There is no magic guide for teaching you the steps to build your business from scratch. You are entering uncharted territory and need to plot your own course to success.
There are plenty of entrepreneurs, gurus
Organizing your time and deciding what to focus on is the most difficult decision in my opinion.
Choosing between focusing on product development or sales or any other aspect can be difficult. I believe it is absolutely vital for
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best investments you can make in your business. But it can also be extremely frustrating in the short term. The time invested vs. the return in the early stages of your business can make it appear pointless.
I can say from my experience that spending time learning SEO and implementing it my business’s launch was one of the best choices I made.
There are plenty of firms that you can outsource the work but it’s completely unnecessary. SEO at its core is a basic process that any one can learn and implement on their own.
What is SEO?
I run a digital marketing business with my two partners that
I recognized from the start that the best way for us to do that was to be at the top of
Getting to the first page is the goal of every SEO strategy.
Being there and staying there requires constantly creating new content, building authority and getting it in front of people. It’s simple to learn and something every business owner could do on their own.
In the beginning, you need to create content that is optimized to be crawled by Google or Bing or whatever other search engines are out there.
Building authority requires consistently creating related content that re-enforces to the search engines your websites relevancy. Getting it in front of people means you need to post it everywhere, including other websites that can send traffic to yours.
Technology determines how things are ranked on results pages. Therefore, you can learn the rules that govern the technology and utilize it to your advantage for creating the perfect content for it.
Why we saw value in SEO?
I knew from the start that devoting time to SEO would contribute to the long-term success of our business.
We had to establish ourselves as an authority to get our name out to businesses looking for help. I started out with one simple goal – to create the most in-depth and helpful content on each and every topic in our field.
My partners and I shared the belief from Day 1 that our business was in a rapidly growing field. This meant that if we could get our content to the top of search engine pages we could continually develop new leads for almost zero cost.
Great SEO has the exact same value for every business. It doesn’t matter if you run a physical product-based business, digital product or service-based business.
Focusing some time on SEO at the start can help you generate free sales in the future.
What we did for SEO?
I learned everything we needed to know for SEO from a Udemy course. The course taught the fundamentals – from how to write content for search engines to how to optimize your website.
SEO is essentially compiled of two parts: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
Off-page SEO relates to creating content and getting links on other related websites. It naturally takes time to build those links and content marketing relationships.
On-page SEO is fully in your control and is about the content you write and how your website performs.
I focused on creating content that was written with what is known as latent semantic indexing (LSI).
This means that I focused on one specific keyword and found related keywords. I made sure that these keywords were placed strategically and repeated a certain amount of times throughout the content.
I also focused on long-form content (>1000 words) as that helps
We are in a field that is constantly evolving and every time there was a new update or change, I tried publishing a piece of SEO content within a few days of the change coming out. This allowed us to rank quickly for long tail keywords and started building our page authority.
Off-page SEO became more of a focus and I started reaching out to similar businesses and blogs to get links to our website.
Every opportunity I had to guest blog allowed me to create a great piece of content that could bring traffic back to my business.
I focused on creating 2,000+ word pieces of content that covered topics in-depth on these other websites. I wanted to take advantage of their websites being better authorities to get a piece of content that linked back to our website ranking first on Google.
We have continued to follow and iterate on this strategy and it has become an incredible source of revenue for our business.
The best part is that we spent next to nothing other than time to follow this strategy. What we did ourselves, any SEO firm would charge your business $1,500+ per month to do. Any start-up business should not be shelling that money out when you can learn and implement the same things yourself.
What type of results will you see from focusing on SEO from the start?
We certainly didn’t see the payoff from SEO immediately. Traffic was extremely slow in the first months when we were getting started.
We utilized our website as more of a sales platform for potential clients by referring them to check out our content as a way to show them what we knew about our field. Part of showing our expertise was consistently creating content which showed we knew what we were talking about.
Traffic started building slowly over time. Our website started from zero and after a few months of consistently creating SEO
We were ecstatic at that point but it would only keep improving as we continued to dedicate more time to it.
The following year we continued to produce our content as well as hired a freelancer blogger to double our content production efforts. The results continued to look incredible. We started the beginning of the year with about 200 users per month and finished with close to 4,000 visitors each month.
We were convinced about the value of SEO for our business by then and the results only continued to improve after we hired another part-time SEO expert and started reaching out for guest blog posts.
Our focus on building a back-link profile helped our monthly visitors get to almost 8,000 a month by the end of the second year.
Our traffic has continued to grow where at this point we get over 12,000 users a month. But it’s not the traffic alone that will help you. You need to learn how to turn this traffic into something valuable for your business.
We optimized our website by adding additional lead forms and a live chat tool to turn the traffic into potential leads.
Focusing on our SEO from the start and then converting that traffic into value for our business has led to us generating 10-20 potential sales leads per day at absolutely no cost to our business. That’s what makes it one of the best investments you can make.
Read also: How One Blogger Grew Her Website and Income Using Pinterest
How can other businesses learn from our example?
It is never too late in a business’s life-cycle to start implementing an SEO strategy.
Businesses ranging from start-ups to third generation family businesses can achieve the same or similar results. Established businesses should even have the ability to produce high-quality authoritative content due to their experience in a given field.
Focusing on sales and your product are important for short term survival of every operation. However, the attention paid to the long-term planning aspects of a business like its SEO visibility will affect its prospects for continued growth and success.
I believe the biggest thing you can take away from our example is that you achieve great visibility on Google is entirely within your own hands.
No SEO business that you are going to hire is going to be able to create high-quality authoritative content like you can – simply because they don’t have the knowledge or experience in a certain field.
They will be able to achieve results by creating content that might work best in search algorithms, but it won’t have the same level of quality that someone who understands the industry can write.
You should also understand that you don’t need to put off working on your SEO until some future date when you can afford to hire someone.
Postponing business needs like this to the future only increase the likelihood that your business is surviving in a short-term loop.
It is not easy to find the time or money to dedicate to working on SEO but it is something you need. The potential to generate free leads for your business will be a powerful growth tool for your business in the future.
The sooner you can start establishing your authority and focusing on SEO, the sooner you will see results that can change the trajectory of your business.
Mike Begg is a co-founder of AMZ Advisers. He and his team help manufacturers and brands maximize their sales on the Amazon platform by creating content, developing marketing strategies and managing paid advertising. Mike and his team have worked with businesses ranging in size from single employee companies up to Fortune 50 businesses on developing strategies for growth on the Amazon Marketplace. Mike is also the co-founder of Precisely and Wanderlust Digital Services.
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