Ranking well in the search engines when prospects are out there searching for the kinds of solutions you provide has become an essential component of the marketing mix. For some prospects, this is the primary, if not only, way they shop for information, making it darn important if you intend to reach them.
When it comes to simple SEO for your small business remember this math formula – Content+Competition+Customer = Conversion
Ranking well for your most important keyword phrases is tough, particularly for competitive phrases, but by focusing on a handful of things in your control, you can substantially improve your search results, traffic and ultimately conversion.
Focus on creating content that you plan to update frequently and that addresses the exact types of questions and concerns your market is telling you they want to know about. Creating content on a blog and newsletter has become pretty easy with today’s publishing technologies and finding out exactly what to say has become rather scientific as well.
Content research is like market research to figure out what people really want by their search intentions, or perhaps how they are stating what they want as it relates to your products and services. ie – if you’re a floral shop and the prospect wants a flower shop, you better give it them in your content. Creating an list of phrases that you know your market searches for, including local phrases, and then adding those phrases to the content you write is a simple, but very effective way to start getting some search results for those phrases. It may not happen overnight, but I assure you it will never happen if you don’t start somewhere. If you’ve decided to write a blog anyway, why not get the roadmap for what to write.
Free Keyword Search Tools
- Google Keywords Tool
- Free Keyword Suggestion Tool from WordTracker
- SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool
- Hubspot Keyword Grader
Paid Keyword Search Tools
coppyblogger’s guide to keyword research for bloggers – this is a must read on the topic.
Another often overlooked element in the search engine game is competition. This isn’t simply a study of your direct competitors for your market, but more of a “who ranks high for your keyword phrases and why” kind of research.
There are some pretty terrific tools that can both help you better understand how your site could do better and why other sites are ranking well. There are some elements, like age of site, that are important, but out your control. Using these tools you can get a handle on the types of content, links and even HTML formatting you can address and fix.
- Website grader from Hubspot
- SEO Book competitive research tool
- Free Link Analysis tool from SEO Book
- Search Engine Guide– This monthly update to the world of what works when it comes to search engines is an invaluable read for me.
Once you’ve written tons of keyword rich content and tweaked your pages so that search engines are ranking them and people are showing up, make sure that your pages have the right customer focus. In other words, make sure your content engages the reader in what they care about and that the layout of that content is user friendly.
FutureNow has a simple tool that can help measure the customer focus of your content – it’s called the WeWe Monitor and it’s definitely worth a trip to calculate the view point of your content and learn some ways to fix it if it’s broken.
Conduct User Testing – get real live users to get feedback on how user friendly your site is. UserTesting.com and FeebackArmy from Amazon are two low cost options. CrazyEgg gives you a real time heatmap of how users are interacting with your content.
Google Website Optimizer is a free tool that lets you test various page layouts and see which one is better for your conversion goals.
And of course you should always Analyze your traffic to measure your results with a tool like the free Google Analytics
Related articles by Zemanta
- 5 Essential Steps To Web Site Search Engine Optimization (marketersdaily.com)
- Use Google Trends for Instant Traffic (cutewriting.blogspot.com)
- HubSpot Announces Keyword Grader SEO Tool for Its Internet Marketing System (seomashup.blogspot.com)