What Is SEO & How To Implement It Into Your Growth Strategy
It may surprise you to learn that SEO isn’t all about getting on page 1 of Google. Optimizing your website for search engines is about finding the right approach, rather than cobbling together individual tactics.
SEO is actually a long-term marketing strategy and, while you can see a boost in results within a few weeks, SEO improves organically day after day, month after month. This is why you don’t have to labor for nights on end to make it work.
You don’t even have to be a technological whizz to understand or implement SEO – there are simple, yet strategic, actions you can take to improve your search engine rankings and grow your traffic. Even if you set aside just 30-minutes a week, you can bring more ideal clients to your website.
why SEO is beautiful
The beauty of SEO is that you’re using permission marketing (aka inbound marketing) so, instead of interrupting your audience via cold pitches or ads, you’re empowering potential ideal clients to make their own decisions.
Within 3-6 months it can bring a game-changing difference to your business.
You can qualify your traffic through the content you create, attracting people to you with specific keywords and phrases you know they’re already searching for.
The top actions you need to take to put a robust SEO foundation in place are:
- Discover your SEO mindset
- Put together a content strategy
- Carry out easy website fixes
- Investigate off-site SEO activities
- Implement simple on-site SEO strategies
5 Simple ways to achieve traffic growth without any stress-headaches
Many people have a fear of SEO and I understand why – much of the language is techy and full of jargon – but it doesn’t need to be that way. Here are 5 easy actions you can take today to boost your traffic in 30 minutes a week, or less:
1 | Mindset: understand the goal of your SEO
Before you get started with implementing anything, you need to rethink the goal of your SEO. Here is where we let go of any preconceptions – forget about tricks and fast hacks – because the goal of site optimization is no different than the rest of your marketing and messaging.
Your marketing, messaging, and SEO all have this in common: helping your ideal client find your solutions by providing valuable, relevant, and authentic content.
“Focus on the user and all else will follow” is Google’s #1 point on their 10-point philosophy – search engines want to give users the best, most helpful, most relevant experience.
2 | Put together a content strategy for your blog
Churning out huge amounts of content won’t work unless every post is high quality, shareable, and relevant to your ideal client’s pressing needs/frustrations/desires.
Quality over quantity wins hands down – search engines prioritize relevant content. So, take the pressure off, and figure out a way to publish regularly without falling into overwhelm.
- Brainstorm ideas and make a list of content topics + subtopics you enjoy and can write about with ease.
- Think about the phrases people use when searching online for their main problems, wants and needs, and the types of solutions you offer (these are your keywords).
- Consider your product/service launches and marketing seasons – what supporting content can you post on your blog around those times/events?
- How often is a realistic publishing schedule for you? Once per week or month? Get into a regular rhythm and try to stick to it but don’t beat yourself up when you “fall off the wagon.”
- Use quiet periods, or set aside some time to bulk-produce posts, so you have content lined up in advance.
- What other media do you have that you can repurpose? For example, video or audio content can also be published as a blog post.
- Have you been blogging for a year or more? What posts can you freshen-up and republish? Updating old posts is an effective way to deliver value and boost your SEO.
3| Implement these easy fixes on your website
The following activities may not sound SEO-related, but they’re critical to improving the quality and amount of traffic your site can generate.
Ensure your niche is obvious.
Can people tell within minutes what your blog is about? What about your homepage? Is your message clear and cohesive across your site?
Write for your audience, rather than yourself.
Personal blogs are great and it may well be appropriate for you to include personal posts, but as a business, the majority of your content should be focused on your ideal client’s needs, goals, and results they are seeking.
Make your site reader-friendly.
Keep your branding in mind, but see if there are ways to make your content easier on the eye and scannable. You can improve the clarity and format of your posts with:
- Bullet points or lists
- A “stand-out” color for links
- Serif or sans-serif fonts for body text
- Occasional use of:
- Bold and italics
- Script-style fonts
Encourage sharing on social media
When people share your posts on social media it boosts your SEO, improves your credibility and increases your traffic, so make it easy for them to share your content:
- Create tweetable text or image quotes
- Make Pinterest-worthy images
- Have sharing icons via plugins like Shareaholic or Sumo to enable easy sharing
Increase engagement on your blog
Encourage readers/listeners to stick around for longer with internal linking to your other posts, freebie offers to encourage subscribers and a Call-To-Action with an open question at the end of each post to encourage comments.
4 | Look at what you can do off your website
As you’ve seen when thinking about your strategy, not all of SEO is done on your site. Here are four activities away from your digital home to boost your traffic:
- Customer journey: There are so many different touch points along the paths your customers will take. Google recommends targeting four key micro-moments:
- I-Want-to-Know (information & inspiration)
- I-Want-to-Go (product/service nearby)
- I-Want-to-Do (“how-to” or experience)
- I-Want-to-Buy (time to make the pitch/sale)
- Guest posting: Seek out opportunities to be a guest on complementary blogs, podcasts or shows. If you have an established blog, you can offer guest posting spots too.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is a much under-used search engine. 80% of my traffic comes from Pinterest and I’ve seen it work incredibly well for many bloggers.
- Google’s Local Pack: If you’re a locally-based business you can find a way into the “Local Pack” by filling out your Google business profile, encouraging reviews and updating directories like Yahoo!, Yelp, Local.com. The Local Pack is the top 3 places nearby to a user at any given time, and it changes depending on what they’re searching for and where they are.
Want to get more eyes on your website? Check out these 5 Simple ways to achieve traffic growth without any stress-headaches!
5 | Put these simple on-site SEO strategies in place
This is where we get down to the nitty-gritty of on-site SEO, but, rather than throw jargon at you, I’m going to explain it in layman’s terms:
Qualify your traffic
You can qualify your leads within your traffic through keywords – the main words in the phrases that are entered by users while searching online. The shorter the phrase, the more popular it is and the wider the audience, so long-tail keywords can give you better targeted traffic and more potential ideal clients coming your way.
For example, rather than targeting “graphic design”, refine your audience by creating content around longer keywords, like: “simple graphic design for bloggers”.
Check that your website is user-friendly
If your website takes more than 5 seconds to load, it is running too slow. In fact, getting it under 2 seconds is the ideal. I often find is the main cause of sluggish load times is large images. There are a few steps to fully optimize your images, but re-sizing before uploading is the top action to take.
The other essential user experience task is to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Most self-hosted platforms like WordPress.org and Squarespace are mobile-friendly these days – use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to get an idea how your user experience could be improved.
Give your ideal clients a reason to click-through
Once you’re getting listed higher up in search engine results, you need to persuade browsers to click-through to your website. How do you do that?
With persuasive metadata.
The great news is you can have complete control over it! Most website platforms allow you to enter this text into your “back end” of your site. WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Shopify and others all offer this option. If you use WordPress, I recommend the Yoast plugin; and Squarespace has this feature built-in.
You can easily do this when you’re formatting your post – once you get into the habit, it becomes second nature.
How to avoid overwhelm
All SEO activities take time to see results. 3 – 6 months can be typical, so there’s no point stressing about doing/not doing all.the.things!
A little patience, plus taking small, strategic daily (or weekly) action will help you achieve your goals, and, with the right SEO approach you will see game-changing results.
Keep this article as a reference and mark off that time in your calendar – 30 minutes a week really can make the difference between getting found by more of your right people or being lost in the digital universe.
Sustainable traffic growth is possible with a simple and strategic SEO approach.
written by danielle zeigler