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What is SEO and How Does it Help My Company?

what is SEO When I told my assistant that I was writing a blog article called “What is SEO,” my husband popped his head in my office and jokingly said, “Great! I’ve been wondering just what the heck it is you do every day!”

My darling hubby is not a small business owner. And he doesn’t have a website. So I don’t blame him for not knowing what SEO is. But if you have a website for your business, you need to know what those letters stand for and why they matter.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. And according to Wikipedia, it’s the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.

The process is what I manage for clients. When I first started by business six years ago, optimizing a website for search was fairly straight forward. The first step – then and now – is keyword research. That’s the backbone of SEO. You’d spend time figuring out what words your audience uses to search for your website. Then, you would include those keywords in the title, description and keyword meta tags of each web page. Next, you would write content that included those keywords for the web page itself. Finally, you had to secure backlinks from quality websites.

Since that time, people would do a web search, and get annoyed at the results that showed up on Page One of Google. That’s because some unscrupulous people were engaging in “black hat SEO” techniques like keyword stuffing to artificially prop up their site.

Google Gets Tough

What does Google WantAs a result, Google started cracking down on these folks. They started changing their algorithms more frequently — launching so-called “Panda” updates and the like. And most importantly, the search engine and its competitors, like Bing and Yahoo, started preaching that content quality is what matters above all else.

What does that mean for your business and your company website? It means the content on your web site must address your customer’s needs, not the search engine’s.

Your prospect must come to your website and see within 2-3 seconds that you have the solution to the problem they’re facing.

Don’t waste precious real estate on your website by saying “Welcome to XYZ Company.” (I still see this!) Instead, you should have a benefit-rich headline. Here’s an example:

Make Your Custom Wine Labels & Custom Beer Bottle Labels
Online in Minutes

That headline tells you what the company does: they sell customized wine and beer labels. And what the benefit to the customer is: You can make your custom labels quickly online.

A great headline combines at least 3 of the following four characteristics:

    • Urgency
    • Usefulness
    • Uniqueness
    • Ultra-specific

The wine label headline is fairly successful from that standpoint. It’s useful to anyone who makes their own wine or beer at home. And it’s unique because it mentions making the labels “online in minutes.” However, it could be ultra-specific if it said something like this:

Make Your Custom Wine Labels & Custom Beer Bottle Labels
Online in 6 Minutes or Less!

Of course, the headline on a web page is just the start. The rest of the website content must also be useful to your web visitor, in order to convert them into a customer. That’s one of the main reasons why I recommend that companies start blogging. It’s the best way to establish your authority in your industry and establish trust with your customers by answering their frequently asked questions.

How do you know if your website is successfully accomplishing that goal?

Start by reviewing your analytics. See how much traffic or web visitors you’re getting on a daily basis. And you should be keeping track of how many leads your website is generating too.

google analytics

If your site is behaving poorly in these areas, it’s time for a website analysis. Get an expert’s opinion about your website’s content and design.

Some of the things that could be hindering your results include:

    • Wrong keywords
    • Website navigation is difficult
    • Marketing message is unclear or confusing
    • No contact information – ex. phone number
    • No email capture device, such as a free ebook or other lead magnet

If you’d like to attract more website visitors and generate more leads, contact me today to apply for a free 30-minute Internet Marketing discovery session. We’ll discover the key elements missing from your website that are keeping you from connecting with your target audience. And we’ll create your next steps, so you can get moving in the right direction and closer to your dreams.

About the Author
Gloria Grace Rand is an inspirational speaker, author and host of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast. Prior to launching her SEO Copywriting business in 2009, Gloria spent nearly two decades in television, most notably as writer and producer for the award-winning PBS financial news program, “Nightly Business Report.”

Gloria turned to writing as a way to communicate, since growing up with an alcoholic father and abusive mother taught her that it was safer to be seen and not heard. But not speaking her truth caused Gloria problems such as overeating, control issues, and an inability to fully trust people. After investing in coaching & personal development programs, and studying spiritual books like “A Course in Miracles,” Gloria healed her emotional wounds. Today, she helps entrepreneurs develop the clarity and confidence to express their unique voice online and off.

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