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What is SEO?

and why your business need it

James Kearslake
James Kearslake

Small business owner,
writer, trans, mental
health advocate

Table of Contents

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a critical factor to the success of your business online.

And for those with an in-person presence, this applies to you too.

SEO is the data by which search engines, social media platforms, and other digital platforms and software interpret, rank, and present your business information to prospective customers. The data interpreted may be from the information on screen, or the SEO ‘meta data’ which sits behind the webpage. 

Every webpage on your website has its own meta data.

Get your SEO right, and you can create a continuous in-flow of passive sales, or in other words sales that came in through your website, without the need for cold-calling customers or nurturing old leads.

Heaven, right? 

Why SEO is critical

People forget the criticality of getting their online presence right for their business.

Every business is different and so your online presence will vary depending on your product, customer base, and marketing and sales strategy.

Regardless of what your business does, SEO is a critical function that needs to be determined, and an effective strategy implemented.

In this article, we will explain:

  • why you should have a website and SEO strategy for your business
  • how you can run your own website SEO
  • why you need to master social media SEO
  • why you need to shift your mindset to considering SEO as priority when operating online
Google Logo l What is SEO l Ranking on Google with SEO l LGBTQ Wellness

SEO for websites

SEO gives your website the capability to rank higher on Google search or other major search engines like Bing.

Yet most will tell you that’s unrealistic due to the quantity of websites already dominating.

Yes there are approximately 1.13 billion websites at the time of writing in 2023.

Yes many of them have existed far longer than you, established strong domain authority, and have years’ worth of online presence you simply cannot buy.

However, every business has a niche, and you need to rank for that niche.

Your business doesn’t need to compete with national chains, international conglomerates, or Silicone Valley start-ups. 

Your business simply needs to appear in front of your prospective customers, when they’re researching online.

How do you do that?

An outside the box SEO strategy.

An outside the box SEO strategy

An outside the box SEO strategy can be the difference between appearing higher on Google search, than being swallowed up by an amass of similar ranking websites in the never ending expanse of the online web space.

Let me give you an example:

You’ve set up a new business that sells your own design printed t-shirts, but shucks, you see the online space is saturated with unique t-shirt printing businesses both online, and on social media. Your chance of ranking for ‘unique printed t-shirts’ or something similar is next to nil.

However, you see most of the businesses don’t offer anything on their websites other than t-shirt printing, so you ask yourself, what extra value can you offer your customer to invite them to your website?

I’m not talking about offering them a gift, I’m referring to valuable content that their serves their need.

Let me explain.

in 2023 your SEO strategy needs to be outside the box. only the most creative can do that

If your t-shirt printing is eco-warrior tees with save the planet lingo, write content for your website exploring do-it-at-home eco tips that appeal to your customer.

If your printing business focuses on sex-positive messaging, write content about being sex-positive online while keeping yourself and your data safe. 

Your SEO strategy doesn’t need to sell your product, it just needs to sell your expertise to your prospective customer.

This strategy expands your reach through content you may not have otherwise considered for your business, and it increases your brand authority because it’s unlikely your competitor is doing the same. Therefore your product, in this case the t-shirts, is representative of the content you’re also writing about – showing you care for the customer’s interest beyond selling the product, but hey you also sold your product while doing so.

Doing this you’ll find you’ve increased your online reach through valuable content, and you’ve enjoyed the process because it’s topics that align with your brand identity.

And for those of you who hate writing, you can find freelance SEO writers everywhere online who can create eye-catching content for you, using only a short brief. 

(we can help you with this, contact us here if you want to discuss options)

Running your own website SEO

Although SEO consultants will advise you against it or say it’s not possible, you can run your own SEO in your website to save costs.

We use a mix of high-value SEO consultancy on the in-depth, technical expertise, combined with in-house SEO research, analysis, and strategy. 

These are the tools we use that are key to us successfully managing our SEO in-house:

We write and/or edit all our content ourselves, and we use Google’s Keyword Surfer to analyse search volumes, understand potential SEO, and find alternative search options on relevant topics. and WIX come with in-built meta data fields for you to easily input all meta data, and understand how it should be structured for the purpose of search engines.

However, we swear by the Elementor Plugin for; it makes our lives far easier both in terms of webpage SEO, but also design and functionality within WordPress.

Elementor has been built for the sole purpose of making web building easy within WordPress; providing simple drag and drop functionality, easy adjustment tools, and guides built for the average person. Being able to manage our website internally has been a significant cost saving for our organisation.

Meta Data Fields in Elementor Plug in, WordPress l Website SEO l What is SEO l LGBTQ Wellness
WordPress Elementor plugin meta data fields

We also use the WordPress plugin Rank Math PRO that analyses the SEO of each page of your website. 

The analyser looks at on-page SEO like content word count, keyword density, and if the title holds powerful sentiment. 

It also analyses the backend SEO, or meta data, and combining the analysis makes easy to understand recommendations on increasing the SEO score of each webpage.

Before Rank Math PRO, our articles were achieving a mere 50/100 on our SEO score. Now, from using their recommendations and reading some of Rank Math’s catalogue of useful guides, our articles achieve an SEO score of between 80 – 90 consistently.

That’s a score I can get behind.

Rank Math PRO SEO Analyser l WordPress Plug in l Website SEO l What is SEO l LGBTQ Wellness
Rank Math PRO plugin SEO analser

SEO content writing

Finally, as we shared above, we write all our own content, and adapt our own content strategy based on our objectives, and shifting trends.

As part of this we use a collection of freelance LGBTQ+ writers who understand the tone of our website, our wider purpose, and who’s values align with our brand. However, we still set the tone of the content, provide briefs, and complete all content editing and production in-house.

This is because we love writing content.

And it shows; our article on the benefits of rhodiola rosea is ranking higher on Google than Bulk Powders. That’s no small feat, Bulk Powders is a large organisation commanding a domain authority of 55 versus our measly 8.

What can we assume from this? Although we’re smaller, people enjoy reading our content.

Ranking in Google Search l Website SEO l What is SEO l LGBTQ Wellness
LGBTQ Wellness ranking higher than Bulk Powders

However, not everyone can or wants to write web content for SEO. You can outsource whichever parts of the process you don’t want to do:

  • SEO content strategy
  • writing web content
  • creating graphics for articles
  • editing and publishing
  • SEO analysis in Google Analytics

we can connect you with reputable freelancers supporting any parts of the process, connect with us here to let us know what you need

SEO for social media

Optimise your account

Follow any IG Growth Account and they will tell you the first step you take is to optimise your social media.

It’s fun creating content, but don’t include keywords in the searchable data fields and you’re missing a huge trick. See the picture as a prime example; I search the word ‘coach’ and look who appears.

Each social media account has different searchable fields, or the fields by which the social media algorithm reads and interprets the purpose of your account, so research the individual requirements of each social media platform. 

Then implement.

Coached By l Social Media SEO l What is SEO l LGBTQ Wellness
Instagram SEO searches names and the bio fields

Optimise your content

Yes, the content needs to be optimised too.

Varying between social media platforms, your posts and videos are also interpreted by each platform’s algorithms.

Platforms can interpret the purpose of a video through what’s being said, but always reinforce the message with keywords in the video caption.

Similarly with posts; writing produced in Canva or other software can be read by platforms like Instagram, but you need to also replicate key messaging and key words on the caption of every post.

Optimise your images

Do not underestimate the power of ALT text (alternative text) for SEO.

ALT text is a description of the image that you add in the image meta data, and should be used to explain how the image supports the wider concept of the content.

Used by screen readers for those who are blind, it is also used by social media platforms and search engines to understand your content.

Used well, ALT text is promoted as a growth tool by major IG Growth Accounts.

An SEO mindset

The biggest mistake we made in our first twelve months was not taking SEO seriously; we thought it only applied to organisations looking for a national footprint. 

Our website wasn’t optimised.

Our social media wasn’t optimised.

Our mindset wasn’t optimised.

And what you need to understand about SEO is that it takes time to build, so our investment into SEO in year 2 didn’t start paying off until six months after – you don’t invest in an SEO consultant and suddenly see the returns.

We also paid for an SEO strategy but failed to implement content quickly enough. Times changed and the content strategy became irrelevant; 2022 keyword trends were very different to current 2023 trends.

Our mindset wasn’t on SEO, and that cost us. BIG.

Fortunately we’ve invested heavily in our SEO knowledge so we’re able to now adapt our own content strategy as trends change, but had we not, we would be paying another consultant to redo this year’s strategy.

Our biggest learn was having to shift our mindset to SEO first.

Every action we take, the content we create, every image we make – how does it fit within SEO?

This has transformed the rankings of our website.

However, not every piece of content will be good for SEO – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create it.

Your strategy needs to also cater to your customer’s needs, and that means sometimes creating content that won’t rank, but will help your customer.

This is also an effective strategy.

If you need to do this, our recommendation is write an article for SEO, then write an article for your customer’s need. This gives you the breadth of exposure from SEO, while catering to your customer’s needs when they land on your website.

It also improves your bounce rate and overall website views – positive steps that support your website’s overall SEO score.

Our final thoughts

We will be sharing more content on running your website SEO to improve your sales, while keeping costs low for your small business.

However, some investment still needs to be made in your SEO knowledge, skills, and the technical SEO within your website.

We recommend always paying people to do the techy stuff, and run the simple SEO yourselves within your website.

Depending what you’re looking to outsource, we can help you find reputable freelancers to support with technical SEO, SEO consultancy, strategy, or SEO content writing. Connect with us here and we can discuss your needs with you.

SEO content writing l £75 per article

Want help writing your SEO content?

We’re offering the opportunity to have an article produced for £75 ($100) for your website, with a 1500 maximum word count.

This will allow you to test outsourced content writing at an affordable rate, so you can determine if it’s right for your business.

Connect with us using the icon below and we can discuss a content brief to fit your brand.

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