“You need to provide value better than your competitors. The search engine will want to show your results, and users will want to read it.”
From today’s episode you’ll learn:
Greetings and hello!
Welcome to the fourth episode of Business Sidekick. In the previous episode, I was talking about how to create a great copy for your website so your potential customers instantly fall in love with your product or services.
Today we will talk about how to make sure that those customers find your website among dozens of others in Google or any other browser.
My todays guest is Bartosz Góralewicz, CEO at Elephate, an SEO agency.
Before you listen to the interview, let me introduce few basic SEO definitions.
I bet that you already know what SEO is, but let me remind you its definition: it’s Search Engine Optimization. It means that SEO are strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase a number of visitors to a website by getting a high-ranking placement in the search results page.
Other words, if you optimize your website for SEO, your goal is to gain the first rank on the first page of Google, Yahoo or Bing because this will bring you more website visits. This traffic is called “organic traffic.”
Another definition you should be familiar with is “keyword.” Under “keyword” we understand a key phrase a user enters into a search engine. The most popular keywords have hundreds of thousands of monthly searches, so it’s very hard to position your website for one of them because of a huge competition.
That’s exactly why at the beginning you should optimize your website for “long tail keywords” - longer keyword phrases. They have a lower search volume but are likely to deliver a higher return from visitors if your content satisfies their query.
These are the basic SEO definitions. Not much, but as you will learn from my chat with Bartosz, you don’t have to know more to optimize your website for SEO.
Justyna: Hello Bartosz, it’s nice to have you here. Let’s start from first question: what is SEO and why it’s so important?
Bartosz: Hello Justyna, it’s nice to be here with you. To answer your question quickly, SEO goes for Search Engine Optimization, and it is important to drive free, organic traffic and valuable leads to your website, your business.
Justyna: OK, so let’s talk a bit about “how to SEO”. Let’s imagine that I’m starting a business and I have no idea what to do. What should I do?
Bartosz: Let’s imagine that you open a business as a wedding planner. You, as every young business, need more leads, you need some strategy that will help with SEO. While back, when you’d start your business, you’d go offline, and you’d go after your competitors: shops, stores, whatever, to gather all the data about their clients and products. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you in online marketing now. You can go with Searchmetrics, Semrush, Citrix, just enter your competitor's URL and you can see every single keyword that this guy is ranking for.
Justyna: And once I have those keywords, what should I do with them?
Bartosz: OK, once you have this valuable data, you can compare that with your services. So first of all I would filter out all the noise, all the keywords that you don’t want. Let’s say that you’re a wedding planner from London; you won’t be interested in “wedding planner Las Vegas” keyword. Once you have the filtered list, you have to compare it with your website. For example, if you’re going to go with “wedding planner services”, you need to go with “wedding planner services” landing page within your website, so domain.com/wedding-planner-services.
Justyna: That would be a best practice, right? One landing page for one keyword?
Bartosz: Yeah, one page for one topic maybe, broader than one keyword but the more specific the page is, the better. So you don’t want to target all the keywords with just one landing page. Once you match all those keywords from the list from your website, you will probably be left with a nice bunch of keywords with no landing page within your website domain. Then you need to figure out which of those keywords have the best chance of ranking soon. You don’t want to go after “wedding planner” straight away; it’s most likely not going to happen. You want to go after informational traffic like “wedding planner checklist” maybe or “wedding checklist.” Or some tips for people that are going to be interested in a wedding soon. For example, if we compare “wedding planner” keyword that has 135,000 searches monthly, and it’s very broad, to “wedding locations” with 2400 monthly searches and medium competition, it’s obvious that you have much better chance of ranking with “wedding locations” article or post, and it can drive traffic within a month, two or three where you’d be waiting for a year or two for a “wedding planner.”
Justyna: OK, so if you have a keyword with lower volume then it’s much easier to position your website on this keyword, right?
Bartosz: Yes, in general, it’s much easier to rank for low, also called “long tail” keywords, because they are not so heavily targeted by your competitors, but also I’d go after some informational queries. Basically, queries that provide value for users, like “planning a wedding”, “destinations for wedding” and so on. Look for something where you can provide better value and than your competitors and you’ll have a nice chance of outranking them.
Justyna: OK, so the last question. Once we have all those keywords, what kind of content we should create on our website?
Bartosz: Based on your keyword, you’ll need to pick a landing page that will fit the best, so for all the informational queries it’s best to have an article or blog post, something that will explain that topic, will give an explanation. For all the transactional queries, like “wedding planner services,” it’s best to have a landing page saying about your service and providing a call to action to monetize that query.
Justyna: I’m thinking about content marketing. When someone’s creating a website, they don’t think about writing a blog from the start, so do you think it’s a good strategy to start with a blog?
Bartosz: When you have a new website unless you spend some crazy amount of money on the external agency, that’s your best choice. You have a very slim, close to none chance of ranking with your service landing pages, because why would Google or any other search engine rank you just that, they just want to send you free traffic for nothing. You need to provide some value. You need to provide value better than your competitors, and it’s a win-win. The search engine will want to show your results, and users will want to read it.
Justyna: OK, let’s sum it up!
Bartosz: Just to sum it up quickly:
1. Gather info about your competitors.
2. Pick keywords where you feel you have a chance to provide better content or better value than your competitors and outrank them.
3. Build awesome landing pages, optimize for those keywords or topics. The more specific landing page, the better.
4. Last but not least, monitor all your rankings and efforts. Adapt your strategy. If after a month you will find out that the strategy wasn’t that good, change it as soon as possible.
Justyna: OK, sounds awesome. Thank you very much for the chat!
Bartosz: Thank you very much, Justyna.
As you see, optimizing your website for SEO is an overall website strategy. You have to come up with the list of keywords you want to position your website for.
Then, divide the content on your website to three parts: navigational, commercial and informative. All these parts should be optimized for navigational, commercial and informative keywords.
When Internet users type in a company or brand name, it means they are performing a navigational search. So for these keywords, you should use sections “about” or “contact” and optimize them for example for your company’s name.
Informative keywords are “question words” as they usually contain: “where” or “how.” They have really great search volume, but if you use them for your site promotion, they won’t bring you conversions. That’s because with these words people are searching for information, for example, to support their idea of purchasing a certain product they have already decided to buy, read reviews or compare prices. For informative purposes, you can create a blog.
Optimize your content with keywords, but remember that methods from 20th century don’t work any more. Don’t stuff your text up with keywords and don’t create invisible text. All posts need to bring valuable knowledge to users.
Last but not least - monitor your website ranks, check if your landing pages go up in Google rankings. If not - don’t hesitate to change the keyword you’re optimizing for, because it can bring you a higher position in Google.
That’s all for today! I hope that you already know the basics of SEO, but if you have any questions, you can always contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that you can listen to Business Sidekick on iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud, so hit the subscribe button as in the next episode I’m going to talk a bit about how to make it easy to buy from you.
Take care and see you on the first Google page![/transcript]
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