. Not only will it help search rank your site higher, it also makes it mobile friendly
Quality images - Have large, high quality images that are clearly labeled. Make sure they are optimized for fast viewing.
Break up large blocks of texts - use subheadings and bullet points to help your reader digest large quantities of information.
No large ads or banner ads - Avoid using large ads or popups on your site.
Create functional web pages - Do not make your readers work hard to find the information they want. This is really important when converting online visitors to customers.
Ensure good quality mobile experience - Keep the site fast, lean, and easily readable on mobile devices.
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The best website in the world, holding the best information ever, on a specific subject is useless if it cannot be indexed and its content accessed by search engine bots as easily as possible. It is your job to make sure this happens. David Amerland, SEO Help
How can you help your web page work for you?
To help search engines like Google and Bing find your website or page you can take steps to help search engines see and rate your page.
For a local business:
Name, address, and phone number are essential to help search verify that your business exists.
This helps the search engine place you on the map. Even if you don’t have customers coming to your door, search engines need to know that your business exists.
Create a Verified Google Business Page - Link the Page to your site, and the site to your page. Complete all the information. Describe your business. Be sure to verify your site once you have created it.
Reviews - Get them early and often. Search engines interpret reviews a verification of your business and the services you provide. As you gather reviews spread them throughout your pages, one or two to a page (maximum three). Fake reviews are seen as just that, fake, by search engines. Rather than increase SEO trust, they will impact negatively on search results.
Create structured data for each page - Structured data (metatags/rich snippets) helps clarify content and makes indexing by search engines easier.
Create answers to customer questions - Instead of having a list of FAQs that ask and answer what payment methods you take. Just state, We take cash, checks, and all major credit cards on your landing page. Instead, create pages of How To answers of preventive measures for customers and How We answers of specifics about how you go about solving problems. Not only will the answers help customers understand your business, they help search engines understand and potentially create a query answer box with your answer.
You’ll notice that I created some freebies or special discounts for contacting your business. Anything that engages people and encourages them to take action is a plus. You can use them or not, these are suggestions. Weight the lost instant cash versus the long-term good will your business creates.
Wait! Why haven’t you talked about keywords?
Keywords in today’s sophisticated search environment aren’t so key. They serve as little markers for search engines to indicate the subject of your content. What is more important is how the words you use (keywords, long tail keywords, and everything that you say) is related, makes sense, and answers customer questions.
Semantic search does not rely on keywords. That doesn’t mean they aren’t important as long as they show up naturally. What is important is making connections between the different bits of information on each page, and the correlation of the pages for the entire website.
In your case, for example, plumbing (keyword), clogged pipes (keyword), high pressure water jetting (long tail keyword) are already incorporated in your content. There, see how easy that was.
What to Think about Next
Of course, there is more to semantic search, but implementing these suggested practices will give a great start and a step up against your competitors.
For now, keep the entire site as clean as possible. White space helps visitors concentrate on the key information on the page. Don’t try to stuff pages with columns, videos, banners or any other gimmicky content. Essentially you want a page for each visitor question.
When you select images, select high quality large images, then optimize them for the site. Be sure to add all the search engine data for each image: title, alt (keywords), and a short description.
On the landing page, pick one focus about the quality of your business. I went with your tagline and descriptions of each component. Then link to the other pages on your site with anchor text.
This explanation should help you think about what you want for the final content.
What New Business Owners Need to Understand
Content about your business needs to be transparent to your potential customers. Site visitors want potent, targeted answers quickly. The more unique your content, tailored to you and your business, the stronger your content will be not only in the eyes of your future customers but in search results as well.
Be ready to participate in the process of creating unique and valuable content. Inoculate what customers read against parroting similar businesses. The less generic your site and the more specific each and every page, the more likely that customers will respond. Concentrate on what how you provide solutions for problems your customer faces.
Don't be afraid to be yourself.
Who you are is big part of what sets you apart from competitors. Let it shine. While you are providing answers for your customer's most important questions let your personality, and that of your business, come through.
For a service business, one way strong opportunity to get in front of visitors is to make short, instructional videos. In these videos answer common questions your regular clientele ask, in a friendly and site visitor friendly manner. Accompany the videos with brief text content that mirrors the video instructions.
Actation Now! is dedicated to designing quality content to meet customer needs and search engine priorities. Get in touch. We can assist in designing quality content for your business.
503. 468 7008