People use Google, the most popular search engine, to perform 3.5 billion searches a day! Today, if your consulting business doesn’t have a website, it might as well not exist to the millions of people using search engines to find products and services.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and creating content that ranks well on the Google search results pages. The higher you rank, the more traffic your website will get, and ultimately the more revenue you will drive.
There is no magic bullet to get the coveted top spots on Google (other than paid ads, of course). You have to earn it! The good news is, if you are willing to put in some work, you don’t need a big budget to see results.
Read these top 5 tips from an SEO consultant to learn more about search engines and the things you can do to improve your ranking on Google.
People Still Read
People constantly say to us, “No one reads anymore, so I don’t want my website to have a lot of text.”
While it’s true that video and audio content are growing in popularity (more on that later), certain types of long-form written content are still being read and ranking very well on search engines like Google.
Long-form content (typically 2,000 words or longer) on your website might include things like:
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- How-to articles
- Case studies
- Behind the scenes / process
- Buyer’s guides
- Sales landing pages
- Lists and in-depth reviews (best of, top 10, etc.)
- Storytelling and long-form journalism
Your goal when creating long-form, high-ranking content is to create a combination of high-quality, trustworthy, useful, interesting, and remarkable content. Keep in mind if the article is long, it should also likely include images, videos, graphics, tools, downloads or anything else that the user might find useful. In addition, you’ll want to format the content with headers, bullets and other elements that will make it easy to skim.
When you create a piece of great content, users will stay on your page to read the in-depth content, which is a great signal for Google that your content is high quality.
Words on Your Website Matter
When designing your website, and also any content you create later such as blog articles, services pages, etc. keep in mind that the actual words you use on the site matter.
Keyword research is the process of using a data aggregation tool to learn what people are searching on the Internet and how many people are searching for it.
By using a free tool such as Neil Patel’s Uber Suggest, you can test your assumptions about what you think users would type into Google to find a business like yours.
Once you know the correct keywords to use on the site, you’ll want to optimize each page for a different keyword phrase. Use those words in the page title, the body copy, in links and in the meta title and meta description of the page.
Video Content is High Value
There is no doubt that consumer preference for video is rising, especially among Millenials. Video content is quickly becoming one of the most high value types of content you can have on your website to help you rank for Google.
Videos engage multiple senses and convey emotion better than plain written copy or still photos. Because of that, videos are simply more engaging and can hold people’s attention longer.
Videos help your SEO by keeping people on your website for longer (also known as “dwell time”), which is a signal to Google that your website has good content.
In addition to video content on your website, YouTube has quickly become the second largest search engine in the world with over a global billion users. So even if you never post the video on your website, your business can still get found on YouTube.
Video content may take more effort and resources to produce, but your effort will most certainly pay off in the way of search engine optimization.
User Intent is Intuitive
Without doing a bunch of keyword research, it’s actually not difficult to try to guess what types of things people might type into Google, just by looking at your own user behavior when it comes to searching the Internet.
User intent is the concept behind understanding how people search on the Internet and why.
Think about the last time you went to buy a new laptop. Maybe you searched for “best laptops 2021.” The user intent of this query is pretty obvious. You are a potential buyer, but you’re not yet ready to buy. You’re still in the research phase. So Google’s top results are likely going to show you a review website that runs down the best laptops that came out in 2021. This is the type of content that will be most helpful to you at this phase in the buying process.
Once you have narrowed it down to a few laptops, you might search for “Inspiron 15 5000 Laptop reviews.” Then Google will likely show more in-depth reviews of this specific laptop from trustworthy sites (that’s where that long-form content will shine).
When you are ready to buy and you want to check prices, you might type in “buy Inspiron 15 5000 Laptop.” This is where the product page for the Inspiron laptop will likely be in the top results, as well as websites or marketplaces that sell that model such as Amazon or Best Buy.
When you do your keyword research for your own website, consider what the user intent is during each phase of the sales funnel or buying process, and create content that meets those needs.
SEO Takes Ongoing Work
The process of optimizing your website for Google or other search engines is not a one-time thing. There are many technical aspects to SEO that are performed when your website is created that happen only one time. However, to have truly good search engine optimization and ongoing benefits from SEO, it takes an ongoing commitment of time and/or money.
The amount of resources you will have to invest is dependent on how competitive your industry is on Google and how much effort those competitors are putting in. It’s a bit of an arms race. If you are ranking one day for a particular keyword, but then your competitor creates a better piece of content, you’ll lose your position. But then you also have the opportunity to improve your position with more optimization or new content.
In the end, Google will always award the website that has the best, most relevant content to what the user is looking for.Candy Phelps is the founder of Bizzy Bizzy, an innovative branding and web design agency in Madison, Wisconsin. Candy is also the author of “Grow Your SEO: Search Engine Optimization Concepts Even Your Grandma Can Understand.”