Let’s break this down. SEO is a complicated topic, with a lot that goes into it, but the basic purpose and meaning are fairly simple. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the process of getting free traffic to your website via search engine results.
When someone searches for a topic on Google, it’s Google’s job to provide the best search results to that searcher. This is why we love Google as searchers–they give us relevant answers to all our questions every single time.
But as content creators, Google can be tricky. We want our website to come up on the first page of Google as the most relevant and helpful answer to the searcher. The higher your website is listed on the search results, the more people will see it, click on it, and poke around on your website. And this, friends, is why SEO is so important for small business owners. We want to create your website and your content in a way that Google will appreciate.
Google has something called “web crawlers,” which is just a techy way to say that Google can gather, process, and organize billions of webpages in fractions of a second and automatically determine which page is the best result for the search query. Pretty crazy, right?
As we create your website, write your website copy, write your blog content, and optimize your Google My Business Profile, we give Google a ton of tiny signals that say, “Pick me! Pick me!”
Without SEO, your chances of showing up as a viable search result on Google are super slim. So, if you’re spending the time and money to create a website, write your copy, and create your blog content, why not make sure it’s created with SEO top of mind?
You’ll not only create bomb content for your current community, but you’ll also have a shot at some random searcher on Google finding your content and joining your community! It’s free traffic to your website that could increase awareness of your brand and sales for your business. Cool, right?!
If you want to invest in SEO-driven copywriting and content marketing (like blogs), that is AWESOME. (Head over to our blog about SEO-friendly copywriting for extra tips and resources.) But it is SO important to set some SEO foundations before investing in SEO-driven copywriting & content.
Here’s why: The goal of SEO-driven copy and content is to help make sure the words people are searching for are strategically placed on your website. These keywords help tell Google that your page is a viable search result. However, (and this is a BIG however), Google will not show your page if your overall website SEO is trash. We say this with love. If your page load speeds are slower than molasses, if you don’t have any meta descriptions, if your images are massive files, etc., etc., you aren’t sending any of those “Pick me!” signals to Google. Instead, you’re saying “Don’t pick me!” to Google–and we don’t want that.
Imagine your website SEO as the structure of the billboard, and the SEO-driven copy and content are the words that go on the billboard. You need the billboard to put the words up (duh), but then you need the words to make the billboard useful! The same goes for SEO. Keywords and quality copy aren’t helpful if you don’t have an excellent place to put them.
A sloppy website won’t show up as a top-of-page search result even if you have the best copy in the game. It hurts to say that, but it’s so true. So if you’re ready to invest in quality copywriting and killer blog content, let’s get your website in order first.
Don’t get overwhelmed by this list. If you’re overwhelmed already just by the idea of SEO, send us a message, and we can help you through all of this. But if you’re up for spending the time to read/use these resources below, we know you can tackle these things yourself. One step at a time!
Set up Google Search Console
Create and optimize your Google My Business profile.
Set up Google Analytics so you can track website traffic easily
Generate and submit a sitemap.
Make sure your site is secure with SSL and you’re using HTTPS
Add alt text to every single image for accessibility purposes and SEO.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Use SEO-friendly URL structures.
Create a custom 404 page for your website.
Check page load speeds and try your best to improve them. Google Page Speed Insights is great for this.
Make sure you have page titles and meta descriptions for every page on your website. When you work with us, we’ll make sure you have the right keywords in these as well.
Like we said before, it’s so important to make sure your website foundation is search engine optimized before or simultaneously as you invest in copywriting and content marketing. If you want the best shot at showing up on search results and getting organic traffic to your website, you need the billboard and the words on the billboard.
It’s also so important to know that SEO takes time. Google crawls billions of pages in fractions of a second. It takes them a while to realize that your newly optimized content is actually a viable search result–especially if it wasn’t a viable search result for a long time. It could take six months to a year for your investment in SEO to pay off, but slowly over time, you’ll start to see more organic traffic coming to your website.