Do You Have The Optimal Online Business Presence?
Optimize Your Messages For Your Ideal Customer… And Google Will Love You
Isn’t it a fabulous world we live in?
I mean, how cool is it that you can whip out your phone (or open a tab on your browser) and search for anything you want or need… and in seconds, have a list of solutions ordered by how perfectly they match what you’re looking for?
Say you’ve just come back to your Denver home from a great European vacation, and you have a hankering for the kind of delicious soft pretzels you enjoyed in southern Germany.
Open your browser, type in “bavarian pretzel denver,” and BOOM. You’ve got a list of companies who undoubtedly have precisely what you need.
That’s because “search engines,” like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, have designed amazing complex systems to match the perfect customer (you) with the perfect businesses to meet your needs.
Their little web-crawling robots have scoured every website in existence, “reading” every word, checking out every video and image. They’ve made an inventory (an index) of every business out there (or, at least every website).
So when you type in your search term, the “’bots” know where to find what you’re looking for, and they serve it up to you instantly.
And smart companies have created websites that make it super-easy for those ‘bots to do the job. They’ve “optimized” their sites for search engines like Google, making it very easy for those ‘bots (and their ideal customers) to find them.
That’s why you’ll see “Baker St. Pretzels” right near the top of the list when you go looking online for that delicious fresh-baked treat.
What SEO – “Search Engine Optimization” – Is All About
Yes, it’s a fabulous world for a customer or shopper these days.
And that means that you, as a small business owner, are living in a great world in which to make solid profits by “optimizing” your online presence.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are terms which describe the notion of making it easy for the search engines to know all about what your business does and who your ideal customers are… so that those engines can make it easy for those ideal customers to find you online.
Baker St. Pretzels is at the very top of the search results for “bavarian pretzel denver” because their digital marketing experts (at Max Height Web Solutions) have “optimized” their online presence to make that happen.
Their site is “clear” to the search engines’ ‘bots. Google, Bing, and Yahoo don’t have to work very hard to figure out what Baker St. Pretzels does, who their ideal customer is, or where they’re located.
How did they do it? Today, great SEO is really about great basic marketing for your business. From your unique offering, to the messages that describe that offering, to the technical aspects that make it easy for your prospect to use your website (and for the search engines to index you for easy location), everything you do to make your online presence helpful to your ideal customer serves your SEO goals.
If your site is optimized for your ideal customer, it’s optimized for the search engines that will help those customers find you.
It’s that simple.
SEO: The Technical Side
Great SEO basically has two components: the technical aspects of optimizing your web presence, and the content of your site.
Your digital marketing advisors will take care of the technical aspects that make your website supremely visible to the search engines.
This involves the strategic deployment of things like headlines and display type, key words (and the research to determine which key words are best for your business), meta-descriptions, tags for your site’s images and videos, and special “plug-ins” (like Yoast, and other brilliant tools specifically designed to make your WordPress site a powerhouse).
Your web developer can do all these things for you, to bring search-engine clarity (and customer usability) to your online presence.
Or, you might be handy with technology, and able to do some of these things yourself. A great web advisor can help coach you as you work to master and maximize these special tools.
But if you’re not in the website business – say, for instance, your business is baking the world’s finest soft Bavarian pretzels – while you may be able to do all these technical things, you may prefer to focus your time, energy, and attention elsewhere. Like on your famous secret recipes.
Content Is Still Your Best Starting Point
Your web advisors aren’t just technicians.
They’re also experts in helping you develop the content you’ll need to optimize your online presence.
You need to have a strong USP – your “Unique Selling Proposition” – and clear messages which plainly describe that proposition and how your business will be the perfect answer to your ideal customer’s needs and desires.
Your web developer can help you think through your USP and develop those messages. It starts by simply putting yourself in your customer’s place – getting into the mind of your ideal prospect – and creating content for the site that you’d want to find there as a potential customer.
One example: don’t use jargon, or “industry insider” language and terms. Your prospect doesn’t speak that language. The language they speak is the one of benefits, of things your company offers that exactly match their wants and needs.
Use that language on your site, and your SEO becomes much easier.
SEO Has Grown Up
When companies first started thinking about how to “get found” on the internet, many employed tactics designed to “trick” search engines… and those tricks worked in the old days of internet search.
- “Bait And Switch” with keywords. Designers would figure out which search terms were most frequently used, and put those terms and related text on their sites even if that content had nothing to do with their business. For example, if thousands of people were searching for “flat screen televisions,” the trickster might put a lot of nice content about flat screen TVs on their site that was invisible to visitors (white text on a white background), but visible to the search engine ‘bots, which tricked people into visiting a site that might be all about, say, their fly fishing bait business. But the search engines have become smarter… they know what you’re up to, tricksters… and that stunt no longer works.
- “Link farms.” This was the tactic by which a company might engage the service of an “SEO” company – often in a third-world country – which would create massive numbers of empty websites which contained little more than a link back to your site. That’s because, in the early days of search, the search engines paid a lot of attention to the number of other sites that linked to yours. Now, though, it’s about quality as far as the engines are concerned. You want links to your site… but only strong, legitimate ones.
- Intentional misspellings. Many people would search for “jewlry” when they really meant “jewelry.” Tricksters caught on to this, and started misspelling their products and services on their websites! It made them look foolish, but hey, it drove traffic to their sites. Try that search now, though, and you’ll see the search engines have learned to take common misspellings into account… you’ll get results for “jewelry,” with an option to also search for “jewlry.” (You’ll find our friends at Baker St. Pretzels at the top of the search results for “bivarian pretzles denver,” in addition to the results for the properly-spelled search.)
The bottom line: you don’t need to resort to trickery to optimize your online presence. Good marketing messages describing a strong product/service offering, along with technical know-how, are all you really need.
Great SEO makes all of your other marketing efforts work, and work better. Whether you’re using networking, paid advertising, or social media as the primary channels to build your business, sooner or later (usually sooner), your prospects will pull up your website to check you out. And you might not have the bandwidth (or desire) to do all this “web stuff” yourself. It might not be a core part of your business. But it’s the heart of our business at Max Height Web Solutions. Let us help you use SEO to build a strong foundation for your long-term marketing success. That’s what we do!