November 9, 2020

The Virtual CMO Podcast
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5 Simple Search Engine Optimization Hacks for Small Businesses

Informed marketers see search engine optimization as a more effective means of advertising than the pay-per-click advertising model. Many claim that improving their search engine optimization ranking and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. While search engine optimization is no a walk in the park, given the right time, patience, and effort, it can yield positive results for your business.

This week, The Five Echelon Group's founder- Eric Dickmann, speaks  with SEO expert and Brafton's CMO- Jeff Baker about steps to build your domain authority, fix technical SEO problems with your website, and tips for creating content that will rank on Google.

Jeff Baker is the current Chief Marketing Officer of Brafton. He also co-hosts Brafton's official podcast "Above the Fold" with Francis Ma and writes regular SEO blogs on Moz. Before working with Brafton, Jeff was a content marketing strategist who loved the idea of combining psychology and analytics in influencing other people's lives.

Search Engine Optimization- The Holy Grail of Marketing

Jeff's passion is SEO and content creation. Starting as a content strategist eight years back allowed Jeff Baker to build his skills as a writer and web analyst. Over time, Brafton assigned him work that suited the skills that allowed him to refine his craft. With drive, determination, and his company's trust in his abilities, Baker was able to expand his range and started to manage email campaigns and SEO marketing strategies for the organization. He clearly found his calling with SEO and it seemed to come naturally to him.

Effective Channels in driving sales for your business

Search engine optimization (SEO) is growing and evolving. This strategy allows you to market your goods and services on a broader scale in a larger platform without paying high advertisement fees to get people to visit your website. Google has been regularly changing their algorithms and updating its strategies. However, many marketers are still confused with the many changes and still find Google search confusing and overcomplicated. Baker reliefs us by saying that search engine optimization is not as complicated as many of us think. Search engine optimization to a point may seem like a black box to most, but in reality, it can be pulled off by any business owner who is trying to skyrocket his business.

Search Engine Land defines search engine optimization as a fundamental part of digital marketing. There are trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent to find information and reviews about the available products and services. Search is the primary source of digital traffic for brands and other marketing channels. More and more, people are doing their searches on mobile devices and many businesses still haven't optimized their content enough to get the same visibility on mobile devices they receive on desktop browsers.

Number of Pages that lose their Visibility in Mobile Search

Many small businesses use SEO vendors to help build their visibility. Unfortunately, many of these vendors focus on quick wins and "technical SEO" factors. The reality is that while fixing technical SEO is important, it won't transform your traffic because it's simply getting your website to follow the rules which keeps it active and running, but does little increase traffic. As Jeff Baker analogy puts it- "Your website is a car and the SEO are the tires. Replacing the tires will never make your car faster, but a popped tire will slow it down."

99% of the time, people think that following all search engine optimization guidelines and validating their SEO content using website analysis tools is enough to identify whether their content is ready to rank on Google. Following the rules will keep your site alive, but not kicking. If you want your website's visitor numbers to increase, you must create engaging, informative, and valuable content for your audience. We are not telling you not to follow the SEO guidelines; we are just reminding you not to put all your focus on the technical aspect. A combination of good keyword research and creative content creation is vital in keeping your website active, visible, and favored by online users.

Technical SEO Checklist:

  • Website loading speed
  • Mobile-friendliness (readability)
  • Accessibility of website to all devices
  • Properly indexed content
  • Limit redirecting pages and unnecessary popup ads

What is a Domain Score?

Jeff introduces us to Moz. Moz is one of the most reputable SEO companies where people make tools, write and share articles relating to SEO content. They made a metric called "domain authority." Domain authority tells you how competitive your website is compared to your counterparts. There is no relative score to keep track of; if your score is significantly higher than most of your competition, then Google may consider you as an authority in your area of expertise. However, if your domain score is relatively lower than the competition, then it's a wakeup call for you to fix what is wrong and improve your content.

Your domain score is just a metric to identify your rank and where you currently stand on. Keep in mind that it is not an end goal but a motivation to be consistent or improve what is lacking. Baker adds that you should make it one of your goals to make your website as informative as possible because you would want other websites to link you as a reference point. Being linked is one of the more than forty different factors influencing your website's strength and visibility. Just imagine if Forbes or Times suddenly referenced you!

Google Ranking Factors

Jeff Baker spent months in Brafton to identify any relationship between content performance, keyword performance, and other related factors. After a long time of thorough analysis and research, he concluded a zero correlation between word length and performance. This implies that if you wish to make your page attractive to users, you should pick right keywords and create content that could answer all the web visitor queries. This is the goal of content writing- to satisfy the audience's needs by providing elaborate, factual, and easy to understand information. Take notes on the important topic that the internet is discussing. Afterwards, make a list of the potential subjects to emphasize, elaborate, and make good content about.

5 Simple Hacks

  1. Fix technical SEO factors but don't count on them to transform your rankings
  2.  Select keywords that are easy to rank. Don't pick keywords with high difficulty, especially if your domain authority is lower than the competitions.
  3. Your actions should be directed to gaining revenue in any way, shape, or form. Is your content driving revenue?
  4. Create a blog to help drive more traffic. Answer the questions of people with relevant and up-to-date solutions. Take note that this blog should be creatively related to your business. 
  5. The goal should also be focused on the commercial side of your business. Link from your blog to products and services and collect email addresses whenever possible to follow-up with other valuable content.

Jeff BAKER

The way I look at SEO is: This is something that can absolutely be done by any small business owner. Anybody that's trying to get their business off the ground can absolutely do it! The problem is just overlooking the over complication that has been put out there by my people in this market.”

What you are doing is grabbing ideas from everybody and creating something more comprehensive and exciting than anybody out there! Some of your competitors' pages may be ahead of you, but if you can encompass all of their posted information and elaborate further on their ideas on your page, then you could rank much higher than them. Google monitors sites that cover topics well and rewards those who can be a one-stop-shop for all the necessary information in a particular field. If you can follow the search engine optimization guidelines, find the best keywords, and create desirable content, then you have what's needed to move up in the rankings.

Most Important Factors for having an SEO friendly website

Optimizing Your Content for SEO

Remember this; you have to be very sensitive with your content. Know how to communicate with your audience without creating a wall of text. No one likes to read a website with only text in it! Work with your content writer and graphic designer to create easy-to-read, fun to view, yet also very informative content that would want to make your site audience stay on your website even longer.

As much as possible, upload engaging video content to make your content as interactive as possible. There are times that your subject of discussion is too broad that it would take you so many content pages to cover all the aspects of your topic. This is where a pillar page comes in. A pillar page covers all the ideas, concepts, and necessary links to aid in your research. This incredible resource center supports a broad topic and provides you with a good chance of ranking higher on those keywords that you used. Google takes notes of sites that can make their audience stay in their websites for a long time.

Don't scare your visitors away! Keep everything as simple and as easy to digest as possible. 

Live Stream Replay

FAQ

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows you to market your goods and services on a broader scale in a larger platform without paying high advertisement fees to get people visiting your website.
  • Keep in mind that your domain score is not an end goal but a motivation to be consistent or improve what is lacking.
  • This is the goal of content writing- to satisfy the audience's needs by providing elaborate, factual, and easy to understand information.
  • Know how to communicate with your audience without stressing them out with jargons and heaps of text.
  • Keep everything as simple and as easy to digest as possible.

Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad

Jeff is a member of "The Wi-Fi Tribe," a community of remote professionals who prefer to work in different locations rather than being stuck in a typical office building. Being part of this tribe allows you to sign up for work in various locations across the globe. Members are provided with accommodation, transportation, and a stable internet connection. 

Some companies fear this concept because, compared to a physical setting, they might not monitor the progress and performance of these workers. However, Jeff Baker tells us that the Wi-Fi tribe chapter is composed of skilled, disciplined, and hardworking professionals. According to Jeff, being surrounded by professionals like them pushes him to work more efficiently; he also mentioned that this community encouraged him achieve an excellent work-life balance.

Potential Digital Nomads

Baker tells us that the most meaningful thing he has done is signing up for this kind of work and travel opportunity. This opportunity allowed him to upgrade his skill set and work with various individuals who are very passionate about what they do from a business perspective. Skill sharing is vital in your growth as a specialist in your career path because it allows you to learn from your mistakes and adapt the work ethic and technique of other, more experienced specialists and business leaders. According to Jeff, his world became much larger and less scary because he learned to embrace different cultures and appreciate how people did things differently in other countries. Only 10% of the US population has passports; we urge you to get one! Life is too short not to explore the world and enjoy life's scenery.

Episode and Guest Links

Eric Dickmann - Founder/CMO of the Five Echelon Group, can be found online on Twitter or his personal website.

Jeff Baker  CMO of Brafton can be found online on Brafton.

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