Search Engine Optimization: A BS-Free Perspective On SEO

by Meghan Kelly

Mar 30, 2021

Posted in SEO


I’m a big picture marketer. I think in terms of overall strategy and how different mediums should work together to give you the results you want vs. getting too deep into the specifics of how each tactic works. 

For those details, I work with a team of technicians, because I have very little technical training myself. This makes it hard or nearly impossible for me to get lost in the weeds when talking to clients about the machinations of SEO, because, quite admittedly, that’s not where my skill set lies, and, frankly, it’s not really what clients need to know about SEO. 

I believe that there’s a big benefit to being able to have a more plainspoken conversation about some of the more complicated aspects of different types of digital marketing tactics like SEO. Most of us don’t spend our days working with algorithms, code, and inside complex digital platforms, so why pretend like we do? 

All too often you see digital marketing influencers and agencies speaking about their work in industry-specific terms, which can be alienating — especially to the businesses who need their help the most. And that’s exactly what I want to avoid when having these discussions with clients. So, with tha in mind, let’s talk about SEO. 

SEO, simply put, is anything that you’re doing online to make your website more visible on search engines, like Google, Bing, and even YouTube, Amazon, or Facebook. It’s increasing your digital footprint. It’s casting a wider net. 

SEO is an umbrella term. It doesn’t refer to one thing. SEO refers to a number of tactics that work separately and together to ultimately drive more traffic to your website. These things are much more tangible and easier to understand when we talk about them in plain and simple terms, so let’s do just that!

Some of Formada’s Favorite SEO Tactics

Claiming and Optimizing Your Local Listings Is Good SEO

The internet is home to a number of different directory sites that contain business information like your business’s name, address, phone number, website, and much more detailed business information, such as photos, reviews, and services that you offer (though do vary from directory to directory). 

Google My Business is by far the largest directory site, but there are many other prominent players like Bing, Yelp, SuperPages, and YellowPages. The list goes on and on. 

The point is, search engines want to send traffic to relevant and authoritative websites. If you’re a business with a physical location, one way that a search engine determines a website’s authenticity is by confirming that it’s business information is consistent and complete from directory site to directory site. 

Ensuring that your business information is complete and accurate on these directory sites is good SEO. Google is by far the most important directory site to claim as your Google My Business listing is often more trafficked than your actual website. 

The easiest and most efficient way to claim your local listings is to use a service who specializes in this process to help push all relevant aspects of your listing information out to each of the publishers. Using an agency for this means that you as the business owner only have to share your listing information once and then your agency ensures that your info is pushed, published, and locked so it can’t be updated by anyone other than you. 

If you’d like to see how accurate your business’s local listings appear you can use our free local listings scan tool.

Blogging Is Good SEO

When a user types a search query into Google, the search engine’s number one goal is to deliver the most relevant result possible. That’s how Google stays relevant — by matching users with the information they seek. It’s not really a passive process, though. In order to stay relevant, site owners need to take certain steps that will reinforce a site’s authority.

One way to do this? By adding current, relevant content to your website that is based on the sort of questions your customers are already asking about your business, product, or service, and doing so in the form of a blog post. 

Why not just add a page to your website? Well, you can do that, too, but your site’s pages are structured in a way that should be (in most cases, anyway) more succinct and actionable. Your site’s pages are designed for people who are on the verge of making a choice, whereas your blog is designed to educate and inform, all while further establishing your authority on a subject.

Think of your website as the living room of your business. It’s your job to serve them while they’re there. You want your visitors to feel welcome and comfortable enough that they’ll want  to stay awhile, to leave with a good impression, and want to come back. One way of making this possible is by being a good host. One way of being a good host is by using your blog to cater to their needs. 

When you’re writing these pieces, remember who you’re writing for. You’re not writing for subject matter experts or professionals, such as yourself. You’re writing for the layperson. You’re writing for your future clients. So keep that in mind and you’re creating content. Simplify your language by removing unnecessary jargon or acronyms. 

Communicate with them in language that will make sense, is relatable, and is, above all, useful. A blog might not cause them to take action today, but by giving the public relevant, useful information, you’re building brand authority and pulling them into your sales funnel. 

Appropriate Page Structure On Your Website Is Good SEO

It’s important to break your content into easily digestible and relevant chunks. That’s not earth shattering news, it’s simply good copywriting. 

It used to be that the headers (like your website’s page’s Title, H1, H2, H3) were factored into the way that Google ranked content. Not sure what I’m referring to? The “Appropriate Page Structure” header just above, for instance, is an H2. The “Some of Formada’s Favorite SEO Tactics” copy several paragraphs above is an H1. This blog’s title at the top of the page, naturally, is the title.   

Anyway, the practice about 10-15 years ago was to put as many keywords into your headers because the publishers would send their spiders — an internet bot that reviews and indexes content — to analyze header content across the web and then show search results based upon the content that these spiders were able to find. 

Though this method is no longer in practice, appropriate page structure and proper use of titles and headers are still very important. 

The goal of each of your headers should be to provide a brief but clear explanation about what the following content is about. This help’s readers scan for the content that is most relevant to them, and it also helps Google evaluate your content, as well. The most important thing, in our opinion, is to make certain that your titles and headers are relevant to the body copy that follows. 

SEO: It’s Not Difficult To Understand When We Break it Down

The digital marketing world is full of acronyms and jargon. This language is unnecessary and confusing and it often makes business owners shy away from important digital conversations. No one wants to feel uninformed, and too much of the digital marketing world has been misunderstood due to gatekeepers either wanting their clients to be confused (which is bad), or being so self-involved that they forget who they are serving (also pretty bad).

This can sometimes cause business owners to invest in tactics that they don’t fully understand. They know that digital marketing is a crucial investment, but they resign to not understanding it, or worse, they invest in marketing that isn’t relevant to their business or their customers, and end up wasting money and become suspicious of the value of digital marketing. 

Purchasing something that doesn’t make sense to you makes you vulnerable to buying into a poor product. And it shouldn’t be that way. Ask questions. Then ask more questions. The best digital marketers will explain SEO in terms that are relatable to you. 

There are always certain risks involved when you make marketing investments, but those risks shouldn’t be based on you not understanding what you’re investing in. That’s no way to build a relationship, and it’s certainly not a way to feel confident about one of your business’s key components for creating new customer relationships and increasing your profitability. 

Want to learn more about the ins and outs of digital marketing?
Ready to have a clear, honest conversation about how your website can increase your revenue?
Call Formada today for a free 30-minute consultation!


Get in touch with the Formada Team