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At With Grace and Gold, we are firm believers in the power of building a strong foundation for your small business. As the owner of your small business, you have ownership over every key decision: the products and services you offer, the process your customers and clients will journey through, how you’ll market your business — and every detail in between. Part of building a strong foundation for your small business is having a purpose-driven brand and web design to communicate your expertise, connect with your audience, and to grow your business upon. One way to ensure your website is working on behalf of your business is to be mindful of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Over the next 3 episodes, we’re going to explore Search Engine Optimization, so you can approach your SEO from a place of understanding and purpose.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to SEO: Part 1 of 3

These upcoming SEO-focused episodes are for small business owners who know or have heard SEO matters but who need a foundation of information to work from. Before we dive in, I want to share: Our expertise at With Grace and Gold is design — creating a purpose-driven design with Search Engine Optimization in mind. As we’ll explore in upcoming episodes, SEO is made up of how a variety of factors work together — from SEO Titles, Descriptions, and Keywords to your continued content creation, and so much more. There are SEO professionals who can provide detailed and comprehensive SEO services. Our upcoming episodes will explore the ways you can manage and approach SEO — knowing you can always look toward hiring a professional in the future!

So, let’s dive in. What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO? Search Engine Optimization is made up of a variety of approaches for increasing your website’s ranking and discoverability for searchers who use major search engines like Google. Having strong SEO is made up of a variety of factors, and your goal is to be listed at or near the top of Google’s search results when someone searches for keywords related to your business. Strong SEO should help grow the quantity of quality visits to your website. As an example, if you own a photography business in Chicago, you’d like for your website to be listed at or near the top of Google’s search results when someone types in something like “photographers in Chicago.” A major goal of having strengthened SEO is to bring more of your prospective clients to your website and to grow your business as a whole.

Again, SEO is made up of a variety of factors, so we’re going to explore all of the different ways you can strengthen your SEO in order to climb the rankings. SEO is ever-changing and ever-evolving, based upon Google’s unique specifications — and by understanding the basics of SEO, we can become better equipped for success.

5 Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  1. SEO is made up of a variety of factors, and your ranking depends upon how those factors work together collectively. A few factors are: Google’s ability to crawl, or find and explore, your website and its content, having compelling and helpful content within your website, including beneficial keywords within your web design and copywriting, creating a user-friendly experience, offering share-worthy content which is promoted via social media or other reputable websites, and more. So, know there are a variety of factors to be mindful of and a variety of methods for strengthening your SEO. 
  2. What you see when you search for your business or business-specific keywords is different from what others see. Google search results are tailored to each unique Google user — based upon websites you’ve visited, where you are located, and more. So, when you search for your business, even if you’re searching Incognito, your website may be listed in one position — and when someone else searches for your business, your website may be listed in another position. Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can closely examine your organic visits — visits from search engines — and see how your website is ranking when searchers are using specific keywords or key-phrases.
  3. It’s essential to keep your website’s visitors in mind and at the heart of your web design. When your website’s content is curated with educating and serving your customers and clients in mind, your visitors will see the value in your content and business as a whole. Ideally, your value-adding content will lead to more visits and more links to your website, letting Google know your business and website are dependable. In addition to technical details of Search Engine Optimization, your SEO is dependent upon how real visitors engage with and value your content. So, by keeping your customers and clients in mind, you can approach your SEO in a service-focused way.
  4. There are no guarantees. Google’s rules for SEO are ever-changing and ever-evolving, and not all search engines are created equally — so as you work to optimize your website, know there are no precise guarantees about your visitors or your conversions from visitors to customers or clients. Instead, SEO is about building a strong foundation — creating a user-friendly experience, creating helpful content, marketing your business, creating share-worthy content, and more.
  5. Search engines are wise. Once you’ve learned how to strengthen your Search Engine Optimization — techniques we’ll explore in Part 2 — don’t try to fool search engines in any way. Every page of your website should be created with giving value to your visitors in mind. In the long run, sharing honest, user-friendly, and well-designed content will help you to succeed.

We hope today’s introduction and exploration of SEO basics serves as a helpful foundation to build upon in the weeks ahead! Next week, we’re going to explore actionable ways to strengthen your SEO within your website — and the following week, we’re going to explore actionable ways to strengthen your SEO outside of your website. 

About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay

Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, founders and entrepreneurs. Enjoy weekly, actionable episodes to build a successful, sustainable small business from the inside out.

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