Affari

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – A Beginner’s Guide

March 20, 2018
June Moore

WHY DO I NEED SEO?
I want you to think about your top three competitors right now. Would you ever hand over purchase ready, qualified customers to them? Probably not, however if you’re not showing up in online search results (or you’re so far down the list that nobody can find you), odds are you’re doing just that, giving business away to your competitors.

Did that get your attention? If you’re in sales or marketing with quotas and revenue targets, I hope so. Without SEO, you’re giving leads away. Heck, you’re not even putting yourself in the game, if you’re not engaged in SEO at all. Its like hiding from potential customers who want to buy from you but don’t know you exist or how to find you.

SEO is the ticket to getting potential customers and interested buyers to your website, so let’s make sure you’re in the game.

WHY IS WEB TRAFFIC IMPORTANT?
Establishing trust with your future clients and building likability is paramount in a world full of endless options. Especially in the professional services industry, if clients don’t like your brand or feel that they can trust you, then you may lose them before they even walk through the door.

If your goal this year is to go after bigger clients - say you’re a law firm and you want to work on $10 million dollar acquisition projects - getting clients to your site and establishing a strong connection right away, should be a top priority. You need to convey through your brand, that your lawyers are sought after thought partners and trusted advisors.

In short, when potential clients visit your site, you want them to stay, like and trust you.

This is the reason why you need to invest in your website design and development and SEO, as an integrated part of your sales and marketing strategy.

HOW DO SEARCH ENGINES WORK?
Search engines use web crawlers that visit websites to collect and organize information. With this data, through search algorithms, the most relevant responses are generated. As a result, you as the user are sent a list of responses based on your search query. So there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Search Engine Optimization is a way to manage what’s happening in the background.

WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT?
What is the first thing you do when you need new information? You Google it. People for the most part, turn to the internet for information and most of these people are using search engines. Search Engine Optimization means that you’re organizing your website and content so it will help your company rank high in online search results.

One of the goals with SEO is to have your website set up with the right title tag and meta description on the back-end, with the targeted keywords (i.e. search terms your users are plugging into search engines) when they’re looking for your services and products.

Images need alt tags (another example of back-end coding), which will help users with disabilities and/or special needs, know what’s on the screen, since their screen readers can read out a description of the images for them (based on the alt tags).

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS THAT IMPACT YOUR SEO INCLUDE:

  • Load speed (i.e. how long does it take for your website or a landing page to load?) Slower speeds will mean a lower rank and higher bounce rate from your website. What can cause slow speed? Large image files (compress them!) and non-minified code are two quick examples.
  • Responsive design (i.e. Is your website dynamic and optimized for multiple devices?)
  • Quality content (i.e. the more relevant content you have on your website and on your blog/social channels, with the right key words, the higher you will rank)

Think about SEO as a dynamic tool, it gives you the power to reach people that are actively searching for information related to your products and services.

Another way to look at SEO is this way, think of the actors in a film as marketing - the blog posts, social media activity and outwardly facing aspects of your brand - while SEO represents the camera crew, producer and writer - the behind the scenes work that bring a film, or in this case, a company to life digitally.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE FOR SEARCH?

Here’s a good place to start:

  1. Hire a strong writer/copy editor to produce your website content and publish quality blog content.
  2. Include relevant keywords on your website and in your content so that you make it easier on your potential clients and customers to find you (you can find these keywords by using tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush)
  3. Make sure your website doesn’t have any technical or performance issues, as this will result in lower ranking
  4. Make sure your website and landing pages load quickly across devices

CONCLUSION
SEO when combined with intelligent content, and beautiful web design and development, can help you rank higher than your competition and increase your overall brand visibility. Establishing trust and credibility with your future clients and helping them self-educate along their buyer journey with useful blog posts and how-to guides, are powerful tools that will be instrumental in driving sales.

Worried you don’t have the skills or budget needed to get started? SEO is affordable and effective. Connect with me for a free consultation and I can walk you through how to get started! You can reach me at june@affariproject.com

ABOUT AFFARI - YOUR CREATIVE PARTNERS
As a creative agency, we work with companies just like yours to deliver turnkey solutions including: website design and development, branding, digital marketing, SEO, social media, graphic design and print design.

If you’re looking for a strategic partner to help you with your creative efforts, schedule your free consultation with June Moore, Director of Growth at june@affariproject.com

June focuses on Affari's sales and marketing efforts. She loves helping position businesses for optimal growth with Affari’s suite of services and considers herself lucky to be surrounded by a fantastic team that supports and inspires her on the regular.

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