Your online presence is a key part of your advertising arsenal, and what words and phrases you use across your online site(s) are usually referred to as “keywords”, which is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in.
What is SEO?
SEO is a tool which helps your business to rank higher, organically (e.g. without using paid advertising), in search engine results. The main way this happens is the search engine searches the web for any websites which match keywords used in the search. Where you rank in searches (e.g. what page and where on that page) determines your likelihood of being found by potential visitors to your site(s) and, therefore, potential customers, which is why SEO is so important.
For example, if you searched “business coach wellington” you will see that there are four or so paid advertisements (the ones with “Ad” in bold in the upper left of the listing), and then my website ranks (appears) in spot number three in the organic (those that aren’t paid Ads) search results. How did I get to this spot? By ensuring I used “business coach” and “Wellington” as two keywords across my website and blog.
What does using SEO mean for your business?
It means by having a list of main keywords that you’d expect your customers to use in searches to find your business, and using these keywords across your website, blog, and other online presence, then you’re more likely to be near the top of the search results than further down the list, under your competition, thus losing visitors to your sites (and, therefore, potential clients).
It is important for most of your SEO to be conducted by an SEO specialist. Why? Not just because they’ve got the skills and experience, but mostly because they know where the best spots to place your main keywords within your website and blog content, and in the background of these pages – e.g. in the coding, which you don’t want to mess around with if you lack experience as one slight mistake can take down your site!
There are steps you can take prior to outsourcing your SEO, though. One thing you can do to begin your SEO is to conduct a search on your business in Google and see where you rank. Are you on page 1, or page 5, and what number on this page, result 1, or result 10? Does the phrase: Missing: [word] appear at the bottom of your listing? (if so, this keyword you used in your search was not found on your site(s).
Try using the table below when you conduct this search to record your results. Remember to use your whole search term, and then separate into your keywords/phrases in this table, though, and be realistic in your choice of search terms and keywords.
For example, for my search I could also include “Steve Hockley”, and “Steve Hockley Coach”, “Steve Hockley Business”, “Steve Hockley Wellington”, “Steve Hockley New Zealand”, then shorten those by removing “Steve”, and so on. However, I need to remember that if I do not include a location, e.g. at least New Zealand in my search term, because search engines search the entire web, so, you’re likely to rank very badly if you do not include a location.
|Result No.||Missing Keyword(s)|
|Business Coach Wellington||1||3||0|
|Business Coach New Zealand||3||6||0|
I chose the keywords/phrases above as I can use these separately on my site(s), and they are what I would expect people to use in their searches to find my business. You will see I rank quite well in the “Business Coach Wellington” search, but not so well in the “Business Coach New Zealand” search. Why? It could be for a number of reasons but, the most likely reason is because other business coaches have used these keywords on their site(s) more often than I have (e.g. in the background of their site(s), as well as on every webpage, and, as keywords in every single one of their blogs).
When you conduct this exercise, your aim is to decide on your top 10 keywords and/or phrases. Then, you can use Google Ads as a handy tool to plan your advertising, and it also includes a keyword planner where you can enter your keywords and see how many times they have been searched in Google, and, if it’s not often, find alternative keywords and/or phrases you can use!
Following this exercise, you will need to start conducting, or considering:
Another great tool you can use for your SEO is Google My Business, which you will notice I include in a few of my newsletters (including in this one, in the next section), as it shows you how many people you have had visit your site, and so on, each month. This gives you a great snapshot into your online presence, and whether your SEO is urgent, or if you are ticking along nicely, for now.
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My mailing address is:
Steve Hockley Business Coach,
194 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt,