What is SEO, and How It Can Help your Business
SEO | Backlinks & Content
“Self-sufficiency is just another word for poverty” – Matt Ridley.
Dave: I think that’s crucial. In business, no one’s a one-man band; no one can do it all especially when it comes to the new, online world. A lot of people want to make you think you can do it all yourself, but you have to learn from someone. There’s someone out there who’s doing it better than you already so why not learn from mistakes already made.
What is SEO to you?
William: I get really annoyed when I see people say SEO is dying, SEO is tricky, or SEO is just a strategy. And for me, when I hear the words “search engine optimization,” I think content and backlinks, on page optimization and off page optimization.
Dave: So, content being what’s on the webpage, and backlinks being what’s off the webpage?
William: It’s not only that, but it will never die, because one, people don’t have websites so then they have to build them. How are they going to build them? They’re going to build them against Rank Brain against Google’s algorithms. Google says “We’ve created an equation, and this is how we’re going to place you in our search engine results pages.”
What are you going to do? You’re going to follow that information. Search engine optimization will never die as long as you stay within their guidelines, within their parameters, saying these are the reasons why we rank people and these are the reasons why we un-rank people.
Dave: What’s a rank? If I’ve got a business, I want to have a good rank?
William: So, there are many different definitions for rank. One you could be talking about, domain rating, or URL rating. When I was using “rank” I meant: if I search for “black hat,” then am I in that search, am I in that result? When I search for that in Google, did I pop up for “black hat?” Well, probably not, that’s going to be a pretty difficult one to pop up for, I imagine.
Dave: So, it’s just like, if I had a business 20 years ago. And I registered my business, and it’s in the phone book. When someone looks for a plumber or a roofer, I want to make sure my name is on there.
William: I’m going to call myself AAA Plumber!
Dave: Right, because, I’m at the top of the search results.
William: I want to be above A, and AA, I want to be AAA plumber
Dave: And just like phone books, you can run ads?
Dave: In the phone book, you can do that just like that on search results.
William: So, you can run ads on the search results. Google AdWords, google has a whole network of ways you can run ads. When we’re talking about ads, we’re not talking about SEO, we’re talking about Search Engine Marketing.
SEM is different from SEO. YellowPages.com has the same thing they did in the yellow book, you can buy ads with them, they’ll ask you to spend money with them, and then they’re going to spend that money with themselves and rank you in their own directory.
It’s not like they’re going to spend some of that money and get you to rank in Google. They’re going to take that money to themselves. Google does the same thing. Google is going to sell you ads, and they’re going to sell to themselves and sell you ads in the google search.
Dave: It’s the short game vs. the long game.
William: Yeah, it’s a short-term game. Absolutely.
Dave: So, if you’re working on your rank, instead of spending money, short-term dollars on an ad, you’re actually spending long-term dollars to get you gradually higher up the chain on search results, right?
William: Yeah, you know there’s two different food chains really. And you could even say there’s three different food chains. One would be paying for certain ads and for different keywords that people might search that would get people to call my phone number or come to my website.
That’s the short game. If I need phone calls, if I’m kicking off my business, and I need to get cash flow now, I might run some SEM. Some Google AdWords. But this conversation that we’re going to have over the next months is mostly going to be dominated by organic searches. And organic searches eventually lead to snippets and features, and lead to a massive amount of traffic that turned into conversions if it’s done right.
Dave: It’s building the house vs. just throwing a tent up and trying to sell stuff fast.
William: You got it
Dave: Alright, let’s talk about the action item of the day: NAP.
William: Name, address, phone. NAP. And it’s even longer than that, NAPWC, the main thing is NAP and so name, address, phone. You’re going to want to start with your Google Business page. Google.com/business, you’re going to create a business page right there. It’s very stream lined. They’re going to send you a post card you’re going to send it back, and once you claim that page for your business, you’re going to optimize it. Hours, your website, accessibility, credit card purchase cash-
Dave: Like making a listing in a phone book.
William: Very much, and you cannot get about not having this listing. Most likely you had it because things will create it for you. People that are looking for your business, Google has this algorithm that says “OH! There need to be a business page.”
Likely one already exists for you and you just need to claim it. Click on the little thing in the corner that says “Own this business?” If not, then go to slash business and create one, however that info populates, name, address and phone. You want that the same everywhere.
You have to have a Google Business page, you have to have a business Facebook page, and you have to have a website. You can’t get around these three pillars. You’re going to take that information about your NAP from your Google Business page, and you’re going to put it into your Facebook exactly as it is. If it’s a WWW, or no WWW, that matters. If your listing is a WWW version, you want it that way the same everywhere. And then you want your NAP on every page of your website, whether it’s in your footer or somewhere, because Google wants to see that. They even want to see it in mark up.
Dave: So, three places. Start with Google Business them I’m going to Facebook. If I don’t’ have a Facebook account, get one, because people are talking about your business on FB more than likely, and if you don’t have a page you can’t see what they’re saying. And you can’ help boost the good things people are saying or start conversations with your customers about problems to put out those fires.
The last thing on the website, it’s got to be on every page of my website so I know Google’s reading it and know I’m showing up in that digital phonebook when people go to look for my service. Let’s talk about the resource of the day: Moz.
William: Moz is a great resource for small and medium sized businesses. Typically, if you’re a large business you’re going to skip to Yext, but Moz has so much information, they have so much free literature, info over the ranking factors, over how you get ranked, over what things are considered good and what are considered risky or just blatantly abuses.
For example, people used to cloak sites, and have one site look like one site, but a site looking like a completely different site shows up when you click on it. Some people would have text the same color of the background of the website, so they have all this text loaded in the websites, but only the bots could see it. It was just these stupid tricks that SEOs were abusing. Another thing, they’re just creating pages, and I see SEOs that do this daily, creating pages of nonsense content stuffed with keywords.
They’re bad techniques, and Moz will tell you what’s good, what’s in, an what’s changed. With Hummingbird, with Penguin, with Panda, and all the updates that are coming through. Plus, they’ve got a hundred-dollar service where you can look up your business, see how it looks and some of the aggregates, which are some of the large directory holders. The directories kind of feed from these aggregators, and so you can spend a hundred dollars and they’re going to start throwing your information out to some of the directories. Not a lot of them, but…
Dave: These directories feed into Google, this is how my business shows up in search results?
William: Google kind of acts like an aggregator because it’s so large and powerful. It’s not a true aggregator per se, but it acts like one. Things come to the Google Business page for information so it acts like an aggregator.
Dave: So, a hundred bucks a year.
William: Annual ninety-nine a year. It’s the Moz Local, it’s the smallest package they have. If you’re small, that’s what you’re going to want. And you’re going to want a “per-location.” You have to have a unique NAP per location. You can’t just use one phone line for three businesses for three locations.
Dave: And we’ve seen that plenty of times.
William: Oh, man it screws everything up.
Dave: You can’t, even if you have one phone, you have to have a different phone number for different locations, or it’s going to mess you up online for sure.
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