A Common Sense SEO Overview for Business Owners

Learn what you need to know about SEO as a decision maker at your small to medium size business, non-profit, or agency.

Curious about SEO? Let’s take a look.

With so many ways to use a website to get customers these days, it’s easy to get confused. Some people just like to treat their website like a signpost to refer people to their contact information.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but your website strategy can get more involved and sophisticated than that, and if you are willing to invest some combination of time, work, or money into it, it can produce much better results.

Table of Contents

  1. What is SEO?
  2. Why should anyone care?
  3. How does one begin to create a good SEO strategy?
  4. What kinds of content will produce good results for a long time without constant updating?
  5. What is the best SEO content to start a website with?
  6. How much content would it take to rank highly in a given industry?

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s an inbound marketing methodology that helps people find your online business presence through search engine exposure.

Some people think this just means optimizing your website for search engines, which would make sense, but it’s not really the case.

SEO is mostly about optimizing your web presence for your ideal visitors at all different points in their journey and experience with your business.

Why should anyone care?

With a little investment, you can improve your business results by improving your website.

Some companies have different goals online, like publishers that just want readers to view their articles and be engaged with their content, or online shops that want to sell products. Some businesses only provide services or expensive products they can’t sell online, so their website might be more of a brochure style sight that mainly educates and convinces visitors to become a client, patient, or investor.

Whatever your business goals, your website can help your business become more profitable with the right work. You just need to know what your goal is, then you can start working towards attaining that goal with a good website strategy.

How does one begin to create a good SEO strategy?

It could be possible to have a website strategy that didn’t include SEO, but that wouldn’t be as effective as including SEO. The reason is that SEO is a cost-effective, low-hanging fruit type of tactic, if you are willing to do some work and wait patiently for the results.

If you are looking to do this yourself or learn about how it is done, have a look at our ultimate guide to improving your SEO. It will teach you how to quickly and easily get your website ranking well without having to become an SEO expert. Best of all, it’s free.

To continue with the idea of patiently waiting for results, one could say that SEO is like farming. You don’t just buy some seeds, and then automatically get the result of those seeds immediately. You have to plant them properly, diligently water them, wait a while, and with some good conditions, your planting will produce some growth, which you will be able to harvest at the right time if you know how to handle the result.

If you’re looking for a more immediate way to get results, then maybe PPC or paid search advertising would be a better option for you.

For SEO, you will need well-crafted content that helps people identify a problem, solve the problem, and learn about how your business can help them solve that problem more easily. Even though this content can take a while to produce, and some work, it will continually provide good results over time if done correctly.

What kinds of content will produce good results for a long time without constant updating?

Evergreen content or writing that isn’t based on time will last longer than time-based writing that is more contemporary.

Some examples would be things that never really change, like writing on a well-established topic. For instance, SEO in general is pretty well-established, as are the various practices within it like keyword research, technical optimization, on-page/content optimization, link building, etc.

A time based piece might be something relating to current events, like the latest trend in SEO practices, which will only get traffic for a little while, until the topic is no longer interesting to people.

If you only write time-based content, it will expire soon and either will need to be updated or won’t hold any lasting value after the first few months. Some articles like this may need to be added eventually to help keep people returning to your site, or in the case of a publisher, if all you care about is traffic.

What is the best SEO content to start a website with?

Most people will want to start by writing about topics that are well defined and yet missing important details.

Within each industry, every company competing for online traffic will have their take on the various topics related to their business. Each one will inevitably write something on their websites.

The ones that write comprehensively and cover every detail within that topic will become recognizable as an authority within that space, as long as their content is accurate and relevant to others within their industry (peers, customers/subscribers, third parties, etc.).

The best way to think about it is like creating a library. You don’t start a library of any kind with time-based articles like newspapers or magazines (unless that’s your business, then you might want to have a comprehensive collection of every newspaper and magazine ever related to certain topics).

You start a library by getting the classics, the books that helped form the foundation that all the newer thinking on a topic is built upon. It may help to actually read other people’s content and get an idea of what they are missing.

However, on your website, you want to create all that groundbreaking content that will form new thinking after yours, so that you become the expert authority on the topic. Yes, you may still need to know the classics so to speak and reference them, especially if you’re new to the industry or new to writing about it.

But your main goal would be to build foundational content that covers things other existing sources don’t cover. You can do that either by finding a niche to go into, or finding gaps in their content.

How much content would it take to rank highly in a given industry?

The short answer is that you need to write as much content as it will take to outrank your competition, if that’s your main goal.

There is a way to find out what that amount is, but basically you’d have to do a content audit of your competitors’ websites.

Our recommendation for the bare minimum is to just get started writing whatever it takes to provide a few obvious paths for your visitors to get from point a to point b. The key is to start with the most essential content your site visitors would need to convert (bottom of the funnel or BOFU). Then, you work your way up the funnel.

However, if you wait till all your bottom and mid-funnel content is finished before you get around to the top of funnel stuff that gets you your initial exposure, you will be waiting a long time. So, try to focus on only one product or service at first, then once you’ve finished that “column” or category of content, start on another and work bottom to top.

This can be a hard match to make, but it’s worth thinking carefully about and working hard on.

Conclusion

Good information on SEO is hard to find, especially explained in a way that is fast and easy to understand. In this overview, we saw the connection between SEO and farming, and how cheap it is for anyone to do SEO work instead of paying for ads.

SEO writing can also be likened to creating a library of authoritative content.

Lastly, it was clear that you don’t need a lot of content to get started, just something to help your visitors verify your unique value proposition.

Feel free to reach out with any questions about SEO. We’re always glad to talk!

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