We’ve all been there. You google your own company and it’s nowhere to be seen. Finally, by page 11 you see a link to your site from some social media post you paid for a year ago. The term “Search Engine Optimization” becomes a cuss word around the office, as nobody seems to know exactly what it does and how it benefits you, let alone what to do about it.
I’m going to share with you how I carried my company from page 9 to the #1 spot in 90 days. Ready? Let’s go.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your domain name is findable by the average human. If your domain name was “stofolopitus.com” chances are not a single person is going to randomly stumble upon your website in a search engine. Sure, it’s unique and if someone had your business card and typed it into Google, it would be the first to come up, but unless you’re going to spend the time and money needed to develop strong name recognition, or hand out business cards personally to all of your potential clients, it’s not a super practical way to go. If you can’t come up with a realistic reason for someone to search for at least a portion of your domain name, then it’s going to be an uphill battle improving SEO.
This might be frustrating because it may be suggesting that you adjust your domain name or company name altogether. I’ll leave that decision up to you, but the long term benefit of strong SEO can be very significant.
Assuming that you picked a domain name that is findable, lets talk about optimization. Picture your website as a funnel in the rain. The wider the funnel, the more rain (traffic) you can capture. As I noted before, stofolopitus.com is like using a straw, not ideal! The same goes for the content your website offers to the web. The more searchable your content is, the more findable your website is.
Your funnel should be built on these 3 principles:
#1: People want to find you.
If people want to find your product or service, then it’s your job to remove as many obstacles in their way as possible. Google is very smart. They are constantly searching for commonalities that bring connection between the person searching and the company wanting to be found. For example, if Nancy from Orlando is looking for a creative agency, it would be wise for me to have the words “Orlando”, “Creative” and “Agency” on the prominent pages of my website. Google will pull that content from my website and serve it to the viewer via geo-location, organic search and predictive search. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help a potential customer find you amongst all the chaos.
The easier you are to find, the more “organic searches” you will get. The more “organic searches”, the higher your listing, and round and round we go. It’s that simple.
It’s important to specify who you are and where you are, but it’s just as important to describe what you sell as clearly as possible. You must be aware of what people are searching for and how they’re describing things. The majority of searches entered into Google are descriptive not literal. Most people don’t have the time to spell everything out for you. Make sure your language is descriptive enough to catch the lazy buyers and that it accurately describes what you’re offering.
#2: More traffic doesn’t equal more dollars.
Don’t make your funnel too wide and lose the down slope needed to lock in that customer. The natural temptation is to fill your website CMS with 200 keywords per page with hopes you’ll get everyone and their cat to go to your site. The problem with this strategy is that IF you’re successful and 50 year old Betty-Sue from Mississippi lands on your snowboarding pop-culture site, she’s gonna bounce off your page in a matter of seconds. High bounce rates are cancerous to your Google ratings. It tells Google that you weren’t straightforward with your viewer about who you are and what you offer.
Remember – Google is a company too, and they are striving to give the best experience they can to their customers.
Moral of the story, don’t believe the lie that says more traffic equals more dollars. If you try to reach too many people outside of your target demographic, you’ll hurt yourself and your chances of becoming #1 are that much more slim.
#3: Your potential customers probably aren’t looking for you by name, but they are looking for your service or product.
You need to be as clear as possible about what it is you’re offering. Use your words wisely and make them count. If the message is confusing then you’re going to be harder to find, and when someone does find you, they’re going to be harder to keep and convert into a paying customer. I believe we all need to have this mindset. If we have too much content that doesn’t serve our overall purpose and goal then you are wasting valuable real estate and could potentially lose sales.
TIP** There are alternatives to Google that can be valuable when improving your search engine ranking. Partnering with companies like “Yelp” and “YP” are great ways to get more exposure!
• Remove unnecessary obstacles between you and your potential customer.
• Make sure your keywords are intuitive and descriptive, and specifically target your ideal customer.
• Be as clear as possible about what you are offering.
Focus on these things and you too may find yourself in the coveted #1 spot.