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October 2019

Reap What You Sow: Why Good SEO Is Like Gardening

A laptop with SEO on the screen

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the key to business success in the digital age – but we don’t need to tell you that. Any marketer knows that getting your site to the top of results pages is a tricky task and yet one that always delivers. So, what is the secret to mastering these three little letters? And how on earth is it like gardening?

Recommended reading: Why Your Small Local Business Needs A Website

Mary, Mary, quite contrary… how good is your SEO?

You should always begin with keywords, the simplest ingredient of SEO when considering your content. Think of them as the seeds to grow your garden of success. Instead of picking the right plants for the right soil, you’re choosing the right words and phrases for the right audience. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What information do they want?
  • How do they search for it?
  • In what format do they want it?

Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to connect with the people who are searching for your solutions, and it all starts with keyword research. This process, whilst intensive, is crucial for your SEO success.

Thankfully, there are plenty of online keyword research tools you can use to streamline your keyword research.

One of the most popular SEO research sites, Moz.com, boasts a free research tool with over 500 million keywords. This helps you discover the average search volume for certain words and phrases or alternative, less competitive keywords.

Seasons and competitors

You would never plant sunflower seeds in the middle of winter, would you? They just wouldn’t thrive at that time of year. In the same way, you need to adapt your SEO as the seasons change.

Your audience will be searching for different things in different months, and your keywords need to reflect this. For example, if you’re offering a limited-time deal or product for the festive season, it’s useful to know that Christmas-related Google searches spike in volume from October through to December.

A little preparation goes a long way: you can prepare yuletide content months in advance, then give it a big push at the right time.
Sunflowers are not only a summer plant, but they also shouldn’t be grown in close proximity to one another as they won’t reach their full potential. Similarly, if your webpage is overcrowded by your competitors on a results page, you won’t achieve the highest volume of traffic.

There are two different strategies to combat this: target the keywords which are used less and therefore have less competition, or deliberately use the same words that have been successful for your competitors and make your content better. The former takes advantage of their missed opportunities, whilst the latter is a more aggressive approach.

Creepy crawlers

Crawlers may sound like something you don’t want in a garden, but when it comes to SEO you definitely do. They are bots used by search engines that scour the internet, scanning billions of webpages for links, keywords, website freshness and more.

Once the information has been collected, it is indexed, which makes it searchable for users. Google’s search index contains hundreds of billions of web pages and is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size.

Optimizing your environment

A crawler-friendly website isn’t just about good, keyword-heavy content. It also needs to be formatted correctly. This includes:

In your garden, consider this providing your plants with the right environment to flourish; canes for the sunflowers to cling to and prevent them from wilting, for example. Correctly formatted web pages hosted by a trustworthy provider allow crawlers to easily index your site.

Pruning the dead leaves

Just as forgetting to deadhead your flowers will detract from the living blooms, allowing content on your webpage to grow outdated is an SEO no-no.

If your ‘latest news’ is from two months ago, or the ‘monthly special’ expired weeks ago, you will be giving your audience a bad impression and they are not likely to stick around.

Showing that your website is on top of its content and can communicate well will earn you repeat visits.

SEO expert Cyrus Shepard recommends that when you update a link on your website, you should also update the text around it. This way, search engine crawlers will detect bigger changes to your page, deeming it to be fresh.

Bring in the backup

If all else fails, you can always enlist professional help. Imagine you’d given your garden all the nurture you could, yet it still wasn’t yielding the results you wanted. You have some spare capital, so you decide to invest it by employing a gardener.

SEO agencies are the landscapers of the digital marketing world. They are experts in their field and can offer you audits, content and more to direct traffic to your site. Social Eyes Marketing, for instance, offers expert SEO knowledge that will help you hone your website to Google’s exacting standards.

This option is perfect if you’re serious about SEO as a marketing channel. While it’s not a necessity, getting in an expert gardener to sort your website’s garden out is well worth it for the return on your investment.

Reaping the rewards

So, how is good SEO like gardening? It’s really quite simple: you reap what you sow. Love your garden – sorry, website – and it will love you back.

Plant the correct seeds (keywords), at the right time and in the right place. Make it crawler-friendly by perfecting your environment. Prune away what is old and unnecessary, and don’t be afraid to bring in the professionals if you need to.

Nurture your SEO and your traffic will flourish. By using the right tools and expertise, you’ll be left with a bountiful result.

Why Your Small Local Business Needs a Website

Google maps showing a local business and their website link

88% of consumers who search for a local business on their smartphones will call or go to that business within 24 hours.

Your business must have a website that is well optimized, eye-catching, and intuitive for consumers. Let’s be honest, most people don’t want to have to go on a 3rd party website to find out about your service hours or menu items. It’s imperative that you find a web design company that will know how to get your companies website up and running. Especially when having that website put on Google Maps.

Before you call a million different places asking for quotes, it is important that you have a basic idea of what you would like your website’s design to be. At Social Eyes Marketing we offer our web design services in Boise that best reflect both our client’s style and the local environment of the business.

Why You Need a Website

No matter how small your business is, you need a website for these exact reasons:

  1. Build Brand Awareness
  2. Get Customers
  3. Share Information
  4. Differentiate From Competitors

1. Build Brand Awareness

Small businesses don’t always have the means to launch a national branding campaign like a lot of chain businesses can. However, by just having a website you are opening the door for more customers without physically doing so. Your customers will be able to more readily associate the products you have to offer with your company’s name. Your website builds brand awareness while you kick back and relax because they can search for your companies name and easily find out all the information they need.

2. Get Customers

Over a billion people use Google Maps. If your business isn’t popping up in Google Maps, then I will not be your customer. Google has made it more intuitive for businesses to set up their profiles in Google My Business.

This makes it so that when your potential client is hungry and they search for a keyword like “Chinese,” your Chinese restaurant will hopefully pop up as a suggested place to eat at. Boom, easy potential customer grab.

3. Share Information

Before someone gets in their car they are usually wanting to know if you are open in the first place. If your web design is intuitive and mobile-friendly then people are able to see your hours and any other sort of information you want to show more readily and quickly.
More and more people are wanting to find information conveniently and at no expense to them. This means less time, less gas, and fewer headaches from crawling google for your business information.

4. Differentiate From Competitors

By having differences in colors, logos, and content, your business is “not just another (blank) company.” Your website shows what is unique to your business’s services, values, and ideals.

Our clients receive web design and development in Boise and beyond, unique to each and every business we serve to ensure that not only is the business owner’s style incorporated, but also what is on-trend and up-to-date is being accounted for. Your website can very easily make customers want your services over your competitors if their website is not readable or intuitive.

Local for a Local

Sometimes seeking the help of companies that are not local can be a challenge communication-wise. A local digital marketing company near you will be able to go all-in with your needs. When receiving help from a local web design company you will be able to convey exactly how you want your website designed without the hassle of making a million phone calls. You also will have a more personal connection because they understand the area and the people you are marketing to.

If you are looking for any Boise SEO services, web design, web development, video production and or more, go here!

If You’re (Not Already) Reading This: 5 Books For Market-Minded Thinkers in 2019

Lady reading book about marketing

Hopefully, 2019 has been a year of growth, prosperity, and innovation. That being said, we look to develop within the world of digital marketing by learning from and alongside others. Where some learn best by workshopping ideas with others or testing through trial-and-error on their own, books can also offer an incredible opportunity for reflection and revival.

We also understand that not all books are created equally. Different authors, different styles, different perspectives. That is the beauty of books, though. There is one for everyone. Check out some of our marketing favorites to help you tap into your next level of success.

1. For Building Culture Among Your Marketing Team

Marketing elements and marketing experts are not all the same. Marketing teams are composed of many different specialists whose expertise is significant to the process. In order to make the most out of your team in their tasks as well as their commitment, you need to create a culture that can do both. Alina Wheeler’s Designing Brand Identity (2017) offers just that and more. Allegedly, Wheeler has composed the Holy Grail for marketing professionals. With extensive research, accessible presentation, and integration of constructive soft skills, Wheeler has wrapped up a strong base for marketers to build upon.

2. For the Future of Marketing

In the digital world we live in marketing is a must. In order to succeed and surpass goals, businesses, organizations, and companies need to integrate the framework of intentional marketing into their regular practices. That is, if these businesses are not going to rely on a professional marketing agency for the heavy lifting. Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose’s book, Killing Marketing (2017), champions this concept that content is king in today’s world. They reflect on the former standards and incoming trends in order to address what they think are the new institutions of marketing.

3. For Thinking Outside of the Box

Are you experiencing an overload of information? Overwhelmed by the mass amount of content? You’re not alone. Norwegian philanthropist and serial entrepreneur, Jørn Lyseggen, has dedicated a book to media insights based on his lofty career in media intelligence. The book, Outside Insight (2016), extends bottom-up perspectives to transform the way your company operates with innovative analyses. With examples from Apple, Facebook, and even former President Barack Obama, there’s something to be learned regardless of your industry.

4. For the Psychology of Marketing

If you enjoyed Michael Lewis’s work with Moneyball (2003) and The Big Short (2010), we have another strong option for you from him. The Undoing Project (2016) is another piece of literature focusing on behavioral economics much like Lewis’s two other books-turned-motion-pictures. This work peeks into the mind of psychologists; Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky whose research was focused on judgment and decision-making heuristics. Simply put, Lewis parallels their expertise in metacognition (thinking about thinking) with the nature of their professional partnership. Lewis manages to keep things engaging and on-brand by incorporating his background in market inefficiencies into a story about the ups and downs of two men working together across nearly 30 years. The New York Times even quoted Tversky in its review of the book: “It is sometimes easier to make the world a better place than to prove you have made the world a better place.” Fortunately, Lewis does just that on their behalf.

For those of us in the marketing industry, this might seem a little obscure to read. However, we all could improve upon our interpersonal skills in the workplace. Thinking about biases, risks, decision-making, happiness, quality of life, and even human rationality gives you an edge to better support yourself, your associates, your clients, and your organization in the long run.

5. For a Light Read on Things You Wouldn’t Expect in Business

With a blog by the same name, Eric Barker’s Barking Up The Wrong Tree (2017) unearths some lesser cited realities within the world of business. While he isn’t referring to things specific to marketing, some of the generic practices we find in our marketing world are flipped on their head in Barker’s book. This book is more or less a guide to understanding why we cling to certain ideals as well as how we can evolve into new ones that actually get us to where we want in our careers. Forbes even interviewed the young writer on his perspectives, career advice, and fun facts (from proven research) on what motivates the most successful individuals.

There are a few months left in the year and we are spending more time indoors with the temperatures creeping closer to freezing. Why not spend some time reading up on ideas from some of the foremost innovators in the marketing industry and beyond.