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The Importance of SEO for Print Businesses

Published on February 28, 2018

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about ensuring that your business gets found on Google when potential customers search for the products and services you offer. John Foley, CEO of interlinkONE & Grow Socially, talks about his session at the NPOA Owner’s Conference on the importance of SEO for print businesses—and how even small shops can make the time to effectively optimize their websites.

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Discussion

By Joe Webb on Feb 28, 2018

Like Mr Foley implied, the basics of marketing still apply. In the case of wide format, promoting wide format printing does not relate to what prospects are looking for. The old Ted Levitt comment about what marketing does is so important. His example was about a construction and home repair tool maker who finally realized "People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole" which dramatically changed their approach to the marketplace.

 

By Gee Ranasinha on Mar 01, 2018

Our company has been providing SEO (amongst other marketing services) for over ten years. I agree with John about the importance of ‘thinking like your customer’ when writing site copy, as well as the importance of an engaging “About Us” page.

The use of social media channels can provide many benefits to print service providers. However social media activity does NOT, as of itself, influence organic search engine results. If it did, it would be very easy to manipulate rankings. Google employees such as Matt Cutts and John Müller have gone on record to confirm Google does not treat social media updates in the same way as other links.

It’s true that in extreme cases referral links from social media sites can positively influence a page’s ranking. But the weighting Google gives to a single link on Twitter, for example, is lower than the same link found on a conventional high-authority site. In practice you'd have to get a mountain of ‘shares’ or ‘retweets’ to move the needle in any meaningful way.

What social sharing DOES have the potential to do is increase the visibility of a page. If that page contains great content, there’s an increased likelihood that other websites will link to it. If enough sites link to it, the page will increase in page rank. If the page increases in rank - and therefore becomes more easily found - there’s a greater likelihood of people mentioning it on social channels. And around and around we go.

Social media activity is an important component of any SEO strategy to help increase awareness and - hopefully - provide backlinks. There are many easy-to-implement actions that will boost search engine ranking. But Tweeting “every month or every other week” about stuff you found on the web is not one of them.

 

By Thomas Lickert on Mar 01, 2018

Need to know more about actions that will boost my search engine ranking. Can certainly attempt to make my content audience interesting and my About Us page better. Good advice thanks.

 

By Gee Ranasinha on Mar 01, 2018

Thomas,

Getting high quality backlinks is what you’re ultimately aiming for, but that takes time. However here are some things you can do right now that will make a positive difference:

1) Publish relevant, informative content based upon likely search questions your audience are tapping into that Google search bar. The page should have at least 1,000 words - more if possible. Make the information the very best you possibly can. Add images, diagrams, etc. Include links to sites supporting the information, and links to other (relevant) pages on your own site. The goal, in SEO parlance, is to “satisfy user search intent.” If someone gets to your page via Google but doesn’t find the information useful and leaves your page after a few seconds, Google will note this and downrank the page over time.

2) Structure page layout. Short, easy-to-read sentences, broken up with lots of paragraphs. Ensure subheadings have the correct h-tags and include the keyword/keyphrase you want the page to rank for. Name your images according to the content of the page, resize them appropriately, and don’t forget to use the ‘alt’ image tag. Write a clear description tag that invites the user to click on the link (the limit on description tags has recently been increased from 160 to around 300 characters). If you know how to augment content using schema.org markup, all the better. Set up your site to serve blog articles via AMP, which is optimized for mobile devices.

3) Make sure your website hosting company is up to the mark. The faster you can make your pages render, the better. If the site is hosted on a slow server, your potential site ranking may suffer. Serve site pages via https, rather than http. Install an SSL certificate to give your site the “green padlock” icon. Google now penalizes sites that don’t serve pages over https.

4) Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see where traffic is coming from, as well as if Google is having issues indexing your site.


HTH

 

By Paul White on Mar 01, 2018

I agree with Joe Webb's comment regarding "a quarter inch hole". I’ve always maintained that most folks don’t want to buy anything new, shopaholics notwithstanding. People want what the new thing can do for them.

Whenever I read a new product press release, I ask myself: “Why do I need this, what’s it going to do for me”? So many press releases totally miss the point in their message. Although their communications carefully enumerate the product features of their new widget, they fail to address the benefit of ownership. I find the benefit of new widget acquisition is seldom, if ever, stated.

 

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