Educating Businesses on SEOBy
One day last week I got a call from a client and she wanted to know why her business web site did not appear on the front page of Google when she typed in a specific search phrase. For the sake of this discussion we’ll just say that she was wondering why her Widgets site did not appear on the front page of Google when she typed in “widgets in walla walla.”
“Walla Walla,” I asked? There is no mention of Walla Walla anywhere on your site. Never has been.
So I spent the next 30 minutes explaining to her that the search engines don’t have some special mind reading powers. If you want the search engine to find you based on a certain phrase, that phrase has to be somewhere on your site – preferably in more than one relevant place in the copy.
I try to educate my clients on the SEO basics:
- Meaningful title tag
- Keywords that are relevant and show up in the content
- Solid Description
- Keyword rich alt tags on images
- Keyword rich descriptor tags on links
- Plenty of original, well written, keyword rich (not spammy) content
- Good site organization with clean, up to date coding
- Don’t pay $99.99 for submission into “500 search engines”
- Your typical small business web site will take about 6 months to really get anywhere on Google organically – they just don’t have the back links, page rank and update frequency to get there any faster.
- If you are going to do a Google Adwords campaign or other paid sponsorship campaign, you really need to educate yourself and enlist the services of a professional.
And while I do my best to hammer home that doing the basics, mixed with good quality content and revisiting this list every few months to tweak, I still seem to get the same question – “Why doesn’t my site show up #1 for widgets in walla walla?”
I would love to know how you educate your clients on SEO. What tips do you give them? What are some of your favorite articles on SEO for the average small business client?