What is SEO?
So you’ve got your online business up and running, and your community is thriving. You’re still not hitting the top of the search engine rankings. Your budget is limited but you want to increase your rank. Enter search engine optimization (SEO).
What is SEO? Search engine optimization can be described as the science behind getting your business as high as possible within search engine results without using paid campaigns.
SEO focuses naturally on how search engines work, what terms your customers are using, and what engines your customers are using.
Using keywords in your web site’s content helps elevate your page ranking and your SEO efforts. Using the keywords in your item descriptions, articles, and message boards all contribute to overall SEO success.
Using Bob’s Lemonade as our example, let’s examine keywords and phrases that would lend themselves well to his business. The obvious ones first:
These would be pretty standard keywords that your customers may use to find lemonade products, and eventually purchase lemonade. These are also the same keywords that may already be oversaturated in your competitor’s web sites and content.
If they existed before you, and have a better page rank, you may never be ahead of them in the natural page ranks. How do we improve our SEO?
Let’s look at less-obvious keywords:
You may be wondering why “bad lemonade” would be a keyword worth examining. Whether your customer is searching for good or bad lemonade, they probably have some vested interest in lemonade.
If you present your business on both good and bad lemonade keyword searches, you’re increasing your exposure. If you’ve got the community component of your online business plan in place, the original search engine keyword will not matter in giving the potential customer an impression of your business.
What about “Joe’s Lemonade”? If we’re Bob’s Lemonade, why would we include Joe’s Lemonade? Maybe your future customers don’t know you exist and they’ve been Joe’s customer for quite some time.
By showing up in a search for your competitor, you’re increasing your visibility and giving potential customers the ability to see you and have an alternative to their normal buying tendency.
While SEO is focused on the non-paid side of advertising, effective SEO strategies with regards to keyword selection can be crucial in your paid campaigns as well.
Let’s consider the obvious keywords from above. They will likely be the most expensive keywords on a search engine, as everyone will typically know and search for those.
The less obvious keywords however, may still have a large aggregate of users searching those words, but the cost to bid on them will be much less.
Your return on investment may be better on the less-obvious keywords than the obvious ones. Similar strategy works on non-lemonade keywords. If you find that people who frequently buy lime juice buy lemonade, you may build those keywords into your website content as well.
Effective SEO strategies revolve around knowing and understanding your target demographics. You need to know what they are searching for – not necessarily what they are buying, and then tell them what to buy with your business placements.