The problem with SEO (and what to do about it)

One of the first things Google looks at in a search is if the search term matches the URL you are looking for. If you are searching for “Gregs Gourmet Goodies”, Google looks to see if there is a domain name names “GregsGourmetGoodies.com”. But, unless you are a recognized brand, most people are not searching for your business name. They are looking for what you have to offer, such as “gourmet cheese dip.” Of course, you might be able to buy the domain name, “gourmetcheesedip.cooking” or gourmetcheesedip.party”, and you could do this for every one of your products, and then re-direct that new domain name to the page on your website where you sell gourmet cheese dip. this helps, especially because Google actually indexes every single page, not just your home page.

The next thing most small businesses worry about is whether or not their page is optimized for search engines, in part because there are SEO companies out there scaring them into buying their services. What these companies typically do is look at what is called on-site factors, and they make sure that your page titles, contain the search term you are trying to rank for and that you use that search term in the content of the page. For example, if we are trying to rank for the search term, “gourmet cheese dip” we would title our page “Gourmet Cheese Dip”, we would include “Gourmet Cheese Dip” in the heading tags, and we would write our copy to include that keyword phrase multiple times in the description, such as “Greg’s Gourmet Goodies offers the best packaged gourmet cheese dip available anywhere. using our gourmet cheese dip, you can mix this with your favourite cream cheese and create the most delicious gourmet cheese dip anywhere. Your guests will still be talking about the great gourmet cheese dip you served them for days. so if you are looking for the finest gourmet cheese dip, look no further than Greg’s Gourmet Goodies.”

But here’s the thing: there are 19,000,000 results returned by Google for “gourmet cheese dip”. The likelihood of you being listed on page 1 of Google is  1 in 1.9 billion, even if you do the on-site optimization I just talked about. Plus, your cheese dip mix is only one of about a hundred products you offer. There has to be a better way. And there is…Actually, there are several ways. What you want to do is be seen everywhere on the internet for each of your products. The first thing you should do is write a blog post about each product. Let’s say that this week I’m going to write about the cheese dip, and next week about the salsa mix, and the week after that about my salad dressing mix, then the week after that about my chili mix. You get the idea – each week I write a post about a different product. Because I have limited time, but want this to be seen everywhere on the Internet, I use a tool called microblog poster to automatically send this content to all my social media sistes: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. I only write and post it once, but I blast it everywhere. Now for the important part: I include a link back to the page on my website where I offer the product I am writing about (and of course that page has the on-site optimization that I previously discussed). So now when Google crawls the internet, it finds a link whose anchor text is “gourmet cheese dip”, and when it follows that link, it finds a page that has a title, heading tag, and multiple uses of the keyword phrase on the page, and it thinks “hey, this is a page that talks about gourmet cheese dip, it came from a link called gourmet cheese dip, and I have found lots of links all over the internet with the term gourmet cheese dip all pointing to this page, so it must be pretty important when it comes to this search term, so I’m going to rank it higher.”

The more sites that you can get pointing back to your page for the term you are trying to rank, the better. So, heres a trick: create a “landing page” that talks about your gourmet cheese dip that then points to your product page. But don’t just ccreate one landing page, create one for each type of search someone is likely to conduct. One person might be looking for the most flavorable cheese dip, another for a lost cost cheese dip, yet another for a low calorie cheese dip, and someone else for an easy to make cheese dip. Each person will likely be searching for something slightly different, so create multiple landing pages that all point to your product page. Now you have created that many more links for Google to use when indexing your site.

Let’s take this a step further. Google not only looks at how many links you have, but where those links come from. Big important sites, like CNN, the Huffington Post, and YouTube are “weighted” so that a link from one of these sites is seen as 10, 100, or even 1000 times as more important than a link from a smalled site. So here is what you do: you make a short 2 minute or less video, post it to YouTube, and include a link back to your website! do this for each product you have, and you will be dominating the search engine results page in no time! Specifically, let’s say you wrote a blog post about your cheese dip. You upload a video to YouTube about your cheese dip, and you write a description about that video where you include the keyword phrase “gourmet cheese dip” in the video description. Then you add a link in the description to “http://gregsgourmetgoodies.com/gourmetcheesedip” or to http://gourmetcheesedip.party” (notice the use of http:// – this is required on YouTube to create a link, you can’t just enter www.gregsgourmetgoodies.com). Also note that I am pointing the link back to the specific page selling gourmet cheese dip, not to the home page. Finally, you will want to use the YouTube feature of “share” to “embed” that video into the blog post that you wrote.

If you do this, you are likely to end up on page one of Google for that keyword phrase. Create a slightly different version of the video and tag it for each of your variations (low cost, low calorie, tasty, easy, etc) and you will dominate the search results, simply because no one else is taking the time to do this. I’ve created videos like this for customers and 8 years later, they are still on page one! Imagine if you did this for every one of your products – you would dominate your competition!

There are some down sides to relying on YouTube, which I will discuss in next week’s blog, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, if you’d like to get more information about this for your business or you need help making this happen for your business, check out my coaching options at http://bit.ly.coachingwithgreg. I’d love to help.