What Is Search Engine Optimization and What Does It Do?

Posted by in Local Business Tips, Tutorials

The simple answer is that Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of getting highly ranked on Google and others like Yahoo and Bing. The result is conversion to sales. Just like yellow pages. To get the call from a buyer they have to find you. If they don’t find you, they will find your competitor.

Is That It?

That’s the basic idea.  The results are awesome. But like anything, it doesn’t come easy or free contrary to what you might think. When you have an optimized web site, it’s like you’ve hired a virtual salesman selling your services.  To succeed at SEO you need to understand that it’s a process.

The Process

SEO starts with keywords relative to your business. For most businesses there are thousands of keywords that people search for. Think about when you search for something and why. You sit at your keyboard and start searching for something you don’t know about, that’s why you are searching. Your customers do the same thing.

Your customers don’t know your business. So they start searching for what makes sense to them.  They start typing in words and phrases. These are keywords and keyword phrases. They type, click search and look at the listings. The first thing they see are organic listings. They might look at the paid listings next. They glance fast and process what they see. If they don’t find what they want, they search again.

Their next search is more refined. They learned something on that first search.

Choosing Keywords

Google has an excellent keyword tool. You can search a term. Google lists the term and the amount of monthly searches. It’s not exact from my experience. It’s more like a guide. The tool gives you a list of keywords that relate to the one you searched. Sort from most searched to least and look down the list. You’ll see that there are 50-100 terms. The terms listed down the list are high conversion terms. Don’t think that you need the highest ranked terms. The ones down the list tell you what your customers are thinking about. These are “Long Tail Keywords”. They tell the real story.

Start listing the phrases that most closely match your niche. Don’t just search 1 term and stop there. You can search phrases that might be in the top 5 on your list. For example, try doing an individual search for #5 on the list. You’ll get another completely different list of keyword phrases. The deeper you search the more phrases you will find. You will be amazed at what you find. Many of these terms with few searches have no online competition and are high conversion to sales terms.

What Do I Do With All These Keyword Phrases?

The phrases you found should be put in an excel spread sheet. Then put them in a file, you’ll always use them. Once you have your list, you need to start laying them out by category for your website. Now you are laying out your site and business architecture. Once you have the terms organized it’s time to start writing your site content. Write your content using the selected keywords. You will find that you are now starting to understand the mind of your potential visitor.

By giving your visitor the content they want, you are on your way to creating content that converts to sales.  You are also on your way to refining your niche business.  You will find niches within your niche market.

For example, let’s say you are a concrete flooring contractor. Up until now you probably take any kind of concrete floor job that comes along. Some may not make economic sense, but you take them anyway hoping that one of these days you’ll get your big break. Don’t feel like you are alone. We all make these mistakes.

What you are discovering is that your target customers actually search for terms like restaurant floor or retail store floor. That opens up a new idea. Restaurant or retail stores are usually about 1,500 -4,000 square feet. Do the math and you might find that is a highly profitable niche. Now you need to go after floor projects like these. You can get these jobs by writing about them on your site. Explain everything that your target customer needs to know. Educate them.

As you think about this niche, you will start thinking about what your customer wants  to know. Like how to maintain a restaurant floor. Now you’ve opened up a new categories of keyword phrases. Floor cleaning and maintenance, products for cleaning, tools for cleaning. How about floor colors? The list goes on and on.

This is a a start. As you can see, search engine optimization is a process for defining and developing niche markets. This process develops a niche that you can brand. How to brand your business is another topic, but as you may start to see is a process of search engine optimization.

Tools For Optimizing Your Website

I’m going to get into how to optimize your optimization on Niche Quest frequently. It’s not hard to understand and you don’t need technical skills to master the process for your business. Your online marketing  efforts relate directly to the kind of business you are building. Much of what your business needs  for online success can be outsourced. But to outsource you need to understand the processes.

Here is a list of tools;

  1. Keywords
  2. Logo
  3. Website
  4. Blog
  5. Article Marketing
  6. Social Media
  7. Word of Mouth Marketing

Search Engine Optimization incorporates all the above and more. You just need to learn. Come back frequently and I’ll show you how. In the process I’m sure I’ll learn from you too.

Edward Winslow
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Edward Winslow

Founder, Digital Marketing & Lead Gen Expert at NicheQuest Media
Small business marketing veteran, lead gen expert and founder of NicheQuest Media, Ed Winslow is on a mission to help small businesses position themselves online in order to reach customers searching for solutions and services.
Edward Winslow
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