Your content can be the best on the internet, but without a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, no one will ever see it. This strategic use of language tailored to trends and search algorithms is like winning the lottery if you get it right. With someone in your corner who knows the ins and outs of content strategy, business is sure to boom.
Let’s say you are running a tutoring business. You have the talent, the business model and the platform all set to go but there is just one problem—no one is biting. It’s not that your product is inferior, you just haven’t been able to prove yourself and how could you? If you don’t capitalize on SEO, no one will find you under the slush pile of similar services.
Briefly, SEO is the practice of conforming your content in a way that would make it more likely to pop up in a specific search. By using keywords, structure, basic content strategy, and a snappy meta description a search algorithm can learn to favor your page.
If you identify yourself as a business person, all this marketing speak might make you roll your eyes. After all, the product should speak for itself, right? It’s not the technical details or the business model that inspires trust; it is the message people latch on to. Driving organic traffic without paying for ads or using click farms will give you a leg up on the competition.
The entirety of humanity has millions of questions each day, such as:
- How can I stop going bald?
- How do I know if my cat likes me?
- Why do I keep dreaming about giving birth to lobsters?
You can not only provide technical answers, but also offer your solution in one fell swoop. However, everyone has different opinions and perspectives. Your content will sink like a stone if you are not smart about this. Think about it: How often do you travel to page 2 and beyond of Google search results? The internet is a wonderful invention but it has nuked the collective attention span of humanity. You have to entice a person quickly to not only click but stay.
- On-site: Have you ever noticed how all top results have a lot of different elements such as pictures, structure, links, and even video? You need to optimize the structure of your entire website to make it more enticing for the search engine. A plain WordPress template will not cut it.
- Off-site: Think of this as your marketing. It is everything you do outside of the confines of your page. Getting other sites to link your content, honing in on brand identity, and building goodwill is essential. Your content can be perfect, but you will be left in the dust if no one else thinks so.
- Technical: How your content works under the hood is just as important as its paint job. Can a search engine access and index all of your content? Is the code favorable? What about your URL? All of these elements need to be optimized for Google to be able to find you.
Keywords are the bread and butter of SEO. You should pay attention to how people are asking questions. There are tools online that you can use to research trending keywords related to your topic. Another smart strategy would be to look up your niche and see what types of questions people are asking. You can style your headers, divide up your content, and develop new content ideas based on what the masses demand.
Blogs are no longer just for teenage girls and travelers. They are a great way to diversify your content. When people ask a question, they often want a “why” before a solution. This is why creating a blog for your business is so valuable. A blog creates a human element that can attract loyal readers and prospective customers. These posts should be, on average, 2,000 words, with impeccable spelling and grammar tailored to your target audience.
Let’s look at our tutoring service. A parent might not start by searching for specific external help; instead, they seek to understand their child. Blog content can revolve around questions such as:
- How do I know if my child needs a tutor?
- How can I help my child improve their grades?
- Does my child have a learning disability?
Consistent blogging also allows you to keep your content fresh and attract new readers with new relevant searches. Onboarding someone who can churn out high-quality posts is an investment you should not skimp on.
One of the most critical aspects of achieving that ideal search ranking is adding links to your content. If you write a blog, this is a great place to link your product and service, or you can link to other internal posts to answer questions the reader did not even know they had. You will become a trusted source before they are willing to open their wallet.
You can also generate goodwill by linking to business associates. Just be careful. Do not link to too many outside pages or you risk losing your reader. You should not link to the competition either. You should also vet external links to ensure that their values are consistent with yours and that their website works.
Images add personality to a visually unexciting wall of text, and search engines also favor them. Google added a feature where a header image from a website would automatically pop up on their page. This will make your content stand out from the other tedious searches. If you have a food blog, a mouth-watering image of the finished recipe can be too much for a hungry reader to resist.
Some food blogs saw their click rates nearly double by using this feature. Our tutoring service can add a stock photo of a happy child engaged in their reading. This image gives parents something to aspire to for their children and will make them more likely to click.
It’s not just about the words but how you present them that can make or break you. The last thing you want is for people to take one look at your page, scoff, and click on your competition instead. There is a reason that crazy animated website backgrounds went away with Myspace. Your page needs to be readable. This includes breaking the text up into bite-sized chunks.
A catchy headline can only get you so far. To keep people around, you should consider bullet points, step-by-step tutorials, headers, and sub-headers with clearly defined titles for easy scrolling. Remember, there is optimizing your website according to the tech, and then there is the human factor. You need both to succeed.
This may be a bitter pill to swallow but you can learn much about presentation from your competition. Does your website stack up to theirs? Is there a potential niche they are blind to? Who are they linking to? All of this is vital data that you can use to your advantage. This is great because they have already done the heavy lifting research-wise. You can take a piece of their pie and have your own on top of it.
Our tutoring service has increased its rank with SEO blogs, streamlined content, and mastering the art of keywords. They have more customers and have been enjoying the fruits of their ad-driven revenue. While they have floated close to the top, they still have yet to break into page 1 of Google search results. Your website is only half the battle; you must tackle the environment outside your website.
It’s time for everyone’s least favorite part of the business world: making friends. It takes courage to reach out and make allies, but it is the only way your business can reach new heights. Getting other websites to link to your website will propel you to the top of a search. You have different points of entry and it inspires trust in your message.
Our tutoring service, for example, could reach out to education blogs, teachers, mommy bloggers, parenting websites, and so on. The only people you cannot rely on are your competition (and who needs them anyway?). That goodwill you generated by providing outgoing links to other websites is about to pay off. Once again, use these links judiciously. Give shout-outs to subject matter experts to inspire credibility with viewers and in your field. Getting one of these experts to guest-post on your site is even better.
Establishing trust and loyalty requires you to hone a specific identity for your product. This includes figuring out your base, slogans, and consistent tone your brand will take on. Your tutoring service will not have the same vibe as a male-centered workout podcast. Your product will flounder because parents might not trust their children with content that is more in-your-face comical and is not concerned about how they come across to women and girls.
You need your content to be more nurturing, academic, compassionate, and maybe even a bit light-hearted.
It is better to figure out your niche; those people will return and drive up traffic, even if it is small. If you try to appeal to everyone, you will end up in the bin of mediocrity, also known as page 10 of Google search results. Have a take-home message that shows off your solutions in every article.
We only scratched the surface of SEO. You can keep researching or hire someone with a firm understanding of this science. You owe it to your business to put your best foot forward and get your message out there. Stand out in a sea of competitors by hiring one of our ghostwriters at The Urban Writers to take the hassle out of packaging your product. Once everything is optimized, you can lie recumbent on your couch and watch as your website attracts more views on the back of your message.