Updated: Oct 8
After working in the digital space and SEO for over a decade, it suffices to say that I’ve learned a lot... a lot about SEO in general and about what Google likes and doesn’t like when it comes to your website and how to rank in Google.
That’s all fine and good, and the knowledge I’ve accumulated has allowed me to not only build my business to where it is today but to also help dozens of others build and scale theirs, too.
But when I really stop and think about all the lessons I’ve learned throughout my tenure so far, I’m realizing that the lessons aren’t actually about SEO. Of course, SEO plays a role, but when you strip down the layers, the lessons I’ve learned are about your business more than anything else!
Here are my top four business lessons I learned from Google and how you can use these to your advantage as you navigate your business and your Google rankings. These lessons apply to all industries and all niches!
Lesson # 1: You Need to Earn Your Clients
Ok, so this one might sound obvious, but hear me out. You aren’t going to just magically start attracting clients out of nowhere - no one just blindly hops on board with someone that they know nothing about. Before you can expect to get clients, you need to put in the work to earn their business.
This means that you need to take the time and do the hard work to increase your like, know, and trust factors. Here are some great ways to do just that! You must show your audience who you are and what you have to offer. On top of that, you have to prove that you’re reliable, consistent, and offer quality services that solve their problem.
The same sentiment can be said about SEO. Just like you need to earn the trust of your clients before you can expect them to do business with you, you have to earn Google’s trust before they’ll position you at the top. You always have to give before you can receive.
Lesson # 2: The Experience is Everything!
Similar to the way you can’t expect anyone to buy from you before they know who you are and that what you have to offer is worth money, you can’t expect anyone to buy without giving them a world-class experience.
The customer experience is crucial. Think about the last time you did business with a brand that didn’t measure up to your expectations, provided terrible customer service, or produced a shoddy product. Did you vow to never do business with them again? Of course, you did because no one willingly works with brands that waste their time and money.
So it’s a given that your company should be catering to your customers EVERY need, meeting and exceeding them in all possible facets of your business. But this concept also ties back to SEO principles. When your audience and potential customers land on your site, you should be ready to roll out the red carpet for them.
This means that your site loads quickly, is super simple to navigate, is organized, easy to read, relevant, and answers all of their questions. By optimizing your onsite experience, you’re not only giving your customers a grade-A experience, but you’re signaling to Google that you have your stuff together and deserve to be shot to the top of the SERP.
Google’s main objective is to provide the BEST experience for its users. In this post you can find great ways to improve the experience for your audience. When you make the onsite user experience your main priority, Google will reward you (and its users) with a top spot. We’ll touch on this more in my next lesson.
Lesson # 3: Don’t Forget About Your Clients’ Clients
More so than ever, it’s important that you think beyond just delivering stellar service to your clients...you have to think about their clients, too! During the current pandemic and all its uncertainty, all it takes is one domino to drop and the rest will clatter down with it. This is why we should all be looking at the bigger picture and doing what we can with what we have to keep the ship afloat, so to speak.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a career coach and you’re coaching a professional organizer as she grows her business. Now, let’s say that one of your client’s customers drops her during the pandemic for fear of money shortage. Now, not only will your client lose money and a customer, but now you’re at risk too because if your client isn’t making money, she may discontinue her coaching with you.
An example of how you could cater to your clients’ clients and extend a hand would be to ask yourself what your client’s clients need help with and if there is something YOU can do to help. Maybe you have a killer eBook that you could give away for free as a special promotion. Or, maybe you slash the prices on your course so that more people have access.
This concept is similar when you think about Google. Yes, your goal is to rise to the top by pleasing Google’s algorithm. But Google’s algorithm is designed to provide the best experience for its user. So you really should be optimized for search engine USERS, not the search engine.
Lesson # 4: Be Ready to Pivot!
This lesson is hitting a lot of businesses hard right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your business wasn’t set up and ready to pivot to stay in business and keep serving your audience, you may have found yourself in your worst-case scenario, out of business.
The most successful businesses are evergreen. That means that the products and services they offer are always relevant and always deliverable - even if the delivery method has changed!
For example, let’s say you were a personal trainer coaching clients at your local gym. Then COVID-19 hits and you lose all your clients because your gym is closed. A personal trainer who invested in creating the right resources and tools to have a sustainable business will have the ability to continue coaching their clients and even gaining new ones during the crisis, but maybe in a different form - like through Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.
Now, let’s tie this into Google. Google’s algorithm is always changing. So, even if your website is sitting pretty at the top of Google right now, that doesn’t guarantee you a front-row seat in the future. You have to stay on top of trends! Keep learning, educating yourself on trends both with Google and with your audience.
If you stay on top of your game by optimizing your online presence to match the current situation, as things inevitably change, you’ll be able to smoothly change right along with it. Even in the best of economies and circumstances, things can change fast (we’re looking at you, COVID) so your business must be ready for anything so that you can keep crushing it.
The more I learn about SEO and the more businesses I help along the way, the more I realize that pleasing Google’s algorithm and earning a top spot is as much about SEO techniques as it is about serving your audience well.
If you focus the majority of your efforts on providing the best service to your audience and building a brand that you can be proud of, the search engine rankings, clients, and money will follow!
Check out our other post all about sitemaps by clicking here!