Does SEO Stress You Out? It Doesn't Have To.
When it comes to SEO, most business owners get freaked out and then end up wasting a ton of money hiring someone to do stuff that they themselves have no idea what they’re doing.
Because the owner doesn’t understand it, the SEO guru can do almost anything (or nothing) with little accountability.
Another thing that happens is when people get serious about creating a clear, customer-centric website, they want to throw out everything they already have. This comes at a great cost to their SEO as well.
If you’re trying to clarify an existing website that’s already full of words, I've seen excited business leaders and their web developers make a drastic decision to eliminate a huge percentage of the pages and words on their website in the name of "clarity".
It often happens that their eyes have been opened to the fact that they've been wrongly playing the hero the whole time when they should've been playing the guide. That's ok. They should feel bad about that. It's the good kind of guilt.
The good news is that simplifying your message doesn't have to mean tanking your hard-earned Google ranking. This video will explain how to do customer-centric SEO as part of your customer-centric marketing plan.
You will have a clear idea of what Google is looking for and how to provide that in an honest, ethical and practical way that anyone can understand. If you can find out what Google is looking for, you can partner with Google to provide it.
I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised that if you’re a customer-centric business, you want the same thing that Google does: Happy customers.
One of the things that you may be tempted to do in the overhaul of your website is to start eliminating words and entire pages in favor of a launching a simpler, clearer website.
To do so would be to commit SEO suicide.
For sure, if your website is going to win, you need to simplify your website. Too much clutter will confuse visitors.
But do not try to win at the expense of your content volume. For a site to succeed, you also need to appeal to Google's algorithm. Google’s web crawlers are always going through your site and it is looking for words to latch on to that it can show future searchers. Without words on your site (and a lot of words), your beautiful new message could go invisible online.
I'll give you the tips you need to craft a winning plan to nail your customer-centric message and still do great SEO.
It's About Customers
At one time, writing an SEO-optimized post meant stuffing keywords all over the page and creating awkward phrasing to fit in your target phrases. Thats not the case anymore!
Google’s AI has improved significantly, and as a search engine, Google is focused on one thing: delivering relevant content that searchers want to look at.
There’s One Thing You Need To Know About Ranking On Google...
It’s all about creating the best experience for website visitors. If you want to rank well on Google, you have to give people what they are looking for. It’s that simple.
Customer experience is critical in business today. Consumers today are more aware of what is expected and where else they can go besides you. Customer Experience (or "CX") is the subject around stages, boardrooms and business articles. It's the same with SEO.
We know that more and more, Google is prioritizing customer experience to rank websites. It makes sense if you think about it. Anyone doing a search is Google's customer. The more satisfied they are with how Google serves them, the happier they will be.
What kind of an experience does your website provide?
If it’s a good one, you’ll be rewarded by Google. If your site is cluttered, distracting, slow-loading, or not engaging, you will not be promoted. This works perfectly with what we’ve been learning because your customer is still the focal point in this framework. It’s important to use SEO terms, but they should never get in the way of the story that you’re inviting readers into. Your site ranking will get a significant boost when you create content people enjoy reading.
That’s why metrics like click-through and time on page are SEO rating factors. Compelling content is good for your brand, for your readers, and your SEO. Proper optimization never results in a worse visitor experience.
Understand Your Website’s Current Performance
The first thing to do before you change your website is to understand where your SEO currently stands. Review your key pages and your blog and ask yourself several questions.
What pages are getting organic traffic now?
Where is it coming from? Ensure you know what pages are performing well and which ones need help. Look at what keywords you’re currently ranking for. You don’t want to move away from those. If your pages or blog posts aren’t ranking for a phrase right now, it’s time for some keyword research so you can identify the right terms to use on that page or post.
On your website, you likely have high-performing pages or blog posts that are full of text. That makes sense since the average first-page search result on Google has 1,447 words. That’s what the research shows at least.
You need long-form content to rank, and that content needs to start “above the fold” on the portion of the page visitors see right away.
There’s no reason that you have to eliminate your high-performing pages. They are the lifeblood of your site, pumping traffic to your site full of people looking for your services. Instead of cutting your words, use your text to tell the customer-centric story and include a variety of keywords, images, and videos. Not only will Google love it, but your visitors will too because it will speak directly to them.
Applying customer-centric wording to your pages creates the best user experience - another must have on the SEO checklist. I have no problem with you eliminating words and pages that make you and your company the hero. They're not working anyway. Instead, fill your pages with ideas, images, and word-pictures that are interesting to your Whos.
The heart of SEO is creating compelling content that engages a reader to spend time on your page and then take action. The Google algorithm loves it when people take action on your site - it means they found what they were looking for - that's a win for Google, the customer, and for you. Your site will be rewarded for those clicks with more traffic in the future.
Make Your Post Easy to Navigate
One key to the customer-centric approach is that you need to keep your messaging simple and easy to understand. There are ways to do that and win at SEO.
Include A Table Of Contents
This provides a clickable overview of the content so that people can quickly scan the outline of your work so they can find what they need quicker (or start anticipating that it's coming).
Make The Text Readable
Break up paragraphs and use headers to make your topics and subtopics very clear to the reader.
The truth is that someone may not read every word you write. People scan everything these days. The place they scan is your headings. Make your headings inviting for the reader so that they are hooked.
You can also turn content into charts or infographics. Infographics allow you still to use keywords while giving your reader an easy-to-understand experience.
Breaking up text with images and video is another way to boost engagement without sacrificing SEO. Make sure to use alt text so that search engines know what the images are — it helps make your website accessible to those who are sight-impaired as well. In the end, you can have a very scannable and understandable page, even if it’s 1500 or more words long.
A lot of search engine optimization happens behind the scenes, which means that it doesn’t impact your website’s customer-centric approach.
Make sure you’re implementing these aspects of SEO in ways that make sense for your story, your visitors, and your business.
You need internal links that are relevant and helpful to your readers. This means your existing pages in your website point to other pages in your website. They connect each other, keeping people on the pages longer. These links also help Google understand your website structure and content.
You can also create links to your site around the internet. When other trustworthy websites are pointing to your website, it shows Google that you are credible and popular. It will take notice of this and send more people to you. You need inbound links from high-quality external sources.
There’s some behind the scenes work you can do as well. Optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, and more. Don’t keyword stuff, but make sure you use your target phrases in sensible and understandable ways.
If you owned a brick and mortar store, would you want to set up your shop on a busy street or a quiet street? Busy of course. More people passing by means more interest. That’s what doing SEO is about. It’s about getting traffic to your website so more people see what you're doing. The good news is that you get to decide what kind of traffic comes to you by what you focus on on with your website.
Don't neglect your SEO. It’s too good of an opportunity to pass up. You can generate a ton of new visitors to your business with just a few principles applied. Take the principles you’ve learned and apply them to your site.