Marketing Advice for Entrepreneurs from a San Francisco SEO Expert
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s the general formula for how search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo provide the results you need.
Entrepreneurs, whether focused on a personal blog, content marketing, social media market etc, should gain some SEO knowledge in order to optimize their existence on the web.
Personally, as an SEO expert, I can say that using SEO techniques are essential to have in your marketing toolbox. This is because, today, Google rules the internet!
Therefore, in order to help entrepreneurs on their journey of online marketing, I have gathered some of my best marketing tips from my perspective.
First things first: BE INTERESTING:
Naturally, search engines rank websites higher, if they attract genuine attention.
In other words, when it comes down to it, people don’t follow stand-alone, dull blogs. Instead, people follow engaging stories and they follow fun personalities.
Marketing blogs work best when content is compelling and interesting to read. Plus, they work even better when people know what or WHO to expect when they go online.
Together, and through the use of their separate personal blogs, the couple has become a hot online personality. One look at Mimi’s Blog and we were quickly dazzled by her lifestyle, a fact which has translated to their grand success in sales.
So…it seems obvious right? Be interesting, tell a story and you have a successful content!
Not so fast.
You’d be surprised as to how many blogs are out there publishing absolute nonsense. It doesn’t take an SEO expert or an MBA to know that blogs posting nonsense have no chance of ranking in Google.
Also interesting to note, most people don’t read deeply. In fact, according to a study, only 20% of readers finish their articles and the average visitor would only read about 25% of the article.
Basically, there is a LOT of information out there and not enough time on the reader’s hands. So, entrepreneurs as yourself if your content is: (1) interesting (2) reader-friendly (3) engaging
Find a Niche
As an SEO expert in San Francisco, I can say with confidence that the more specific your niche is, the better. The most popular sites are ones which cater to an extremely niche market.
Believe it or not, in the context of online marketing and SEO, specialist information is more valuable than general information. Even if your niche is small, this is better than trying to reach too many!
This is because spreading your attention too thin and targeting too many people can dilute your information and brand in the process. While a large market can be appealing, a smaller market is more realistic and more effective overall!
It is important to be a relevant marketer:
Put simply, search engines show results based on what users ask for. It’s a matching game. Google will take the words you type in the search engine and match them with the main words, or keywords, found on websites.
This is why the words you use on your web pages are so important!
For example, if I search “Beyonce on a bicycle”, Google shows me pictures of Beyonce— you guessed it —on a bike.
Search engines want to cut out the crap and give you exactly what you need, in the best and most efficient way possible
Therefore, as an online marketer, you must work around the “search engine formulas” and make your content as relatable and readable to your target audience as possible. The search engines are, in many ways, in control.
In addition, there are also websites such as coursera.org where university classes are taught at distance. One can find coursework about SEO expertise and online marketing here as well.
Put your mind back into 5th-grade mode:
I’m talking about formatting. Because when it comes to formatting, there is one word you need to know: readability.
Successful marketing blogging is essentially like a really good 3 paragraph essay with Intro, Body, Conclusion.
Readability is scored out of 12 points. A score of about 6 is the approximate reading level of someone who has completed high school. This should be the goal.
The bottom line, readers will not engage with your content if it is too difficult or even too easy to read.
Eye-tracking studies have given us a lot of information about how people interact with information on the web. Within the first few seconds of clicking onto a page, a user will take a broad glance skimming the page from top to bottom.
Then they will quickly make a decision about whether to stay or to go.
As a result, the more readable your content is, the more likely readers will engage.
Essentially, having content that people can easily engage with just as valuable as creating extraordinary content.
In other words, SEO experts know how to use small words, short sentences, and easy-to-skim formatting! They know that time is valuable to readers and therefore, making websites easy to both navigate and read is absolutely essential!
Link to Internal Pages within your website
Search engines are interested in what interests users most. Naturally, as a result, your website will rank higher if users stay on it for longer and click through multiple pages.
As a result, for SEO purposes, it is recommended to hyperlink on your pages wherever you can. This will increase your chances that users are skipping through your pages.
Warning! Don’t hyperlink where it is unnecessary. As previously mentioned, you don’t want to troll your users.
Instead, provide them with useful information in the most helpful way possible.
For example, you can often hyperlink words and technical terms which most people may not understand.
You can also link to certain themed pages or blog posts you may have. At the bottom of a web page, you may even have a Call To Action which allows your users to click on to read more.
Make your website a well-oiled machine
You also want a fast and functional website.
Often, even a one-second lag will deter a user from your website. This being said, in order to make your website run faster, delete any unnecessary items that may slow down the site.
These can include videos, large music files, large images, graphics, and plugins.
I know this may sound a bit overwhelming at first glance and it is not absolutely essential, but it can definitely help you in the long run.
HTML is a computer language devised to allow website creation.
So, if you can understand at least the basics of these languages, you are that much better at understanding exactly how your site is being read by search engines! If you are not web savvy, then you can use one of these website design services: Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, or Shopify if you have an e-commerce site.
Know that the rules are always changing!
The rules of Google are not the same today as they were in the 90s. Search engines are always varying the rules of the playing field.
In fact, “back in the day” in order to fit in keywords, web developers could cheat the system. For example, some would fill the white background of their website layout with invisible words repeated over and over again.
In this way, these keywords were invisible to the reader, but search engines would pick them up and bring the site to the top of the result list.
Today, it is a totally different story and this action would be considered “illegal” or “black hat SEO.” Search engines are trying to see through spam and block you completely. So, make sure you are publishing quality content.
You have to be adaptable to the changes that are thrown at you! It is important to stay up to date with search engine updates, or you may be penalized.
So, what do I do now?
I hope I have highlighted the importance of being relevant, telling a story, and making the reader want to continue reading.
I named only a few main concepts in this post about how to run a successful marketing blog. However, there are many, many tools out there that one can use in order to find success in marketing blogging. Read our article on 5 Ways Adding a Blog to Your Website Can Help Your Business Grow.
Content length, visuals, social media, website links to name just a few more.
All in all, if you are committed to growing your online blog through proper SEO expertise, it is imperative that you know the relationship between your blog and search engines.
At the end of the day, it is the search engines who control what we see on the web. Unfortunately or fortunately, they have all the power!
If you are interested in learning more on the topic of SEO, click here to contact our SEO Expert in San Francisco. He has over 20 years of marketing experience and an MBA from the #1 Entrepreneurship school in the world for 26 years, Babson College.
March 17, 2021