When potential clients or impatient business owners approach Tampa SEO, often times we are met with the expectations that SEO is something that is just “slapped” on to a website.
It is these expectations increase frustration and make legitimate SEO appear to be more like a snake oil presentation or multi-level marketing program than an analytical process of content marketing and on-page improvements.
SEO is not just about keyword research, content development, on-page optimization, and link building, to name just a few aspects. SEO is about creating habits that help both technology and humans better understand and interact with your web presence.
Just like quitting cigarettes or losing weight requires you to change your habits, running a business that is going to leverage SEO requires you to develop new habits that make SEO second nature within your company, rather something to be feared or misunderstood. By creating and fostering habits that increase your SEO, you’re creating a synergistic opportunity for your business that is second nature, making SEO an automated impulse rather than a concept that you’re stumbling over.
Habit #1: Develop New Content on a Regular Basis
The internet was designed to facilitate the sharing of information, and search engines were designed to better help users locate that information.
You need to let the world know about your product, service, or expertise with information. Blog posts and social media are excellent ways engage with potential clients, customers, or future loyal fans.
Not sure what to write about? Start with the basics. FAQs, myth-busting, and new product or service announcements are easy to do.
Are you not a strong writer? Hire someone to write for you. You can record your ideas to an MP3 file and pass it to your writer for them to transcribe and construct a powerful blog article for you. Heck, turn that Mp3 file into a podcast. Bam! Now you’re re-purposing content.
You can also record a video and publish that too.
If you can find 30 minutes in the morning while you’re drinking your coffee to start writing, anything really, even if it’s just notes, over time you’ll have the skeleton for a great blog post.
Having great content also helps with our next habit:
Habit #2: Acquire Links Where Appropriate
Backlinks are still an important aspect of SEO, but you have to be careful on where you place your links.
Start with the low hanging fruit. Local listing and review sites like Yelp are excellent ways to obtain a link and foster reviews for your business. Making sure that you’re claiming an verifying your business on these sites can also add some SEO benefits.
If your business is a part of a trade association or other organization, see if they have a directory or a business profile page where you can include a link to the website.
Steer clear of link directories or websites that were clearly not made for actual users. There’s no value on those websites.
Do you think you can find 30 minutes a week to locate a few websites and request for your website to be included? Can you add your site to a few local listing or review sites in 30 minutes each week? It’s a tangible task that can be done.
Habit #3: Learn What Habits are Bad Habits
Things change. Just because something worked a few years ago, doesn’t mean it will work again.
Several years ago, Google would often say that one or two factors were great for SEO. The adverse effect would be a gross manipulation and abuse of those factors, leading Google having to significantly reduce or entirely negate those factors, or even worse, penalize offending websites.
Low/no-value link directories, keyword stuffing, and outrageous use of guest posts, along with many others, are SEO techniques that have been now considered poor SEO habits. Stop doing them.
Stick with the factors that will always provide strong SEO results: awesome content and usability.
Habit #4: Focus on Goals that Matter
Being #1 on Google for a search term used to be a clear indicator that your website is dominating. But what if that SERP domination wasn’t generating income? Physical businesses do not just want to have the best real estate, they need to make sure that there is a clear path of what a customer does from the time they walk into the store to the moment they hit the register. Restaurants make this apparent by having a host greet you, learn your party’s specifics, and then guide you to the best table for your party, or for a quick-service restaurant, there is a line to walk through.
How your users interact with your website matters to how your generate sales, leads, or other goals that are important to your business. Once your visitors lands on your website, what’s next? If there isn’t a clear indicator, they will leave immediately. This is called a bounce, and a high bounce rate will affect your organic visibility.
Focus on creating a clear path to goals. Is this a phone call? A contact form submission? Purchasing a product? Signing up for a service? Design your website and content structure to funnel visitors to those goals. You’ll be surprised how much focusing on how to get users to use your website with little effort will provide incredible results.
Habit #5: Never Stop Learning
While the internet as we know it is roughly about 40 years old, 20 of which has been available to most consumers, new technologies are being created each day. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, and all the others are all competing with each other to develop new technologies in what is still an infinite frontier.
SEO is not a concrete industry and new information and techniques are introduced monthly. Staying up to date is task that only full-time SEOs can handle, but SEO news is important.
Recently, developments in the last several years like open graph, Twitter cards, and schema.org markup have helped Google and others better understand the semantics of your website. You can now tell services what part of your webpage is the article, what the price is, and all other sorts of information without a user having to visit your site. Google can display this information in their SERPs, helping users even further.
In 2014, Google publicly announced that they do use SSL and HTTPS and other security features as a positive ranking signal, leading many websites to immediately add SSL certificates to their websites.
New algorithm updates and newly admonished techniques also appear yearly, forcing websites to clean up their acts quickly.
As you can see, making sure that you’re staying up to date on SEO information and news can help your site make use of new technologies that are helpful to your users.
Use Feedly or other RSS readers to compile all the SEO websites that you enjoy reading. If you can find 30 minutes a week to read up on new articles in SEO, that should be enough to keep you on your toes.
Tampa SEO also offers SEO Training to help you get the fundamentals and more advanced SEO techniques.
Habit #6: Focus on Your Users
This is the most important aspect of SEO and business in general. Anytime you do something strictly for SEO, you might be doing more harm than good. Remember, your business relies on users purchasing a product or service. When was the last time Google bought something from you?
When you make on-page improvements to your website, of course you’re thinking that this will help SEO. But it also helps users. By just changing how to order the reasons why you’re improving your website is a great way to change your perspective. Think of it this way: “I’m improving pages to help my users, which will help SEO”. Sure they’re interchangeable, but placing users first on your website and in your business’s goals can express a user-centric business than a self-centered business. Google can locate those factors and rank your website based on them.
New Years is always about starting a new. Resolutions are rarely maintained due because habits having not been created.
When creating these new habits, don’t just jump in. Start small and exponentially increase your engagement. Over time, these habits will become second nature, not even require a passing thought. Just like I naturally put my seat belt on each time I get into the car or can make my coffee in the morning without actually being cognizant of doing so, some of the basics of SEO can synergize with your normal business operations and you need to implement it as such.
You might have noticed some of my habits ask whether you can find 30 minutes a day or week to complete a task. These small tasks will not take over your precious time during the week, which is why even just 30 minute here and 30 minutes there could be an excellent way to foster these new SEO habits.
Steve Scott is the CEO & Director of Training at the Tampa SEO Training Academy. He has taught SEO skills to people from around the world and currently offers his hands-on search engine optimization training workshops in Tampa to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Corporate SEO training classes and consulting are also available.