Managing SEO on a Budget
Search engine optimization is one of those terms that can make a person's eyes glaze over. Basically, SEO is making sure that all of your content is optimized so that people can find your product or service when they're looking for it.
It can be a full-time job to monitor key words and ads to make sure you're on the first page of that search - and there are plenty of SEO specialists that have all kinds of strategies (and sometimes tricks) to get you to the top of that list. Most require a significant investment.
If much of your business is by referral or in a particular industry, you may be able to optimize your content for effective searches without spending a fortune. Here are some tips:
- Optimize your website. If you use a Wordpress template for your website, you may already have a built-in SEO widget. If not, you can buy this plug-in very affordably. Wordpress will walk you through a fill-in-the-blank field for each page to make sure the content on each page is optimized.
- Register your website with every search engine you can find. Sounds basic, I know, but you would be surprised at the number of businesses that register their site with Google and call it a day. Do a search for Search Engines, then register with each one. Don't forget Yelp and any industry databases that make sense for your business.
- Identify your key words. What words or terms will people use to search for your solution? It's tempting to revert to your industry jargon - keep in mind that "lay people" may not understand or use your acronyms. Think about the words that a "regular" person might type into that search bar to find your product or service.
- Have a matching landing page. Key words are linked to appropriate content, so inserting key words into an ad or piece of content that doesn't "match" is a problem. Make sure you've got a corresponding landing page or ad for the key words you're using.
- Use the right tools for the job. If you're thinking about DIY digital advertising, Google's Key Word Planner will be very helpful. Most social networks have ad creation tools built in to their platforms. You'll be able to create the ad on line with pointers along the way.
- Include links in your content. Search engines like links: from other sites or social platforms to your content, and from your content to other sites or information.
- Use Social Platform Features. Don't forget the basics like Twitter hashtags, or built-in features such as Social Share on Constant Contact. Make sure pertinent search terms are included in your headline or email subject line.
- Be authentic. Search engines are no longer fooled by people who just stuff their content with irrelevant words to get others to click on their ad or article. In fact, many times an ad won't even be approved if the search terms don't match the website or the subject of the content. Using words that are appropriate to your business will ensure that people that click on your ad or visit your website may actually be interested in your product or service!