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What Every Website Owner Should Know About SEO (Series: Digital Marketing Tips for the New (or Old!) Business Owner)

Many website owners assume their website will automatically start showing up well on Google as soon as it goes live. Unfortunately, this isn’t typically the case. With more than six billion websites in existence, just having a website isn’t usually enough to make it rank at the top of a Google search. In this episode we explain how search engine optimization (SEO) works. This is what makes a website rank well on Google. We also share actionable tips on how a website owner can improve their website rankings, and as a result, increase website traffic, leads and sales.

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What Every Website Owner Should Know About SEO (Series: Digital Marketing Tips for the New (or Old!) Business Owner)

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. 2 Practical and entertaining education for attorneys, accountants, business owners and executives, and investors.
  3. 3. Disclaimer The material in this webinar is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal, financial or other professional advice. You should consult with an attorney or other appropriate professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. While Financial Poise™ takes reasonable steps to ensure that information it publishes is accurate, Financial Poise™ makes no guaranty in this regard. 3
  4. 4. Meet the Faculty MODERATOR: Joshua Lyons – Managing Director of Joshua Lyons Marketing; Owner of CRE Marketing Group PANELISTS: Tina Powell, C-Suite Social Media Tony Brown, Strategic Media Inc. Steve Starzyk, DailyDAC™ | Financial Poise™ 4
  5. 5. About This Webinar - A Guide to Having an Effective Website Many website owners assume their website will automatically start showing up well on Google as soon as it goes live. Unfortunately, this isn’t typically the case. With more than six billion websites in existence, just having a website isn’t usually enough to make it rank at the top of a Google search. In this episode we explain how search engine optimization (SEO) works. This is what makes a website rank well on Google. We also share actionable tips on how a website owner can improve their website rankings, and as a result, increase website traffic, leads and sales. 5
  6. 6. About This Series - Digital Marketing Tips for the New (Or Old) Business Owner 2021 Approximately 83,300 small businesses in the United States are closed every year because of ineffective marketing. This indicates many business owners are unknowledgeable of how to leverage the power of marketing. While this is unfortunate, it is not surprising. There are countless marketing companies trying to sell their services, and these services range from billboards, to social media marketing, to telemarketing and more. Though these marketing tactics can be very effective, improper planning and execution can lead to failure. As such, this webinar series is designed to educated business owners on how to prepare, execute and refine their own customized marketing initiatives. After finishing this webinar series, the business owner should have a much clearer and strategic plan for their own marketing. Each Financial Poise Webinar is delivered in Plain English, understandable to investors, business owners, and executives without much background in these areas, yet is of primary value to attorneys, accountants, and other seasoned professionals. Each episode brings you into engaging, sometimes humorous, conversations designed to entertain as it teaches. Each episode in the series is designed to be viewed independently of the other episodes so that participants will enhance their knowledge of this area whether they attend one, some, or all episodes. 6
  7. 7. Episodes in this Series #1: A Guide to Having an Effective Website Premiere date: 1/20/21 #2: What Every Website Owner Should Know About SEO Premiere date: 2/17/21 #3: Email Marketing Dos and Don’ts Premiere date: 3/17/21 7
  8. 8. Episode #2 What Every Website Owner Should Know About SEO 8
  9. 9. What is Search Engine Optimization? • Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making a website rank better on search engines. Examples of search engines include Google, Bing and Safari. • SEO can be used in two main ways. First, it can be used to help a local business rank better on search engines in a local geographical area. Second, it can be used to help a website with a national audience rank better on search engines for topical related searches, as opposed to local based searches. • SEO can be done through two methods. It can be done through on-site SEO, which is the practice of enhancing the website itself. Or, it can be done through off-site SEO, which has to do with using other websites to improve the way an optimized website ranks, without having to actually edit the website being worked on. 9
  10. 10. What Is Local SEO? • Local SEO is the activity that will make a website rank well in a local geographical area. For example, if you own an ice cream shop in Atlanta, and someone in Atlanta did a Google search for “ice cream near me,” you would want to show up in the search results. Your local SEO activity would need to be centered around improving your rankings for that type of a search. Below are some activities you could implement to improve your local SEO rankings: 10  Make sure to include relevant keywords.  Join relevant and reputable directories.  Optimize your Google My Business listing.  Have great content and backlinks.
  11. 11. Make Sure To Include Relevant Keywords • Make sure to include the most important keywords on your website, in your social media profiles, in online directories, and wherever else possible. For example, sticking with the ice cream example, you might include “ice cream,” “[your city],” “ice cream cones,” “ice cream scoops,” “vanilla ice cream,” etc. There are many keywords you could use, but focus on the highest value keywords. You can do keyword research to identify the most important keywords.
  12. 12. Join Relevant And Reputable Directories • Make a point to join both local and national directories. This will add credibility to your business, which is something search engines want to see. Directories could include the following:  Local Chamber of Commerce  Yellow Pages  Yelp  Industry specific associations  Manta  Local clubs or other types of networks
  13. 13. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing • When you do a Google search for a local type of business, you’ll often see a section at the top of your search results that has three businesses listed. They will have phone numbers, a map, reviews, directions, etc. This section of the Google search results is called the “Local Search Pack.” Optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing by doing the following:  Make a point to get Google Reviews and reply to them.  Upload geo-tagged images to your listing.  Fill out your profile as much as possible.  Include the most important keywords in your profile.  Create GMB posts about your products or services, and link to relevant places on your website.
  14. 14. Have Great Content And Backlinks • Search engines, like Google, want to make sure their users can easily find what they need, and that the website featured at the top of Google will thoroughly answer their questions. This means, if your website content is fantastic, you’re more likely to rank well on Google. However, if your competitors have better website content then you do, then they’re more likely to rank well on Google. There are two tactics you can implement to help improve your rankings in this area. First, make sure your content is better than all your competitors. Spend a little time doing competitor research and see who has the best content. Then do even better than them. Second, make sure you have other websites linking to you. This can be done through creating social media profiles that link to your website, adding your website to directories, guest blogging and other related activities. As long as the websites linking to you are high quality, it should help you.
  15. 15. What Is A High Quality Website Backlink? • You want high quality website to link to your website. The more of those backlinks you have, the better you will rank on search engines. However, how do you know what website is considered high quality and what isn’t? Here are some tips that will help answer that question:  Focus on getting backlinks from website that have a good DA score.  Get links from website that are in the same industry as your website.  Don’t mass purchase backlinks. 15
  16. 16. What’s A Good DA Score? • Moz is a very popular website and has software that can help improve your performance on search engines. They give every website a score from 1 to 100. This score is an indicator of how well you should rank on Google, and you can analyze both your own website, and that of your competitors. Try to get backlinks from websites that have the same DA score as you, or a better DA score. For example, if you check your website and see your DA score is 23, focus on getting backlinks from sites that have a DA score of around 23+. The higher the score, the better! If someone offers to give you a backlinks for free, but they have a low DA score, you might politely say thanks but no thanks. If their website is highly relevant, but has a lower DA score, you may still consider accepting their backlink, especially if they’re activity improving their DA score. But don’t make a point to specifically go after them. 16
  17. 17. Get Relevant Backlinks • Search engines will look at something called semantic SEO. This has to do with having content that isn’t an exact keyword match, but if very much related to the keywords you care about. For example, let’s say a company provides SEO services and “SEO companies” is a keyword they care about. But aside from focusing on “SEO” related keywords, they also produce content about website audits, web development, content writing, blogging, etc. These concepts are all related to SEO. Because they are so related, this helps with their Google rankings. Then, when they work on getting backlinks, they’ll get links from website that talk about any of these related topics. Google sees these backlinks as being highly relevant. If they were to get backlinks from local restaurants, those backlinks wouldn’t be nearly as relevant. When you do your own backlinking, try to get backlinks that are related to your products or services. This will provide more value and context to the search engines, as they decide how best to rank your website.
  18. 18. Keyword Research • Keyword research has been mentioned in some of the previous slides, but when it comes to doing keyword research, here are some recommendations:  Use tools that will help you with the keyword research.  Look for keywords that are highly relevant to your business.  The keywords you target should have a good search volume.  Focus on keywords that have low competition, if possible.  Try to improve your ranking for multiple keywords at a time.
  19. 19. Use Tools For Keyword Research • There are multiple ways to conduct keyword research. But the best way to get positive results is to use a keyword research tool that will show you what’s frequently searched, how competitive the keywords are and gives helpful insights on how to rank well for those keywords. Here are some good tools to consider using:  SEMRush: This tool will tell you the keywords you’re currently ranking on Google for, along with your current rankings for those keywords.  SEMScoop: This tool gives detailed information on relevant keywords to target, along with specific details on how to rank well for those keywords.  AlsoAsked: This tool tells you related keyword phrases and is excellent if you’re trying to think of semantically relevant content to write about on your blog.
  20. 20. Focus On Highly Relevant Keywords • As previously mentioned, identify the keywords that matter most to you and your business. You’ll likely be able to come up with thousands of “relevant” keywords. However, that’s more than you need. Try cutting the keywords down to the top 100 that are most relevant to your business. Then, out of those 100, select your top 10. These will be the keywords you should focus on.
  21. 21. Find Keywords With High Search Volume • When identifying the top 10 keywords to target, one factor you should consider is the search volume. This is an indicator of how often each keyword is searched on a monthly basis. Sometimes an SEO company or freelancer will provide a list of keywords to target, but the keywords are searched an average of zero times per month. There’s not much value in ranking on search engines for keyword phrase that are almost never searched. Rather, focus on the keywords that are often searched. This will provide much greater value to you, in terms of driving traffic to your website.
  22. 22. Look For Low-Competition Keywords • While you want to look for high search volume keywords, you also want to target keywords that have low-competition. If there are two keyword phrases that both have a high search volume, but one of them isn’t as competitive, you should target that one. It will be much easier for you to rank well on Google if you’re targeting less competitive keywords. You may also consider investing some of your SEO activity on high volume keywords that are somewhat competitive but very important, and the rest of your time on low competition keywords that aren’t as competitive. This way you can start getting quick value from your SEO activity and at the same time start chipping away at the high value keywords that won’t yield great results very quickly.
  23. 23. Target Multiple Keywords At The Same Time • When you start doing SEO, make sure to focus on more than just one keyword. If you invest all your SEO activity into just one or two keywords, this can look suspicious to search engines. It looks like you’re trying to manipulate the system. So, focus on a variety of keywords and use a variety of tactics. This appears more natural to search engines and will ultimately help you get the best possible results. And as you start to rank well for some keywords, shift your focus away from those and target other relevant keywords. The keywords you work on should constantly be changing as you improve their rankings.
  24. 24. On-Site SEO Best Practices • If you’ve decided to do SEO, these are some of the key tactics to implement:  Make sure the meta data for each page is done correctly.  Have fantastic content for each product, service, and topic you care about.  Be sure the website is free of technical SEO issues.  Include an SSL certificate on your website.
  25. 25. Properly Use Meta Data • There are some specific areas on the backend of your website where you can include important information that search engines want to see. Make sure you take care of these:  Meta Title: This is the title for each page and it will show up in Google search results. It should be unique for each page and should include the most relevant keyword.  Meta Description: Like the title, this should be unique on each page. You want to describe this in a way that will make a Google user click through to your website.  Alternative (Alt) Text: This is the description of your image(s). If someone has a screen reader turned on, this is what will be read when the device describes the image. Include your keyword here too, if possible. This is also important for ADA website compliance.
  26. 26. Have Fantastic Content • The better your content, the more likely you’ll rank well on Google. Try to do the following:  Create Service/Product Pages: Let’s pretend you’re a commercial real estate broker. If that’s the case, and you offer services for office space, retail space and industrial space, then create a page for each of those services. Don’t just lump them all together on one general page about services.  Start Blogging: The more you blog, the more great content you can provide that your audience will care about. This is something search engines want to see. One way to get started is to create a list of all the FAQs your audience cares most about. Then write a blog post about each one. If possible, write 1,500+ words for each topic. The same length would be good for your service/product pages too.
  27. 27. Resolve Any Technical SEO Issues • When you first start working on your SEO, have an audit done to identify any technical issues associated with your website. SEMRush can help you do this. Or you can hire someone to do it for you. These are some of the issues to look for and resolve:  Correct any broken links and 404 errors.  Make sure your website is mobile friendly.  Have a website that loads quickly.  Ensure your meta data is all original and of an appropriate length.
  28. 28. Include An SEO Certificate • Search engines have greater confidence in websites that are secure and safe. With that being the case, it’s important to make sure you secure your website. An SSL certificate is one way to easily add a layer of website security to your website. It will likely cost around $50 to $100 per year and is sometimes included at no additional cost with your website hosting company. You’ll know your website has an SSL certificate if your domain starts with “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP.” If it doesn’t have an “S” on the end, then talk with your developer or hosting company about this. And aside from the SSL certificate, check with your hosting company and be sure there are security measures in place to prevent your website from being hacked.
  29. 29. Factors To Consider When Hiring For SEO • There are many factors you should keep in mind when hiring someone to help with your SEO. Here are some of the most important tips we can provide  Expect it to take around three to six months to start seeing good results. This is assuming your SEO budget is in line with what most companies invest and that your industry has an average level of competitiveness.  Expect local SEO to cost around $750 to $1,500 per month, regional SEO to cost around $2,000 to $5,000 per month and national to cost around $2,500 to $10,000 per month.  Avoid anyone who says they can guarantee overnight results or that they have friends at Google who can improve your rankings for you.
  30. 30. Factors To Consider When Hiring For SEO  Make sure the person or company you hire has excellent communication skills.  Whoever handles your SEO should be able to clearly articulate exactly what they will be doing to improve your Google rankings. If they just say it’s complicated and technical, don’t hire them.  Make sure you hire someone who has great reviews and experience. You want to know they can get measurable results.  Check to see if they rank well on Google, have an attractive website and are actively producing quality and helpful blog posts of their own.  Be sure they will provide you regular reports on progress made. These may be monthly or quarterly. They should also be insightful and clearly explained.
  31. 31. About the Faculty 31
  32. 32. About The Faculty Joshua Lyons - Joshua Lyons, the managing director of Joshua Lyons Marketing, has been part of the marketing world since 2009. He began his marketing career upon graduation from the University of West Florida, with an education in public relations and marketing. Joshua worked for several companies, developing and implementing proven online marketing strategies and boosting their exposure and revenue. After many years of marketing, in commercial real estate, hospitality and other industries, Joshua began his own marketing agency, Joshua Lyons Marketing. He launched his business in 2015 and continues to provide marketing services for clients around the United States. Joshua works with new businesses, entrepreneurs, larger established companies and organizations that are internationally recognized. Additionally, his clients range in industry from banking, home repair, medical, professional coaching and more. His company provides a variety of marketing services, but the core services offered include website development, content writing and search engine optimization. Those who wish to learn about marketing can read his company blog, which is designed to help individuals and marketing teams as they develop their own online marketing strategies. 32
  33. 33. About The Faculty Tony Brown - Tony Brown is with Strategic Media Inc., We have been in business for 27 years and as your digital marketing experts, we take what makes your company unique and highlight it. We take your ideas and goals and turn them into creative, marketing solutions. We know you are not just another company in your industry, so we want your customers to see that, too. No one needs another company telling them what they are doing wrong. They need someone to tell them what they could be doing better. We design and market your business online to expose more people to your brand and convert them into customers with our services. We offer SEO Website Design, Local SEO, Paid Ads, Social media ads, Reputation management, and software development. 33
  34. 34. About The Faculty Tina Powell - Tina Powell is the CEO of C-Suite Social Media, a full-service digital marketing and social media marketing consultancy for leaders in financial services who want to stand out. With over 20 years of hands-on digital marketing campaign and strategy, Tina’s extensive experience has kept her on the leading edge of marketing and social media. Prior to founding C-Suite, Tina was a partner at Beacon Wealth Management, an SEC-registered RIA firm acquired by Mercer Advisors. Tina is host of In The Suite – a podcast that explores contemporary themes for women leaders in the financial services and wealth management industry. Tina is aTEDx Speaker and judge for the Industry Awards and Stevie® Awards. Tina earned a M.A. from New York University where she earned the Prism Award and taught Integrated Marketing and Leadership in the Graduate Program. She also earned B.S. from Fairleigh Dickinson University magna cum laude and holds a Series 65 license. 34
  35. 35. About The Faculty Steve Starzyk - Steve Starzyk is a web designer and front-end developer that has been with Financial Poise since it’s very first website. He is the Chief Technology Officer and is responsible for maintaining our suite of websites and has helped launch four new website designs since coming on board. He is also an entrepreneur himself, owning a small business in Naperville, IL. 35
  36. 36. Questions or Comments? If you have any questions about this webinar that you did not get to ask during the live premiere, or if you are watching this webinar On Demand, please do not hesitate to email us at with any questions or comments you may have. Please include the name of the webinar in your email and we will do our best to provide a timely response. IMPORTANT NOTE: The material in this presentation is for general educational purposes only. It has been prepared primarily for attorneys and accountants for use in the pursuit of their continuing legal education and continuing professional education. 36
  37. 37. About Financial Poise 37 DailyDAC LLC, d/b/a Financial Poise™ provides continuing education to attorneys, accountants, business owners and executives, and investors. It’s websites, webinars, and books provide Plain English, entertaining, explanations about legal, financial, and other subjects of interest to these audiences. Visit us at Our free weekly newsletter, Financial Poise Weekly, updates you on new articles published on our website and Upcoming Webinars you may be interested in. To join our email list, please visit: