What I know about SEO is simply this: I need to know about SEO.
Google RankBrain, Google analytics, algorithms, Yoast, bots…..I hear a loud buzzing. But no more. Now there are unicorns. And pink. I’m in!
I met Silvia Del Corso, Founder of PinkSEO to lay bare what I am missing and why, why, WHY business owners need to listen up.
Once upon a time, there was an idea and it became a business with tangible goods and tangible blood, sweat and tears. It had a shopfront, customers and a cash register. Your product was good, you worked hard ….et voila.
Now the struggle is real…or rather, digital. Your story is amazing, your products are good and great and contain your every drop of passion, but you want to be a unicorn and yet here you are in the paddock kicking your little brown donkey hoofs.
Women in business are being lauded by the government as adding serious £££ to the economy – but so many of us are coming up after a few years face-down in motherhood and social media is stifling, time-munching and the input: output ratio is skewed waaay not in our favour.
1. Why do 98% of your quality content campaigns go nowhere?
Larry Kim, winner of the Search Marketer of the Year Award coined the term ‘unicorn marketing.‘
According to him, 9 out of 10 marketers suffer from chronic donkey denial syndrome. They need an objective way to distinguish the top 3% of the content they already have (the Unicorns) which is doing much better than the rest (yes, the Donkeys).
But this is where Google Analytics can help. Spend some time looking around, its really quite eye-opening and often the tweaks are tiny. Read, read, read Silvia’s super-informative blog-posts. She is generous with her knowledge and passionate about her subject.
2. Is your website just a glorified business card?
Like those shoes you bought in the sale. So pretty but rather pointless because you just can’t walk in them. Is your website actually working for you as it should? Why are your competitors going elsewhere when yours product is simply better? Perhaps you have some SEO plugins but in reality they only go so far.
The problem is, as Silvia put it, you don’t know what – or who – you’re losing. By using the right content you can attract YOUR customer. Be specific, in the right way.
3. Make the bots your friend aka (Don’t) Rage Against The Machine.
I enjoy spending a little time thinking of catchy titles for my articles. Oh, says Silvia. Think of the bots, too! Write to your website users, but don’t forget those tiny bots. They can truly help you be found on Google!. And as AI improves and Google RankBrain’s algorithm gets cleverer, we need to understand what they are looking for.
Some gems, courtesy of Silvia:
- RankBrain, Google’s Machine Learning algorithm, learns from the interaction your users have with your site. Try and do the same. Become aware of what they need and help them get it through your pages.
- Speak the language your users speak, discover which words they use. Place them where the crawler bots are programmed to search for what your page is about (in your titles, copy, subheaders, URLs).
- Write pieces of content that are long enough to be really informative (better not less than 600 words) and engaging, worth sharing.
- They might link to your site, and as your business cannot survive isolated, your website can’t thrive with no links to other websites. Get high quality links to your site as part of a relationship of trust and networking. Ask your connections to write about your business and link to it.
Think of the 3 main contents of SEO as if it was a triangle. And as no triangle can exist with just one site, you won’t really rank a site with just one of these 3 factors:
1) Content: Every piece of content (pages and posts) you create has a chance to intercept the user’s search intent. So try and write pages and posts for them. Be informative, not commercial. Research what they need about your niche (try Quora.com, Answethepublic.com, Google Trends, etc to get qualitative ideas what to write about). Google wants to provide its users the best possible user experience, ranking higher pages which are more relevant to what the user is searching for (meaning that those key phrases are present in the right places) and giving them the best possible experience (fast page loading speed, a long time spent on the site, lots of pages viewed, etc). Adding new content relevant to your business makes it understand your site is updated and well kept, so sadly (very sadly) there is no way to avoid the blogging….same goes for social.
2) Backlinks: These are like recommendations your site gets from other sites, tokens of trustfulness and authority. Make sure they come from other good quality, relevant sites: the more quality backlinks you have, the more relevant you appear to Google. Beware spammy, sketchy directories and link building techniques. Being penalised is very easy and recovering from a penalisation is a real pain. Try joining forums, industry trade groups and getting noticed that way, or doing guest post for relevant, high quality sites. Check which ones you have with Google Search Console (ex Google Webmasters Tools).
3) Code: The crawlers don’t see the site as you do, but as strings of code and they are programmed to find what the site is about in particular places. Make sure you place your key words & phrases in the places they will search for: The Tile (that little blue line in Google’s result snippet, around 60 characters….make sure people want to click on it!), URL (the green line), ETA Description (the black snippet of copy. It will get truncated if longer than 160 characters. What’s important here is writing a description that is relevant to the user and makes them want to click on the link. Make sure the ‘roads’ the crawlers use (links from a page to another) are accessible and not broken (404 errors, broken links), Make sure no page has duplicate, thin or missing titles, meta descriptions and content.
It’s overwhelming. I have a lot to do…..so now I’m sending this to Silvia so she can right my wrongs and get me out of the donkey paddock.
Before moving to London, I lived in Tuscany in a lovely seaside village and studied foreign languages at University. Just before finishing the end of my course, I was offered a fantastic job that let me visit Europe to promote Tuscany as a holiday destination.
I visited Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland…the list goes on! I was in my 20s and being paid for travelling was a dream come true. Touristic expos and sightseeing during the day, little restaurants at night, all together with wonderful colleagues.
More than geography, history and art, that job taught me how to deliver great customer care, how to negotiate, how to deal with claims, teamwork, and how to solve unexpected problems.?
When online bookings totally disrupted the traditional holiday system, I decided to embrace the ‘enemy’ – the Internet that was changing every rule.
I studied the phenomenon deeply and I was fascinated by its immense possibilities.
Digital marketing and social media were my starting point. SEO seemed overly complicated to me!
I kept reading all these (mostly men’s!) discussions of technical issues and every time I was more curious. When I started attending conferences, women could be counted on the fingers of one hand. I’m aware of the fascination with my current company much of which has been about the tough challenge it represented in the beginning. I’m the one who chose to go to University because my mum told me: “You could never do it, we can’t afford it.” That was why I made it, all with the highest grades and scholarships, before the drive to earn drove me away from the books and into work experience.
Now I’m an SEO Specialist and I wanted to dedicate my business name (PinkSEO) to the declaration that no job can’t be “Pink”, meaning done (even better!) by a woman, with 99% of female business owners as my customers.
PINK SEO: Tell us about it!
I help business owners be found on Google by their prospective customers and clients, growing immensely the potential for their business growth.
I optimise their websites so that their traffic will be targeted and much higher, converting into new sales, leads and contacts every day.
I also provide training, so that business owners can understand how does it work, how to be able to manage most of their efforts DIY and to understand what to request in any kind of cooperation.
I love networking and talking about my job, which gets combined with my frequent talking about SEO during workshops and events. I also love writing and exchanging guest blogs.
FAVOURITE PRODUCT OR SERVICE?
The Pink Pearl Membership SEO Campaign. I started providing one-off reports and training, but I was soon asked by clients if I could set up all-inclusive packages. So I created 3 types of SEO Campaigns, which allow my customers to have included:
- Keyword researches, to know which words are most searched for on Google, by how many visitors and how competitive they are
- Site Audits to assess the health of a website from an SEO Perspective and get them all fixed on the technical, coding side
- SEO Training
- a very fast HTTPS hosting solution (helpful for ranking better)
- Tracking and monthly reporting of how a website is ranking on Google for the various keywords
My clients are always surprised they can get all of this for £99 per month.
THE BAKER’S DOZEN:
What is – or has been – your greatest struggle (either personal or professional)? Leaving friends and family members behind when we moved, but they know it is what we really needed.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? A ballerina, a doctor, a psychologist, a politician, a traveller. But I managed to get so much more than that.
Best advice ever received and from whom? “People will treat you the way you let them.” (My Dad).
Who do you most admire? My husband, for being the most balanced and good man I know; my Dad for being the strongest.
What keeps you up at night? Knowing my kids are growing up and one day they will have their lives away from me.
When were you happiest? Dare I say – now. Happy family, health, business growing, finally at peace with myself and very loved.
Favourite object you possess? My handwritten, paper diary. The only thing I couldn’t replace. So many emotions and events I want to keep.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “It’s late.” “Another time.”
What is the most important lesson life has taught you? That we must be our best companions and only live in the present.
What is your guiltiest pleasure? Chocolate, cakes. When I just don’t resist, I try to compensate exercising a bit more!
What change do you hope for in your lifetime? Better understanding of how to save time from useless chores!
Who could help you next? If I could, I’d outsource my copywriting and Social Media. Nothing I do with my own clients.