They were three little letters, but they struck fear in my heart back in the days when I was trying to get my business rolling. I’d been a marketing copy writer for 10 years before I had stepped back to concentrate on the five children my husband and I were privileged to parent. For a while there were two big dogs in the picture, and a house on the beach. Upon my husband’s death in 2008, I was suddenly thrust into the role of main breadwinner, and I had to figure out what that meant for a marketing copywriter who had missed the leap to internet marketing.
At the time, people were throwing around a lot of terms I’d never heard before, but it was the little collection of letters representing Search Engine Optimization that intimidated me the most: SEO. That sounded important and complicated – technical, even. Actually, it’s all of the above. And understanding it can make a huge difference to your business.
Frankly, if you haven’t invested in this aspect of online marketing, you are leaving the field to others in your field who have, and they are no doubt enjoying opportunities to assist people who might be better served by what you have to offer.
Search Engine Optimization is a collection of actions you can take, both on your website and elsewhere on the internet, to maximize the chances of your ideal customer or client finding you online. Maximizing your SEO efforts is a process, rather than a destination. Building strong SEO takes dedication, commitment, and time—yours or that of an expert in the field. It’s become more complicated over the past decade and it’s changing all the time.
And it depends on close collaboration between all members of your team: your copywriters, your SEO team and the people who upload your content to your web properties. While your SEO team (even if that’s you!) needs to determine which keywords are the most valuable for you to be using, your copywriters need to consistently and elegantly embed those keywords in the headlines and subheadings of the copy they are writing. Your writer(s) also need to have a sense of how to create strategic links to content both on your website and off it in order to maximize your SEO opportunities.
Your admin team, meanwhile, needs to know their way around the backend of your website so they can upload content in a way that maximizes keyword and SEO opportunities. That part is a little more technical. Meanwhile, somebody needs to know how to create backlinks to your website from reputable off-site properties, so you can enhance your overall online authority. All of this takes time and it costs money – investment dollars that result in higher placement on the Search Engine Results Pages.
Let’s be practical, though. The project of maximizing your SEO opportunities can take a lot of strategic time and effort and if your business relies heavily on word-of-mouth referrals you might feel it’s not worth the cost of bringing your web property up to speed. If you ever want to expand your business, or sell it, however, the time and energy expended on this aspect of it becomes part of the investment for future profitability. It’s complex stuff. And important!
Do you need help with SEO? Contact me today!