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What Is SEO & How To Use It Effectively For Your Business

digital marketing agency organic search search engine optimization seo tips to improving seo Jul 06, 2022

SEO can seem like a really hard term to understand, and even more, it can seem like a daunting task to try and implement this to help your business gain authority and grow.  So today, I want to break down for you WHAT SEO is, WHY it's so important for your business, and finally HOW you can start to use SEO to help your business grow and gain the authority that comes with it.

First things first: what exactly is SEO?  If you google the term, you'll see dozens and dozens of blogs, videos, etc. attempting to break it down in a way that's easy to understand.  However, the first time I googled "SEO," I found the results, and trying to figure out what it meant was an EXTREMELY frustrating process.  So I want to attempt to break it down in a way that doesn't make you want to run for the hills . . .

SEO in its simplest terms is the practice of using keywords to rank in the organic searches that people do.  I know that sounds a little confusing, so I want to break down the two parts of that last sentence.  When it comes to keywords, those are simply words that people might use to search for you and your business.

Let's say, for example, that you own a clothing company.  Some of the keywords for your industry might include "clothing," "pants," "shirts," etc.  Each word will have a different ranking based on how often it is searched by people vs. how many people are using that keyword.  That means that keywords used by a lot of people are going to be harder to rank for than keywords that aren't used as much.  The second part of that sentence, "organic search," simply means a search that is done by someone through a search engine.  When I say a search engine, think Google or Yahoo, but it can also include social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.  Basically, in any place that has the ability to perform a search, you can use keywords to come up in people's searches.

Now that we talked about the "what," let's talk about WHY SEO is so important for your business.  Imagine that you run a clothing company, and a potential customer is trying to choose between you and a competitor of yours.  Say they do a keyword search as we talked about above, and your competitor comes up on page one of their Google search, but your company is nowhere to be found.  Which company do you think that potential customer is going to end up going with?

If you guessed your competitor, you'd be right.  The truth is, when people Google things, they rarely go past page one, and if they do, they definitely don't go past page 3, which means showing up in the top third of search results for keywords related to your industry can mean the difference between being looked at as an industry leader or not.

I know it sounds ridiculous and like a vanity thing, but people see brands and businesses that show up on page one as more authoritative than ones that don't.  It's as simple as that.  This doesn't mean that the first time you write something, you'll automatically start showing up on page one.  SEO is a long-term play for your business and one that helps to establish the long-term health and stability of your brand.  That is why consistently writing great SEO blogs, captions, etc. is so important for the growth of your business, but we'll get into that in a little bit.

With there being more businesses started every single day, it means that you're going to have more competition than ever when it comes to you and your business getting noticed online.  Instagram is throttling reach and engagement, while TikTok is getting harder to get views, so the competition is just getting tougher and tougher.  This is WHY SEO is so important because when done correctly, it will help you establish authority over all the other people that are in your industry and niche.

So know that you know the "what" and the "why," let's talk about HOW you can start to take advantage of SEO and use it to get a leg up in business.  Remember how we talked about keywords before?  Well, there are two types of keywords that you can rank for.  The first is main keywords and these are the main terms that are searched for in your industry.  When I gave the examples above for a clothing company, those were all main keywords.  The other type of keywords are "dove-tail keywords," and these are more phrases than they are words.  For example, if someone was using a main keyword to search for your clothing, they might enter the word "skirt" into the search bar.  If they, however, were using dove-tail keywords, they might enter, "summer skirt in yellow" into the search bar.

The goal for you is to find a combination of using both types of keywords that helps you get noticed for larger, more competitive words, as well as you being able to rank for less competitive dove-tail keywords in your industry.  Because let's face it: when you first start a clothing company and write your first blog, you're not going to rank for the word "skirt" because there is simply too much competition and you're too new of a company.  However, if you consistently use the word "skirt" every time you write a blog, post, etc. about them over a 5-year timespan, you can bet that you'll start to show up at the top of people's searches.

This is one of the reasons WHY we preach consistency so much.  Most people will write a blog every now and again, but rarely will people consistently write great blogs with industry keywords every week for years.  We're an example of this.  Go back and look at just how many blogs we've actually written.  At first, we barely got any website visits, blog visits, and search results.  Now, 3 years later, we get over 10,000 hits to our blog every month and our business comes up on page one of most keywords related to our industry.

Slow and steady (and consistent) wins the race.

So how do you go about finding exactly what keywords you should use?  I would highly suggest using a tool or resource like "Ubersuggest" or "Keywords Everywhere."  What you want to do is keep a list, ideally in Google Sheets or Excel, and you want to have the following: 25-50 main keywords and 50-100 dove-tail keywords for your industry.  Now, you won't be using every single word every time, but you want to make sure that whatever the topic you're writing about, you've got an ample supply of keywords to use for it.

This means every blog, every social media post, and every time you do any writing that's going online, you're using these keywords.  Like I said before, you won't notice anything happening right away, but I equate it a lot to working out.  You don't go to the gym one day and you're in the healthiest shape of your life  You go consistently every day and after 3 months you notice a little change, then 6 months a bigger change, till after a year you start to see the fruits of all the labor and effort you put in . . . that's SEO.

Look, I'll leave you with this.  If you want your business to be around for a couple of years, then ignore this and simply focus on social media, because SEO won't matter to you.  However, if you want your business to be around 10 years, 20 years, and even longer . . . then you need to start implementing SEO into everything that you do.  I can promise you it will be the difference between being just another business among the competition or being an industry leader that people look to when they need the product or service you have.