On this week’s episode of The Start Marketing Podcast, Joe Sanders welcomes John Duda. John is a world-renowned expert in website design and SEO, who spent 15 years at Bank of America. Joe and John discuss and break down how SEO works. They also explain why Google My Business continues to become a very important platform for all small businesses to use. Below are some notes from our SEO Podcast!
How SEO Works
SEO is how Google reads your website. While your website may look good on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. In terms of Google search capabilities, Google is much more interested in how your website is set up than anything else. Making sure your meta tags, headings, site speed, and links are properly optimized is a good start.
Sure, your website also needs to do what you need it to do, but it also has to have a strong engine behind it. For some small businesses, SEO may not be a viable option. Knowing what your industry and competitors are doing with SEO is a good way to define the scope of your project.
Get Ready To Create Content
Google can only read what you give it read, so creating solid content for your website is important. Gone are the days when you could post anything about anything including the right words to rank. Nowadays, Google is much more interested in high-quality, useful content. How does Google determine this? They analyze the length, the readability, and the virality of your content. All this really means is, useful, well-written content that lots of people enjoy reading. Yes, it’s really that simple. Just be aware that similar to SEO podcasts, there are over 7 million blog posts written per day. Be sure yours can cut through the clutter!
How Do You Rank?
Whether you decide to embark on an SEO journey for your small business, start by knowing where you rank. How can you find out? Simply search for the search terms you want to rank for on Google and see what happens. Can’t find your website? Use a site like SEM Rush or Moz where you can enter in your domain name and see where you rank. You can also use these services to check any phrase. For example, you can search for “SEO Podcast” and see what the top results are.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure you rank on the first page of Google to make any kind of impact. These days, that might not even be good enough. A position in the top 5 or even top 3 is going to be the most relevant space. Anything below that could be considered worthless, and provide little to no web traffic. Still, ranking fairly high on several more specific words may provide some, if not minor impact.
What Should I Rank For?
You must really understand your business to rank well on Google. If you are getting into the SEO game late, then your competition may have reached a pinnacle you may not be able to climb. However, as search continues to grow and grow, don’t forget the value of a “long-tail keyword”. For example, if I was trying to rank for Marketing Podcasts, the term Marketing Podcast may be too broad. Therefore, I could switch to trying to rank for SEO Podcast, How Does SEO Work Podcast, or I Need SEO Podcast. Sure, these terms will have less search volume, but they provide me with the person I am trying to reach.
Long-tail keywords are also great because you find phrases your competition may have missed. There is a big difference between the search terms, Fence Marketing, Social Media Fence Marketing, Fence Company Marketing, and Fence Company Marketing Podcast. For some of you, finding these “diamond in the rough” keywords may be your best bet.
The Value of Google My Business
If SEO seems out of reach, don’t worry, Google has you covered. Google My Business is something you should use regardless. While most small businesses are using Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn on a regular basis, may miss the power of Google My Business.
You should start by optimizing your information. Be sure your service areas, logo, basic business information, and contact info are correct. Next, upload pictures and videos. Then, post on Google My Business one to two times per week. When you do, be sure to focus on the keywords that you want to rank for. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the words and phrases your use on Google My Business will affect how Google reads your business. If nothing else, get this into your digital marketing tool belt and make it a priority.
SEO / Google My Business or Both?
Obviously, both are the way to go. I would implore you to focus on Google My Busines either way and be cautious when diving into an SEO program. This is just a recap of an SEO podcast, so we are not diving into the ins and outs of SEO as a whole. So before you do, be sure you have a good grasp of how digital marketing works. A good place to start is by getting a copy of my book Stop Posting! Start Marketing!. With this knowledge, you’ll be much more equipped to make good decisions that will positively affect your business.