Understand your customers’ needs and create SEO requirements that satisfies those needs
The rules of search engine optimization (SEO) are constantly evolving.
Primarily due to Google changing how they evaluate and rank web pages, there are many ‘best’ practices that have become out of date or simply were never valid in the first place.
That said, there is one ‘Golden Rule' of SEO that is very relevant for how you should approach not only small business SEO but your marketing strategy in general.
Content is King
"If you have budget to invest in your website, I say, "Hire someone to write for you.'" (Tweet This!)
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, Content is King, in a different context, but it also applies to SEO.
Basically, all the changes Google makes in its search ranking algorithms are meant to promote the creation of quality web pages and content (and secondarily, to combat those who try to game the system by tricking Google into believing their webpage is more valuable than it is).
The end goal of Google is to encourage and promote the creation of quality content because if those using Google are happy with their search results they’re much more likely to use Google again. And from Google’s perspective, the more people who like and use their search engine, the more demand there is, which translates to more advertising dollars in Google’s coffers.
“Rather than obsessing about SEO ranking, be useful – then your readers will bring about more consumers because they’ll share your stuff.” (Tweet This!)
Bring value to your customer or prospect. This should be the #1 rule in all your marketing efforts, including your SEO requirements.
In a world where consumers are more and more empowered – they are driving the marketing equation by changing the way they research and buy products and services – your marketing needs to change in response.
This means optimizing your content with the consumer in mind. Create content – and align your keyword and small business SEO strategy – with the needs and wants of your customer so that they find the value they are looking for.
Be Organized and Clear
“Google is no longer trying to match the keywords you type into its search engine to the keywords of a web page. Instead, it’s trying to understand the intent behind the keywords you type so it can match that intent to relevant, high-quality content.”
Google is now able to evaluate the entire content structure on your webpage in order to understand the page’s intent.
So, you need to start thinking more critically about how your pages are constructed. Outline your content in an approach that makes sense to users, and in turn this will make sense to the search engines.
For example, don’t make visitors look for what they need:
- Utilize a clear headline
- Make sure you present your most important concepts upfront and closer to the top of the page so that visitors quickly understand what the page is about
- Remember to include a clear call-to-action directing the visitor to what to do next
Write For Your Reader
“The goal should be to inform the reader, not to inform the search engines.” (Tweet This!)
In order attract visitors to your site you need the search engines to identify your page as relevant, yet a formulaic title ant content will seem disingenuous, not only to readers but to the search engines as well.
Remember, search engines are always one step ahead of the game (at least Google is), so resistance is futile! (as well as being harmful to your business and brand).
Search engines won’t punish you for underusing keywords or failing to have an expertly crafted, keyword-optimized page title, but they will punish you for overusing keywords.
The bottom line, don’t try to artificially write for keywords or SEO.
The SEO ‘Golden Rule’
Today, SEO is more than optimizing for search engines – it's about the overall experience of person who is searching.
The ‘Golden Rule” of SEO is: Understand your customers’ needs and create an SEO experience that satisfies those needs - from the search result listing, to the first impression the visitor gets when landing on the page, to the ability for the visitor to quickly and easily find the content she is looking for.
Take this approach as the basis for your small business SEO and it will not only result in happier visitors – who are more likely to convert to qualified leads and customers – but it will also result in search engine’s recognizing your pages as valuable and more worthy of higher search result rankings.
To learn how to optimize and align all of your marketing for maximum lead conversion, download our free, step-by-step guide: