Organic search is an essential part of any lead generation strategy. Businesses need to be found online and SEO can make the difference between showing up on page 1 rather than page 4. The key is quality, relevance, and unique solutions.
SEO is competitive. There are millions of websites and a billion blogs. The web is polluted with content, and Google only displays about 8-12 organic choices on the first page of a search. If you’re not on the first page, there’s a very good chance you’re not being seen.
Small businesses may not be able to compete with high volume search queries, but that’s not what you need to be going for. Your best chance at ranking high will come from a search query that is geographically focused, i.e. includes the location of your business, or by identifying narrow problems with your unique solutions.
Once you’re able to build your website traffic from less competitive search queries, you’ll be able to start building your domain authority which will help you rank for the “big fish” searches.
Start with breaking down your SEO into three components:
- Website Content
- Site Performance
Website content is the most important component and is what we’ll focus on in this article. By content, we’re referring to the language on your site and the topics you choose to talk about in your blogs or additional pages.
The following tips apply to your headlines, website copy, and blog posts.
Tip #1: Answer the (Hard) Questions People Ask Right Before They Buy
This may sound like an obvious one, but most people avoid answering those critical questions at all costs. Think about the tough questions that people ask as they approach a purchase. What does your audience want to know:
- What your users say
- Who the competitors are
Companies that are reluctant to publish info on their pricing and competitors, it begs the question: Would you rather them find it within the context that you create on your site or on your competitor’s real estate?
Tip #2: Stop Thinking Keywords. Think Buyer Context.
Stop writing for search engines – write for humans. We’ve been taught about keywords and had the concept burned so deep into our brains that many marketers forget that we should be focusing on important questions that our customers are asking at various points of the buyer’s journey.
Start thinking about different points of context and develop questions that people are searching out. Then answer as many of them as you can.
Tip #3: Be An Expert – Offer A Point of View on Complex Topics
The internet is flooded with mediocre content that has no chance of ranking. Nobody wants to hear a summary of what other experts have produced – why not just go to the expert in the first place.
If you’re able to offer complex points of view and expert advice and analysis – there is an audience out there waiting for you to write.
Tip #4: Ever Have Trouble Finding An Answer? Write About It
If you’ve ever searched for information and had trouble finding it, chances are there are many more people searching for the same thing. And since nobody has addressed it well online, you’ve just uncovered a huge opportunity. Go research it, talk to colleagues or find an expert, develop an opinion and write a great article that fills the void.
Tip #5: Develop 10X Content
10X content can mean you’re providing amazing perspective, converting topics where gaps exist, or providing a premium format, such as video, infographics, pillar content, or skyscraper content.
In order to rank, you have to have something 10 times better than the best thing in the search engines. If you can do that, then charge ahead. It’s better to have two high-quality blogs than twenty pieces of low-quality content that will never rank.
Tip #6 (For Smaller Businesses): Include the Geographic Area you serve in your content.
One of the best ways to rank as a small business is to capture search queries related to “near me” or the specific location of your services. If you’re in a city or specific county, try to include that in your website copy. It doesn’t need to be part of your headline, but it’s a great idea to have it as a sub-headline or repeated throughout your content.
The more niche your business, the less necessary this tactic is, but look to capture the audience in your geographic sphere and look to grow outward.
Tip #7: Software is Your Friend
A good artist needs good supplies. The same is true for marketers. There are software tools out there that will help you understand your competition, your audience, and the search queries you’ll be looking to rank for.
Here are some great tools to look at:
Google Search: Type in topics related to your industry and see what suggestions google displays. This is directly correlated to common search queries related to the initial input.
SEO has changed from black hat strategies, which involves manipulating Google’s algorithm, to quality and relevance, which focuses on genuinely providing solutions (your content) to the problems of your audience (search queries). By approaching SEO with a mindset that you are answering the questions that your audience poses, you will put yourself in the best position to get visibility among your base.
At the end of the day, ask yourself how your business solves the problems of your customers and provide the content that will truly benefit them. For any small business, this is the best first step.
In future posts, we’ll be discussing website quality and inbound/outbound links to give that additional boost for your SEO journey.
Download our official guide to SEO here.