person working on SEO strategy with text online marketing for small businesses

You’ll hear a lot of talk about SEO on our blog because we’re online marketing aficionados. This stuff isn’t just our job — it’s our passion. It’s what we think about at night. It’s the topic that occupies a piece of our minds day in, day out, like a continuously-running ticker tape — What will change next in the world of SEO? How can we adapt our practices to anticipate these changes? How can we adjust SEO strategies to generate the best results for our clients?

In all the flurry of SEO-related thoughts that fly through our brains, we sometimes forget to take a step back and consider SEO from the standpoint of a small business owner. Though well-versed in their respective industries — whether they be lawn and garden experts, health club owners, or attorneys — a small business owner won’t know the ins and outs of SEO like we do.

We love to educate our clients on the intricacies of online marketing, which is why we’re going back to basics in this blog post to answer a question we get from time to time: “What is SEO, anyway?”

Small Business Basics: What Does SEO Mean?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

Okay, great. What does that actually mean?

Basically, SEO refers to the strategy online marketers use to make a website more visible on organic (or non-paid) search engine results lists. Using effective SEO practices, a small business owner or online marketing team can make a website more attractive to searchers and search engines alike.

Positive SEO tactics used on a website will be noted by the search engine “crawlers” who scan or “index” the pages to categorize them, and as a result, the SEO should make a small business’ presence more widely known to potential customers seeking their products or services on the internet. Small business owners should also be aware that there are “black hat” SEO practices that search engine crawlers and human searches generally dislike — link spamming among them.

So What Does SEO Involve?

That definition was pretty broad. Let’s get down to some of the nitty gritty SEO goodness that we love at Turn The Page. There are so many online marketing tactics contained under the umbrella term SEO: here are some of the most effective strategies for SEO that we advocate and specialize in.

SEO-Friendly Web Structure & Design

If you want to use SEO to make your website more prominent, you first need the proper foundation — an SEO-friendly website (and a free website won’t often cut it). With the right web development team, your small business will have website components that allow you to complete best SEO practices, including analytics integration, an area for meta information, an indexable (and easily navigable) site structure, proper redirects, smart URLs, and fully crawlable content, including images.

Relevant Web Content, Smart Keyword Strategy, & On-Page Optimization

Once your website has the SEO-friendly bones, it’s time to fill them in with some meaty content. This means original, relevant content tied to a smart keyword targeting strategy. And even the most engaging, informative content can’t be left to stagnate — smart SEO strategies dictate that you should use continuous on-page optimization to keep things fresh and capitalize on emerging keywords and search questions.
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Content Marketing

Blogging, email marketing, infographics, white papers, online press releases — all of these combine to form SEO content marketing. When you know how to write, use, and publicize content in the right way, you can boost your online presence in a noticeable way. It’s all about using content marketing in tandem with your other efforts.

Foundation Listings & Local Marketing Efforts

It’s easy for the basics and location-specific aspects of SEO to slip through the cracks, but not fostering local online marketing channels can lead to disastrous results. You need a consistent foundation of online marketing listings to establish your search engine presence, and without that local focus you won’t drive local results.

Social & Mobile Focus

Don’t forget to get social, too — social SEO, that is! Social media marketing and mobile marketing have a place in any sound SEO strategy, especially as more and more consumers are using their smart phones and tablets to browse the internet and make purchasing decisions. Social and mobile marketing allows your small business to connect with potential customers in a more organic, genuine way, then leverage your loyal following into leads.

Black Hat or Cookie Cutter SEO? No Way, Not at Turn The Page.

There are two SEO practices that we simply can’t stand for at Turn The Page Online Marketing. The first is the aforementioned “black hat” SEO practices used by spambots and content farmers which do nothing but penalize your website and drive away potential customers. The second are insta-SEO strategies rolled out by so-called internet marketers. These one-size-fits-all campaigns ignore the fact that good SEO is tailored to each business’ products, services, and location, instead supplying cookie cutter practices that may boost rankings in the short term, but in the long run simply won’t work.

Neither of these backwards, ineffective SEO strategies are our style at Turn The Page. When you entrust us to spearhead your SEO efforts, you’ll see that we prioritize results, not rankings. We work with you to understand your current online marketing practices, your goals, and your needs, and then we’ll develop a custom online marketing plan involving the SEO strategies that will best serve you. We don’t care that this takes more drive than prescribing a pre-made strategy —  this is our passion, remember? We thrive on the challenges that come with custom SEO. With your small business at the forefront of our strategy, we forge on toward success.

Now You Know What SEO Means. So What Are You Waiting For?

We’re here when you’re ready to take your online marketing strategy to the next level. For more on Turn The Page and our comprehensive SEO services, call us today at (816) 527-8371.

Author Brittany VanMaele

When Brittany VanMaele found TTP’s website in August 2013, it was love at first sight. She knew she needed to join the Freaky ranks of the Page Turners. Lucky for her, they agreed. She came on as a content writer in September 2013 and was promoted to Director of the Digital Content Department (encompassing blogging, SEO writing, website content, & social media) in February 2015. With a BA in English and an MFA in Fiction Writing, Brittany’s journeys from Mizzou to Missoula, MT and back to Missouri prepared her for the fun, fast-paced online marketing agency that is TTP.

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