Do You Understand SEO?
Why Should You?
I’m going to be blunt here. If you don’t like blunt, just skip this article and move on.
I’ve heard over and over from people in our industry that they want our magazine and the information that we provide to be just about design with lots of pretty pictures of gift baskets. After all, designs are what they sell and what their business is all about. Some have even said that they don’t subscribe to the magazine because it has too much business stuff in it and not enough design photos to copy.
Okay, putting my “blunt hat” on, which as most of you know I wear frequently in this industry, if “design is all you care about, you won’t have much of a business to worry about.” Of course, your designs and the photos on your website and in your brochures are important but my mission in creating GiftBasketNetwork, and everything that goes with it, is not teaching you how to design a gift basket. Most of you know how to do that–some even better than I. My mission is to teach you how to GROW YOUR BUSINESS so that you make more money. Isn’t that why you’re in business?
I’ve grown my own e-commerce gift business to the point that I can take time away from it to give back to the industry that has been so good to me for the past 25 years. That is what I am doing with GiftBasketNetwork and the magazine. I don’t charge you for the phone calls and emails you send to me asking for help with problems. I don’t charge you for the facebook groups. I don’t charge you for the newsletters. But I do charge you for the time that I put into producing the magazine that is in your email box on the first day of every other month. And I charge for the e-books that I write. That is because the magazine and the e-books are where I, and other successful industry professionals, really share the nitty-gritty information that you need to grow a successful business. And you have the option of either taking advantage of all these resources — both free and paid — or reinventing the wheel all my yourself.
If you have an Internet business with a website, regardless of whether you depend on someone else for your SEO (search engine optimization) or you do it yourself, you must know the basics of how it works. Right now, Google is the #1 search engine that people use. That may change in the future but until it does, knowing what Google looks for both to rank you and to penalize you is extremely important. SEO and how Google works is constantly changing. The basics have remained the same for years but as the Internet changes in its uses, Google adjusts how it ranks pages.
If you pay someone else to do it, why should you know the basics yourself? Someone in our industry contacted me just last week with the answer to that question. She had paid someone good money to optimize her website for her. When we looked at it and when I sent her to a professional that I trust, she learned that the money had been wasted. If she had known the most basic stuff about SEO, she would have caught the fact that the person she paid didn’t know any more about SEO than she did.
You may be saying, “I’m not interested in that stuff. It’s boring” or “I just want to sell on the Internet and don’t have the time to bother to learn about SEO and Google.” It that is you, that’s wonderful. It gives those of us who do care about how we rank and who do take the time to learn everything we can about it a definite advantage that will leave you far behind in Internet sales. Both Kim Shanahan and I have written articles in the magazine explaining much of this but some of you are sure enough of your own knowledge that you don’t subscribe. If this is you, you probably won’t be interested in this either.
BUT for those of you who want to know more about the basics, Shopify (and this is not a recommendation of their shopping cart) has produced a series of FREE videos that explains SEO in a way that most should be able to learn from. If you don’t have time to watch videos (which I don’t), there is a transcript that you can read below each one. If you are one of the members of our industry who is still interested in learning, the link is here.
There are many other articles and blog posts out there that you can easily google and find if you are interested in more information.
Now I’ll take my “blunt hat” off and get back to work growing my own business.