Many times businesses will place SEO at the back-burner of things that they need to focus on for their site's performance. Then they wonder why their website isn't ranking at the top of Google's search results.
SEO isn't something you prioritize for the very end but is rather a fundamental aspect that should be kept in mind at every stage of creating and building your website.
If your site is simply focusing on its design to improve user experience, you will end up disappointed because, the truth is, it's ultimately SEO that contributes far greater "points" toward a user's positive experience on your site.
Here's a question for you: Would you keep browsing through a website that takes ages to load just because it looks good? Probably not.
Why is this, you may ask? Why is SEO more important than aesthetics?
Don't get us wrong, a website is important in its own right and keeps customers on your site for longer, but aesthetics alone aren't going to drive up sales of your online business. Aesthetics also won't help you with:
Among these pillars that uphold a positive user experience, SEO is the marble that those pillars are made out of. So why shouldn't you take full advantage of SEO to transform your online business?
1. The 4 Horsemen of User Intent & How You Can Ride Them for Greater Sales
Google has identified and shared 4 basic moments within a customer's journey that fuel their search queries. Answering these queries is your window of opportunity. They are as follows:
Ideally, you want your brand to show up when your potential customers are searching for answers to their queries. Becoming an established source that answers these queries for users makes you stand out to users because you provide them with tangible informational value in their moments of curiosity and need.
There's a special name for this method of marketing that provides customers with value, and it's known as inbound marketing. Essentially, you're attracting your customers to your site by providing them with information from your niche and specialization that they can use to solve problems.
You may be wondering how a person reading a blog post on your website can be turned into a paying customer. It's very simple.
A. Your potential customer needs information regarding some part of their buyer journey (one of the "moments" listed above), so they search their query in a search engine hoping to find good, answers. B. They find that answer on your website, and so they come to your site and read your content.
C. Then, you either directly ask them to subscribe to your email list for more updates on your content, or you can "bribe" them by offering up something of value to them in exchange for their email address. This "bribe" is also known as aLead Magnet or an Opt-In Incentive.
D. Once you have them on your list, they're part of your sales funnel. At this point, they have given you their email, and some trust is built. So, you should hit them with your offer and make a sale.
E. Once you've made the sale, your work is not done yet. You've successfully encouraged them to use your products.
Remember that customers do their research because they want to know where they are putting their hard-earned money. Therefore, brands not only need to be visible to a user when they're doing this research, but they should also be the ones providing them with valuable answers, eventually enticing them into joining the company's sales funnel.
We've come full circle: optimizing your content helps your customer solve their problem, which leads them to subscribe to your list, which then allows you to keep them updated with promotional offers that increase your sales further. But to keep this cycle running efficiently, you need to keep optimizing your own site.
2. Focusing On Link Building In addition to optimizing your own site, one hack to significantly bump up your rankings is to network with high domain authority websites.
This is because you want to take advantage of some of their "SEO juice"--if a high authority site links to your site, it will help your site rank much higher in search engine results for your desired keywords.
This SEO juice helps you significantly bypass your competitors that are in the same industry, even those competitors who are investing in paid advertising!
If you rank for your target keywords, not only is a prospect more likely to go to your link as opposed to a sponsored link in a search engine, but you also pay literally nothing to rank there compared to a company that utilized a paid search ad.
You can ultimately use this newfound SEO juice to connect with more readers. However, it's important that before you rely on networking, guest posts, or even backlink building, you must have the building blocks of SEO in place. Let's take a look at what those are.
The first step is to tell your brand's story through the right keywords. You can find relevant keywords using tools like Google Adwords and add snippets or ideas your ideal customer would be searching for related to the kind of service or product you offer.
Once you know what keywords and search terms you want to rank for on search engine results, you can then use these keywords in tags, also known as Meta Tags.
Meta tags are like the packaging for a web page on your site that essentially tells a reader what's inside before they open it. If a prospect doesn't know what's inside your page or is confused by it, they're far more likely to skip over your page and not click on it.
Instead, you want to give them an accurate snapshot of what's in store for them on the page you created to solve their problem. To take the snapshot, you fill out the 4 types of Meta Tags for each page on your site.
There are 4 basic types of Meta Tags: .
Your title can be the same as your web page's title, and your image description should describe each image on your web page accurately. For the URL, you only need to change a part of the URL called the "URL slug," to reflect what your page is about. In all three of these, you want to naturally include your target keywords. Keyword stuffing is a big no in the SEO world and can tank your rankings quicker than the Titanic.
You may be wondering how you would even go about updating these 4 Meta Tags in the first place. There are two ways to do this. You can either go directly into your site's source code for each page or use Meta Tag Code Templates to create the tags.
OR You can use popular, user-friendly tools like the Yoast SEO plug-in to simply input the information you want to put in your tags using an interface that connects with each of the pages on your site individually.
The main point to be made in this post is that people ultimately buy from those that they connect with and see value in.
If you're the one to provide your prospect with that value throughout their customer journey in each of their micro-moments (i.e., want-to-know, want-to-go, want-to-buy, and want-to-do moments), then your customer associates your brand as an authority in your niche and builds trust with you.
This trust (and at times a little bit of bribery if you choose to go with an opt-in incentive, as many successful businesses do) is what persuades them into willingly joining your sales funnel and converting into sales and long-term customers.
You can always hire SEO Services and backlink building services to boost the SEO for the brand stories you want to share to connect with your target audience.
This guest article was written by Aaron Tyler, an SEO expert at Search Berg. He's a leading SEO specialist who has long dealt with SEO services for big and small businesses. In addition to providing backlink building services, Search Berg also offers SEO and website audit services to help businesses revamp their SEO strategy. Multiple businesses have been able to improve their link building profile, improve their SERP rankings, and collect high-quality hyperlinks with his help.