By guest blogger Steven McMurry, Digital Marketing Specialist
The term “SEO” stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” but what does that really mean? Does the acronym make sense? Let’s put it another way — think of “SEO” as “See, Engage, Organize.” With the ROI (return on investment) for social media shifting dramatically toward ROE (return on experience), SEO deserves a reevaluation. Indeed, SEO has undergone so many alterations in recent years, if it were a suit, you would demand a better tailor. In this post, I’ll break down SEO to its simplest form and retool it for greater engagement.
“See” deals with research. Business owners must determine their most-searched keywords but stay relevant to your scope. If you clicked on the link above and don’t have an AdWords account, I suggest creating one, even only for testing purposes. Now, you may be thinking, “Doesn’t Google frequently update its rankings and domain authority?” Yes, Google does take some time to update, and the timing is all in their hands with little for us to do. Keep in mind, though, Google isn’t the only entity responsible for your progress. In LinkedIn, for instance, you can search for other companies using keywords relevant to your own business. Are you the top company that shows up in the search results? Probably not. This doesn’t mean that you should overload your profile with keywords just to get your company to rise to the top, but you can add more relevant ones you would like to help your ranking. Also, don’t forget to research your competition. “See” what they’re doing, and if it looks like a good fit for your business, then by all means replicate it (within reason) and test your results!
“Engage” measures how you interact with those directly related to your business or who play a role in the funnel that leads to a new sale, client or business opportunity. Begin by searching forums such as answers.about.com or answers.yahoo.com for topics significant to your business. Give an outstanding answer to a question, or ask one on a topic with which you’re not so familiar. The outcome may surprise you; I recently received a client from playing “Clash of Clans,” a popular smartphone game. There are endless opportunities out there, many of which require only a keen eye! Another tactic for engaging is reaching out to the publishers, writing a guest post relevant to their website, and embedding a link back to your website. On the contrary, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, has stated guest blogging is “dead” for SEO. In my experience, the only “death” in this form of link-building comes if your articles aren’t qualitative. When buying a car, you’re going to drive it, look inside and outside the vehicle, and check under the hood. This is what publishers will do with your article, so if the article is subpar and it still gets placed, generally, the article is probably paid for (you don’t want to purchase links). Finally, don’t forget to engage through your social media channels. Use keywords and hashtags on your posts, and give your current and potential customers something great to interact with. No one wants to hear about your specials in 90% of your posts.
Find out how your company is perceived by utilizing your keyword research to update your content. Be specific with naming files you host on your website, especially images; this can help you show up higher on the search results within Google Images. All most search engines want is to be the most relevant source of information. Don’t hinder their goal by being spammy and not sticking to qualitative relevancy. Research business and see where you’re listed. You’d be surprised how many profiles are out there with just your local address and information from your website. Claim your profiles — half of the work is already done for you! SEO changes so much, and while Google tries to choose what’s best for both them and the end user, using a term such as “Search Engine Optimization” for businesses trying to rank higher within search results isn’t always the best course of action. Focus more on “Seeing, Engaging, Organizing,” and you’ll have a much better perception. Make sure your voice is heard, but don’t shout. Consistency and conciseness ultimately will help you control your SEO. Steven McMurry is an avid digital marketer and video game enthusiast. He enjoys tennis, hiking and basketball. His current profession is the digital marketing specialist at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain™ which he is responsible for franchise development.