The Simple Math of SEO

math of searchRanking 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.

Content

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

Paid Keyword Search Tools

coppyblogger’s guide to keyword research for bloggers – this is a must read on the topic.

Making frequent visits to sites such a del.icio.us and Google Trends can also help you turn up trending and hot topics that might merit a blog post as well.

Competition

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.

Customer

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

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Tags

hubspot, Search engine optimization, Website Grader


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  1. Thanks for sharing this John. I am take pretty hard in working SEO, but since I start blogging, there is nothing i can do with SEO, no increasing profit and other opportunity earning money.

    I think it should be something wrong. Thank for make it more clearly and add many free tools and reference. I hope i can start do something than research, but taking a little time to make research must be worth it.

  2. Thanks for sharing this John. I am take pretty hard in working SEO, but since I start blogging, there is nothing i can do with SEO, no increasing profit and other opportunity earning money.

    I think it should be something wrong. Thank for make it more clearly and add many free tools and reference. I hope i can start do something than research, but taking a little time to make research must be worth it.

  3. Excellent advice, as ever John and some great and useful links (I love the WeWeMonitor..!). However, I’m becoming increasingly concerned with many small businesses who think that SEO is the “only” route to market. They are investing considerable amounts of time and money on trying to get to the top of the rankings for little return. Business owners ought to compare the returns they get from SEO with the returns they get from other marketing activities. All too often, people seem to forget they need a mix. Whilst I agree that many people now only shop online for information – their triggers to do so are often offline. As ever, there is never a single answer to marketing – SEO is but one tool.

  4. Excellent advice, as ever John and some great and useful links (I love the WeWeMonitor..!). However, I'm becoming increasingly concerned with many small businesses who think that SEO is the “only” route to market. They are investing considerable amounts of time and money on trying to get to the top of the rankings for little return. Business owners ought to compare the returns they get from SEO with the returns they get from other marketing activities. All too often, people seem to forget they need a mix. Whilst I agree that many people now only shop online for information – their triggers to do so are often offline. As ever, there is never a single answer to marketing – SEO is but one tool.

  5. Simple Advice which means good advice. I thought I paid little attention to SEO but after reading this article, maybe I do!

    With consistent content, I feel I have been able to get found and I certainly have learned a lot about my competitors and why I can and cannot beat them on certain terms. However, I still wonder the merit in any of this without a a well defined Target Market. Beating you for the term Duct Tape Marketing 🙂 would serve no purpose, they still want “Duct Tape Marketing.”

    And I think you are 200% correct about having the content there for the customer when he gets there! I am getting found but now I am working on improving page views and time on site. My next hurdle. There is always another one!

  6. Simple Advice which means good advice. I thought I paid little attention to SEO but after reading this article, maybe I do!

    With consistent content, I feel I have been able to get found and I certainly have learned a lot about my competitors and why I can and cannot beat them on certain terms. However, I still wonder the merit in any of this without a a well defined Target Market. Beating you for the term Duct Tape Marketing 🙂 would serve no purpose, they still want “Duct Tape Marketing.”

    And I think you are 200% correct about having the content there for the customer when he gets there! I am getting found but now I am working on improving page views and time on site. My next hurdle. There is always another one!

  7. Yes it can be tagged as SIMPLE math of SEO, but wherever corner you see it, still there are complexities in it. So, expect to experience bumps and humps on your way to SEO success.

  8. Yes it can be tagged as SIMPLE math of SEO, but wherever corner you see it, still there are complexities in it. So, expect to experience bumps and humps on your way to SEO success.

  9. If you are talking about and using tags of what is keeping your key customers up at night you will be in a great place. Be more specific than general.
    While SEO is important. Bigger is not always better. I would rather have 1000 raving fans than 10000 admirers. Admirers will change with the next best thing. You want those die hard fans that would wait two weeks on the street to get your next product. They will forward, RT and send out your info for you.

    Chad Rothschild

  10. If you are talking about and using tags of what is keeping your key customers up at night you will be in a great place. Be more specific than general.
    While SEO is important. Bigger is not always better. I would rather have 1000 raving fans than 10000 admirers. Admirers will change with the next best thing. You want those die hard fans that would wait two weeks on the street to get your next product. They will forward, RT and send out your info for you.

    Chad Rothschild

  11. great primer. wanted to reinforce the balance between good content and and good words. it’s amazing how google can recognize good words used too much or too conveniently. i focus on good content first and remind myself to choose good words along the way.

    but it gets a bit more difficult when your main content is photos 🙂 ugh.

  12. Your points are well taken but it’s a tough road for the small business.
    “Focus on creating content that you plan to update frequently.”
    There is the rub, time. A small business does not have the manpower to create content of quantities that can be produced by larger competitors. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only answer for the little guy is UGC (user generated content). Find a way to engage the target audience so that they build the content for you. Easy to say, hard to pull off.

  13. great primer. wanted to reinforce the balance between good content and and good words. it's amazing how google can recognize good words used too much or too conveniently. i focus on good content first and remind myself to choose good words along the way.

    but it gets a bit more difficult when your main content is photos 🙂 ugh.

  14. Your points are well taken but it's a tough road for the small business.
    “Focus on creating content that you plan to update frequently.”
    There is the rub, time. A small business does not have the manpower to create content of quantities that can be produced by larger competitors. I've come to the conclusion that the only answer for the little guy is UGC (user generated content). Find a way to engage the target audience so that they build the content for you. Easy to say, hard to pull off.

  15. This is crucial information for people selling products and services on the Internet.

    I have especially noticed that many small businesses and self-employed individuals know nothing about SEO. As a consequence, nobody finds their sites in search engines.

    The meta tags and title description in the header of each page are crucial to SEO success.

  16. This is crucial information for people selling products and services on the Internet.

    I have especially noticed that many small businesses and self-employed individuals know nothing about SEO. As a consequence, nobody finds their sites in search engines.

    The meta tags and title description in the header of each page are crucial to SEO success.

  17. getting high PR links is very important and if you have a produvt to market you better think about an online marketing campaign which has good chances to meet your needs

  18. getting high PR links is very important and if you have a produvt to market you better think about an online marketing campaign which has good chances to meet your needs

  19. Usually the small and newly established businesses face problems regarding their tax, accounts and financial management systems. Threats of profit loss and high costs are their major concerns. Each new business wants to maintain its tax structure, manage accounts system, keep check of its financial records, and all this in minimum prices and maximum quality. Proper guidance in devising the most effective accounting plan is necessary to give your newly born business a powerful push. While hiring any agency to produce an accounting plan for your new business setup, look for the following:

  20. Usually the small and newly established businesses face problems regarding their tax, accounts and financial management systems. Threats of profit loss and high costs are their major concerns. Each new business wants to maintain its tax structure, manage accounts system, keep check of its financial records, and all this in minimum prices and maximum quality. Proper guidance in devising the most effective accounting plan is necessary to give your newly born business a powerful push. While hiring any agency to produce an accounting plan for your new business setup, look for the following:

  21. Great tips! SEO feels so complicated. As Ive tried to get into it I have found it to be easier then I thought. But I still feel like theres so much more then what I’m looking at. I like how you broke it into very simple terms.

  22. Great tips! SEO feels so complicated. As Ive tried to get into it I have found it to be easier then I thought. But I still feel like theres so much more then what I'm looking at. I like how you broke it into very simple terms.

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