Three steps to simplifying how you think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Before we think about what we need to do to improve your website’s SEO, let’s step into the shoes of your customer. Let’s say you have a pet store and you sell axolotls. Your customer wants to buy an axolotl. Here is the steps your customer takes.
Step 1 – Search. The customer searches for “axolotls for sale near me”
Step 2 – Choose. The customer sees the search results. From the search results, the customer will pick one link to explore further.
Step 3 – Decision. The customer clicks on the link and reviews the information. If the customer finds an axolytl for sale on your website, you will soon be selling an axolytl. If the customer doesn’t find axolotls, then they will simply hit the back button and click on the next link.
So, for a successful sale, you must be in the right place for all three of these steps. First, you need to be in the search results. Then, you need to have a compelling message (aka ‘click bait’) so the customer picks you from the search results. And when the customer gets to your website, you need to make it easy for them to find what they need.
Now we need to go a bit deeper, and this is where SEO Copywriting comes in.
Step 1. Get your website into the search results.
This is the most difficult of the three steps. To be in the search results, you must have better SEO copywriting, focused on the right search terms so that Google places you into the search results. If you are selling axolotls, then it needs to be clear to Google that you are selling axolotls and that you are a credible seller. There isn’t magic to success. The key is good copywriting. If you use the Yoast WordPress tool for SEO, the copywriting is easy. The hardest part is choosing the right keywords. Most of the time your message isn’t as simple as “We sell axolotls” so you need a strategy to choose the right key words. (See our article on Keyword Strategy for more information on how to choose keywords and key phrases.)
Step 2. Give the customer a reason to choose you from the search results.
Pick me! Pick me! When the users sees the search results, you need to have your elevator pitch ready so that the customer will pick you instead of your competitor. Rank order is important, but another important factor is your SEO page title and your SEO description. Great SEO copywriting will help at this stage as well, to make sure that the user picks you to purchase an axolotl. If you neglect this step, then Google will choose language from your webpage for you. While you don’t want to sound like a used car saleman, you want to make it clear that you sell the best axolotls in the area.
Step 3. Show the customer what they expect.
When the customer comes to your web page, be sure to show the customer what they expect and quickly. Remember that there is competition on the internet. If they come to your page and they see a pop-up ad or can’t immediately find where to purchase an axolotl, they will simple hit the back button and select the next choice in the page. It is important that the user see what they were looking for “Above the fold”, without having to scroll on the page.
So what on earth is an axolotl?
An axolotl is a Mexican Salamander that lives underwater. See the shape of its mouth? It is smiling at you. Add the cute button eyes and colorful gills, and you have a very cute, albeit slimy, pet.