As part of your marketing for 2013 showing up in search results, for the keywords your prospects' search is important. Knowing how to do this, is a frustration that many small business owners, and marketers experience.– so they hire an SEO “expert” to help them without really understanding what the SEO “expert” is doing.
The purpose of this article is to help small business owners, and marketers understand enough about SEO so they can implement an effective SEO Strategy as part of their lead generation for 2013. Or at the very least know what their SEO consultant is doing, or should be doing.
Google is still the market leader when it comes to search, with just under 70% market share. So it’s important to follow and understand the changes they make to their algorithm. The purpose behind Google’s continual changes to their algorithm is to make search results more relevant to the searchers, by rewarding websites that publish quality content and penalising websites that are trying to ‘trick’ the search engines with poor quality content and low quality links.
Links, known as backlinks and inbound links, are the hyperlinked text going from one page to another. This could be within the same website or from one website to the other. In Google’s eyes, a link is viewed as an authority. In this article I link to an article on SEOMOZ’s website to add credibility to my blog article because they are an authority on SEO and duplicate content (see below). However, what a lot of so called SEO “experts” started doing was creating poor quality content on article sites that had little authority, and linking from the article back to the website. The other tactic was creating link exchanges between various websites. These tactics can hurt your website and ability to rank. Google with their updated algorithm now penalises sites with; poor quality, low authority links and duplicate content.
Think about who you want to visit your site. Who is likely to convert into a lead? There’s no point getting website traffic for the sake of having thousands of visitors if none of them are likely to buy from you. So this is an important first step.
What information are these people likely to search for, when searching for a solution? Are they searching for the “best” [product], or the “cheapest” [product], is it location specific, or maybe they’re asking questions. I’ve included some links below to help you with keywords and content.
Create and publish content across various channels – your webpages, blog articles, press release, ebook, video and images.
Share your content on your social media sites to encourage your audience to share. Also, include the social share buttons on your content to make it easy for readers/viewers to share with their network. Social sharing is an important part of search. I have the social share buttons at the top of this article, if you were to click one it would give you the option to share this article with your network on that social media site. Which I'd greatly appreciate so please give it a try :).
Creating and publishing content on a consistent basis is important – it’s not just a 'do once and leave' tactic. Google is always looking for fresh new content so make sure you're publishing new content on a schedule that is realistic for your company – daily would be great, but if that’s not doable maybe weekly? What ever you decide be consistent.
Google looks for unique content and unique value. The key is to focus on creating fresh content that your audience will want to read. Learn more about duplicate content here.
So now you have a basic understanding of what not to do, and what Google is looking for – the question, no doubt, is - What do you do?
The best way to increase your reach and get your content shared to more people is to look for ways to get your content published on sites and blogs that have a similar target audience – industry associations often have opportunities for guest blogging, or if you’re a local provider you might look for an opportunity with a local community blog or newspaper.
Don’t forget to track and measure your efforts. Look for which blog articles and websites (referring sites) drive the most traffic, and more importantly, leads.
For many small business owners and marketers this is a shift in how they’ve been marketing, and on the surface it can be overwhelming. My tip is to look at where you're currently spending your marketing dollars and the return on investment. With more and more people turning to the internet, search and social, to do research before buying, and to buy online you need to have a strong online presence. Use some of your marketing funds to out source your marketing, pay someone to set up your blog and social media sites, and to write and publish your content. It will take a lot of pressure off you and help you create a more sustainable marketing process as more and more people turn to the web.
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