I’m going to be as simple possible here (#explainlikeimfive)
SEO isn’t what you think it is. It partially is, but not totally. In this post I’m going to give you a couple actionable steps and explain it as if you are a martian and we’re going to pretend you sell bouncy balls online.
SEO (search engine optimization) is being findable by search engines. People can find you online when your website is Search Engine Optimized. People do an internet search for something -let’s say you sell bouncy balls and we want them to find your stuff online.
If you search for bouncy balls online there will be millions of other people who show up in front of you; HOWEVER, if you do a TON of research and work tirelessly day and night on SEO, you will be seen when someone searches for you. (or delegate and pay for ads)
If you take away one tip from this article let it be this: Google shows content based on the information being quality, organized well, and easy to read (natural language) in addition to ORGANIC keywords. That means using keywords naturally in your website text.
The Good News:
People are smarter than you think they are. They now know how to use search engines so they’re now being more specific when they perform searches.
Since you happen to sell RED bouncy balls MADE OF ORGANIC FAIR TRADE RUBBER (I know that’s not a real thing just bare with me), you need to make sure you’re saying that in your content (website, facebook posts, pinterest, wherever you have content online) so that it shows up in searches.
A common misconception about SEO is that you need to use keywords over and over again. That’s not the case, and in fact you could be penalized in the eyes of google for trying to take a shortcut because it seems spam-y. Use the keyword only once. You can use many different keywords in hopes of showing up for a person searching for what you have.
Research your Competition’s keywords:
What are your competitors doing? Go online, on different search engines and check out what verbiage your competitors are using. Go to google, type in ‘bouncy balls‘ – whoever comes up first is not a direct competitor, don’t worry about them. Try searching for something more specific like ‘organic rubber bouncy balls’ – these are more direct competitors you have to worry about losing business to. Go see what words they use. Maybe there’s another word you hadn’t thought of.
Now we’re really getting our hands dirty.
Let’s say you find this list of new keywords to use:
Fair Trade Toys
Green Toys (the term ‘green’ is synonomous for ‘good for the environment’)
Eco Friendly toys
Eco Friendly Red Balls
Inject your new keywords organically:
So after you have a list of some more language to include in your web copy, go in and (really be natural about this step, it can hurt your google rank if you abuse keywords) inject the keywords where they already fit. So in one listing, change the title from ‘bouncy balls’ to ‘organic red fair trade bouncy balls’ – then in another product listing, instead of ‘red bouncy ball’ type in ‘eco friendly bouncy balls’ ; then on the home page you can have a couple different helpful taglines explaining what you do. You can say something like ‘ we sell organic fair trade red bouncy balls’ on the top tagline, then down the page have a blurb that says ‘we understand you want the best for your child and want to be as eco friendly as possible, that’s why we only carry…’ etc etc.
Keep your content fresh, consistent, and relevant
Stay on top of the latest info in your industry. Again — when in doubt just see what your competitors are doing. In this case, you could share the latest toy crazes, articles on why organic fair trade bouncy balls are better for your child; Ways to ‘greenify’ the playroom; think about who your customers are and what info is valuable to them.
The key here is to really care about what you’re doing. If not no one else will. And that means they won’t share it; linking back to your site or social media, and then google won’t be impressed with you and show your site to people who search for red organic bouncy balls.
Share your content where your viewers are
So now we’ve done all our research on who’s buying red organic bouncy balls, we have done our homework, now post all your new stuff online. Do an editorial calendar so you can sort out your thoughts and stay focused and consistent.
You don’t have to follow it completely (I don’t) but just use it as a guide.
Make sure your website follows the google best practices for websites
Watch this and become familiar with everything google has to say about SEO:
Know your audience, Know what content to put out into the interwebs, and then do it. Consistently.
Side note — please don’t take what I say as the end all be all for SEO – it’s SO complex. If you do NOTHING ELSE, follow everything Google Says about SEO. And be sure to comment or DM me with your thoughts.