By Nathalie Blanchard, My Retail Coach
It is essential that businesses understand what search engine optimization is and what it entails. You may already be investing in SEO or thinking about it. Even if you aren’t the person implementing, understanding SEO means you can help maximize your chances of showing up in Google search results. A well-optimized site can save thousands of dollars advertising with Google AdWords.
SEO is a combination of actions or tasks, done on your website or for your website, to give Google as much information about your business as possible.
What is done on your site? Here are the basics:
- Copywriting of great content that includes keywords
- Details added to your photos
- Your metadata is optimized to ensure your pages are well described in search results (see figure below)
- Compression tools are deployed on your hosting server to ensure the site loads quickly
- A content marketing strategy is put in place (blogging)
What is done for your site:
- Linkbuilding: articles related to your business, product or service, are published on a reputable site. Within that article, there is a link to your website.
- Citations: registering your business in online directories solidifies your business index quality and Google My Business gets optimized
- Bad links are cleaned up
- Social media strategy is put in place
The Benefits of a Social Media Strategy
There is no question about it — social media channels facilitate the process of instantly sharing information with a large number of contacts. If a reader finds your content useful or interesting, they can share it with their contacts quickly and easily, creating organic exposure for your brand.
Furthermore, people want to know who they are dealing with. They need to put a face to the name and to the business. All businesses have a persona that attracts the ideal customer.
There is an inherent transparency when communicating through social media.
When you create interesting and engaging content, people share it. If you planned properly, you will have leads coming into your website from your social posts, requesting information, a quote or an appointment.
Word-of-Mouth Times a Million
There’s no stronger marketing message than an endorsement from a friend, right? Some studies show that Facebook pages can increase customer loyalty by 36 percent, and we know customer loyalty leads to profits. Increasing customer retention by just 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.
Other studies show customers who connect with a brand’s Facebook page have higher emotional attachment and greater psychological loyalty toward the brand. There are 214 million Facebook users in the United States alone. Factor in Instagram and any other social network you may have, there is a lot of “reach” potential.
So how does all this tie into SEO?
In order to rank high online, you need to send Google different types of signals that work together. Those actions and tasks listed above contribute to those signals. By having a well-optimized Google My Business, a great website and a strong social signal, you increase your chances of ranking higher in search results.
What Constitutes a Strong Social Signal?
Google will observe two factors:
- Do those respected on social networks share your content?
- How many share your content on social networks?
There is also a lot of value to filling out as much information on the About sections of your social networks, including your opening hours, making sure your address is correct (and written identically on all other platforms or listings), filling in the Story section on Facebook, including the services or products options, indicating if parking is available, and so on. The more detail the better.
By posting tips and tricks, or sharing blog articles, you gain credibility in your field, you can create fruitful and meaningful relationships with your audience and business partners and, of course, you push people to your website and gain points with Google for that traffic. Think of Google as the teenager who only wants to hang out with the popular kids. You have to become popular.
Nathalie Blanchard has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. She works as a consultant with small and medium businesses. Blanchard provides advice and real working methods, training and coaching to help those businesses shine and stand out. Graphic designer by trade and professional project coordinator, she has worked in public, institutional, private and nonprofit sectors. You can find courses at mycoach.thinkific.com.