Category: SEO

If you search around the web for ways SEO can help your small business, you’re likely to find many articles that talk about technical benefits of SEO such as “Brings in more customers through organic search”, “SEO Impacts the Buying Cycle”, or “SEO helps improve conversion rates”.

Though all of the above is correct, it can be hard for some small business owners to really understand how some of these technical benefits can actually improve their bottom line.

To help you as a small business owner better understand the importance of SEO and how it can help your business thrive, I am going to walk you through the journey of a hypothetical customer from awareness of your brand, to purchase.

Additionally, at each step of the journey, I will show you how a good SEO strategy helps sway a customer towards a purchase.

Before we jump into this hypothetical customer journey there is one important concept you need to know and remember as you read through this customer journey.

The Rule of 7

An image of the number seven. To help picture the rule of seven in marketing.

If you’ve ever tried running ads online once, twice, or even three times and wondered to yourself “Why isn’t it working?”. Well, now you know why.

The rule of seven is a well-known marketing principle that basically states that a customer needs to interact with your brand/business at least seven times before they take any action you want them to take (purchase a product or service, subscribe to a newsletter).

Not only do you need to have at least seven interactions with prospective customers before they buy your product or service, but these interactions also need to be positive interactions.

You can easily see why that is important. Customers tend to buy products and services from people and companies that they trust. 

Since customers aren’t always ready to buy your products or services when they see it the first time, the seven (or more) interactions can help build trust so when the customer is ready to buy, they choose you and your services over the competition.

You can think of this as going out on a few dates with a stranger before committing to being in a relationship.

The hypothetical customer journey

The beginning of a road. To illustrate the beginning of a customer journey.

For this hypothetical customer journey, I’d like you to imagine that you own a law firm. To be precise, your law firm specializes in injury law.

Your typical customer is a male between the age of 21-45 since this demographic tend to get injured more than any other demographic.

For the sake of this example, we’ll call this hypothetical customer Jamie. Jamie is 22-years old. He is a senior in college.

One of the first questions you might ask yourself in this situation is: “How can I get 7 interactions with Jamie so I can win him as a customer when he needs my services?”.

First, consider doing digital ads. But unlike Halloween season for retailers, it’s harder to project when people like Jamie might get injured.

So, you have to get creative. You decide to create helpful legal content about various legal topics. You hire an SEO specialist and you make sure your content is optimized, and that your potential customers can easily find it online.

Jamie’s first interaction with your brand

One Thursday night, Jamie is coming back home from a football game. He’s had a couple of drinks and gets pulled over.

After the cops get his license and registration, he has a few minutes to do some research on “what to do if you get a DUI”. Luckily for Jamie, you have written a comprehensive article on that specific subject.

After reading your article, Jamie is confident about what to do next if he gets booked for a DUI. Luckily he does not. However, your article left a first positive impression on Jamie’s mind.

Second Impression

A couple of months later, Jamie is at a dorm party when he hears the cops at their door. Jamie and his friends had been smoking weed.

Before they answer the door, Jamie quickly searches what to do if you get arrested for possession of marijuana. Again, luckily for Jamie, you’ve also written an article on the subject.

After reading the article, Jamie feels confident about what to do if he or any of his friends get arrested. That night, they didn’t. However, another one of your articles makes a good impression in Jamie’s psyche.

Third Impression

Six months after that incident, Jamie is about to graduate college. Unlike most of his fellow students, Jamie is thinking about starting his own business right out of college.

Though you’re an injury lawyer, you had a bit of knowledge about business laws. After all, despite being an injury lawyer, you’re also a business owner and you had to get yourself acclimated with some business laws.

Lucky for Jamie, you had written an extensive article about how to incorporate a business and some of the important legal steps required before doing so.

You’ve now helped Jamie three times. Each time you left a positive impression in his psyche.

6 Unique ways SEO can help your small business

SEO helps increase your brand awareness

A picture of some branding concepts. It illustrate brand awareness.

By this time into Jamie’s customer journey to retaining your services, he is well aware of your brand and business. 

In fact, because of the first three impressions, he remembers your business name and whenever he makes a legal search and doesn’t find valuable information, he adds your business name to the search to see if you have something to say about the subject.

The best part about SEO is that if Jamie is at this stage of his customer journey, he is likely not the only one.

So, there are hundreds or thousands of other customers out there who have had similar experiences to that of Jamie.

They have searched for some legal questions repeatedly, and your content has come up more than once.

When a good amount of customers can recall your business name and associate it with an idea or feeling such as “great content” or “unique expertise”, we call that brand awareness.

Brand awareness is important because over 80% of customers say that they will only purchase a product or service by a brand they know and/or recognize.

This means that at this stage many of your customers are on their way to trusting you and/or your brand, meaning they’ll be more likely to buy from you if they need your services.

SEO is word to mouth on steroid

A man screaming into a megaphone. The megaphone illustrate word of mouth marketing. One of the ways SEO can benefit your small business.

85% of small business owners get their business from word to mouth marketing. It makes sense. As a small business owner, I can attest that most of my clients come from word of mouth.

Though word of mouth is a great way to get more new business, it can be limited. One person tells another. That other person tells one more person. At the 4th interaction, you might have 4-8 additional potential customers that know about your business.

SEO can significantly multiply this word to mouth effect.

Remember Jamie from earlier? Well, Jamie liked one of your articles so much that he thought he should share it on his Facebook & Instagram accounts. The article was so helpful to him that he thought it could be as helpful to someone else out there.

Jamie has 2000 friends on Facebook and 1000 followers on Instagram. So, when Jamie shared his article, instead of sharing it with only one person, he shared it with his network of 3000 people.

In this example, after the 1st interaction, you might get as many as 100 new potential customers knowing about your business.

Again, since Jamie’s example isn’t unique, you can quickly see how your business can easily be exposed to hundreds or even thousands of potential new customers on a daily basis.

SEO gets you (digital) referrals

I know what you might be thinking: isn’t word of mouth similar to referrals? The answer is: Yes. The two are similar.

However, SEO gets you a different kind of referral. SEO gets you digital referrals, also known in the SEO world as backlinks.

The difference between word-of-mouth referrals and these backlinks is that the backlinks do not necessarily come from your potential customers/users.

These backlinks come from other website owners who have come across your content and thought: “Wow this content is really good. I need to reference this content in my next article, video, podcast, etc.”

One of the biggest advantages of getting more of these backlinks is that the more backlinks you have the more authoritative Google and other search engines believe your content to be. The more authoritative they believe your content to be, the higher they’ll tend to rank your content on their search engine results pages.

The higher Google and other search engines rank your content on search results pages, the more website visitors you’ll get to your website. Getting these backlinks is like an amazing positive reward loop.

SEO is networking amplified

A handshake. This illustrates business networking, one of the ways SEO can help your small business.

As a small business owner, you’re probably familiar with the term business networking.

This is when you go to a business networking event and interact with other business owners like yourself. You get to tell them about your business, and you get to learn about their business.

On a good day, you could make up to 10 quality connections at a business networking event. This means that you’d only get to tell about 10 people about your business.

With SEO, you can increase that number significantly.

See, potential customers like Jamie are not the only people that will stumble upon your content. Among some of these potential customers, will be other fellow business owners that might be searching for legal advice on various subjects.

SEO is an amazing way to tell hundreds to thousands of other small business owners about your business without having to attend business networking events.

Attending those events will still help because 40% of prospects become customers when in-person meetings take place.

SEO gets you more leads/potential customers

Picture of a shopper. To illustrate the SEO can help small businesses get more customers.

One of the biggest hurdles for most small business owners is “how to get more customers”. This is a question that I’ve heard over and over and over from small business owners.

Before you can get more customers, you have to get more leads/potential customers. SEO helps you get both.

Once you increase your brand awareness, and your customers start to share your content because it is so good, it’s easy to see how you’ll keep getting more and more visitors to your website.

It’s also easy to see how you’ll get many of your potential customers like Jamie to come back to your website at least seven times, so you can turn them into customers.

All of these website visitors are leads/potential customers.

SEO increases the value of your business

A picture of a graph showing growth with a bitcoin. This illustrates how SEO can increase a businesses value.

All the visitors you get to your website increase the value of your business.

This is because when/if you ever want to sell your business, instead of just selling the potential of all of your products and services, you’ll also be selling a valuable digital marketing asset: A website that is generating leads non-stop.

Furthermore, SEO will give you leverage. In other words, you can leverage all of the users on your website to diversify your sources of income.

You don’t have to do this, but it’s a possibility. You could start making money by selling ads on your website.

You could also allow other businesses to post sponsored content on your website. They’ll want to do it because who wouldn’t want their content on a place that sees hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of visitors on a consistent basis (daily, monthly, etc).

SEO is a sustainable marketing strategy

A picture with a sustainable logo. To illustrate how SEO is a sustainable marketing strategy.

I recently wrote an article in which I attempted to answer the question “What is SEO”. In the article, I decided to explain SEO using a simple analogy that could help small business owners better understand SEO.

I explained that the internet was like a shopping center of information where users go to the shop (search/look) for information.

In that shopping center, there are areas of higher foot traffic. These areas are often located near entrances and/or parking lots. They are areas of high foot traffic because since people have to come to the shopping center through those areas, there will always be more potential customers in those areas.

If you own a store in that shopping center SEO is like doing everything you can to have your store located in the high foot traffic areas. If you can be in one of those areas, you’ll need less advertising in the long run.

This is why SEO is a sustainable marketing strategy. It takes a lot of work to put your content on the first page of Google (high foot traffic area), but once you do, you get an unlimited source of potential new customers.

Ignoring SEO would be like putting your store in a low foot-traffic area where you get very little to no foot traffic. In that case, you’d need to constantly pay for ads to let your customers know that you’re in the back of the shopping center.

Final Words

If you think I’m selling you on SEO, you would be right.

I am 100% selling you on SEO. I’m doing so because I believe in these 7 unique ways that SEO can help your small business.

I’m also selling you on it because I’m an SEO specialist. It’s what I do for a living and I believe in it.

One of the questions I get the most from potential & current clients is: Do I really need SEO? I often tell them in all honesty, no. No one needs SEO. Much like professional soccer players don’t need cleats to play soccer.

However, in a competitive sport like soccer, playing without cleats would put any soccer player at a serious competitive disadvantage.

Likewise, having a website without SEO in a competitive business world can put your small business at a serious competitive disadvantage. That’s another reason I’m selling you on SEO.

You don’t have to do SEO with me, but do take it seriously so you can reap these 6 benefits that can help your small business.

Category: SEO

Before you decide to create a website for your business, you first MUST consider marketing. IN other words, you have to seriously consider how you will get people to your website

I recently wrote an article that answers the question “What is SEO”. In the article, I made an analogy that compared the internet to a shopping center/mall of information. In other words, the internet today is a place where people go to look for information they want and need.

In this shopping center (like many other shopping centers), there are areas that see more foot traffic than others. These areas are often close to mall entrances, near parking lots. 

If you owned a store in one of these shopping centers, it would be in your best interest to try to have your store located in one of these high-traffic areas. Because this would give you access to more potential traffic every day than other stores in the shopping center.

Now say you happen to decide to open a store in that shopping center. But you don’t do anything to try to get your store in a high foot traffic area, you might struggle to get new customers.

Let’s also say that you spent hundreds of thousands of dollars just to build the store, without having a strategy for getting new customers, all the money you invested in building your store might be money wasted.

Unfortunately, this is a story I have seen far too often in my digital marketing career. Many small business owners spend lots of money on building websites without any strategy on how to get new customers to their websites.

This often ends up becoming a waste of time & money for these small business owners. They build this great digital marketing asset (their website), but the website is useless because there’s little to no traffic going to the website.

I decided to write this section in this article about how to create a website for your small business because I want you to avoid making the mistake that I have seen so many business owners as you make.

So, before you go on google and search for “how to create a website for my small business”, start searching instead for ways to get more traffic to your website. Because if you build a website before thinking about how to get new customers to it, you might end up with a marketing asset that is bringing little to no value to your business.

How to get traffic to your website

In today’s digital marketing world, there are two main ways you’re going to be able to get traffic to your website. I’m going to mention them here to give you a place to start in your search for how to get traffic to your website.

I’ll also mention it because your strategy for getting new customers to your website will dictate what kind of website you decide to create.

  1. Paid advertising
    1. On of the tools you can use in digital marketing to get new customers to your website is paid digital ads. 

Paid digital ads are what they sound like. You pay social media platforms or search engines so they can display your ads on search engine results pages (SERP), websites, social media, and or social media networks.

Advantages of paid advertising

There are a few advantages of paid advertising.

  1. Paid advertising is fast.

Paid advertising is faster than organic advertising. With paid advertising, you can start getting customers to your website on day one.

  1. When done right, and for the right reason(s), paid advertising can be an effective digital marketing tool. 

Disadvantages of paid advertising

Though paid digital ads can be a great tool in certain situations, it has major drawbacks.

  1. Digital ads convert less than organic marketing.
    1. For example on a SERP like this, customers are much more likey to click on organic search results than they do on paid search. (numbers)
    2. Customers are much more like to buy from brands they know (social media)

The benefits of Organic marketing

By the end of this section, it will become clear to you which marketing strategy is my favorite (this one). This is because I believe organic digital marketing is a much better strategy for the long-term viability of any good company.

  1. Organic marketing is more authentic. Paid ads can be impersonal. More over, 
  2. Organic marketing is more effective.
  3. Organic marketing is more sustainable.

In the article I wrote about SEO, I noted that SEO was everything you do to put your store in a high traffic area of a shopping mall. The work you do at the beginning to get your store in those high-traffic areas might be a lot more than creating paid ads.

But it is not only more efficient, but it is also a more sustainable way to grow your business. Think about it, if you don’t do this work to get your store in a high foot traffic area of the shopping mall, you’ll have to consistently think about how to get your customers to walk back to where your store is.

However, if you do the work at the start to put your store in a high foot traffic area, you’ll have to do less work in the long term to get your customers to your store. The high visibility of your store will mean that you’ll have an endless source of potential customers to your store.

Type of websites?

As I mentioned above, the strategy you decide to implement to get customers to your website will determine what kind of website you decide to build.

If you opt for paid advertising, you’ll need one or multiple landing pages. 

Landing pages are web pages that are meant to advertise a specific product or service. With a landing page, you won’t need to have a website with many pages (About, Contact, Services etc). All you’ll need is one webpage with a clear description of what your product or service is, and how they can purchase or subscribe to it.

You’ll also need to know how to run ads or hire someone that can help you do it.

If you go instead with an organic strategy, you’ll have to develop a comprehensive strategy to get customers to your website.

In this case, you’ll have to dedicate some time for content creation, or you’ll have to pay someone to do it for you. When it comes to SEO, content is king. You cannot rank without sufficient content.

How to create a website for your business

Now that you know what to do before you decide to create your website, let’s talk about how to create a website for your small business.

There are a few things you’ll need in order to create a website for your small business. I’ll go step by step and explain each of the steps and why each of them matters.

Get A Domain Name

Whether you choose to drive people to your website using ads or organic marketing, you’ll need a domain name.

A domain name is simply the address of your website. In other words, what server in the world is your website located on? A domain name typically looks something like this:

Why a Domain name matters?

Your domain name matters because it plays an important role in SEO.

Consider the following scenario.

You’re a restaurant owner, and you’re getting ready to open a new vegan restaurant in your city of Los Angeles.

Your grandfather’s name is John Smith, and in his honor, you’re planning on naming the restaurant after him: “Smith’s Place”.

After you take care of all the legal paperwork it’s time to choose a domain name for the new website you will be creating for your restaurant. You’re torn between, &

Which one of these domain names would be the most beneficial from a digital marketing perspective?

If you chose, you’ve chosen correctly.

As a vegan restaurant owner, your target audience will be users/customers searching for “vegan restaurants”.

Nothing will inform search engines like Google, that your website has to do with vegan restaurants, more than have the words “vegan” & “restaurant” in your domain name.

If you go with a domain name like, you’re going to increase your chances of ranking high for the search term: “Smith’s Place”. But what is smith place? Google doesn’t know. Neither do your users. They are unlikely to search for your restaurant using those terms.

So, you might be missing out on many customers searching for “vegan restaurants”.

It’s tempting to want to come up with unique names to try and differentiate yourself from the competition. However, unless you have a huge budget and can afford to do some market and competitive research to determine what kind of a name you might use to differentiate yourself from your competition, it’s better to make it clear online what your business is about. 

Choose your hosting provider

Simply put, website hosting is a rental service similar to renting apartments. In the case of website hosting, however, the hosting providers rent space/storage on specialized computers called servers to businesses who need the storage space.

While choosing your website hosting platform, you probably will have to choose your website building platform as well. This is because many of the website builder platforms out there (like Wix, and Squarespace) come with website hosting built-in. So, if you choose a website-building platform like Wix or Squarespace, you won’t have to give website hosting another thought.

I recently wrote an article about why I believe WordPress is the best website platform for small business owners.

If you go with WordPress you will have to be selective when choosing your website hosting provider.

As with many things in life, with website hosting, you get what you pay for. Companies like Bluehost, or GoDaddy provide hosting services along with domain registration services.

However, their web hosting services are not built for WordPress. They are generic web hosting services.

Companies like WPEngine or Kinsta are specifically built to handle WordPress websites. Full disclaimer: I personally use WPEngine for all the websites I manage.

Do it yourself or Hire a professional

Once you have your domain and website hosting service it’s time to create a website for your small business.

For this step, you’ll have two options:

  • Do it yourself or
  • Hire a professional

Do it yourself

At the dawn of the internet, creating a website by yourself might have been impossible for the average person. You had to know how to code.

Today, with the advent of website building companies like Wix, and Squarespace, creating a website alone is as easy as dragging and dropping elements onto a screen.

No matter what website platform you choose, if you decide to create the website yourself, the process will be relatively the same:

  1. Choose a theme/template
  2. Customize the theme/template
  3. Create the pages for your website

Platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are much easier to use than WordPress. However, that ease of use comes at a price: They are harder to scale.

That’s why I recommend business owners with plans to grow and scale their business to choose WordPress. Furthermore, plugins like Divi and Elementor can give WordPress features comparable to easier platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.

Pros of doing it yourself

One of the main benefits of doing a website yourself is that you’ll save money from not having to hire a web designer/developer.

Cons of doing it yourself

There are a few disadvantages of creating a website yourself

  1. Time consuming. 
    1. One of the biggest disadvantages of creating a website yourself is the time it takes to create it. You’ll have to spend time not only creating the website, but also learning the platform.
  2. Bad/inconsistent design
    1. If you’re not an expert designer, or don’t have a good feel for design, the design you create for your website might not be adequate. User interface is an important part of creating a website. Bad user interface can have many bad effects including: 
      1. High bounce rate
      2. Lower rankings on search engines
      3. Low conversion rate

Because of the two disadvantages listed above, my recommendation is if you can afford to hire a professional, do it. It’ll be worth your while if you find the right designer/developer for the job.

Hire a professional

If you choose to hire a professional, there are few things you will need to know.

First, it’s important that you understand the difference between a web designer and a web developer. Knowing the difference between those two will help you save time and money. For your convenience, I have written an article on the subject that you can read here.

Second, it’s important that you understand web design pricing. Here is the most comprehensive article I have ever read about web design pricing.

This article will give you a great starting point when you think about a budget for your website.

Finally, you’ll need some resources on where you can find good developers/designers.

Personally, I have successfully used UpWork on many occasions to hire designers. Though I like UpWork, a company that is built specifically for customers who use WordPress is Codeable, which I have also used successfully.

Other companies where you can find freelancers of all types are Thumbtack, and Fiverr.

Final Words

So, there you have it: How to create a website for your business, including the most important thing to consider before you start creating your website: marketing.

I hope you enjoyed the article. If you did, have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Category: SEO

If you did to a Google search right now for “what is SEO”, you will most certainly stumble upon technical definitions such as the ones below:

SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. It’s the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google or other search engines

Yoast SEO

or one like this:

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing a website or webpage to increase the quantity and quality of its traffic from a search engine’s organic results


There are plenty of definitions such as those out there in the wild internet.

Though such definitions are accurate and extremely helpful, they can at times be too technical and therefore be hard for the average (non-SEO) person to fully understand.

Instead of giving you another one of those technical definitions, I decided to use an analogy instead, to help small business owners better understand what SEO is and why it matters.

What is SEO: A quick review!

Before I explain what SEO is, let’s go over a quick review to ensure we’re on the same page

What SEO means

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

What is a Search Engine?

A search engine is a piece of software that helps organize information. When I typed the search terms “what is SEO” into the Google search bar in my browser, Google return over 568,000,000 search results.

These results are not all created equal. Some content creators take a long time to create amazing content, and others do not. Some business owners take special care of their websites and others bypass this step.

So, we needed a system (software) that could organize all of these search results to show us the best, most important, and/or most relevant results first.

That’s what Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines do. They search (crawl) the internet for all available information, and help us organize and/or make sense of that information when we search for it.

What is SEO: The great analogy

For this analogy, I’d like you to imagine a mall or a shopping center.

For the sake of this article, I created the illustration below to help you visualize a mall/shopping center.

This image shows a typical shopping center map. The shopping center help illustrate what SEO is.

First, let me go over a few elements of this shopping center that will help us better understand SEO later.

This shopping center/mall has 2 main entrances (located next to the two parking lots) and a few other smaller entrances.

The number of entrances to the mall has two implications:

  1. The entrances give certain store easier accessibility than others.
  2. This limit in store access creates areas of “high foot traffic” (highlited in green), areas of “medium foot traffic” (highlited in orange), and areas with “low foot traffic” (highlighted in red).

Areas of high foot traffic are areas that have a greater percentage of customers walking by those areas in a given time period. For example, on a busy Thursday night, if an area of high foot traffic sees 1000 customers/hour, a medium foot traffic area might only see 700 customers/hour, and a low foot traffic area might only see 300 customers/hour.

The high foot traffic areas tend to be closer to the entrances/exits because it’s the only way customers go in and out of the shopping center.

In this specific case, the high foot traffic areas are near the entrances of the parking lot. This is because that is where most customers will enter and/or leave the store.

The Internet: A shopping center of information.

Now that you understand this analogy, let’s see how it applies to SEO.

To see how the shopping mall analogy relates to SEO, you have to think of the internet as a sort of a shopping mall for information.

20 years ago, if you needed a haircut for a first date, a new pair of clown shoes as a gag gift for a sibling, or a walkman (those still existed back then), you would probably go to a shopping center or mall because that’s where shopping happened.

Today, when customers need similar products or services, they first search for it online.

In fact, estimated that 87% of shoppers now begin product searches online.

Now you can see why I liken the internet to a shopping center of information. It’s where customers go shop for information about companies before they purchase products or services from said companies.

Understanding internet foot traffic

One of the biggest differences between a normal shopping center and the internet is the sheer size difference. While a typical shopping center or mall can have as many as 50 – 100 stores in it, the internet is a shopping center with millions, billions, and even trillions of “stores (web pages)”.

Remember how my “what is SEO” search returned over 500M search results? This means that there are over 500M web pages that talk about the exact term “what is SEO” or terms related to it.

As I said earlier, not all of these 500M search results are created equal. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing rank these search results using algorithms to show us the best and most relevant content first.

After they rank all of this information, search engines use their websites to show us the results on search engine result pages. (SERP).

For the search term “what is SEO”, Google returned 23 search pages. I attached a screenshot of the 23rd search result page for that term, as I am sure you’ve never searched past the 3rd or 4th page of Google (most people haven’t. I didn’t either until I did some research for this article).

This is the 23rd search result page for the search term: What is SEO on Google. I used this image to help customers understand SEO

Speaking of searching past the 3rd or 4th search result page on search engines, 75% of customers never look past the first page of Google.

In a way, you can think of the first 3 pages of google like the high foot traffic areas in our mall map/illustration. That’s where most people will look first, look often, and look last.

As a result, many companies do everything they can for a chance that webpages on their website will appear on either one of the first three pages of search engines’ search results pages.

The importance of high (foot or online) traffic areas

To better understand the importance of appearing on the first, second or third page of Google or other search engines, let’s go back to our shopping center analogy.

If you were a store owner and owned a store in a shopping center like the one on the map/illustration, where would you rather have your store? If you have common sense, you’d probably want your store to be somewhere in one of the high foot traffic areas.

Whether your store is known or not, simply having it located in those high traffic areas increases the amount of eyes you you could potentially get on your store throughout the day.

More eyes on your store means more potential customers. More potential customers means a higher likelihood of increased revenue.

As I mentioned earlier, the first few pages of search engines are like the high foot traffic areas.

In the digital age, appearing in the the first three pages of search engines mean more eyes on your website, which means more potential customers, and in turn a higher potential for increased revenue.

What is SEO? Closing the analogy

Now that you understand high foot traffic areas in a mall/shopping center, and how they relate to SEO, it’s easy to understand what SEO is.

SEO is everything you do to get your storefront/business to appear in high online traffic areas in a marketplace.

In the example of a shopping center, the marketplace is the shopping center.

I have never owned a store in a shopping center so, I have no idea what it takes to own a store in a high foot traffic area. My best guesses are that you would need to do any of the following in no particular order:

  • Pay a higher fee
  • Comply with more restrictive cleanliness standards
  • Know the owner of the mall
  • Be a reputable brand
  • or all of the above

In the case of the internet, search engine pages are the marketplace, your website is a storefront, and what you can do to appear at the top of the pages include (but are not limited to):

  • Optimize all the tags on your webpages.
  • Optimize your webpages for performance (speed).
  • Ensure the webpages on your website are accessible (they can be crawled (searched) by search engines).
  • Optimize your webpages for Snippet/schema.
  • Create amazing content that is likely to be shared/linked to.
  • Find ways to be helpful to your customers.
  • Ensure your webpages have great user experience.

This article doesn’t discuss how to do SEO.

For deeper dive into what SEO is from a technical standpoint, and to learn more about SEO, here is a great article from Moz, one of the leading SEO companies in the online marketing industry.


There you have it: An answer to the million-dollar question “What is SEO” using a easy-to-understand analogy.

SEO is all about trying to get your business (whether its your website, your storefront, your brand) positioned in high traffic areas in marketplaces, to increase your business’ exposure to more and more customer.

In the online world, SEO means doing EVERYTHING you can to have at least one page on your website appear on one of the first three pages of search engines.

I hope you enjoyed the article. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below.

Category: SEO

If you’re a business owner or solopreneur, you probably already know how important SEO can be to your business.

SEO can help your customers find you online, which can help your business get more leads, grow your customer base and increase revenue.

Over 81% of customers conduct searches online before making a purchase. So, businesses that are offlline, risk missing out on a majority of potential customers.

However, SEO can be expensive. estimates that the average spending for SEO, is between $750-$1500/month!

So, before taking the leap, and hiring an expensive SEO, check these four (cheaper) items off your to-do list.

1. Improve the look of your website

Why it matters

Humans are irrational shoppers. 85% of customers report buying a product simply based on colors.

This means that within a few seconds of landing on your site, a customer will instinctively know whether they’ll purchase a product from you or not. 

Looks and SEO

The way your website looks not only affects your customers’ purchase decision, it also affects how Google ranks your website. 

Part of the Google search algorythm is engagement metrics. The way it works is simple.

Say a customer lands on your website searching for a specific product or service. 

If this customer leaves your website within seconds of landing on it, it tells Google that the customer was not satisfied with the information they found on your website. 

In the future, Google will be less likely to serve the content of your website to customers who are searching for similar product/service. This could negatively impact your search rankings.

How to fix it

A good looking website doesn’t mean a fancy looking website. 

In digital marketing terms, good looking simply means easy to use. In other words, you want to build a website where customers can easily perform the actions they need to perform (search, read, buy etc), without friction.

Below are some examples of easy fixes to make your site look instantly better. 

Use a grid

Say a customer is searching for “How to get started with SEO”, they land on a website and they see this:

Picture showing an example of bad graphic design

The customer will more than likely leave the website within seconds. The information is hard to read, and it’s hard to make up what the information is about.

The image below shows the same information but sectioned into four boxes.

Picture showing an example of what a grid looks like in web design

This makes the information easier to digest at first sight and gives the reader an opportunity to visually distinguish four important main arguments. 

Choose your fonts wisely

The image below contains the same information as the previous images. The only difference is that I changed the header font.

Picture showing an example of how typography can improve design.

Font selection is one of the easiest ways to improve a design.

Fonts have the ability to envoke emotions in customers.

Better font selection can make customers feel good about a design. If customers feel good as they are interacting with your content, they will stick around and explore.

This will increase the chances that customers buy from you, positively impact your engagement metrics and in turn your search rankings.

Pay attention to the hierarchy

Finally, take a look at the picture below. Again, it contains the same information as the pictures above. 

Picture showing and example of great design

The difference here is that we made some of the texts dark (to stand out more) and some of the text smaller. I also changed the text sizes and colors.

Now, at first glance, you can see what the most important information is. It makes it easier for customers to parse the information.

The customer can now decide which information they would like to read, and which they would like to ignore.

2. Improve your website’s loading speed

Why it matters

Customers hate slow loading websites. So does google. 

Speed matters because of the first topic I discussed: engagement metrics.

As I mentioned earlier, Google puts a lot of stock into the user’s satisfaction with search results.

If a customer clicks on a link for a website they would like to visit, and the website takes more than 6 secs to load, most customers will click on the back/previous button and search for products or services elsewhere.

Though site speed is not a direct ranking factor, it indirectly affects your rankings in a negative way.

How to fix it

Fixing site speed is complex and depends on what platform powers your website.

If you are using a website builder such as Wix, or Squarespace, customization is somewhat limited.

Last time I checked, neither one of those platforms allow customers to have access to the source code. 

With a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, you can go in the source code and make changes as necessary.

Before making any changes, you will need to find out where you currently stand.

There is an array of available tools online to help you determine what the loading speed of your website is.

Below are three of the tools that I use to ensure the websites we manage are always optimized for speed.


Pingdom is an amazing tool that allows you to test the speed of your website. Additionally, Pingdom will give you recommendations on what aspects make it slower.

Screenshot of Pingdom, a tool used by developers to increase site performance.

Yup, a few of the website we manage load in under 2 seconds. We’re proud of it. also allows you to test the speed of your website.

What I love most about is that it gives you the ability to test it on more than one device.

For example, instead of making a general test (from an unknown device) you can test it as if it was being loaded on a mobile device. You can do the same for Ipads, laptops or any other device you would like to test. 

I strongly recommend testing on mobile devices and tablets. Sometimes the speed varies significantly from one device to the other. 

Screenshot of, a tool used by developers to increase site performance.

Google PageSpeed

Google PageSpeed is Google’s own page speed tester and optimizer.

The advantage of Pagespeed is that it gives you more of a quality grade instead of an exact loading speed number.

Screenshot of Google PageSpeed, a tool used by developers to increase site performance.

Use one, two, all three or any combinations of the tools above to check the speed of your website.

3. Make your website mobile-friendly

Why it matters

Having a mobile-friendly website matters for two important reasons.

It’s in demand

More and more customers are using their mobile devices to conduct searches for the products and services they need.

Below is a graph of how much that has increased over the years. 

Picture showing the increase in time spent on mobile.

A majority of customers (51%) now spend more time on mobile devices than they do on the desktop.

Business without a mobile-friendly website risk missing out on over half of potential customers.

Google likes mobile

In 2015, Google developed something called mobile-first indexing. 

With this tool, Google started ranking mobile website and desktop websites separately.

Today, this means that without a mobile-friendly website, businesses are invisible to about half of potential customers. 

The first picture shows a non-mobile-friendly website, while the second shows a mobile-friendly one. I’m sure you can tell the difference.

Picture of the before design of a website I build for a client.
Picture of the after design of a website I build for a client.

How to fix it

In most cases, fixing this will come down to either choosing a template that is already mobile-friendly, or hiring a developer to help you achieve it. 

At its simplest, all you will need to do is add a small piece of code in the header of your Html file.

The piece of code will look something like the code below.

meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0"

However, that won’t always fix it. In many cases, you will have to edit the Html code of your site to make your site mobile friendly.

Case Study

Before you hire an SEO, it is important that you check all of the boxes above first.

Not doing so is like putting the cart before the horse: It’s inefficient and might even impede your progress in the long term.

SEO is important. However, there are many components of SEO that you can improve before working on content, link building, title tags, etc.

One of our customers had a website that was mobile-unfriendly and hard to navigate.

We built a fast, secure and mobile-friendly website for them. Today, this client is getting over 6000 impressions per month, and it ranks ~6th on average on Google.

Below is a graph of how engagement has increased over the past year. 

Picture showing a graph that shows improvement in impressions. It's the first step to doing SEO.

Final Words

So, as you can see, though SEO is important, it is not necessary in all cases.

If your website is already mobile-friendly, loads fast, and is easy to use,  take the next step and start looking for your SEO expert to help you grow online.

If any of these criteria are untrue, double-check these first before hiring an expensive SEO expert.

Not only can these four cheaper ways help you rank higher on search engines, but it will also help you save money.

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