It is time to get started with SEO on your site. You realize that you don’t even really know where to start. Well with the help of Rebecca Gill and SEObits.fm here is a list of questions you should answer before starting your SEO Journey.
Now, at first glance, these questions might seem easy to fill out at first, but if you take the time to really answer these questions, you will start to see how your SEO will take shape on your website, how you will promote your products socially, and find ways to better target the right customers for your business.
Getting in the right head space for this exercise
With the following questions about your business, look at from the perspective of your ideal client/visitor encountering your business for the very first time. They don’t know you and they don’t know your business, but once they find you they will be a perfect fit for your business. They really do want to know you and your business. They don’t know industry terms or jargon, so you need to speak/write plainly to them so they are educated by you.
With that in mind, let’s get started:
For each of the following questions, try to write at least a paragraph about each, more is always better! Don’t copy this from your website, and don’t use marketing speak. Use your words, conversationally, to answer the following. Remember, don’t use jargon, industry speak or abbreviations whenever possible.
- How would you describe your business (or website, blog, podcast, etc.) to a potential client or friend for the first time?
This question gets to what you do and what you provide, in a way people communicate in the real world.
- You have 20 seconds in an elevator, describe what your business offers.
- What sets you apart from your competition?
This one may be hard because we don’t usually want to admit this about ourselves. If you have trouble with this, ask one or more of your best customers the same question about your business and see what they say.
- How would you describe your ideal customer or client?
No simple answers here, really think about why they are your ideal customer, what is their need that you are fulfilling.
Do you have many different ideal clients? Great. Put them all down and write about each.
- Is it possible to group your target audience into segments? What are they? Who Are they?
Product or Service Offering
- List your top products.
For this section, target the items and services you plan to use on your website. If you are selling lots of products, you will need to do this for each product to have the best understanding and find the best opportunities.
- What are the names of your products or services? Do they have nicknames or are they referred to by other names in the industry?
- How might someone else describe each product or service?
Remember this is from your customer’s perspective, not yours.
- Make a list of the same product and/or service offering but describe each in single words or short phrases (1-5 words).
Website Visitor Personas
For this section, you are going to put yourself in the shoes of different people wanting to visit your website. I suggest going back through this process a few times to capture all possible Personas.
- How might you describe each persona (aka segment)?
An example: Women 30-40 years old, 1 toddler, searching for a restaurant with food that both her toddler and husband will eat.
Another Example: “Men 40-50, looking to start their own business or making changes in their business through personal coaching. They are looking for motivation to change their personal lives and businesses. Highly motivated by work-life balance.”
- What goals or objectives do each persona have on your site or with your business?
With each persona, what do you want them to do when they get to your website (there can be multiple outcomes for each persona)
- What type of frustrations, pain points, or concerns might each persona have that has them seeking you out?
- Do the different personas process through the same buying criteria or do they vary by persona?
Buying doesn’t just mean on your website. It can also mean visiting your business or reading your material to the end.
- Do the different personas process through the same buying process and decision tree or do they vary by persona? How? What are the differences if present?
Often times you know who your real world, traditional competitors are, but you might not know who you are competing for website traffic with. Here we want you to take your best guess. We will see later in the process if you are on target.
- Who do you consider to be your top traditional competitors?
List as many as you consider your top competitors, Do they have a website, what is it?
- Who do you consider to be your top online competitors?
List as many as you consider your top competitors, what is the URL?
- Who do you consider to be authoritative websites within your industry?
What are your sources find more information about your industry?
Do this following section off the top of your head. This will test you to see if what you think is the most important content on your site is the same content your visitors are getting to.
- What content would you consider to be the most important content on your website?
- What content would you consider to be the most active on your website?
- What content currently brings in the most website traffic?
Now that you have completed the 20 questions, it is time to start looking at your keywords. Here we are going to go through an exercise to find some of the keywords for the pages of your website. Keywords should be looked at on a page by page basis as well as for your overall site. With all of the following questions, you are not allowed to use your company name or product by name. Don’t restrict yourself to 1 or 2 words.
- What are at least 10 queries you would put into a search engine that your home page should come up for?
- For each product listed above, what are 5 queries people would put into the search engine get to a page about each product?
- From your personas above, what are 5 questions each might ask Siri or Alexa or Google Home that will get a response with your website content? What content would be returned (hopefully)
- What do you consider to be the top keywords or phrases for your website? Or in other words, what phrases would like to show up for in organic search?
Don’t stop here, learn more about Keyword Research and how all these answers will help you with your research.