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SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an acronym that many have heard, few know what the letters mean, fewer know what SEO is, how it helps them, and even fewer know how to execute it.
The following is a bullet point/outline brief with one purpose: to help you understand enough of this term, to ask the necessary questions to improve your business, and the understanding of the description when AMS is hired to execute an SEO operation on your digital program to help you become more successful.
- How Search Engines Work
- You need to figure out who you want to reach (called your Tribes, not Target Audience), and understand your Tribe’s digital behavior. Understanding their behavior helps you to more effectively communicate with them.
- Tribe’s actions: how do they use websites and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc) to learn about products and companies to make their purchase decisions.
- These actions include: research (85% of all purchases are researched on the internet before choice/ June 2018), shopping for products or services, or entertainment.
- Your website appears when a consumer (hopefully your Tribe) makes a search (called a query) for information. They type in a series of words (called keywords) in the search bar to find the information they are searching for.
- You need to understand how to capture these queries as when many search for information, and find you, your internet server (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) page rank increases. (the best place is to be on Page 1).
- Your website needs to be search engine compliant, as Google and others evaluates your relevance to solve that person’s search needs.
- The Search Engines
- Google, Bing and Yahoo generate 90% of all internet searches, so you need to be SEO compliant on all three.
- Each search engine evaluates the consumers’ searches differently through their own evaluation process called algorithms.
- Your searches can be generated on the internet through the consumer’s general searches (called organic), or through paid ads (called PPC or paid per click action).
- Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
- Each search engine creates data from the billions of searches (queries), and makes this data available to you (called analytics). Understanding the analytics is what helps the SEO provider with the understanding of who is visiting your sites, and how to better reach them with your intended communication messages.
- Mobile (consumer’s smart phone) is now the highest used tool to make a search, and your website and social platforms need to be more mobile smart vs. your computer desktop (called mobile first).
- Getting Your Site to Appear in the Right Results
- Your objective is to seek traffic, not page rank. You acquire traffic through quality communication, not fancy tricks to create a higher page rank. Relevant traffic is a long-term objective, page rank is a short-term objective.
- Personalization that lets your Tribe know that you are talking to THEM, is a key objective in your digital program and communication messaging.
- This personalization can come in the form of images with hashtags, educational text blogs, short and longer videos, slide video messaging, and presenting your Brand as one that is worthy to be followed.
- Local Search Engine Results is key because when a potential customer is searching for their needs, they want to know where you are located, and your site needs to let them know you are close enough to service their needs.
- Knowing What Your Tribe’s Needs Are Determines The Amount and Frequency that you are Visited.
- Some Tribe members search for text, some for education on a topic, some for education about you, and some on proof that you are who they are searching for. This is why your communication message needs to be presented in a variety of approaches, and, the more you know what your potential customers (Tribe members) want, the better you can show that you meet their needs.
- Keyword Strategy
- You need to understand your Value Proposition (why should they choose you over another) and this is executed in your hashtag, meta data (how you present yourself on the internet site), and messaging.
- You need to not only have your own keyword strategy, you need to understand your competitor’s strategy and messaging, in order to differentiate yourself from them.
- Google and other search engines will list the most sought after/typed in keyword searches and your need to execute these lists to improve being reached.
- There are two types of keyword searches (few words/short type: architects) or what will generate more specific, considerably fewer searches (called long-tail keywords: residential architect who specialized in room additions). Your digital approach needs to ensure that you appear in these long-tail searches.
- Know Thy Competitors
- They are not ‘just down the block’ as the internet has no geographic boundaries. Many consumers use the term ‘near me’ in their search (sometimes suggested by the search engine) and it may include architects a couple of villages from you because they specialize in what the consumer needs, such as residential room additions. You cannot just consider local competitors as you only competitors. You need to understand your digital competitors.
- Applying Collected Data For Website Design
- After evaluating the search engine data, and you know the Tribe that you are the most interested in reaching, you need to incorporate that research into your website design and content.
- Each Tribe (you could have many) needs to feel as though your website is talking to them, and them only. This can be accomplished through a Landing Page strategy.
- Your Home Page (the first thing they see when they search for you directly, or, from a keyword search, or, from your paid ad), must lead them to a Landing Page that talks directly to them. If it does, they will feel as though your Company understands, cares about, and has experience with their needs.
- Building An SEO Friendly Site
- It needs to be a ‘consumer friendly’ site to the viewer, and an organized, recognizable site to the search engines.
- Your coding (the technical language that drives the consumers and the search engines to the right landing pages) helps you to achieve this friendly configuration. When it isn’t, it’s called ‘broken links’ that shows that you are not a digital master.
- You need graphics, images, relevant content rich messaging to be highly evaluated, and to motivate your Tribe’s objective to contact you.
- A SEO friendly site is not just on your desktop computer, or laptop, but Mobile (smart phone) friendly. Your design will determine this user-friendly reaction or not.
- Internal links take your visitor (navigate them) from your Home Page to the Landing Page designed for them, or to another Landing Page, and makes the entire journey easy. This ease confirms your professionality.
- External links are those that take visitors from another site to you. It can be from a graphic site like You Tube, an industry association, or other sites that you want to be associated with. This is called industry relevance and you will be more highly rated by the search engines, and ultimately, your Tribe.
- Connecting to Social Media Platforms
- Your website has one function: to be the hub source for all activity, whether it be traditional marketing, or from social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.).
- You need to have a meaningful presence on each of these sites, and have those platform icons (FB, IG, LI) on your site to show that you message on the sites your Tribe more than likely considers to be important.
- Those sites also need to direct traffic from those social platforms to your website. Your objective is to execute a total Digital Presence Program.
- Using SEO to Build Your Brand
- Your Brand is why potential customers select you over a competitor. Your Brand represents what they can expect to gain from you, that meets their needs, that others may not do as well as you.
- Through Keyword search programs, content marketing on your website and social platforms and your ‘offline’ messaging (direct mail, radio, newspaper, flyers, press releases, etc.) all play a role in creating your Brand.
Search Engine Optimization is not an isolated execution. It is part of a total program on your website and social media platforms that not only directs ‘general consumers’ to your site, but to also identify your highest potential customers (called Tribes). In addition, it makes it easy for search engines to identify you as who people are searching for. If the search engines don’t know who you are, your potential customers won’t either).
If you are interested in improving your Brand, and the success of your website and social media platforms, contact Architect Marketing Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 331-303-0959