Getting Started with SEO (a 4 part series)
Welcome to another blog post in our online marketing series. This week we will focus on Search Engine Optimization, SEO for short. This sub-series will tell you why a skilled trades business website needs SEO, how to make sure Google knows your website exists (jargon warning: this is called crawling) and a few step-by-step guides to get your website to rank higher. In this series, you will learn how to improve your website’s ranking and visibility on Google, and once you start implementing the stuff you learn, your website will start its journey to get on the first page!
Every good Tradesmen started as an apprentice, well, the same goes for SEO. We start with the very basics by explaining what exactly SEO is and why you should care about it.
SEO is basically optimizing your website and its content so that you rank higher. When you do so, it puts your website higher up in the index. In the skilled trades industry, if a potential customer is looking for your service, they are likely to use a generic “xyz near me” on Google. Google will display a set of result. Now, if your website is well optimized, in time you should show up on the first page! If you use Google, you’ll realize how rare it is that people go to the second search engine results page (SERP).
If your website isn’t optimized, it is likely that you won’t show up on the first page and that means losing potential business! That’s just unacceptable! So, let’s work on changing that issue.
Another important thing to learn is how search engines work. Search engines have a simple process:
Google has crawl bots constantly scanning your website to keep a track of the type of content your site has. It also keeps a record of keywords, links, pictures etc. You must make sure that your website can be crawled by Google. We will have an easy to follow guide on this next week!
For your website to show up on a SERP, it needs to be indexed. Index is sort of like a database for websites. You can check if your site has been indexed by using this trick – on google, type ‘site:websitename.com’ and press enter. If your website shows up, you’re in the Google website index! Congratulations!
GETTING DISPLAYED ON THE RESULT PAGE:
Google ranks your website based on a variety of factors (the list is HUGE, with over 200 factors, we recommend looking at this article on Google Ranking Factors by Brian Dean from Backlinko). When a user searched for something on Google, the search engine algorithm displays the results best suited for the user’s specified criteria. As I mentioned earlier, the most common search term for skilled trades is “XYZ service/part near me (for cheap, for sale, quick, now etc.)”. So, it makes sense to optimize your page based on location, pricing and displaying parts and/or service offered for sale.
Caution: If you think that you optimize your website once and you’ll be good for life, you’d be wrong. Google constantly updates its search algorithm. Also, your competitors may make a site which has better SEO than your own. Basically, my point is that there are a lot of factors that could lead to you losing your ranking. So, it’s only prudent to regularly update your website. We will talk about best practices and give you more tips in the next few blog posts!
I hope this introduction was helpful and that it encourages you to improve your website’s SEO. Next week, we start with the cool stuff. Our next three articles will walk you through the step by step process to complete basic SEO on your own, so don’t worry, you can do this. Input your email below so we can let you know when we release our next post.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments section below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next week!
Mahima Jhalani. Business Success Associate at Phyxter.