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Understanding how SEO works and how to get your print business ranked can feel overwhelming.

It’s one of those necessary things you know you need so your buyers can find you online, but, sheesh! Trying to navigate those unknown waters of SEO can make your brain hurt. After all, it feels like there’s so much you need to know to rank well in Google’s results.

But is there?

Fortunately, if you take a step back and take a more broad look at SEO, you’ll find that you really only need to focus on a few items. Here are the five most important requirements to ranking well:

1. Having Good URLs

A URL is simply the address of your web page, and what makes a URL good? Two things:

  • It’s crawlable.
  • It’s accessible.

The goal of your website is to get Googlebot’s spiders to come and “crawl” your web pages. You want those crawling spiders to understand the content that’s on your web pages in a text readable format, to recognize your images, visuals, and videos, as well as anything else so that Google is able to put it into their web index. The ability for your website to be indexed is crucial. Without this, none of the rest of this stuff even matters.

Your Next Step

For current MI4P (Marketing Ideas For Printers) customers: Not to worry. Our URLs are structured in such a way where this should never be an issue.

For everyone else: You’ll need to structure your URLs with simple, clean words and avoid using numbers and different characters in your URLs.

2. Doing Keyword Research

Keywords are the words and phrases that your print buyers are using to get answers to the pain points they’re experiencing.

Those pain points are the problems that your print business and your content should be working to help your client’s solve.

For example, SEO is a common pain point for many businesses. Since we’re looking to address this pain point (and address it specifically for printers) we’ve created content to address this and used keywords in our title and within our content to support that solution.

Your Next Step

For current MI4P customers:  See below.

You can easily adjust keywords in your website inside the Control Panel of your website. Don’t know what keywords to use? Tools like Google Trends can help you determine this.

For everyone else: Using Google Trends is a great first step. Do some research as to what phrases your ideal print buyer is searching for. This research is very unscientific but by using the tools mentioned above, you’ll get a good start.

3. Having the Most Authoritative Person Create Your Content

You need to have someone who’s credible creating your content.

Why?

Because you have to attempt to solve your print buyers’ pain point or question and do that on page one of a search result, not on page five. By having someone who’s an authority create content that ranks well, you’re telling Google that your website content is the place to go for X problem, and other sites simply leave your print buyers frustrated. You end up making friends on the web and you make your content irresistible on social media for others to share. Ultimately, the more credible Google finds you, the more credible and trustworthy you’ll become in the eyes of your print buyers and visitors.

Your Next Step

For current MI4P customers: We have multiple add-ons you can use to target your audience and print buyers: a monthly email newsletter, social media marketing, print-ready direct mail campaigns, and more to help you grow your business by creating authoritative content.

For everyone else: You need to find someone on your team who can create content that’s a combination of helpful and humble. You want to trigger a response from your ideal print buyer by writing about topics and pain points that your buyer struggles with. Once you build trust and credibility with them, the sky’s the limit.

4. Use Compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Google still frequently uses meta descriptions.

A meta description is the short paragraph of text placed in the HTML of a webpage that describes its content. The meta description will then appear under your page’s URL in the search results. This is also known as a snippet.

Meta descriptions and the corresponding snippets are something that is crucial to your SEO efforts because that determines how your business is displayed in Google’s search result.

How Google displays your result to your print buyer is your opportunity to say, “Come and click on me instead of those other printers.” If you can optimize this, both from a keyword perspective using the words and phrases that people want, as well as from a relevancy and a pure drawing the click perspective, you will win.

Your Next Step

For current MI4P customers: Breathe easy. Your meta descriptions and title tags are set. You can edit them if you prefer, but you shouldn’t have to.

For everyone else: If your website is built on WordPress or some other platform, you’ll need to find the header section of your website. You should have complete control of your meta descriptions in your CMS (Content Management System), particularly if you’re using WordPress. If you use an SEO plug-in (such as Yoast), you can add a meta description to the ‘meta description’ section, and you can preview an example of how it will look in search engine results pages.

5. Optimize Your Website Speed and Mobile Rendering

Your website might look great from a visual or user experience perspective, but if it doesn’t load quickly or render correctly on mobile, your SEO results will suffer.

You want to get print buyers to your website, but even more importantly, you want them to be able to go all the way through and accomplish their task in submitting an online order. That means they can have a flawless online ordering experience from any device, at every speed, and it’s secure.

Your Next Step

For current MI4P customers: your website speed is already good. And, your website is mobile friendly, too. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, your website will operate at a speed that allows your print buyers to freely buy from you online.

For everyone else: Use tools like Pingdom to test the speed of your website. Remember, the more detail, embedded video, and graphics you build into your website, the slower it could be. With mobile, speed is now a requirement by all the search engines to rank well. If your website isn’t mobile friendly or optimized, then you need to find a web developer to make this happen for your business. Google has a great tool to test the mobile effectiveness of your website.

SEO is one of the most frustrating disciplines of digital marketing. It’s hard to measure, vague, and ambiguous. But, don’t give up. Put these principles into practice and you’ll be on your way to healthy SEO relevance.

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