How to SEO Your Website (SEO 101)


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Welcome to the ten minute MBA. I'm your host, Scott D clary. Today I'm going to teach you about the basics of Seo. We're going back to the start, back to business one on one, and I want to break down what SEO is, because it is still wildly misunderstood and for some reason people think that it's something that you have to be technical to understand, perhaps because it comes with building your website more often than not, and that's the same camp that it gets bundled into. But it really is quite simple and quite important to understand what it is and how to use it, especially as a small business owner or an entrepreneur, because there are two ways to grow a business. When you're selling something, you can ease. You can either sell a product, you can go outbound. You can call customers, you can email them, you can reach out to them on Linkedin and you can find different ways to sell your product, or you can get your customers to come to you, and Seo is part of the strategy that will get your customers to come to you. And if you're thinking about traditional like traditional business lingo, when you reach out to customers, that's called outbound. Outbound sales, outbound marketing, whatever it may be, and when your customers come to you, that's called inbound or demand generation, and Seo is part of that inbound. There's other components inbound, but SEO is a major part. So I want to walk through what the basics of SEO is, what it is, what it isn't and some tips on how to get started. So first we're going to start with the acronym, so search engine optimization. So what search engine optimization really is at its core is it is you having a website that has keywords that the person who you would like to buy your product is searching for. So if they're searching for where to find a new dog and they want to go purchase a dog and you're selling dogs and you're a pet store, your website should have keywords that are focused on finding dogs. But at its core, SEO is really just the process of affecting the visibility of your website or your web page on a search engine with unpaid results.

What this means is that you are putting content on your website that is allowing more people to find you. At its core, that's all it is. It putting content on your website that allows more people to find you. Now you may be asking, how does putting certain content allow people to find me easier? Well, to answer that question, first we have to discuss how Google works, and we're going to use Google as an example, because it is the largest search engine in the world and if you can figure out how to use Google, you will get more than enough traffic. There are other search engines, one of them being bing. Yahoo used to be a search engine. You can go all the way back and go to ask Jeeves, which was another search engine, but Google is the search engine that we really have to worry about. So how SEO works is when you put certain words, when you literally write certain words, if you're writing a blog, you're using words on your website, or if you're writing the title of a blog, or if you're using headers on your website to help customers navigate and find certain things, like in your menu and whatnot, or even just titles on pages, when you use certain words there, what Google is going to do is Google is going to take a look at your site and that's called indexing. So Google going to take a look at your site and it looks at your site every couple every couple days and that's that's what indexing is. And then it Google, it's going to take a scan of your site and it's going to basically take a record of all the words that are on your site and then it's going to say, okay, so I found this site has the word purchase a dog thirteen different times on the website, and once it does that, it's going to say okay. So that means is a really good chance that this site is about purchasing a dog. And what it's going to do is, when somebody searches I need to purchase a dog, Google is going to say in the search results, Oh, I have the perfect website for you, because I know that a lot of the copy and the content on the website is about purchasing a dog. And that is an extreme oversimplification, but that's essentially what SEO is at its very core, and your goal as either somebody who is a marketer or even a founder, if you...

...don't have a team yet, is to find a way to make sure that Google always puts your site in front of the right people that are looking for your product or your service, and then the next step is to make sure that Google shows your website in priority or first when somebody searches for a product or service. And if you ever hear the term getting on the first page of Google, that's what it's doing. It's not just letting the people who are searching for your product find your page because your page is relevant for them, it's trying to get it onto the first page of Google so that they have a better chance of seeing it, because if you actually look at the stats, the majority of people, and I don't have a number in front of me, but the majority of people only look on the first page of Google. So this is what Google is at its core. Now one other point that I wanted to touch on because I mentioned one thing. Search engine optimization, or Seo, is about getting free traffic, because Google and many other platforms also allow you to pay to have your business listed as a result at the top, of, say, first page or second page. You can pay for that and you'll notice and when you go to Google and you search a topic, there will be several results that show right at the top of the page. That's say add beside them. Now those are paid search results. Now that's fine, you can do that, but that's going to cost you and again, we're trying to help you get your business off the ground and we're not trying to bankrupt you day one. So for this conversation we're focusing on unpaid or free. Now, if you're going to ask why you should care about Seo, well, Seo done well means that the right people will be finding your website and the right people will be going to your website and there will be something called intent, because they're searching for your website and they found your website. Now there's some reason why they're searching for your website. That's intent and that means that there's a good chance that they could be looking to buy your product or your service. So Seo leads to traffic and that traffic comes with purchase intent and that means that they may be looking to buy your product or service. Now there are other there are other components to Seo. So it's not just about keywords. There are things that Google looks for when directing people to your site. So it will try and figure...

...out how popular your site is, how reputable your site is, how user friendly your site is, how much content on your site is unique to you versus potentially copied from another site. If you are trying to game the system or trick the system, as many people try and do with a variety of techniques, it's going to try and figure that out and limit traffic to your site. So you do want to play within the rules and the rules that Google plays by. Our high quality relevant information that is directly tied to the searchers query. So it is not looking for junk, it is not looking for spam. It's not going to recommend your site. If you just have the word buy a dog now, repeated again in an again and again, five hundred times on your website, it's not going to improve your ranking. So it is a very smart machine. Google is incredibly smart and it is all about high quality, relevant information. The other things that I mentioned which could indicate how likely Google is to recommend your website could be, for example, how long people stay on your website, how many different pages they go to on your website. One they get to your homepage, indicating that they're researching and looking into more on your website. They also consider the loading speed of your website and whether or not it's user friendly and mobile friendly. So can somebody look at your website on their phone on their cell phone. Also, of course, the content itself. If you're writing a lot of keywords are is the content original? Is it something you wrote or is it a copy paste from another website? And Google will hurt your website and room and lower your rankings if you are trying to game the system and just copy content other ways that it can find how reputable your site is. Is something called a backlink or a link between a site. So, for example, if you have links on your website, if you have other, sorry, if you have other reputable websites, link back to your site and these are called backlinks, and you'll see a lot of people that work in Seo say I can get you high quality backlinks. That's saying that a more reputable site, a company like, for example, Forbes or Wall Street Journal or any other...

...any other site. It could be Walmart, it could be could be a university, an educational institution, a high quality site that's reputable, is it linking to your site. That means that that high quality site trust your site, so that must mean that your site has good quality content. There are other things that impact the site, but I would say the most important things are the things I just mentioned. So let's just double down and explain some of those main items that impact Seo a little bit further. Each one of them could be a very extensive conversation, but I'll just try and give you a high level. So first the most important is the keywords. So the keywords are literally the main words that you're going to be using in your titles and your content that have to do with the target audience that you're trying to get to visit your website. So the things that impact your keywords that you should look for, and there are several tools that can look for keywords for you, such as at rafts, Google search console keyword tool, dot ioh Mars keyword explorer, Seo Cockpit. There's a lot of keywords search tools and you can actually Google and find one. But when you use these tools, what you're going to be looking for is a couple factors. So the search volume, so how many people are actually searching for this keyword, the relevance, how relevant is it to the product you're selling and to your potential audience? And the competition. How many other people, how many of your competitors, are also putting this keyword all over their website? So those are the main things that you have to look for, and most keywords search tools will give you data points on those factors and after you have those data points, then it's just a matter of looking at the data and understanding and weighing out the relevance, the search volume and the competition, and then you're going to choose the keywords that you're going to try and use on your website. And keywords don't always have to be a word. There's also something called a long tail keyword, which is really just a sentence, a grouping of words. So whenever you write blogs, whenever you have titles on your website, you're always going to try and use those key words. If you write a blog, you could have one to two percent of the blog be that keyword,...

...meaning that that keyword is repeated and you're going to massage the words that you keep using that keyword. And if you do this again and again over your entire website, that's when Google starts indexing, I remember from before. It starts understanding that that is the content that is on your website. The second piece that we spoke about is usability of your site. This is sometimes referred to as on page optimization. So this includes whether or not your site loads well, is user friendly, is mobile optimized so that somebody can use it on their phone and loads quickly. So these are there are some more technical things that you would have to understand to be able to do this effectively, but know that it is important that your website, if you're looking at it on a computer, does it load properly, if you're looking at it on a phone or variety of different types and sizes of phones and tablets, is that look and and work well and does it load quick so you can actually use a tool called GT mettrickscom. You can go to page speed insites from Google developers. You can go to Pingdom tools. I think the domain is tools that pingdomcom. These and many others can all give you a really good read on how your site is performing. If you go to Google and you type site load speed test, you will probably have about twenty different tools that you can use and they're going to be very clear and give you very actionable recommendations as to how you can improve your site speed, which directly impacts your Seo. And then, lastly, you want to think about your titles. Your titles on your website are important. So think about the titles of your website, think about the titles of your blogs, think about the titles of different pages. They should again include your keywords and titles are just weighted slightly higher because that is the overarching theme of the page or the website. So on Google Scans it's going to notice that your titles have certain words in them. So just think about that when you think about putting your keywords or placing your keywords on the website. And then, lastly, the links. So I was talking about backlinks. Back links are things that you have to get.

So if you write great content, there's a good chance that other websites may link back to your website if they want to tag you or if they want to use a quote or whatnot. Now, if you don't have people organically and naturally sharing content and linking back to your website, then you're going to have to do some work. So there are several ways. Really what you'd want to do is you can do some guest blogging, so you can do guess blogs, right, guess blogs for other websites and ask for a backlink, and always ask for a do follow backlink, meaning that the site that hosts your guest blog is going to link back to your website. You can also use a really great tool that I like to use for back linking. There's again a million and one things we can talk about back linking. So don't think that this is it, but this is just a great start. I use a tool called Harrow, or help a reporter out, and what that is is it is reporters that are looking to write articles on notable news sites, so they need expert opinions on certain topics. So what they'll do as will put a request out for opinions on this, that or the other topic, can be anything under the sun, and you'll submit a paragraph with your information, with your website details, and if you write great content, what they'll do is will usually take some of those quotes and use them in articles. The writing you can get on Forbes, entrepreneur ink, all these really notable websites that way, which are great for back links, and all you have to really do is just spend some time and submit some responses to some of these quote requests, basically, and you will get some backlinks. And also, if you are a founder CEO, usually these are coming in the form of quote. So you'll also get some notoriety in some clout because you will have your name out their featured in a noted publication. You can also pay for back links. You can pay for back links on websites. Some websites allow you to pay to submit articles. You can find them on a tool called excessively so excessivelycom you can pay for articles to be submitted on various websites. The more notable websites obviously are very expensive, whereas Harrow there's a slow monthly subscription cost to get access to Harrow Har Oh, but...'s relatively cheap. So these are different ways to get back links. And then also you want to not just get back links because I that's that's that's one thing that is very important because it's indicating that other trusted websites find your website trustworthy, but also try and do some internal linking as well. So if you have a blog, when you're done the blog you can link to other blogs you've written on your actual site and you can be guiding the viewer of your website to other other parts of your site. So internal linking is important. External backlinking from other sites is extremely important. And now, if you've taken the time to sort of understand the nuances of SEO, if you even start with some of the things that I mentioned today, you will have a good start. Although it's a very extensive field that you can go really deep into the weeds on. Most people don't even focus on the things that I've spoken about today. So start there and you want to track your results. You can track your results with a variety of different tools. Mostly the most important tool is to look at the traffic coming to your website. You can also look at the keywords that you're ranking on, but I would say use google analytics, use Google search console. You can see the traffic over time. You can see which blogs are getting the most traffic, which is very helpful to see if the blogs with certain keywords in the title are attracting the right audience or attracting a large group of people. And then you can also see where you rank for certain keywords by using some of these tools. So you can see if you're ranking which page of Google your website showing up on for certain keywords that you will hope eventually drive drive sales, drive eyeballs and drive sales. And at its core that is seo one hundred and one. There are more technical components that you will have to hire somebody who may have a little bit of web development expertise. There are non technical components you can take on day one. If you just figure out your keyword and your content strategy and your blog writing strategy, that alone will start to drive results. And the most important thing to remember with Seo is it is a long game and it will always pay off in the long run. It takes,... my opinion, minimum six months, more realistically twelve months, to really see results with Seo. So start now, even if it's just a little bit of content, a little bit of awareness of keywords and optimizing your site, and a year later you'll be very happy with where you've come. Everybody who invests some time or money and Seo always, always, is grateful they did so, because that's when they have a constant, predictable lead and revenue source, versus when somebody doesn't and they're just going outbound and they have to always hunt to get that next deal. Invest the time now. In one year, two year, five years, you're going to think you're going to thank yourself for it. anyways, this has been another ten minute. Mba. I hope this was valuable. Have a great night. I'll see you tomorrow. Have a great night. I'll see you tomorrow. Have a great night.

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