How to Use SEO to Drive Sales: An Easy Guide You Can Start Using Today
Angelic invited Adrian Chestnut of Chestnut Copywriting to write this blog on all things SEO. Get ready to take some notes!
SEO often comes off as this all-mysterious, ever-changing being that’s feared and avoided – set aside to deal with later.
But, as time goes on and competition in the online world is getting tougher, SEO is climbing the ranks of importance.
More and more businesses like yours are realizing it’s something they need to implement into their marketing.
SEO isn’t something that you can set aside these days, it’s become a need for your business. If you want people to find you, the SEO you’re implementing matters.
What is SEO?
So what is SEO, anyway?
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is what you do for your website/webpage to increase its likelihood of showing up in search results on Google. You’re optimizing your site for the search engines.
Increase your SEO = More Eyes on Your Website = More Potential Sales
There are a lot of ways to increase your SEO so that your website can rank higher in search results. The more you apply the “tried and true” methods the more legitimate your site looks to Google and therefore, it’ll rank higher as a more “qualified” page.
When I first started out it seemed a bit “schemey” to me that Google would do such a thing. But after learning more about it, it actually makes a lot of sense.
I don’t want to get a bunch of random irrelevant search results. I want to see qualified and relevant businesses that are keeping up with their site.
If you’re not consistently adding content to your site, it makes it appear that you’re not using it, which is why the website appears less important to Google. It sounds bad, but it’s kinda true.
I’m a writer, so in theory, I should be consistently posting writing on my website. If you have an e-commerce site you would in theory be adding new products.
Consistent Content Builds SEO
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – what you need to be doing to optimize your website!
You know the saying, “Content is King”? Well, while content might not be the king of your heart it is the king of Google.
Google has a network of “bots” that troll content on the internet in order to set rankings. And you guessed it! – those bots troll your content. They want to know how much content you have and how valuable it is.
You might be thinking, “But how does Google know the value of my content? They don’t know me or my business.”
Sounds a bit rude, huh?
While it might seem a little odd to those of us that aren’t pros in the internet world, there is a method to the madness. Truly.
So what kind of content should you be putting out there? And how much?
While there’s no definitive answer to these questions there are some guidelines you can follow that will set you up for success and if done consistently will give you results.
Firstly, blogs are great at boosting your content and they not only add content but they add valuable content. Two birds with one stone with this one. Value and content? Yes, please!
If you decide to take the blog route, there’s a couple of things to keep in mind. Your blogs should be at least 1200 words. Based on studies, this number has proven to be the most effective in getting positive results on Google.
When it comes to blogs there’s a few things to keep in mind to get the best possible results.
Formatting is very important. Your blogs should be easy to read to keep the reader’s attention. Keep paragraphs short and write like you’re talking to a friend. The goal here is to keep people on the page.
If the page is visited and then the visitor quickly clicks away it can affect your results.
As my mentor taught me, write at a 6th-grade level to keep it simple. Keep in mind that the writing is for 3 types of readers – the skimmer, the digger and Google. All 3 of these are important.
For the skimmer – keep your formatting easy to scroll through.
For the digger – make sure you do your research and use adequate information in your blog.
For Google – use keywords and formatting (to keep people reading).
How Do Keywords Play Into SEO?
We’ve made it to everyone’s favorite topic — KEYWORDS!
Keywords are basically your bread and butter when it comes to SEO. You want to choose keywords that are relevant to your topic and will be commonly searched. That way when people search those words they can find your article or webpage.
You’re going to want to sprinkle about 3-5 keywords into your article – where they make sense.
That’s right, please don’t stuff your writing full of keywords.
It actually hurts your SEO as far as Google is concerned. Those pesky Google bots can tell the difference between stuffing and quality content. Don’t try to trick them.
Along with your keywords you’ll also want to include longtail keywords.
Longtail keywords are 2-3 word phrases that are used just like keywords but are even more specific to your topic.
Sprinkling in your long tail keywords will rank that specific phrase in search results. So pick a phrase specific to what you think your reader will be searching for BUT try not to make it too common as there will be a lot of competition for that phrase (which makes it harder to rank).
Adding keywords can seem daunting and at times difficult, but what’s important to remember is not to overcomplicate it! Just remember to add keywords where they make sense. You don’t want to prioritize the keywords over the quality of the article. There’s no need to add them anywhere and everywhere.
Setting Up SEO on the Backend of Your Website
The third and final thing you can do for SEO is within your website itself. In the deep underbelly (OK maybe that’s a bit intense), the backend of a website where it’s not as obvious to the public.
When you’re setting up your website or adding content to your current site it’s important to include –
- Meta Descriptions
- Alt Text for Pictures
- Keywords in URLs
Meta Descriptions – A Meta Description is a helpful and engaging summary of a webpage. This is typically what displays as the description on the Google search results. The brief summary should include keywords and helpful info to engage the reader and encourage a “click” to your site.
Alt Text – Alt text is the verbiage you include with any image on your website. It explains precisely and in detail what the image is.
URLs – Make sure your URL includes words that are relevant to the webpage. For instance, if your webpage is for testimonials, include the word testimonial in the URL instead of just a bunch of letters and numbers.
If you stay consistent with implementing these 3 things into the content on your website you’re really going to give yourself a boost – you’ll see more website visitors which turns into more customer inquiries and ultimately more sales.
Is It Really Worth It?
By bringing more content to your website you’re providing more information that your potential customers can use to make their final decision to purchase. Information that they’re happy to come back for and see what’s happening on your blog. You’re building an experience that will keep them coming back to a trusted website with all the information they need on your product. Information that gives insight into who you are as a business.
This is what SEO is all about.
There may be rules that we should follow but at its core it’s about helping you stand out in the crowd. Don’t take the opportunity for granted to show Google what you’re all about. Dive in and show your customers what you have to offer.
If this is something you know you need to start adding to your business but you just don’t have the expertise or time to do it, remember there are copywriters (like me) that would love to help you. I can help you build a plan for your business and get it done so you can get seen by more potential customers without spending the time to research and write.
Remember! SEO is your friend. Lean into it and don’t shy away from what could leverage your business for success.
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