A common theme among many (if not most) small businesses are that their websites do not possess a blog. But why does that matter? If you as a small business owner/manager are selling a product or a service, you're not a blogger or writer so how does that help your business at all? It all ties back to SEO: Google loves and prefers fresh, new, relevant content when someone does a Google search. Having new content on the actual pages of your website is great, but at a certain point it becomes extremely "spammy" and actually turns potential customers off. If a potential customer is on your website searching for a certain product you sell, they want to see the product description and relevant information, not ten pages worth of content because you are trying to improve your Google search ranking. A blog is the perfect way to achieve this fresh, new content, without seeming spammy at all. Potential customers clearly do not have to visit your blog if they don't want to, but if they do a search in Google that is related to one of your blog posts, Google sees that similar information and shows your website sooner in a search result. The other aspect of a blog, albeit maybe less quantifiable, is that you can have fun with it. Blog posts don't need to be a sales pitch, you can post about an event coming up, a new product or service you're coming up with, a post about the staff, how the store originally came to be, etc. There is a lot of freedom in what you post on your blog, and for the most part, you can't go wrong. So, easily add a blog to your website and get writing with information you want out there and that you know would be helpful to your potential customers.
You've started exploring digital marketing for your business and looking into how your website attracts customers. Unfortunately, you find that any Google searches you do for your business, products, or services, your website is nowhere to be found in Google. So what next? An SEO Audit is a quick and effective way to have a professional (like us... hint-hint, wink-wink) review not only your website, but each item that plays a part in the larger picture that is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your website. Having an SEO Audit completed for you allows you to take action on improving your search ranking in Google, instead of spending hours and hours researching why your website doesn't appear in the first place. Some common items a digital professional might find and suggest to focus on to improve your SEO and search ranking: Does your website have any major, noticeable errors? Are there any broken links within your website? Have you listed your business on the many various local listing sites? Are you consistently adding new, relevant content to your site, such as through a blog? These, among many, many other things are what can be determined through an SEO Audit, that ultimately shows you and your business precisely what needs to be done and improved upon to optimize your website and show up at the top of a Google search every time.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, as you've probably already figured out. But as a small business in a small town like Wabash, what does that mean for you and your business? Essentially, SEO is how relevant and easily accessible your website is for Google (and other search engines) when a person does a search that relates to your business. If someone does a search such as "Residential Construction Wabash" and you are a local construction company, having excellent SEO properties means your website will show somewhere in the top of the search results. If your website is not found on the first page of the search results, you can kiss any chance of that potential customer getting to your website goodbye. Pages 2-infinity in Google are where websites go to die (may they rest in peace). Now, how do you go about making sure your website and online presence is optimized to be near the top of the search results for relevant keywords? The first category we'll focus on is what's called "On-Page SEO", which simply means your website. There are various keys to maximizing your on-page SEO properties, including:
The second component of SEO is "Off-page SEO", which is just as it sounds and includes all the items not directly on your website that affect your search rankings. Off-page SEO is just as, if not more, important than on-page SEO in the fact it establishes "authority" for your site in Google's eyes. The components of off-page SEO are:
This article includes a broad overview of SEO and its two major components, but we will continue to post articles that drill down on each specific section and how to continually optimize your business's online presence. SEO is an ongoing, continuous game, just keep plugging away and remember Rome wasn't built in a day!
Dev Thompson is the CEO and founder of Wabash County Digital. Being Wabash born and bred, Dev simply wanted to find a way to educate and assist Wabash businesses in growing their reach and achieve their ultimate business goals. Also, please note that Dev's wife is way out of his league