It has been a little over six months since I started working as an SEO manager as my full-time job. And I must say, it’s not at all what I expected it to be. When I first started to assist my mentor in doing SEO management for clients, what took me by surprise was just how complex and nuanced the world of search engine optimization is. There are no real rules, per se, but there are plenty of best practices, conventions and some pretty big no-no’s when it comes to optimizing your website to its fullest ranking potential.
One thing has become quite clear in these six months: It’s Google’s world and we simply live in it. They set the conventions, reprimand those who don’t follow them, and are constantly changing their algorithms to ensure that we, as consumers, are led to the most relevant information in the shortest amount of time. So how can businesses navigate the ever-changing world of SEO? Well, here are six things I have learned in my first six months:
1. Content writing for SEO is a unique technique: With a background in literature, I was used to writing long-form content that was divided up into specific paragraphs. The first was an introduction that ended with a thesis statement, which was followed by presenting the research that supported the thesis and each essay ended with a conclusion that wrapped up the piece in a neat little bow. This format simply does not work when writing content for SEO. Instead, you divide the content up into its essential points, which are then subdivided into catchy, easily recognizable headings. This helps readers reach their desired information faster and also allows you to index the blog more easily, resulting in a better user experience.
2. The Importance of Google My Business: To tell you the truth, I’d never heard of Google My Business before I started working in SEO. I thought I had a strong grasp of Google’s tools such as analytics and the search console but since I started working in SEO, I realized just how important My Business is in increasing a business’s credibility on Google. What is Google My Business, you ask? Well, it’s a tool through which a business can register itself with Google and provide core information such as its name, location, contact information, and working hours so it appears alongside the search results when a potential customer types in a search. It’s completely free to register and presents a great opportunity for businesses to tell their story and provide the most relevant information to their customers right up front.
3. The Little Things Matter: It is a given that the product or service you are providing is of high quality and that the information on your website is relevant to your core customer base. But, in such a highly competitive market, simply having a good product or service isn’t enough to automatically attract people to your business. You need to make your website stand out in a crowded marketplace. To do this, you must pay attention to the small details, such as making sure the user experience is seamless by making relevant content stand out on your website, linking your business address to Google Maps, and publishing blogs with relevant keywords to increase credibility. To learn more about what steps you can take to boost your SEO rankings, check out our earlier blog about SEO Best Practices.
4. Long-Tail Keywords Work: Let’s say that you are a plumbing company servicing a large metropolitan area such as Toronto and its neighboring boroughs. A keyword such as “Plumber” will have very high volume but will also be massively competitive since every single company in that field will be looking to rank for it. But a long tail keyword such as “emergency plumbing Toronto Ontario” might not give you the most volume, but the click-through ratio will be higher since the customer searching for this is looking for something very specific and is almost guaranteed to click on your page if it appears high enough in the search results. The lesson here is that volume isn’t everything and that each metric must be measured in conjunction with its use case and its relevance to your specific website.
5. Always Make Content Sound Natural and Human: The old SEO methods of keyword stuffing a webpage are now defunct, in part due to the fact that it doesn’t make the content seem like it was written by, or indeed intended for, a human being. Anyone looking for information on Google is more likely to respond to an article that sounds natural and not written by a robot. Google has in fact banned many of these practices and you risk having your website flagged and your ranking depleted if you don’t make the content sound as natural as possible. It also makes for a better user experience which adds to your website’s credibility.
6. It takes time to see the effects of SEO: We live in a fast-paced world where people want to see the results of their efforts in real-time or as close to real-time as possible. SEO simply doesn’t work this way. Once you have implemented all the SEO best practices onto your website, it takes time for them to take full effect as potential clients start to see your website more often and start clicking on it more frequently. This inflow of clicks is what makes Google’s AI think of your website as relevant and credible, allowing you to rank higher. We suggest doing quarterly management on your website and comparing the data to the previous quarter to keep track of how your website is performing.
Improve your SEO with Candybox Marketing
We at Candybox are more than happy to sit down with you and audit your SEO practices and make the necessary adjustments to make sure your website reaches its full potential. We’ve got an SEO program offering that will revamp your website for SEO optimization. From a complete audit of your site, technical resolutions to content optimization, and more, we’ll refresh your website with SEO best practices. Are you interested in Google My Business? We can set you up with a profile optimized for the best results. Connect with us, and let’s chat!