McKeeman Communications spoke to Tyler Krause, Founder and CEO of Conversion First Marketing. For the last six years Tyler and his team have been helping business owners maximize their online leads through a variety of strategies, among which is search engine optimization (SEO). Tyler talks about what SEO is and its role in an organization’s overall marketing strategy.
Q: What is SEO?
Tyler: To put it simply, SEO is getting to the top of Google. Note that Facebook, YouTube, and Yelp are search engines as well.
Q: How does SEO fit in one’s overall marketing strategy?
Tyler: Ultimately, what we try to educate clients to do on a regular basis is, you’ve got to think about your marketing as a traffic source.
Q: Let’s talk about SEO-first web design.
Tyler: The whole concept is this: If you flip the perspective from a “Let’s make something that looks good” to actually believing that the most important relationship that your website has is actually to a robot, which is Google. The Google algorithm is a robot, and it doesn’t give you the benefit of the doubt of your intended audience like a human would. That robot will only give you exactly what you tell it you’re about. From a design perspective, you start the conversation around humans and what humans want. For Google to give you rankings for the right keywords and traffic related to what you’re after – if your pages don’t say that that’s what you’re about, Google’s going to say, “that’s a nice try, but you’re not going to get a number one ranking out of me.”
What we do is help folks identify which keywords should be targeted and then build a website that first and foremost is intended to rank for those terms. When you do that, the traffic increases are significant, and you get two things. One, you get the design improvement you’re after. Two, you get this big traffic lift.
Q: What’s the first thing a business should do in building an SEO strategy, especially if they have a small budget?
Tyler: The first thing you should do if you have a small budget is to go to YouTube and watch a 15-minute tutorial on how to do keyword research. There are tons of free resources available. Put your mind in the place of your customer; search intent is what we’re trying to satisfy. Go figure out what keywords you should be targeting, and then watch an on-page SEO tutorial that talks about where your keywords should go. You can at least get the lay of the land and perhaps apply what you’ve learned to your own website.
If you have a little more time, go create a Google AdWords account and run like one or two ads; this is very inexpensive to do. You’ll also get access to Google’s keyword planner tool; explore its features and discover how people actually search for what it is you sell. Doing these will set you on the right path for sure.
Q: How can you leverage online mentions in terms of SEO?
Tyler: The way that Google determines website authority is: the most authoritative websites are the ones that have the most number of other websites pointing links back to them. All things being equal, a site that has a hundred other websites pointing to it – also known as backlinks – is going to be viewed as more authoritative than a site that only has ten. When a website has secured 50 mentions, what you have secured is actually 50 backlinks.
What’s fun about this is you can actually control which pages these other websites are linking to. That’s one way to optimize that backlink. If you’re planning for future backlinks, make sure that the links you give to a news organization are tailored to the pages you actually want to rank for. Each page of your website has its own opportunity to be a fully-ranking entity.
Q: Do you think an SEO-built website should come first in terms of your overall marketing plan?
Tyler: We go to the internet to solve our problems. At its core, what SEO really does is it gives you a wonderful opportunity to adopt your customer’s mindset on how they search for solutions to their problems. There’s certainly no harm in thinking that way.
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