A Stress-Free Guide to SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps your brand stand out online. It's an organic (free) traffic tactic that every small business owner needs to build a brand people rave about.

So, let's get started shall we?

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is about helping Google's search engine find your website, blogs, videos and any other content your create. Google uses keywords to index, sort, organize and prioritize everything on the web. Actually, pretty amazing.

How Does SEO Work?

Long before Facebook and Instagram existed, the 'old school' method of helping people find your website was rooted in optimizing published content. How and what does one 'optimize' you may be thinking.

Let's break it down...

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing online content, your website pages and blog posts for example, with relevant keywords, titles and information to help you connect with your audience. As the SEO manager of your business, your objective is to create original content that delivers relevant, extraordinary answers to your audiences most important questions.

When your ideal customers searches on Google for information, Google scours the internet to deliver the most relevant content to the user. If you meet the Google search ranking criteria, Google recognizes it and rewards you by listing you at the top of the Google search rankings. Now -- there are over 200 Google search engine variables that factor into securing one of the top 10 spots on the first page of a Google listing.

organic traffic

For example, when you Google “easy strawberry banana smoothie recipe,” in a matter of seconds Google delivers a list of what Google believes are the best recipes for making a strawberry banana smoothie.

It doesn’t look for just the easiest recipe. Google always tries to give you the best experience possible by directing you to the greatest content it can find.

This means that your number one job as a SEO manager is to produce great content. Content that is keyword-rich. Competition for keywords is fierce. For newcomers, focus on search intent vs keyword. Put yourself in your buyers shoes and really think about what they are likely to type in the Google search bar. Leverage tools like Buzzsumo to analyze your competition's content success and be inspired by top-performing articles.

Let's run through an example.

Gluten Free Pizza Dough Example

Perhaps you are a mom with a child with celiac disease. You've mastered gluten free cooking and now want to share that knowledge to help other families. You create a simple website and behind the scenes update the 'title tags' with celiac and gluten free keywords. Next, you write a blog about how to make the best gluten free pizza dough and with the help of your blogging platform, 'optimize it for search' by adding important keywords associated to it.

Next, a perfect stranger searches for gluten free pizza dough. Google searches it's virtual file folders and provides a list of what it feels is the absolute recipe.

Now, depending on how crowded you niche is and how broad the search term is it may be difficult to land on page one of Google search.

Gluten free pizza dough is a broad term and there are probably hundreds of articles online. Gluten free pizza dough for kids is a little narrower. Gluten free pizza dough without yeast is even more specific and will get you closer to landing at the top Google search.

The more narrow your niche the better. It increases your chances of rising to the top of Google's ranking.

Keyword Research Tools

Learning how to consistently drive traffic back to your website is so important to you as a small business owner. The following tools will help you understand why your competition is ranking so high and what you need to do to outrank them.

Here are some of my favorite keyword research tools; SpyFu, SEMRush, Moz and Ahrefs.

Organic vs Paid Traffic and Why It Matters

Attracting more website visitors and converting them into email subscribers should be your primary focus as a small business owner. SEO is a free marketing strategy to help people find you online. SEO helps you drive organic traffic to your website.

SEO is one of the easiest ways to harness the power of the world wide web and attract perfect strangers from around the world to your website. It just takes a little moxie.

You have two choices when it comes to driving traffic back to your website; organic traffic and paid traffic. Organic traffic is free and results tend to take a longer. The most common type of paid traffic is online advertising. Google Adwords and Facebook are two of the most commonly used platforms for paid traffic.

When you're just starting out and on a shoestring budget, establishing a strong organic traffic strategy is critical. Even though I'm a huge fan of Facebook advertising and use it regularly for my business, a huge portion of my website traffic is organic. Learning how to attract website visitors organically will be one of the best marketing strategies in your toolbox. For the best website long-term traffic results, I recommend adding both organic and paid traffic to your marketing plan.

See How Your SEO Stacks Up

Wondering how your SEO stacks up? Run your website through a Boostability SEO checkup to learn more about how Google views your website SEO.