In the last two articles, I’ve been talking about how doing “SEO” isn’t necessarily the best way to get found online any more.
Google has changed the rules enough that it’s difficult to predict with any certainty that “doing SEO” is going to get the results that you hope for.
Furthermore, most of the terms that you think your customers are using to find you, are probably not the top terms that people actually search for.
Doing some basic looking into Google’s index to see what people want is going to give you ample fodder for future content.
I’ve been interviewing business owners in the last couple weeks, and something that they’ve said to me has really struck home.
Anna, a photographer, told me, “I don’t want to BE a web person. I don’t want to BE an IT person. I just want to take awesome photographs!”
What she’s saying is that she doesn’t care about links, robots.txt files, page rank or any of the other terms that so many in the SEO industry talk about.
She doesn’t want to have to learn, memorize and agonize over that stuff, because that’s not what gets her going in the morning. “Taking awesome photographs” does.
I’ve boiled “SEO” down into five core principles of getting found online that anyone can follow. It’s not rocket science, geek speak or something that you need an engineering degree to figure out. ANYONE can do this.
I’ve also divided it up into two categories: “Set it and forget it” or “Rinse and repeat”.
- Get your website in order – Get the page titles and page descriptions set up properly on ALL pages. This is a “SIFI” (set it and forget it). Do it once and walk away. It may take you an hour to do, but work with your web person to get it set up correctly. Get your online business listings set up, claimed and all in order. This is another SIFI project that you can pay a teenager to do. Go to Getlisted.org and follow the instructions (it’s free!).
- Create content – Typically the content is in the form of a blog post (article), but it can be videos, podcasts, white papers, reports, case studies, interviews, I could go on. ALL of this is so easy to create and disseminate. See the video above? Took me 10 minutes, 2 takes, 5 minutes on iMovie, then suck it up to Vimeo.com (I prefer the paid account over YouTube – hard to beat at about $60/year). The video can go in my blogs, on Facebook, and it’s going in a press release that will be published tomorrow.
- Use e-mail newsletters – Publish a regular newsletter, at least weekly. All your content goes IN the newsletter, so people can be consuming it on their phone, their iPad, computer, or wherever they want. Make sure you pick a tool like Constant Contact that allows you to archive the newsletters as a web page. That can be published on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
- Use social media – publish your content on a regular basis on social media. Use Facebook, LinkedIn groups, Twitter and Google+. These are the big four. Use others like Pinterest if your customers are going there. Don’t have time? Use a social media virtual assistant who knows the ins and outs of the systems, and pay them to manage it for you. I have a virtual assistant that manages most of that for me, because I don’t have the time.
- Finally, and this is optional, use paid placement strategies. Google ads, Facebook ads, or use other similar tools. These DO cost money, so you have to manage it carefully. If you’re not sure how to set it up properly, partner with someone who understands how to do it.
These are the five core principles that all businesses – for profit, or non-profit – need to do on a regular basis.
#1 is a set it and forget it.
The rest are a rinse and repeat.
Do them consistently, and you’ll get found online.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn how to market online in a private setting, get personalized attention and practice the concepts, I am hosting a private training session in the San Francisco California Bay Area starting February 10.
There is limited seating available, and registration closes very soon.
This workshop is for business owners who want to learn the core strategies of marketing online, and how to do it correctly – without being a web geek. Once you’re done, you also get six months of help and support after the class is done.
You can make 2014 an amazing year for your business. You just have to reach out and do it!