You are your content!
One of the problems encountered by those with their own businesses, especially people running a new SME, is getting across who they are.
And, if that wasn’t hard enough to do, there’s now SEO, rankings, searchability, etc etc etc – a ton of things you’re not even sure you understand. I know I didn’t when I first joined the digital business world.
So, let’s go through the key concepts of Search Engine Optimization as well as the issues, and one big, important tip!
SEO in a nutshell
SEO is, basically, the techniques that are used to make sure your website will rank in search engines for the key terms you’ll be expecting users to search to find your business.
Get started with SEO:
- Decide your key terms
- Set differing key terms for each webpage
- Tag your images
- Utilise headings
- Enrich your content with your key terms
- Include quality outbound links in your content and blog posts
- Get quality (see domain authority) links into your site
Sounds easy, right? Well. Kind of. But also… kind of not. You need more than the above information to know SEO. But at least you know the very basics.
Time is a factor. If you’ve got a new website, it’s going to take time for you to gain domain authority and to get ranked.
Tip: if using wordpress, the Yoast plugin is your best friend.
Why SEO is important
(and it is important in the digital world)
It gets you ranked, it gets you found
This helps with the searchability of your website. Basically, your target market will find you more easily. Simple!
Think, if you’re a new pizza place starting out in Leeds and the word ‘Leeds’ isn’t anywhere on your website, how are the hangry pizza-lovers in that city going to find you if they type in ‘Pizza delivery Leeds’ into Google.
It also just makes sense to use words that are relevant to you and your business. If you’re a pizza place why wouldn’t you want to use the word ‘pizza’ on your homepage? It’s important to let people know what you’re about.
Potential issues with SEO content
Spam: too many keywords will hurt you
You use your keywords too much, Google takes one look and goes “no thank you, you’re barred” and blacklists your website into oblivion.
Okay, I’m being dramatic. Your website hasn’t been thrown into a black hole. But be aware that overusing keywords and phrases is more of a hindrance than a help.
Tip: Don’t use the same keywords or terms on every single webpage of your website!
But. My. Biggest. Issue. with a lot of ‘SEO’ content is…
SEO content without creativity
As a writer, it hurts me to see keywords thrown into content with wild abandon, no thought for the form of an article, and structure of a sentence, a paragraph.
This strips your website of personality! A robot might as well have written your homepage, like this one that wrote an entire Harry Potter chapter.
Anyway, back to SEO (and flow!) – although you might get a lot of people finding your site, they’ll just end up a sad bounce rate statistic when they find themselves on a site that doesn’t engage them.
And that’s what we want, isn’t it? Engagement. Interest. Sales. We want to draw our target audience in with a creative headline, with a personable ‘About Us’ page. We don’t want people to think we’re just another personality-less business or brand.
Personally, I want people to find my own website, be drawn in by its words, and think “this is the writer, the photographer, for me”.
So, my advice?
Don’t let SEO ruin your flow
But, don’t ignore SEO
Find a writer, not just a keyword specialist.
Look for somebody who knows how to integrate SEO techniques into their writing seamlessly, someone who knows how to craft content that will create a lasting impression, both in people’s minds and in the search engines.