Scene: You’re a brand new business owner and you’ve built a website to support yours…a local bakery. You’ve worked really hard on it; there are pages about your business, its history, your staff, contact and order information. And the pages of cake flavors and designs would make anyone hungry. The website’s been live for several months, but you’re just not seeing much new traffic. You need an expert, so last Tuesday you sat down to interview someone who said they could help. This is the story of that encounter.
Cake Artist: I’m feeling lackluster about the traffic coming to my website, and I want to see it spike like a sugar high. Is there a way to boost the number of users coming to my site without overt advertising?
SEO Wizard: You should definitely think about SEO; it’s pretty sweet. It’s like sugar – a major ingredient in the recipe to your bakery website and overall marketing success. It’s hard to concoct a confection without it!
Cake Artist: What’s Ess EE Oh?
SEO Wizard: SEO stands for search engine optimization. This means optimizing your website for search engines like Google, so when someone searches for one or more of your keywords, you’re more likely to show up on the pages with search results – tada bakery SEO! For example, if someone is searching for a bakery to whip up a cake for an Omaha wedding, wouldn’t it delicious to see your business in the top 10 search results on Google?
Cake Artist: Of course! I’m always Googling where to buy a product like my new kitchen mixer, or who to hire for a special icing design. Everyone’s doing it these days.
SEO Wizard: Definitely. There are more bakery searches for information online than the number of sprinkles on your cupcakes – 18.8 billion explicit core searches, according to comScore’s October 2014 U.S. Desktop Search Engine Rankings.
Cake Artist: So, I just need my sweet new bakery website to show up when people use a search engine, right? And how do kiwis contribute to that?
SEO Wizard: Well, if you were searching for “brown hairy fruit,” it would be all about kiwis. But first, let’s talk about what comprises an internet search so we can understand how KEYWORDS fit into your master recipe.
First, in the world of search engines, the word or words a user types into the search engine box before clicking search is known as a “query.” There are three major types of queries that a person might enter:
- Transactional Content: “Do” searchers want to do something/complete an action
- Informational Content: “Know” searchers want to know/learn something
- Navigational Content: “Go” searchers want to go/travel somewhere
(Bonus: For more information on the types of queries someone might use, check out this article on search engine watch.com. For more information on how search engines work in general, check out this guide.)
Cake Artist: That’s interesting, but how can I use this information to bake up success for my business?
SEO Wizard: Now that you know WHY and HOW users search the internet, let’s talk about the kinds of visitors you want to come from the search engine results pages, or SERPs.
- Direct visitors come to your site by typing your website address directly into their browsers, clicking on links from their saved favorites or clicking on links in emails or documents that don’t include any tags or tracking mechanisms;
- Referred visitors come to your site from links on another website; and
- Organic visitors from unpaid search engine results, which is the whole focus of SEO.
Cake Artist: Just like in my cakes, I prefer organic. Do I have any control over these search results or my position within the results?
SEO Wizard: Absolutely. And this is where we enter the fun world of bakery SEO and keywords. You see, search engines like Google use an algorithm – a master recipe to decide which pages are most relevant to users’ searches and what order they appear in on the results page. Like a tricky, sticky candy recipe, it’s incredibly complex, ever-evolving and constantly improving its results for users. BUT… keywords are where you can start making a difference.
Cake Artist: Ok, so what’s the first step to optimize my website for search engines? I don’t want to do anything half-baked.
SEO Wizard: First, start with a site-wide audit, inspecting every page in your bakery website. Its purpose is to reveal any major technical issues that could sour your website’s rank on SERPs. Moz has provided a comprehensive checklist that can help guide your efforts.
Next, take some time to consider the purpose of this website in your overall business plan. What do you hope to achieve by bringing users to this site?
CA: My sweet spot for this site will be reaching more potential customers, allowing those customers contact me for additional information and providing a map to my bakery’s shop’s physical location. I want my digital presence to connect me and my customers, like caramel syrup and toasted pecans.
Once you’ve identified your business objectives and a purpose for your website, go page by page and identify what kind of users would be best served by finding each page through a search engine. This will help you choose some focus keywords for your individual pages. Google suggests aligning keywords with your business goals – maybe something along the lines of total cake domination?
CA: My front page is the page people are most likely to see when they first visit my site and it lists a variety of occasions we make cakes for, as well as our location in Omaha. Perhaps I should focus on a keyword phrase like “omaha wedding cake decorator?”
SEOW: Time to bake, er, optimize! Go through your front page and pay particular attention to these pieces:
Headings and content
Image file names/alt text
Try to use your focus keyword where appropriate. Here is an excellent post on optimizing your pages. Hopefully, you’ll be more successful with these SEO and keyword tips than a prize-winning cake recipe at a county fair.
Now that you have begun to taste the sweet success of climbing to the top of the search results, keep up the good work! And if you get stuck like a fly in honey, contact us for your SEO setup. aJuxt customizes our SEO plan of action based on YOUR business’ needs and goals. Easy as pie!
Written by Tina Oliver || Search Engine Optimization and Google Analytics Consultant