When you meet someone, the most frequently asked question after the ‘How do you dos?’ is ‘What do you do?’
For most people, the answer is as simple as sharing your job title and company. For me it’s complicated. Normally I start with ‘Internet Marketing’. EVERYONE has an opinion on that, “…”.Then I go into our focus on Search Engine Optimization which is where is gets tricky. People don’t understand it. They know it exists and they know it effects some of the things that they see on the internet, but they don’t actually get it.
Here’s the simplest explanation I can provide for you.
When you type ‘Pizza’ into Google (or any other search engine you prefer)
You’ll get a page of results for websites with pizza restaurants or information about pizza.
If you search more specifically for “Pizza delivery Chicago”
You’ll get a page of results for websites you can order pizza delivery in Chicago, notice you don’t need to type “in” as search engines are set up to fill in the blanks for you.
So what’s my job? I work with companies to get them to rank on the different search engines with terms and keywords using our preferred tools and techniques.
Sounds pretty basic right? Maybe? Maybe not?
Do you want your company to be #Basic or #BadAss?
The basics of SEO are quite simple.
- Get started with some Keyword Research (Keywords are the terms that best describe your business and the words you want to identify with and rank for within the search engines)
- Use tools like “Google AdWords: Keyword Planner” to get general information on what terms people are searching for most often that are relevant to your product or service.
- While you’re in there, you can check out the competitive landscape of those keywords, meaning how many other companies are competing for ad ranking with the same keyword.
- Choose keywords that are realistic to rank for, #PROtip Stay away from the huge volume search terms when you start. You’ll get to those high volume keywords later, but in the beginning focus on ranking for some longer phrase keywords or lower competition keywords will get you moving up the search rankings.
Once you have your keywords ready to go, start creating content around those keywords. Good high quality content! Feed your readers valuable information. Feed your readers interesting information, feed them funny information, just feed them something they want to read. In this business we say content is king. Google wants to provide its users with the best possible experience. That means if you have good information on your site that people want to read and share, Google will want to get that information in front of people. Be that company that gives Google a reason to share your site. Once people start reading, engaging and sharing you are off to the races!
Engaging, sharing, tagging your company or linking back to your site is the next step! You want people to start linking back to your site and that all starts with good quality content. Your goal here is to get other websites to cite/link to your website. For every link you get back to your site is like a vote for your site. The more votes you have the more Google likes you! So get your content out there. Share it on any site you can, send out marketing emails to get people to your site. Once they read something amazing about your product or service they will start to tell people about it. The best way for them to “tell people” is to link to your site.
NOTE: When your website was built there should have been many technical SEO elements built in and done before it went live. I can’t even begin to share them all with you but our dev team will be sharing some tips over the next few weeks!. There are also SEO plugins you can add to your site that are super easy to use! And DON’T WORRY if you didn’t build in all the technical elements in your first launch, they can be updated and corrected at any time. Examples: Title tag, description, H1 tags, H2 tags, site map ……
Bad Ass SEO
“I get the basics, but how do I actually do that?” is one of the most common things I hear after telling people I work in SEO and a complex question to answer but I have you covered!
So you want to go from #basic to #badass? Let’s do this!
Being a Bad Ass SEO takes a lot of time. You need to make sure to stay on top of SEO news, updates, changes in search engine ranking criteria, and the nuances of the industry. With SEO the algorithm changes yearly, monthly, daily, even hourly so you need to stay on top of the latest tips and trends.
If you want to give it a whirl on your own here are some #PROtips from the SEO team at Loud.
Use your offline relationships and put them online
Reach out to people you know that own businesses. Do you know anyone that works at a college? Do you know anyone that works at a media outlet? Are you involved in any groups or associations? Get in touch with people and businesses you are linked to on social media. Try to get them to write a blog or article about your company or product. Simply ask them to place a link on their site to your site.
Check out sites like Help a Reporter out (HARO) to gain a media mention
HARO allows you to literally help a reporter out by adding in your expert opinion when reporters are looking for quotes/industry knowledge on specific topics. If you are quoted/featured in the article, use it to your advantage! This will help to get media attention and more links to your site.
Find relevant & engaging topics
Unfortunately, simply creating content is not enough these days. In order to maximize your content marketing effectiveness, it is important that you create content that is interesting and engages your audience. To take the guesswork out, Loud Interactive uses a number of tools such as BuzzSumo or EpicBeat Epictions to identify content on specific topics that has performed well over search and social media. Once you have identified your content marketing topics, create your own version of the articles and circulate them throughout your blogger and social network.
Reach out to blog sites
Take a look at your market and reach out to bloggers that write about your industry. Blogging has become a huge market over the past few years. People love to write and share their experiences. Be a part of that! Reach out to them with tools like BuzzStream and ask them if you can share your product or service with their readers, offer a special value to their readers or share some insights with their audience. Bloggers love to share deals and valuable information with their followers so be the one to provide it for them!
Find Striking Distance Keywords
Small moves make huge impacts! When you are looking through your keywords take a look at current positions. When we speak about positions we are talking about the number you are ranked in order on the search result. If you are listed 1st on the page you are in first position. There are 10 positions or results on each page. NOTE: this does not include advertisements. There are huge gains from moving up 1 position. We see a 32% increase in click through rate when your site moves from position 6 to position 5 in search engine ranking. Identify keywords you rank for in position 6, take the ones with the highest volume and optimize those pages for those key phrases by rewriting headers, subheaders, page titles and internal cross-linking. Those are all technical terms that you should work on with your developer or read up on the follow up blogs that will go more in depth on technical needs for your site, With those simple changes you should be able to squeak ahead a position! Position 6 to 5 is much easier than going for position 1 or 2 and the payoff is big, 32%.
Keep adding new pages
It is important to keep adding new pages to your website with quality content on them. Creating depth allows for more ranking keyword options for the search engines to pick up. Spend time making sure your site is polished, add pages, produce quality content, then check your ranking, a great site can pop up in the ranking right away after a little bit of SEO focus but it won’t stay there for long unless you keep working at it! Add new pages to the site every month and add more and more keywords as you add pages. This allows your site to move up in the rankings for searchability around your keywords terms. They may be less focused keyword terms but they will help you get to the head/top tier terms you want faster.
Pay Attention to what your competition is doing
You’ve heard it before, but seriously, why reinvent the wheel? In the case of SEO this rings true. It’s okay to see what your competitors are doing. Actually it is super important when focusing on SEO to see what they are doing as these are the companies you are working to out rank and move above in the search engine results. Use tools like. that track how many links a site has to see where your competitors are getting links from. This is a called a competitive link analysis and provides insight on where your competitors linkbacks are featured. Reach out to the people who are featuring your competitors and see if you can expose them to your company too!.This is an easy way to level your site out against the competition. If you can’t beat them at least you can get yourself on the same playing level.
The real difference between being #Basic or #BadAss is really the amount of time and work you want to put into your site. You can do the simple solution and throw some content up on your site, add in keywords and title tags, post on social media, and comment on other blogs OR you can go out there and actually make a difference on your website ranking by writing high quality good reading content, reaching out to people you know, and to people you don’t know, ask everyone you can for a link back to your site and level up to or crush your competition! Take the risk, SEO is worth the reward.
So that’s what I do, help people more up in the search engine rankings and go from #Basic to #BadAss search engine optimization!
Questions? Need help getting started, shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get LOUD about your business!