In 2018, SEO is really about creating great content that other people will want to read. It's not about web development tricks, using secret codes, or keyword cramming. That is why Squarespace is the perfect platform to use for your business and to develop SEO. Squarepsace takes care of all the technical website and back-end details, like creating SSL certificates, making your site mobile responsive, and ensuring the technology is up to date. That way, you can spend more of your time writing and creating helpful content on a blog that other people will want to write. And the more helpful content you create, the higher Google will rank you in SEO.
I hear a lot of business owners say something like, "My friend who used to do SEO five years ago told me I have to do this and that to get good SEO rankings."
But the way SEO works today has changed dramatically, even in the last 1 or 2 years. Google prioritizes websites that provide good, helpful and powerful content, like blogging or PDF downloads. They prioritize websites that are mobile responsive, have a clean simple design, and websites that do not try to cram a bunch of keywords, text and tons of gimmicky tricks in order to get their website to rank high in a Google search.
What has worked in the past no longer works today. In 2018, here are 4 important things you should be doing to create better SEO value for your website.
All of the text & images on your website should be extremely helpful, interesting, powerful, useful and compelling
Don't make a boring website. Make something that people will want to look at, that is beautiful, that they will understand what it is all about, and that they'll want to take a clear action once they get onto your website. Websites which are boring are places that people leave and forget about. Google ranks websites higher if they have interesting content that adds value to peoples' lives.
Blog on a regular basis about all of the incredible knowledge you have - Give good information away for free
Google loves it when you create valuable, helpful and expert advice to the public for free on very specific topics. As an expert in your industry, you are already equipped with the right knowledge about how to plan for your next custom home build, or the most popular venues for wedding photography in your area, or information on the highest-quality furniture lines for modernist interior design & decor. Create content where people will say, "Wow, this was extremely helpful" after reading your blog posts.
Use a simple platform like Squarespace that makes it easy to blog or update your content
Not only is Squarespace the easiest platform to blog and update content on your own, it's automatically mobile responsive, which Google Search loves to see. Get into the habit of updating your website and posting new blog content every week to keep your site up-to-date. When you use a good, easy-to-use platform like Squarespace, you get to spend more time on marketing and building your business through SEO. When you use a complicated platform like WordPress to promote your small business, your time will instead by wasted on trying to figure out how to create a new bog post, or worrying whether or not your website is even working at all.
Make sure your website is SSL or HTTPS secure
If your website is in Squarespace, this is an easy one because all you have to do is flip a switch and your website is secure. If your website is in WordPress, get ready for a nightmare. You'll likely have to spend hundreds to have a web developer make your website secure with an SSL certificate. Google ranks sites higher which are SSL secure and mobile responsive.
There is a lot more to SEO that just these 4 items. But SEO is much more simple than it used to be. Today, focus on building a beautiful & helpful website, and over time the natural views from Google Search will show up. SEO is about building a helpful online business, not on sneaky tricks or obscure techonologies.
While SEO is only one way to market your website, it can often be one of the most effective ways to drive quality traffic to your business.
What I have found with most small businesses, is that the best way to drive quality traffic is to use specific, niche keywords that clearly target your highest-converting customers.
For instance, let's say you are an Architect that designs residential homes in the Seattle area. While most architects would simply use the term "Seattle Architect" as their primary description of their business, you want to get as specific as possible by using phrases like: "Custom Home Architect in Seattle", "Residential Architect in Bellmead", or "Modern Home Designer in Kirkland, WA."
Or if you are a Wedding Photographer in Southern California, you are likely competing with hundreds of other photographers and will have a hard time ranking high in Google Search. You'll be more easily found if you focus on specific venues in California that you specialize in, such as "Pelican Hill Newport Coast Wedding Photography" or "Montage Laguna Beach Wedding Photographer." This way, when a wedding couple is thinking of booking a venue at a specific hotel, they can find examples of work you have done at the same exact spot, and you're more likely to show up high in a Google Search result in a very specific keyword search.
While fewer people would type those phrases into Google, you are more likely to have a very high lead conversion rate when those phrases are searched for.
When writing SEO for your website, there are just 3 important techniques to focus on:
1. Focus on niche keywords specific to your business.
For Google searches, it is more important to be very specific than too generic. Think of the very specific words and phrases that apply to your business, such as cities or regions, the style of work you do, and the sub-niche services you offer. There is no right or wrong combination or keywords, as long as you use a variety of them throughout your website and in different ways.
2. Write about things your clients or customers regularly ask about.
One of the easiest ways to create content on your website or blog is by publicly addressing the questions and concerns of your clientele. For instance, if you are an interior designer in New York, you could write on topics such as the specific laws and codes for interior design projects Queens, or the best interior design showrooms to visit in Brooklyn, or custom cabinet makers you like working with best in Manhattan. Each topic should be very specific and address real problems that your customers have faced. This way, you'll be building pages for SEO that will naturally be found on Google and quickly target high quality leads.
3. Continue to write about new topics and build even more content.
The worst way to approach SEO marketing is by relying on just a few keyword concepts. Instead, make it a habit to write a regular blog or create new web pages that focus on a variety of specific services, techniques or ideas that relate to your services and products. Over time, you will naturally build up lots of web pages that will all be indexed separated by Google and each page will generate its own regularly-recurring visitors to your website.
Overall, focusing on specific niche topics is consistently the best way to develop high quality SEO content for your website. It can be done on your blog, on FAQ pages or on specific Portfolio pages of your website. Getting into the habit of creating these pages once per week can help you build up to thousands of new views per month, typically within about 3-6 months of consistent work. And web pages built for SEO can often bring you in leads for many more additional months after that.
I hope this information has been helpful to know for your business! If you have any specific questions about creating SEO content for your website, feel free to get in touch at any time!
SEO (which is basically how Google places websites in their search results) is only useful if it drives people to your website where you can either capture email addresses, customer leads or product sales. If optimizing your search engine results doesn't lead to any actual activity on your website, it is useless.
An important part of SEO that most SEO companies will not do is actually implement the keywords, blog posts, and then set up a better way to drive conversions, to get people to contact you onto a Email list.
So while most SEO companies will only research keywords and tell you what kinds of words to put on your website, a more comprehensive SEO strategy would go like this:
- Research keywords to people actually type into Google in order to eventually purchase a product or service, not just figure out random or interesting information. Google Keyword Tools is a good tool to us for this. Google Webmaster Tools is also important to see how your website is currently performing.
- Write blog posts or other website contact that uses those keywords in a variety of ways, but also actually provides valuable content that people will actually want to read.
- Once people visit your website, capture their email address through a pop-up, or newsletter subscription, or offer free content. Or, make it clear how people can contact you with questions, about your services, or how to clearly purchase your items. For most businesses, I like using Squarespace to achieve all of these tools for your website.
- Set up an email address campaign platform, like Mailchimp, where you would send emails once per week to your email list to keep them up to date with new blog posts, information, or to schedule a session with you.
- Once you have the first version of this done, make sure to analyze the website to see how to better optimize the flow and capture of email addresses and leads. The best tool for this is Google Analytics.
Without doing all of these steps, doing SEO optimization on its own is only a small portion of what you actually need. So in order for all the pieces to come together, you must have these 5 main steps figured out at the minimum, then slowly build and improve them over time.