Scoring in Google is important and SEO helps you with that. Most entrepreneurs now know that. In practice, they are busy and do little on SEO until a certain moment. Then they want to know everything: why, how and what. But after the why and before the how is still the true. Where exactly do you place SEO in your business operations?
In my new one SEO workshop recently that question came up in various forms: when do you use SEO? What are your alternatives? Do you have to adapt your marketing to your SEO or vice versa? This article provides you with tools to determine for yourself where you can place SEO in your company.
Are your customers online?
That question is more important than the question: do you or your competition colleagues make online sales. Because today, it's not just about revenue. It is also about brand awareness, information, interaction and service. If your customers are present online - and Yes that are they, (unless you just have a company that is helping people online for the first time) - then it is important for your marketing to also be present online. Voila: the need for a website.
Do your customers know you?
An exercise: name the websites of: supermarket AH, employment agency Adecco and football club Ajax. I already mention the names and you immediately know the URLs: Ah.nl, Adecco.nl and Ajax.nl. That blue supermarket, that red employment agency and that red-white football club had also helped you on your way. That's called branding: to what extent you know a brand or company and what they stand for. A public destination, such as the Helderse Vallei where I give my workshops, for example, is automatically found by its customers.
Do you offer what your target group needs?
A contractor also offers service. A hairdresser offers information about opening times, products and treatments. A text agency shows his work. In short: your customers want more than just pressing that buy button. They want to information on which they can make decisions. Does this contractor also help me afterwards? Can I bleach my hair at this hairdresser's Thursday night? Does this text agency also write B2B? That is why you fill your website with pages with the information that your customers need.
Unknown to your target group?
This is the crux. If a potential customer does not know a specific company that can answer his question, he will search online. And 93 percent of Dutch internet users use it Google. For some products and services, Google is used very little, such as daily shopping, and for some products and services, Google is used a lot, such as travel, media and clothes. See how you buy something online.
Are you unique?
Do you sell unique products or do you offer unique services? Then it is only a matter of finding your company for the first time for your target group. Such as restaurant and whiskey bar the Kompas in Den Hoorn on Texel. There is no other whiskey bar with more than 2800 Scottish single malts. Their website is hopelessly outdated, but that doesn't matter. You don't want anything else as a whiskey enthusiast.
… .. Or are you in a market?
It is a big challenge to be unique in your offer ... what is really needed. (That strategy is also called the Blue Ocean Strategy) A typical marketing consultant, clothing store or online eyewear is in a market. There are multiple providers, which differ slightly from each other but which are not entirely unique. That is not bad at all (try finding a plasterer in the short term, for example), it only means that you have to compete. Oops.
When was the last time you walked into a market? “Cauliflowers! Fresh flower cabbages for sale! Cauliflower 1 euro! "Is alternated with" Oyster mushrooms and mushrooms! Come on people, who helps me get rid of? ”Online is no different. Only sit online users on the buttons. They search online for information about their questions and problems, find multiple sites and start comparing. Now we are talking about online marketing. This includes online advertising such as Facebook ads and Google adwords, social media, affiliate marketing…. and SEO. In other words: search engine marketing.
Compete in Google
Are you at the top in Google? Then you get more clicks than the competitor who is not even on the first three pages. Of course your site must really help the visitor with his questions or needs. Otherwise he just clicks sweetly to the next competitor.
How do you market your business on Google?
The answer to that question is of course SEO: you are going to describe the information on your website in such a way that:
- Google can easily find your information and interpret. The latter means that Google understands what you are doing, what information you are offering and therefore can link your site to a specific search query.
- Your customer is really helped! Google thinks that is much more important than you think of Google. That's why Google makes a lot of effort to see what people think of your website. Do they click through again immediately? Do they share it on social media? Are they linking to it?
Do I have to use SEO?
We are actually now on the marketing question: do I have to do marketing? You will find the answer in my definition of marketing: using company resources (money and time) as efficiently as possible to achieve the marketing objectives. If you do well as a company without marketing and with only word of mouth: keep it that way. Because marketing takes time, attention and money. Is the trade don't blow it, you need marketing. SEO is one efficient marketing tool because:
- Basically the efforts are for SEO one-off and the revenues (clicks via Google) continue to run. Certainly in comparison with online advertising, this is a very big plus.
- It's about your own website. You have that in full own management (with the help of your web builder and online marketer), compared to Facebook where your messages deliver less and less reach, for example.
- You have the choice whether you get going (possibly after a workshop) or if you outsource it. Time or money.
Do I focus on my product or target group?
Are you the greengrocer of the neighborhood? Or do you sell forgotten vegetables? The greengrocer of the neighborhood will adjust his offer to the people in the neighborhood. In a neighborhood with, for example, many Surinamese, packs, garters and ocher will be in great demand. If you sell forgotten vegetables then you will have to determine who your target audience is, and that will have to go beyond 'people who buy forgotten vegetables'.
This translates to SEO as follows: either you want to know which keywords your specific target group uses, or you will use frequently used keywords that match your offer. The latter can therefore mean that you start to put 'bleaching' hair treatment on the market as 'bleaching hair'. You adjust the information to the needs of the masses. And if you focus on a specific target group, then you will have to determine the search behavior of that specific group. Many companies do not make a choice and opt for a mix. SEO helps you to align your product and marketing with your target group.
When do I do SEO?
SEO is an efficient marketing tool when:
- Your target group is online;
- You have competition and are not completely unique;
- Your company needs more trade and is willing to invest in it;
The main condition is that you offer something that there is a need for. It must already be searched for. You cannot create a need with SEO.
When do I not do SEO?
Your target group is really not online. Or your offer is really unique in the eyes of your target group. You are too busy working and you don't need more work. Or what you offer you really have to sell and it is simply not searched for on Google.
Where should I place SEO in my business operations?
SEO is the domain of the online marketer. Online marketing falls under marketing. Who does the marketing in your company? Who is responsible for more trade? That is also about SEO.
Ah, but what about the web builder? He builds websites. And ensures a technically working website that meets all contemporary requirements (responsive website, speed, robots.txt, site map, 301s for new website, etc.) These requirements are important to Google, but that is only a small part. The web builder is not about content, keywords, links or specific technical changes that are only for Google (for example, https and canonical).
Most web builders only deliver a website. With a service contract they ensure that the site continues to work and sometimes they also put the content on it. But that is still not SEO. A good web builder (and luckily there are) knows about SEO and will think along with it, sometimes even proactively. But in practice I don't always come across them.
How do I start SEO?
Do you have a clear feeling where SEO fits into your business? Then you can take the following steps. Start with a keyword research to determine which keywords are used and are of interest to you. And then apply those keywords to your website. Do a website check speed, mobile friendliness, safety and duplicate content. Use Google Webmaster Tools. Care for left and regular content. Do you want to start more structured? Then follow the Workshop Start with SEO.