When it comes to starting any business I imagine your immediate thoughts for marketing go straight to paid advertising. Well maybe you’ve heard of SEO and organic rankings but without an understanding of where to start then you would probably move towards paid advertising instead of taking the time to start ranking for organic terms. Despite what success you may find initially, if you ask any business owner today they will probably tell you that in the long run organic ranking can be far more effective at getting you qualified leads or sales than paid advertising. I mean, there’s got to be a reason that everybody stresses it so much, right?
If you’re not so convinced on the idea of organic ranking, keep this fact in mind:
“70-80% of people ignore paid search results, choosing to only click on organic listings.”
Considering the fact that billions of searches are made on Google daily and that Google accounts for 94% of all searches on a daily basis, organic results are really important to a business of any size, but become even more critical for a small business trying to grow.
The problem that I find with most businesses that are just starting with the organic side of things is that they have no idea where to start. I get it though. It can be a rough transition learning all the in’s and out’s of organic SEO, along with all the confusing terms that seem to have multiple meanings to all of them. It takes time to really get to know everything but the fact of the matter is that your organic strategy is the best thing you can invest your time in to grow your business.
To be clear, your strategy is the focus on your long-term growth, where as, tactics are the smaller things you do to accomplish your overall strategy. This means that what I am emphasizing here as an SEO strategy is what can you do to start building your organic results over time and not what is going to produce immediate results. Realistically, there’s no such thing as immediate results when it comes to starting any business. It takes time to really curate a business into a successful endeavor.
If you’re new to all this you’re going to find that there are tons of recommendations on how to create your own SEO strategy. I think for the most part they’re all good but, as we know, each strategy works differently for each business. It will take some doing but eventually you’ll be able to figure out what specifically works for your business through trial and error. There are, however, some key pieces to focus on initially to start bringing your stock up.
Technical Audit/ On-Site SEO
These two things are not necessarily the same but are good to work on together to make sure your long-term strategy is being considered. You can start off by running a simple technical audit on your site by using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. They don’t take too long and depending on how many pages you specified in the search, should run a pretty thorough review as what potential problems there may be. The reason I mention On-site SEO is that as apart of the audit they will check for duplicate meta titles which can negatively affect your rankings. This may seem like something you’d start out doing but, on the contrary, is something you should check on every few months at the least. The reason for this is that Google has the tendency to update its algorithms somewhere in the range of 500-600 times a year which means if your website is not completely problem-free then you could be experiencing major rank drops depending on the severity of the update. With your technical audit every few months it’s also important to check back in on your keywords (specifically meta titles) on each page to make sure that you’re still using the best possible keywords to bring in more and more people.
Content is really king these days. Google has made it its mission to make sure that the people using its search engine are getting the best results possible. This means that your long-term success depends on how much you can prove yourself to be an expert in your field which also means that the more high-quality content you can put out the more you can prove your worth (especially if people share it or link to it) as a trustworthy site. This will affect your rankings overall in either a good or a bad way. If you produce constant content but it’s low quality and just mean as filler (or it’s copied) then your ranks go down, however, if you produce constant content that is high-quality then your ranks go up. This can also pertain to updating content every so often to reflect current information as well (not necessary but can be an important part of strategy for a new year).
One of the oldest practices of SEO that has an incredible amount of change over the years yet still remains one of the strongest indicators of a trustworthy site. To this day it matters just as much as it did 20 years ago. Things have changed in the practice of link building though. Today with the relevance of quality content, the recipe for success is more on getting people to recognize your great content rather than just putting it everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, establishing backlinks on other sites is still important but they need to look more natural than anything. This can be done by networking with other writers and influencers to share your content (if they approve of it first). From this you can slowly build up your credibility to a point that you may one day become an influencer yourself.