If you're ignoring search engine optimization (SEO), you're falling behind your competitors. You might be avoiding it because you just don't understand it. Hey, I get that. I had the same feeling when my husband and I recently refinanced our mortgage. Information overload and not knowing how to prioritize is enough to make you walk away before you even start. You're certainly not the only small business owner feeling overwhelmed by SEO but you can break the cycle by starting small right now.
First, in true Sara fashion, I want to create a sense of urgency by showing you how effective SEO implementation is.
Brick and Mortar
Whether you only have a physical store address or combine brick and mortar with online sales, your customers are researching you online prior to stepping inside your business. What they find affects their decision to buy.
- 72% of consumers who perform a local search visited a store within five miles
- 30% of mobile searches are related to a location
- 28% of searches for something local result in a purchase
- 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases
Unsurprisingly, online research is equally important for those shopping online.
- 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases
- 44% of people go directly to Amazon to start their product searches, compared to 34% who use search engines to search for products
- Mobile commerce makes up 30% of all U.S. e-commerce
Search engine marketing is here to stay and it's not just on your website and blog. Google incorporates social media profiles and posts into its search results as well-for now anyway.
Dip your toe in the SEO water by creating a list of possible keywords that relate to your product or service. Then, do some research with a tool like SEM Rush, Google's Keyword Planner or WordStream to see how many searches are done on the keyword in a given time, what the competition is and what complementary keywords could work. Don't disregard long tail keywords (keywords of three words or more) as they'll lead to more targeted results.
Infuse keywords into evergreen content, also known as compounding content. This content solves a specific pain point for your target. Strengthening SEO within these evergreen posts will aid organic search traffic over time. While this type of post only makes up 10 percent of all blog posts, it generates 38 percent of overall traffic, as much traffic as six decaying (read: timely) posts. Weave keywords into both the headline and the body copy. Easy-to-scan articles featuring the five W's in the title maximize the chance of creating a post with legs.
Optimize your posts and check in with Google Analytics to see how they are performing. Then, update keywords if needed.
What struggles do you have with keyword research?