Ready for the first one?
SEO is the one who needs you!
Yes you, with your gorgeous website boasting silky smooth words that flow off the page like melted butter. Without you pumping out industry specific words on your pages, the internet wouldn’t even have search engine optimization to work with. Google’s crawlers would be scuttling about searching for web sources with the right keywords with no success.
You hold the power in those little tiny fingers typing furiously on your keyboard. You just need to learn to harness that power and use it in your web copy!
So how do you know which words to write in order to contribute effectively to your SEO strategy? Well, read on, cause we’re about to tell you.
Do Some Client Research
The first step to good website SEO is client research. You need to know what your audience is searching for on the web in order to understand what words you should be using to hook them. And you’ve gotta go deep.
Ask yourself, ‘What are the questions my clients want answered?’ ‘What are the things they spend hours clicking through but haven’t committed to yet?’ And then go deeper.
You might know that your audience is searching for plants that are easy to take care of, but what are the EXACT words they’re using in their google search? Is it ‘What types of plants are hard to kill?’ or ‘Robust plants to buy near me.’ This might seem silly, but your website needs to match exactly what they’re looking for to appear relevant to google’s crawlers. Which are little robot spiders that peruse webpages, pdfs, videos, images, etc. for relevant sources.
If your website is saying ‘hard to kill’ while your clients are screaming ‘robust’, chances are those creepy crawlies are passing your website by.
How in the world do you figure out the newest slang your client’s are dropping? Become part of their community. Participate in Facebook groups, join blogs, and read about their everyday life on Instagram. Learn their keywords and phrases and then incorporate them in your website copy.
And You Should Probably Check If Your Site Is Being Indexed
The entire goal of a search engine is to provide a list of the most applicable websites and documents. Google sends out the aforementioned crawlers to scour the internet for new and updated content, looking over the code/content for each URL they find. This is called indexing. The crawlers then stash their finds in the Google Index, a giant database where all the info is stored.
I know this is A LOT of information, but this next point is super important so don’t scroll by!
When someone googles ‘Robust plants to buy near me’ the ONLY sites that will appear in the google search are those that are already stashed in the Google Index. This means, if your site isn’t in the Google Index, you’re not going to come up in the search. Not even on page 12.
So how do you know if you’ve been indexed? Just type site:yourdomain.com into google. You should see all of your pages pop up here.
There are a few reasons your site might not be indexed.
You have too many duplicate URLs leading to one page and the crawlers gave up
You’ve accidentally turned on your privacy settings - this ones for you WordPress users!
Your site takes too long to load up - try compressing those huge images and files
These are just some of the index issues. Thankfully, Google has an entire SEO guide for beginners. I would def make time to check it out!
Plus, You’ll Want To Know Your KPI, Too
Also known as Key Performance Indicators. KPI is how you measure your SEO (and all the other business objectives you have). It can be through sales, downloads, contact form filling, calls scheduled, etc. It's up to you to decide what’s the most important objectives for your company and the pathways you’ll take to get there.
For SEO, KPI is important because it helps you focus on clients and the actions they take on your website over pure traffic. Because in the end, you would rather have 100 people visit your site, 25 of which fill out a contact form, rather than 500 visitors where only 15 fill out a contact form.
Make a chart of your SEO objectives and start mapping out measurable changes based on different tactics you try in your webcopy. It could be a fun new button slogan to encourage people to click on your products, or the amount of downloads your ebook gets now that you moved it to your home page.
Then Start Digging Into That Metadata
It’s a scary word, but the basics are doable for anyone! Have faith. Metadata, often referring to your Meta Tags in the SEO world, allows Google to better understand your content so you can appear in more searches. When you include your keywords in your Meta Tags, you’re more likely to be sourced when someone searches for the products and services you offer.
Start small with updating your Title Tag. This is the page title that appears at the top of your window. It’s also the headline within a search engine result. When we once again google ‘Robust plants to buy near me,’ and your site appears in the Google search, is the title of your page ‘Larry’s Green Garden’ or ‘Plants For Sale at Larrys?’
I’ll tell you right now one seems more legit than the other.
Your site also has a metadata description that appears under the page title in a search. It's the little description you probably read before clicking a link to decide if the page is going to be relevant or not. It’s pretty important to utilize this feature for users as well as SEO. So pack your two short sentences with a lot of relevant keywords.
Oh, And Go Get Yourself Linked As Well
This is stupid important. Some say that links are the MOST important way to boost your SEO. There are two types of links, internal and external. Linking internally - ie, to other pages on your website - is important because it helps with user navigation as well as drives traffic to other pages on your site.
When you use internal links, you want to make sure that you're using descriptive link text. This means, saying ‘For Larry’s Green Garden Plant Guide click here,’ where the link is only the words click here, does nothing beyond maybe getting the person to click the link. Instead, create keyword rich links that make sense out of context. The entire link should say ‘Larry’s Green Garden 2020 Plant Guide.’
Sometimes you might be using an image as a link instead of text, and that’s cool too! Just remember that the crawler will read the image’s alternative text (ALT tag) so you’ll want to name your ALT tag with some good keywords. Actually, this goes for ALL images, whether they’re a link or not! And your videos, too.
However, the queen of SEO is the external link, sometimes called an outbound link. This is a link that goes to another domain, somewhere that’s NOT within your own website. When you provide links to other sites, Google starts to see you as a more credible source because you’ve cited your data rather than made a bunch of stuff up. It also helps search engines understand your niche area because it's given plenty of information.
Here’s the real catch though. These external links are great, but what matters is that others are linking to you. The more other websites link to yours, the more relevant Google finds your information, and the higher you’ll rank on their searches.
Basically, It's All About Practicing Keyword Placement
You already know that keywords are important for SEO, it's practically all anyone talks about. But it's WHERE you place your keywords that matters. Hopefully you’ve already gathered this from the content of this entire blog, but if not, we’re elaborating here, so you haven’t missed out. Although you should be asking yourself WTF you just read if you didn’t gather the whole keyword thing.
Keywords need to be placed strategically throughout your website copy in order for Google’s crawlers to properly read and index your site. The most important place to put keywords is in the
Title Tag. As a refresher, this is the name of the hyperlink that appears when someone Google’s a question. Think back to Larry’s Green Garden, people. Your title tag tells crawlers AND your audience what your page is about.
After that I would say the most important place is all of your internal and external links. I won’t repeat everything I typed in the last section, give it a looksies if ya don’t remember. The next place you really want your keywords to appear is in the copy of your website. Both your headlines and body text should include keywords since headlines and body text have different HTML. Which ultimately means that crawlers read them differently.
After all that is the ALT text of your photos and videos, and finally, your metadata descriptions.
WHEW. That was a major information dump, wasn’t it? Thanks for hanging in there. Or at least jumping to the end to read our closing statement. You’re so appreciated you don’t even know. Just to help you recap here, the major SEO players you should be looking into are:
Indexed Web Pages
Internal & External Links
To be honest, this doesn’t even begin to cover all of SEO, but it’s enough to get you started! Check out all the links we’ve included too, they’re to other sites that dive into each topic a bit deeper. And don’t forget to check out the other two blogs in this series, Ten Reasons To Consider Updating That Old Website Copy & Writing Website Copy: Product vs Service-Based Businesses.
Now go, go do your thing, you wonderful human.