Everyone claims to be an expert in SEO, at least during job interviews, but do they really know how exactly it works? Many business owners are too busy to learn how it works, let alone execute it themselves. This creates the perfect opportunity for experienced marketing professionals like Hook and Blade to step in and completely change the possibilities for a company’s organic lead generation.

Many small business owners realize search engine optimization could be a game-changer for them as it can produce incredible increases in organic traffic, but someone can spend all their time doing it themselves and still not rank as high on Google as they hoped. Search engine optimization is one of the best ways you can outperform your competition, so doing it right is key. That’s why we’re breaking it down step-by-step and providing actionable insights for you!

Begin by…

  • Researching your competitors – it is always smart to be aware of the competition’s marketing strategies in general. Do a google search yourself for the product/service and location that you and your competitors offer to see if they are ranking above or below you, or even show up at all.
  • Find superior keywords – the key to this is to find out how consumers are phrasing the way they Google search your type of product or service. You can play around with different combinations of the way you phrase your keywords on free websites like Google Trends. Try to implement the keywords into your website that have high search volume, but lower than average bidding prices.

Create by…

  • Optimize your website title – use one of the best keywords that you found in your search to include in your website title. Make sure that it still flows well, is memorable, and is on-brand.
  • Use headings strategically – covering a wide range of topics on your site is something Google will love you for. Don’t let that array of content go to waste by not properly optimizing the keyword in the headings. Also, it helps to bold the title, headlines, and other important words.
  • Include internal and external links – each page you create on your website should provide multiple links to other internal pages on your website so that the user can explore fluidly. Having at least one outbound link on each page helps SEO too because it proves the content is useful and backed by additional resources.

Outrank by…

  • If you are a local business – make specific geographic location pages for your services. It is best to have pages for every city in which you operate, but for companies that operate in 50+ cities, that could take over a year to implement. So, it is best to start with 5-10 cities that are your highest priority and contain people in your target market. With geo-specific pages, it is also important to edit the URL so that it includes the location and relevant keyword you focused on within the content.
  • Make a site map – when conducting SEO there are a ton of pages that need to be created that can’t all be featured in the main navigation menus of your site. However, Google is not a fan of orphan pages (ones that cannot be navigated to other than through a Google search), so making a site map with every single page link is the best way to solve this issue.
  • Give it time – success with SEO never happens overnight. It is important to realize that when you take on an SEO project that you are committing to a “long game”. Not only can the implementation process take months, it then also takes time to acquire organic traffic and entrances to your website based on search volume and the current demand for your products or services. Businesses that are more seasonal should use their downtime to build up their SEO so that potential leads can find the website when needed.

Common mistakes to avoid…

  • Focusing on minor details – search engine optimization is a huge project to undertake, so make sure you are focusing on the bigger picture which is the return on investment. Your time is very valuable so it’s important to not spend too much time and energy on minor details. If you notice something small that doesn’t require immediate attention, write yourself a note and come back to it and the end of the project with a fresh headspace.
  • Keyword Stuffing – sometimes people will over-do the number of keywords they are optimizing the website for. Overworking this piece of SEO can be detrimental to the project as a whole because it will jumble the intent of the content causing it to be less optimized overall.
  • Skipping steps – lastly, don’t overlook the importance of meta titles and descriptions, after all, that is what you are doing all this work for customers to see. Also, your page content should never be less than 200 words because there is not enough content for the search algorithm to parse for scoring with anything less.

Wrapping it up…

All in all, SEO is a big project if you didn’t originally create your website with all of these steps and the intent to rank high on search engines. It is critical to go into these projects with a strategic plan and timeline laid out. Remember, Hook & Blade is always here to help with SEO and all other digital marketing needs you may have, you can reach out to us anytime.